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VANCOUVER, BC, June 22, 2021 – Sema:th First Nation, First Nations Industrial and Environmental Monitoring (FN-IEM), and the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee for the Trans Mountain Expansion and Existing Pipeline (IAMC-TMX) are applauding the launch of a project that will build Indigenous capacity, self-determination, and protect Sema:th people and their territory through ongoing environmental monitoring using automated technology and community oversight.
“We need to consider ways we can empower ourselves with the authority to monitor for spills and respond to emergencies that will impact our communities, our culture, and the exercise of our rights. We have much at stake,” said Chief Dalton Silver of Sema:th First Nation.
Once the system is commissioned, FN-IEM will be integrating a First Nations monitoring and emergency notification system at Sema:th.
Once fully implemented, FN-IEM’s intent will be to share with other pipeline-impacted First Nations best-practices and lessons learned from this project so that they, too, may benefit by using similar technology within their territories.
“The concept of stewardship and conservation is deeply rooted in our culture, and through technology, we are developing solutions to ensure our resources and lands are shared in better condition with future generations. Our elders are calling on us to exercise our responsibility,” said Dr. Michelle Corfield, Ucluelet First Nation, FN-IEM President and principle owner
This work is being supported by $489,693 from the IAMC-TMX Capacity Funding Program to increase Indigenous participation in the Trans Mountain Corporation’s Expansion Project and existing pipeline.
“The work being done by the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee for TMX is a model for the path we must follow. This partnership with Sema:th is a great example of the good that can be done when we work together,” said the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr, Minister of Natural Resources.
“The IAMC-TMX was established to form the basis of a new relationship between Indigenous communities, the Government and regulators including the Canada Energy Regulator in respect of the Trans Mountain activities. While the Committee has set the table for meaningful and collaborative inclusion of Indigenous communities – success is truly achieved when communities themselves are at the heart of our work together. I congratulate Chief Silver and his community on the launch of their innovative and ground-breaking monitoring project,” said Michelle Wilsdon, Co-Chair, IAMC-TMX.
Chief Silver said today, “Our relationship with the land is of greatest importance. This project will honour our rights to govern activities occurring within our lands and honour our responsibility to ensure the future of our lands for our people. The Sema:th First Nation looks forward to integrating the FN-IEM technology.”
For further information: Loriena Melnick, Director, Indigenous and Crown Relations, First Nations Industrial and Environmental Monitoring, [email protected], (250) 299-7387; Kathy Liu, IAMC-TMX, Communications, [email protected], (604) 355-2977
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