Our recent history has presented new challenges, and we have continually demonstrated our strength. In 2006, Gitga’at First Nation were the first responders to the sinking of the Queen of the North. We acted quickly, arriving long before any other organization could, saving many people.
Our Guardians protect our territory by maintaining a regular presence on the water and monitoring our marine resources to make sure that they are not threatened by poachers, over harvesting or environmental threats. They collect data to ensure that the seafood we depend on is healthy to eat. Managing these resources is one way that we govern our territory and assert our strength.
We have been and continue to be threatened by large industrial projects and maritime shipping proposals. Our leaders and community members have done many things to defend what is ours, from speaking to a Judicial Review Panel about our relationship to the land and water to taking Canada and British Columbia to Court to make a case for meaningful consultation and free and informed consent. Our efforts against the Enbridge project contributed to the project being overturned, and our legal victories will hold the Crown to a higher standard when consulting with us about any projects that may impact our Rights and Title.
To demonstrate our knowledge of and concern for the territory, our members crocheted yarn into a “Chain of Hope” across the Douglas Channel, demonstrating the small width of the channel and highlighting the risk posed if oil tankers were to pass through the area. Like the letter from 1913, our Adaawx, and our recent ancestors, we have shown that we will stand up and assert our strength, openly, honestly, respectfully and with resolve, when it matters.