In an audacious, almost hostile move, the Gitxsan Treaty Society (GTS) has accepted money from two major corporations to host a summit near the Village of Old Hazelton, while the legality of the GTS is still under dispute in the Supreme Court of BC.
Seabridge Gold is sponsoring Day One of the Summit and Spectra Energy is sponsoring Day Two. GTS Director, Jim Angus, will be opening Day Two where both Seabridge and Spectra will be delivering presentations as will David Black, (of Black Press fame) who is presenting on his Kitimat Refinery proposal which requires the crude oil bitumen from the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
Jim Angus has recorded an invitational message to all Gitxsan Nation members to attend this summit where he indicates, in the Gitxsan tongue, they will be filling everyone’s pockets with money.
In Gitxsanimx Angus states on the radio ads;
“All Simoogyets [Chiefs]; bring your nieces and nephews. We will fill their pockets with what they need.”
“He wants people there so these companies can flash money in front of their eyes to entice them, but the common person will not see any of it,” stated John Olson of the Gitxsan Unity Movement. “In turn these corporations will destroy our way of life. These lands and waters are our way of life.”
Olsen was part of a six month blockade of the GTS offices after Elmer Derrick, representing the GTS, held a media news conference with Janet Holder of Enbridge to proclaim his support of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
The hundreds of Gitxsan Nation Chiefs, elders and family members finally agreed to remove the blockade to provide access to the offices for the government appointed auditors Deloitte and Touche. The examination of the books revealed misappropriation of millions of dollars as well documentation supporting the numerous allegations made against the GTS and their employees, Elmer Derrick Bev Clifton Percival and Gordon Sebastian.
Read an analysis of the Auditors findings HERE
Last month, at the end of September, the Judge once again heard arguments in the action against the GTS, which was initiated in 2008 by Hereditary Chiefs and Band councils who have been declaring the GTS does not have the support of the Gitxsan people.
The Judge reserved his ruling for, as he suggested, 28 days. Previously the Judge declared the Society was illegal and operating outside the rules of law.
Read more on this HERE
. And a report on the Court proceedings and those opposed to the GTS HERE
Derrick, Percival and Sebastian have been attempting to reinstate the illegally operating society ever since.
A meeting held in July demonstrated a seriously divided community where the GTS did not garner 50% of the support from the various House groups of the Gitxsan Nation. This Gitxsan Summit, as Olson suggests, may be another attempt to win favour of the financially impoverished people of the Gitxsan Nation with taunts of free money. The Audit of the GTS books demonstrates the staff (Sebastian, Percival and Derrick) have been freely using the monies provided to them by the BC and Federal Governments to influence others. The Auditors report details how the GTS has distributed over 20 million dollars in the past 4 years without any contracts or oversight to account for the spending.
Billed as the 2012 Gitxsan Summit, it will begin today, Thursday, October 17 and end on Friday October 19 at the Gitaanmax Hall in the Village of Old Hazelton.