An insane amount of tar sands and fracking infrastructure is proposed for some of the most beautiful places on earth - unceded indigenous territories in so-called ‘BC.’ This article talks about the proposals (12+ pipelines, 18+ liquefaction and export facilities, tens of thousands of fracking wells, thousands of tankers), how tar sands and fracking projects are intertwined, and how indigenous communities are positioning themselves to thwart this development. 

“There is a barrage of oil and gas developments being proposed in this whole North West and if they were successful we would see a wasteland development. We wouldn’t see a build-up of community development,” argues Mel Bazil, a resident of Hazelton and long-term supporter of the Unist’ot’en Camp blockade. “It comes with forms of violence: domestic violence, a large influx of drugs, missing and murdered women, and pollution.”

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A few photos from so-called “Ontario”

Blasting through “Canada”.

Molly Wickham and Cody Merriman are raising their three year old son at a tailings pond blockade in so-called “British Columbia.” The couple are active participants in the Unist’ot’en blockade and invited me to stay at their cabin, which overlooks a lake that Nanika Metals wants to turn into a sea of toxic waste.

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A group of pipeline surveyors were evicted from unsurrendered indigenous territory in so-called “British Columbia” by the Unist’ot’en clan. If TransCanada is caught trespassing again, their equipment will be confiscated

TransCanada pipeline surveyors were evicted from unsurrendered Unist’ot’en territory in so-called “British Columbia.”

From the article: “In protecting their community and their land, the Unist’ot’en clan will not back down. “The fact that we came in and kicked TransCanada out after they knowingly were entering into unceded territory, and sent their workers ill-informed into the territory, we see it as an end to a project that they were attempting to start,” Toghestiy said. “They can’t win. There’s no winning against a force that just refuses to back down, a force that has constitutional backing, a force that has case-law backing, a force that has the social backing from the common every day person who lives here in North America–people who are becoming de-colonized, people who are becoming more aware and waking up to the climate crisis.”

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"At the fifth and final Tar Sands Healing Walk, indigenous communities living on the front-lines of bitumen extraction in Alberta came together to pray, and to lead a march through the grotesque epicentre of a continental oil project.

It may seem defeatist to pray in the face of an industrial behemoth like Alberta’s tar sands, but it is actually an incredible show of strength. As millennia old traditions, these prayers have survived smallpox epidemics, policies of starvation, religious bans, torture in state sanctioned residential schools, and massive environmental degradation at the hands of mining, oil, and gas industries. Praying in the heart of Alberta’s tar sands is a palpable act of defiance—a clear refusal to go extinct after centuries of attempted genocide.

Marching for hours, the Healing Walk passed by open-pit mines, fields of dead earth, lakes of poison called ‘tailings ponds,’ soviet-style worker villages, and hydrocarbon refineries. The air reeked of sulphur and diesel, and many participants complained about burning eyes, sore throats, metallic tastes, headaches, and nausea.”

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Check out the video on Youtube

I made this video at the fifth and final Tar Sands Healing Walk, where indigenous communities on the front-lines of tar sands extraction lead a spiritual march through a landscape of poisonous lakes, dead earth, open-pit mines, and refineries.

If you’re ever curious about what Canada’s genocidal policies of resource extraction look like, here’s a contemporary view from the ground. The video is a little cheerier than I may have made it otherwise, but the atmosphere at the camp ground, despite everything, was also alive with life and joy. The tar sands are a defeatable industry, with anti-pipeline action and indigenous litigation already causing significant delays.

Unist’ot’en Camp stands firmly in the path of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway.


The federal government’s approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway is an invitation to conflict—a test of Canada’s will to inflict violence upon the environment and indigenous peoples who have, throughout much of the project’s proposed route, never surrendered their lands.

'This isn’t just a fight about pipelines. This is a fight about indigenous sovereignty, our sovereignty,' said Toghestiy.”

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Ezra Levant gave a talk on ‘Ethical Oil’ in Peace River, an oil town famous for having air so poisonous that people were forced out of their homes. While residents endure an ongoing, industrial hell, industry pats itself on the back at the Peace Oil Sands Convention and Trade Show. Photos and additional reporting by Elle Kurancid.

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