Lake Babine Nation held its sixteenth annual general assembly at the Margaret Patrick Memorial Centre from Nov. 12 to 14. Approximately 300 to 400 people attended the event each day.

Lake Babine Nation holds a successful annual general assembly

Lake Babine Nation's Chief Wilf Adam said this years' Annual General Assembly (AGA) was the most successful meeting the nation has ever had.

Lake Babine Nation’s Chief Wilf Adam said this years’ Annual General Assembly (AGA) was the most successful meeting the nation has ever had.

“We had a full house,” said Chief Adam.

Approximately 300 to 400 people attended each day of nation’s sixteenth AGA. The event took place on Nov. 12, 13 and 14 at the Margaret Patrick Memorial Centre. This year’s theme was “Ned’uten Title and Rights: dancing to the beat of our own drum.”

One of the main topics discussed during the meeting was about Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) pipelines. TransCanada is proposing a 146-km pipeline going though Lake Babine Nation’s territory.

“The B.C. government is pushing LNG through our territory and we must, as a collective, make it work for our nation,” said Chief Adam in a statement handed out during the meeting. “It [LNG pipelines] will create a lot of jobs and opportunities for our citizens.”

Chief Adam said there was no opposition during the meeting to allow LNG pipelines to run through Lake Babine Nation’s territory.

“We are still studying LNG’s impacts and what it entails,” he said. ‘We are going to continue that work [assessing LNG’s impact] as a nation.”

However, Lake Babine Nation has a different approach when it comes to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. A unanimous motion was carried during the meeting to reject the pipeline project.

Other important issue discussed during the meeting was in regards to the recent June 26 Supreme Court Case called Roger Williams vs the Crown, or the Tsilghot’in decision. The case deals with Aboriginal rights and title. The Tsilghot’in government won the case, and Chief Adam said he “fully supports” the decision that was made.

“This confirms what we as native people always knew,” said Chief Adam. “That this is our land.”

Lake Babine Nation is now focusing on its own battles such as having their treaty – the 1906 Barricade Treaty – recognized federally.

“We need to think about what we will do from now on,” said the chief.

According to Chief Adam, the meeting was also an opportunity for the nation to update all programs offered to its citizens. With elections coming up in June 2015, they discussed the need to review and update its election code.

“I was happy and surprised with the amount of people that came,” said Chief Adam. “The meeting was peaceful and respectful.”