The Kitsumkalum Band Council announces that Kitsumkalum and British Columbia have finalized LNG Benefits Agreement and LNG Coastal Funds Agreement negotiations with agreed upon terms and conditions on March 27, 2019. The LNG Benefits Agreement and the LNG Coastal Funds Agreement will provide compensation to Kitsumkalum for the impact that development will have on the people of Kitsumkalum.
Impact Benefits Agreement Negotiations with Canada and British Columbia has been a long hard fight, as Canada and British Columbia stubbornly refused to recognize Kitsumkalum as a tribe proper of the Tsimshian Nation with Constitutionally Protected and Legally Enforceable Aboriginal Title and Rights to Kitsumkalum Tribal Territories. Following five (5) years of negotiations with British Columbia, Kitsumkalum was successful in gaining recognition as a tribe proper of the Tsimshian nation and signed an agreement with British Columbia.
Kitsumkalum’s authority is derived from our traditional laws (ayaawüx), teachings, and traditions (adawx); through which we have upheld and passed down our role as stewards of our lands and resources through the generations since time immemorial. Tsimshian laws (ayaawüx) and traditions (adawx) guide the ways in which Kitsumkalum protects Kitsumkalum Aboriginal Title and Rights for future generations.
Kitsumkalum’s marine harvest areas vary in size and location due to geographic features and the ecosystems at each site that provide for marine life. Kitsumkalum’s harvest sites on the coast are typical of the Tsimshian tribal harvest sites along the coast. Kitsumkalum’s coastal harvest sites, while smaller in size are scattered throughout the coastal area and are bounded by neighboring Tsimshian tribes, commonly having important wilnaat’aał connections to Kitsumkalum.
Kitsumkalum Chief and Council are mandated by the community of Kitsumkalum to govern with responsibility on behalf of the Kitsumkalum membership to exercise, defend and protect Kitsumkalum’s Aboriginal Title and Rights. Kitsumkalum’s Chief and Council carry out their responsibilities with advice from Kitsumkalum’s Sim’oogits and Sigidm hana’ax. Chief and Council direct and have oversight of Kitsumkalum Consultation, Referrals, Impact Benefits and Economic Benefits Agreement negotiations ensuring that Aboriginal Title and Rights and food security are protected.
Kitsumkalum Chief and Council are confident that the LNG Benefits and the Coastal Fund Agreements adequately address environmental issues for the preservation of Kitsumkalum Title and Rights and food security for the people of Kitsumkalum and as such, are supportive of the LNG Canada Project and that it is also generally supportive of the other LNG Projects where cumulative impacts; environmental and socioeconomic are mitigated to ensure continued Aboriginal Title and Rights are enjoyed by the people of Kitsumkalum within their traditional tribal territories.
The LNG Impact Benefits Agreement and the LNG Coastal Funds Agreement enables Kitsumkalum to actively participate in and monitor environmental activity and proposed activities resulting from the LNG Canada project in Kitimat or any other LNG project which take place in the Douglas Channel area in the future. It is important that Kitsumkalum can play a direct and important role in overseeing any industrial and environmental impacts that can affect the Kitsumkalum Traditional Territories on the coast.
These agreements with British Columbia also gives us direct cash and economic benefits related to the LNG Canada project to be constructed in Haisla territory. It gives us tangible benefits and opportunities which can benefit the priorities of Kitsumkalum for many years into the future.
The people of Kitsumkalum have continued their sustenance from the resources in their traditional territories and have maintained their livelihood through two sunset industries; the commercial fishing industry and the logging industry and now find it necessary to learn new skills to fit into a changing labour force from a manual labour force to a specialized trade’s workforce with heightened levels of regulatory oversight.
These agreements will bring training and employment opportunities to the people of Kitsumkalum to prepare them for a changing labour force over the next five years as well as funding to upgrade Kitsumkalum’s aging infrastructure.
Kitsumkalum views this as a land and economic development fund which will provide an early annual base amount plus additional annual funds once the LNG Canada facility starts operations. Kitsumkalum will receive over $20 million over the next four years and then annual payments over the life of the project, which is expected to be a forty year operation that will bring benefits to the people of Kitsumkalum for many years.Link to Kitsumkalum to share in LNG benefits after agreements reached with B.C. Announcement
Link to: 2018 Kitsumkalum Major Projects update: https://kitsumkalum.com/2018-major-projects-updates/
Link to: 2017 Kitsumkalum Major Projects update: https://kitsumkalum.com/kitsumkalum-major-projects-winter-2017-update/
Link to: 2016 Update on Liquified Natural Gas: https://kitsumkalum.com/2016-update-on-lng/
Link to: 2015/2016 LNG Community Update: https://kitsumkalum.com/lng-community-update-2015-16/
Link to: 2014 Kitsumkalum’s Strength of Claim to the Coast: https://kitsumkalum.com/no-permission-required-title-and-rights-in-the-traditional-territory-of-the-kitsumkalum-indian-band-october-22-2014-by-eric-wolfhard/