NEWS RELEASE · 13th January 2012
Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs
Following on events which took place in Supreme Court of BC, over the past week, Gitxsan Chiefs call on all Gitxsan to cease activities and communications with the Gitxsan Treaty Society ("GTS").
On January 9, Judge McEwan of the B.C Supreme Court held that GTS is an invalid entity and a nullity due to its failure to comply with the B.C. Society Act. On January 11th GTS lawyers went before Judge McEwan to inform the court that the individuals who operated under the name Gitxsan Treaty Society intend to make an application under section 85 of the Society Act to ask that the Court to allow them to reorganize and become a valid society. We are informed that Spookw plaintiffs, who include hereditary chiefs and four Gitxsan Bands will oppose that application and ask that the Court not permit them to re establish the Treaty Society.
The Chiefs who oppose Enbridge remain firm in their resolve that GTS is to be shut down as it is dear that the organization is renegade and has no connection with the Gitxsan chiefs and community. This is evident in statements made by GTS legal counsel in the January 9th, 2012 hearing for the Spookw action heard in B.C. Supreme Court in Smithers B.C.. At that time, GTS lawyers informed the Court that Gitxsan chiefs do not have any rights in the GTS and are no more than objects of GTS's charitable activities. Mr. Christian Petersen of Bull Houser Tupper stated the Plaintiff Gitxsan Chiefs and Band Councils, and by extension all Gitxsan Chiefs, do not have any say in the organization, being similar to individuals in soup lines run by the Salvation Army. Mr. Petersen also stated that Gitxsan hereditary chiefs do not have any rights in management of GTS as only members, (which we understand to be less than 26 individuals), or have any rights to speak on management of the society. This view is in direct conflict with the Chiefs' understanding of how the organization set up to represent them, was to operate.
As result of the foregoing, on January 10,2011, the united Gitxsan Hereditary chiefs gave notice to the former GTS and their legal counsel that:
The group operating under the name "GTS" must not take any further steps to re organize and cannot
(a) in its constitution undertake any activity that in any way relates to title and rights held by Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs;
(b) permit any individuals or group of individuals to undertake any activities or make decisions which impact Gitxsan aboriginal title and rights.
(c) make use of the name "Gitxsan" in the Society's name without express written permission of the Gitxsan Chiefs; and.
(d) former employees must not undertake any of the above activities in any organizations affiliated to GTS.
Any attempts to disregard the above direction or take steps which impact Gitxsan rights will be seen as a deliberate infringement of Gitxsan title and rights; will not be tolerated; and will result in legal action.
Any organization or individual continuing to do business with GTS is hereby given notice of the consequences of disregarding Gitxsan title and rights.