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REPORTING · 14th May 2012
Merv Ritchie
UPDATED - Text of Mothers Day Accord included and National Safety Protocol attached.

With a pronounced and sustained cheer, news was delivered to those blockading the GTS (Gitxsan Treay Society) offices that an order for contempt would not be issued.

This was a great victory for the Gitxsan Unity movement. It was reported to the crowd gathered the Judge determined there is not enough evidence for the contempt charges to proceed. It is presumed the National Safety Code initiated last week by Chief McRae, which saw the arrival of Shawn Atleo on Sunday. This protocol is an agreement between the RCMP and the AFN (Assembly of First Nations) and it took precedence.

This agreement, originally signed in 2004, is to prevent crises situations with First Nations people developing into a situation like the Oka or Gustafson Lake tragedies.

A Gitxsan Nation member had been speaking with the RCMP when the news came in and he reported they were ordered to stand down.

The result of today’s court decision is that as long as the National Safety Protocol is in place nothing can be done.

John Olson had this to say, “This decision by the judge the injunction gives the Gixsam Simgiigyet to use the Ayookw (Gitxsan Law) to resolve this matter, to resolve all issues. Once again we set precedence that we have our laws to resolve our own internal disputes, as do all indigenous peoples.”

On Sunday Atleo and the Gitxsan Nation Hereditary Chiefs wrote and signed an agreement called the Mothers Day Accord.


Part 1: Gitxsan Law

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs agree to return to resolve peace and harmony for Gitxsan through the following community based solutions to matters before the courts:

1. Due to ongoing efforts of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs, that the contempt and injunction not be acted upon as requested by the Gitxsan Treaty Society in their notice of application;

2. The blockade at 1650 Omenica St., Hazelton, B.C. will come down, with agreement to secure and copy documents at the said address by a third party and that Gitxsan Treaty Office remain closed;

3. All Chiefs present, and others agree that the Spookw vs GTS be put into abeyance and that there be a referendum held on Gitxsan treaty negotiations;

4. That there be a cooling off period for all parties to discuss and confirm details);

5. That “Ayook” laws of respect, honour, patience, meditation and revitalizing of houses be enforced beginning with a feast of all Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs;

6. Revitalization of Gitxsan Houses to continue to implement Gitxsan laws to resolve disputes.

7. Request outside professional mediator as required.