NEWS RELEASE · 16th January 2013
Gitwangak, BC – the Gitxsan of Gitwangak announce that there will be a CN Rail Blockade happening on January 16, 2013, between the times of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm.
As Idle No More moves ahead with blockades throughout North America Gitwagak moves ahead to show their support for the Idle No More actions as well as the ongoing blockade with the Unist’ot’en Camp.
“We the people of Gitwangak, of the Gitxsan Nation, stand unified on this day of action to answer the call of all first nations across Canada in support of idle no more and to oppose Bill C-45. Bill C-45 is designed to provide quick development access to resource extraction industries, which operate on First Nations lands.
Bill C45’s amendments to the Indian Act will give the ministry of Aboriginal affairs access over First Nations lands and the government authority to determine the surrender of any portion of any first Nation territory at any given time.
Furthermore, new changes to the Fisheries Act undermine Canada’s Ecology and removes legal barriers to oil, pipeline and other companies.
Under the new changes, the developer will no longer be responsible for fixing the environmental and habitat damage they cause.
We are the stewards of the land. We will continue to fight for future generations.” States Fred Johnson, Spokesperson for the Gitwangak people.
The Gitxsan vow to escalate actions in the near future if genuine progress is not made between the Federal and Provincial Governments and the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.
Indigenous peoples of Canada have inspired a movement that has gone global. The Idle No More movement focuses on Treaty and Non-Treaty experiences with injustices as in the recent Omnibus Bill passed by the majority Conservative government of Canada.
For the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en, the famous 1997 Delamuukw v. Queen Supreme Court of Canada Case stated that meaningful negotiations between government agencies and Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Peoples must happen in a timely manner. The Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en have not seen any form of meaningful negotiations since that court case more than 15 years ago.
“As long as meaningful negotiations are not engaged in between the parties the members of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Nations will keep on pressing the issue with the governments of Canada and British Columbia.
We will not go away or be silenced. We’ve come too far and fought too hard for that to happen.” Stated Fred Johnson.
Re Terrace Daily article Jan 16, 2013
Comment by Don Camsell on 22nd January 2013
GITXSAN WARRIORS OF GITWANGAK TO BLOCK CN RAIL JAN 16
Gitwangak, BC – the Gitxsan of Gitwangak announce that there will be a CN Rail Blockade happening on January 16, 2013
“We the people of Gitwangak, of the Gitxsan Nation, stand unified on this day of action to answer the call of all first nations across Canada in support of idle no more and to oppose Bill C-45
“We are the stewards of the land. We will continue to fight for future generations.” States Fred Johnson, Spokesperson for the Gitwangak people.
Fred, I don't support the Idle No More folks blockading rail, road and border crossings I do support their efforts to raise general awareness of the public to the deplorable conditions in many aboriginal communities in this country. Fixing the unacceptable suicide rate would be a priority for me. Providing opportunities for better education, good jobs which means a strong economy and local economic development and hope for a better future is part of that fix. Disrupting the Canadian economy is not good for anyone especially those folks in distress.
Fred, don't forget your marshmallows! Gwis Gyen would be proud of you.
McCarthy is right.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 17th January 2013
Just a quick google search gives you the following link:
Here is just one small paragraph of that site:
"In addition, throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Canadian government passed legislation that enabled the government to expropriate parcels of reserve land without the consent of the band and without providing compensation, for the purpose of public utilities rights-of-way such as railways, transmission lines and highways. This has resulted in the fragmentation and disruption of many reserves. In many cases, the province or Crown further retains subsoil rights on the reserve, which means band members do not “own” the minerals found there. Coastal waters and tidal lands do not form part of the reserve either in most cases. Although colonists tried to justify the small sizes of many reserves along coastal British Columbia by their access to waterways, Aboriginal fishing grounds and their resources have been restricted by provincial and federal regulations."
I have argued with people that when reserves were first established, the intent was to get them off the land so the colonial interests could access the vast resources. Reserves were small and about 7 acres per family according one source. This was at a time when a white settler could pre empt 160 acres fro farming.
Many reserves were unsuitable for farming. They had the worst soil conditions and of course in some climate farming was not life supporting. Even when they wanted to sell their produce, the Indian Agent had to give permission so they would not compete with local farmers.
Now obviously I'm not a First Nations person, but I believe it is fundamentally wrong to keep pretending that the First Nations don't have a good case to make. There is no statute of limitations on injustice and the longer you ignore it, the more complicated a solution will be.
Harper's changes to environmental protection of lands and rivers was probably the spark that ignited the current movement. He is not a very good statesman if he couldn't see this coming.
CN RAIL DEBATE GITWANGAK
Comment by McCarthy on 17th January 2013
The truth about CN RAIL in Gitwangak Indian Reserve.
(1) CN RAIL history blasted there way through Gitwangak Indian Reserve. They showed up one day and said " We will line our track through your Indian Reserve". "We will cut through your grave yard and continue to disturb them for ever".
(2) Not one inch of Indian Reserve was surrender to Government of Canada. For CN RAIL to gain access through the reserve. There is no "legal document to provide Gitwangak Indian Reserve for gaining access right of way to travel through the Indian Reserve".
(3) This is why its a legal protest.
(4) Idle No More should change there title as tangible organization. The founders are not owners of a movement. So something is changing from Idle to a focus national political party. Would be crazy they became a National Political Party engaged in Canadian Politics. Creating a New Era.
The founders of this movement don't either...
Comment by maggiejo johnson on 16th January 2013
Founders of IdleNoMore stated on National TV that they don't support any blockages...nor criminal activity....nor Chief Spence's hunger strike...so why taint the movement when we fly off our handles here claiming we're supporting the movement?
Good for you Fred
Comment by Don Camsell on 16th January 2013
Well I don't support the Idle No More folks blockading rail, road and boarder crossings I do support their efforts to raise general awareness of the public to the deplorable situations in many aboriginal communities in this country. Fixing the unacceptable suicide rate should be a priority. Providing jobs and hope for a better future is part of that fix. Disrupting the Canadian economy is not good for anyone especially those in distress.
Fred, don't forget your mars-mellows!