As I sit down and pen another thought provoking article my first thoughts drift to the irony of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en headquartered in Smithers telling the people of Witset (Moricetown) that their elected officials has no jurisdiction over aboriginal lands.
That unelected Chiefs demand to have more say in the matters of their own people than the very people they claim to represent. Or wait, could it be that some family members want control, money included, while repeating history, the entire Wet’suwet’en nation gets titbits, while certain families get the majority of the pie?
If we can learn anything from history its not only band councils that were found to be corrupt, there are many instances where chiefs have also been proven to be corrupt.
What does it say about democracy, or respect when members of a clan can be stripped of their position of chief, and must suck their way back up by holding a shaming feast. You treat other human beings, fellow family members as bad as though they committed heinous crimes like murder or rape.
A shaming feast for supporting LNG, how cowardly and weak the leaders must be if they cannot even defend their positions without stripping others of theirs.
Despite holding 2 elections in Witset the mandate to support the LNG Project was upheld with a massive majority voting in favor of it, now the Chiefs are lashing back in anger, trying to stay relevant by supporting an aboriginal anarchist uprising.
You preach about how you wish to return to your yin’tah, but the truth is all your returns were done driving motorized vehicles that required pipelines on other people yin’tahs. You do not live off the land, you use the same hospitals and use all the modern benefits of the so called oppressors, its time you recognized who buttered your bread.
Repeatedly you heard from Hereditary Chiefs supporting anarchy as a means to achieve land claims, however only because you failed to do your job. Twenty One years have gone by and where is your court case to complete what Delgamuukw v. British Columbia started?
I watched as they live streamed a major event by the Hereditary Chiefs, at the peak viewers reached a high of just over 200 worldwide, and if you said 200 people were in attendance it would be an exaggeration. Yes they hooted and hollered as the Chiefs said police lied to them in regards to the blockades, yes they said police picked the time when they were weakest, taking advantage of illness and deaths. Yes they kept the colonizer theme alive and well. When asked about their legal standing on these issues there was a very quick dodge ball in action, the reply was “Our legal teams” are looking at it.
Look at the turnout, its less that what you achieved in the election held in Witset, not even a 25% was achieved even though they were able to get guests from far outside of our territory.
Then a second irony that came to mind was how that building the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre came into existence, it was mostly funded by taxpayers via a government grant, even to this day they are getting government (tax payer) grants.
Extremely lame and untrue excuses cover what should have been an apology by the chiefs for failing their people.
John Ridsdale summed it up well when he was asked what the chiefs will do next, he told the reporter, “you should know better than that, we will not give away our strategy”
So anarchy and false accusation against Canada and the RCMP, the illegal blockades, disobeying court orders are all just strategy?
YES, I am guilty of having the unfair advantage here, I can play what you said and play it over and over again, what you really said vs what you later claim to have said often turns out to be very different.
Posting videos online is a two edged sword, while you can fool the masses, we also get to prove how often your guilty of doublespeak.
The truth sadly on video shows repeated lies by the same so called leaders over and over again.
Aboriginal anarchists film what they do, then post it online or live stream it, failing to understand it become the evidence that proves they are habitual liars.
This is the era where your children can now film the truth, and you cannot turn back the clock and say you misinterpreted the smoke signal.
There was a lot of self-serving, self-justification, and I will add self-righteous anger that the government was using your sick and dying as the timing of bringing down the blockades, what a copout. You cannot break the law then expect our government to wait till you are ready to have a fight, seriously that’s a childish expectation.
I am appalled and even a bit angered that they would go so far as encourage others to defy the law, while they sit on the sidelines. If you really wanted the world’s attention, you would have been the ones holding the line, but that’s hard to do when you’re playing the other side of the fence as well.
Your duty to your people was to settle the land claims.
“The Office of the Wet’suwet’en was created as a central office for the Wet’suwet’en Nation. The Office offers many services throughout the traditional territories focusing on the main areas of Lands and Resources, Fisheries & Wildlife, Human and Social Services and Treaty Negotiations.”
It does not come cheap to run an office like the “Office of the Wet’suwet’en” it requires a lot of capital funding.
More than $1 billion in work and employment contracts also get the green light, with most of those funds going to Indigenous communities and businesses thanks to LNG.
“With a 40-year export licence, the PBAs could generate up to $5.6 billion in total benefits to B.C. First Nations. The province has additionally committed more than $34 million in payments to First Nations between the project’s development and its completion.
The $30 million Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund, which delivers training programs primarily in northern B.C., was another initiative signed by the previous government to teach Indigenous workers the skills required to work on major infrastructure projects, such as a the Coastal GasLink line.”
The problem is the money will not go to the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, it will go to the band counsil in Witset, this is why the Office of the Wet’suwet’en suddenly are making hay over the illegal blockade by the Unis’tot’en. Its not like they were behind the Unis’tot’en from the start, this is a development that happened after Wiset (Moricetown) got the funding the chiefs want.
They claim its not about the money, sorry this time most people, aboriginals included are not buying into that, they want to live like the rest of society, not protest and make smoke signals.
You would deny the benefits of this pipeline to close to 200 thousand people living in Northern BC, over an issue of who gets to spend the money, and you do not even feel selfish?
“The Office of the Wet’suwet’en is a public body performing a function of government in Canada as defined under paragraph 149(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act (Canada). On behalf of itself and the Clans of the Wet’suwet’en people the Office of the Wet’suwet’en has negotiated and settled impact benefit agreements. On behalf of itself and the Clans of the Wet’suwet’en people the Office of the Wet’suwet’en will negotiate further agreements with other commercial parties and governments which will generate revenue from such commercial parties and governments (“Future Payments).”
STOP and READ it AGAIN – its posted on the website of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, read it copy it share it with those who say the chiefs are independent, they are dependent of funds from the goverment.
So let’s be real about this, it’s about who controls the money, your beef with the police and Canadian government is a false flag over the issue of who controls the revenue derived from commercial parties and government.
The real problem is also on the heads of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, no disrespect intended, the reason we are having blockades is due to the absence of a negotiated treaty. That is the job of Hereditary Chiefs, pipelines is a diversion tactic to escape their responsibility to their own people.
Here is what Hereditary Chiefs are FAILING to do.
“The B.C. Treaty Commission says several land claim negotiations are stalled because of overlapping claims and it’s calling on First Nations to sort it out, with financial help from senior governments. The commission says the thorny problem of overlapping land claims among First Nations is the result of imposed reserve boundaries and traditional sharing of the land.”
In DELGAMUUKW V. BRITISH COLUMBIA a similar complaint by the court found.
“In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada issued an important decision, Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, that considered Aboriginal title to Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en traditional territories. The Supreme Court of Canada decided that a new trial was required to determine whether Aboriginal title had been established for these lands, and to hear from other Indigenous nations which have a stake in the territory claimed. The new trial has never been held, meaning that Aboriginal title to this land, and which Indigenous nation holds it, has not been determined.”
With all the funding and years going by where is the progress report? Why have we NOT returned to the courts and had that new trial to determine the land we own? You make this all about the “me” instead of the “we”.
Again from Delgamuukw v. British Columbia
“Lamer C.J. found that the trial judge’s treatment of the various forms of oral history presented by the plaintiffs to prove traditional occupation and use of the territories claimed had failed to satisfy these principles which, as he noted, had been formulated subsequent to the trial decision.(20)
Aboriginal Title in Canada (par. 109-139)
The Chief Justice disagreed with both parties’ characterization of Aboriginal title, that of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en for being too broad, that of the province for being too narrow. In his view, the content of Aboriginal title “lies somewhere in between” (par. 111).”
So it’s on the shoulders of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en that failing to complete what Delgamuukw started, what is the problem?
Or is the blockades a new form of forced negotiations or a means to get more funding? The bottom line is you have to accept your failure to negotiate a treaty that puts your/our people in harm’s way.
OK, Yes I am getting old too, I am rambling on as many chiefs do, way off-track, (it’s an age thing) so let’s get back to the topic. For over a decade now I have heard First Nations leaders say and demand that anyone who has any aboriginal blood in them must have all the rights and privileges a full blooded aboriginal.
The logic behind it comes from many reasons, one being that you cannot stop your (our) kids from getting married, to what radical extremists call “Immigrants or colonizers.” In ordinary English it means anyone who is not a status Indian.
The truth is as time goes by, the people holding and controlling the offices of aboriginals will become more and more “colonizer” (their label) until someone with only 1% aboriginal blood, and 99% colonizer blood become the grand chief.
Beware of what you wished for, this issue of one drop of aboriginal blood will be your own demise. It’s only a matter of time when the more educated ones take over the reins and will vote to end rule by birthright. We already see that many, even among the radicals have less and less aboriginal DNA.
Here is a highly recommended read on the issue of roadblocks by aboriginals.
“In the latest important decision from the Supreme Court of Canada on aboriginal law, the court held that individual members of an Aboriginal group cannot invoke “self-help” remedies—such as blockades—when claiming that the government breached its duty to consult the Aboriginal group before making a decision affecting the group. “
Supreme Court of Canada holds Aboriginal rights cannot be used to justify road blockades.
Yet you hear John Ridsdale keep repeating that Canada by its own rules are breaking the law. Seriously John you need the advice of a lawyer.
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The say the the Elected Band does not speak for everyone but the same to them (OWC), they do no have the right to include all of us in their antics. Not everyone agrees with their outrage. Some think of them as an embarrassment, our ancestors and elders do not behave like this.