Following 2 years of investigations and research, the Heiltsuk Nation are set to take legal action over the Nathan E Stewart oil spill.
This week marks the 2 year anniversary of the tugboat crash near Bella Bella which led to more than 110 thousand litres of fuel, oil, and lubricants spilling in to the waters.
Today, the nation announced their intent to file a Civil Claim with the BC Supreme Court.
The Nation is seeking compensation for damages resulting from the crash and oil spill, including loss of traditional harvest, cultural losses, commercial losses, costs associated with spill response efforts, and reimbursement for their environmental impact assessments.
According to Heiltsuk representatives, the Canadian government, BC government, and operators Kirby Corporation, all declined meaningful post-spill impact assessments, leaving the Nation to fend for themselves.
The case questions both the national and provincial spill response frameworks, and hopes to set a precedent for both oil response in the future, and answer questions about whether or not Aboriginal Title applies to seabeds and coastlines.