Gitxaala First Nation

December 07, 2011 18:05 ET

Gitxaala Nation Opposed to Northern Gateway Pipelines Project

KITKATLA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2011) - Gitxaala expresses dismay at the approach that Enbridge has taken in its dealings with the Gitxsan in relation to the proposed Northern Gateway Pipelines Project. Enbridge's abrupt announcement of its dealings with the Gitxsan in relation to the Northern Gateway Pipelines Project has created deep divisions in an aboriginal community, and appears to incorrectly suggest that there is aboriginal support for the Project. The time has come for the Government of Canada to step in to assume its proper role in managing and carrying out consultation and ensuring that accommodations and agreements are fair, transparent and properly approved.

What ever happens in Gitxsan Territory, the leaders and people of Gitxaala are unified in their opposition to Enbridge's efforts to impose dangerous tanker traffic on their people. Gitxaala expects Enbridge and the Government of Canada to respect Gitxaala's governance rights and its aboriginal title and aboriginal rights in these waters. Gitxaala will also be challenging the many deficiencies and information gaps found in the Environmental Assessment for the Project. As Chief Elmer Moody noted: "Our leaders and people have been shocked that a massive project like this could be brought forward for consideration with such profound deficiencies."

Last week, Gitxaala was among several First Nations to sign onto the "Save the Fraser Declaration", a formal declaration banning oil sands pipelines and supertankers through the Traditional Territories of more than 60 First Nations. In signing the Declaration, Gitxaala wanted to make it clear that it opposes the proposed Northern Gateway Pipelines Project.

Gitxaala Nation Hereditary Chiefs and elected Council Members expect the Canadian government to uphold the constitutional protection of Aboriginal rights in Canada. Chief Moody noted: "The Northern Gateway Project calls for the consideration of all Canadians to take into account the Project's impacts on Aboriginal title and rights. Our rights are constitutionally protected. When First Nations stand in opposition to a project, it is incumbent on every citizen of B.C., Canada and the world to say 'it cannot happen.' It would constitute a constitutional infringement that cannot be rationalized for the good of the common or socio-economic interests. If that's the justification for this project, we have to seriously question what type of society we have."

Contact Information

  • Gitxaala First Nation
    Chief Elmer Moody
    (250) 848-2214

    Janes Freedman Kyle Law Corporation
    Rosanne Kyle
    (604) 687-0549, ext. 101