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

STARS transports man with gunshot wound

Reports of man involved in hunting incident air lifted out of Fairmont Hot Springs airport

When it’s all fun and games… and a little dust

An inside look at how Mainstreet Fun and Games chooses inventory

Accordion “still always big in demand”

Franz Grasegger invited to play on summer music tour with accordion

Hop downtown to hug the Easter Bunny

Easter activities across the Valley

Support through grief at hospice society

7th annual Butterfly Gala raises funds for Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Vintage bottles, magic cards, a 1969 Playboy: Quirky items found in historic B.C. buildings

Crews set aside some of the funkier pieces emerging from the construction rubble

PHOTOS: Inside the ‘shoe house’ in Northern B.C.

A rare look inside the famous Kitseguecla Lake Road shoe house, with a tour led by owner Toby Walsh

Thieves steal five of Seven Dwarves ornaments honouring B.C. couple’s late son

For the second time in a year, several garden ornaments stolen from Cloverdale family’s front garden

Child, 11, accidentally shot in the chest at Alberta religious colony

Child taken from Hutterite colony to nearby hospital

Ceremonies, vigils planned in Toronto to honour victims of deadly van attack

Many of those who helped that day — first responders and Good Samaritans alike — still affected

Shakespeare Fest sees students from across B.C. ‘play on’ in Okanagan

19th annual Goodwill Shakespeare Festival draws hundreds from across B.C.

Case of man charged in fatal Salmon Arm church shooting adjourned until May

Matrix Savage Gathergood charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault

RCMP looking to retrace steps of woman found dead on Kelowna beach

Caitlin Midori Bradley, a 29-year-old dancer at a Kelowna bar, was originally from Surrey

Most Read