NEWS RELEASE · 9th December 2011
Opposition to Pipeline Remains Strong Throughout the Northwest
MP Nathan Cullen was in the riding this week to stand in solidarity with the Gitxsan people. The membership re-affirmed its opposition to Enbridge following last Friday’s surprise endorsement of the project by some Gitxsan negotiators.
“It is very important to me to stand shoulder to shoulder with the hereditary chiefs and the Nation, virtually all of whom clearly do not support the false promises of environmental protection and economic development that Enbridge is selling to northerners,” Cullen said yesterday.
Cullen met Wednesday at Gitanmaax Hall with the task force of hereditary chiefs that formed last week on the heels of Elmer Derrick’s announcement the Gitxsan Nation had reached an agreement with Enbridge for an equity stake in the project. The deal was swiftly renounced by hereditary chiefs, who said the Nation had not sanctioned it.
“It’s unbelievable that Enbridge would try to pull such a stunt,” said Cullen, who has been working closely with Gitxsan hereditary chiefs to resolve the impasse since last week. “The Gitxsan responded exactly as they should have.”
Cullen congratulated the rapid and principled decision from the Gitxsan chiefs and clans to the unauthorized agreement.
“Enbridge is obviously a company that will throw around money to push this pipeline through. This deal almost tore a community apart,” attacked Cullen. “It’s deplorable. Clearly this kind of conquer and divide approach is not going to work.”
Within 48 hours Gitxsan Clans met to take action to reverse the agreement with Enbridge.
Simogyet Delgamuukw, spokesperson for the Gitxsan, stated that traditional protocols had not been followed to ensure proper consultation and consent from the people.
This reversal means the Gitxsan join the 130 Nations that affirmed their opposition to the proposed pipeline a day before Elmer Derrick’s unexpected announcement.
“The one piece of good news,” said Cullen, “is that the Gitxsan have clearly shown that they won’t be bought.”