Coast Tsimshian concerns must be addressed

Coast Tsimshian concerns must be addressed

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John Ahni Schertow
 

Recently,. the Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams Nations, known as the Coast Tsimshian People, announced they will be taking steps to stop a port in Prince Rupert from being completed.

From the Northern View – “There has been a build up of frustration that has been building up for close to a year now. When the port put us on notice that they were starting on phase II, we decided enough was enough. The government, which has the legal obligation to consult and deal with First Nations, has ignored us and has not come to the table. Our membership was getting frustrated with the leaders and ourselves so we have to take our own action. We have to do something on our own to get them back to the table and resolve phase I of this before we move on to phase II,” said Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton.

“Phase I is currently being built on one of our large village sites, and phase II goes into two more village sites. They just want to go through with that without an agreement with the Coast Tsimshian. We can’t allow that.”

According to Leighton, the group will begin to make people aware of their plans this week, although he notes that the planned increase in activity is being done as a means of last resort for the Coast Tsimshian.

“This is not out doing. First Nations have been patient for two years, we have been waiting to try and find ways to resolve this issue, but nobody seems to want to come to the table with us,” he said.

We didn’t want to go to court, we don’t want to get involved in direct action, but we cannot allow construction or businesses to develop in our territory without talking to us. We are not going to stand for that any more.” (source)

Also see
Native challenge, and “What is “Adequate Consultation”?”

c/o uriohau.blogspot.com

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