NEWS RELEASE · 21st July 2012
Majority of Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs renew mandate of GTS to support Chiefs in treaty negotiations.
A majority of Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs have formally confirmed their decision to renew the mandate of the GTS to support the Simgiigyet (chiefs) and the Gitxsan people in their efforts to advocate for Gitxsan aboriginal rights in treaty negotiations and other forms of reconciliation with the Crown.
Through three days, all Gitxsan Simgiigyet and their wilp (house) members were given the chance to voice their opinion. They were asked if they were in favour of renewing the mandate and if they wished to appoint one member of their house to become a member of the society. Over 30 huwilp opted to renew the mandate and appoint a member to the society. Others have indicated they will consult further with their members.
The appointment of new members to the society addresses a defect in the GTS by-laws about the appointment of its Board of Directors. The chiefs wanted a solution that would respect Ayookim Gitxsan (laws), and the role of the Gitxsan Simgiigyet and Wilp, as already recognized in the Delgamuukw case.
“It was good to see all Gitxsan come together to make an effort to talk about our differences. It was a constructive discussion, with a variety of opinions and ideas expressed” said Gwaans (Bev Clifton Percival), “What is clear is that a majority of Gitxsan huwilp support the GTS's work, and want us to continue to support them in their dealings with the Crown.
The next step is for the GTS is to present the new membership list to the court for review under the Society Act process that is being followed to remedy the by-law defect. In the interim, the GTS will continue under the direction of the current Board of Directors.