Professor Sean Kheraj photo/illustration

Historian Kheraj in National Post on evolution of resistance to energy megaprojects


Photo of the original Trans Mountain pipeline

Construction of the original Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to B.C. in the 1950's. Trans Mountain Pipeline Company photo

Professor Sean Kheraj provided insights to the history of opposition to pipeline construction in Canada for an article in the National Post. The resistance to major infrastructure projects, including the twinning of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline by US firm Kinder Morgan, is a relatively recent phenomenon, due to the previous absence of public consultation. “Canadians didn’t start to express resistance to oil pipelines until the 1960s,” said Kheraj.

Opposition has now come from many different geographic locations and populations, from farmers to urbanites, and in the 1980’s, the First Nations mounted an organized protest against a pipeline project in Canada’s North West Territories that Kheraj said was the start of a “decades-long phenomenon of Indigenous people’s efforts to resist energy megaprojects in their traditional territories

Professor Sean Kheraj

Professor Sean Kheraj

Kheraj, who specializes in environmental history, published an article, Indigenous Voices and Resistance in Oil Pipeline History: The Dene Tha’ and the Norman Wells Pipelinen, in the Active History website, which expands further upon the topic. He also hosts the Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast.