May 21, 2015 - Lax Kw’alaams First Nations Rejects $1 Billion Offer for Proposed Liquid Natural Gas Terminal
“They’re offering us benefits if we vote Yes. But we already have a lot of benefits around us—we have coho, spring and sockeye salmon. We have halibut, crab and eulachon. Those are our benefits.” ~Lianne Spence (Lax Kw’alaams)
Earlier this month, the Lax Kw’alaams First Nations unanimously voted to oppose the proposed Pacific Northwest (PNW) Liquid Natural Gas terminal.
According to a statement by Lax Kw’aalams the LGN terminal was proposed to be built near Lelu Island and the adjacent Flora Bank, located entirely in the traditional territory of the Allied Tsimshian Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams. The area is also located in the estuary of the Skeena river which is the largest salmon producing river in British Columbia.
They go on to further state:
“The significance of the Skeena River estuary to area First Nations cannot be overstated. Lax Kw’alaams is bound by the traditional law of all Tsimshian and up-river communities to protect the fisheries resource –including the salmon and all other species – for future generations. This is a first line of defense in respect to the aboriginal food fishery, a fishery which has sustained coastal and upriver first nations through the millennia.”
“The Lax Kw’alaams say they are bound by traditional law to protect the traditional fishing grounds for future generations. “This is a first line of defense in respect to the aboriginal food fishery, a fishery which has sustained coastal and upriver first nations through the millennia.”
In exchange for the land swap, PNW had offered the tribe $1 billion in cash to be paid out over 40 years, roughly $320,000 per tribal citizen.
“Our elders remind us that money is like so much dust that is quickly blown away in the wind, but the land is forever.” ~Grand Chief Stewart Phillip