Heiltsuk and Kitasoo-Xaixais jointly file court challenge to Northern Gateway

The Heiltsuk and Kitasoo-Xaixais Nations are vowing to fight to protect their coastal territories and way of life.

Following the federal government’s approval of Enbridge Northern Gateway, the Heiltsuk and Kitasoo-Xaixais Nations are vowing to fight in the court, and if necessary, on the land, to protect their coastal territories and way of life.

“Our people have been clear since this pipeline was proposed,” said Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett. “We will not allow this to threaten our waters. We stand with our relatives up and down the coast in rejecting this frightful project.”

The two central coast First Nations groups have jointly applied for the right to bring a judicial review of the federal government’s decision. “This issue has catalyzed our peoples,” said Kitasoo-Xaixais Tribal Councillor Douglas Neasloss. “Let this be a signal that we intend to fight this project in a spirit of unified strength.”

“The Joint Review Panel’s recommendations and the federal government’s ultimate decision did not come as a surprise,” said Councillor Neasloss, “but our coastal peoples are disappointed by the blatant disregard shown to us throughout this process.”

“We assert that the federal government has failed in its duty to consult honourably with First Nations,” added Chief Slett, “and they have made their decision based on flawed and uninformed recommendations from the Joint Review Panel. This will not stand.”

While the chiefs hope this issue can be resolved amicably in the courts, they vow to uphold their Nations’ categorical rejection of the Northern Gateway proposal, as well as the Coastal First Nations declaration banning oil tankers in the Great Bear Sea. According to Councillor Neasloss, “Our Nations are prepared to fight this until the end. We owe that much to our future generations.”

This announcement comes in the midst of Tribal Journeys 2014, a coastal canoe gathering with roots dating back to an inaugural coming together of canoe families in Bella Bella in 1993. 21 years after the original event, Heiltsuk Nation is host to upward of 60 canoes and 2,500 individual guests representing Nations from across the Pacific Coast, Hawaii, and the South Pacific.

“We are honoured to reaffirm our commitment to protecting this coast with all of our Pacific relatives bearing witness,” said Chief Slett. “Our water is our lifeblood, and all the canoe families who traveled to our shores understand that sentiment.”

A rally took place on Monday, July 14 to inform the gathered canoe families from across the Great Bear Sea and the Pacific.

 

Just Posted

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

Bella Coola expected to be hottest spot in B.C. today

Temperatures are predicted to rise to 18 C

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

IT’S OFFICIAL: Mt. Timothy sale complete

New owners looking toward year-round mountain resort facility

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Most Read