PRINCE RUPERT, BC--(Marketwired - January 25, 2016) - The Chiefs of five Tsimshian Nations made clear today that a declaration for the "permanent protection of Lelu Island" was made without their consultation or support. The signatories to the declaration did not include or represent any of the five Tsimshian elected chiefs nor was there any mandate from their elected or hereditary chiefs to support the declaration.

Tsimshian chiefs reject the declaration calling for "permanent protection" of their traditional territories. The Chiefs view the declaration as a political action that is an attack on the rights and title interest of Tsimshian Nations.

The Chiefs are extremely disappointed that the local Member of Parliament and provincial NDP MLAs would choose to sign and comment on a project without any prior consultation or involvement with Tsimshian communities.

Furthermore, the meeting that took place in Prince Rupert last weekend did not present complete information regarding the proposed project. The environmental teams of the Tsimshian Nations have been working collaboratively, through the Tsimshian Environmental Stewardship Authority (TESA), to rigorously review the science and have successfully pressed the proponent and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) for additional due diligence. In addition, TESA has commissioned two independent reviews to validate the science. TESA is in the process of concluding its work on the science and will be reporting out to its communities in the coming weeks.

Tsimshian Nations will continue on their path of making decisions based on the best environmental information and the best interests of the communities they represent.

  • Chief Cliff White, Gitxaala
  • Chief Harold Leighton, Metlakatla
  • Chief Don Roberts, Kitsumkalum
  • Chief Joe Bevan, Kitselas
  • Chief Arnold Clifton, Gitga'at

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Shaun Thomas