Wet’suwet’en – Respecting our ancestors

Wet’suwet’en – Respecting our ancestors

The following is a letter that was narrated by a concerned elder, parts of it were translated to English by the person who submitted it, we will honour the request to keep the name confidential, given the hostilities that the subject matter presents.

Listen carefully my child, I have a lot to say, maybe its the last time I will say it, when I speak, my voice shakes, when my hands are not supported, they shake, when I walk my knees shake, I am getting old and have walked many moons. My hair is no longer grey, its white now, it humours me, when I sit with white seniors we all look the same now, were all human we all share the same problem, some of us even say the same things like kids today talk but do not listen. They talk about respecting elders but are thinking of themselves when they say it. I may not have much more time on this earth, life has been good to me, despite the angry people that walk among us, so when I leave I go wishing peace to all of you.

Fighting, so much fighting going on, and why? Our ancestors taught us we don’t own the land, we borrow it for a time, then leave it for our children to walk. Now the kids want to own the land, for what reason? To be able to live on it without working? Our creator never created earth so that you could have a life of living at the expense of others. So many of you are now saying its my land, and you never worked for a living on it.

Most elders my age will agree, even if it makes many of you angry, but today most of the people behind the fight over land have as much or more white blood in them than our forefathers blood. Some of our own matriarchs who married white settlers scream the loudest about white settlers. Your children many of them married whites as you like to call them, so your grandchildren are now only 1/4 the blood of our forefathers. Still they are the ones who scream the loudest about the evils of white settlers clearly with the intention intention of being compensated with cash. Why is white blood leading our people? My family married many white people, yours did too, you gained so much security and wisdom and now your children condemn them as settlers? Shame on you, you are as much settler as the white blood in you.

Our elders have almost unanimously said stop the fighting, you are killing us all with COVID or the stress of your actions. Molly, Adam, Warner, John,and Alec, you all ignore our requests and still have the gall to say you are respecting our ancestors. Now you are all burying your elders, shame on you for defiling our people. I am writing this in English, because most of you cannot even read or write in our own language.

Look at the fighting on our ancestors land, its not by our Wet’suwet’en people, you lead them with outsiders, you would almost have no support at all without the help of outsiders. That is not the ways of our ancestors. You are not respecting our ancestors, you are trying to create a name for yourselves so you appear more important than your ancestors. You all create new laws that never existed among our people, then tell the world its the ways of our people, you speak for us but we never asked you to speak.

There are many of you who talk about our historic land claims case Delgamuukw v British Columbia, you keep quoting Henry Alfred, however you bend his words and only repeat what fits your wars. Henry Alfred was clear, that during those days when our elders were launching that case, there would be some who temporarily would carry blankets, the names of our forefathers, but they would be restored when the Sun house was ready to take them back. It never happened even to this day, and you used those blankets to put our people at war with industry.

Now some of you prance around like you own those names, some of you stole your titles, by taking them from other elders. It not just a problem of the Likhts’amisyu, most of our clans have names that do not belong to your clan. During Delgamuukw we clearly defined what names belong to what clan, as well the names that were generic among clans.

Almost all the fighting going on today is a result of outsider interference, propping up those with temporary or stolen blankets. You know who you are, I should not have to name you, your guilt hangs around your necks when you enter the feast hall. In my entire life I have never had to protect my family from your people and that of the outsiders until the last of our elders who were witness at the Delgamuukw trial died.

Today we have to hide our words in fear of retribution from you people who want to be honoured as our new revolutionary leaders. You try to tell your GoFundMe supporters that these clans Gitxsan, Lheidli T’enneh, Nisga’a and God knows how many more, are not as you claim here to support us. They did not arrive as official delegates of their respective nations, they are the radicals from their nations, they are not leaders, they are bullies that impose themselves on others.

Let me repeat something I said, most of the wars and fighting today are created by people who have more white blood than forefathers blood, why do we listen to them? Who are they really fighting for, if you respect our elders, then listen to them. End your wars, you cannot take the land of our forefathers to the grave with you, like us you walk a land we share, not just with our forefathers, but also your children who by the way are acquiring more and more settler blood in them. Most of your grandchildren are as white as the settlers are, so stop with the racism.

Stop hating yourselves for being part white, embrace the new world, and throw away your social media, its the curse of our people, you listen to outsiders too much. Seriously I believe that internet has been the downfall of our nation, you care more about what people on social media say than what your own elders say.

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