The article we wrote was during a time we ourselves were learning so much about who did what said what and since that date we have leaned so much more and found so much more evidence that this was a conspiracy by people who could not even tell the same lie consistently. Be sure to read the much newer revelations about this in our recent article Memory Lane – Like peas in a pod.
Our intention here is to prove and end the debate over who the present day Smogelgem is, and who it is not.
This debate has gone on far to long and its time for the Laksamshu to come clean on the truth. Cheif Mikhlikhlekh or better known as Johnny David testified that his father was Chief Smogelgem.
From court transcripts we also know that quoting directly from court testimony.
Q Your pole, that is the pole of Maxlaxlex, was carved by Thomas George, is that
A Yes, it was Thomas George who did all the carvings on
the totem pole.
Q And Thomas George was the husband of Mary George?
A Yes he was the wife of Mary George.
AHusband of Mary George and since Mary George could not carve the pole, Thomas George carved the pole and when the moneys were paid for carving the pole, all the money
went to Mary George.
Q Mary George was related to your father, Smogelgem?
A Mary George was my father’s grandchild. That is how the business is done.
Q Just to clarify that, is that the Wet’suwet’en tradition that your father’s relations are responsible for carving your pole?
A Yes, they are the ones, yes. And Thomas George’s sons are alive today, Leonard George and Andy George.
Q And Leonard George presently holds your father’s name
A Yes he does.
If anyone wants to question 2 issues in regards to Gloria George and her right as a successor as well as qualifications, we did establish right of succession here, and we also see she fulfilled the qualifications as laid by Wet’suwet’en Law.
For more evidence refer to the photos and coverage of Gloria and Andrew George in our article here. in particular the reference to Chief Smogelgem’s regalia (Blanket) looks like. It bears the killer whale logo on both sides and a large sun made of shining sequins in top center, as does that of Gloria’s regalia. The headdress in this case is grouse/killer whale.
Now compare that to a man that when he was barely old enough to be called an adult, 18 years ago, declaring he was already Chief Smogelgem, What did the Office of the Wet’suwet’en do about it? Absolutely nothing.
When they managed to attract the attention of the Globe and Mail, this is what the chiefs said.
The Unist’ot’en camp has been endorsed by five prominent Wet’suwet’en house chiefs, part of a hereditary system of 13 house groups that fall under five clans. The five men (with their Indigenous title, followed by their house group and clan) are: John Ridsdale (Na’Moks) from Rafters on Beaver House under the Tsayu clan; Warner William (Knedebeas) from Dark House under the Gilseyhu clan; Jeff Brown (Madeek) from Where it Lies Blocking the Trail under the Gitdumden clan; Ron Mitchell (Hagwilnegh) from House of Many Eyes under the Laksilyu clan; and Warner Naziel (Smogelgem) from Sun House under the Laksamshu clan.
Mr. Naziel took over the Smogelgem title from Ms. George.
Five Chiefs none of them were from the Sun House, and Warner Naziel is NOT from the Sun House, so it begs under whose authority can they strip titles? Nothing in Wet’suwet’en Law gives them that right, I publicly challenge them to prove they have that right.
Let look closer at Warner Naziel, first look at his blanket, its completely the wrong blanket for the Sun House.
Here is what the Smogelgem blanket should look like.
A further study on the family of Warner Naziel shows the real clan he belongs to the Owl House and that house already has a hereditary chief by the name of Kloum Khun, now Alphonse Gagnon of the Owl House.
According to Alphonse Gagnon, Warner Naziel’s mother is his sister. In a matrilineal descent system, an individual is considered to belong to the same descent group as their mother. This matrilineal descent pattern is in contrast to the more common pattern of patrilineal descent from which a family name is usually derived.
So both Alphonse and his sister would share the same hereditary house of their mother.
If Alphonse is from the Owl House, in this image EGO his mother is from the Owl House, then the sister of Alphonse is also of the Owl House, and so is Warner Naziel from the Owl House. Therefore the only way Warner Naziel could become a hereditary chief is if Alphonse Gagnon passed on the name Chief: Kloum Khun.
So its very clear that Warner Naziel could never get the name Smogelgem, it belongs to the Sun House also of the Laksamshu Clan. There is a third house in that clan called Twisted House, but all records of family members died off during a disease epidemic. If it was an available protocol to jump from one house to another in regards to earning the position of hereditary chief then someone would have taken the position of hereditary chief for the Twisted House a long time ago.
That is not how a matrilineal descent system works, not even inside the Wet’suwet’en system. It seems the Wet’suwet’en Law is being used as a means of blind eye convenience for the “Wet’suwet’en Five” They do the song and dance for the world press to see, but in real life they do not support or apply Wet’suwet’en Law.
I say this because first of all in order to strip the title away from someone, it means they have already conceded that they have the title. We also in previous article have shown to two legal documents where the Office of the Wet’suwet’en indicated by sworn oath that Gloria George is Smogelgem.
The Office of the Wet’suwet’en have hidden from the public, the exact rule within Wet’suwet’en Law leaving the public to “assume” its part of Wet’suwet’en Law. They simply shrug it off and say “Eagle down Is Our Law” from a book written by Antonia Mills who is a professor in First Nations studies at the University of Northern British Columbia.
The only way the Office of the Wet’suwet’en could legally stop Gloria George, or even Darlene Glaim from using their position as legal hereditary chiefs, is to get a court order forbidding them to use it. In doing so they would have to prove they had the right to remove their titles. Likewise if they claim that any agreements they enter into are invalid, once again they would have to prove that they had the right to strip hereditary chiefs of their title.
It begs an even larger question, how can the hereditary chief of one house strip the title from another hereditary chief from a house they have no say in?
The following must be an outrageous lie, how can they groom Warner, when they already gave the title to Alphonse Gagnon? Warner’s mother is from the Owl House and so are the parents of Alphonse Gagnon, who are also Warner’s grandparents from the mother side.
Other than by sheer ignorance, its hard to understand how such a mistake could happen, barring it was not an intentional attempt to circumvent Wet’suwet’en Law.
“Mr. Naziel said his parents and grandparents “were preparing me far in advance” to become a hereditary chief. “From the age of 3 or 4 years old, I would sit at my mother’s feet at each feast while my grandmother sat nearby, learning what was happening and being told how things were working,” Mr. Naziel said.”
Next look at what Warner Naziel says to the Globe and Mail.
“Mr. Naziel said Ms. George crossed the line when she aligned her herself with Coastal GasLink. “After we realized that she was representing herself to government and industry, including Coastal Gaslink, as both having the authority of a head chief and also the backing of the clan, our clan held a feast and formally rescinded the name Smogelgem,” said Mr. Naziel, who laid claim to the title in 2016. “All of the hereditary chiefs of my clan, including me, witnessed this and spoke.”
Even though all clan meetings are recorded in the last 20 years, there is no record of the Laksamshu clan meeting, all of the hereditary chiefs (there is only one other hereditary chief in the Laksamshu clan) leads me to believe there was never a clan meeting that took place, what did take place was a meeting by the “Wet’suwet’en Five” and there is a record of that meeting. In order for a clan meeting to take place, it must be formerly announced, it was not.
There are so many inconsistencies coming from Warner Naziel, its clear he either does not have the capacity to understand the truth, or simply chooses not to tell the truth
The question of why the “Wet’suwet’en Five” allowed Warner Naziel to claim he is Smogelgem, contrary to Wet’suwet’en Law is one issue, even more brazen and bazaar is that long before anyone ever dreamed of the Wet’suwet’en Matrilineal Coalition, Warner Naziel for the last 19 Years has claimed he is Chief Smogelgem, and for 19 years the Office of the Wet’suwet’en never once corrected him. not even when they were filling out legal documents naming Gloria George as Chief Smogelgem.
Instead of punishing him for attempting to steal the position of hereditary chief, they actually endorsed him to the press as hereditary chief Smogelgem, in complete violation of Wet’suwet’en Law.
Yet when it comes to Gloria George a highly respected elder as well, the “Wet’suwet’en Five” like a gang of hoodlums raid the meeting she is in, to uphold Wet’suwet’en Law.
What a FARCE!
No wonder that the other three out of five Wet’suwet’en communities refuse to be part of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, who hold control over all 5 clans. Three out of the five communities are legally operating outside of Office of the Wet’suwet’en’s controlled system and Witset is also doing so as well, that makes four out of five who do not want to be told what to do by the “Wet’suwet’en Five”
There is only one path to Wet’suwet’en unity, first the Hereditary Chiefs need to put every member from all five communities on equal footing. To do that they would have to relinquish control for the greater well being of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Rule by force has already proven to be a disastrous failure.
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Hmmmm. Exactly what I’ve been telling people as well. I have a firm grasp of hereditary system and protocols and I read the same details in Delgumuukw- Johnny David testimony. I personally met Warner around 8 or 9 years ago and he introduced himself as “Toghestay”. He started calling himself Smoglem around 5 years ago if I recall correctly. He had a chip on his shoulder then and was calling all nations who settled treaties “sellouts and traitors”, calling down some of the very nations (and people) who would later turn up to support the Unistoten camp on Jan 9, 2019. I guess he didn’t learn early on that you don’t “burn bridges” you need to cross later. A short-sighted man. The items he passed out to secure the name “smoglem” were received with awe- guns and such. Price of deceit is high indeed. Nothing more than a farce, for someone who would have to wait much longer to get a chiefs name the proper way. This will not play out they envisioned in the end. Just wait until the chiefs start asking about the “go fund me pages” with thousands of dollars. These Go Fund Me pages were started by Freda, Molly, Warner, Rob Alfred and friends- just wait until the chiefs start asking for their cut…that’s a lot of money and no clear mandate for how it will be spent.
PS. the headdress is a whale with a bird inside (looks like an owl). the whale dorsal fin is at the top and fireweed comes out the side. the whale tail is directly below the bird and wraps upward. the blanket crest is wrong and should have 2 whales with a person in center according to Johnny David.
This is a gutless attempt at misinformation. The author made no attempt to take credit for the work in this article. How can you trust this information? No citations or links to tangible evidence. What a crock. Don’t quit your day job.
Editors Note: This is exactly why we do not allow outside interference, this coward posts from Nanaimo, yes we can tell exactly where you post from. We thought we would share one from the outhouse files. But your right, we make no attempt to take credit, or make profit, and all the facts (evidence) is in the article, but you make no attempt to prove any of the information to be incorrect, so your only problem is you do not know who wrote it. The citations are there, if you bothered to read it, as are the links. We get a lot of comments, I first look at where they came from, based on that I hit delete if your not living in our region, regardless if they are for or against.
Shaw Communications Inc. GPS 49.1659 -123.94 = Nanaimo
as a chief weca the i ve noticed that the ow office as they call themselves now take anyone who is available to be cheif so they can get documents signed asap which allocates money fer them then the manager debbie wrangles them to do her dirty werk like rd blockades to go after more money to pay their high wages .We suddenly have a new so called chief who gets drunk the goes on tv calling himself chief of all chiefs what a crock its shamefull all these instant indians are are now our leaders close that damn office down stop the people who are lining their pockets for good they are lying about the hereditary system and ow office gives em a cheque to shut them up the big name held by warn n should go to the georges that my great grampas name
Hello, your website is great! While I don’t live in you region, my son is Wet’suwet’en of the Witset Band.
Keep up the good work in getting the other side of the story out!
The weisaling being practiced by the 5 misogynistic dictators is going to negatively impact my grandchildren. And in the here and now is doing much harm to the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
I also stand in strong support of the three amazing woman that were wrongly stripped of their Hereditary Cheif status.
My name is Tsaskiy, and our Gitdimd’en clan has created a paper trail of our attempts to be consulted regarding how the “Wet’suwet’en Five” have been conducting business under the false guise of Wet’suwet’en Law.
They seem to have an identity crisis. On one hand, they owe their existence to the fact that Office of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs operate under the Societies Act and have no seat in the feast hall to make decisions they are making to perpetuate their existence; but they want to be recognized as operating under the Hereditary system as well.
First, my experience as CEO and head of both the provincial United Native Nations, and the federal Native Council of Canada for fourteen years taught me that the method the OWHC follows is nowhere close to how a Non Profit Society is operated.
There are supposed to be proper notices of Annual General Meetings, annual elections to choose executive officers, to receive mandates for the coming year, to provide annual audited statements, to provide open communication with all members and so much more.
None of these have been evident, and meetings are always held to accommodate those who choose to follow this nondescript and far from legal receptor for program dollars from federal sources that only allow funds to be spent primarily for First Nation/Status Indian members on reserve; this is according to the federally mandated policy that excludes off-territory/off-reserve members through DIA policy.
When inquiring about any information about these arbitrarily called meetings with no accommodation for those of us who cannot possibly attend, we are met with rude and patronizing attitudes, which have become part of our paper trail.
When asking simple questions as non-profit society laws require answers to the membership for, we are, and have been publicly labeled as trouble-makers who should be dealt with in a shame feast. None of these actions reflect Wet’suwet;en Law and how hereditary chiefs need to conduct themselves.
Indeed the opposite is true, as depicted in the article about my aunt and father clan member, Smogilthgem, Gloria George, who has been vilified and verbally abused by their uninformed public actions. The same abuse has been leveled toward Our Gitdimden Matriarch Gilughgun, Rita George.
She has also been publicly verbally abused by these so called hereditary chiefs. If these folks supporting the Wet’suwet’en Five were trained properly, this would be the first law they would learn…to conduct themselves so as not to bring shame on our clans, and especially how to show proper respect for Deni Zeh, Tsako Zeh in public or otherwise. Their actions prove otherwise.
Above all, there is no evidence of where the Wet’suwet’en Five got the mandate to insert themselves as our nations’ spokespersons via the OWHC, and where the mandate comes from to pay themselves salary, travel and honorariums to publicly parade around in regalia, some of which are blatantly incorrect.
There is no evidence as a non-profit society, or the hereditary system they purport to follow, from whence these mandates originate. It seems they make up rules as they go, as they arbitrarily appoint themselves clan liaison positions and other titles that defy proper Wet’suwet’en protocol.
Meetings are held at times when it is impossible to attend with short notice and during the workweek when those of us working to survive off-territory cannot participate; nor is the agenda explained to us. For instance, the next Git’dimd’en meeting for march of this year is called at 4:30 pm on a Friday. Sure, we may plug in by telephone, but how realistic is it to expect us to patch in while we are likely still at work or commuting, or busy with our school children at that time of day.
I was embarrassed and extremely disappointed when the OWHC chiefs held a so-called Xmas feast for the urban Wet’suwet’en at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Center on December 8, 2018. Our feast, for which we sat around waiting to be served for at least two hours, consisted of a bowl of soup and two pieces of fry bread, and a small cup of Nowuss, and the Wet’suwet’en Five et al, sat in the middle of the hall feeding themselves first, after which they disappeared from the hall, re-appearing all decked out in regalia, proper or not, and literally paraded themselves around the hall displaying their hubris, and later seating themselves against the wall and giving us “we think of you all the time” speeches.
What about simply consulting? They consult like the government does; little or not at all. After Warner Naziel declared to the whole gathering, that he was Smogilthgem of the Owl house, we departed soon after this blatantly false claim, as they totally ignored our clan chiefs and many other urban house chiefs in self-aggrandizing fashion.
We were treated as though they regarded us as “dumb urban Indians” and they graced us with their presence. Consultation with us as to how to conduct meetings in the urban center where we are scrutinized by other nations, many who supported us wholeheartedly throughout our Delgamuukw-Gisdayway court case, would have been a simple protocol to observe, especially through mere consultation about the urban landscape.
The Wet’suwet’en Five et al, would have then been able to acknowledge hereditary chiefs and dignitaries in attendance from other nations, who definitely were not impressed by this ignorant conduct.
My recently acquired MED degree and concomitant project report has now been officially registered with the UVIC library. As a means of placing this disrespect and abuse of ill-gotten power on record, the descendants of Gisdayway, Thomas George, and Tsaybasa, Mary George, academically recorded our marginalization by government, and BY our own OWHC, for posterity and a means of showing the other side of the coin.
My father clan member Smogilthgem, Gloria George, daughter of Thomas and Mary George, is one of the participants in our study which is named after Gloria’s mother Tsebasa’s message to us children as she stretched and tanned hides, sewed and beaded clothing, moccasins, gloves that she made as we listened to and participated in her teachings.
The title of this study derives from her teachings and is registered academically as “You’ve got to paddle your own canoe: The effects of federal legislation in participation and exercising of, traditional governance while living off-reserve.”
Precious little of the boots-on-the-ground teachings we received of our clan territories through Nagadildez, is reflected with accuracy through the treatment we report from the parties purporting to represent themselves as properly trained chiefs.
If they were properly trained, there would be no need for the reporting of this unfortunate colonial phenomenon, or of the disrespect displayed toward Smogilthgem or Gilughgun, or toward all the members of this study.
We have devised a well thought out strategy to mitigate all this confusion, and it is primarily following the hereditary governance registered in the evidence our chiefs described in our 1997 SCC Delgamuukw- Gisdayway decision, and is reflected in my project report, which according to Indigenous research methodology, and Wet’suwet’en Law, must be approved by all participants, and must pass rigor of same. This we have done.
The genealogy registered in our court case will guide us through this self-inflicted confusion and improperly acquired hereditary titles.
It is all there, and must be done properly in the feast hall, and with proper respect. It’s all there in the SCC decision. It doesn’t have to be made up. And yes, we are also curious as to how the loosely mandated “go fund me” funds are to be disbursed.
If it was done on behalf of the entire Wet’suwet’en Nation, then will that reflect in the fund’s disbursement? Is it fair to be holding these numerous fundraisers all around the country without explaining what this Smogilthgem article was forced to do publicly?
We know we are all cash-strapped, but we feel that active inclusion be all Wet’suwet’en members to be the more truthful and effective manner to address this problem. Five male chiefs and their supporters does not accomplish this vision that our chiefs described in the court case.
They described Wet’suwet’en Law; Not this make-it-up-as- they-go process that does not pass the scrutiny or rigor of ALL Wet’suwet’en clans’ involvement and agreement. It would have been preferable that this was done properly, and in-house, but their public displays with half truths put us all in a position of having to the publicly launder our issues in public, simply to provide the other side of their publicly displayed coin…..with PROOF and Truths as befitting the hereditary process.
After all, the supporters of our cause deserve nothing less when we tap into their pockets for support. I call on our nation to do a full review of these actions that reflect on all of us, so that we may all work together. Our study report shows how this can be done through following what our chiefs, most of whom are no longer with us, have described in The 1997 Delgamuukw-Gisdayway SCC landmark court decision.
Thank you for this post and here’s my points:
*The actions of the 5 are basically saying “if you’re not from a reserve, you don’t count!” Traditionalist? What about all the non-reserve Wet’suwet’en who only see this on the media?
*Long ago, Chiefs never pranced around in public with regalia and it was only used for significant occasions.
*The public needs to know of the bullying of elders as they are asking for financial support (of course the Unisto’en and those who support the blockade won’t disclose this).
*They’ve made a mockery of the traditional system
A good article recently from the Globe & Mail that takes a hard look at some of the issues within the Wet’suwet’en Nation and the factions at work involving Hereditary Chief status and such. A fairly unbiased look at a rather complex situation.
It is important to point out that high profile Unist’ot’en clan spokesperson Freda Huson (central in the G & M article below) not so long ago disavowed any connection or relationship to the Office of the Wet’suwet’en represented by the Hereditary Chiefs and declared her clan a sovereign and autonomous entity separate from their authority. She has obviously since rescinded that attitude and returned to the safety and/or authority of the chiefs. The article is unclear as to whether she herself is a hereditary chief herself…or not? They seem confused about that.
Boy…have things changed a lot up here over the last few years. A whole lotta shaking going on!
Here’s the link to the G&M article….https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-wetsuweten-hereditary-system-coastal-gaslink-pipeline-protests-bc/?fbclid=IwAR00m5gGWR6zi8Eyc-6HHmf5YmauX9Qk8d0PyidSO83w0kF-qo8xhh7i_Cs
AND…here’s the link to Freda’s proclamation of Unist’ot’en sovereignty some years back…http://www.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/3175