Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs unhappy with draft agreement between Kitselas and gov’t

Office of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs takes issue with agreement in principle between Kitselas and the provincial government

  • Sep. 10, 2012 4:00 p.m.

THE DRAFT Agreement in Principle between the province of BC and the Kitselas has caused concern for the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs, as noted in a press release today.

The offer contains land that is part of Gitxsan traditional territory and is being done without proper consultation or accommodation of the affected Simgiigyet (Chiefs), said the release.

“We are quite surprised and shocked to see our lands are part of this offer, considering the Gitxsan have legally enforceable title,” said Simoogit Skaýan (Anita Davis) in the release, “Under the circumstances, any trespass will not be tolerated as the province cannot ignore the law.”

However, it is up to the provincial and federal governments to discuss the deal with each First Nation and not up to the first nations to talk to each other.

In the 2002 Yal et al decision in the Supreme Court of BC, it was found the Gitxsan had a strong claim of rights and a good claim of title, the release continued.

The Gitxsan practice an effective land tenure system over their 33,000 sq km of territory which has been in place for thousands of years, the release said.

The title of the lands rests with the wilp (houses) of the Gitxsan Nation, said the release. On the other hand, the band’s jurisdiction rests on the reserves which were created around 1938, the release continued.

“Clearly, the Gitxsan strength of claim is better than that of Band Councils. Indian Act bands do not have any land tenure off reserve and the province does not have constitutional authority to offer land belonging to the Gitxsan,” says Gwaans (Bev Clifton Percival) in the release, “We have asked provincial and federal negotiators at our table for information but have gotten no response yet.”

The Gitxsan Chiefs Office will work with the affected huwilp (houses) and intends to meet with the province soon, the release said.

Just Posted

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

Northwest Community College board appointments made

New board members have NDP flavour

Terrace runner earns honour for U20 Team Canada

Tyler Dozzi takes silver in Pan American Cross Country Championships, gold with U20 team

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

BC Cattlemen’s Association calls for remediation of firebreaks to prevent erosion, spread of invasive species

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Alberta shrugs off B.C. legal challenge on wine ban

The potential fine Alberta faces for violating free trade rules according to economic development minister

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

Hydaburg makes it three in a row

Hydaburg came back from 10 points down in the second half to beat Aiyansh

Most Read