The Gitxaała Nation was at the Federal Court of Appeal on Friday to challenge the adequacy of Canada’s consultation on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project.
Gitxaała Nation – the People of the Salt Water – say they were not consulted on the potential effects of the Project on their Aboriginal title and governance rights, despite having raised concerns about these impacts from the very beginning of the process.
Gitxaała’s legal arguments about the need for consultation on these issues, delivered by Robert Janes of JFK Law, drew applause from the large crowd watching the hearing.
“This legal action is a watershed moment for the Gitxaala,” said Nees Ma’Outa (hereditary and elected Chief Cliff White). “After six years working through the NEB’s regulatory process, there are more questions than answers about the potential environmental impacts of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project. We will not stand by and accept the as-yet undefined consequences of a catastrophic oil spill, especially when we haven’t been properly consulted.”
Media coverage of Gitxaała’s day in court can be viewed here
Outside the courthouse, Gitxaała hereditary chiefs explain their opposition to the Project. Video footage of their comments can be viewed here:
The hearing continues until Thursday, October 8.