Press Release: Gitxsan chiefs say “No” to Enbridge following emergency community meeting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5th, 2011
GITXSAN CHIEFS SAY “NO” TO ENBRIDGE – PRESS RELEASE FROM HEREDITARY CHIEFS LARRY PATSEY AND NORMAN STEPHENS
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. TheSimgigyet (Gitxsan Chiefs) stated: “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.”
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related business contacts are put on notice with this press release that our 2 negotiators and our Executive Director no longer represent the Gitxsan at any level.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.