LAX KW’ALAAMS, BC, Jan. 24, 2018 – The Chiefs Council represents over 30 communities engaged in the First Nations-led Eagle Spirit energy corridor proposed from Bruderheim, Alberta to tidewater in northern British Columbia. Its members have unextinguished Aboriginal rights and title from time immemorial and continuing into the present, or have treaties over the land and ocean of their traditional territories. Having protected the environment as first-stewards of their traditional territories for millennia, the Chiefs Council is vehemently opposed to American ENGOs dictating government policy in their traditional territories—particularly the illegal imposition of the Great Bear Rainforest and the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act proposed by the Liberal Government.
Today the Chiefs Council wishes to announce that it has set up a GoFundMe page to assist with legal and administrative costs needed to quash the Government’s unilaterally imposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act and the establishment of the Great Bear Rainforest—both of which were promoted largely through the lobbying of foreign-financed ENGOs and without the consultation and consent of First Nations as required by the Constitution. We have, and will always, put the protection of the environment first, however, this must be holistically balanced with social welfare, employment, and business opportunities. These government actions harm our communities and deny our leaders the opportunity to create hope and a brighter future for their members.
The Chiefs Council understands that the government’s commitment to reconciliation was genuine and was not meant to perpetuate past failed colonial policies designed to subjugate and marginalize Indigenous peoples. However, in the absence of consultation with key Indigenous stakeholders on such a critical matter, the Prime Minister’s comments in his 2015 mandate letters to Ministers (to promote economic development and create jobs for Indigenous people) ring hollow and insincere: “No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.” It is regrettable that the already financially disadvantaged Indigenous community has been moved to take action against the federal Department of Justice, which has unlimited resources in this battle. Such heavy-handed unilateral action has no semblance to a “partnership”, and is clearly not consistent with the Crown’s fiduciary duty to Aboriginal peoples.
GoFundMe Link: https://www.gofundme.com/chiefs-council-against-bill-c48
SOURCE Chiefs Council
For further information: or media requests contact: Simogit Axdiiminajax, Hereditary Chief Gary Alexcee at (250) 615-9191