The Yinka Dene Alliance has sent a cease and desist letter and is warning Enbridge (TSX: T.ENB
) against trespassing in their traditional territories as the company seeks temporary permits for drilling and tree removal for its unapproved Northern Gateway pipeline, a project that is opposed by the BC government and more than 60% of British Columbians.
The Alliance, whose members' territories make-up 25% of the proposed pipeline route, say that Enbridge's actions and the BC government's potential indifference to granting temporary work permits, could put the government's new relationship with BC First Nations at risk, including future talks on pipelines and LNG.
Last month, the Alliance, whose territory spans the width of the government's envisioned LNG corridor, wrote to Premier Clark, requesting a government-to-government meeting on pipelines and LNG, and received a personal commitment from the Premier to begin high-level talks at the earliest opportunity.
The temporary work permits are for the construction of 16 drilling pads adjacent to the Salmon, Stuart and Muskeg rivers including tree removal and road clearing, bringing Enbridge drilling crews and local communities into potential conflict.
To make its position clear, the Alliance is placing public notices in local newspapers and erecting signs in its territory to warn Enbridge and its contractors against trespassing, promising to prosecute violators based on indigenous law.
Representatives of more than 160 First Nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration
, banning tar sands oil pipelines from their territories and the migration routes of Fraser River salmon.
On Thursday, the oil and gas company fell 0.3% and was trading at $43.95 a share. The company had a market cap of $36.2 billion, based on 823.7 million shares outstanding.