June 17, 2014 17:29 ET
First Nation vows to do whatever is necessary to protect their territory from the danger of oil tankers and oil spills
HARTLEY BAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 17, 2014) - The Gitga'at First Nation is vowing to do whatever is necessary to protect their territory after the Harper government announced today that it is approving the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.
"The Gitga'at people will do whatever is necessary to protect our territory from the danger of oil tankers and oil spills," said Arnold Clifton, Chief Councillor of the Gitga'at First Nation. "We will protect the Great Bear Rainforest and BC's coastal waters for all British Columbians."
The Gitga'at have a pending application for judicial review of the Joint Review Panel report on which the government has based its approval, and they have also organized a blockade of the Douglas Channel for Friday, June 20th called the "Chain of Hope" (www.chainofhope.ca).
"Today's cabinet decision comes as no great surprise, but we are disappointed nonetheless," said Clifton. "Stephen Harper has never faltered in supporting Northern Gateway - a private company's scheme to export heavy oil through our territory - as a means to achieve his narrow idea of Canada's 'national interest'."
The Gitga'at are one of several nations who say the government has failed in its duty to consult honourably with First Nations.
"The Gitga'at First Nation has also been adamant that it too has a need. That need is to protect and conserve Gitga'at cultural and social values, and the marine resources that sustain our nation. It's difficult to see any type of halfway agreement on this project. In addition to ongoing legal action, we will release news about further actions to protect our territory and the interests of all British Columbians, when and if they become necessary."
Gitga'at territory encompasses approximately 7,500 square kilometres of land and water, including a major portion of Douglas Channel, which is the proposed route oil tankers would have to travel to get to and from Kitimat.
Gitga'at First NationAndrew FrankCommunications Officer604-367-2112
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