PRINCE RUPERT, BC--(Marketwired - November 30, 2016) - Gitxaala Chief Cliff White says the federal government's decision to dismiss the Northern Gateway project and impose a crude oil moratorium is the rightful end to a long, legal fight waged by Gitxaala to protect the north coast and the marine resources that are vital to its people.
"It's a victory for the Gitxaala people," said Chief White. "The Gitxaala stepped up and took on this fight. We won the fight in the courts. We won the fight in the court of public opinion. Now, we have won the fight at the federal cabinet table. After years of advocacy, this federal government has listened."
The federal government's decision to impose a crude oil tanker ban rules out any future crude oil export projects on the north coast, such as the proposed Northern Gateway project.
"The voices of our hereditary leaders, our elders, our young people, and indeed, the voices of all Gitxaala have been heard with respect to the Northern Gateway decision and the crude oil tanker moratorium," said White. "This decision honours the deep spiritual connection the Gitxaala people have to all things we see and cannot see."
"Our focus is on building hope and opportunity for our young people, with the confidence that we are protecting our ancestral legacy for future generations."
September 30, 2015 Gitxaala news release on Federal Court of Appeal arguments
About the Gitxaala:
Gitxaała territories stretch from the Nass River to Aristazabel Island, on the north coast of what is now British Columbia. The Gitxaala, also known as Git Laxmoon, people of the saltwater are one of the most ancient societies on the coast. The village of Lach Klan (Kitkatla, B.C.) has been continuously inhabited for 10,000 years.
Gitxaała hereditary leaders from the four clans, Gispudwada, Ganhada, Lasgiik and Laxgibuu, manage and protect their territories and resources according to their ayaawx, traditional laws. Gitxaała harvesters use almost 100 different marine and terrestrial resources to feed their community. Gitxaała citizens celebrate their history, practice their traditions, respect their laws, and cherish their lands, waters and resources.