Positive Relationships Show in Fairview Container Terminal Expansion Process
As blessing and greeting were given to the land of the Fairview Container Terminal expansion, there was a clear sign that First Nations communities and organizations like the Port of Prince Rupert are molding positive relationships.
Harold Leighton is the Chief of Metlakatla and says he feels satisfied on how they were approached on the expansion.
"We felt that it went well. We were satisfied with the consultation process. We thought it was good."
Chief Leighton says Metlakala and the Port of Prince Rupert have agreements in place over the past decade to ensure they're involved in the development happening on traditional territory.
"Relationships take time to build. It's built overtime. We signed our first agreement with the port 12 years ago. Over that time we got to know each other, we got to know each one's interest were. As you move forward, it becomes easier for us."
Both Leighton and Members of the Lax'Kallams made it clear during their speeches they want to see development, but they want it so it honours and respects the land and their past.
"Our first priority is to always project our territory. That means the land, the marine and the air. To make sure that projects are done right. We want to make sure that we go through the proper consultation process."
The Lax Kalama also stated the fact the expansion was built on graves and villages of the People of the Kelp. Port of Prince Rupert CEO wants to work with members of Lax Kw'alaams that a proper memorial is built to honour the past.
"I promised the heredity chiefs that the Port of Prince Rupert would come together and figure out the appropriate way and means of recognizing is located on those hereditary village sites."
While there are still a lot of steps to go toward reconciliation, this was just one step in forming positive relationships to work with in the future.