Tribe Requests Government-to-Government Meeting with Canadian Government
Snoqualmie Indian Reservation – The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, a federally recognized Tribe and signatory of the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855, has come out in opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline being built in British Columbia, Canada. The Snoqualmie Tribe opposes the proposed 416-mile fossil fuel pipeline that will carry fracked natural gas to a liquified natural gas refinery on the Canadian Pacific coast due to the risk it presents to the Pacific Ocean ecosystems all Northwest Tribal Nations rely upon, and due to the opposition of the Wet’suwet’en, a Canadian First Nation people whose land the pipeline must cross.
As a sovereign Tribal nation and treaty signatory, the Snoqualmie Tribe is requesting the Canadian government directly meet with its leadership on a sovereign government-to-government basis. The Tribe will request that the Canadian government respect the rights of the Wet’suwet’en and protect the climate and ocean from the threats the pipeline presents.
“The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe stands in solidarity with our Canadian First Nation relatives who are defending their sacred lands, as well as the ecological health of the Pacific Ocean ecosystems we all rely upon for food,” said Robert de los Angeles, Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman. “Climate change is an existential crisis, so there can be no graver mistake than violating the human rights of Indigenous Peoples in order to construct fossil fuel infrastructure that can only hasten and exacerbate the impacts of global warming.”
“As a treaty signatory whose Tribe has millennia of history traveling the Salish Sea to trade with our Canadian First Nation relatives, we are requesting an urgent sovereign-to-sovereign meeting with the Canadian government to share our concerns and opposition,” concluded Chairman de los Angeles.
In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs as rightful title holders over their unceded territories. Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs never consented to pipeline construction through their territories. The United Nation’s Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has condemned the Coastal Gaslink project for violating Wet’suwet’en rights, and have requested that Canada abide by the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which calls for first obtaining a Tribe’s Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) before pursuing any project that directly impacts Tribal lands or rights.
The Snoqualmie Tribe was alerted to the plight of the Wet’suwet’en by personal outreach from the Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony award-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo.
“The time has come to recognize and embrace the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and their right to ‘free, prior and informed consent,'” said Ruffalo in a statement provided for this release. “For too long, [Indigenous Peoples] have been pushed out of even slightly meaningful consultation and have been ignored or minimized by design. Their relationship to the land and living things and the wisdom that comes with it is a treasure in this modern era and a key to dealing with the climate and environmental challenges the world faces today.”
The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a proud supporter of FPIC, a policy which the Snoqualmie Tribe first successfully embodied in Washington and American law in 2021, through the passage of HB 1382. This groundbreaking law on salmon recovery contained policies written by the Snoqualmie Tribe that required FPIC from Tribes if proposed salmon recovery projects impacted Tribal sacred sites or cultural resources, thus becoming the first law in American history to require FPIC from a Tribe before state action.
The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in the Salish Sea region of Washington State. Known as the People of the Moon, Snoqualmie were signatories to the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855. Tribal enterprises provide over 1,700 jobs in the Snoqualmie Valley, and the Snoqualmie Tribe has donated more than $12 million to nonprofit organizations in Washington State since 2010. For more information visit www.snoqualmietribe.us