Both Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en nations claim to follow matrilineal rule, but do they do so in practice?
Let’s have a look at what they both claim to follow, and observe how this rule seems to be the subject of a convenience or inconvenience for others. There is a reason for this article, a growing number of prominent individuals claiming to be the authority on Wet’suwet’en governance are by virtue of matrilineal birth records members of the Gitxsan Nation. This picking and choosing has become akin to gender identity, who do you identify as. This is exactly what the people blow have done, they choose to identify as Wet’suwet’en but matrilineal rules say otherwise.
The fact the mainstream media did a complete miss on this is stunning, its not that hard to prove what we are about to prove.
Then somehow many of these same people, also claim that only they themselves can decide who is or is not a Wet’suwet’en, (inclusive of at least one person we are aware of that is 100% pure Caucasian, and was labelled a Wet’suwet’en matriarch by John Ridsdale, who publicly has been claiming that Wet’suwet’en status, is decided by people like himself. There is one other common denominator, they are all connected to the blockaders up on the Morice River road.
“Clearly they state “all descendents of Gitxsan ancestry derive membership from their mother.”
In a true matrilineal society, you will be a member based on who your mother was, and her mother and her mother, so your origin determines what first nations group you belong to, and not as is being done today, picking and choosing what nation you are a descendant of by using paternal rule when its convenient or more profitable.
Now lets look at the Wet’suwet’en nation, the following screenshot is from the Office of the Wet’suwet’en where they state “In terms of kinship, a House is a matrilineage of people so closely related that the members know how they are related. In other words, one’s closest relatives on one’s mother’s side are in one’s own house. When the houses existed as physical structures, the feasts took place in front of the house. The feasts drew together the members of the house and clan who lived in the house as well as those who lived with their husband’s houses.”
“Titles and land are passed through the mother’s clan, anthropologist Antonia Mills said in a 2019 affidavit submitted in court proceedings related to the Coastal GasLink project. A person born to a Wet’suwet’en woman is considered Wet’suwet’en.”
“So it stands to reason if a woman was born Gitxsan her children would also be Gitxsan.”
The problem originated as a result of much confusion and lost history in the 50’s 60’s and early 70’s as land claims were nonexistent and it was only many decades later that people started to track their family history. Birth and death records are now much more traceable and available to the general public than ever before, they exist in goverment both in death and birth records as well as within local communities, resulting is some major surprises when you look back using the matrilineal protocol, because many people simply reverted back to the partiality system in the 50’s 60’s and early 70’s and since that time did not make the needed corrections, so the myth of heritage still continues with many to this day.
Some did find the truth, but due to what they stand to lose are making every effort to silence correction.
Mistakes in the past were made, and nobody had reason to care. Many of the mistakes were made as a result of accidentally assuming that if your father was Wet’suwet’en you would be as well. Today we are talking about lands that could potentially be worth billions in revenue, so correcting ownership is a must. With research we can locate the rightful heirs to unceded lands as opposed to giving them away to people who are not even legitimate Wet’suwet’en. Yes they are by way of paternal heritage Wet’suwet’en, however to follow that route means to abandon matrilineal rules, sadly due to the financial factors involved.
Yes doing it right will disenfranchise a lot of people, yes it will be painful, however it will result in people today who are legitimate heirs being recognized as such, so for every loser, there will also be justice for those who are currently being disenfranchised of lands they rightfully own. We are all aware that correcting history will be very uncomfortable to many who have adopted Wet’suwet’en as thier nation, only to discover they are not Wet’suwet’en.
“If you are going to make the claim “Eagle Down is our Law” then you must abide by those laws, otherwise the laws become just another joke.”
So its clear that by way of both nations heritage, that both derive their house groups in a line that follows the mothers, and yet we have a certain number of agitators who seem to be above the laws they themselves profess to follow. Over the years we have seen some very shocking revelations in regards to Wet’suwet’en matriarchs, who have Gitxsan matrilineality. If not for their claims to be speaking for the Wet’suwet’en Nation as a whole it might not matter so much, but the opposite is true, these women and men are extremely vocal and are actually trying to control the outcome for generations to come, and loading the proverbial dice in their own favor. So we will end the intro here, and get to the list of discovery’s we have made over the years.
The names below are not in any kind of chronological or order of importance, but rather the order is based on what we find first.
The following in a must read article “Second Wet’suwet’en hereditary subchief speaks out against protest leaders”
Part Two – The wrongful claim to title
“Titles and land are passed through the mother’s clan”
As all three Alphonse Gagnon, Adam Gagnon, and nephew Warner Naziel are all active in the takeover of Wet’suwet’en yintah, are all descendants of the same Gitxsan matriarch we will post them all together. All three of them intent on carving out a large tract of land for themselves under the pretext of doing it on behalf of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
We have written much about both Alphonse Gagnon and his brother Adam Gagnon, and their involvement in the illegal blockades, and or vandalism of equipment. We will post links to those stories at the end of this entry. Going back to an article posted in the Globe and Mail, we read what a highly respected member of the Moricetown/Witset community explains in regards to the antics of the Gagnon family members.
“These five so-called hereditary chiefs, who say they are making decisions on behalf of all Wet’suwet’en, do not speak for the Wet’suwet’en,” Gary Naziel said. “They are neither following nor abiding by our traditional laws. They are changing them to suit their own purposes, to benefit themselves,” he told The Globe and Mail.”
“Mr. Naziel adds, many hereditary chiefs and matriarchs are being disrespected, bullied and targeted. This echoes what Rita George, a hereditary subchief and expert in Wet’suwet’en law, said on Thursday. Mr. Naziel, from the Laksilyu (Small Frog) Clan who was groomed for leadership from birth, says the Wet’suwet’en name “is being dragged through the mud and used by other First Nations across Canada to wage their own battles.”
“We are a matrilineal system. We inherit our lineage from our mothers. Alphonse Gagnon, Warner Naziel and Frank Alec are not from the Wet’suwet’en nation. [Mr. Gagnon] and [Mr. Naziel] are Gitxsan. [Mr. Alec] is from the Lake Babine Nation.”
Mr.Nazeil referenced here is the son of Alphonse’s sister, Warner Nazeil, his nephew who stole the title of Chief Smogelgem from Gloria George, with the help of Violet Gellenbeck also a Gitxsan, we will get to her later.
Be aware that Gary Naziel is not related to Warner Naziel, but share the same last name. Gary Naziel works for Kyha Resources Inc. and is Wet’suwet’en, and Warmer Naziel is Gitxsan. We are not aware of Warner Naziel holding any job other than being a rejected protester, and former partner of Freda Huson. (it also appears he is no longer welcome at either camp, the Unistoten or Molly’s 44k pallet city. Oddly nobody dares ask why?
Keep in mind these people are not by way of matrilineal linage even Wet’suwet’en, as required by Wet’suwet’en law.
“IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA “Titles and land are passed through the mother’s clan, anthropologist Antonia Mills said in a 2019 affidavit submitted in court proceedings related to the Coastal GasLink project.” Citation: Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd. v. Huson, 2019 BCSC 2264
In chronological order Warner Naziel steals the Hereditary Territory from Gloria George with the assist going to his uncle Alphonse Gagnon (both Gitxsan by birth) watch how they pull that off.
Now that they have theoretically stolen the very territory that belonged to Gloria George, who was negotiating legally and legitimately with CGL, watch how Alphonse acts as if he now owns her territory. It’s unbelievable how he talks about knowing they are a matrilineal society, then saying we don’t have to go make out a piece of paper, is that because he does not want anyone to question his own matrilineal background? This is a Gitxsan takeover of Wet’suwet’en territory.
How could anyone not notice Freda Huson and Warner Naziel who at the time were running the Unist’ot’en Camp (the CGL blockade at the Morice River bridge)
Next is a video that shows Violet Gellenbeck also a Gitxsan by way of her own admission, and as we know already Alphonse Gagnon and his brother Adam Gagnon are Gitxsan descendants then it obvious that the third person standing there Warner Naziel is also Gitxsan by way of the sister of Alphonse Gagnon and their great grandmother.
Considering the Gagnon’s have Gitxsan roots, the question is why are they getting away with robbing Wet’suwet’en members of their heritage?
Adam Gagnon is a subchief of his older brother Alphonse, we won’t get into how they both got their titles other than the titles were a result of having the financial assets to host the needed potlach ceremonies and both were into logging as an income. Needless to say Lucy (the wife of Alphonse was in charge of the funding for Moricetown/Witset and distributed community funds according to need. Enough said.
We would recommended you read the following, in regards to Adam’s history. There is a lot more than what we posted here, but below is a good primer on what this man is all about. We should also remind readers that we now understand the connection between Adam and his close kinship with members of the Gitxsan nation who also were actively involved in possible sabotage and damage to CGL equipment. The connection is family, relatives and their accomplices.
Adam Gagnon seizing Coastal Gaslink Excavators
Adam Gagnon fakes a second eviction.
The Sun House responds to the hostile land takeover by Adam Gagnon and Warner Naziel of the Owl House
Hiding behind a chief’s name – Adam Gagnon
Parrot Lakes – Fiction and Fantasies
Parrot Lakes Recreation Site – No Free Prior and Informed Consent
The case of their nephew Warner Naziel is even more bazaar and strays far beyond anything in oral or written history of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Even if you discounted his Gitxsan genealogy, a subchief of the Owl House (his uncle Alphonse holds the equivalent to supreme leader of the Owl house) and to become the supreme leader of the Sun House. But in doing so the Ganyon family would obtain total title to all Wet’suwet’en – Laksamshu Clan lands. Smogihlgim Leonard George was one of the original Delgamuukw litigants and its without question he passed that title on to Gloria George.
In a brazen act of treason against the Sun House Warner Naziel did a hostile takover of the title of Smogihlgim (also spelled a number of different ways). One of the most tell tale signs of fraud come from the observation that the notorious five chiefs, plus Violet Gellenbeck claimed they stripped Gloria George of the title, but fail to explain how Warner Naziel has been parading around in the Sun House regalia (he was a subchief of the Owl House at the time) and doing so for almost a decade before Gloria was supposedly stripped of her title.
The bastardization of the Smogelgem blanket
Introducing “Smogelgem” of the Sun House
Smogelgem Revisited – Who is the legitimate heir?
Warner Naziel is not Chief Smogelgem
and a must read
Wet’suwet’en Law – Becoming a Hereditary Chief
Next is Violet Gellenbeck who works closely with the “Wet’suwet’en Five” has been able to overthrow 4 Hereditary chiefs, Darlene Glaim, (Cheif Woos), Gloria George (Chief Smogelgem) and subchief Theresa Tait-Day (Chief Wi’haliy’te) and one more that many people are not aware of, that being Stanley Nikal (Chief Stanaslaus) who ‘allegedly’ caught Violet taking potlatch funds, then subsequently he was charged instead with molesting young women. Much overlooked is how this led to Ron Mitchell becoming one of the “Gang of Five” and becoming a “yes man” for gang leader John Ridsdale (Chief Namoks)
We cannot confirm what he Chief Stanaslaus was or was not guilty of, but we do note that Violet is becoming a legendary character for stripping titles of senior Hereditary Chiefs.
The lesson learned here is we can never assume title claims unless there is documentation to back it up, as was or is the case with the Bazil family. I cannot think of one sister of Violet who is not actively involved in supporting the blockaders on the Morice. So it came as quite a shock to read what Violet Gellenbeck stated in social media, she and all her sisters, and the next generation of activists are all Gitxsan.
We have a copy of it below, so Violet Gellenbeck proves to all of us that she is actually Gitxsan if you follow the matrilineal bloodlines. By paternal rule there is a Wet’suwet’en connection, but they would have to follow paternal lineage to claim they are Wet’suwet’en. No so if you follow true matrilineal rules.
Next we have Frank Alec who uses the stolen title of Darlene Glaim (Chief Woos) Frank Alec. Based on the statement by Gary Naziel we can determine that Frank Alec is from the Lake Babine Indian Band. While simultaneously he is now known as a Wet’suwet’en, less known is that he works full time for the Lake Babine Indian Band.
It also begs the question of why is a member of the Lake Babine band a hereditary chief for the Wet’suwet’en Nation? Specifically note under the “Deputy Chief Lake Babine Nation” where he claims to be “Chief Negotiator” on “treaty developments”. Considering the land claims overlap between the Wet’suwet’en Nation and the Lake Babine Band there is a massive issue in conflict of interests.
Next we have (now diseased) Jeff Brown (Chief Madeek ) Jeff Brown was a resident from Burns Lake (Lake Babine Nation) he is not a Wet’suwet’en. We do hope the next chief will actually be Wet’suwet’en, as it stands now its NOT a Office of Wet’suwet’en, its an “office of aboriginal collaborating chiefs’ stealing the funding that was intended for the Wet’suwet’en Nation. We won’t elborate on the many other issues in respect for the deceased, we did need to point out that he is just one more Non Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief, even if there are paternal connections, its not paternal laws being followed by the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
Molly and Jennifer Wickham are also by way of matrilineal rule, so its extremely ironic how they tout that they follow matrilineal rule, when if practice they do not.
See below there Molly admits where the problem lies. “Her matrilineal ancestors have been intermarried into the Wet’suwet’en since the early 1900s and have lived on Witsuwit’en yin tah since that time.” in part true, absent is the part about following matrilineal ancestory.” More stunning is her position withing the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Governance director! This goes far beyond her actions in regards to blockaders, anarchists, and rabble-rousers., it goes to the heart of outsiders making Wet’suwet’en decisions.
Now that we know her position at the Office of Wet’suwet’en, its imperative we point out just how badly they “The Gang of Five Hereditary Chiefs” break all the rules requiring legitimate Wet’suwet’en to the nations decision making process. First lets review the supplication for the job itself. The historical rule is clear, decision making may only be done by true Wet’suwet’en citizens. In terms of education Molly Wickan only holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria obtained in 2008, but you most certainly cannot say running a blockade out at 44k qualifies as 4 years experience in Governance!
So you can see just how much rule bending took place in order to assure her the position she clearly is not qualified to do.
Keep in mind that these decisions will have a direct impact on the entire Wet’suwet’en Nation.
Quote from this document “Reporting to the Executive Director and Wet’suwet’en Governance Authority Committee (WGAC), you will be responsible for overseeing the establishment and ratification of a Wet’suwet’en Constitution and Development and implementation of a broader Governance Strategy.” The full document can be found here.
Again for the sake of keeping this article as short as possible, we will skip the tons of material we have on the Wickham sisters and deal directly with the issue of following matrilineal birthright.
First of all both Molly and Jennifer are sisters and both the daughters of a Caucasian man named Don Wickham, next on the mothers side we have June Wickham, so let use use the matrilineal birthright rules.
Maternal lineage verified by Garry Patsey through a family member. He verified that the family lineage is in fact Gitxsan and not Wet’suwet’en as previously presumed.
- Emily Augusta had a daughter named June Wickham
June Wickham (nee Augusta) had two daughters
Molly Wickham and Jennifer Wickham
- Christine Patsey married Burns Lake, Tom. Christine was Gitsxan on the maternal side (her mother was Gitxsan) So by way of matrilineal rule, her children will all be Gitxsan. (Gitxsan Laax Gibuu lineage) also known as the Gitxsan Wolf Clan
- Christine Patsey was the mother of Emily Augusta, who had a daughter named June Wickham (nee Augusta) who had two daughters named Molly Wickham and Jennifer Wickham.
- Molly’s grandma is Emily Augusta (nee Isaac)
By rules of matrilineal family Christine was Gitxsan Laax Gibuu (wolf clan) lineage on her mothers side and Wet’suwet’en on the fathers side, so both Molly and Jennifer Wickham by matrilineal rules are Gitxsan, even if that constitutes only a bloodline of a mere 12.5% its still the rule both nations claim to follow.
Before we close we want to point out that all of the people above may well have some connections to the Wet’suwet’en, they should be acting and speaking on behalf of their birthright nation and should not be interfering with their paternal nations affairs. We are not going to see peace and harmony among either nation until they start to get serious about following their own rules, as long as some are getting self entitled privilege, the legitimate heirs of the nation will rightfully feel slighted.
"Now you know the rest of the story"
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Thanks for an excellent read, and for the truth.