Representatives of numerous First Nations will join the Canada-wide trip that will build on the wide support they have received across the country. The journey will begin on April 30 and culminate with First Nations taking their message directly to Enbridge’s corporate leadership at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Toronto on May 9.
“Our journey on this Freedom Train is to build on the support from the people of Canada for the protection of our traditional lands. We will stand firm against all industries like Enbridge that are planning to destroy the environment and the future of all peoples,” said Chief Martin Louie of Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, a member of the Yinka Dene Alliance. “We need a healthy environment to ensure a healthy future for our children.”
The Freedom Train will be met with large demonstrations of support as it stops in major cities across the country, organized by local First Nations groups in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. About 40 First Nations people from at least ten different Nations will be on the Freedom Train, ranging in age from 16 to 67. Additional First Nations representatives will join the train journey along the way, and many more people are expected to participate in events in cities along the route. The Freedom Train will be sent off with ceremonies in Nadleh Whut’en and Jasper, and will stop for feasts, ceremonies, rallies and events in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg before arriving in Toronto.
In Toronto there will be two days of events including a concert, rally, march and the attendance of First Nations representatives at Enbridge’s Annual General Meeting on May 9.
“We’re travelling across Canada to tell Enbridge that they will not be permitted to build their pipelines through our lands, period,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation. “The fight against Enbridge is a fight for our freedom to govern ourselves and to choose our own future. We will not accept the government imposing a decision on us and forcing this pipeline through our lands.”