Gitxsan members to block LNG meeting
Read this May 20 story by Alicia Bridges in Smithers Interior News on plans by grassroots Gitxsan members and hereditary chiefs to block a pro-LNG info session being held by the Gitxsan Development Corporation, the province and industry tomorrow.
Gitxsan LNG pipeline opponents plan to block provincial government officials and members of the Gitxsan Development Corporation (GDC) from holding an LNG information session at the Kispiox Hall tomorrow morning.
Two presentations organized by the B.C. government and the GDC are scheduled to take place on Gitxsan First Nation territory tomorrow and Thursday.
The first presentation is by Gordon Wilson, an LNG advocate for the province’s LNG-Buy BC program aimed at connecting proponents with B.C. companies.
Thursday’s session will be presented by Alex Grzybowski from mediation company Pacific Resolutions.
According to its website, Pacific Resolutions specializes in “engaging adversaries in negotiations that overcome apparently intractable and highly conflicted situations, particularly in the areas of land and water use and ownership”.
GDC chief executive Rick Connors said the presentations were being held to offer more transparency about the specifics of GDC negotiations.
“All along the Gitxsan people have always requested transparency in this type of process where there is decision-making being done and it’s being done, apparently from everybody outside looking in, behind closed doors,” he said.
“Well this is the opportunity that the chiefs are providing now, an information session where they are going to be imparting some of that knowledge on people.”
But Gitxsan pipeline opponent Richard Wright is rallying support for a blockade to stop the officials gaining access to the Kispiox Hall.
“We’re just going to rally up a whole bunch of people and we’re going to be there and we’re not letting them to the door,” he said.
Wright is a spokesperson for the Madii Lii protest camp on the Suskwa Forest Service Road, which blocks access to the Luutkudziiwus House territory where TransCanada’s proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Pipeline would cross.
He said the protest was to highlight local opposition to the provincial government’s approach to negotiating with the Gitxsan First Nation through the GDC and the affiliated Gitxsan Treaty Society.
“The Gitxsan are tired of it and are going to be standing up and getting in their face every opportunity we get,” he said.