Northcoast waters will be better protected by a first-of-its-kind strategic alliance agreement between SAAM Towage and Coast Tsimshian Enterprises Ltd., announced the marine vessel company on August 15.
Through the long-term partnership, which has taken several years of dialogue and collaboration, SAAM Towage Canada will be the tug provider to all ships requiring high-quality towage, ship docking, and ship escort services within the traditional territory of Coast Ts’msyen. The territory includes the Port of Prince Rupert and Port Edward.
“The strategic alliance agreement reflects our ongoing commitment to reconciliation and to building trusting, respectful and meaningful relationships with local Indigenous communities,” Sander Bikkers, president of SAAM Towage, said.
“It is a true example of how industry can honour the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous communities can ensure commerce is being conducted safely within their Traditional Territories,” the media statement reads.
The alliance has established long-term sustainable benefits for Lax Kw’alaams and the Metlakatla Nations and provides access to education, training and employment opportunities for their members.
“We are very proud to be trusted by the Nations to protect the Traditional Territory of the Coast Tsimshian Peoples. Many community members are actively employed at SAAM, serving in roles as captains, deckhands mechanics, and more. It is critical to have local crew to ensure the ongoing protection of the Territories; this is their home, and they take pride in protecting it,” Bikkers said.
Lax Kw’alaams Mayor Gary Reece said he is happy parties were able to formalize the relationship,”.
“We value the contributions to our members SAAM Towage has made over the years and are confident that with our support, our Territories will be protected properly”.
Harold Leighton, CEO of Metlakatla Development Corporation, said he appreciates the opportunity the alliance between Coast Tsimshian Enterprises and SAAM Towage represents.
“We look forward to many successful years of cooperation and success,” Leighton said.
SAAM Towage has been a marine fixture providing tug services in Canada for more than 65 years and providing services to vessels calling on the Port of Prince Rupert.
“Our tugs support the safe transit of the international trading vessels to and from the terminals crewed with local community members, who work closely with BC Coast Pilots to mitigate risks and ensure the coastline is protected,” SAAM Towage stated.
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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