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Discourse Media is an independent media company that produces and enables in-depth journalism projects about complex issues.

B.C. Government Payments for LNG Support Called 'Bribery,' Divide Gitxsan Nation

By Trevor Jang for Discourse Media.

Earl Muldon sits at his kitchen table surrounded by family, sipping coffee. His wife Shirley brings over a plate of cream cake topped with huckleberries. They’re hand-picked from the land surrounding his two-storey home in Gitanmaax, a village of about 800 people from the Gitxsan Nation in northwestern British Columbia, near the town of New Hazelton.

To the Gitxsan people, 80-year-old Muldon is known by another name: Delgamuukw. That name — a symbolic ancestral chief name passed down from generation to generation of Gitxsan people — is also one of the most well-known chief names in the rest of Canada. Delgamuukw was the lead plaintiff in a historic court case that confirmed that Aboriginal title, ownership of traditional lands had not been extinguished by any colonial government.  

It’s a name that’s greatly respected. We’ve earned respect for it,” says Muldon, who was one of three people to hold the Delgamuukw name during the court proceedings.

Lax Kw’alaams Pacific Northwest LNG Poll Raises Questions About First Nations Consultation

By Discourse Media with additional reporting from Carol Linnitt.

Members of the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation in northwest B.C. were given an extremely short amount of time to respond to an opinion poll that asked if they support energy development in their territory.

The polling followed a series of four information sessions held by the band council in June, focused on plans for liquified natural gas (LNG) development. At the information sessions, band members were presented with a proposed package of benefits that hinge on them voicing their support for the contentious Pacific NorthWest LNG (PNW LNG) project at the mouth of the Skeena River.

Tweet: Lax Kw’alaams #FirstNation concerned about polling questions that didn’t explicitly reference the PNW LNG proposal http://bit.ly/2bHNXEzCommunity members are concerned because the polling question did not explicitly reference the PNW LNG proposal, which includes plans to develop the company’s LNG terminal on Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert. Other concerns about the poll that have been flagged by band members include missing forms in packages mailed to them and misinformation included in the proposed agreements package.