The following in black print is a collaborated effort of Chief Na’moks (John Risdale) in conjunction with the Globe and Mail, to make it appear as if he is doing his best to reconcile differences in the nation. To share our perspective of what is being said, we will post our comments in blue. It is nothing short of a trap intended to bully everyone into silence by no show, or by not allowing them a voice and silencing anyone who does not conform.
For the first time in a generation, the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership is coming together and holding a series of all-clan meetings, as the dispute over the Coastal GasLink pipeline inspires protests across the country.
Not true at all they have been hosting feasts all across the Wet’suwet’en territory for months on end with the money Horgan gave them.
Chief Na’moks (John Risdale) of the Tsayu Clan said hereditary chiefs will be holding three meetings, one in Witset, B.C. north of Smithers on Wednesday evening, followed by meetings on the north and south coasts to include Wet’suwet’en nation members who live outside traditional territory.
The meetings were sparked by a letter from Andrew George, a wing chief of the Grizzly House, amid concern for the safety of youth participating in the national solidarity protests, reports APTN.
Na’moks said all-clan meetings have taken place over smaller issues such as deaths in the community, but “on an issue like this, it’s the first in my lifetime.”
But Na’moks said the outcome of the discussions is not in question.
“This project will not happen, but our love for each other will continue,” he said.
Here we are having a meeting for what reason, to affirm the pipeline will not proceed?
Na’moks said the meetings are open to all Wet’suwet’en who are members of the house system, including elected band leaders.
Na’moks point out, however, that their elected status in band government, giving them power over matters on Indigenous reserves under the Indian Act, not Wet’suwet’en law, won’t give them a special voice.
So elected leaders are welcome but they will not be giving a voice, wow, talk about reconciliation, The voters voted for CGL by way of voting for the band office, but they will not be allowed a voice. This in spite of the differences be front and center is the elected status in band government, so you are effectively saying you are going to control the content of this meeting.
Now I have a question for you John? Under what authority are you making up all these rules, correct me if I am wrong, you are not above or higher in authority than the chiefs you excommunicated from the proceedings. True reconciliation comes only be reinstating your equals, your peers, not by ostracizing those who disagree with you on political issues.
You cannot say you are having a meeting with the heads of all clans when in fact 3 Herditary Chiefs have been replaced by people not qualified nor are they hereditary as per required under Wet’suwet’en law.
“It’s not a debate. This is just to outline this is what we’re doing, this is where we’re going,” he said.
It’s not a debate he is saying, so we are here to kiss his proverbial ass, correct? Now why would anyone bother to attend, or is the idea to drive them away so they will not attend as has been the tradition since the old guard of hereditary chiefs passed away.
“Only certain people are allowed to speak, and it will be highly respectful. That’s our law. Yes there are going to be people on one side or the other, and they’re a very small group, but they can’t be vocal. Only the high chiefs can decide.”
ONLY certain people are allowed to speak, so this is all about imposing their agenda on the Wet’suwet’en people.
But amid an increasingly visible division between Wet’suwet’en members who support the project and those who oppose it, Na’moks said the hope in calling the meetings is to heal.
Seriously, you expect healing by way of silencing anyone who does not agree with you? This is the ravings of a mad man in a totalitarian government. Does the word dictator not come to mind?
“There are certain stories out there, certain rhetoric that we’re at loggerheads. No, we’re not,” Na’moks added.
Wrong, the majority are not onside or you would not need to use dictarorship rules to have this meeting.
“Yes, they need a paycheque, but I think there’s better ways to get a paycheque that will look after the environment, that will look after the water, the salmon, our culture.”
Seriously, how many jobs have the Office Chiefs provided as compared to the elected council?
Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation minister Scott Fraser said he hoped the meeting would be “a good process to address some of the unity issues.”
Well there is a man who has a clue, right! Wow room for another foot in your mouth? Your government cause this problem in the first place.
“Other First Nations along the pipeline route have reconciled governance style, that sort of thing, how the hereditary and elected work together,” he said.
“That has not happened with the Wet’suwet’en, I believe that unity is a better way to go, there’s a colonial past of divide and conquer, I would suggest it’s not unfounded, those concerns, we’re trying to do the opposite here.”
Unity happens only when everyone has an equal voice, not by Office Chiefs with a loaded gun running a meeting.
The meeting comes as Wet’suwet’en supporters of the pipeline are making themselves more vocal.
“Right now the hereditary chiefs [aren’t] speaking for the whole community,” said Philip Tait, a Wet’suwet’en member who has been hired by Coastal GasLink.
Tait also expressed frustration with some elements of the solidarity protests that have sprung up outside of his community.
“I understand the part of them sticking up, but they don’t know the real story,” he said.
“You guys might be working, you might have a job, but there’s a whole bunch of us that don’t have jobs. If they’re going to create jobs, even if its temporary, we’re going to get good training out of it so that at the end of it we’ll be able to find jobs elsewhere.”
Tait also expressed frustration that many people protesting the project appear unaware of its details.
The understatement of the year, when many people were asked about the content of the pipeline they all think its bitumen from the Tarsands, when in fact the pipe starts and ends in BC
Your typical village idiot speaks about our local issues.
The $6.6-billion initiative would carry natural gas from fracking operations in the province’s northeast to a massive $40-billion plant in Kitimat where it would be compressed into LNG for export.
“This is a natural gas pipeline, it’s not oil. It’s not going to pollute the water, the soil. If there’s a problem it dissipates, but people think that oil is going to go through,” he said, adding that the exported LNG would ideally be used to offset coal use in Asian countries.
“That’s the bigger picture for the environment, for the world. I mean, the air doesn’t stop at a country. If we’re going to get their polluted air, shouldn’t we help them to try and burn less coal?
All the while, Coastal GasLink continues to gear up to recommence construction in Wet’suwet’en traditional territory, with plans to start work this week.
While the company has signed agreements with all 20 elected indigenous councils along the route, the project is opposed by hereditary chiefs who claim authority over traditional lands which were never surrendered through a treaty.
-With files from Emily Lazatin and Sarah MacDonald
Now if you want to see just how much support the chiefs have, seeing is believing, I would think. The chiefs called for an “All Clans Feast” for Feb 13th and could fill only a small portion of a normally packed sports complex.
Have a look at the invitation, then have a look at a stolen shot of the attendance, they grouped everyone into the corner of the hall due to an epic fail in turn out.
The Office chiefs really are trying hard to keep up the charade that they have the support of the clans under them, clearly they do not.
Without question locally we know the Office Chiefs do not have the support of the Wet’suwet’en, but they sure have the media duped into thinking they do.
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