SOURCE: Gitxaala Nation

November 07, 2016 18:39 ET

Gitxaala Chief says National Oceans Protection Plan is a positive step

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - November 07, 2016) - The Government of Canada's National Oceans Protection Plan is a positive step forward in protecting British Columbia's coastline and the territories of the Gitxaala people, said Gitxaala Chief Clifford White.

"For too long, Canada has been waiting for accidents to happen, endangering our marine resources and our way of life. Today's announcement is long overdue and a recognition of the importance of our marine environment," said White.

White is encouraged that one of the four main priority areas is "strengthening partnerships and launching co-management practices with Indigenous communities, including building local emergency response capacity."

"When it comes to spill response, Indigenous peoples have the most to lose and the most to offer. The federal plan recognizes the importance of our traditional knowledge and expertise, our first-responder capacity, and our reliance on the ocean's bounty to sustain our communities," said White.

"The Gitxaala people will be closely monitoring the implementation of this plan to ensure it meets its objectives of safeguarding our coastline and fully involves Indigenous peoples," said White.

The Gitxaala, also known as Git Laxmoon, people of the saltwater, are the oldest continuous inhabitants of the north coast and have always taken responsibility for stewarding the ocean's resources and protecting the coastline. Gitxaala territories stretch from the Nass River in the north to Aristazabel Island in the south. Gitxaala harvesters use almost 100 different marine and terrestrial resources to feed their community. The main village of the Gitxaala is Kitkatla, located on Dolphin Island, south of Prince Rupert.

Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Cliff White
    (778) 884-1392