REPORTING · 1st February 2013
Terrace Daily News
New Video attached below of acknowledgement by other media of doing our job properly.
Not once but twice, Kitsumkalum Treaty Negotiator, Alec Bolton, while standing at the podium next to BC’s Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister, Ida Chong, used the public pulpit to attack the Terrace Daily. Chong was visibly embarrassed by the charade. Other media personalities proclaimed, ‘wow, when they do that you sure know you are doing your job’, and Chong later remarked, ‘What did you do [to get that honour]?’ Bolton’s wild and long denouncement included references to a poison pen stating he would be looking for an Indian name for us which reflected this sentiment.
As he was finishing his opening remarks Bolton again pointed to us advising of what we should write about, then turning to Chong stating in effect, ‘that is just an example of what we have to deal with,’ believing his remarks were in some manner appropriate.
This public embarrassment, during the introductions and welcoming ceremonies for the signing of the Incremental Treaty Agreement, was preceded with a berating by Chief Councillor Don Roberts and his mother Mildred outside the Kitsumkalum Hall. Roberts yelling became so loud people came out of the Hall to witness the encounter. The RCMP who were attending approached when Roberts tone and anger elevated such that a physical outburst was possible.
Roberts and Bolton, along with others who are promoting the treaty, have become hostile to all Kitsumkalum Band members who continue to ask hard questions of the process. The Terrace Daily is the only local media covering the hard questions being asked by the Tsimshian Kitsumkalum Band members.
Is the Treaty Society legitimate? Does it have a mandate to represent the people of Kitsumkalum? Elders are clear on this. When Wesley started his new society after his acknowledged clash of personalities with Lax kw'alaams and the Allied Tribes, he did not ask for or get a mandate to proceed. Wesley and the other media, including the Provincial government refer to this new society as the Tsimshian Treaty Society, when it clearly is not representing the Tsimshian Nation nor is this the proper name of the Society.
Reporting is ranked one of the most dangerous occupations. Reporters who dig up and write about the dirt and the secrets of corporate and government crimes are murdered almost regularly. This is generally due to the truth being exposed.
Roberts outburst was just that. He began by stating we would not be allowed into the Hall to cover the meeting. He then went on to complain about various stories on the Terrace Daily including the expose’s on the RCMP as he expressed his displeasure with the negative stories about his reserve politics.
We have heard reports of how Roberts has bullied and intimidated others (including hereditary Chiefs) even getting physically violent with his own brother when his brother indicated he would run against him for the Chiefs job.
This challenging exchange outside the Kitsumkalum Hall demonstrates Chief Councillor Don Roberts does not handle opposing points of view well at all. Many who witnessed the exchange stated it was a good thing the Police and other witnesses were present as they were certain, if they weren’t, Roberts would have attacked physically.
This is how Band politics works today. Single family control and those who oppose in any manner are attacked and bullied. Kitsumkalum is not alone, special or unique. What this demonstrates most clearly however is this Band, with their present leadership, is not ready for self government.
The video attached below (or watched on youtube by clicking HERE
), is excerpts of the exchanges and concludes with a previous interview where Chief Negotiator Gerald Wesley claims the desire to be able to determine who can and cannot be a Band member. This summary of Indian History, up to today's events at Kitsumkalum, is likely what has Roberts and Bolton so bothered.
Alec Bolton says everyone is welcome except Merv Ritchie and his poison pen
Ida Chong asks what did you do to deserve the honour?
Comment by Treaty4ever - Who ever this is on 5th February 2013
You your self are trying to delegate what the other
Members of Kitsumkalum should vote. They have chosen to be informed 'well' or 'not at all' about
Ed note: look up the word delegate in a dictionary. The effort is to help members become informed, not instruct anyone on how to vote, just to know what they are voting on.
Did you know?.. That if Kitsumkalum votes YES! On the AIP... The TWO Parcels of land will be signed over to Kitsumkalum and it will be theirs REGARDLESS of the out come of the FINAL AGREEMENT VOTE!
If the KITSUMKALUM People vote yes to the AIP then the parcels of land will belong to them.. To do what they see please. Now, if KITSUMKALUM votes yes to the AIP and NO to the FINAL AGREEMENT.... these TWO PARCELS of land will REMAIN as a part of KITSUMKALUM.
Ed Note: That information is clear and most should know these minor details. Did you know the land transfer does not include the rock required for the quarry? Did you know the Province still maintains complete control of it? And can charge anything they want if the Kalum Quarry wants to take it? Did you know the signing of the ITA threatens all the kitsumkalum members aboriginal rights afforded to them in the Canadian Constitution sinse 1867? Did you know this land will never ever be reserve land, regardless of whether Kitsumkalum agrees to the AIP or not or gets a final treaty or not. These lands will never be allowed to belong to the reserve.
MAYBE! CW... It would be a good idea to get yourself INFORMED about the TREATY.
Ed Note: Getting informed is at the foundation of all the questions being asked. Without getting the answers 'getting informed is impossible.
All the rest of 'Treaty4ever' comment has been deleted. As will all anonymous posts attacking others.
This is such childish behaviour......
Comment by Cynthia Wunderlich (Nelson) on 5th February 2013
Behaviour like this is what is most worrisome out of this whole drama...These are the people (members) that want self - government. If you don't do as I say and do, then this is the treatment you will get.....round up all bullies and attack with no name attached, then run and hide behind protocols that only apply to one elder. (not for the other chiefs and matriarchs). The government and corporations picked their supporters well. Don't forget this all started because they forced in the Incremental Treaty Agreement with no notice, consent or involvement of the members and hereditary chiefs and matriarchs. Vote no to the AIP or we are all in for a rude awakening that cannot be reversed. Show them the trinkets didn't work this time. Our territories and resources are not for sale.
Comment by treaty4ever on 5th February 2013
wow! i applaud the wonderful picture of the family pact in the title.
Don Roberts.. I applaud you. It is about time that you stood up to the 'Blews' writer and his pact with their one-sided stories. All the stories that reflect on how and what his girlfriend thinks of treaty.
I am so proud of you Don Roberts! "We salute you"
Keep it up.. don't let Mervs Pact drag you down.
Good for you Alex Bolton! Keep up the good work. Be there for your people and dont let the bullies take you down. Just keep smiling....
treaty! treaty! treaty!! love.. love... love.
sad conflicts, but many opportunities
Comment by Christie Brown on 3rd February 2013
I am a member of the Kitsumkalum Band living off-reserve. I will be voting on the Agreement in Principle, but I did not put in the effort to give input into Kitsumkalum's treaty work. I have not yet done my part in understanding what's been constructed so far, either, but have the responsibility of examining the proposals in depth before I vote. Initially I was really impressed with some of the proposed agreements, but grew hesitant over a few points I had not considered.
As Merv has pointed out, various First Nations have made terrible mistakes in making treaties or other agreements, mistakes that suited the interests of other parties, and generations have paid for those. Governments consider groups of peoples'' interests to various degrees, but they naturally act in a lot of insincere, biased management interests contrary to the wellbeing of a group whose business they're involved with. It is a group's responsibility to fight for and advocate for itself, and we depend on the hard work and support from outsiders.
I am really glad to access local media that critically examines the business of my band, and communicates important aspects of issues which would not be covered by other media. Most of us don't feel comfortable having our work criticized, but when there is little to hide, there is little to worry about showing. Staff of any government or government contract are susceptable to harsh media scrutiny, and this gives them opportunities to improve or correct their work, making them more accountable, or grow a thicker skin where appropriate. I really hope my relatives and other staff at my band find ways to feel comfortable sharing information with Merv, for the direct benefit of band members, and improved understanding among non-First Nations. I pray for transparency and justice in this treaty process.
Where media coverage lacks anywhere, people have restricted abilities to create justice. Justice is impaired when media coverage is superficial, censored, or one-sided. I find Merv's work fills a lot of MAJOR gaps around local issues, especially topics involving social justice, and First Nations issues. We are so lucky to have the Daily online. Other media do a great job of describing positive events and publishing pictures to bring these to life; I see no need for Merv to waste much time and energy duplicating this.
KITSUMKALUM POLITICS REALITY
Comment by Murray McCarthy on 3rd February 2013
POLITICAL GROWING PAINS!
Reading a Boss Book. The 1950s - 1960's was a period were "Do as your told" your job is not to think.
In modern times the new generation from 1970 - 1980 - 1990 "are free thinking education generation" whom can ask questions - read from Internet google research.
Those individuals with Post Secondary Education. The students become quickly from a student to an educator. The 1950 do not like that. There perception is no other way but the way they are taught and everyone is wrong. That is when people butt heads.
In Kitsumkalum we have 200 home residence whom govern the community of Kitsumkalum in the Indian Reserve. The amount of off reserve members are " 500" residents those 500 do not get any information what is happening on reserve, just by social media what ever they can get.
The unity is not in our village kitsumkalum culture entitlement from 1950. In business its not healthy nor as community it creates division between community and on reserve and off reserve members.
This Treaty there are "Wolves - Eagles - Ravens" have zero land in the Treaty.
The Gispawada has a little bit of land. That land is being used for CN DEVELOPMENT. Whom is Private Sector Operation. Which is unhealthy for elders, locals whom have to breath in concrete - rock dust at local level. Plus its really load when they blast 5 days a week.
When people ask questions about all the business agreements, for minutes on meetings. To real Post Secondary Questions about the Treaty. Well everyone knows that answer its not nice. Then the Treaty team tells you to research yourself, then when you find real information and ask questions they tell you not to ask those kind of questions.
I hope the next generation start speaking out with there voters voices. Really think about how to decide the future for Kitsumkalum. Put the good of the community before Industry. Or just have a fully educated team that can deliver a government body. That can defend Kitsumkalum against Corporations.
Industry is winning right now by the community being divided.
We need to be united for the next generation. Bring a adult conversation to the leadership and community members,
Murray McCarthy Kitsumkalum
Politics and "opposition" parties
Comment by Manion Denise on 3rd February 2013
I am a Kalum band member and I am sorry to see the exchanges that are going on as the majority of the people involved are my family, all whom I love and respect.
What I would like to say is this all boils down to politics. Take a look at Federal, Provincial, Municipal political parties. There are people who ask the tough questions, dig around for information and they're usually labelled "the opposition". I think it's important for each level of politics, reserve included, to have an "opposition" party, to have people asking the questions that need to be asked. I think it ensures a level of transparency and honesty. If there's nothing to hide, then what's the problem?
In this particular situation, I think if people have a problem with the reports that are being published, they should contact the reporting party(ies) to clear up any confusion, if applicable, and to set the story straight. I believe transparency is necessary and that all levels of media should be invited to these meetings, just my $0.02. I hope this is all rectified soon.
I seldom agree.....
Comment by James Ippel on 2nd February 2013
In the past I have found Merv to be very much on the side of the Indians in the Northwest. In fact, sometimes I think he goes overboard.
Now I read that Alec Bolton says that everyone is welcome except Merv Ritchie and his poison pen. Maybe Mr. Bolton has a problem accepting help from someone like Mr. Ritchie, or he is afraid that Merv will uncover some unsavoury past deed(s) by Mr. Bolton.
Having lived in the area for over 50 years it has been my experience that the Bolton and Roberts families have pretty much controlled Kitsumkalum in that time period.
One bright period of time for Kitsumkalum was when Cliff Bolton was the Chief Councillor. This man had a vision, was not afraid to work with and consult those with opposing views. After Cliff left reserve politics he was very disappointed at the actions of those who came after him.
Did I know Cliff well? We worked together for years, and after we both retired, often spoke openly and frankly on the events at Kitsumkalum. We knew each other well enough that we could speak openly and freely without insult.
In closing, don't deny Merv access. He could be your greates supporter, but piss him off and I am sure you will have an enemy for life.
Comment by armin r musterer on 2nd February 2013
merv has a perfect right to be there .one he is part of a kitsumkalum family as defined in the agreement in principle . he is also a reporter writing positive or negative is niether here or there it is akin to saying only those that vote yes can attend total scam to line their pocket and merv only points this out we should be thankful not hateful begs the question what are you hiding
An Indian Name for Poison Pen?
Comment by Artie on 2nd February 2013
Indian was a mistake by Christopher Columbus. The Indian word for poison pen is: विषलेखक or अज्ञातनामा मुख़बिर.
Doesn't surprise me to see this native fellow has no respect for his people.
It doesn't take a degree
Comment by Dave on 1st February 2013
Anyone with a lick of scence can see this mans yelling is due to his own lack of integrity. It doesn't take a degree in psycology to see through his agressive behaviour, we all learned about guys like this in school. It is Indians like this that create the bad press. Even Rob Ford isn't that stupid to yell at reporters in such a tirade, even those he hates. naw, this guy is just an angry man - musta gone to res school, I'd be angry too.
Indian Band Bullys'
Comment by Dar on 1st February 2013
Its unfortunate that personal feelings/thoughts/wishes come into the picture of the future of a nation...sometimes people forget why they were hired/voted in and tunnel-vision happens...and to be so disrespectful to outsiders is not called for. We have endured that for so many years and to retaliate is to show childishness and insecurity. These are supposed to be our "elders", our "teachers" and they go and do something like that. Anger is fear. Mr. Roberts needs to learn more self-control and Mr. Bolton's words were indecipherable, all mumbled so couldn't hear what he said. Its so unfortunate...our leaders need to learn to listen to the people!!!! Remember you were voted in/hired and can be removed to be replaced by someone who will "listen to the people" and work for that.
You need to fight and work towards a 100% fully acceptable agreement that will benefit all the people now and future generations. Do not follow the Nisga'a Agreement; who in their right mind would sign away over 90% of the land, etc. and call it "fair"?????
Please First Nations', open your eyes/heart/minds and relook at the people we've voted/hired and see if they are the best people for the jobs. Don't let people come in and do what they want, have behind closed door meetings, make decisions and then come to you at a meeting and "pretend" whats transpiring is your idea. At times decisions are already made, handshakes done, and meetings are formalities that waste all our time. We need to be more aware and wake up and start questioning and demanding answers. Start researching and asking questions...remember when we go into a new job, we are green, we are learning, we sometimes just follow the herd, and so...things could be waylaid or forgotten so for as long as it takes, don't settle for less and don't give more away than what will be given in return...
Indian band bullies
Comment by Pam Bevan on 1st February 2013
Why is Merv there in the first place? He's an antogonist. His articles always have a negative spin on them. We, as First Nations, get enough bad press, we don't need any more. So ya, I understand why they don't want him there.
Truth Denied Again
Comment by Nisga'a member on 1st February 2013
WOW!!!! Talk about denial, this is sickening.
It is their right.
Comment by Mr. Peters on 1st February 2013
You may not like it, but you want Indians to have self governance. It is there territory and there buildings, which means they can determine who is allowed to come in. Just like I can determine who comes onto my property and into my house. I am happy that they have some strong leadership who have the capacity to see the future and work to get there.
Negative is as negative does. You can not continue to be a negative person and expect people to have a positive response.