On Aug. 26, 2014, the hereditary chiefs of the territory declared access to the territory closed to all fracked gas (LNG) pipeline development and other unauthorized industrial activity, and enacted the Luutkudziiwus Territorial Management Plan.
Madii Lii is the Lax Yip (territory) of the Wilp (house) of Luutkudziiwus of the Gitxsan Nation. The territory is located in the Suskwa valley, and is accessed via the Suskwa Forest Service Rd at km 15. Our Wilp consists of three high-ranking Simgiigyet (Hereditary Chiefs): Luutkudziiwus (Charlie Wright), Xsimjiitsiin (Lester Moore), & Noohla (Norman Moore), and over 600 other Wilp members. The Gitxsan Nation is divided into 64 Wilps (Luutkudziiwus is one of the most populous), and within the Gitxsan Matriarchal Hereditary System, Wilp chiefs are the highest ranking in the nation.
Madii Lii Camp Construction
Madii Lii Declaration dated Aug. 26, 2014
We the Luutkudziiwus members formally declare:
We have lived on and governed our Madii Lii territory according to our laws, traditions, and responsibilities since time immemorial. Luutkudziiwus, a House group of the Gitxsan nation, caretake the land and waters on our territory. We are here to protect and conserve our traditional territories. We will ensure that future generations of Luutkudziiwus leaders and members are able to live and benefit from all that their ancestral land provides and will protect our Gwalx Ye’insxwtis.
Our longstanding relationship to Madii Lii territory includes social, cultural, spiritual, political, legal, environmental and economic elements. Luutkudziiwus maintains Aboriginal title and rights over Madii Lii territory. TransCanada is proposing construction and operation of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline project. The proposed PRGT will cross Madii Lii territory for about 32 km from Suskwa Pass to the Shegunia River. Approximately one-half – 16 km – lies on top of the Babine Trail, the ancestral grease trail connecting Gitanmaax with Fort Babine.
There will be direct and indirect impacts to Luutkudziiwus rights and title from potential adverse effects to fish and their habitats, wildlife and their habitats, terrestrial and aquatic resources, including cumulative effects, as well as to social, cultural, and economic values. As well, the pipe will be supplying the proposed LNG plant in Skeena estuary, where substantial and potentially catastrophic impacts are predicted to negatively affect our juvenile salmon. The proposed PRGT pipeline project is in deep conflict with core Luutkudziiwus interests and values.
The territory is now occupied full time, and our traditional traplines, hunting grounds, and trails are under use, as per Gitxsan Ayookw (Gitxsan Laws). We are planning for a busy summer of building a smokehouse, rootcellar, and gardens, as well as operating programs that will bring our young people, adults, and elders onto the territory to learn about our medicines, gather food, and reconnect with the land (see 2015 project proposals). Madii Lii for us is first and foremost a place of healing, of undoing the trauma of colonization, and of inspiring a new way forward without continued forces of oppression. We welcome guests who respect this. We have never ceded, treatied, or surrendered control of our land. Luutkudziiwus’ special relationship to and stewardship of land, water, and respective resources on Madii Lii territory provide grounds for and affirm our rights, including title, guaranteed by Section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982
We are now pursuing legal advice about obtaining Title to our land in the eyes of contemporary Canadian and BC colonial law. The groundwork for obtaining Title was laid by the Delgamuukw (1997) and Tsilhqot’in (2014) court decisions. Title would return all governance and authority to its rightful holders, our matriarchal hereditary leaders, and would put any pipeline proposals to rest for good. Our house group has been supported by dozens of Gitxsan and non-Gitxsan volunteers and supporters. This is not just our fight. We are standing alongside numerous other nations and communities that are standing up for a livable world against fracking, pipelines, mega-consumption, and oppression of all kinds.
Managing our territories will enable us to focus on sustainable economic development, cultural revitalization programs, and as well, likely lead to shared decision making with the federal and provincial governments as recommended by the First Nations Summit, the BC Union of Indian Chiefs, and the Assembly of First Nations.
We are asking for support from the greater community. To find out how you can help, email Luutkudziiwus appointed spokesperson Richard Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at the 15 km mark of the Suskwa Forest Service Road, just east of New Hazelton, BC.
Hamiiya (with gratitude),
Simgiigyet (Hereditary Cheif) Luutkudziiwus (Charlie Wright),
Simgiigyet (Hereditary Cheif) Xsim Wits’iin (Lester Moore),
Simgiigyet (Hereditary Cheif) Noola (Norman Moore),
of the Gitxsan Nation
Reposted with permission, as found on the Madii Lii Website.
Gitxsan Blockade Highway in Response to Approvals of LNG Projects
Directions to the Madii Lii basecamp:
From HWY 16, turn north about 12 km east of New Hazelton onto the Suskwa Forest Service Road (FSR). Drive 15 km and you will come to a bridge over the Suskwa River, and just past it the Madii Lii basecamp. The road is a good gravel road passable by cars. You can find more detailed maps here.
How Can You Help?
Monetary donations are encouraged if you are geographically to far to donate items or time to the Madii Lii basecamp Summer Proposals. You can send donations via PayPal or email money transfer to email@example.com.
Camp supplies are always welcomed if you live locally and/or can take responsibility for shipping costs of donated items. If you have any of the following items and would be willing to donate them, we would be greatly appreciative. Hamiiya.
- Gardening equipment: hoes, shovels, trowels, wheel barrow, hoses, watering cans
- Tools (of all kinds)
- Snowshoes (and other winter gear)
- Microhydro generator + water lines (+ solar)
- General construction materials
- Lots of other stuff…think we could use it? Ask us!
To donate supplies, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org