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Patricia Kelly, left, of the Sto:lo First Nation, marches with Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, right, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, to a protest outside National Energy Board hearings on the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C., on Jan. 19, 2016. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Patricia Kelly, left, of the Sto:lo First Nation, marches with Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, right, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, to a protest outside National Energy Board hearings on the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C., on Jan. 19, 2016. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Anti-pipeline accord could deepen divide in indigenous communities Add to ...

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As a coalition of First Nations ramps up its opposition to new pipeline and tanker projects, some aboriginal leaders are cautioning against the group’s blanket condemnation of the oil sands issued this week, saying the industry is funding important programs in their communities.

Opposition from some First Nations to individual pipeline projects is long-standing. But on Thursday, 50 indigenous communities in Canada, plus some U.S. tribes, unveiled an accord that commits them to stand together against the building of any new pipelines and rail projects, or increased tanker traffic, that would facilitate the expansion of oil sands production. They say they are concerned about the risk of spills and climate change.

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