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NEWS RELEASE · 16th April 2012
Gitxsan Unity Movement
An update from the Gitxsan Unity Movement

The Gitxsan Unity Movement began as Gitxsan Against Enbridge in early December 2011. The goal of the movement is to bring harmony between the Gitxsan Government and the values, law and will of the Gitxsan people.

The Gitxsan Chiefs shut down the Gitxsan Treaty Office on December 5, 2011 because the office was acting contrary to Gitxsan law and values through their unilateral agreement with Enbridge.

The Gitxsan Unity Movement stands firm on backing the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs, who have requested the Gitxsan Unity Movement secure and keep a 24 hour - 7 day week watch over the GTO building.

A December 2011 Declaration signed by 91 Hereditary Chiefs states they do not acknowledge the Gitxsan Treaty Society as representation of the Gitxsan people.

Copies of the declaration are available to those who wish a copy, please go to the gitxsanunity.com web site and click on declaration in the left hand column.

The Gitxsan Unity Movement is 100% volunteer driven, with Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs and members working in the best interests of our land, culture and people.

We are very disappointed in Judge McEwan’s decision to call the Chiefs who had helped build the foundations of GTS, wrong for shutting down the office. In earlier court comments Judge McEwan clearly pointed out that the GTS was operating illegally with few society members.

The Gitxsan Treaty Society, who is supposed to be representing us, have failed in their duty to consult with us the Gitxsan people and we have many questions yet to be answered;

Why is it they chose to go to the media to deceive the people that all is well within our Nation, when clearly it is not?

Why is it we have to find out about the Alternative Governance Model and the Enbridge agreement signed by Elmer Derrick through the media?

Why is it that the GTS chooses to settle their issues with the Gitxsan people through the courts?

Why is the Gitxsan Forest Enterprises Inc. bankrupt? What happened to the 13.5 million dollars that the Gitxsan Nation was supposed to receive in lieu of this agreement?

Who gave Elmer the right to sign the Enbridge deal on our behalf? Elmer is hired to be a negotiator. He is staff, who is supervising our negotiators?

What other deals are being negotiated behind our backs?

Is the Gitxsan Nation being sold out from under us without our knowledge?

It appears that the GTS is an agent for the government. They act as if they do not have anyone to answer to and do as they please. The Enbridge fiasco is a great example of this. At first they claim that Elmer was signing on behalf of the GTS, and then they changed their mind and claimed he signed on behalf of the Chiefs. Eventually the GTS stated that Elmer was acting on his own.

We the Gitxsan people are standing up for the truth! We strive for accountability, transparency and to return the authority and jurisdiction to its’ rightful place, the Gitxsan Simgiigyet and the Gitxsan Nation.

The majority of the Gitxsan want to keep the GTO building closed. As per the Spookw litigation team vote held within the Gitxsan communities. We strongly feel that an accountant has got to go into the offices and conduct an audit and consult with the minutes of the meetings. This is accountability and transparency to the people of our Nation.

More and more, we see the changes in the Canadian and Provincial governments. They have become aggressive in their need for our resources and it appears they are turning our people, one against another.

Today is a good day to stand up to government corruption. Through Unity we will prevail!

We request that the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs explore our options should we walk away from the treaty table. The Coastal First Nation walked away from the treaty table 12 years ago and explored business opportunities with government and corporations. Since then they have generated 500 million dollars, which went back into their communities, through environmentally studied and safe projects.

We see the need for positive change in our Nation where it is inclusive of our members and respectful to our neighbors.

The Gitxsan Unity Movement has always believed that the answers to the Gitxsan crises has always been within the true Gimlitxwit; the head Chiefs of the three major clans within our Nation, Gisgaast (Fireweed), Lax Gibuu (Wolf) and Lax See'l (Frog), not the Gitxsan Treaty Society's private and specialized Gimlitxwit, which is a gross misrepresentation of our High Chiefs.

Today we encourage a meeting of the Gitxsan Head Chiefs including those favouring; the GTS , the Spookw litigants and/or the Gitxsan Unity Movement. We are confident a cooperative and unified position will be reached to conclude the impasse we currently find our Nation facing regarding the closure of the GTS offices.