NEWS RELEASE · 11th January 2012
Kitselas First Nation
Members of the Kitselas Natural Resource Department will present an oral status report on their analysis of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to the Joint Review Panel of the National Energy Board when they convene their community hearing in Terrace on January 12, 2012.
“This is an incredibly polarizing project” said Chief Judy Gerow. “Many First Nations, communities, organizations and interested individuals have decided to oppose the Northern Gateway pipeline project. It is hard to see how the benefits to Kitselas and those who live in our traditional territory can possibly outweigh the risks. Clearly the oil companies and the governments who collect revenues and taxes benefit from this project while the people of the north and north coast bear all the risks.”
Kitselas operates within a policy framework for the review of proposed projects in their territory. The Kitselas Lands and Resources Stewardship Policy has been in place since 2003.
“The Kitselas policy requires us to do an independent analysis of the impacts and benefits associated with any new or revised use of lands and resources in our territory” said Chief Gerow. “We are in the middle of that analysis and expect it to be completed by the end of 2012. Once complete, elected Council and the community will consider the conclusions and recommendations and make a final decision on the proposed project.”
The Kitselas territory is impacted by approximately 10% of the British Columbia footprint of the proposed project. It is home to some of the most remote and pristine valleys and rivers along the pipeline route as well as some of the most challenging geography. The Kitselas territory is also the area where Enbridge proposes to tunnel through Clore and Hoult Mountains.
“Many questions and concerns remain unanswered” concludes Chief Gerow. “Kitselas will continue its analysis, maintain close communication with regulatory agencies and draw its independent conclusions about the project’s risks. The Council will then act on those conclusions.”