Gitxsan Hereditary Chief and director of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Elmer Derrick. (Black Press file photo)

Chief Elmer Derrick, director of port authority board, passes away

The Hereditary Chief had been the chief negotiator for the Gitxsan Treaty Society

Hereditary Chief and director of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Elmer Derrick has passed away.

At 69 years old, Derrick died peacefully with members of his family around him at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, on Friday, Sept. 22.

Derrick was actively involved in several board of directors over the years, including BC Hydro, Gitxsan Resources Trust, Ridley Island Terminals Inc. for three years and in 2012 he was appointed by the federal government to serve on the board of directors at the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

Chair of the port authority, Bud Smith, issued a statement following the announcement.

“It is with great sadness that we recognize the passing of our fellow board member, colleague and friend, Elmer Derrick. During his five-years as a director of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Elmer provided leadership and governance of our organization that was critical to the growth of our port and the prosperity of the communities in which it operates. He advocated strongly for the balanced approach we take to enabling trade and safeguarding the environment, and he was proud of the investments we’ve made to improve the quality of life for people across Northwest British Columbia. He will be remembered fondly by everyone at the Prince Rupert Port Authority, and our thoughts are with his family as they mourn his death and celebrate his life,” Smith said.

Derrick was also known as being the chief negotiator for the Gitxsan Treaty Society, and in 2011 he had a role in reaching a $7 million agreement with Enbridge to end his band’s opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline, which was later rejected by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in April 2017.

He had taught political science and economics at the Northwest Community College, and he had a bachelor degree in education from the University of Alberta and a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Carleton University.


shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

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