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A shaky start for Berger hearings

The Story


It's day one of the Berger Inquiry hearings and already all hell is breaking loose. No sooner have the opening remarks been made in Yellowknife than there are accusations of interference by the federal government. Worse, some believe that the hearings are a waste of time. Construction of an American pipeline could render the whole issue irrelevant, and there are rumours that work on a Mackenzie Valley pipeline may begin before the hearings even conclude!

Medium: Radio
Program: Sunday Magazine
Broadcast Date: March 9, 1975
Guests: Russell Anthony, Thomas Berger
Host: Bob Oxley, George Rich
Reporter: Whit Fraser, Ken McCreath
Duration: 5:50

Did You know?


• Tension between Native and non-Native Canadians became apparent in the initial Yellowknife hearings. Fred Andrew, a Slavey man from Fort Norman, cut some of the tension by telling the inquiry that he once had to pay 10 cents to use a toilet in the South, but now southerners are coming north to "make" all over his home without paying anything to anyone.

• The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry began with "overview hearings" where experts testified about a pipeline's potential impact on the permafrost and the Arctic's flora and fauna. Much of this discussion was very technical, and difficult to translate into Indigenous languages.


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The Berger Pipeline Inquiry more