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Gitxsan Country Update - October 30, 2014
30 October 2014

Gitxsan Country
Luutkudziiwus (Gordon Sebastian)
October 30, 2014

On October 10, 2014 the Chiefs of Gitwangak and Gitsegukla authorized: discussions to continue on all pipelines and the suspension of eviction notices to continue based on the Provinces promise that:
They are working hard to withdraw their offers of Gitxsan land and rights in two AIPs with two Tsimshian bands.
Minister Rustad confirmed these efforts in a historic meeting with the Gitxsan Chiefs on October 16, 2014 at the Gitxsan Chiefs Office.

The Chiefs of Gitwangak and Gitsegukla believe that Canada and the Province of BC had conducted a fraudulent consultation process between June 2012 and May 2014. During this time, the Crown ignored the Chiefs request to withdraw those offers and as a result, the Chiefs made the following decisions:
May 2014 stop discussions on all pipelines effective June 21, 2014.
July 2014 eviction notice effective August 5, 2014 to all Sports Fishermen, Forest Industry and CN. (suspended on August 8, 2014 on request of BC)
These decisions are supported by at least 53 huwilp.

Gitxsan consent is required before any resource development occurs on the lax yip:
Gitxsan have title to 33,000 sq. km of land (2014), it is no longer just a claim.
in 2002 the BC Supreme Court stated we have a strong prima facie claim of rights and a good prima facie claim of title, and now
the Supreme Court of Canada declared the Chilcotin have title based on the Gitxsan system of proof, in Tsilgoht’n v. HMQ, (2014)

GTS role is to facilitate discussions between the Chiefs and both Crowns: sending out media releases, conducting media interviews, and maintaining constant contact with both Crowns. GTS is not authorized to make any decisions or sign any agreements.

CN, BC Wildlife Federation and GDC assisted in facilitating access to Minister Rustad, DM Munroe and ADM Walters, and as well, Crown negotiators.

On October 16, 2014 Minister Rustad engaged 51 hereditary chiefs in a reconciliation process and in discussions that may lead to supporting the pipelines. The Hereditary Chiefs maintain the only authority to consent and to sign any agreement with the Crown.