August 14, 2011

10-year-old vs. oil pipeline

A story from July 2011:

Ten-year First Nations girl denied access to Enbridge office

By Angela SterrittTen-year-old Ta’Kaiya Blaney stood outside Enbridge Northern Gateway’s office today waiting for officials to grant her access to the building. She thought she could hand deliver an envelope containing an important message about the company’s pipeline construction. But the doors remained locked.

“I don’t know what they find so scary about me,” she said, as she was ushered off the property by security guards. “I just want them to hear what I have to say.”

The Sliammon First Nation youth and North Vancouver resident put in a great effort learning about environmental issues and the pipeline in particular, and hoped to share her knowledge and carefully crafted words about the pertinent topic.

Enbridge officials said they were unable to provide Ta’Kaiya space or time and failed to comment because the Vancouver office is staffed by a limited number of technical personnel. Their headquarters are located in Calgary.

So Ta’Kaiya stood outside, accompanied by three members of Greenpeace, her mother and a number of reporters and sang her song “Shallow Waters.” The song’s video has hit YouTube and been viewed almost 5000 times.

She co-wrote her song after learning of Enbridge’s bid to build twin 1,170 km pipelines to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands to B.C.’s north coast. The pipeline is widely opposed largely because it would bring hundreds of oil supertankers a year to the Great Bear Rainforest–an ecologically significant region along a particularly dangerous route for tankers.

Comment:  For more on the subject, see Spirit Bear in National Geographic.

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