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For those who have paid attention to anti-oil and anti-gas activists over the past decade, or even international organizations, one common tactic is to group all Indigenous people in under the false narrative of broad opposition to energy development.
One recent example is how in January, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) called for the immediate cancellation of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, Site C dam, and Coastal Gaslink. The UN committee claimed that Indigenous communities have not given their “free, prior, and informed consent to these projects.”
Here’s the problem: that claim is wrong, contested for example, by Indigenous leaders like Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Crystal Smith, whose Nation has both Coastal Gaslink and the LNG Canada export terminal in their territory.
The UNCERD’s response to such facts was telling: they later admitted they were not aware that there was broad Indigenous support across 20 First Nations for Coastal Gaslink. Despite that admission, the UN organization anyway justified their statement by saying the role of the committee did “not involve investigative work.”
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