• The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance is proud to support the lawsuit filed by Elsipogtog First Nation, on behalf of the Mi’kmaq Nation, to claim Aboriginal title to the Mi’kma’ki district of Sikniktuk in New Brunswick.

    Our support is grounded in many things. In recent history we have been allies against a common enemy that threatened all of us with the contamination of our water, air and land. Many of our members, both Anglophone and Francophone from around the province, stood with the people of Elsipogtog as they peacefully defended their land. Some were arrested alongside them and still others sent money and supplies to support the cause.

    We have also stood shoulder to shoulder with our other indigenous allies, the Wolastoqewiyik, in the peaceful defense of mother earth, understanding that such actions are often necessary to protect that which sustains life when it is threatened.

    We also support this suit because we are joined with First Nations by history, including the mutual signing of treaties in centuries past. While we cannot undo the hardships that befell First Nations in the years since those treaties were signed, we can say—along with the Supreme Court of Canada—that the passage of time does not diminish the rule of law.  Treaties signed remain treaties to be respected and enforced.

    Canada’s governments and citizens alike are thus obligated both legally and morally to acknowledge the terms of those treaties which, beyond dispute, entitle the First Nations the right to protect the water, air and land necessary to support their way of life.

    By doing so we also acknowledge that we are helping New Brunswick, and the world, rediscover the values that are necessary for our continued existence.

    Jim Emberger, Spokesperson
    New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance


    Kenneth Francis accepting solidarity statement on Aboriginal Title Claim from Jim Emberger, NBASGA @ NBEN Annual Meeting (photo Mark D’Arcy)
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    OPEN LETTER TO NEW BRUNSWICK MPs
    by Jim Emberger

    I am writing on behalf of the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, a collection of Anglophone and Francophone groups with members in every constituency of the province.

    I am writing to address two separate but closely related issues. The first is to voice our displeasure in the federal government’s actions in the matter of the recent RCMP assault on the checkpoints established by the traditional Wet’suwet’en Clan Leaders in British Columbia.

    Resorting to militarized action against peaceful protectors over an issue that involves basic unresolved issues, such as relationships between the government and indigenous people, is not only poor policy, but also anathema to our values, our stated intent for reconciliation, and our international obligation to honour the terms of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

    While the actions in question took place a continent away, they have resonated strongly with those of us in New Brunswick who experienced the similar action of the RCMP raid on Elsipogtog over five years ago.

    It too appeared to be a case of government employing the RCMP as an enforcement arm of fossil fuel interests; elevating commercial interests via an injunction over the larger and fundamental issues of civil rights, indigenous rights and international obligations at play.

    We have two requests to make of you.  The first is to make the federal government aware of our position and our support for the We’suwet’en Clan Leaders. The larger issues must be addressed and resolved before any further action to remove indigenous peoples from their unceded lands, and before any commercial activities continue.

    The second request is for you and the federal government to put pressure on the RCMP Commissioner to release the CRCC investigation report on the events at Elsipogtog to the public.  It has been over 5 years in preparation, and via our communications with the CRCC we know that it has been completed and is only awaiting a decision to be released.

    It is doubly important to release it now. First, it may contain lessons that would be applicable to the current situation in BC, and thus of immediate importance to all parties.

    Secondly, the Conservative government in New Brunswick (including those in power at the time of the Elsipogtog raid) are planning a repeat of the actions that led to the debacle in Elsipogtog by lifting the moratorium on shale gas and bypassing consultations with indigenous peoples.

    Our continual entreaties over the last 5 years have not hastened the release of the report, so we are asking for your assistance.

    Recently a scholarly book called, ‘Policing Indigenous Movements, was published, which concluded with a chapter on Elsipogtog.  Suffice it to say that the portrayal of the government and the RCMP was not flattering, but it is the image that Canada continues to show to the world.

    The citizens of New Brunswick and Canada, especially its indigenous people, need to see what actually transpired at Elsipogtog, so the actions taken there will not continue to haunt us and we can get along to the real business of reconciliation in all its forms.

    Thank you for assistance.  Please let us know what responses or news that you receive.
    Jim Emberger, Spokesperson
    New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

 © 2018 NBEN / RENB