Presentation will feature activists from North Shore’s Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Four students from Capilano University’s School of Communications are bringing the fight to campus.
On Monday, Apr. 3, four students from a Project Group in Communications course will be hosting a summit at the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) Members’ Centre in the library building to address issues surrounding the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. The students, Javen Loewen, Natalie Danieli, Nathan Harada and Kevin O’Neill are dedicating the forum to the lack of consultation that the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish People received from the government, National Energy Board and Kinder Morgan before the approval of the pipeline.
“The main focus that our group has come to is to really talk about how the First Nations people really hasn’t been consulted with,” said Loewen. “All the conditions that the government was supposed to meet before they got the okay and full approval ahead of this was not met with.”
The forum will include the participation of two well-regarded members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Benjamin West and Cedar George-Parker. West, the communications coordinator of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative, will be coming in to ensure that the forum distributes accurate information regarding the issues that the Tsleil-Waututh Nation holds against Kinder Morgan.
On the other hand, George-Parker will be attending as the official spokesperson for the Sacred Trust Initiative. George-Parker has worked closely with the initiative’s managers, as well as Tsleil-Waututh elder Amy George, in their efforts to combat Kinder Morgan’s advancement towards First Nations lands.
A noted youth activist, George-Parker is regarded as one of the more vocal youth protestors in the community, having participated in many of Tsleil-Waututh’s forums and panels, including Many Paddles One Canoe event his past month.
Both West and George-Parker have been heavily involved with the work of the Sacred Trust Initiative, a group dedicated to combating Kinder Morgan’s advancement on First Nations land.
“We’re bringing in some people to speak about why they’re opposing Kinder Morgan in-depth and how they’ve been struggling with the provincial government and approval of the project,” said Loewen.
For Loewen, having the chance to use class-based projects to address real sociopolitical issues is not an opportunity to be taken lightly. “Its very important for students to use school projects as a way to get involved in the community and be able to make a difference,” he said. “The ideas can be put into action, and these projects can look great on a resume.”
Through O’Neill’s work with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, the group was able to secure the participation of more than credible speakers regarding Kinder Morgan. A distinction that Loewen deems to be integral to their operations. “To have these speakers coming means so much to us,” he said. “They are extremely important people and have significant roles in the battle against Kinder Morgan… I believe what they have to say will leave a lasting memory on everyone who attends.
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