Members of Lax Kw'alaams Setting Up Camp at Lelu Island



A Facebook page is calling on members of First Nation bands to come out to Lelu Island.

There, some members of the Lax Kw'alaams band are getting ready to set up tents, and carry out traditional Tsimshian activities.

"Basically we're going to be occupying our traditional land, exercising our rights, harvesting whatever natural resources we have" says Joey Wesley, a member of the Lax Kw'alaams band.

The timeline coincides with Pacific Northwest's LNG project getting ready to begin investigative work around Lelu Island.

"The work at Lelu Island investigating geotechnical conditions there is beginning imminently, and Pacific Northwest LNG has indicated that it will continue through to November" says the Port Authority's Michael Gurney.

"That's one of the main reasons why we're setting up shop here, and also we got word that they're trying to cut off eelgrass off Flora banks, and they're going to try to transplant that at another location in the skeena river here somewhere" says Joey Wesley.

"We're confused by how work can be done, when they don't have their certificate to proceed" says Greg Knox of SkeenaWild.

Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Gary Reece could not be reached for comment, but yesterday's message posted to the website says " Lax Kw'alaams technical advisors are fully involved in the process and are vigilantly considering all proposals and information."

A stark contrast to Lax Kw'alaams band member Brenda V. Wesley who says there's a strong lack of communication.

"There was a strong NO vote from a band of 3600 people within the Tsimshian Nation. That is a large percentage of our nation, and it was totally disrespected by Gary Reece."

"There's 18 LNG proposed for the Northcoast, and this is the only site we've taken issue with, to put it simply. It's the worst place to put an LNG facility" says Knox.

As for timeline, Joey Wesley says they will continue to exercise their traditional aboriginal rights on Lelu Island.