Chief Yahaan Speaks

Video published on October 2015

On October 13, 2016 I emailed Chief Yahaan of the Gitwilgyoots tribe of the Lax Kw’alaams , and leader of the Lelu Island occupation, a question. I had spoken to him by phone before but had only had minimal email communications. This recent email contact took place before the federal government approved the environmental review for the project. We were in the midst of reports and rumours that PETRONAS might consider moving their LNG plant further north, to a location with less potential for direct harm to the salmon ecology. I put it like this, “Chief, … I am wondering about your own perspective on moving the plant off the island, to the North somewhere as rumoured … is this an acceptable compromise for you and your people, or is it still a NO!… as it just shifts the burden to another area and another community”. His answer was as follows, “I would like to see environmental areas protected and this particular project goes against that  … what I would like to see is more tech work done on the emissions from the plant”. The Chief,makes it clear that beyond the potential of specific damage to the Flora Banks estuary, there is the potential for a more general damage to the environment that needs to be evaluated properly. He seems to be  indicating an openness to research on emissions. He seems to be asking for more science, which brings me to the question of the integrity of the science  being applied and the possibility that the knowledge currently in play is the product of a scary science.