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Metlakatla weighs in on Lax Kw’alaams title claim

The Metlakatla First Nation is weighing in on a neighbouring First Nation’s plan to seek aboriginal title to Lelu Island and Flora Bank.

The Lax Kw’alaams Band launched its bid last week, which if established, would obligate government to seek consent for any major development, including liquefied natural gas.

The area, located within the Skeena River estuary, is home to critical salmon habitat. But its also the proposed location for the multi-billion dollar Pacific Northwest LNG terminal, something the Lax Kw’alaams Band has said is a non-starter.

A news release from the Metlakatla says while its concerns over the project have not been resolved, it says the nation will continue to participate in the Canadian Environmental Assessment process.

The Metlakatla says that process will ultimately be the deciding factor in whether it supports the Pacific Northwest LNG project.

The Metlakatla has also joined with four other Tsimshian nations to work together on environmental issues under the Tsimshian Environmental Stewardship Society.

It notes there is a standing invitation for the Lax Kw’alaams to also come on board.

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