Common Sense Canadian

Gitxsan clan closes territory to LNG, blockades Petronas pipeline

PostedAugust 28, 2014 by in BC

In an August 26 video, several hereditary chiefs and members of the Luutkudziiwus clan from the Gitxsan First Nation territory in northwest BC declare they are constructing a camp “to stop LNG from developing their pipe through our land.”

The camp lies in the path on the proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline, which would feed a planned LNG plant north of Prince Rupert, being developed by Malaysian energy giant Petronas and its Canadian subsidiary Progress Energy. TransCanada Pipelines was selected last year to build the approximately 900-km pipeline, which would carry gas from northeast BC to a plant on Lelu Island, in the Skeena River estuary.

“Camp Madii Lii” will featured a number of cabins, enabling a long-term blockade of TransCanada’s future work. According to a statement accompanying the video:

On Aug. 26, 2014, access to the territory was closed to all LNG traffic and other unauthorized industrial activity, and the Luutkudziiwus Territorial Management Plan was enacted. 

The proposed pipeline cross Luutkudziiwus territory “for about 32 km from Suskwa Pass to the Shegunia River,” the statement noted. “Approximately one-half – 16 km – lies on top of the Babine Trail, the ancestral grease trail connecting Gitanmaax with Fort Babine.”

The group is concerned about potential impacts from the project  on “rights and title from potential adverse effects to fish and their habitats, wildlife and their habitats, terrestrial and aquatic resources, including cumulative effects, as well as to social, cultural, and economic values.”

As well, the pipe will be supplying the proposed LNG plant in Skeena estuary, where substantial impacts are predicted to negatively affect our juvenile salmon. The proposed PRGT pipeline project is in deep conflict with core Luutkudziiwus interests and values. 


The camp sits at the 15 km mark on the Suskwa Forest Service Road.

The action is one in a growing list of First Nations declarations and encampments opposing various proposed LNG pipelines and plants, which The Common Sense Canadian has been reporting on over the past year. Combined with an earlier ban of all oil and gas pipelines bound for the other potential coastal port community of Kitimat by all five houses of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations, this Gitxsan ban further complicates the BC Liberal government’s embattled LNG vision.


About the Author

Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

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