Gitxsan clan closes territory to LNG, blockades Petronas pipeline
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:
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.”
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.