NEWS RELEASE · 3rd December 2011
Enbridge Northern Gateway
On behalf of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs, Hereditary Chief Elmer Derrick today announced an agreement with Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines to become a partner in the ownership of the $5.5 billion project to export oil to the Pacific Rim.
"Over time we have established a relationship of trust with Enbridge, we have examined and assessed this project, and we believe it can be built and operated safely," said Chief Derrick. "We believe that the construction of this pipeline is of vital importance to the future of Canadian energy security and prosperity."
The agreement is expected to deliver at least $7 million in net profit to the Gitxsan people. Enbridge will be providing financing at favourable rates, and the partnership will provide a solid foundation for an ongoing dialogue between the Gitxsan and Enbridge regarding regional renewable energy projects.
"Let me stress that all decisions we make in pursuing business on Gitxsan land remain faithful to the laws of our people, said Chief Derrick. "Those who wish to do business in Gitxsan territory will be held to Gitxsan standards."
Janet Holder, Executive Vice-President of Western Access for Enbridge, welcomed the announcement and the support of the Gitxsan Nation. "I want to acknowledge the vision demonstrated by Chief Derrick and the Hereditary Chiefs," said Ms. Holder. "The most significant way in which Aboriginal people can benefit from the Northern Gateway project is by owning a stake in it and sharing in the net income it produces."
Read everything before you blame a whole community
Comment by Charles on 4th December 2011
Walter and who ever believes that all of Gitxsan agrees to this better continue reading more than just one submission.
It was only one individual that is a hereditary chief decided on his own to promote this pipe-line and did not discuss it with other chiefs in the area. Some how enbridge was able to get this one person to speak, decide and make plans for a whole tribe that was apposed to this.
There are many chiefs that are against this, and they did not give Derrik the go ahead on this. My guess is enbridge was able to pay off this one person to speak for everyone else without everyone else be involved.
SO NO, In my opinion, I doubt Gitxsan nation will allow this to go through.
Comment by Pat#1 on 4th December 2011
This cannot be true! Enbridge will bring heartache and hindsight will be of no help then.
Comment by Eric Roy on 3rd December 2011
A Gitxsan friend of mine passed this on to me:
IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
December 2, 2011
“The Gitxsan people are outraged with the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Agreement”
Contrary to the announcement of Elmer Derrick of today’s date, the representatives of the Plaintiffs to the British Columbia Supreme Court Action No. 15150, cited as Spookw v. Gitxsan Treaty Society, oppose the Agreement. The Gitxsan plaintiffs include Hereditary Chiefs and four Gitxsan bands with a population of over 6,000 Gitxsan people; the majority of whom are House members in the Gitxsan traditional system represented by Hereditary Chief, Spookw, in the court action.
The representatives do not support Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline agreement entered into by Elmer Derrick and state “Elmer Derrick and the Gitxsan Treaty Society/Gitxsan Economic Development Corp. does not speak for all Gitxsan. The Gitxsan people had no knowledge of the proposed Agreement nor were they consulted”. The Plaintiffs contend that the Gitxsan Treaty Society, or the Gitxsan Development Corporation, does not have the authority to enter into such Agreements without consulting or being authorized by the Gitxsan people.
Knowledge of the signed Agreement was only obtained through media, much like the Gitxsan Alternative Governance Model of May 2008, the subject matter of litigation in Spookw v. Gitxsan Treaty Society.
The representatives say that not only were the communities not consulted, but importantly, the Environmental Review Process is not yet complete with community hearings being scheduled for January 2012; therefore, a decision to support it is, at best, premature. Until the Environmental assessment is complete there is no basis for saying this project is safe to build.
The Representatives say the 7 Million dollars is a pittance in comparison to the potential environmental impacts which will be catastrophic. The GTS/GED is willing to jeopardize the sustenance of the First Nations people for a few million dollars is reprehensible and is not supported by the Gitxsan people.
Mr. Derrick espouses the importance of Gitxsan Law; however, breached such law by announcing and celebrating the Agreement on the day of the funeral of an elder matriarch and Hereditary Chief. This type of conduct brings shame and is disrespectful to the grieving family and the traditional system.
The representatives say that Mr. Derrick has embarrassed and shamed the Gitxsan people by undermining the 61 First Nations who are opposed to the project. The representatives say “We stand in solidarity to those opposing it.”
Contacts for further information: Chief Councilor Marjorie McRae, Gitanmaax Indian Band at 250-847-0393 and/or Hereditary Chief Guuhadawk, Norman Stephens at 250-842-8197.
Comment by Ian on 3rd December 2011
Good For the Gitxan, they are thinking of the kids and their kids future.
I don't blame them at all, a wise move.
Until the world directs itself to an alternate engery source oil will remain king.
Comment by Chris Gee on 3rd December 2011
The actions of this sell out, and the community schism these actions will exacerbate, should not be viewed as endemic to the workings of First Nations communities. We will see this situation play out during this process and throughout all communities along the pipeline route, First Nations and non-First Nations alike. Just as we will see the Gitxsan communities suffer as a result of the despicable actions of this INDIVIDUAL , so too shall our communities fracture and suffer when those of questionable morals succumb to the allure of transient treasure. I have learned, through strong Gitxsan elders, that their name means people of X'San, (people of the Skeena) and that the health of the people is linked to the health of the river. This is a lesson that rings true in my heart and I stand in solidarity with the Gitxsan people. I will not sucumb to the tactics of Enbridge. They seek to divide. They seek to conquer.
Comment by Tara Lynn on 3rd December 2011
So they sold out to Enbridge? Am I reading this correctly? : I guess the price was high enough for them to overlook the threat to the environment that this brings.....
Is this a bad joke??
Comment by Chris on 3rd December 2011
Are you kidding? Is this a Bad joke? If this is true I guess its just the first example of people selling out. Very sad. Here are some shiney beads for you, just sign this contract! Elmer is letting history repeat itself for some cash.
Who can we trust?
Comment by Walter Fricke on 3rd December 2011
I've never trusted Enbridge, or any oil related company to do the right thing. Apparently, my vocal opposition to this project, along with my siding with the first nations has been misguided. The trust I had, yes had,past tense, has been destroyed by the Gitxsan decision makers. I will continue to trust the other First Nations that stand by their principles and continue to oppose Enbridge. As far as the Gitxsan go, they breached the trust, and I cannot side with them again.