Fracking Forum Bridges New Brunswick and British Columbia
On October 30-31, 2015 KAIROS sponsored a unique exchange that linked via videoconferencing Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Moncton and Vancouver who are concerned about the social, ecological and human rights impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas.
The forum began with a preview of the KAIROS video A Culture of Life, which explores Indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent.
Caleb Behn, an Indigenous lawyer from northeastern B.C., delivered the keynote address from Vancouver that was relayed to Moncton.
On Friday evening in Moncton, speakers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec described the fracking debates in their respective provinces. On Saturday, Alma Brooks, a grandmother from the Maliseet Nation, spoke from the perspective of a woman who lives in an affected community. Kenneth Frances and Katrina Clair shared their experiences in resisting fracking on Elsipogtog lands and screened a short video from the IMW Delegation whose name means “Protecting the Earth for Future Generations.” KAIROS Executive Director Jennifer Henry’s theological reflection emphasized the points of convergence between Christian traditions and Indigenous spirituality.
In Vancouver on Saturday two Indigenous women, Freda Huson, from the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation and Christine Martin from the Lax Kwa’alaams explained why their nations set up camps to defend their territories from corporations wishing to build shale gas pipelines and a Liquefied Natural Gas export terminal. The forum ended with strong presentations by Toghestiy, Hereditary Chief of the Likhts’amisyu and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.