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COMMENTARY · 11th December 2011
Merv Ritchie
Straight up, here is the truth. The Indians own the works! They proved their Hereditary law and government existed and still exists. Either wake up and smell the coffee or get out of the way. It is an undeniable fact.

The truth is this. The Canadian Supreme Court (Appellate Court) ruling on Delgamuukw stated Indians have a supreme authority over their lands due to their traditional, hereditary law. This was simply and securely attached to the testimony of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. They own their territory. Industry and the government, after the Delgamuukw Supreme Court ruling, were obligated to first consult with the Hereditary Chiefs, the land owners, prior to any activity. And what ever the Chiefs said was the law.

When the BC and Canadian Government fully realized this they went into damage control, how could they possibly stop or reverse such a decision? They needed to destroy their adversary but it had to be strategic and complete. Another challenge and a stronger ruling would destroy all their plans for extracting the mineral wealth from this territory unimpeded. The Court even stated there needed to be another Court case on this issue.

Enter the time honoured strategy of "Divide and Conquer".

All BC Treaty activity stopped after the Delgamuukw decision was handed down. Governments and their administrations went into quiet backroom debate and discussions, “What to do?” They figured out a plan.

When the BC Liberals came into power with Gordon Campbell the Treaty process began again. This time they set up a new set of rules. First, every band was required to set up a society under the Society Act (RSBC). Once they did this the Indians began operating in a completely non-traditional manner outside of the Hereditary laws. As a Society they needed to follow the provisions of the Act by holding Annual General Meetings (AGM’s) and electing directors and officers. The BC Government then began delivering millions of dollars to these Treaty Societies.

In effect what the BC Government did was to fracture the Traditional culture of these peoples once again. The first time they did this was when the Provincial Government outlawed the Indian government by forbidding the practice of feasting (the potlatch). Feasts and the ‘give away ceremony’ was, and is, the traditional and hereditary method of resolving all disputes and determining governmental order in all the Northwest and Coastal First Nations. It was this system the Canadian Supreme court Justices recognized as the undeniable truth; that it still existed and was historically accurate. Electing Directors and holding AGM’s, filing reports and answering to a foreign government was never part of the culture. But that is what the various First nations peoples did and that was the master plan of the BC and Canadian Governments.

Today, if either the BC or Canadian Governments wished to pursue a challenge to the appeal court ruling on Delgamuukw they would in all likelihood win. The Indians would fall flat on their faces because they have turned their backs on their Hereditary systems of laws. If they do not reverse this immediately with great strength and force they will lose everything, in fact it is almost a certainty now.

The Canadian and British Columbian governments through these treaty societies and with INAC (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) have approved various measures and received various Court Judgements against the Hereditary Chiefs and traditional laws. They have been systematically laying the groundwork for the next court challenge.

There is only one solution for the Indians. It is simple yet comprehensive. It will take only one action and will completely reverse all the efforts of the BC and Canadian Governments attempts to destroy their control and ownership of their lands.

Each Nation needs to step forward with their Hereditary Chiefs and proclaim their recognition of the other Nations Hereditary Chiefs as their true and legitimate time honoured government.

To do this they must adhere to the traditional laws so each Nation can rightly proclaim the other Nations Chiefs as been the true Chiefs.

This means the rightful land owners, trapline holders, the heads of the various houses and clans or crest titles, must; have acquired this right (the name) through the proper Matrilineal lineage, have been approved by the Matriarchs and held a feast to establish and display their right to their community.

Once the high Chiefs of the Raven, Eagle, Killerwhale, Wolf, Beaver and the rest of the crests/clans are brought together from each Nation, and when they display their true authority to each other, and then declare each others legitimacy of each others standing, they can make an official declaration of each others National Sovereignty.

Territorial disputes and even disputes over “Name” holding can be resolved by later and future meetings of the High Chiefs and their councils or speakers. Declarations could even be conditional on the resolution of these disputes. The immediacy of these declarations is of the most pressing urgency if the Indian Nations wish to retain anything. Enbridge, Royal Dutch Shell and a multitude of industrialists are waiting for the First Nations to fail this test.

The Tsimshian and the Gitxsan are in disarray due to these Treaty Societies and their associated Band Councils. The Haisla have suffered greatly, almost to extinction of their sovereignty, due to the actions of the Kitamaat Village Council during the passing of their high Chief, Beaver Crest high authority, Chief Jassee (Tom Robinson).

Previously warring and fighting western Nations such as Japan, America, Germany, France, Spain and England, have all joined together and recognized each others territory while maintaining some disputed claims.

This is exactly what the First Nations of the northwest need to do if they wish to have any future.

They must join together with their own version of the United Nations. The United First Nations of BC. Each declaring their own sovereignty and each recognizing the others.

But it is imperative they follow their traditional laws as it is these laws the Appeal Court of the Supreme Court of Canada recognized in the long fight the Gitxsan and the Wet’suwet’en endured against the BC Government on behalf of all First Nations peoples.

Snooze and lose or wake up and win. It is your choice and your choice only. It is up to the Treaty Societies and the Band Councils to consider this with great haste and great care. Keep receiving the bundles of cash for yours and your immediate families benefit or sacrifice it for the good of your Nation.

All Tahltan, Gitxsan, Wet’suwet’en, Haisla, Tsimshian, Nisaga’a, Tlingit and Haida peoples need to consider this very, very seriously. It is not just up to your Band Councils and Treaty Societies, it is up to each and every one of you. Be careful. Are you willing to put down the remote control and the I-pad/smart phone for a while? For your children’s children? Last chance, last warning, it is in your hands now.
This image, the major rivers, which provide all food sources, could be used as an internationally recognized symbol of these great First Nations peoples.   It is a gift from the creator to the people.
This image, the major rivers, which provide all food sources, could be used as an internationally recognized symbol of these great First Nations peoples. It is a gift from the creator to the people.
East Coast no different
Comment by mitchell l gold on 18th December 2011
as a message carrier of a number of hereditary chiefs - we bring to share with you that the same problem that you observe on the West Coast is occurring on the East Coast. We thought that those that paid attention to the coming together of the Eagle and the Condor, the White Buffalo Calf, and other prophecy - would know that someone has to organize the systems as pointed out in this article - the TWO ROW WAMPUM Treaty may provide the glue for that process - if all nations across Canada can stand together under the Two Row Wampum Treaty - much time may be saved in terms of organizing. The Supreme Court of Canada already acknowledges the importance of the Two Row Wampum Treaty - as does the United States Supreme COurt. This Treaty, while originally with the Dutch has been signed onto by all who recognize the sovereignty of the First Nations Peoples. The notion that ALL Canadians are Treaty People need be promoted in all corners of Canada and the United States - and that the Treaty that is Supreme in the Land is the Two Row Wampum Treaty. Treat others as you wish to be treated. ! by Mitchell L GOld in the tradition of the Peacemaker
The Roman Empire?
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 13th December 2011
The suggestion in the first post "Julius Ceasar was right" is that we should apply, or should have applied, a similar solution. To make a subtle point I asked, "Where is the Roman Empire now?" The point is that history should teach us not to make the same mistakes. The response is more detail on the shelf-life of world powers and civilizations and the inference that it is just the way it is. Well...I hate to say it but...that is not much of an answer.
Comment by Rick M. on 13th December 2011
I am neither a christian nor a harper supporter [...]

Email is not relevant. This is a public forum. [...]

Thanks -Rick

I did not say you were a Harper supporter or a Christian and - No, this is not a public forum, this is the Terrace Daily, and we have a policy, identify yourself, (don't be a coward), or you don't get posted, hence all your ramblings have been deleted.
What then, RickM - your email failed - Coward
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 13th December 2011
What I am stating is simply facts. If I am suggesting anything it is attempting to suggest a solution to the entire disharmony.

Mike Harcourt attempted this in his way long ago. He brought all the parties together in an attempt to find a common acceptable solution. The environmentalists, business, industry, labour and first nations were all sitting around the same table until the mainstream media crucified him for no apparent reason other than to destroy unity and the “common citizen good”.

Today no one seems to know who to talk to, agree with a Band Council and another Band Council interferes. Agree with one First Nations and another says No! One Hereditary Chief says yes another says no. This is no way to conduct anything in life and especially in business.

I suggest Canadians accept the reality of their genocidal practices of the past, truly apologize by actually attempting to assist the first nations in restoring their own dignity. Today we attempt to tell them what they need to do to be dignified. What if you woke up and found the Christian heritage gone, all the foundation of Christian morality gone?

That is what we did to the FN, we stole their sense of self, of belonging to a culture, a faith and told them they needed to be part of the Christian faith.

The FN do not want to evict anyone, they want their culture back. The former genocidal Germany is now, only 50 years later, a part of the Western Family. The devastated cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have accepted the West but are still completely Japanese.

We need to wake up, this is Indian Land. If you do not like Indians then maybe you should consider moving. Would you live in Japan if you didn’t like Japanese? China? This is the reality. Chinese and Japanese accept westerners. If you act like a jerk they might ask you to leave but other then that they love you as their own.

Your attitude is the attitude Stephen Harper and the mainstream Media attempt to perpetuate, hostility, disharmony, division and acrimony. They get to control your emotions and reactions in this manner.

PS. Next time have the decency to use a full name and a real email address, bigots and bullies are always cowards.
What then?
Comment by Rick M. on 13th December 2011
People sure are good at pointing out problems in our society without being able to propose any realistic solutions. It's easy to be a complainer. What are you saying in all this Mr. Richie? That Canada should be chopped up and divided into smaller nations based on ethnic backgrounds? Should all the white people be broke down by subcultures as well and "managed" the same? Or are you suggesting all non-FN be exiled back to europe? Perhaps we should make all the whites serfs? They are renting our land after all
Mr. Giesbrecht
Comment by Mr. Peters on 13th December 2011
They conquered people in the formation of their empire and they in turn were conquered by other people who then formed their own empires. This is the cycle of history. When the Europeans first came to this land they found hundreds of small tribes who they conquered and formed this nation, and in turn there will be a time when someone else will come and conquer us and make a different nation. This is neither good or bad it is just reality.
One Question.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 12th December 2011
Where is the Roman Empire today?
Mr Peters
Comment by Jane Fregin
on 12th December 2011
Why does your post sound like it is the natives that want to live under the Indian Act. Maybe it is you who should read up on the history of the Indian Act. It will be up to the Canadian Government and not all the freeloading natives to change or drop the Indian Act.
PS: Thanks for not pointing out that natives didn't have a written language until the europeans came here.
re: John Amos
Comment by Mr. Peters on 12th December 2011
You missed the whole dam point. It was through total assimilation that the Gauls became the great cultures of Europe. Indians here will always be viewed as something less then equal as long as there is this insistence on having this apartheid system known as The Indian Act.

You should read more history. Courts are good only as long as people are willing to abide by them. If for example some court ruled that my land now belonged to some tribe and that I was to leave that land. The police may come and I may leave, but it would with a toe tag and many other body-bags in addition to the one that I would be in.
Julius Ceasar
Comment by John Amos on 12th December 2011
Ceasar also died the way he ruled...and ended up being assassinated for the betterment of the Roman society...there won't be battles over the land except in court...the only armed people coming to your lil parcel of land will be the police to remove your redneck a$$.

Merv... Seriously... we are called first nations or natives...for someone who just ran for public office you are pretty culturally insensitive.

Only to some, PC is not my strong suit. My Tsimshian Lady prefers to be called Indian. Thinks First Nations, Aboriginal and Native are the insulting terms.
Really now?
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 12th December 2011
The natives may be a thorn in your side Mr.Peters ,They definitely aren't in mine.
Julius Caesar was right.
Comment by Mr. Peters on 12th December 2011
In 52BC Caesar went to Gaul to bring it into the Roman fold. The Gauls were Roman's thorn in the side much like the Indians are the white Europeans today. Caesar's solution was simply as it was brilliant, assimilate or die. And, after the battle of Alesia this was achieved. Gaul was effectively conquered and it was Romanized resulting in the great European cultures we have today.

There will be a fight over this land sooner or latter it is just a matter of time. All I know if they come for my little parcel of land they best bring a lot of body bags.