Posted by on Jul 26, 2018 in Featured

AFN National Youth Council calls for Executive and Chiefs to take stand against Kinder Morgan pipeline

AFN National Youth Council calls for Executive and Chiefs to take stand against Kinder Morgan pipeline

Unceded Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver BC) – The Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council (AFN-NYC) has released a letter to the AFN Executive and Chiefs in Assembly, calling for the assembly to refocus efforts on protecting lands and waters, prioritizing health and safety, and supporting youth in the fight against the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

The letter comes during the AFN Annual General Assembly in Vancouver, as the assembly elects the National Chief of the AFN, and just one day after Kinder Morgan’s buyer deadline has passed ‒ taking Canada one step closer to owning the tar sands pipeline and tanker project.

“When Indigenous young people are publicly stating that these oil pipelines are a danger to their lives and unceded territories, then it is the responsibility of Indigenous leadership to act on those concerns,” said Darian Landray Lonechild, AFN-NYC Female Co-Chair.

The Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council have pledged their support for the frontline Indigenous communities fighting the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline at the Coast Salish Watch House. In doing so, the AFN-NYC have called on AFN leadership to recognize that it is young Indigenous people leading the fight for a climate safe future, and that inaction on the part of the AFN is unacceptable. The council is made up of youth leaders from First Nations across Canada.

The letter (available in full here) has been signed by all 19 members of the AFN-NYC with 3 specific calls to action:

Refocus efforts on the sacred duties of protecting our lands and waters, ensuring a future for our young ones, and respecting our teachings.
Prioritize the safety and health of our young peoples, and those yet unborn, over the supposed monetary gain.
Support the young peoples and the direction they want to take when looking for alternative solutions.

– 30 –

For more information contact:
Darian Landray Lonechild, AFN-NYC Female Co-Chair / Female Saskatchewan Representative: 306-227-1014
Shikuan Malekesh-shetush, AFN-NYC Male Co-Chair / Quebec and Labrador Male Representative: 418-409-5696
Kiana Cardinal, AFN-NYC Executive / Female Alberta Representative: 780-819-9174
Mark Hill, AFN-NYC Executive / Ontario Male Representative: 519-732-2905

FULL LETTER

AFN National Youth Council statement on Kinder Morgan

July 25th, 2018

Dear AFN Executive, and Chiefs in Assembly,

We, the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council (AFN-NYC), are coming together to show our solidarity and support for the young people fighting against the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Over the past four months, young leaders have begun to take a stronger step forward in honoring their sacred duties of protecting and ensuring a safe, healthy, and prosperous future for our young ones and the forthcoming generations. Among these efforts encompass the need to address issues around our lands and waters critically. Earlier this month, the AFN-NYC traveled to the Coast Salish Burnaby, BC in support of the efforts of our young people. We have witnessed first-hand, the sacrifices made on behalf of these young people to protect their lands and futures.

We recognize the complexities and implications associated with economic security for our communities. While recognition of these imperatives is nuanced amongst First Nations young people across Canada; what remains intrinsic to all, is the shared frustration, anger, and hurt that comes along with these risks. As young leaders of our respective nations, we continue to witness a significant number of our young people making sacrifices across the country to honouring their sacred duties. In this dynamic and challenging political environment, we want to prevent the inevitability of harm to our young people due to the inaction of our leaders. This why our support is vital to their efforts.

We call on the AFN Executive, and chiefs in assembly to;

1. Refocus efforts on the sacred duties of protecting our lands and waters, ensuring a future for our young ones, and respecting our teachings.

2. Prioritize the safety and health of our young peoples, and those yet unborn, over the supposed monetary gain.

3. Support the young peoples and the direction they want to take when looking for alternative solutions.

Sincerely,

The Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council

Signed by,

Angela Charlie – British Columbia
Billie Julian – Nova Scotia
Boris Eyakfow – North West Territories
Chakira Young – Nova Scotia
Claudia Petiquay – Quebec and Labrador
Darian Lonechild – Saskatchewan
Jacey Firth-Hagen – North West Territories
Jessica-April Mazur – Yukon
Johhny Hanuse – British Columbia
Kiana Cardinal – Alberta
Leland English – Alberta
Maggie Moose – Manitoba
Mark Hill – Ontario
Richelle Ritchie – Ontario
Rollin Baldhead – Saskatchewan
Ronald Gamblin – Manitoba
Rosalie Labillois – New Brunswick and P.E.I
Shikuan Malekesh-shetush – Quebec and Labrador
Trevor Augustine – New Brunswick and P.E.I