In addition to being one of 31 First Nations to launch a joint legal challenge to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, the Haida Nation is pursuing its own lawsuit to put a stop to the project.
The Haida filed their court challenge in the Federal Court of Appeal on July 14, with Haida Nation President Peter Lantin saying the project threatens the lands and waters in the territory and that the government’s decision to approve it undermines objectives of previous agreements between the two.
“This is clearly corporate and foreign interests against everything that is right and against the chorus of people from every spectrum across B.C. who have said ‘no’ to this project,” said Lantin.
“Harper’s decision is just plain wrong and not in the ‘national interest’ as claimed … reconciliation leading to peace and order and a healthy environment is in all of our national interests.”
With a case that has been at the Supreme Court of Canada since 2004, Haida Nation legal counsel Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson said the filing by the nation is not something to be taken lightly.
“The Haida Nation have a strong case for Aboriginal rights and title, which requires not only the deepest level of consultation, but also accommodation that may require the Haida Nation’s consent with respect to high risk projects that threaten Haida Gwaii and the very existence of the Haida way of life,” she said.
“The Crown’s duty to the Haida Nation has not been met.”