Richard Wright, Gitxsan, Madii Lii camp
Richard Wright is the spokesperson for the House of Luutkudziiwus of the Gitxsan Nation. In August 2014, Luutkudziiwus permanently closed their Madii Lii territory to fracked gas pipeline development. They have taken full control of their land and resources, will be implementing sustainable economic development on the territory, and are pursuing the legal avenue of obtaining full Title to the land. Title would put any pipeline proposals to rest for good and return all governance and final land use decisions to their original rightful holders the Gitxsan Matriarchal Hereditary Chiefs.
A permanent camp has been built and a gate erected to control access to Madii Lii territory. To this date, Luutkudziiwus has effectively stopped development of TransCanada's approved Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PGRT) pipeline. 35 kilometres of this 900 kilometre fracked gas pipeline are slated to be laid on Madii Lii territory from the Suskwa Pass to the Shegunia River, where approximately one half - 16 km - would destroy Babine Trail, the ancestral grease trail connecting Fort Babine to Gitanmaax. The PRGT pipe is proposed to supply Petronas' proposed Pacific Northwest LNG terminal on Lelu Island in Skeena estuary, the construction and operation of which could spell the collapse of Skeena salmon by heavily impacting essential juvenile salmon habitat. Of all 19 LNG projects proposed for BC, this project is widely seen to be nearest to development. The proposed PRGT pipeline project is in deep conflict with core Luutkudziiwus interests and values.
Luutkudziiwus have never ceded, treatied, or surrendered control of their territory, as was recognized by Canadian Supreme Court during the Delgamuukw (1997) decision. This decision, along with the recent Tsilhqot'in (2014) court decision, have laid the groundwork for full Gitxsan Title.The basecamp on Madii Lii is located on the Suskwa River, a tributary of the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers. For more info, visit www.MadiiLii.com.