Lax Kw’alaams Mayor John Helin (left) and Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton (right) sign the Stewardship Protocol Agreement during a joint meeting in Prince Rupert on July 15, 2019. (Shaun Thomas photo)

Coast Tsimshian sign historic stewardship agreement

Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla plan to work as one to preserve traditional lands

Leaders of the Coast Tsimshian, which include representatives from Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla, have signed a joint agreement in what they say is an effort to preserve environmental ownership over their traditional territory.

“Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla will commit the combined expertise and resource of Lax Kw’alaams Integrated Resources and the Metlakatla Stewardship Society to defending the rich resources and pristine environment of the territory through enforcement and research activities,” a press release stated.

The agreement was signed on July 15 in Prince Rupert. It follows the reveal of a proposed sale of more than 22,000 hectares of Crown land to the Nisga’a First Nation. The land lies in the area around the Nasoga Gulf, north of Prince Rupert, and is claimed by both the Coast Tsimshian and Nisga’a Nations.

READ MORE: Lands not for sale: Coast Tsimshian blockade

The issue of who owns the land is a contentious one — just last month protesters from Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla took part in an information blockade along Highway 16. Signs read “Coast Tsimshian lands not for sale,” and a letter from Lax Kw’alaams Mayor John Helin and Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton was titled “Provincial government betrays all First Nations and its own principles by trying to unilaterally sell Nine Tribes Land to the Nisga’a Nation.”

Helin and Leighton came together again to sign the new agreement.

“Working together allows us to better protect our environment. We have always said that we need to do more to protect our lands and waters, and this is putting those words into action,” Helin said in a statement.

“This is what our members want — they want us to protect our environment and this agreement will only strengthen our ability to do that in our traditional territory,” Leighton said.

READ MORE: Coast Tsimshian release demands and shared solutions on land dispute with Nisga’a


Alex Kurial | Journalist
Alex Kurial 
Send Alex email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Adverse weather forces ferry schedule change

Thursday’s Skidegate to Prince Rupert route affected

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Coast Mountain College announces interim president

Ken Burt, current president and CEO, will say goodbye to CMNT come September

Queen Charlotte crackdown

RCMP target impaired driving amidst rising numbers of the offence

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

UPDATE: B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says he was ‘tackled’ and ‘stabbed’ in apartment

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

Thermal imaging cameras eye Salish Sea in hopes of better detecting whales

Cameras installed at BC Ferries’ terminal on Galiano Island, and off southern Gulf Islands

Province approves Surrey municipal police force

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth green-lights mayor’s campaign promise

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

Most Read