Gitxsan eviction notices suspended

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

TERRACE, B.C.—Eviction notices to CN Rail, forest companies and sport fishermen given by a British Columbia First Nation have been suspended after the Gitxsan (Git-san) band met with provincial and federal governments on Thursday.

Gitxsan negotiator Beverley Clifton Percival says the nation received a written statement from government after the meeting that said Crown may amend an agreement-in-principle that signed away lands claimed by the Gitxsan to the Kitselas and Kitsumkalum bands.

Percival says the signing was done without the consent of her First Nation and therefore was illegal, but added she is hopeful talks in the coming weeks will resolve the dispute.

The Gitxsan is suspending evictions until Aug. 25 while the First Nation meets with Crown, the Kitselas and the Kitsumkalum.

The band issued a notice last month telling CN, foresters and fishermen to leave the 33,000 square kilometres of territories it claims near Terrace, in northern B.C., by Aug. 4.

The Gitxsan had also previously accused government of licensing businesses to operate on its territories without the First Nation’s consent.