Gitxsan: Blockade reflection, turmoil, and call for actions

via Gitxsan Against Enbridge. June 16:


As I sat on the front line of what used to be the blockade in front of the former Gitxsan Treaty Society (GTS) Offices, watching the staff that the Unity Chiefs had fired on December 5, walk in with proud and smiling faces. The illegal board parading by Gitxsan Unity Movement (G.U.M.) members who had stood guard over the building , at the request of the Unity Chiefs, for six long months. Every imaginable emotion went through my body. Why… because I am a proud Gitxsan, my heart breaks that it has come to a “us versus them” scenario, when people feel disrespected, it is a natural reaction to lash out at the person who had done the disrespecting. No? A wiser mature, person would think about the situation before reacting, When one tries to share why he/she feels disrespected but it falls on deaf ears and goes ignored for far to long. Action must be taken. We the Gitxsan are a proud respectful Nation.

Then why have we shown disrespect to our own people? We ask for transparency? It goes unnoticed or more like ignored. We ask for accountability, it goes ignored until the blockade was set up and  with the RCMP intervention, an assessment for a forensic audit has been set up. We ask for a voice, and we get told we are not Gitxsan, because our Mother was not Gitxsan. Yet you include our numbers when you do a nominal roll count of the Gitxsan membership. The Gitxsan Unity Movement was born out of necessity, to give the hopeless some hope, to give the forgotten some some identity and to build back what was left for a once very proud nation. In turn we had taken a beating from disapproving society and its’ membership and supporters. We were instructed to be a respectful and peaceful Movement, not to act out when confronted or insulted. We have kept true to our word and hold our head proud that we had done so.

It hurt us to watch the blockade come down and all of the staff, fired or not, the illegal board of directors, and their family members go in and out “business as usual”. Alas we realized that the Gitxsn Unity Movements obligation to the Unity Chiefs has been completed. We secured their building and protected its contents for the auditors to come in and prove accountability. Yet why is it that we feel we have failed?

There is no winner when a nation is in turmoil. We are not proud that we had to enforce accountibility from the very people who claim to represent us. We are not proud of the way we forced unwanted attention onto our nation, when in fact the answers are within. If handled internally, the Gitxsan would once again be one! The world is changing around us, we need aggressive leaders and knowledgeable people to lead us in the future. The aggressiveness shown by the Spookw litigation team, the GTS litigation team, the Unity Chiefs and the G.U.M. members, are what we need to soar into the future together.

My point is… why don’t we do this? Hold true to your word GTS and actually invite G.U.M. to sit down at the same table. Why not invite the Unity Chiefs and Spookw litigation team too? The GTS Gimlitxwit? Let us explore the bright and beautiful future we can build for the future generations to follow? Let us set the example of national pride for all other nations and deal with our problems with our Ayookw?

Today the Unity Fire will go out, we do not want it to go out! Can you help us keep it lit?

We want to host all sides in a meeting of Unity.

We want to show respect to Sgt. Pelley and the local RCMP Detachment, we do not want to go to jail nor be charged. We believe there is other options. It is not business as usual when our people are not getting along. All business must stop and we have to work things out.

I know the Unity Chiefs had tried and failed, I know the courts had tried and failed, and I know GTS has gone an record and stated many times that they invite the Gitxsan Unity Movement to sit down and meet, well it hasn’t happened.


I call on all sides to hold true to their word and show genuine commitment to resolving our issues. For what is it worth? Our Nation! The Gitxsan! The people of the salmon, the people of the totem, the people of the mighty river…..


Yes  Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs, our Nation is waiting for you to hold true to your given names, to hold true to your Ayookw. Actions speak louder than words. Call this meeting and you will not fail!

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