We, the undersigned, who represent the Heiltsuk Nation as:
Hereditary Chiefs, Council of the Heilsuk Nation, members of our proud Nation, do commit to work cooperatively as a Nation to protect and enhance the well being of the Heiltsuk Nation and our people. In doing so, we so declare that:
We will protect Heiltsuk Title and Rights to the Territories and seas of the Heiltsuk Nation;
That we, the Heilsuk First Nation, have a relationship with our land and seas that goes back to the time immemorial, and this determines our relationship with nature, our role as stewards of this land, and all forms of life and our sovereignty;
The Heiltsuk First Nation, occupied North America as a sovereign Nation long before other people came to our shores;
The Heiltsuk First Nation, have always made our own laws, institutions and jurisdiction, which respects our cultures, values and languages;
Our Gvi’las directs us to balance the health of the land and the needs of our people, ensuring there will always be plentiful resources. We have honoured and maintained our traditions since time immemorial and continue this covenant today by having developed a land use plan that will protect the resources that are vital to our survival and well-being.
Our sovereignty enables us to enter into Treaty and other political accords with other Nations and our sovereignty has international stature and recognition through the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples.
We affirm to the world that the citizens of the Heiltsuk Nation collectively hold Title to all of the lands, resources and seas in our Traditional Territory and we commit to go forward as one Nation for the benefit of all Heiltsuk and future generations of Heiltsuk to come; and
Uphold our duty as stewards of this land since me immemorial to uphold Gvi’las, the laws of our ancestors, to protect our lands and seas for our children and future generations to come.
We further affirm that the Heiltsuk Nation has inherent aboriginal rights and jurisdiction over our territories, our resources and our lives with the right to manage our territories including our lands and waters and the Heiltsuk Nation laws and customs define our responsibilities to protect our lands and waters;
In doing so:
We hereby speak in unity with all the First Nations in BC in our opposition to the Northern Enbridge Gateway Project Enbridge and Crude Oil Tanker traffic that is proposed to travel in our territory without our free and prior informed consent.
We declare that the Heiltsuk First Nation will not put our territories and waters at risk caused by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and crude oil tanker traffic in our waters.
The Heiltsuk Nation in upholding Gvi’las, the laws of our ancestors, today declare to the Crown and the world that we will not allow pipelines and oil tankers carrying Alberta’s Tar Sands Oil in our lands and waters and as a sovereign Nation we ban tanker traffic in our waters.