NEWS RELEASE · 20th January 2012
Nisga'a Lisims Government
Nisga'a Lisims Government President Mitchell Stevens today expressed the Nisga'a Nation's solidarity with the Aboriginal Nations and other Canadians who are opposed to the construction of the Northern Gateway Project by Enbridge Incorporated.
The northwest coast of British Columbia and the miles of pristine wilderness across which this pipeline will run are precious treasures which must be protected", said President Stevens. "First Nations have vital stewardship responsibilities in protecting their lands and resources from destruction at the hands of the petroleum industry".
While the proposed pipeline will not run through the territory subject to the Nisga'a Treaty, the Nisga'a Nation is greatly concerned about the threat that an oil tanker mishap would pose to the fish and other marine resources to which Nisga'a citizens are entitled under the Treaty and on which Nisga'a citizens depend for food and commerce.
"If an oil tanker were to have an accident, the tides and ocean currents could drive any oil straight into Observatory Canal and Portland Inlet; indeed it might enter the estuary of the Nass River itself. This would be an utter catastrophe", continued President Stevens.
The Nisga'a Nation categorically rejects recent efforts by the Prime Minister and his Ministers to suggest that opponents of the pipeline are environmental radicals or doing the bidding of foreign interests. 'When the Nisga'a Nation signed our Treaty we became proud Canadians", said President Stevens. The Aboriginal Nations whose lands, resources, and livelihoods are threatened by the Northern Gateway Project are Canadians who welcome the support and solidarity of anyone who values the protection of our lands, rivers and resources more than the short-term profits of the multi-national oil industry".
The Nisga'a Nation of the Nass River area of northwest British Columbia entered into the first modern Treaty in British Columbia in 2000.