CONTRIBUTION · 24th March 2012
WHAT IF… The Government of the day and resource money hungry companies were picking and choosing what hereditary chiefs to listen to and to get fake signatures from?
WHAT IF… The Band Councils/Employees consisted of only 2 families that belong to the reserve and they are prohibiting knowledge of agreements and policies to all the other members on what their band is doing for the money and their own families?
WHAT IF… Your current band council and treaty negotiators are just in it for the money?
WHAT IF…The Treaty Negotiators and the 'so called Hereditary Chiefs' are one and the same?
WHAT IF… The hereditary chiefs they appointed are the only ones having a say in big business?
WHAT IF… History is being re-written from only a small fraction of the elders still left and they only record the ones that suit their needs?
WHAT IF …The elders are bullied and intimidated into listening and voting?
WHAT IF…. The Council is holding the elders livelihood in ransom? They won’t get that halibut license, or fishing quota or you could be evicted out of your house and dispelled from the band, if you don’t listen and shut up, then no livelihood for your family?
WHAT IF…You try to speak up and tell old moral stories that would invigorate your culture and you get called a trouble maker?
WHAT IF…There is a big agenda to rape the land no matter who protests?
WHAT IF….It all works? CN, HYDRO, LNG, of course there is the ones not mentioned. (There are always more drooling after the resources). They have the fake Hereditary Chief’s signatures signing off mineral rights and territorial lands that they are not allowed to sign off on. The Band Councils are usually fine with that; their families are taken care of, but what about the rest of the elders, kids and good hearted Indians?
WHAT IF….We had a nice togetherness, Unity World of Indians. Maybe that is where we should take our plight? UNITED NATIONS?
WHAT IF…. It is too late, the oil, natural gas, timber and minerals that we possess are what they want and they find any way to get it?
WHAT IF...Less than 5% of the voters on the band members list get to decide on these important CN, HYDRO and FISHING agreements?
WHAT IF…. It is too late to correct anything?
Prime example of Rez Politics and the thirst for oil and resources!
Be Careful Janice...
Comment by Nancy on 27th March 2012
It is important to understand that these "What If's" can apply to many FN Communities. You have had a tragic personal experience with yours and I applaud you for standing up and speaking. But you really are making yourself a target now, so be careful. I suggest you get your documentation copied and secured in a safe place, especially if you live on reserve. Maybe even keeping a daily diary of encounters from now on. That is the only way to prove the abuses. Let someone you trust know what you are standing up for and what to do if anything happens to you. I too wish it was different. But it is not. Take care. I am sure your mother is watching over you and smiling.
Comment by Janice Robinson on 27th March 2012
I have been thinking of this article since the first day you posted it. Although unrecognized by the Tsimshian treaty Indians, et al.. I am an hereditary Tsimshian Chief Matriarch (Sigdmhanna'a)...like my Mother was before me. Whii Nea ach is my name, and I also hold another high name (the one we lifted off Mom when she departed to the other side). I am from the Esteemed Eagle House of Gitxon, at Kitsumkalum.
As I was sorting through all the property, documents, journals, notices, minutes of meetings, certificates of recognition, pictures, and letters, etc. that Mom (Sigdmhanna'a Sim Maguul) left behind, it became clear that all your concerns (as listed above) are true.
Mom (Pearl D. Campbell) respectfully and diligently addressed all these issues at treaty meetings, house meetings, feasts, The Tsimshian Tribal Council gatherings, privately with other Tsimshian Sigdmhanna'as, politicians and community meetings....verbally and in writing. For her efforts, Mom was ridiculed, threatened (by her own brothers!), ignored, and maligned. Yes, even her rights to access necessary health-care benefits were denied in a dire moment of need! This was the only time I seen her weep over it all. I asked her why she was crying? "Because," she told me, "I see now they will treat you the same way when I am gone. Be careful." Mom died seven months later. Kitsumkalum lowers their flag whenever there is a "significant death" around here. Not! Like everything else around here, that flag is used by the administration to make their point(s) perfectly clear.
Be careful, Nancy. These traitors and criminals are in it so deep, there is no way for them to save face or to deny their treacheries. They lash out at people like yourself, and use the village and everything and everyone it it like weapons/tools to forge ahead with their money-making betrayals of our nation, and to protect themselves. (Example: Housing and jobs have been denied Elders and qualified tradespeople in favour of incompetent others and drunks). Many of them are not even Tsimshian. Drugs and alcohol have again taken hold of our nation. All the headway we made in the 1980's is lost. Sexual and physical abuse is back in a big way. What are their responses? Duh.
So, we are forced to take up the causes handed to us by our Mothers and Fathers. Our ancestors. I cannot ignore my duty, and fully intend to honour that Talking Stick, blanket, legacy and name left to me by my Mother. My enemies here have already delivered their first salvos at me....They have tried to portray me as unfit to work in my field of expertise, and tried to prove me mentally unstable....among other more petty treacheries.
Am I ready and willing to go on? Oh yes.
By the way....I do believe our determination and successes will have a direct bearing on mental health problems currently rampant in the Tsimshian Nation (alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, suicide, women beating/rape, child sexual abuse).
Are you ready to go on? This is not for the feint of heart, nor for those with a weak stomach. The price you pay will be high. The losses incurred by our children by ignoring our duty, and ability to do something about it, will be unrecoverable and forever. Why wah! Breathe.
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 25th March 2012
People got off their rear ends and actually voted? When people actually do take a stand because they are getting screwed,like teachers ,air canada employees ,municipal workers, all i hear is how the govt. should legislate them back to work because you poor souls are a little inconvenienced. You should be supporting these people because they are trying to create a better standard of living for the average person and our kids General strike ...... sign me up. PS . we could even have it after the canucks get eliminated if it means more of you would get out and support it.
Comment by Lloyd on 25th March 2012
What if... The JRP was designed only to find legal issues/weaknesses and not there to be a neutral body collecting information.
Comment by J Spalding on 25th March 2012
I don't take articles in this publication too seriously, it's obvious that the stories written and published on line are only the view of ONE person and not a story based on accumulated FACTS.
Comment by J.Brian Waddington on 25th March 2012
Then we need our own what if's. What if the rest of us get together? What if we take a lesson from South America and have a two week march to draw attention to the cause and have 25,000 people surround Parliament. What if we remember that Chiefs can be stripped of their name and position. What if we copy a page from the Mohawk and show people just what a bad idea it is to threaten people who have righteous people not afraid to stand nose to nose with the oppressors.