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Prayer ties at the sacred fire
CONTRIBUTION · 2nd January 2012
Melanie Smoke
''This is not just a first nations issue...this affects everyone in BC.Where will Beautiful BC be, when it is not beautiful anymore?
Our first nations people need to stand united in the battle with the oil and natural gas companies from building pipelines and putting tankers off our coast because when disaster strikes ...who will be left with the mess? Who will suffer the most with no fish, no moose, no deer, no seafood etc ...that is our way of life.

Tourism, farming and fishing etc make way more money each year than what those companies are offering for a short term project to lay a pipeline. We have one of the most beautiful , untouched places on earth..and many tourists have told me that countless times over the years. We have clean water which will be the most high demand and the most valuable commodity ...worth more than oil or gas in the future.

Why? Why would we want to destroy all of this?

Not to mention one of our oldest first nations law is to -not trespass on another nations territory...this is one of the laws that Elmer Derrick broke when he and whomever was involved at GTS went into even talks of this agreement. It is shameful and utterly disrespectful to our neighbors whose land would be directly affected.

We as the majority of Gitxsan did not agree (and were not even aware this was in progress otherwise it would have been caught sooner by our people) to break the unity vow with our people that was made before Canada was Canada. We apologize on our behalves to our neighbors for this huge embarrassment and mistake that we are not responsible for. This vow linked all our traditional protocols and laws together with all first nations ...and which allowed us to be diverse but share and trade with each other.

Now is the time that you as first nations and you as a BC resident can not just sit idly by and watch things happen and complain when things do not turn out the way you want it to be. You must stand up and voice your opinion and stand up for what is right and just for your province and your people. I know some people think ' well this doesn't and won't affect me' , but i assure you when a spill happens ...it will affect you if it comes through BC.

It is time to save what is left of mother earth now, there is no more time to waste. No amount of money is worth destroying what we have. Please think about it, talk about it, do something about it.

How do you want to be remembered?"

A matter of fact and opinion,
Melanie Smoke
Gitxsan, Nuu Chah Nulth & Italian
Some of our future
Some of our future
NO MEANS NO
NO MEANS NO
Standing up for what we believe in
Standing up for what we believe in
strong Gitxsan fire keepers
strong Gitxsan fire keepers
Would like to share some info..
Comment by Tsimshian Elder on 2nd January 2012
For your info, our Tsimshian Tribal Council was dismantled a few years ago by our negotiators. They made the motion in Vancouver Supreme Court. It could have been made in Prince Rupert or Smithers but they chose Vancouver because they knew that the BOD would not have the money to send them to Vancouver. The BOD incidentally were the 14 Tribal chiefs. We had observers they who heard our head negotiator tesify that the Hereditary system had no meaning for us. He will be reminded of that at the proper time.
I would encourage you to find a friendly lawyer, (perhaps one from an environmental group) who could advise the Chiefs. For example, they could argue that they are the true representatives of the Gitxsan, and freeze the accounts as well as bank charge cards and gas cards. If a group would step forward now, they could re*present you in court in Vancouver on the 4th, and have a bank account freeze action in Smithers on the 4th, call an emergency meeting of the society, replace BOD with true representative Chiefs and formally end any contracts will existing personnel.
There is a need to step back from emotions and mud slinging, develop strategy and move ahead.
These comments of course are made without prejudice. ˇ