A news release from the Office of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs says the Gitxsan chiefs “support the jurisdiction of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to oust trespassers from their land tenure, including Coastal GasLink pipelines.”
It goes on to say the Gitxsan chiefs oppose the Province issuing permits “on a flawed consultation process that illegally overrides the competing jurisdiction of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.”
“We consider all persons to be trespassers that attempt to use a permit issued and sold by the Province of B.C. in these circumstances,” said Simogyet Twem Neak (Brenton Williams), chairperson of Gitxsan Treaty Society.
“Our hereditary chiefs are obligated to step in to protect our jurisdiction and at the same time we are prepared to engage in a collaborative process and dialogue with a progressive MLA like Minister Doug Donaldson.”
The release said “the governments have corrupted the consultation process, ordered by the courts that now appears (sic) mainly to protect interests of pipeline developers and exacerbates its poor relationships with Indigenous governments by causing further mistrust. The Gitxsan view a proper consultation process, akin to concurrent jurisdiction to reasonably determine whether or not a pipeline project is beneficial to the individual interests of each Wet’suwet’en person.”
“Policing is a community matter and we respectfully request that the RCMP not exercise its discretion to implement a court order where there is clearly competing jurisdictions,” stated Sim’ooget Gwiiyeehl (Brian Williams).
“We have lived and managed these land tenures for thousands of years and we feel we must take these necessary steps.”