First Nations pipeline ban momentum

The Tahltan Nation of northern BC and the provincial Metis association are adding their names to a petition calling for a ban on oil pipelines and tankers in aboriginal traditional territories.

The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline route doesn't enter Tahltan territory, which covers 90,000 square kilometres from the Alaska border over the Stikine Plateau north of Stewart, BC.

The BC Metis Federation does not have traditional lands, but Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whu'ten (NAD'-lay-woten) First Nation says the federation's addition shows opposition to the pipeline proposed by Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX:ENB) is gaining momentum.

The Yinka Dene Alliance, a coalition of three northern BC First Nations, launched the petition in December 2010 and it now has more than 130 bands on board.

The pipeline would transport oil from Alberta to a tanker port in Kitimat for transport mostly to China.

A federal review panel is in Prince Rupert this week to hear evidence under oath from company experts.

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