Save Lelu Island & Flora Banks Fund
by Stop Pacific NorthWest LNG/Petronas on Lelu Island, March 29, 2016
Since August 25, 2015, we have been occupying Lax U’u’la :”place where the seals are” (Lelu Island) & Flora Banks, territory of the Gitwilgyots Tribe, House of Gwishawaal, to practice our Aboriginal rights and title. By doing this we legally prevent and slow surveying, work, and construction of the Pacific Northwest LNG/liquified fracked methane project proposed near Port Edward, BC.
The methane for this project would be extracted from Treaty 8 territory in the northeast of British Columbia, a practice that is so harmful it’s illegal in some countries. It would trespass on Wet’suewet’ en and Gitxsan territories including Gitanyow and Wilp Luutkudziiwus at the Madii Lii Camp, which is closed to all LNG development. PNW LNG would cross many Tsimshian territories, with the liquification plant on Lelu Island, territory of House of Gwishawaal , Wolf Clan of Gitwilgyots Tribe. The methane would be condensed at a heavily polluting liquification factory on Lelu Island, causing toxic emissions, acid rain, and increasing global warming. The bridges along Flora and Agnew Banks would cause destruction to the formation of Flora Banks that is from the last ice age.
The salmon in our estuary depend on the eel grass that grows on Flora Banks for protection from predators . They use it as a nursery where they adjust from fresh water to salt water and back on their journeys to the ocean and home. This LNG plant and others proposed for this area would decimate the wild salmon runs and all marine life our ancestors lived on for thousands of years. It would be transported by giant supertankers through waters of the Haida Nation, despite the Haida’s ban on LNG supertankers. It’s a must we protect our rivers from the Sacred Headwaters of Tahltan territory to the coast in Tsimshian territory, to the waters of the Haida Nation.
While the Governments of Canada and BC have no jurisdiction here, they intend to rule on an application for an environmental certificate submitted to the CEAA. On March 19 the Government of Canada extended the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change’s deadline for three months, and LNG survey contractors for Stantec have returned to Lelu Island and Flora Banks to try and get more data they can manipulate.
Members of the Gitwilgyots tribe, with members of surrounding First Nations and allied land defenders stand our ground with Likagyigyet Gwishawaal, head of the wolf house holding title over Lax U’u’la and Flora Banks, to turn survey crews away.
We’re continuing to build structures on the island and have plans to build a smokehouse; a traditional longhouse; gardens; and a workout/training stage; and places to hold cultural workshops and traditional dance events. We continue to harvest foods, medicines from the island and waters and are preparing to harvest our spring cedar bark for weaving.