Gitxsan evictions escalated to whole 33,000 sq km of territory

GITXSAN TERRITORIES, Aug. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - At a duly convened meeting of the Gimlitxwit on July 30, 2014, the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs voted unanimously (54 Hereditary Chiefs) to enforce the eviction notice served on all sports fisheries, Forest Industry and CN Rail, on July 9, 2014, to vacate and cease all activities on Gitxsan traditional territories on or before August 4, 2014. (The 33,000 sq km of Gitxsan territories are located in northwestern BC, to the east, near Smithers; to the west, near Terrace; to the north near Iskut, and northeast of Thudade Lake and Bear Lake.)

This day marks the deadline set by the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs asking Canada and BC to remove Gitxsan Lands from their offer to neighboring Indian Bands.

"The Liability rests with Canada and B.C" says negotiator Gwaans (Beverley Clifton Percival) "We have been reasonable and participated in Good Faith articulating our interests and desire to achieve reconciliation".

"The Crown created this situation and it rests with them to make it right" said Tenimgyet (Art Matthews) "The Crown has put the Gitxsan in a very serious situation - we must protect our section 35 rights".

"The courts have ruled that activity on Gitxsan land requires consent - this is in line with Gitxsan Ayookw and we are prepared to deal with development on our laxyip." states Sagum Higookw (Vernon Smith) "If consent is achieved, along with the preservation of Gitxsan interest in the lands, through legislative accommodation of Gitxsan decision making, revenue sharing and economic opportunities will be available to sustain the Nation".

SOURCE: Office of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs

For further information: Gwaans (Beverley Clifton Percival), Office (250) 842-6780, Cell: (250) 847-0603

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Office of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs

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