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REPORTING · 27th October 2012
Terrace Daily News
Understanding NW First Nations Chiefs This is link for further reading

Update Documents regarding Haisla Culture now attached below.

At precisely the same moment as a fake hereditary chief finished speaking in Kitamaat Village, Haisla Territory, on the return of the mortuary pole, G’psgolox Totem Pole’s return to the Kitlope, the 7.7 magnitude Earthquake rocked the Sacred Circle.

Haisla Chief Jassee, Tommy Robinson passed away shortly after the Band Council of Steve Wilson sued his Hereditary Chiefs, during the time of the trial.

Sammy Robinson, Tommy’s brother, decided he wanted the Chief Jassee title.

This was against all the traditional culture, the ancient system of matriarchal lineage.

Today, at the precise moment of this earthquake, Sammy had just finished speaking.

He stopped speaking and the Kitlope dancers were just preparing to enter the stage when the Earthquake struck.

The Gods are watching.

Traditional governance of the Northwest, Sacred Circle Nations demands the title holder of lands and territories is transferred to a nephew of the previous holder, a son of the sister to the current Chief. Sammy Robinson abused all traditional respect for the Indian Nations of the Sacred Circle.

Not a moment passed after this faker spoke did the entire region shake.

Never in the traditional system of the descendents of Temlaham, Damelahamid, did a brother take the name of a deceased holder.

We pray for those on Haida Gwaii. We pray for all peoples. And we pray the traditions be respected.

Read more on the pole here
get over it
Comment by Darlene Duncan on 1st November 2012
By now you should have been over the vendetta against how a name was passed from on chief to another. I can see how this article can be saying how the final journey of my father's returning the pole to its rightful owner to the time of the earthquake. It was coinsidence. Regardless of how our Culture is percieved in your opinion you could have done more research from other Chiefs, Matriarchs and Elders of our Haisla Nation. Perhaps if you did so your view on how our Culture won't be such a worry for you and a better idea is to arrange a meeting with them. It is time to settle this and get over it.
Merv... Maybe we're saying the same thing?
Comment by Janice Robinson on 31st October 2012
George Robinson, Sr. And his wife Kate were my paternal grandparents. I had uncles named George, Sam and Tom. Thanks for acknowledging our Father, (Charles) Cecil Robinson, Sr.

We have been talking about a stone moving for our Mother (Tsimshian Eagle. Waap Gitxon, Kitsumkalum). Our events are equally exciting. You will be welcome to attend. We'll keep you posted.
Dear JD Duncan - Your email is undeliverable
Comment by Terrace Daily on 31st October 2012
If you are curious why your comments are not posted it is due to the fact the appropriate contact information is not provided. We have emailed twice using two different email addresses attempting to ensure proper identity and have had one returned as undeliverable and the other - no response. Follow the proper instructions for posting a comment and, regardless of your opinion, it will be posted.
No Merve, I am not mistaken!
Comment by Janice Robinson on 31st October 2012
I am not commenting on the rightness or wrongness of the intents of that feast. Lord knows we have enough cultural and political issues burning through Tsimshian Territory.

Fact: Tommy Robinson, George Robinson, Jr. and Samuel Robinson were three of my Father's brothers (Charles Cecil Robinson, Sr.). They are all deceased! Their Grandfather (George Robinson, Sr.) was a Methodist preacher from Yorkshire, England. George, Sr. legally married my Haisla grandmother at Port Essington, B.C.

The artist, Sammy Robinson, whom you allege "is a faker," is my second cousin. He is NOT Tommy's, nor my Father's brother.

I am not arguing, but restating a fact.

And once again, we have different facts. You are stating relationships one generation too late and confusing one Sam with another.

Tommy Robinson and Sammy Robinson were the sons of Samuel Robinson. Samuel Robinson was the brother of George Robinson Jr. and Charles Cecil Robinson. Samuel Robinson, George Robinson Jr., and Charles Cecil Robinson were the sons of George Robinson Sr. the lay missionary who married a Haisla woman named Kate.
A familiar story...
Comment by John Olson on 31st October 2012
I am not here to say who is right or who is wrong, I am here to say that much disrespect is shown in this day and age. I feel that the moment there is a dispute over the title to a hereditary name, all business of that name stops. The dispute is dealt with. After it is dealt with, the people share food and all has been settled. This is also happening in the Gitxsan feast halls, why is it that none of this took place before land claims and value was put on the resources? I respect the feast hall and want to follow the proper protocols, it is becoming very difficult on account of the example that is being set for our people, not to mention our youth! I give credit and thank Merv Ritchie for saying what has to be said. I also leave you this excerpt from the book, "The Visitors Who Never Left"
Legend of Dimlahamid
People were disrepecting the land. Warnings were sent.
Disrespect continued...
Powers were released, earthquake stick and other forces were unleashed
The city ,including the street of chiefs was destroyed.
Now the city is represented as Global.

I for one do not wish to see the next warnings, I will do my best to respect the land and look after what looks after us.
Walk softly, the elders are watching people.
There could be other reasons...
Comment by FayEllen McFarlane on 31st October 2012
To all of you who dispute Merv's theory about why the earthquake occurred, I suggest you read the article "Two Rare Events in One Moment" which offers an alternate explanation. In Psalm 104, vs. 32, the writer suggests that the Lord looks on the earth and it trembles; touches the mountains and they smoke.
Certainly, we are all entitled to our own opinions...some are less controversial than others!
After announcing your intention...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 30th October 2012
.. you are here again. Couldn't resist getting a shot in? I have not read the article as it isn't a topic I'm familiar with but I scanned through the comments very briefly. Thirty-four posts on this, wow! I am surprised Merv allowed most of them to be posted but even so if they offend me, I simply pass over them. It puzzles me why people that claim they don't check the Terrace Daily come back to see what is a hot topic. I wonder if there is something missing with other news/commentary sites that draws them back.

So at the risk of drawing fire let me ask, "Are there not other really important issues we could be discussing?"
And Some Wondered Why I Stopped Participating Here ...
Comment by Roy Harding on 30th October 2012
Some time ago, I announced my intention to no longer participate in the Terrace Daily comments section. At the time, some folks questioned my integrity, my sanity, and my intelligence.

I offer this story and the accompanying comments as a reply.

Who's questioning whose integrity, sanity, and intelligence now??
Anonymous comments, and incorrect email addresses
Comment by Terrace Daily News on 30th October 2012
If we cannot confirm your identity your comment will not be posted. We have attempted to contact those who provided email addresses but some are returned undeliverable. Please ensure you provide proper information as noted below.
servant of the chiefs and matriarchs of the Gitlaan
Comment by Preston Wilson on 30th October 2012
Those that speak the truth often get burned by those who choose to live in the dark. The information shared in this colum in regards to our maternal lineage is accurate and i praise the editor for bringing this subject to light. It is of great disrespect to our ancesters that put our tradition and laws in place if we step out of line and take names that belong to us.
it is also important that each of us keep from reaching into other tribal houses and dirtying the blanket. Those that critisized the artical do not have have a full understanding of our culture and laws. I myself have not learned all there is to learn about our culture, but i do know when certain rules are broken. I will spend the rest of my life learning as much as possible about my tlingit tsimshian ties and culture.
Comment by Patricia Grant on 30th October 2012
I began to read this, then I thought better, Why read something written by such an ignorant person? What does this say about Merv Ritchie's character? Who would deliberately set out to cause harm or hurt to another person, or a Whole Nation? Merv Ritchie, that's who! Why have you chosen to do this to the Haisla People? It makes me sad that there are such people out there who wake up each morning and want to wreak havoc on another person. I Pray that you find God and that He works through you Merv Ritchie.
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 30th October 2012
What makes you Merv Ritchie, think that you're the one that's swooping in to save us, free us?

I do not wish to free you, you already are free, you just do not know it. Yes, I suppose, save you. Yeah I guess, from the depravation the British served on my Scottish ancestors.

We are well aware of the issues we face as a nation.

No, some are aware. You, and nor can I, claim to speak for everyone.

We are well aware of what's has happened,

again no, not everyone

after all, it is OUR culture and history

No, sorry, your culture belongs to Temlaham, Demalahamid. You might think you are special but you belong to the Nisga'a, the Tahltan, the Gitxsan, the Haida, We'tsewet'en and the Tsimshian. The Tlingit are also part of you.

It may be broken and in pieces, but we know what is ours! How dare you

Well actually I have lived my entire life on dares. How dare I sue a multinational corporation, how dare I have a blasting foreman’s licence suspended, how dare I go to court to protect kids.

Really grasping at anything to boost your sad journalism career.

Please do not accuse me of attempting a seat in the field of journalism. I mostly abhor that trade. Rarely do they expose reality.

What makes you more knowledgeable than us on our history and culture?

Never have I stated that. I only offered educational material. I am actually providing you more than I have even read. My desire is that you and yours become more knowledgeable than these books.

You don’t give a rats ass about any of us.

Aw well that's just foolish talk. If you actually beat the British Game, my life will have been worth it, not in vain.

What makes you think we had never planned for making positive changes for our people.

I’m sorry, I never thought any such thing and truly I am hoping you do make positive changes.

Please get over yourself, you're not our savior here 'white man.'

Now, that is just insulting. All I desired was an intelligent debate or discussion, ya know, an exchange of thoughts and ideas. Let’s share a beer or two. No need to get too full of ourselves.

Luv ya Buddy or Gal, which ever gender you may be, white, black brown or yellow, an all shades and combinations; All My Relations!
And there will no longer be any anonymous comments allowed
Comment by Terrace Daily News on 29th October 2012
Everyone who wanted to vent and scream, those who were too ashamed of themselves to use their own names, will no longer be published.

As is written in our comments intro;

Comments must include first and last name, address and phone number for verification of identity. Name will be published - identity withheld by request only if release will cause personal harm.

This is not some juvenile internet forum, it is a medium for intelligent honest debate.

We include our name and expect all who comment here to do the same. Bully's are anonymous.
Why must Indians claim no one can speak about spirituality?
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 29th October 2012
Many years ago the Western world believed the earth was the center of the Universe. Today we know better; well, only slightly.

We still believe our thought energy has no impact on our reality. Foolish us.

Even science proves we are clueless in this regard.

Quantum Physics demonstrates our thoughts affect our surroundings. It even proves alternate/parallel realities.

Mr. Grant seems to imply the lack of my personal presence at the scene negates the reality that the earthquake occurred at the precise moment Sammy, the faker, finished speaking. The timing was accurate whether I was present of not.

The question then is; was this event a spiritual intervention by the spirits of the ancestors and the combined thought energy of all who knew the truth?

Why did these tectonic plates move at that precise moment?

Were the stresses, the tension between the plates, just waiting for the added impulse of the quantum energy of particle physics? Are you prepared to consider a different understanding or will you remain fixed like those who denied the reality of the universe in the 1800’s.

Life is a heck of a lot different than the British indoctrinated education system has foisted on our children.

The Nisga’a have a story of how the Volcano erupted due to the children abusing the salmon by cutting their backs and placing burning sticks in them as they swam. The attached book, The Visitors Who Never Left is full of life lessons about respect and dignity.

The earthquake shook the entire region. Yet no one was hurt. Hmmmm, a 7.7 Earthquake and nothing. Maybe the ancestors knew this and simply provided a shot across the bow as a warning.

The anglo-saxon infrastructure call it a wake up call because all their emergency response systems failed completely.

I call it a wake up call to Sammy and the Haisla. Their elected Band Council sued their Hereditary Chiefs. SHAME. Sammy continues to disrespect and dishonour the Haisla Highest Chief name, Jassee. He is no Jassee. He is not a Morrison nor did the Matriarchs select him.

All ancient understanding of reality, not our imposed British system, understood the dangers of this disrespect.

All people, not just Indians, need to read these books and look outside of the box their brains are stuck in.

Racism, attacking my skin colour or heritage, is equally shameful.
Comment by Not impressed TERRACE DAILY! on 29th October 2012
What makes you Merv Ritchie, think that you're the one that's swooping in to save us, free us? we are well aware of the issues we face as a nation. We are well aware of what's has happened, after all, it is OUR culture and history It may be broken and in pieces, but we know what is ours! How dare you!!! Really grasping at anything to boost your sad journalism career. What makes you more knowledgable than us on our history and culture? You dont give a rats ass about any of us. What makes you think we had never planned for making positive changes for our people. Please get over yourself, you're not our savior here 'white man.'

Sammy, a dignified Chief? Give your head a shake.
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 29th October 2012
Watch this video at the opening of the JRP session in Kitamaat Village. Watch how respectful he is of the dancers, the Spirit of the Kitlope. Particularly the end where he pops pills. I don't care if they were tic tacs or acid, it was as disrespectful as any man could be to the performers of the nation he claims to represent.

The Spirit of the Kitlope were fantastic, he should have respected them and stood tall and strong like the other real Chiefs did.
Wow, look at all the attacks – Just swearing and anger
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 29th October 2012
No one is prepared to address the subject of the improperly taken high Haisla name of Chief Jassee, just name calling and bullying. Well this is revealing in itself. People refusing to address the subject, refusing to look at the truth, just people so mad they want to spit. Anger comes from a lack of understanding.

From the time of my last response with the associated links and the additional material offered, it is clear nothing was read and no time was taken to understand a differing perspective. This is a sign of intolerance, a trait learned from the British, not from Northwest Indian Chiefs.

I have offered research material, freely. I offer an opportunity, for those who were so abused by the settlers and traders, an opportunity to regain their heritage, their culture, their dignity. I want nothing, I want to offer dignity.

I have, just now, stripped my own personal copy of the origin stories of the Northwest Indians. The Visitors Who Never Left. Please people, read this stuff. Hate it all if you must but at least make an attempt to understand the history. I did not write any of it. I just offer it as an opportunity for all to learn; the angry and the not so angry.

Christ, I ripped up my own copy for everyone. This is basically the bible of the Northwest Indian Culture, the residents of the real Sacred Circle.

Now we have offered three attached documents; “The Visitors Who Never Left” (a book far better than the Men of Medeek), and previously, the book from the Berkley Press of the University of California, 1940 (on the Haisla culture) and a document from the Kitamaat Village Band Council describing their culture and the need to have it respected.

Don’t blame the white guy for your kids committing suicide, blame yourself for not holding their hands and guiding them into their real true heritage and culture. Yeah the British Traders and the Canadian Government Royally screwed you, but now you can stand up for yourselves. Take the time to read this material, watch the video link from Ancestral Pride. Become strong men and women again. Warriors, Guardians! For you, your children, the grandchildren and the unborn.

Here is your opportunity, your freedom.

Spirituality, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and more, were all part of Indian culture. Read the stories, the writings which detail the past of your great great great grandparents. These are the stories of 20,000 years. You didn’t hear them in the feast halls and long houses cause the British and Canadians destroyed that part of your heritage. It is time you took it back. Ravens, Eagles, Wolves, Blackfish, Beavers, and all the rest, wake up.

I love you yelling at me, it makes me smile because I know I am making you think. I’d rather, however you accepted these offerings with grace. And I don’t just love you yelling at me, I love you totally. Hate me all you want, at least it’s a beginning.
Sam Robinson is the REAL Chief Jassee
Comment by C on 29th October 2012
I'm glad you've included a record written by the white man of our traditional culture & lineage to the Chief Jassee name. Here I thought I could just ask my grandparents about our own culture, since you know, they lived it. Thats where we learn our own culture & traditions from, our parents, grandparents/great grandparents. Not from a record written by the white man. If you were a "real" reporter/writer, you wouldn't have printed this insane theory without getting the other side of the story from who you refer as a "fake" chief. We pray for your insanity & respecting that you mind your own damn business on OUR culture.
Crazy horse.
Comment by Jwilson on 29th October 2012
God merv. You get crazier as the years go on. Guess I better not piss off the gods, else I
Might cause an earthquake, tidal wave, or heaven forbid, the world to end. Lol. Ask m.r. And S.r. To look for a haisla name for you ....crazy horse?
U no nothing about our chiefs!!
Comment by C on 29th October 2012
Comment by cm on 29th October 2012
your an idiot
Comment by louis grant on 29th October 2012
you are an idiot reporter...shove your job where the sun dont shine f***er
whay does The terrace daily stil run
Comment by cal on 29th October 2012
this clowns stories,bozo
What race is the reporter
Comment by cal on 29th October 2012
im just wondering what race this reporter is and if he's non native,what right does he have to comment.cause if he's non native,his opinion doesnt matter on this subject
u never answered my question
Comment by B Grant on 29th October 2012
Merv, i asked if you were actually there? that night..i never saw you. Or was this second hand information, Anyhow Mocking culture, you sure have crossed the line, this was a stone moving feast, if you tend to mock culture, do not bother showing up next time , you or your writing partner.
Ancestral Pride
Comment by Sacred Circle Productions on 29th October 2012
From Indians to Indians
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 29th October 2012
Women write about men, men write about women, we debate the German psychology and critique the Muslims and Iran. Successive British and Canadian governments, churches and industrialists, have brutally destroyed almost all remnants of the Indian culture. It was genocide, pure and simple. The stories shared from grandparents to children for thousands of years were deliberately severed by the forced removal of the children to death camps called residential schools. They took them at gun point.

Today egotistical “elected” and elders attempt to gain positions of respectability using the methods taught in the res schools by the British system of governance. Some of these traitors accepted money and booze to turn in Indians hiding with their children in the bush country.

Some people, Indian and non-Indian, see through the games and attempt to shed light on an issue the current Canadian and British Parliamentary democratic systems do everything in their powers to bury. Don't bury your heads in the sand and hide from what is there to learn from.

I have a Scottish heritage. I know my clan and have my crest and plaid hanging on my living room wall.

The British tried to destroy the Scots too but we stood strong and proud, fought to the death repeatedly. Those who sided with the Brits were executed. Many Scots died in the Brits gallows. So have Indians from the Sacred Circle in the turn of the last century. Will you let their deaths be in vain?

Many Indians are continuing to conspire with the British system (Canada) against their own culture.

I see the brutish ways of the British system, which Canada enforces. Remember Harper wanted to sever all ties with the Queen system of the Brits and then when in power started renaming everything “Royal” demanding every minister hang the lady’s portrait in their offices.

The Brits still rule here and still brutalize Indians.

I still yell FREEDOM. I see what your own people are doing to your own culture. Many others did too. They wrote books to record for you what the British tried to exterminate.

Stand up, be strong, be proud or die in shame for your people.

The Scots did and now they have an equal seat in the British Parliament. Not the best but a whole lot better than continuing to bend over for the priest and take it up the backside.

Practice your true culture. Give up what you were ordered to do by Canada. Take back your pride, your culture and give your children something to live for rather than giving them a reason to commit suicide, which the present leadership of the Indian communities are providing today.

Vent at me all you want but before I shut up I will yell DEATH FIRST!
thanks for educating us in our own culture
Comment by John Wilson on 29th October 2012
Thanks for educating us in our own culture :) what is the point of this story ? to let us know that you know about our culture from reading past writings? or because you actually live the culture?
Ultimate disrespect
Comment by MSD on 29th October 2012
Are you Haisla Merve? If you are not a Haisla then you really have no right to speak about how their culture should be. This story is blatantly disrespectful and shows your ignorance. I lost my respect for you and will no longer visit this site. You went too far off and I hope you get some help for the mental health issues you clearly are suffering.
who wrote this?
Comment by brian grant on 28th October 2012
who are you? why do you hide your name, you were at the rec....?

Ed Note: Hello Brian Grant, Merv Ritchie wrote this. He claims to stand by his writing. The Jassee name belongs to the Morrison Matriline. Ritchie claims Sam breeched all Haisla traditional protocol. Even claiming the name prior to a year passing, after Chief Jassee left us, to all other breeches of decency. One might do themselves a benefit by learning their own culture.

For yours, and all others education on your culture, we have attached two documents, one from a previous council demanding the respect of traditional culture, and the hereditary chiefs, and another by a Berkley University researcher from 1940.

Learn and educate.
Excellent theory....
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 28th October 2012
I can,t wait till the movie comes out.
let's tread carefully
Comment by mbw on 28th October 2012
I think it's a good idea not to impose our dominant culture opinions about who is a Chief and who is not on the hosts of our Territory, don't you? If we show them some respect I am sure they can work it out for themselves.
Relatively speaking.....
Comment by Janice Robinson on 28th October 2012
Tommy Robinson was my Father's brother. They also had brothers named George and Sam.....both deceased!

Sammy Robinson is not Tommy's brother!
Good grief, you guys.

For the record, I am my Mother was.

No, Janice, you are mistaken. The details recorded are direct from Tom Robinsons Son and Daughter as well as other Haisla Hereditary Chiefs and elders of the Haisla Nation.

You may have been provided erroneous information. Our information is direct from the family and the Haisla themselves.

Tommy was in fact "holding" the name as the Morrison family did not have an heir at the time. Tom's older brother was groomed to hold the name for the Morrison's but when the time came he refused it. Tom then accepted it. Today the name is rightfully held by a Morrison descendent. He was approached by the beaver clan matriarchs along with the Morrison family and he accepted. He waited the appropriate time, performed the stone moving, held the feast and was delivered the regalia.

Sam should, by all rights, apologize and hold a shame feast.
thats your point?
Comment by Keven Fifi on 27th October 2012
not gonna argue with you cause your probably the type of person who cant wait to whip out some personal verse or story to prove your point...that being said I was referring to the fact that sometimes people come to places like the terrace or kitimat daily to get some facts about a local news story. And to see some spiritual dribble about the ghost of some dead chief causing earthquakes because his brother is a "fake" chief is laughable at best...mostly sad and definetly NOT news reporting.
Good for you MaggieJo
Comment by Dave B on 27th October 2012
Right on - put us in perspective
PS - I like your responses to items!
Point is...
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 27th October 2012
Okay. I gotta say this.

We mere humans most promptly embrace the belief of aliens and karma and hexes....but heaven forbid we believe in a God.

'Not saying this earthquake was God-induced...but funny how we mere humans on this wee teenie planet in the entire universe can be so pompously arrogant to not fathom the possibility that there very well may be a God. If our planet was angled one degree closer to the moon we would freeze to degree closer to the sun...we'd fry! How are we so blessed? The moon creates the tides that bring us sustainable food and life! Our planet is provided with oxygen for us humans to live and breathe...unlike any planet we know of. The entire planet SCREAMS to us every single day that 'There IS a God!" But, it's probably the aliens who have aligned this all up in utter perfection for us humans to live and breathe on this planet Earth, right?

In any event, the earthquake certainly 'shook me up' to get my home emergency kit list in order. First Aid kit - check. Manual crank radio - check. I'm not worried about the water source with the Skeena River flowing through our area....but where did I put that manual can opener?!!
A better source on reality
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 27th October 2012
One might do better by watching Jersey Shore or Wheel of Fortune.

These entertainment mediums are much better at presenting reality.
Comment by Janice Robinson on 27th October 2012
Could it have anything to do with the ongoing interactions of a couple of tectonic plates? That is an oceanic plate and a continental plate? Subduction.

Relax, and report.
Comment by Keven Fifi on 27th October 2012
wow ok...thought this was about news. Guess you have a good career writing for national enquirer! Next youll be getting us to believe in little green men are actually running the government.
So , Al, you must not be a christian
Comment by CRAZY on 27th October 2012
Cause christians believe crazier crap
Comment by Al on 27th October 2012
That's really out there....