Series:

Omer Aijazi and Martin David

Abstract

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the birthplace of the Greenpeace movement, has been a significant site for the articulation and enactment of multifaceted environmental consciousness. Since 2010, First Nation groups and environmental NGOs have come together to oppose the construction of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline in the form of public protests and demonstrations. Using a social networks perspective, we closely examine the nature of these protests and the convergence of First Nation groups and environmental NGOs. We argue that the Vancouver protests ultimately failed to transform into a social movement and had limited impact. While a common concern for the environment links both stakeholders in their opposition to the pipeline project, their motivations are rooted in very different epistemic concerns. For First Nation groups, resistance to the Enbridge pipeline is primarily tied to deeper political processes of regaining territorial control and ongoing struggles for cultural revival within British Columbia.