A group of North Coast First Nation hereditary leaders says it is in full support of the federal government’s proposed oil tanker ban.
The Allied Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams says there have been misconceptions about who represents the hereditary leadership of the First Nation. The leadership group says that the Chief’s Council set up to advise proponents of the Eagle Spirit Energy project has been misrepresented as the voice for hereditary leaders in Lax Kw’alaams.
Proponents of the Eagle Spirit project, which would pipe oil from Alberta to the North Coast, have launched a fundraising campaign to challenge the tanker ban.
“We were never consulted by Eagle Spirit and we never agreed to support such a dangerous project that threatens our Indigenous rights and our traditional territories,” says Sm’oogit Galksic (Andrew Tait) of the Gits’iis Tribe in a news release.
“It is disappointing that they [Eagle Spirit Energy] continue to use the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to argue First Nations were never consulted and do not support the federal oil tanker ban. We do support the oil tanker ban and want to make it clear that Eagle Spirit has never consulted the rightful title holders of Grassy Point, and we’ve never given permission to the Chief’s Council to speak on our behalf.”
The Allied Tribes says they represent the true owners and that the federal oil tanker ban is inline with their stewardship obligations to protect the land and waters for future generations from oil spills.