A GROUP of Gitxsan protested in front of the Gitxsan Treaty Office in Old Hazelton yesterday, protesting the sign of an economic benefits deal with Enbridge concerning its Northern Gateway pipeline project to transport oil from Alberta to a marine export terminal at Kitimat.
The protest followed meetings of three Gitxsan clans Dec. 4.
“The Gitxsan people through Simogyet Delgamuukw say, “NO to the Enbridge Pipeline Project,” read a press release issued following the meeting.
“We have traditional protocols in place that dictate the actions of the Gitxsan people when making important decisions that will impact the whole Gitxsan Nation and/or neighbouring nations. These protocols were not followed by the Gitxsan Treaty Society negotiators,” the release continued.
“All government agencies and other related business contacts are put on notice with this press release that our two negotiators and our executive director no longer represent the Gitxsan at any level,” said the release.
One of those mentioned is Elmer Derrick, the chief Gitxsan land claims negotiator who signed the Enbridge deal Dec. 2.
“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 release added.
“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,” the release concluded.