For Immediate Release
Anti-fracking rally planned at Union Gas to support Elsipogtog First Nation
Moraviantown (October 18, 2013) – The London District Chief’s Council (LDCC) will hold a demonstration tomorrow at the Chatham offices of Union Gas to show support to the Elsipogtog First Nation in their opposition to hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ within their territory in New Brunswick. “We stand in solidarity with our Mi’kmaq brothers and sisters as they exercise their treaty, aboriginal and human rights by publicly raising legitimate concerns about the environmental and health impacts of ‘fracking,’’’ says LDCC Chair and Delaware Nation Chief, Greg Peters.
Tomorrow’s rally will also raise local concerns about how the RCMP is handling the situation. Heightened tensions at the Elsipogtog highway blockade has resulted in a show of brute force from police officers. “I thought we were past the kind of shameful police reaction that we saw during the Ipperwash and Oka standoffs,” says Chief Peters. “We publicly condemn the use and level of force demonstrated by the RCMP in New Brunswick.”
“We too have major environmental concerns over fracking within our own territories here in southwestern Ontario,” says Chief Peters, who worries about the impact shale gas extraction can have on the region’s land and water. The region is being considered for natural gas extraction by several companies, as underground shale conditions are ideal for fracking.
Chief Peters says First Nations have a constitutionally entrenched aboriginal right to free, prior and informed consent when it comes to any projects affecting traditional territories. First Nations have neither been informed, nor provided their consent to any fracking project within the region. “We know the river of resources runs through our territories, and we will do what we have to, to protect the land, the water, and health of all people,” says Chief Peters.
The LDCC opted to hold the rally at the Union Gas location in Chatham because it is within the traditional territories of member Nations and is owned by Duke Energy, an American company with an interest in fracking. Union Gas has also applied to the Ontario Energy Board for permission to expand its natural gas infrastructure in the Greater Toronto Area, to better accommodate the distribution of ‘fracked’ gas from the U.S. by 2015.
Tomorrow’s demonstration begins at 1pm, at the Union Gas offices located at 50 Keil Drive North, Chatham, Ontario.
For more information, contact Robert Scott, LDCC Executive Director, 519-701-5905, or Sherry Huff, LDCC Communications, 519-401-5166.
The London District Chiefs Council (LDCC) is an association of First Nation governments in southwestern Ontario. It was formed in the early 1970s to address common issues of concern effecting their communities.The communities are Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Bkejwanong First Nation, Caldwell First Nation, Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Delaware Nation, Munsee Delaware Nation and the Oneida Nation of the Thames.
50 Keil Dr N
Chatham-Kent, ON N7L 4A1
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