Keep your eyes on the Burrard Inlet this weekend. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation, which has traditional territory in Burnaby, is co-hosting a historic canoe journey with the Squamish Nation to protect the Salish Sea and stand against Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion project.
"Our nations stand united in opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project and increased supertanker traffic in the port of Metro Vancouver. Our nations believe the risks associated with this project are too great to accept," said Tsleil-Waututh Chief Justin George and Squamish Chief Gibby Jacob in a jointly signed statement.
Other Coast Salish peoples are participating in the canoe journey, which starts at Ambleside in West Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. The canoes will travel to Cates Park in North Vancouver, arriving at 3 p.m. There will be a feast, followed by ceremonies. During the canoe journey, they'll stop in front of the Kinder Morgan's Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby and conduct a special ceremony reaffirming the importance of water.
"Water is the essence of all life on Earth, and the Salish Sea is the heart of our territories. Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples have used and occupied the lands and water in this area since time immemorial, and our nations hold an inherent birthright and obligation to be caretakers and protectors of our respective territories," the chiefs wrote.
An existing Burnaby portion of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the marine terminal are already in Tsleil-Waututh traditional territory. Kinder Morgan is planning to more than double capacity of the line, from 300,000 barrels of oil per day to 750,000, and expand the terminal so more tankers can fill up with oil.
The Salish Sea is the body of water between the mainland and Vancouver Island, including the straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca and the Puget Sound.