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REPORTING · 30th January 2013
Merv Ritchie
The Terrace Daily has received a copy of a notice sent to homes on the Kitsumkalum Reserve advising that in less than two days, on Thursday, January 31st at 1 pm, they will be holding a signing ceremony for the Incremental Treaty Agreement, essentially committing the Band to the Treaty details and the AIP in advance of the vote by the Band members.

Last year, on September 10, the Society claiming to represent the Tsimshian Nation (The Kitselas, Gitga`at, Kitsumkalum, Metlakatla, Kitasoo-Xaisais Treaty Society), held a “handshake ceremony”. This was to signal to the people of Kitselas and Kitsumkalum the first portion of the negotiations were completed. The next step was to inform all the Band members of the details and conduct a vote to determine if the Band members agreed with the process to date.

This notice, delivered by hand on Tuesday night, January 29th, 2013 to homes on the Kitsumkalum reserve west of Terrace, did not include members that reside off the reserve and is clear, they will not be holding a vote for this ITA.

The Treaty process is called an Incremental Treaty Agreement as there are certain matters they have not negotiated; such as the fishing rights and Ocean territories.

The attached copy of the notice clearly calls this a signing ceremony for the Incremental Treaty Agreement and includes the very same statements made during the September 10, 2012, meeting such as “Demonstrate the commitment of the Parties to concluding a Final Agreement”.

During an interview last week, Gerald Wesley expressed concerns the recent rise of the “Idle No More” movement might reduce the chances of the AIP being voted in favour.

This notice appears to disregard the Kitsumkalum Band Members right to a vote, yet commits the membership to the details.

An Example of another ITA and the obligations

Nazko First Nation Representations, Nazko First Nation represents and warrants to the Province, with the intent and understanding that the Province will rely thereon in entering into this ITA, that:

a) it enters into this ITA for, and on behalf of its Members;

b) it has the mandate from its Members to negotiate an AIP, and is supportive of accelerating efforts to conclude an AIP within one year of the ITA Date, and attempt to conclude a Final Agreement within two years of reaching an AIP;

c) it, as represented by its Chief and Council, has the legal power, capacity and authority to accept, execute and deliver the ITA and to carry out its obligations under the ITA on behalf of Nazko First .Nation and its Members;

d) this ITA is binding upon and enforceable against Nazko First Nation and its Members in accordance with its terms;

There are numerous issues associated with this agreement and numerous precedents for the BC Government and Band Councils abusing the process of consulting the membership.

During the negotiations of the Nisga’a Treaty, a proposed week long seminar was established to discuss the details of their agreement. All were informed there would not be a vote during this gathering. On the morning of day three, when many of the delegates had returned home or were otherwise engaged a gentleman stood and announced they would be holding a vote immediately. The vote was conducted by asking those in favour to stand. Many Nisga’a were outraged but were unable to stop this deceptive process.

The Gitxsan Treaty Society, claiming to represent the Gitxsan also conducted agreements without consulting their people and are now rumoured to be in the process of closing their doors as their solicitors determined they could no longer represent an illegal society. Following the decision by Bullhowser and Tupper to withdraw their services the Government has apparently declined to forward any more monies to the society.

If the GTS has been deemed to be functioning outside of the law and if the same rules apply, the Treaty Society represented by Gerald Wesley, claiming to be the Tsimshian Treaty Society, may also be operating outside of the law. See entire constitution of the Society attached at the end of this linked article This may be the reason for the rushed signing without holding a vote. They may be moving forward and be counting on the Band members to act the same way the Nisga’a did, quietly comply in disgust. Even if a Band member did sue to reverse this action, the legal/court process would take years and cost a significant amount of money.

Former BC Liberal MLA Roger Harris was previously; the Enbridge Northern Gateway Vice President, a Consultant for the Kitimat Port and various LNG projects, a founding partner in Harris Palmer (a company specializing in accessing Band territories), the lead Kitsumkalum negotiator for the CN rail spur line to the Kalum Quarry and is currently President of the Kalum Quarry, the location the rock required by CN and the port facilities is located.

If the Kitsumkalum Band voted against the incremental treaty agreement as it stands today the rock from the quarry and the additional land immediately required to continue with the plans of CN, the pipelines, the ports and more might be put in serious jeopardy.

The Kitsumkalum Treaty team has recently been denying answers to members’ questions. One member called and advised us they were told the questions being asked were taking up too much time. Another was told they were no longer welcome to post information on their treaty facebook page. This member was exposing the intimate relationship Harris has in the reserve politics and equally with Enbridge.

Another concerned member was denied a communal meeting, specifically designed for the members to ask questions and hear each others concerns. A meeting without speakers from other treaty nations. One where the the treaty team along with Gerald Wesley, Don Roberts and Alec Bolton can answer all members questions and reply to all of their concerns collectively.

It was the Enbridge issue which brought down the Gitxsan Treaty Society (GTS). After negotiator Elmer Derrick signed an impact benefits agreement the Gitxsan people locked the doors and conducted a six and a half month blockade. Today this society is no longer a viable society. Could Roger Harris, the BCTC team, negotiator Gerald Wesley, and others, all be aware of the tenuous situation they are in?

On Friday, January 25, AANDC was informed the electoral process for the Band Council breached federal laws regarding the notices delivered to the membership. Did they inform the Band, which precipitated this unusual move to sign the agreement without a vote?

There are many questions this morning and as the government offices open and those involved wake up, we will be pursuing answers to these question.

Article on illegality of Gitxsan Treaty Society
Merv, are you sure the writer was a treaty employee?
Comment by Janice Robinson on 2nd February 2013
The writer could have been a member of the treaty team, a Kitsumkalum band councillor, or a staff person from the band office at Kitsumkalum or Kitselas, or one of many others.
One can determine who it is not by acknowledging the strength of the writer's grammar, and familiarize oneself with the attained education level of each player.

I was there long enough to note that most people at the event were paid staff people from a few notable offices.

At our first Idle No More event, held on a cold day at the Skeena Mall, I witnessed Chief Councillor Don Roberts, megaphone in hand, vigorously expressing his support for Idle No More.

Somebody seems confused..........., and it is not me.
Comment by hater on 31st January 2013
garbage media
re: Short Notice - contact as much media you can
Comment by CC on 31st January 2013
What you need to do is contact all media sources possible. Go online and look up "how to submit a news story" and then look for "contact us" and then contact them and tell them what is going on.
Post this on all social media websites, ie: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, etc, etc, etc. This will then spread and the word will get out. You have to get as many people to hear this as possible so that the "secret and underhanded" signing is then in the dirty open. Fight this will all your might. And it's never too late - start now and don't stop and blast all the media. They will want to hear of this - think of the coverage of how the slant on the Idle No More has been negative and this devious move is happening and you are trying to do things in order and in correct manner. In this case who exactly is playing the game. We know who. The rest of Canada should know too.
Comment by Rick Smith on 31st January 2013
It is embarrassing. It is no different than a seven or eight year old negotiating a multi-billion dollar contract with a team of corporate executives.

Imagine a poor family, struggling day to day just to feed their family. Having to hunt for food, not for sport, but out of necessity. Imagine never being able to take a vehicle in for service but to always rob parts off of parts cars and getting friends to help hay-wire it together.

Then imagine someone buying the family a fleet of new cars and trucks, new homes and extensive holiday trips. Imagine the head of the family being wined and dined at the most exclusive of restaurants; even the Premier of the Province along with the most powerful executives on the globe coming to shake their hands and compliment them on their intelligence.

Imagine being able to lift your family out of generations of turmoil and depravation, from poverty and extreme hardship. Would you turn it down?

Welcome to Kitsumkalum and Kitselas, the Indians guided by white executives (Roger Dodger and Kris Night) telling them just how smart they are. While all the rest of the Indians across Canada learned after hundreds of years what happens when you sign a deal with the white devils, the recent graduates of the Res Schools can’t see the forest for the trees. Welcoming Treaties and CN while the rest of Canada is protesting, stopping trains and demanding treaties be respected.

It is embarrassing. It is no different than a seven or eight year old negotiating a multi-billion dollar contract with a team of corporate executives.
Suspect Not Tax Payer Money "Sir"
Comment by Kitsumkalum Member on 31st January 2013
(Prepared for TEDA)
March 1, 2011
Table of Contents:

First Nations Joint Venture Tool Kit – Executive Summary


Over the next several years, much of the economic activity in Terrace and the northwest region of BC will be fueled by major industrial development projects - many of these projects have a value that exceeds $1 billion, and each will bring significant economic benefit to the region.

Examples of upcoming projects include (note: each project is in varying stages of receiving regulatory approval and commercial support):

Apache Kitimat LNG Terminal: $3 billion
Pacific Trails Pipeline: $1.2 billion
Rio Tinto Alcan Modernization - $2.5 billion
Northwest Transmission Line - $0.400 billion
Alta Gas Forrest Kerr Project - $0.700 billion
Red Chris Mine - $0.443 billion
Galore Creek - $2.5 billion
Prince Rupert Port Expansion - $0.600 billion

In total, the potential investment from these projects exceeds $11.2 billion.


Remember Canada is in debt. The only surplus left is the Indian Monies in trust. Yes Indian Monies we are talking billions of dollars. Reason the Crown locked up Indian Monies in trust to secure for the Indians. But we never see that share of money the Government controls it.

Corporation Canada is in debt as well. We the Indians have to take "Training Dollars from our Indian Monies called "Aboriginal Trades Training Services". Then grant that to the Indians, their own money, to train them to "Sell out to Treaty". To become a part of the Canada Corporation Person Entity.

So that tax payer BS is just BS.

Being used from Corporation Canada for a long time in the English Context to make the Indian People feel down, stupid and ignorant and it works.

Not me. Take a good look at your Corporate Canada look at the reality. You are slaves to the Queen "we're not". So they put us on reserves to trick us into become Corporation Canadians. Collect Welfare - Corporate Welfare become impoverished even more. We own our land the Indigenous. The Government has assimilated us to lead this very moment.

Sucks eh! Clean Water, Clean Air, Healthy villages, towns is just a dream. Now International Corporations are running the show, they are buying up the Treaties.

113 Billion Dollars verses our 44 Million. Do the math. One rich Billion Dollar Man can buy some Indians.

Kitsumkalum is one of them dam fools!
Short NOTICE (again)
Comment by Band Member on 30th January 2013
It is clear that there will be a vote of Yes or No on the Agreement-In-Principle (AIP) in a few months.
However, it was NOT mentioned, at the previous Treaty meetings, that there would be a Signing Ceremony of an Incremental Treaty Agreement (ITA). We had only been informed yesterday (2 days beforehand).

This is the first I have heard of an ITA. It states that the Province of BC have agreed to "gift" two parcels of land to Kitsumkalum after initialling an AIP (this Spring). First I heard of this too.

What I disagree with in this whole treaty process, is the lack of clear, concise, informed communication to the Band membership. What we receive are short-sighted, piecemeal bits of information. Full of surprises all the time it seems. Is this the style in which we want to govern ourselves? I think not.

Treaty team: you have given band members two days to recognize this ITA Agreement, how can you expect us as Band members to welcome this (and other information that sweeps our way) with open arms?

Is this ITA a masking of the Government's intent to trick us? (as usual). "If you can't write, just 'touch the pen to paper' ". "here's two parcels land and thank you".
So the reserves get a reward for increasing their debt....
Comment by Canadian Citizen on 30th January 2013
for lands they would get anyway if they vote yes to AIP and yes to the Final Agreement.

And where does the taxpayers money come into play? Is this an agreement we should support? waste of more money if they are no votes? or yes votes? or yes then no votes?

Sounds like the only winners are the government and future/existing corporations, again.

With Kitselas voting on February 20th, less than 3 weeks away one has to wonder why the rush and what else is there in these incremental treaty agreements.

This might be an Idle No More Issue.

Comment by Kitsumkalum Researcher on 30th January 2013


Character of Kitsumkalum Lands Other Kitsumkalum Lands


12. After the Effective Date, there will be no “Lands reserved for the Indians” within the meaning of the Constitution Act, 1867 for Kitsumkalum and there will be no Indian Reserves for the use and benefit of Kitsumkalum and, for greater certainty, Kitsumkalum Lands are not “Lands reserved for the Indians” within the meaning of the Constitution Act, 1867 and is not an Indian.


Relationship of Laws
17. Notwithstanding any other rule of priority in the Final Agreement, if the Kitsumkalum Law has incidental impact on, or if one of the aspects of the Kitsumkalum Law is with respect to, a subject matter over which:

a) the Kitsumkalum Government will not have law – making authority under the Final agreement; or
b) the Kitsumkalum Government will have law-making authority under the Final Agreement but for which Federal and Provincial Law prevail to the extent of a conflict,
Provincial Law, then the Federal or Provincial Law will prevail to the extent of the Conflict.
and if the Kitsumkalum Law is in Conflict with a Federal Law or Provincial will prevail to the extent of the Conflict.

Application of Federal and Provincial Law


14. Federal Law and Provincial Law will apply to Kitsumkalum, Kitsumkalum members, Kitsumkalum Institutions, Kitsumkalum Corporations, and on Kitsumkalum Lands



Roger B. Harris – Skeena

Director on the Kitsumkalum Economic Development Board

He is Partnerships with Northern Gateway Pipelines

He is currently president of Kalum Quarry


Very Clear This Treaty Plan Has Gone Rouge!

Vote No!
Short and sweet
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 30th January 2013
The signing of this ITA, although the text has not been released, will only include the land parcels if the Band members vote to accept the AIP. If the Band votes down the AIP then the ITA signature is worthless.

So again, why not wait for the vote? What else is the treaty team going to agree to with the ITA? What other tricks are being played here?

To say they are not signing a Treaty when the document is called a Treaty Agreement is a clear sign of illiteracy.

This is a clear abuse of process. What did they used to say about signing treaties in the past, "White man speak with forked tongue." This analogy fits this trickery.
Why the short notice?
Comment by Nancy on 30th January 2013
Obviously the treaty negotiators have had lots of time to consider the implications and importance of these incremental treaty agreement’s. I am wondering where they got their mandate from the members? The members got less than 48 hours notice of this signing not knowing anything about it and what it entails. No members in outlying areas were notified or “invited”.

Just like the “Handshake” signing at the NWCC the members did not have a clue what the Draft AIP had in it. The media even got the Draft AIP before the members? Are the agreements so confidential that not even the members are included to the details?

The Kitsumkalum signing is at 1pm tomorrow and Kitselas at 3pm. We don’t need to know what parcels of land before hand and this can’t wait for the AIP vote…..why?
Response is still misinformed.
Comment by Being informed on 30th January 2013
I just read this response online and am reposting it for your information. Of course we know you'll be responding and posting links that are irrelevant and confusing people even more. So with this posting I conclude my dialogue. Continue to be misinformed. You don't have to agree to it and that is fine but at least get the facts straight the RELEVANT sources instead concluding your own unfounded research based on bits and pieces of information your picking up online.

The answer is Absolutely no! KALUM RESERVE [has not] DETERMINED TO SIGN TREATY WITHOUT A VOTE - The Terrace Daily is mistaken and we'd like to ensure our members that in fact this is not the case. Under the ITA the land can only be transferred with the signing of an agreement-in principle and only after the community vote to continue to the next phase. Signing of the agreement-in-principle would trigger the transfer of a total 158 acres adjacent to existing reserve lands that Kalum immediately has after (and only if) the community votes yes to AIP. The ITA signing is part of B.C.’s efforts to ensure First Nations are able to benefit from treaty in advance of final agreements, and if Kalum votes yes to AIP and no to the Final agreement, Kalum will have this land regardless. If Kalum members vote no to the AIP, we will not have the ITA lands transferred and negotiations will stop.

Addition by Merv Ritchie: This is exactly what I referred to in my response, the above was written by the treaty team. It states in the last sentence If Kalum members vote no to the AIP, we will not have the ITA lands transferred, so as stated, why sign this agreement before the vote?

Debate and dialogue is healthy and important. If you have something to debate, facts we have, as claimed, incorrect, please continue to engage. It appears the treaty team of the Kitselas, Gitga`at, Kitsumkalum, Metlakatla, Kitasoo-Xaisais Treaty Society, does not wish to have an open honest dialogue. Better to use language of threats and intimidation to force their Band membership into compliance it seems.

No wonder the Idle No More movement grows exponentially.
Further Facts - this is not the Tsimshian Treaty Society
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 30th January 2013
Unlike all the other media in this tiny hamlet called Terrace, we do not call Gerald Wesley's new Society the Tsimshian Treaty Society because it clearly is not.

It was registered in 2004 when there was a clash of personalities, Wesley being one. The Allied Tribes and Lax'Kwlaams pulled out and Wesley, the Cheif Negotiator for about a dozen years earlier, realized if he wanted to continue down the Treaty path (and get $150,000/yr) he need a new society to continue.

The BC Government was all to happy to give him money to keep the Tsimshian divided.

It is the "Kitselas, Gitga`at, Kitsumkalum, Metlakatla, Kitasoo-Xaisais Treaty Society" .

When a band member pointed this out to another media on their forum, the comment was deleted.
Get your facts right Ritchie is a common refrain
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 30th January 2013
And always, those who spout these words have not a clue themselves of what they are speaking.

The ITA is a binding agreement. It commits the Kalum Band legally. If the Band signs this and then starts improvements on the new land this ITA provides, when it comes time to vote on the AIP, the Band will complain "We have to sign it now, look at all the improvements we have already made on the new land they (the Gov't) gave us."

Why put the cart before the horse?

Why sign a legally binding agreement about a treaty settlement offer when the Band has not had an opportunity to even voice their concerns, let alone take a secret ballot vote?

No, the facts are clear, the Band and the Treaty team are using technical details to confuse the membership. This ITA is essentially the same as the AIP. Each require an informed membership. And from all accounts and from all the various Band members who have contacted us, none of their questions are being answered directly and openly. Many are being threatened, one even by an Uncle who threatened to shoot the Band member if they spoke about this. Yes it was reported to the RCMP and we have the file number.

The Terrace Standard has been given directions, according to Jim MacDonald, not to publish anything negative about Treaty.

This is why people come to the Terrace Daily, a publication that is not afraid of the consequences of telling the truth.

We do our research and provide the facts. We have our facts accurate.

The treaty team now advises they will have to return the land they get with the ITA if the Band membership does not approve the AIP. How foolish is that?

Read about other ITA's here -
Bands, numbered, is a product of the Federal Government
Comment by Ted Francis on 30th January 2013
it was used to divide Our Nations so they could mismanage us easier.......... Treaty only represents one portion of Your Nation, this in my view makes any agreement false, not complete....... Also having Provinces, municipalities, and private businesses involved makes the process a complete farce.......... Adding extinguishments clauses defeats the entire purpose of any agreement and is NOT a Nation to Nation Treaty with fair trade or shared revenues.......... Always felt this way, and 'IdleNoMore' reenforces this feeling.........
Question ???
Comment by Ted Francis on 30th January 2013
There are NO consensus or agreements Federally on fishing rights or water rights........... And the omnibus Bills ensure any agreement will be null and void at the whim of Government, meaning they have the use of 'notwithstanding policy', which over rides any agreement and law....... How can any Treaty Society justify entering a pact that has no bite or enforcement ability ??? I asked Our Treaty Society this question, they responded saying I do not know what I am talking about....................
Getting the facts right.
Comment by Being informed on 30th January 2013
This article indicates the lack of research done. I constantly read information that does not have any merrit on this forum which is saddening as its confusing Kalum members into believing misguided information.

Get your facts straight and stop taking things out of context - have some responsibility to the Kalum people to represent the right facts. The people of Kalum are NOT approving the AIP at this event. They will have an opportunity to vote later on in the spring. Do you have any idea what the significant of this event is? What does the ITA mean for Kalum? Why do some people refer to voting for the AIP (later in the spring not at this event) as a no strings deal come time for our community to vote on AIP? This will impact only positively as nothing changes until the community votes on final agreement which can be 5 - 10 years from now and the only thing that will change if Kalum votes yes for the AIP is the immediate transfer of these ITA lands. Get informed and stop confusing the Kalum people.
What a friend sent!
Comment by Don't Tell! on 30th January 2013
Prepared for TEDA by Harris Palmer;

Each of the major industrial development projects will likely require some participation and support from Aboriginal communities in order to be successful.

Typically, one of the ways that industry works with Aboriginal communities to get that participation and support is by sole-sourcing business opportunities to the community as part of a broader compensation and accommodation package.

However, Aboriginal communities often lack the capacity and resources to fully take advantage of the business opportunities and look to establish relationships with experienced business partners so that they can execute on the opportunities that are presented.

In this sense, there is a potential for established businesses that are willing to partner with Aboriginal communities to also benefit from major project sole-sourcing.

Tool Kit:
The tool kit has been developed to assist businesses that are interested in developing businesses relationships with Aboriginal communities and is organized into three main sections.

Section 1 provides information about why businesses might be interested in developing partnerships with Aboriginal communities.

Section 2 provides information about who to approach in the northwest about potential business partnerships and some tips on how to approach communities (a detailed list of the First Nation and Métis communities in the area is presented and tips regarding protocol and points of contact are also provided).


Section 3 provides information about the types of tools that can be used when developing partnerships with Aboriginal communities. Sample agreements are attached as templates for potential use in business arrangements. The templates that are included are

(note: it should be emphasized that each business relationship is unique and each circumstance may require a different set or combination of agreements):

Term Sheet:

In Joint Ventures where equity in a new or existing business will be part of the Joint Venture, a Term Sheet is often developed by the Parties. This template lays out some of the terms that Parties will need to consider when negotiating this aspect of the agreement.

Chief and Council: (Expires on March 7, 2011)

Chief Don Roberts

Population: 668 members, 208 on Reserve.

Location: Located near Terrace along the Skeena River. 4 Reserves total 562.4 hectares.
Existing Industry Agreements/Activity in Area:

• Enbridge Northern gateway Pipelines proposed project.

• Northwest Transmission Line: approximately 344km, 287kV transmission line will provide power to potential industrial developments in area. Kitsumkalum are a major player in project.

• Prince Rupert Port Authority – Farview container port expansion.

• Agreement with CN Rail regarding provision of rock.

• Independent Power Producer (IPP) potential in territory – Kitsumkalum has invested money into feasibility studies.

• Terrace sawmill – Kitsumkalum are in discussions to purchase sawmill and associated licenses.

• Forestry: Kitsumkalum have a forestry license.

CONTACT INFO: PO Box 544, Terrace, BC, V8G 4B5
Phone: 250.635.6177 Fax: 250.635.4622

Watch out. The GTS is not dead!
Comment by Don Camsell on 30th January 2013
The Gitxsan Treaty Society will not give up soon. Their arrogance and obsession with coning their own citizens out of money needed by the people will continue. The GTS has spun off over 20 companies in the past and continues to do so. The greed, corruption and cronyism will continue under the guise of these new entities such as the Gitxsen Development Corp. The Gitxsen citizens will not let this happen. GUM has never been IDLE!
If the GTS is no longer a viable "Society"....
Comment by Nancy on 30th January 2013
Does that mean all of the other societies that negotiate on behalf of the BCTC are no longer "viable", deeming them illegal societies? The judge in Smithers stated that the Society is illegal because it had no members. Is that true for all? And doesn't that mean BCTC is not negotiating in "good faith"?