EDITORS NOTE: Due to the importance of locals needing to talk about this, we will allow this letter to the editor, its through talking to each other that we can avoid a further escalation that will result in violence if the RCMP do not get control of the radical elements escalating violence in the Bulkley Valley.
Thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say, and to the editor for publishing this letter.
Let me start by saying I do not subscribe to the ideology that I must be aboriginal to have the right to an opinion on issues that affect all citizens and residents of the Bulkley Valley, for far to long too many insolent kids and adults have been getting away with using racism, colonialism, white privilege, reconciliation, 60’s scoop, to protect their often ignorant and self centred arguments. They use it to shield them from having to back up their mostly racist ideas, then turning everything around and spewing out terms like white privilege, reconciliation, 60’s scoop as a ways and means of justifying their arrogance and opposition to logic and rational civilized discussions. Either you can hold a civilized conversation without ducking points, or you simply cannot support your claims and need these excuses to get away with your arguments.
Likewise I am also completely fed up with kids telling me we owe them a free ride because they were here first. For starters you were never here first, your great grand parents may or may not have been here before many 3rd and 4th generation Canadians, it still does not give you the right to be insolent towards non aboriginals or seniors. and that the seniority of age supersedes the authority of your genetic history. Now we have that out of the way, lets talk.
Many non aboriginals (myself included) from this generation and even in previous generations fought alongside our aboriginal brothers and sisters to insure aboriginal rights were respected, so putting it bluntly you have no right to rudely cast us aside now you feel you no longer need our help. I am referring to this younger generation who seem to continually spit out words like apples, colonials and have white privilege stuck on their tongues. Many of your parents and grand parents have passed on, when they were alive we hugged whenever we met, we respected each other, now many of you act as if we are your enemy.
OK to be fair there are a lot of good kids and adults (aboriginal) that are respectful and deserve respect as well, most of them are working hard at improving their lives as well as the lives of the people in their respective communities, they are mostly the silent majority, and my comments are directed at the noisy agitators.
I have had the privilege of living a long life alongside many of your ancestors many who I would consider as close as brothers and sisters, who would be appalled at the way some of you try to represent your nations today. Get off your high horse and start by being as respectful as you expect others to be towards you.
Those people, are the same ones that label progressive aboriginals as apples, sellouts and many other adjectives, simply because they were educated enough to understand that their people, their ancestors had certain rights and entitlements that were agreed to, and wish to use those rights to make progressive advancements for their nation. Years ago a very common statement (yes before most of you teenagers were born) by the same minded people who want their people to continue to wallow in poverty, would tell anyone who was getting educated or had a good decent job, “What’s wrong with you, your to good to drink with us at the bar?”
All of this, referring to everything I have written above this line is a consequences of aboriginal nations allowing their nations to be hijacked by the individuals who created the blockades on the Morice River Road. The old saying all roads lead to Rome, here all of the trouble, the police, the violence, the sabotage, all lead to a small group of radicals on the Morice River Road, and what the Gitsan Chiefs do not seem to realize or care about, is they are being played in support of their phony land defenders.
Today there are some amazing leaders, to mention a few MLA Ellis Ross, Chris Sankey, Greg Desjarlais, and Crystal Smith, Karen Ogen, Theresa Tait-Day, are the first of many that come to mind, they are the pioneers of a new generation of First Nations that serve as role models for the younger generation. We need to support them and end the sick ideology that the fist and the bottle are the role models our kids should follow, we need to make it clear that that booze, drugs and violence are weapons of the ignorant.
We are all in this together, like it, hate it, nothing you or I can do will change that. We are stuck with each other, aboriginal, non aboriginal, the wise ones, the dull and ignorant ones, yes we are all in this together. I needed to say that because all to often we hear ignorant individuals saying words like “white privilege, or colonizers” when you do not support some of their outlandish ideas.
The Gitxsan are part of our common history in the Bulkley Valley, along with the Wet’suwet’en on the aboriginal side, then all the various nationalities that made our nation called Canada and are all members of the Bulkley Valley in an equal way, neither as privileged, or underdogs for lack of a better word.
Recently we have seen a number of stunning headlines, in particular I am referring to these ones. “Chiefs ban RCMP’s ‘militarized’ squadron from Gitxsan lands
Community-Industry Response Group not welcome on Gitxsan lands, say chiefs” and RCMP do not agree to abide by Gitxsan chiefs’ ban on ‘militarized squadron’ C-IRG is a last resort for when protesters are no longer peaceful, lawful, safe: RCMP spokesperson.
In my wildest dreams I could never even fathom statements like those happening in the 60’s 70’s 80’s or even the 90’s this is pure modern day antics from attention seekers. The RCMP and the C-IRG operate under the sovereignty Canada holds over both ceded and unceded lands, if its in Canada they will always have jurisdiction, only fools will tell you otherwise.
Certain individuals were really ramping up the verbal warfare (for the press) ““We were concerned that RCMP escalation at blockades set up on Gitxsan Laxyip (lands) and on the Anaat (traditional fishing holes owned by the Gitxsan) where trespassers are asked to vacate Gitxsan jurisdiction, could result in deaths if escalation and militarization of the RCMP continued,” says Simogyat Gwiiyeehl, (Brian Williams) a Gitxsan Huwilp Government Hereditary Chief.”
Seriously the gall they have to threaten the RCMP this way? Seriously some people really need an education in understanding sovereignty and that it was never on the table as an option for First Nations. The RCMP have absolute jurisdiction on all Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en lands, they have a duty to protect and serve the crown and its people, regardless of race,colour or creed, and any attempts to stop it is a criminal act and will always be dealt with accordingly. People like Molly Wickham (who is technically speaking a Gitxsan by matrilineal rule) do not get to tell the police where and where they cannot go, they are governed by the crown, and anarchists would do well to understand that they could be facing jail time if they break the law.
Quite a twist on what really occurred, blockades of railway tracks and any public roads have never been legal and to suggest police did something obscurely wrong by applying existing laws borders ludicrous. This is where we desperately need educated aboriginal leaders, people who understand not only their own laws but also the laws they live under, and that they do not hold sovereignty of Canadian lands, that title will always be retained by the crown.
Putting it bluntly in simple English, Canada will never relinquish its sovereignty of land governed by the crown. It hopefully will give the aboriginal people rights and entitlement to what still needs to become their land and rights, but that will never include sovereignty. not one court case in the past has ever suggested that Canada should or will give up its sovereignty, so the notion that the chiefs could tell the RCMP where they can or cannot go is a pipe-dream. These chiefs would really shorten the road to a successful future by trying to work with Canada on settling claims that are still on the table as opposed to pretending they will take back sovereignty, it will never happen.
The sovereignty of Canada is, in strictly legal terms, the power of Canada to govern itself and its subjects; it is the ultimate source of Canada’s law and order. In a broader sense it means all people living in Canada, and Canada as defined by its borders. If Canada allowed nations withing this nation, they would have the right to invite Soviet or China’s military to assist in protecting their lands, this will never be tolerated and will never happen. The Government of Canada does recognize Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination, including the right to freely pursue their economic, political, social, and cultural development, there in lies a big difference.
Editors Note: We added the link to phony Land defenders to assist those who did not know the origin of that label.
Gitsxan already have sovereignty. They have created their own park system and have escorted fisherman off of their rivers for several years by gunpoint. Its only a matter of time before they are given their own nation out of the traditional territory. Its the non natives that have to worry as the provincial government is subtly selling them out. Bachrach and Cullen have no cares for this area except as a way to make money and hopefully follow their hero Hogan to a plum private sector job. The Canadian courts have made sure in the last few years that any court case brought up by any FN will fall in their favour. And only a year or two ago, Na’Moks told a Smithers newspaper that the hereditary chiefs wanted 100% control and said that nobody will know the difference except that the non natives would not have the right to choose the leaders