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REPORTING · 22nd February 2013
Merv Ritchie
In a stunning, rather shocking revelation, a document received by the Terrace Daily reveals CN ordered Kitsumkalum to deliver their unqualified support for the Fairview II Expansion and further that should they renege on this support or default on delivery of rock for CN, Kitsumkalum has given CN the right to access the Quarry as often as they deem necessary, with their own men and equipment to take the rock.

These terms were negotiated by Roger Harris, who represented Kitsumkalum and the Kalum Quarry in the negotiations with CN. The terms are regarding the costs born by CN to install the rail spur into the quarry to access the rock. As long as Kitsumkalum supports the Fairview expansion and delivers the rock as and when required the operations should operate smoothly however if anything changes CN has the upper hand.

“14.3 CN has entered into this agreement in reliance [… that …] the First Nation has irrevocably and publically communicated its full and unqualified support for the Fairview II Expansion to all Crown decision makers requiring confirmation of such support, or to any other person requested by CN

14.4 If the First Nation rescinds its support or attempts to rescind its support […] or attaches conditions to its support, CN may […] terminate this agreement.”

This then would make the full amount owing, the costs CN has attributed to installing the rail line for the quarry, due and payable immediately.

14.5 […] the Rail Spur Costs actually incurred up until such time will immediately accelerate and come due to CN.

The chapter that address the recovery of these expenses is contained in an earlier paragraph.

8.1 If the First Nation fails or neglects to pay the Rail Spur Costs […] (c) […] CN will be entitled to […] (ii) enter the Kalum Quarry in order to remove from the Kalum Quarry any quantity of aggregates it may require, using its own personnel and equipment if and to the extent necessary. […] CN may re-enter the Kalum Quarry as many times as may be necessary to recover aggregates equal in value to the full amount then outstanding […].

The agreement provided to us, though unsigned, details even more alarming benefits favouring CN over the Kitsumkalum people. All the rock must be shipped by CN (except under specific circumstances) and Kitsumkalum has no right to challenge the amount CN charges to a third party purchaser for shipping. If the Quarry operation cannot provide the minimum volumes or quality then the full amount owing becomes due, in effect putting chapter 8.1 into motion. CN will be allowed to audit the books of the Kalum Quarry and the Band was required to deliver an irrevocable Band Council resolution authorizing CN to access the Kalum Quarry in regards to subsection 8.1 (c) (ii).

CN and the Kalum Quarry Working Committee will define the fair market value for the rock and 15% of the value of the rock taken from the quarry will go towards the repayment of the Rail Spur Costs. The agreement stays in effect until the entire costs of the rail line is repaid.

With the recent announcement of the Incremental Treaty Agreement (ITA), which has the Province of BC promising to deliver the adjoining parcel of land containing more rock for the quarry should the people of Kitsumkalum sign the Agreement in Principle (AIP), it appears as if with this CN agreement the Band has tied their peoples hands.

If they do not sign the AIP they will not get the extra parcel of land. If they don’t get the land they likely will not have access to enough rock. As Alex Bolton stated during the ITA signing, ‘that’s where the good rock is, we need that rock’. If they don’t, and cannot meet the signed contractual arrangements, CN has the full authority to do it without them. The Province can grant the extra parcel to CN and Kitsumkalum has no avenue in which to stop them.

All of the foregoing was derived from an unsigned draft agreement from 2011. Band members have asked for and been refused official copies of this agreement.
To other Tsimshian compadres:
Comment by Janice Robinson on 25th February 2013
It is ironic that I used to abhor politics, and avoid it like the plague. However, I am my Mother's daughter....and my detractors never cease reminding me of that fact. I am a counsellor, and have dedicated half my life to the health and wellness to my people.

Mom loved all things cultural and political, and paid a very high price for her deeds.....right to the end of her life:
- she, and another hereditary, Eagle chief (Henry Kelly) used to attend many Tsimshian funerals, and lift hereditary names from the deceased so they would not be buried and forgotten. It was illegal, and other Natives used to threaten to turn them in.

- they kept regalia and house property when it was illegal to do so. A non-believing relative stole it, and she recovered it from their back the cold and rain.

- Mom was a founding member of the Kermode Centre, and also of local Native Housing (Muskomol). I still have a piece of paper that declares her a "life-time" member of that society. Yet, she was excommunicated by recent board members, after disclosing dishonest and unethical they switched to their present "corporate model," banning Elders and supporting the casino B.S. They threw all the Elders' photos out the back door, into a damp shed.

- she supported the Tsimshian Tribal Council, and believed we were stronger while standing as a nation. After treaty negotiators screwed the council in their bid for more power and money, Mom was excluded and disrespected by the local treaty her dying day!

- I attended the much lauded event at the arena when "A new beginning" was declared, and when Gerald was mistakenly given a name. She turned her bowl upside down, and told us it was not a traditional affair, but one paid for by the government. She also reminded us of who Addie was, and where she came from....

- When they started putting robins atop totem poles, she reminded them that the Eagle always is on top of Tradional Tsimshian poles. She also stated that they were not to be painted. She is the reason why the only traditional Tsimshian pole in Terrace can be found at Northwest Community College.

- While visiting my home in town, during her last Christmas with us....Mom fell and sprained her ankle. The doctor recommended she stay in town while her ankle heals. The band cut her off from all support "because she was not on reserve." I asked her why she cried, as we were fully capable of looking after eachother. "I cry because I now see they will disrespect you too, even though it is me who irks them. Be careful when I am gone."

- etcetera!

- Indeed, upon Mom's passing, we were denied use of Kitsumkalum Hall for our traditional memorial feast. No hole was dug for her at Kitsumkalum Cemetery, until 2 weeks later when my brother threatened to take his shovel and dig it himself. Mom's remains were at my house.

I could go on, but you see my point. I admire you for how you care for our nation, and how proudly you stand.

I am honest and respectful, although not always "nice." I have nastily been accused of, "You're just like your Mother!"

Okay. Whii Nea ach is my name, and I walk with the talking stick Mom gave me.

And there you are. Continue to teach your beautiful children to be real....and strong! By the looks of it, they will need to be.

You have made a decision to stand. Never give up, and try to shun anger. Our ancestors smile.

Why wah!

- When Kitsumkalum started calling itself "a Nation," she seen the writing on the wall.
Signed CN contract and details wanted
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 23rd February 2013
If anyone can produce the actual signed and dated contract we will post it as an attachment for all to read. Until then, we cannot be sure of the actual contract details.
This agreement did not get voted on by all members
Comment by Band Member on 23rd February 2013
They keep saying our agreements all went to referendum. They did not, not all members were even notified of this agreement never mind sent ballots or were made aware that there was going to be an impromptu vote.

The grassroots members like all other communities (reserves) don't have unlimited money for lawyers to challenge any of this.

The BCTC and Government cronies have ripe picking grounds with all the power and money to oppress members that want to be truly informed. And if anyone asks the right questions they are attacked and put on a hit list from the members that get to line their pockets and spend borrowed money from the gov.

I'd like to know who hired Roger Harris for president of the Rock Quarry, who does the hiring and firing? and why don't the members know or have a say?

Less than %5 of the members voted on this agreement. The administration says that after all these years they can't get addresses of all 700 plus members. Probably because they don't want to.
Rock Quarry
Comment by Kalum Resident (matriarch) on 23rd February 2013
Again I have to respond to the Rock Quarry and CN. Are we out of our minds? Just who is Roger Harris working for? Looks to me like he is working for CN

Why do we feel that we have to hire so called professionals to negotiate deals for us? We do have more competent people that we can utilize. And for whatever reason, we cannot get past this old notion that the white man is superior in brain power.

What a Mickey Mouse deal.

A meeting with Chief Roberts
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 23rd February 2013
In 2010, I sat with Chief Don Roberts in his office and discussed this deal with him. I had recently observed him returning from Vancouver at the arirport with Harris, Talstra and others from a meeting with CN.

He was proud of the negotiations. He told me Roger was able to get CN to not charge interest on the loan, the money CN was spending to install the spur line into the Kitsumkalum Reserve. I would have to retrieve my notes but as I recall CN wanted to charge interest at 4% and Roberts bragged about how Harris was able to get that reduced to zero.

I found it odd that Kalum was paying to get the spur put in. CN wants the rock, then they should pay for their own infrastructure to get it. This deal, to me, smacks of paternalistic trickery - Harris completely abusing his obvious superior intellect and political and business elite connections to befuddle and keep Roberts entranced. I am ashamed we still do this to the obviously unprepared Indian people.

I am not critizing Don, he has his heart in the right place, he just trusts people when they speak to him with sincerety. Those are the best crooks, those who can sit and smile, joke and entertain, while ripping you off completely.

My brother and his ex-partner in the newspaper business were two of the best. Reformed alcoholics professing christian principles acting with superiority. Look out for them! They even rip off their own family in the name of God.

That is why we must keep the Indian Act for a few years yet. It is the only legal protect the less skilled Indian peoples have to protect themselves against the superior legal trickery of people who have no morality, no compassion for the tragedy we already suffered on these great Nations of old.
Rock Quarry and Cn
Comment by Kalum resident (matriarch) on 23rd February 2013
Have just been reading the terms of the Rock Quarry. Please tell when this all came about, Gerald, Alec.
It jus sickens me that here is another back door deal, the people of Kitsumkalum had no a chance to pursue.
I think Don Roberts can talk till the cows come home, and his point of view on the upcoming AIP will be ignored.
One thing this MYTHBUSTER meeting cannot disquise is the fact that a lot of this is a done deal.

Should be called the mirthbuster meeting, its a joke that the treaty negotiators think we cannot see through them, their in such a hurry to collect their cheques, at the end of the day, they will sign anything.

Again ty, and please leave my name of this. Have to content with these pompous, at the end of day.