Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 9, 2012

Gitxsan Against Enbridge: No to pipelines, tankers and tarsands

Photo by Adam Thomas
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By Adam Thomas
Censored News

PRINCE RUPERT -- On February 4, 2012, over a thousand people marched in Prince Rupert,Tsimshian territory to protest against Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline. The protest was hosted by the Gitga'at First Nation, which would see much of the proposed tanker traffic pass their community of Hartley Bay in the Douglas Channel. A powerful message was sent to Enbridge and to the Tar Sands industry that the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project will not happen! 
About Adam Thomas
I am from Saik'uz First Nation, a Carrier Nation and member of the Yinka Dene Alliance. I am currently in my third year of my bachelor degree in First Nations studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, as well as continuing my education in our Carrier traditions and learning International and climate policy. I am working to stop all pipeline projects and tanker traffic in British Columbia that is a threat to our waterways and salmon bearing rivers and streams. 
I also helped with the massive protest in front of the White House with the Native American tribes and land owners, swaying the mind of president Obama to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline.

December 5th, 2011
Gitxsan Territories, B.C. – On Sunday, December 4th, 2011, 3 of the Gitxsan Clans held separate meetings in 3 locations to voice their concerns and consider their future action in regards to the announcement of the signing of an agreement between the Gitxsan and Enbridge.
Gitxsan people were unaware of the undertakings with Enbridge. The Gitxsan people through Simogyet Delgamuukw say, “NO to the Enbridge Pipeline Project”. Numerous concerns from the meetings were brought forward to an emergency Gitxsan Treaty Society Board meeting held on Sunday afternoon, December 4th, to have the Gitxsan voices transferred into action.
On Sunday evening, an All Clans meeting was held to discuss the unified direction of the Gitxsan. Simogyet Delgamuukw was selected to be the spokesperson for the Gitxsan. The Simgigyet (Gitxsan Chiefs) stated: “We have traditional protocols in place that dictate the actions of the Gitxsan people when making important decisions that will impact thewhole Gitxsan Nation and/or neighbouring Nations. These protocols were not followed by the Gitxsan Treaty Society negotiators.”
Immediate action has been taken to deal with the people responsible for negotiating and signing the agreement with Enbridge. The press release of December 2nd, 2011 was not sanctioned by the Gitxsan. All government agencies and other related business contacts are put on notice with this press release that our 2 negotiators and our Executive Director no longer represent the Gitxsan at any level.
Gitxsan leaders are expected to consult and cooperate in good faith with the Gitxsan people’s concerns through our own representative institutions in order to obtain free, prior, and informed consent before adopting or implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.
The Gitxsan will honour all of our agreements with our surrounding First Nations neighbours to protect our traditional lands, and also to support them with their protection of their homelands.
We apologize to our neighbours and to our Gitxsan membership throughout the country for the December 2nd press release. It was not released by the Gitxsan nation.
This is a turning point in our Gitxsan history. The Enbridge Pipeline holds no future for our children.

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