Contributed file photo of B.C. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

UBCIC adds voice to concerns of pipeline ‘man camps’

Critics say the ‘hyper-masculine’ camps increase risks of violence against women

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs is adding its voice to Indigenous concerns of Kinder Morgan “man camps” along the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, citing hyper-masculinity and potential risks to women.

UBCIC announced Friday it voted unanimously last month to endorse the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society and the Tiny House Warriors’ Women’s Declaration Against Kinder Morgan Man Camps.

Related: National Energy Board rules that Kinder Morgan can start work in Burnaby

The union took aim at “a hyper-masculine industrial camp culture, which can result in increased risk of sexual harassment, assault, increased levels of violence against women in sex work and hitchhiking and increased levels of child care and gender inequity.”

“The health, safety and security of our communities and land is paramount. Canada has contradicted their commitment to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples,” said Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, secretary-treasurer of the UBCIC.

“It is not only our women and children and risk, these man camps put all women, youth and children at risk in those communities neighbouring these camps.”

Related: Cautious optimism on lifted wine ban at B.C. Wine Institute

The issue of the Kinder Morgan pipeline has heated up in recent weeks, after Premier John Horgan proposed a moratorium on increasing shipments from the Port of Vancouver until a study has been conducted on the effects of bitumen in water.

To that, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s response was to cut off B.C. wine supplies from Alberta, stoking fears of an interprovincial trade war. That quickly cooled after Horgan put the question of the moratorium to the Supreme Court of Canada, leading Notley to halt the B.C. wine ban.

But for Indigenous communities, including UBCIC, the question of the pipeline has not been one of provincial jurisdiction, but one of free, prior and informed consent, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Related: Notley uncorks B.C. support for wine ban

“These man camps represent a serious threat to our Peoples, our women, our two-spirits, our children, our lands, the wildlife, the salmon and the environmental integrity of our waterways,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC president.

“The UBCIC will never permit such trespass against Indigenous peoples. Our lands and our communities have been continuously ravaged and pillaged for the ‘national interest,’ we will do whatever it takes to stop the Kinder Morgan Expansion.”

UBCIC vice-president Chief Bob Chamberlin said the issue is one that extends from something more systemic and broadly felt than just the pipelines.

“The hyper-masculine culture of these work camps contributes to the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls that currently grips this country,” Chamberlin said.

“With failure of our system to provide justice for the murders of Colton Boushie and Tina Fontaine, our trust in the ability of this government and the Canadian justice system has been severely undermined. The construction of these man-camps, in close proximity to our communities, is unacceptable.”

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Shag Creek area under evacuation order, area expanded

93 properties are being told to evacuate immediately

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Northern B.C. residents face more evacuation orders as some smoke clears up

Regional District of BulkleyNechako issued new, expanded evacuation orders for remote areas Saturday

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Most Read