First Nations, guest speakers, musicians, performers, politicians, and environmental advocates from across British Columbia and North America will gather in Prince Rupert on February 4th to join hands with the Gitga’at Nation of Northwestern BC in a united stand against the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Project (ENGP) and show a united opposition to tankers within BC Coastal waters.
The event, hosted by the Gitga’at Nation starts on Feb 4, 2012, 11 am at Mariner’s Park with a parade to the Jim Ciccone Civic Center.
For the Gitga’at, the biggest risk posed by the ENGP is the tankers carrying condensate and crude from the proposed Kitimat site to markets in China. The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway would transport oil and condensate from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat via 2 – 1,170-km pipelines. At the proposed Kitimat port facility, the oil would be transferred to super-tankers and shipped out through Douglas Channel, right in front of the village of Hartley Bay – the community where the BC Ferry ‘Queen of the North’ sank in 2006 and still rests today slowly releasing toxins into the environment.
The tanker route will go through the harvesting and fishing areas of the Gitga’at and as well as the home of the rare, white Spirit Bear. An oil spill will cause a disaster, not only for all life forms in the area, but also for the very survival of the Gitga’at people.
The event is a forum for everyone to come together and listen to the risks the project poses. The Gitga’at will present a variety of speakers from First Nations representatives, to national and international experts and environmental supporters, including key note addess by Rafe Mair, David Suzuki and Andrew Nikiforuk, as well as, live performances by jazz pianist Murray Porter, Peter Breeze, Shane Yellowbird, and Ta’kaiya Blaney, (the young singer who was denied access to perform her song ‘Shallow Waters’, at the Enbridge Offices in Calgary). There will also be many traditional dance groups in attendance.
The Gitga’at “Say No to Oil Tankers” Rally begins at 11 am at Mariner’s Park with a parade to the Jim Ciccone Civic Center, that will be greeted and welcomed at various intervals along McBride Ave by First Nation Dancers and drummers. Speakers will be intermingled with the various musicians and dancers right through the day until midnight.
The event is expected to draw some 2000+ people and is opened to the public with registration beginning at 9 am in the Civic Centre lobby. Registration is required for attendance at the Civic Centre. Come early to guarantee entry as space is limited.