B.C. union joins First Nations vowing to use law to fight pipelines

Coated steel pipe originally for the Keystone XL pipeline. Photo by Associated Press.

VANCOUVER — A union representing 65,000 workers in British Columbia has signed a declaration vowing to oppose pipelines from crossing the territories of more than 130 First Nations.

The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union has signed the Save the Fraser declaration, a document of indigenous law banning the Northern Gateway pipeline or similar projects from crossing the signatories' territories.

Union treasurer Paul Finch says the BCGEU is a steadfast supporter of indigenous rights.

He says delegates at a 2014 union convention called on leadership to sign the declaration and it is proud to have made that move today.

Finch says that as a signatory, the union hopes to strengthen its relationship with First Nations and reaffirm its commitment to the environment.

Saik'uz Chief Stan Thomas of the Yinka Dene Alliance, which spearheaded the declaration, says indigenous laws have guided the way First Nations use their lands and waters for generations and should be respected by all Canadians.

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