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Help Rebuild Bella Bella

July 15, 2013


The Heiltsuk Tribal Council is accepting monetary donations on behalf of the Bella Bella community through this website rebuildbellabella.tumblr.com.

Funds raised will support immediate assistance for families in need and will help initiate the process of rebuilding. Any assistance is welcome.

How to donate


We have set up a PayPal account to accept credit card donations. At the moment, monetary funds are most useful to us as we try to meet immediate and urgent needs of our community. As time goes by and we learn more about the state of the damage, other donations may be needed. Thank you so much for all of your support.

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Fire destroys Bella Bella grocery store, post office, and community services

July 12, 2013

Tribal leaders ask for support, donations as community pledges to rebuild

Bella Bella, BC - Residents of the First Nations community of Bella Bella, BC are devastated today by a sudden fire that destroyed one of the most important buildings in their small coastal village. The commercial hub and community gathering place housed Bella Bella’s only grocery store, liquor store, post office, community library and cafe.

The fire broke out at approximately 3am and the building suffered extensive damage from smoke, fire and water, including the collapse of parts of the main floor into the offices and services located below.

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The Sound of Silence: First Nations Release Oil Spill Commercial Reminding British Columbians of Dangers Oil Tankers

March 24, 2013

Released on the 24th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, powerful television commercial features oil spill footage and iconic song by Simon & Garfunkel


VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (March 24, 2013) - The Coastal First Nations today released a television commercial reminding British Columbians of the dangers and costs of bringing oil tankers to BC’s pristine coastal waters.

See the commercial on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XNwjdI5m_E


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Media Advisory - Coastal First Nations to release oil spill commercial reminding British Columbians of Dangers of Oil Tankers

March 22, 2013

Media Advisory

Released on the 24th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, powerful television commercial features music by famous American singer-songwriter.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 22, 2013) - Attention News Editors: Media are invited to a brief media screening and Q&A session with Art Sterritt, Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations, for a new oil spill television commercial being released on the anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill (March 24).

The commercial features the music of a famous American singer-songwriter, and high-resolution copies will be made available to media on USB flash drives.

Who: Art Sterritt, Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations

When: Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 1:00pm

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Great Bear Forest Carbon Project

March 11, 2013

In the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project video members of the Coastal FIrst Nations are interviewed on why the project is so important to them.

Only one place on Earth is h ome to ancient cedars, towering spruce, cougars, wolves, grizzlies, salmon, and the iconic Kermode, or Spirit Bear, which gives its name to the region. at 6.4 million hectares, the Great Bear Rainforest is the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. For thousands of years First Nations on Canada's west coast have sourced life, culture and heritage from this environment. Today, the Great Bear Rainforest is such a global rarity that it has inspired unconventional partnerships, visionary leadership, and a radical change in the way we manage our resources.

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Coastal First Nations pull out of this week's Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel hearings

February 4, 2013


(Prince Rupert, BC) February 4, 2013 – Coastal First Nations can’t afford to participate in this week’s Joint Review Panel (JRP) on the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline in Prince Rupert.

 This is a David and Goliath scenario, said Art Sterritt. “It seems the only party that can afford this long and extended hearing process is Enbridge and, perhaps, the Federal Government. The average citizen can’t afford to be here and the Coastal First Nations cannot afford to be here.”

Sterritt, the executive director of the Coastal First Nations, said pulling out was a difficult decision because the Emergency Response Panel is dealing with important issues. “We planned to ask questions that included: does diluted bitumen sink; how quickly can a spill be responded to and how effective can cleanup be; how long will spilled oil remain in the ecosystem and what are the costs of a spill cleanup and who will pay.”

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Great Bear Forest Carbon Project offers a new, prosperous future for Coastal First Nations

January 22, 2013

As discussion around complex and important issues like comprehensive claims, treaty implementation and Idle No More continues, positive economic development initiatives taking place in First Nations communities are moving forward.

The Coastal First Nations have spent the last decade building a sustainable economy. What might surprise many is that First Nations on BC’s Central and North Coast and Haida Gwaii are quietly emerging as leaders in the sales of carbon credits. The Great Bear Forest Carbon Project offers Coastal First Nations the potential for sustainable economic and social development while helping to conserve the largest and most ecologically significant temperate rainforest in the world.

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Coastal First Nations to Share Resource Stewardship Experiences with Indigenous Rangers in Northern Australia

September 27, 2012

Wally Webber (Nuxalk), David Leask (Metlakatla) and Claire Hutton (Coastal Stewardship Network Coordinator) are on their way to northern Australia to attend the Northern Australia Indigenous Land and Sea Alliance (NAILSMA) I-Tracker Forum. The Forum brings together Indigenous land and sea managers and researchers to strengthen networks and share experiences in resource management and monitoring.

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Coastal First Nations accuse Enbridge of underestimating oil spill risks

September 21, 2012

(Vancouver, September 21, 2012) - Coastal First Nations’ lawyer Brenda Gaertner accused Enbridge of underestimating oil tanker spills on BC’s coast.

Gaertner, of Mandell Pinder, asked Enbridge’s “experts” at the Joint Review Panel hearing in Edmonton why they claim there would be only one tanker spill every 250 years.  “Based on the US government’s Oil Spill Risk Model there could be a tanker spill on average once every 6-12 years.”

She also accused Enbridge of underestimating pipeline spills.  Gaertner pointed to Enbridge’s actual spill statistics records of an average of 60 spills per year.  Based on this record, the Northern Gateway oil pipeline would have 46 pipeline spills every 4 years.  “Enbridge’s submission claims only 1 spill every 4 years. Enbridge has had an average of 60 spills per year from 1998 to 2010 and its rate of spills has shown no decline despite Enbridge’s repeated commitment to reduce spills.”

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Coastal First Nations slam Enbridge for lack of consultation at JRP hearings

September 19, 2012

 (Vancouver, Sept. 19, 2012) – The Coastal First Nations says consultation on Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Project has been an utter failure.

Art Sterritt, the executive director of Coastal First Nations, said the Federal Government is relying largely on the pathetic efforts of Enbridge to consult with First Nations.  “There has been a lack of proper and adequate consultation with us to learn what our concerns are with the project and its potential impacts on our member First Nations.”

Enbridge has steadfastly refused to provide sufficient information to our many requests on the feasibility of safety measures related to its proposed project, Sterritt said. “We are surprised by Enbridge’s responses and are particularly concerned with how Enbridge continues to downplay the risks of spills in their cost benefit analysis.  Their numbers defy common sense and are inconsistent with Enbridge's poor track record.”

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