Page 84

15.

Effects of the TMEX Proposal ON Tsleil-Waututh’s Ability to Satisfy Its

Environmental Restoration Obligations

KEY POINTS

» Restoration of the natural resources of our territory is a legal imperative for Tsleil-Waututh, and we are working to recover the environmental integrity of Burrard Inlet through our Marine Stewardship Program. » The TMEX proposal, if implemented, will slow or deny achievement of the goals and objectives of the Tsleil-Waututh Marine Stewardship Program.

S

ection 8 describes legal principles related to our Tsleil-Waututh obligation to steward the water, land, air, and resources of our territory. Section 5 outlines the Marine Stewardship Program, a contemporary initiative through which we continue to carry out our sacred responsibilities.

The Marine Stewardship Program is based on Tsleil-Waututh legal principles. Archaeological investigations corroborate our oral histories, which tell us that when Burrard Inlet was under exclusive Tsleil-Waututh management, it was a vibrant ecosystem with abundant natural resources. At that time, balance and reciprocity governed respectful relations among all beings, human and non-human, and among all elements of the natural and spirit worlds. When the Crown imposed limits on Tsleil-Waututh’s right and obligation to manage our territory, our interconnected world was harmed and we began losing the full benefit of our water, land, air, and resources. As described in Section 10, eventually the imposed harm and loss surpassed the inlet’s environmental carrying capacity, in violation of our laws. The harm and loss of environmental integrity have had severe, unacceptable consequences for our people. Today, cumulative effects have made restoration of Burrard Inlet a legal imperative for Tsleil-Waututh, in keeping with our stewardship obligations. Through the Marine Stewardship Program, the nation is restoring and rehabilitating the environmental integrity of Burrard Inlet, as Tsleil-Waututh law commands. To date, progress and success include the following: » Monitoring and improving water quality in Indian Arm—we are on the verge of the federal government approving the first sanctioned shellfish harvest there since 1972 (the location is indicated on Map 25). » Improving salmon habitat in Burrard Inlet—as described in Section 5, while salmon returns to the Indian River are much lower today than in pre-contact times, they have been increasing over the last three decades because of renewed Tsleil-Waututh stewardship.

84

If the TMEX proposal is implemented, can Tsleil-Waututh achieve the goals of the Marine Stewardship Program?

As described in Section 10, cumulative effects already exceed an acceptable threshold for environmental integrity, in violation of Tsleil-Waututh law. As described in Section 13, the TMEX proposal, if implemented, will contribute to these cumulative effects, further harming Burrard Inlet, our community, our culture, and our economy. Given these circumstances, we conclude that 1) implementation of the TMEX proposal would slow or deny achievement of the objectives of the Marine Stewardship Program and 2) approving the TMEX proposal would violate Tsleil-Waututh law, because it undermines our stewardship obligations.

Profile for Tseil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative

Tseil-Waututh Nation Assessment of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tanker Expansion Proposal  

Landmark independent assessment by the Tsleil-Wautuh Nation of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The assessment applies TWN'...

Tseil-Waututh Nation Assessment of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tanker Expansion Proposal  

Landmark independent assessment by the Tsleil-Wautuh Nation of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The assessment applies TWN'...

Advertisement