An alliance of First Nations leaders say they are gearing up to fight proposed new pipelines both in the courts and through unspecified direct action.
Native leaders from both Canada and the United States are on Parliament Hill to underline their opposition to both the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines.
The first would tie the Alberta oil sands to the West Coast, while the second would send bitumen to refineries on the American Gulf Coast.
Some of the chiefs are brushing off the federal government’s appointment this week of a special envoy to look at tensions between natives and the energy industry.
Vancouver-based lawyer Doug Eyford is to focus on energy infrastructure in Western Canada, but some native leaders say he has no credibility.
They say Eyford is also the federal government’s chief negotiator on comprehensive land claims, but hasn’t accomplished much on that file.
Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation said natives are determined to block the pipelines.
“It’s going to be a long, hot summer,” he said at a news conference.
“We have a lot of issues at stake.”