The Gitxsan hereditary chiefs have formally rejected the deal signed in December by Elmer Derrick to support the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.
A meeting in Hagwilge Tuesday evening rejected by a vote of 28 to 8 the controversial equity deal.
The vote may also lead to the end of the blockade of the Gitxsan Treaty Society office in Hazelton.
Gitxsan spokesman John Olson told CFJW says there needs to be an all-clans meeting before the blockade is lifted.
“And I say it’s an all clans meeting, that means the Gitxsan Treaty Society members are more than welcome to come out and participate in this meeting, and I think that’s a step in the right direction,” Olson explained.
The chiefs say they want a written acknowledgement from the society that the Enbridge deal is rejected before removing their blockade, which went up shortly after Derrick announced the agreement in early December.
Enbridge Northern Gateway spokesman Paul Stanway issued a statement:
Enbridge has learned that the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs have reconsidered their prior endorsement of Gitxsan participation as equity partners in our project
While we are disappointed at this shift in stance in relation to our 2009 protocol agreement with the Nation and in relation to 2011 meetings with Hereditary representatives, we respect this decision.
We look forward to receiving written communication from the Gitxsan Hereditary chiefs, so that we have greater clarity in relation to their current perspectives. And we will continue to engage with the Gitxsan Nation in relation to the project.
In the meantime, we will also continue to work and engage with corridor First Nations groups, including the more than 20 groups who in recent weeks have fully executed and endorsed equity participation agreements deals with Enbridge.