Lax Kw’alaams Mayor John Helin (left) and Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton (right) sign the Stewardship Protocol Agreement during a joint meeting in Prince Rupert on July 15, 2019. (Shaun Thomas photo)

Coast Tsimshian sign historic stewardship agreement

Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla plan to work as one to preserve traditional lands

Leaders of the Coast Tsimshian, which include representatives from Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla, have signed a joint agreement in what they say is an effort to preserve environmental ownership over their traditional territory.

“Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla will commit the combined expertise and resource of Lax Kw’alaams Integrated Resources and the Metlakatla Stewardship Society to defending the rich resources and pristine environment of the territory through enforcement and research activities,” a press release stated.

The agreement was signed on July 15 in Prince Rupert. It follows the reveal of a proposed sale of more than 22,000 hectares of Crown land to the Nisga’a First Nation. The land lies in the area around the Nasoga Gulf, north of Prince Rupert, and is claimed by both the Coast Tsimshian and Nisga’a Nations.

READ MORE: Lands not for sale: Coast Tsimshian blockade

The issue of who owns the land is a contentious one — just last month protesters from Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla took part in an information blockade along Highway 16. Signs read “Coast Tsimshian lands not for sale,” and a letter from Lax Kw’alaams Mayor John Helin and Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton was titled “Provincial government betrays all First Nations and its own principles by trying to unilaterally sell Nine Tribes Land to the Nisga’a Nation.”

Helin and Leighton came together again to sign the new agreement.

“Working together allows us to better protect our environment. We have always said that we need to do more to protect our lands and waters, and this is putting those words into action,” Helin said in a statement.

“This is what our members want — they want us to protect our environment and this agreement will only strengthen our ability to do that in our traditional territory,” Leighton said.

READ MORE: Coast Tsimshian release demands and shared solutions on land dispute with Nisga’a


Alex Kurial | Journalist
Alex Kurial 
Send Alex email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

July 2019 for Smithers “almost record breaking” says climatologist

David Phillips could only find one year with both more total precipitation and number of wet days

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

VIDEO and PHOTOS: Thursday at the Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival

A brass fanfare, Classics on Main and a family folk dance were among the events on Day 2 of the fest

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Telkwa angler praises DFO salmon closure

Don Lambie says further actions are required including a seal cull and managing beaver dams

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read