REPORTING · 5th December 2011
In an abrupt change to the affairs within the Gitxsan Nation the entire Treaty Office and Treaty Society has been terminated. After an emergency meeting of the Nations Hereditary Chiefs they attended the Offices and fired the negotiators, Elmer Derrick and Bev Clifton Percival and then terminated the Executive Director Gordon Sebastian.
The Chiefs marched to the Treaty Society Offices fired them all and then demanded their keys. They have initially refused to hand the keys over claiming they don’t work for the Hereditary Chiefs. After years of signing papers and claiming, even last Friday with Enbridge, to be working for the Hereditary Chiefs this was an interesting about face.
“The Gitxsan Treaty Society has caused division amongst the Gitxsan for years”, stated Norm Stephens who spoke to us on behalf of the Hereditary Chiefs, “I haven’t come across one Hereditary Chief that said they knew about it or that they approved it, everyone has been against the Enbridge agreement. They don’t want to deal with Enbridge, they don’t want to feel the embarrassment of this, they want to put it behind them.”
Now that the staff of the Treaty office has been terminated the true Hereditary Chiefs will be informing the Province on how referrals will be handled in the future. Various House groups and Clans have been sending letters to the Province for years instructing the Province the Treaty Office does not represent them. Since 2008 the Hereditary Chiefs along with Band Councils have been engaged in a lengthy legal struggle to remove Elmer Derrick, Bev Clifton Percival and Gordon Sebastion from their claims of representing the Gitxsan.
Even after all these actions the BC Government has continued to fund the Treaty office to the tune of $20 million. All of this the BC Government will claim is owed to them by the Gitxsan and the Hereditary Chiefs.
Today Sebastion, Percival and Derrick openly stated what everyone knew, they don’t work on behalf of the Hereditary Chiefs or the Gitxsan people. How the BC Government will attempt to recover this money, which was primarily used to divide the Gitxsan Nation, is anyone’s guess.
Who knew the deal was being signed?
Comment by I. Anderson on 7th December 2011
Elmer Derrick is the scapegoat, in case things went south. Sure enough they did. Now that the Elmer bashing has been done and you have identified who didn't know about the deal, I think the question is: Who knew this deal was being inked? Who was benefiting from this deal? Follow the money ....
That my friend, is the real story.
Im Sorry it came to this-nonconsultation with us.
Comment by Lawrence Shanoss on 6th December 2011
The news came to a surprise while enroute to a Vancouver Canuck game Saterday morning, and we as little backers within the feast system for the last 40 plus years was silenced by rules that was set out against us small people within the Gitxsan Nation, I was taught not to celebrate when something like this comes to light, and only wish that the doors was not shut at a certain time of the decision passed to meet with Endbridge, who gave you authority to move ahead , should also be dealt with, it was devastating to go out in public and people know who we are, to find out that a deal was signed with all of the Gitxsan not been consulted, and I was insulted out there, on behave of my family and from our house group, we are sorry for the feeling sent out to the news with Endbridge, I was shocked and felt like there was death to who I was as an individual, In Gitxsan Law we call AYOOK- that anyone who breaks the law, will be silenced and not to talk in the feast hall until he or she has smartened up, it is the law, and this should be placed on the table for the next group to watch out on what and how you conduct yourself in public. I rest my case and in hopes that a lesson can be learned from this announcement- Endbridge- There is NO DEAL, as the topic has come up- is there a deal or no deal- From Mr Lawrence J Shanoss- THERE IS NO DEAL WITH YOU- ENDBRIDGE, We will continue to stand with our Brothers and Sisters who oppose your proposal, sorry for what has happened and hope to be a continued friend of all Nations. Wii Ba Auxx, Gitxsan Seater in Feast Halls.
This is what Democracy should look like!
Comment by Carlo Voli on 5th December 2011
Awesome!!! Today I'm been blown away by the Gixtan and other First Nations in BC by their resolve, courage and show of unity. You can not let representatives of a people speak for the people, if the people do not agree with the decisions being made by their representatives. This is what democracy should look like!
Comment by Maggie Jo on 5th December 2011
Thank you for your prompt action to show the world you are NOT on board with Derrick's betrayal of his people.
Comment by Just sayin' on 5th December 2011
Once again, thank you chiefs for righting an obvious wrong.