The leadership of six First Nations in the Northwest have outlined some of the background towards an initiative called the Tsimshian Leadership Protocol, which will bring the Gitga’at Nation, Lax Kw’alaams Band, Kitasoo / Xai’Xais Nation, Kitselas First Nation, Kitsumkalum First Nation, and Metlakatla First Nation together towards come common interests.
Formed last year, the leadership of the six created the terms for the Protocol in December which provides for a four page document that charts the course forward for the initiative.
The work that they plan to take on has been described as a historic understanding of cooperation and unity for the Nations. The Protocol establishes the Tsimshian Leadership Table for the leadership to come together on a regular basis in a spirit of sharing and co-existence, while continuing to practice and strengthen their respective political systems and laws, sovereignty, and hereditary title and rights.
It will also serve to set out principles on how the Nations will cooperatively advance collective interests and protect Tsimshian rights. Protection of fishing rights, resources, food security, and working together on marine emergency response are some priorities.
As part of the initiative, the Tsimshian Leadership Table may also explore stewardship and economic development opportunities to bring wealth and wellness to their respective communities.
Among some of the areas that they are looking to work together on include
Joint Tsimshian initiatives on government issues with Canada and/or British Columbia, without interfering with each Nation’s respective structures and jurisdictions.