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Event: “Opposing Canadian pipeline projects – Indigenous solidarity across borders”

Join us in Ottawa on Monday October 16, 2023 from 6-8 PM for a public talk bringing together Otomi and Wet’suwet’en land defenders and allies. These delegates represent Indigenous communities affected by gas pipelines being built by TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) – with support from the Canadian government – who are pushing back in defence of the land. The event will feature film presentations from each community’s struggle as well as a facilitated discussion. Light refreshments will be available. 

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks and land defender Eve Saint will speak about their opposition to the company’s Coastal GasLink pipeline now being constructed on their territory in northern British Columbia in Canada.

Otomi land defender Don Salvador Aparicio Olvera will speak about his opposition to the company’s Tula Pipeline Project (Tuxpan-Tula pipeline), which would extend from Tuxpan, Veracruz to the states of Puebla and Hidalgo in central Mexico.

Dr. Eliana Acosta Marquez of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the Workshop for the Defence of Territories will also be speaking. She contributed to the research, systemization and editing of the Territories of Water report (December 2021), which documented opposition to the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline.

The report links TC Energy and “a series of irregularities in Mexico against Otomi, Nahua and Totonac communities and in Canada against Wet’suwet’en communities.” When the Regional Council of Indigenous Peoples in Defense of the Territory of Puebla and Hidalgo received the report they indicated their desire to establish links with the Wet’suwet’en.

Algonquin Elder and University of Ottawa Chancellor Claudette Commanda will be welcoming everyone to the event on Algonquin land, and University of Ottawa professor Karine Vanthuyne will be moderating.

An analysis by the Globe and Mail newspaper found that Ottawa-based Export Development Canada (EDC), a Crown corporation wholly owned by the government of Canada, provided TransCanada Pipelines (now TC Energy) with a minimum of $1 billion in financial support between 2001 and the end of 2020.

On April 28, 2020, EDC signed an agreement with TC Energy to lend between $250 million and $500 million for the Coastal GasLink pipeline. In July 2021, Canadian trade minister Mary Ng visited the TC Energy office in Mexico City and tweeted about “the community-focused business approach of TC Energy as the largest Canadian investor into Mexico.” Minister Ng is the cabinet minister responsible for EDC.

This event is organized by Above Ground (a project of MakeWay) and Peace Brigades International Canada. We are grateful for the financial support of the University of Ottawa’s Laboratory for Engaged Research, the University of Ottawa’s Research Centre on the Future of Cities, the UOttawa-ULyon Joint Research Chair on Urban Anthropocene, and for the assistance of other civil society groups and academics who have made this event possible.

Registration
Registration is required and can be done
 here. The deadline for registration is October 15, 2023.

Languages
The event will be held in both English and Spanish. Spanish to English interpretation will be provided.

Location
We will be in room 4007 of the Faculty of Social Sciences building at the University of Ottawa. The address is 120 University Private, Ottawa, ON K1N 9A7.

Accessibility

The room is located on the 4th floor of an accessible building. We will have spaces in the room available to attendees to sit in their mobility devices. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer sign language interpretation. Please let us know if you have other accessibility requirements.

We encourage participants to wear masks and to please stay home if you are unwell and suspect that you may be contagious. We will have masks available at the event.

If you have any questions or issues with registration, please contact Georgina Alonso at galonso@aboveground.ngo.

(The delegates are holding similar events in Toronto prior to their visit to Ottawa. For information on the Toronto events, see the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN) website.)