Kanahus Manuel is leading a group of activists and volunteers in a unique project to block the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline on Indigenous territory. (Carrie Cervantes) Brandi Morin Brandi Morin, Métis, born and raised in Alberta, possesses a passion for telling Indigenous stories. Based outside Edmonton, Morin has lent her talents to several news organizations, including Indian Country Today Media Network and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network National News. She is now hard at work striving to tell the stories of Canada’s Indigenous peoples to a broader audience.
An activist from the Neskonlith band of the Secwepemc people in British Columbia is preparing for what she believes is the next Standing Rock, with a unique project aiming to block the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline on Indigenous territory.
Kanahus Manuel is leading a growing group of activists and supporters from the Secwepemc tribes in B.C. opposed to the pipeline expansion who are constructing tiny houses to place in its path.
“We’re standing in the way of the pipelines,” said Manuel. “We’re occupying and claiming back our traditions and establishing our traditional villages.”
The building of the first tiny house began earlier this week near Kamloops, B.C. Manuel, the daughter of the late political leader and activist Arthur Manuel, is spearheading the “Tiny House Warriors” project. Work has begun on the Tiny House Warriors project, a protest against the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. Activists expect to build 10 homes which will lie on the route of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. (Greenpeace) Ten tiny houses will be built and placed strategically along the 518-kilometre stretch of the Trans Mountain pipeline route that runs through Secwepemc territory, to assert Secwepemc law and jurisdiction and block access to this pipeline, Manuel said.
She was a constant at the Standing Rock protests in North Dakota, which saw hundreds of activists and self-described water protectors from around the globe come together to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline expansion, arguing it threatened the Missouri River.
She views the protest against the Kinder Morgan pipeline as another Standing Rock starting to unfold.
“It’s going to take everyone to protect our lands and waters. We have the whole world watching because of Standing Rock,” Manuel said.
“Many people from Standing Rock want to come and help fight this — we have a lot of support. And we have a new generation that wants change. It’s coming from the youth and the young people. It’s their future.” Consent never given for pipeline: Manuel
Secwepemc territory covers a vast area of unceded land in which the pipeline would threaten Indigenous lands, wildlife and waterways, she said, and consent was never given for the Kinder Morgan expansion. Ida Manuel painting a banner for the ‘Tiny House Warriors’ project. (Greenpeace) “We, the Secwepemc, have never ceded, surrendered, or given up our sovereign title and rights over the land, waters and resources within Secwepemcul’ecw [traditional Secwepemc territory]
,” Manuel said.
“We collectively hold title and governance regarding Secwepemcul’ecw and the collective consent of the Secwepemc is required for any access to our lands, waters and resources.”
CBC has contacted Kinder Morgan to request comment.
The company announced Wednesday it has finalized agreements with six contractors to build portions of the pipeline expansion, which will carry crude oil from a terminal near Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C. Construction is set to begin later this month.
At a community gathering in Secwepemc territory in June, a declaration was signed to move forward with tiny house building project as the best action to take against the pipeline expansion.
The houses will be outfitted with solar power and efforts will be made to […]
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