Madii Lii Declaration
Aug. 26, 2014
We the Luutkudziiwus members formally declare:
We have lived on and governed our Madii Lii territory according to our laws, traditions, and responsibilities since time immemorial. Luutkudziiwus, a House group of the Gitxsan nation, caretake the land and waters on our territory. We are here to protect and conserve our traditional territories. We will ensure that future generations of Luutkudziiwus leaders and members are able to live and benefit from all that their ancestral land provides and will protect our Gwalx Ye’insxwtis.
Our longstanding relationship to Madii Lii territory includes social, cultural, spiritual, political, legal, environmental and economic elements. Luutkudziiwus maintains Aboriginal title and rights over Madii Lii territory. TransCanada is proposing construction and operation of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline project. The proposed PRGT will cross Madii Lii territory for about 32 km from Suskwa Pass to the Shegunia River. Approximately one-half – 16 km – lies on top of the Babine Trail, the ancestral grease trail connecting Gitanmaax with Fort Babine.
There will be direct and indirect impacts to Luutkudziiwus rights and title from potential adverse effects to fish and their habitats, wildlife and their habitats, terrestrial and aquatic resources, including cumulative effects, as well as to social, cultural, and economic values. As well, the pipe will be supplying the proposed LNG plant in Skeena estuary, where substantial and potentially catastrophic impacts are predicted to negatively affect our juvenile salmon. The proposed PRGT pipeline project is in deep conflict with core Luutkudziiwus interests and values.
Two issues arise:
Government and TransCanada not consulting with and showing a distinct lack of respect for Luutkudziiwus members;
Gordon Sebastian, Anuthembuhn, misrepresenting himself as Luutkudziiwus and colluding with Government and TransCanada. It is unknown what or how many “deals” he is making with Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, BC Environmental Assessment Office, and Gitxsan Development Corp. Gordon does not communicate with Luutkudziiwus leaders and members and as a result, any decisions by Gordon are considered misrepresentation and invalid.
This has resulted in:
Gordon Sebastian and Gitxsan Development Corp are both suspected of attempting to fraudulently misrepresent Luutkudziiwus interests in several ways including consultation and receiving funds by double dealing – this is unlawful infringement of our rights;
Squandering our right to govern ourselves and territory according to our laws, customs, and practices.
Managing our territories will enable us to focus on sustainable economic development, cultural revitalization programs, and as well, likely lead to shared decision making with the federal and provincial governments as recommended by the First Nations Summit, the BC Union of Indian Chiefs, and the Assembly of First Nations.
We are asking for support from the greater community. To find out how you can help, email Luutkudziiwus appointed spokesperson Richard Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us at the 15 km mark of the Suskwa Forest Service Road, just east of New Hazelton, BC.
Hamiiya (with gratitude),
Simgiigyet (Hereditary Cheif) Luutkudziiwus (Charlie Wright),
Simgiigyet (Hereditary Cheif) Xsim Wits’iin (Lester Moore),
Simgiigyet (Hereditary Cheif) Noola (Norman Moore),
of the Gitxsan Nation