OPEN LETTER: Ministry of Environment urged to consult Heiltsuk First Nation

OPEN LETTER: Ministry of Environment urged to consult Heiltsuk First Nation

Download the open letter

Bella Bella, B.C. (Monday, October 16) – Heiltsuk First Nation has issued an open letter inviting the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, to Heiltsuk territory following statements he has made on Friday regarding marine spill cleanups, like the Nathan E Stewart spill in Heiltsuk Territory.

In the open letter, Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett notes the remote coastal nation looks forward to consultation on robust environmental impact assessments and discussing the regulations that will put in force the sections of the Environmental Management Act that will require polluters to conduct and finance comprehensive environmental impact assessments – something not currently required by law in British Columbia, but well within provincial jurisdiction.

ADVISORY: Traditional healing ceremony underway to mark one year anniversary of oil spill, restore balance

ADVISORY: Traditional healing ceremony underway to mark one year anniversary of oil spill, restore balance

For footage of ceremony, please contact media@heiltsuk.ca

Gale Passage, Heiltsuk Territory (Friday, October 13) – Heiltsuk hereditary leaders are gathering on the shores of Gale Passage where this time last year over 110,000 litres of diesel fuel, lubricants, heavy oils, other pollutants spilled into a harvest site of deep cultural significance, disrupting the lives and spirits of the entire nation and its ancestors.

Today, the leaders gather at the ancient village site to wash the spirits of first responders, harvesters, and ancestors harmed by the incident following a community-wide healing ceremony Thursday night in Bella Bella. (more…)

RELEASE: Response to statements by Ministry of Environment, Kirby Corporation

Response to statements by Ministry of Environment, Kirby Corporation

Bella Bella, B.C. (October 13, 2017) – This week marks the one-year anniversary of the fuel spill in Bella Bella’s Gale Passage.

To mark the occasion, Heiltsuk Tribal Council issued a press release noting that Kirby Corporation has been unwilling to meet requests for comprehensive post-spill research or a health impact assessment. Instead, the U.S.-owned corporation has purported to be proceeding with a limited environmental impact assessment, looking only at sampling and monitoring work conducted in a short period of time after the oil spill and a one-week period in early 2017. (more…)

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Heiltsuk Nation turning to courts in wake of spill and botched response

Heiltsuk Nation turning to courts in wake of spill and botched response

Case seeks to recover damages, challenge world class oil spill response

Bella Bella, BC (Wednesday, October 11, 2017) – This week marks the one-year anniversary of the oil spill in Bella Bella. With the community’s recovery efforts undermined by government and Kirby Corporation’s refusal to take responsibility for the spill and to cooperate in its aftermath, the nation has no option but to turn to the courts.

“The oil spill continues to be a catastrophic injury to our food sources, culture, and economy,” says Heiltsuk Tribal Council Chief Councillor, Marilyn Slett. “Thanks to Kirby Corporation and the governments of British Columbia and Canada, our community’s road to recovery keeps getting longer and longer.” (more…)

ADVISORY: Heiltsuk greets Canada C3 expedition with reconciliation agenda

ADVISORY: Heiltsuk greets Canada C3 expedition with reconciliation agenda

Friday, October 6, 2017 (Bella Bella, Heiltsuk Territory) – Media are advised that the Canada C3 Expedition will visit Bella Bella on Monday, October 9, as it nears the end of its 150-day journey.

Reconciliation has been a theme since the beginning of the voyage, which began in Toronto on June 1, with Heiltsuk Councillor Leona Humchitt aboard. The trip ends in Victoria on October 28, 2017.

“The Heiltsuk word for reconciliation is ‘haíɫcístut’, meaning to turn something around and make it right again,” says Councillor Humchitt. “If there’s one thing the first 150 years of Canada has taught me, it’s that reconciliation is the only path forward. With so much history behind us, and some formidable challenges ahead, the time has come to pull together.” (more…)

Investigation Report exposes failures in Canada’s emergency response measures and a failure to disclose information re: Nathan E. Stewart Oil Spill

Investigation Report exposes failures in Canada’s emergency response measures and a failure to disclose information re: Nathan E. Stewart Oil Spill

Thursday, April 6, 2017 (Vancouver, B.C.) – A Heiltsuk Nation investigation released today into the first 48 hours of the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill exposes failures in Canada’s emergency response measures and repeated refusals by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Kirby Corporation to disclose information to the Heiltsuk about events unfolding in their territory in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.  (more…)

Historic joint management agreement marred by conflict

Historic joint management agreement marred by conflict

Heiltsuk, commercial fishermen work together to overcome challenges with DFO

Bella Bella, B.C., (March 27, 2016) – Following decades of tension, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) appeared to be turning over a new leaf when they signed the final component of the 2016 Heiltsuk-DFO Herring Joint Management Plan with the Heiltsuk Nation earlier this week.

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Globe and Mail: Final Agreement Reached to Protect B.C.’s Great Bear Rain Forest

Final Agreement Reached to Protect B.C.’s Great Bear Rain Forest

By Justine Hunter for the Globe & Mail

The 20-year battle to protect the Great Bear Rainforest – the largest coastal temperate rainforest on the planet – is over, with the B.C. government announcement on Monday of an agreement with environmentalists, forest companies and First Nations.

(more…)