- Mar 2017
Raymond Yakaleya, speaking at Norman Wells:
On the north side of the Mackenzie Rivers in the Northwest territories of Canada, lies Norman Wells. There is a northern research station at Norman Wells. Next to the research station lies Imperial Oils, oil production facility. Raymond Yakeleya is a film director who has taken the stories of families who were forced out of their homes by Imperial Oils. Raymond Yakeleya spoke at Norman Wells on August 9th, 19575. Raymond Yakeleya was speaking on behalf of his people, the Dene people, and their opinions regarding the proposed pipeline. On this day, he expressed, how after all of the words said against the pipeline at this conference, what he is really hoping for is that the government will start to trust his people. The goal is to work as equals, to work without creating further division and separation between the people. For his people they don’t want to feel as outcasts and they don’t want to feel ashamed of who they are. They don’t want to have outsiders decide their futures anymore, they want to be able to decide their own futures, they know more about their land and should be treated as equals and not as less. He expresses that the Indian people are not fighting the white people for money but instead are fighting for their lives. The Dene people do not care about the money the pipeline will make but instead they want to know what benefit it will have for their people. They believe the pipeline will be harmful to the environment and they don’t want the pipeline to be forced upon them.
Proceedings at Community Hearing. Proceedings of Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, Norman Wells, NWT. Vol. 21. Burnaby, BC: Allwest Reporting Ltd, 2003. 1-148. Accessed March 5, 2017. http://www.pwnhc.ca/extras/berger/report/NT%20Norman%20Wells%20Berger%20V21.pdf.