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HomeNewsGitxsan Hereditary Chiefs sign agreement with Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs sign agreement with Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project

An agreement with the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project was signed by 12 hereditary Gitxsan Chiefs this week according to the proponent.

Spokesperson for the Madii Lii Territory of the Luutkudziiwus House Group Richard Wright says they’re not represented.

Madii Lii closed the territory in 2014 to any industrial development where a permanent gate controls access. They’re also planning litigation to halt the project, according to Wright.

“It carries no weight. These 12 individuals claim to sign that agreement on behalf of the entire Gitxsan Nation; we’ll, they have no authority to do so,” says Wright. “We are the rights holders.”

The Executive Director of the Gitxsan Treaty Society Gordon Sebastian said in a release the agreement provides long term benefits across the nation. A leaked benefits agreement shows benefits of up to 10 million dollars for the Gitxsan and other First Nations, with a trust also showing a payout of over 5.3 million dollars among several Gitxsan leaders.

The leaked agreement would ‘prevent Gitxsan from interfering with the natural gas pipeline proponent during construction,’ and says “the Gitxsan Development corporation will assist the Province in seeking to resolve any action that may be taken by any member that is inconsistent with this agreement.”

The province said they’ve provided the opportunity for consultation on the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project to Gitxsan hereditary chiefs.

They say ‘in the absence of a single entity that represents the Gitxsan Nation, the Province determined it had a valid natural gas pipeline benefits agreement based on the signatures of 12 directly affected Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, nine additional hereditary chiefs, and the Gitxsan Development Corporation, all acting on behalf of the Gitxsan Nation.’

The five billion dollar PRGT project will pipe natural gas to the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG facility on Lelu Island. Trans Canada says the project will create thousands of short term jobs for BC residents. The proponent says they’ve signed 13 project agreement with First Nations groups along the proposed route.

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