Members of the Gitxsan First Nation who are objecting to the deal signed between Enbridge and the Gitxsan Treaty Office have been served an injunction ordering them to end their blockade of the office in Hazelton by Sunday.
Protesters continue to bar access to the Gitxsan Treaty Society Office in Hazelton — and are vowing to defy a court injunction ordering them away from the office.
They’re furious over last Friday’s announcement by Treaty officer and Hereditary Chief Elmer Derrick, that the Gitxsan had entered into a partnership with Enbridge on the Northern Gateway project.
Hereditary chief Norman Stephens (Guuhadakw) of the Wolf Clan says the announcement was completely improper. “Elmer Derrick had no right to negotiate a deal with Enbridge on behalf of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs,” said Stephens, adding “he’s employed as a Gitxsan Treaty Society negotiator for treaty, not with industry.”
The Gitxsan Treaty Society is fighting back against Gitxsan members opposing a $7 million ownership deal with Enbridge relating to the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project.
A negotiator with the society says they sought a court order against the protesters blocking access to their Hazelton office, so they could return to work and begin to address the concerns of the Gitxsan members denouncing the deal announced last week.
Beverley Clifton Percival says the society’s directors are prepared to talk, but need to be working in order to do so.
“I think they have valid concerns and valid questions and I certainly do want to answer them, but I cannot do that when I’m not allowed into my office or access to any of the papers or anything.”
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Hereditary chief Norman Stephens said the group received the notice on Tuesday…
The opposing leaders and members are now collecting written declarations from other hereditary chiefs supporting their position, Stephens said.
“[Derrick, Sebastian and Percival] are three disgruntled employees that we’ve laid off, and they are the ones who filed for the injunction, so we’ve got letters from people saying they are no longer employed by the Gitxsan hereditary chiefs,” Stephens said.
“They can’t [file] an injunction on a building they don’t own.
“They just don’t recognize that they’ve been fired.”