Lax Kw’alaams Stands United Against Pacific Northwest LNG

Lax Kw’alaams, October 19, 2015

The band office issued a media release today that our nation means business when it comes to our title claim for Flora Bank and Lelu Island, contrary to comments made in the media last week by Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Gas Development.

“This is not about posturing for negotiations. This is about protecting our sea resources,” says Mayor Garry Reece. “We mean business when it comes to protecting Flora Bank and Lelu Island. And we have the support of the community because the majority of our members’ livelihoods and many of our traditions are directly connected to the sea.”

Despite the divisions that exist within the Nine Allied Tribes, Reece says the majority of his community supports this position.

“This litigation is not about negotiation, it’s about getting title to the land and stopping the project as its currently designed,” says Greg McDade, lawyer for the Allied Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams.

Lax Kw’alaams community members are concerned that construction of the massive LNG project will irreparably harm all salmon stocks originating from the Skeena River system. It has been shown definitively that all Skeena salmon stocks use Flora Bank during critical stages in their development.

“The Lax Kw’alaams people will not tolerate any threat to our sea resources,” says Mayor Reece. “We need a proper process and good science. Lax Kw’alaams requires all projects be reviewed to a standard set by our scientists and experts. Our traditional law, backed by our scientific reports, has made it clear that Flora Bank cannot be touched by PNW or any other company that proposes development. This decision is backed by the community and an alternate site must be found if the project is to proceed.”

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