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Not giving up: How a First Nation is fighting the feds on the Trans Mountain pipeline – Global News

December 13, 2023

The Chief of a First Nation in British Columbia is angry and frustrated at pipeline giant Trans Mountain and the federal government, saying both have failed to fairly compensate his community for all the crude oil that’s been pumped beneath their land since the 1950s.

And he’s not letting go.

Seven decades ago, court records indicate that the Coldwater Indian Band near Merritt, B.C., signed an agreement with the Government of Canada and with Trans Mountain, the company that built the original pipeline and is now twinning that line.

The First Nation received a one-time payment of $1,292 for the 1950s-era line. This payment was “consideration for the easement” representing a 60-foot right-of-way for the pipeline over Coldwater’s lands, according to the records.

The agreement was called “an indenture,” a legal term that refers to an agreement between two parties.

Coldwater also was paid an additional $1,125.09 for loss and damages associated with the original pipeline’s construction over its territory, plus ongoing payments in the form of property taxes, which all communities impacted by the pipeline receive.

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