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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Lessons from the canyon : Aboriginal engagement in the Enbridge Northern Gateway environmental assessment Panofsky, Sarah


This thesis examines the environmental assessment for the proposed Northern Gateway Pipelines project, focusing on Aboriginal concerns with the process. Northern Gateway is a highly contentious oil pipeline that would link the Tar Sands in Alberta to the BC coast in Kitimat, in an effort to ship Canadian crude to Asia. I focus on the extent and quality of First Nations’ participation in the EA and its meaningful acknowledgement of Aboriginal rights and ontologies. Environmental assessment in Canada has become an important space for the negotiation of Aboriginal rights though it was never intended as such and is wrought with criticism. I present this analysis within a post-colonial framework, grounded in political ecology, political ontology and posthumanism. It is important to understand the case of Northern Gateway in BC today within a broader analysis of a legacy of colonialism, and colonial relationships. To explore these issues, I center on the experience of one Aboriginal organization, the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, in Smithers BC, which is publicly opposed to Northern Gateway.

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Attribution 3.0 Unported