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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Canfor announces permanent closure of Isle Pierre Mill

The company also announced curtailments at their pulp mills in Prince George.

COVID-19 and returning to safe operation

WorkSafeBC recognizes the importance of worker safety as businesses look to resume… Continue reading

Local governments receiving provincial grants

Meant for infrastructure projects and planning

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read