Gitxsan hereditary chiefs have declared their Madii Lii territory closed to all LNG development and have started building a camp to manage the territory.

Base camp being built on the Suskwa FSR

A permanent base camp is being set up on Suskwa Forest Service Road.

A permanent base camp is being set up on Suskwa Forest Service Road.

Luutkudziiwus, Xsim Wits’iin and Noola, Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, on behalf of their house members are closing their territory to all natural gas pipeline development.

Luutkudziiwus spokesperson Richard Wright said the camp is being built to manage their territory.

“We are going to be controlling access and all industrial development in the future,” he said.

“We are going to be implementing a land management plan, territory management plan, and we will be looking at generating a sustainable economic activity down the road, but the first stage is establishing jurisdiction and ownership of it.”

Wright added they are taking matters into their own hands because he doesn’t feel the Gitxsan Treaty Society or the Gitxsan Development Corporation properly represents the house he belongs to.

“They are receiving participation funding and capacity development funds on behalf of all of the affected Gitxsan houses, and lands and resources,” he said.

“We had told the provincial government and LNG that the GDC does not have the authority to negotiate on our behalf. They don’t have aboriginal rights, they don’t have land or resource nor a mandate to represent us. LNG said they were going to continue to negotiate through the GDC. This sparked us to do something.”

Wright and his house are worried if a natural gas pipeline goes through that environmental catastrophes will happen, the roads will get wider, more hunters will come in, the Suskwa River may get contaminated, and medicinal plants would be impacted.

The proposed Prince Rupert Natural Gas Transmission Line would cross near where the base camp is being built.

Hereditary Cheif Luutkudziiwus said in a press release that the Madii Lii territory is not for sale or use by the province of B.C., TransCanada or a developer that has no understanding of his culture or heritage.

“We want to create economic opportunities, we want to be open for business but let’s do it in a sustainable manner,” Wright added.

The GDC was unavailable for comment.

Just Posted

Northwest couples compete at His and Hers golf tournament in Prince Rupert

Kitimat and Smithers couples take home the hardware

100 years since the surrender of Simon Gunanoot

The famed Gitsxan hunter was a fugitive for 13 years

Smithers celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

The day included dancing, singing, a moose call contest and a soapberry ice cream tutorial.

UNBC researcher leads study on cannabis-impaired driving

Dr. Russ Callaghan hypothesizes increased motor vehicle collision injuries among young people

Bestselling Indigenous author enlightens Smithers audience on the Indian Act

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Most Read