Monday, January 25, 2016

Tsimshian Nations take issue with lack of consultation on Lelu Island Declaration

Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton
was among Five Tsimshian 

leaders to express concerns with 
a weekend declaration 
from the Salmon Summit

As the signing of this weekend's Salmon Nation Summit Lelu Island Declaration continues to gain notice across the province, those that aren't in support of the document are beginning to make their views known.

One significant collection of voices that has been heard today, comes the Five Chiefs of the Tsimshian Nations, representing Gitxaala, Kitsumkalum, Kitselas, Gitga'at and Metlakatla.

The Five Chiefs issued a statement on Monday afternoon,  expressing their concerns over the events from Friday and Saturday and rejecting the declaration from those that had assembled for the weekend Summit in Prince Rupert.

As part of their statement, the five Tsimshian leaders observed as to the lack of a mandate from those at the summit and an absence of any consultation on matters that involve their traditional territory.

The signatories to the declaration did not include or represent any of the five Tsimshian elected chiefs nor was there any mandate from their elected or hereditary chiefs to support the declaration. 

Tsimshian chiefs reject the declaration calling for "permanent protection" of their traditional territories. The Chiefs view the declaration as a political action that is an attack on the rights and title interest of Tsimshian Nations.

The Lelu Island Declaration
was signed this weekend in
Prince Rupert
Of particular note from the Tsimshian media release of today, is their expressed disappointment at the signing of the Lelu Island Declaration by Northwest MLA's Jennifer Rice, Robin Austin and Doug Donaldson, all well as MP Nathan Cullen, all of whom spoke out in favour of the declaration over the weekend.

The Chiefs are extremely disappointed that the local Member of Parliament and provincial NDP MLAs would choose to sign and comment on a project without any prior consultation or involvement with Tsimshian communities.

The Tsimshian Nations also noted that the Salmon Nation Summit did not present complete information regarding the proposed project. With the Tsimshian leaders highlighting the work that has been conducted by the Tsimshian Environmental Stewardship Authority, as part of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency process for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

The Tsimshian Environmental Stewardship Authority is currently in the process of concluding its work on the science related to those studies and will be reporting their findings to the their communities in the coming weeks.

You can review the full statement from the Chiefs of the Five Tsimshian nations here.

More background related to the proposed LNG development for Lelu Island can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. I have been following this thread over the weekend. My thoughts...
    To read this story in the TYEE (Ultra left wing rag …Think Tea Party with Birkenstocks) you'd think that the whole region (pop.18, 000) showed up.
    1) The numbers given 300 attended. Photos from this article sure do not indicate that amount. Pictures indicate maybe 50 people in the room.
    2) Hereditary chiefs of the 9 allied tribes. Those are not the "elected" Chiefs and in fact 8 of the 9 Democracies that make up the alliance have already signed on in support of the PETRONAS build. The last non - signer is the Lax. The new Mayor (John Helin) has stated that he will rely on the science (last week the DFO said "Low Risk to the environment).The LAX are holding town hall meetings through to February on the project.
    3) The NDP M.L.A. signed on .Okay that's nice but again in our DEMOCRCY the opposition does it's best to discredit the Gov. (knock them down so you look better...that's Sad but the way it is)
    4) Outside forces (the Environmentalists groups) the concert for Lelu? Give me a break. Now they are making a Documentary...The funding for this is coming from where? Look into That.
    5) The Nisga'a (they I am guessing not invited to this shin ding?)Are for the build and the elected Gov. and the elders I believe wisely signed on. The basis of their decision is that it will be best for the future of the Tribe and the children's future.