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

“Does Kirby care?” Heiltsuk Nation using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Police identify pair found dead along highway in northern B.C.

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Justin Trudeau’s carbon footprint revealed in ranking of world leaders

Travel company ranks 15 world leaders’ foreign flight CO2 emissions

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read