Custom Search
Top Stories
Go to Site Index See "Top Stories" main page
COMMENTARY · 17th May 2012
Merv Ritchie
Or Why the Gitxsan Indians Are Broken Along with Everything Else

When did purchasing a yes vote with money and benefits become legal? Apparently it has been completely legal for years as all businesses, governments and reserve villages have been doing it for years without sanction.

It was blatant and in full public view in June of 2006 when the BC government of Gordon Campbell offered the Teachers a $3700 signing bonus each if they accepted the contract. Since then signing bonuses have become regular visitors to negotiation tables, ‘forgo what is right and just, just say yes and we’ll give you cash.’

It has been this way for centuries as public company board members are delivered cash rewards for their vote of support. These men in the past were called “yes men”; people selected to be on the Board of Directors who could be counted on to say “Yes” to anything the Executive Board wanted. Very few directors ever challenge a decision and those who do so unsuccessfully find they are not promoted to more boards and lose their current board positions. The cash reward comes in many terms, but the most common term is a ‘per diem stipend’. This amount is usually substantial and some ‘yes men belong to enough boards their yes vote is in the significant 6 digit salary. Depending on which boards and how many, a real supportive director who keeps his or her mouth shut for years could be making many millions.

Some boards select specific individuals for their professional degrees or training, others for their status or position. Indians are selected because they are Indian. Some boards want to be able to claim they have a high ranking Indian on board. This allows them to claim they are listening to all perspectives. The truth is anything but.

Like Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointing Patrick Brazeau, the Indian involved in sexual harassment allegations, to be a Senator. He is selected not for his brains but for his willingness to take money for his compliance. And this is the foundation of the Gitxsan crises.

The GTS, Gitxsan Treaty Society, has as their two high ranking men, Gordon Sebastian and Elmer Derrick. Both have been accepting money on these terms from various Boards for years. It is no surprise then how they employed what they learned in their own society, the GTS. Even though the Constitution clearly states members and directors not to be paid anything, Sebastian and Derrick, along with co-conspirator, Bev Percival Clifton, have been taking vast sums of money for their work.

To be able to continue the charade without having others question their work or decisions they pay ‘per diem’ funds to Gitxsan Chiefs who show up and say yes. Those who say no or challenge them are asked not to return. Last Christmas every chief who was a ‘Yes Man/Woman’ received bonus cheques in the amount of thousands of dollars.

Vote buying used to be illegal. It was affront to proper democratic principals. But no more. Every executive member of every business or organization does it with impunity. It is fully public and a game many men and women happily play along with. Indians are the easiest.

When one has lived in poverty all their lives, watched their grandparents and parents starve in a drunken stupor of filth and despair or even one raised as an orphan, it is easy to draw one into accepting vast sums of money simply for saying yes.

The Gixsan crises in the Village of Old Hazelton where some Gitxsan have boarded up the offices of other Gitxsan actually has very little to do with Enbridge or Elmer Derrick signing a deal with Enbridge representatives. It has everything to do with taking money for saying yes. The GTS has accepted over 20 million dollars, indebting the Gitxsan people for almost the same amount. Various Gitxsan people along with Gitxsan Village Councils launched a lawsuit way back in 2008 claiming the GTS was not legitimate and were not representatives of the Gitxsan as a whole.

As one individual wrote yesterday in regards to the blockade, “6.7 million dollars went through the GTS office in 2009. All we want to know is where did it go? Let's break down the expenses.”

The matter of Derrick signing a deal with Enbridge just sent the issue over the tipping point and made many more Gitxsan people aware of the problems. While all the media across Canada are proclaiming this is all an Enbridge conflict it is actually something completely different. It is a group of people attempting to remove the corruption from their community and their politics. The BC Court is fighting to avoid having the entire political/corporate corruption system exposed for all to see.

Almost every Indian who has lived on a reserve has first hand experience with this. Those who pander to the elected families, their friends and relatives get the brand new houses and cushy, well paying, jobs. Those who challenge them are ostracised and have to fight to get any of the benefits available under the Indian Act as the band controls the disbursement of funds. They see it because it is small scale.

This is something all citizens of the world need be made aware of. The executive branches of all organizations, government, business, societies including Treaty Societies, are all susceptible to this fraud.

In municipal politics the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) generally manipulates the elected members to vote yes to all matters put in front of them. He or she remains in the position after every election and clearly knows much more about the running of the City and can generally talk circles around the newly elected member.

The same applies to Regional District, Provincial and Federal Politics. The same also applies to international organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank and the International Monetary fund. In these higher levels however, one arriving in such a position has generally already proven how competent they are at saying yes.

Our Federal MP's and our Provincial MLA's must vote the way they are told or they get kicked out of the "Party", the cash reward for saying "Yes" Party.

The world of finance works when people are willing to do or say anything for money. Vote buying is the simplest way to achieve an end. No matter what a government or corporation wishes to do, they can state the board or the elected members approved their decision when in truth, the average man and woman just sold them selves to the highest, or maybe only, bidder.

The issue is compromising integrity for money. It’s all the rage these days.
Why wah!
Comment by Janice Robinson on 25th May 2012
What a good day that will be when the Tsimshian Nation gets together again. I remember the last two times...both at the Jim Ciccone Centre in Prince Rupert. How magnificent we all looked and felt. This is what our ancestors and Elders want(ed) for us.

The Tsimshian Nation is one of the most civilized nations on the face of the Earth. Sometimes a little too civilized and welcoming maybe...... Even some other "First" Nations try to forget we are here, and that this is our traditional territory. When it comes to First Nations (Indians), Terrace and Prince Rupert are NOT NEUTRAL territory.....especially Kaien Island! You all are walking on the bones of our ancestors. Be respectful.

Yes. It is time for Tsimshian to feast!
Listen Up!
Comment by Message For Tsimshian Nation on 20th May 2012
The word on the Tsimshian Peninsula there is hereditary families are pooling together.

The true Tsimshian Simiogets Sigmanax Gi Goobwiltxson are uniting. They will have solid declaration ,,, a super united Tsimshian Feast.

To tell the 5 tribes who want to separate from the body of the Tsimshian Nation. That they will no longer be recognized as Tsimshian people.

The hereditary chiefs with in the Five tribes. Who wish to seperate from the Tsimshian Nation. There Tsimshian Nation coastal hereditary chiefs name will be stripped from there position. The hereditary chiefs name will go back to the Tsimshian People.

In the Tsimshian hereditary culture the laws of ayook respect. The adawk oral stories of chiefs title are protected by Taimshian Indian Laws. The adawk can be challenged with in our feasting governing body of the Tsimshian Nation.

As a Tsimshian Indian. Witnessing the development of our culture. We're it has been lost for two Or three generations. There is no doubt that I do not question the power nor capabilities of such a growth of power a united Tsimshian Youth, Adult, Chieften, Elder powers. An achieve together.

So if your done reading this message. you better look twice & think twice about your treaty talk.

plus it is also confirmed people in our Indian Reserves who never made house payments. The housing portfolio called the reers. A treaty settlement you can easily be kicked out of your homes.

That is straight Indian talk.

Reason the housing is the back bone of our economy. When the people don't pay there rent. The economy infrustructure fails. Then to make up those lost revenue we have to sell our Indian reserve land.


Well now you learned what the word is on the Tsimshian peninsula.

Who the hell do you think I am?
Comment by Janice Robinson on 19th May 2012
Well, well, well. The Terrace Daily has exposed a Gitxsan person who allegedly works as a part of a Tsimshian Treaty team. How does a Gitxsan acquire such a position, communicating to the world on behalf of the Tsimshian Nation? Where do these "treaty societies" post their employment opportunities?

I am a Tsimshian chief matriarch. Whii Nea ach is my name. I am from the esteemed Tsimshian, Eagle House of Gitxon at Kitsumkalum, B.C. Like my Mother and Father before me, I stand in favour of keeping and civilizing the Indian Act. Tsimshian cannot treaty away our territories, nor our culture. Hilary Zornow does not speak for us, so I am not moved to feel shame, nor apologize for her disrespectful remarks uttered here. She has provided your readers with just one small sample of what we have to put up with. When she is "retired," the government will buy another mouthpiece to take her place.

I have been invited to Gitxsan Territory many times, and have/would never contemplate being so disrespectful there.
Facebook anger continuation part one of two
Comment by Terrace Daily on 19th May 2012
Hilary wrote: I like how you have excluded your own comments that infuriated me - you really are a snake in the grass."

Okay Hilary, call me names - here is the conversation. What infuriated you more than being referred to by the word Indian?

Daxgyetm Hanaak
You are right about one thing Mr Ritchie you aren’t worth any of my time or energy!

Terrace Daily
There is an old Scottish saying, "Me thinks the man protests too much." Are you, Dax, not employed making a substantial income encouraging a treaty with the BC Government, the government which has always abused, (in your terms) First Nation people? I might not be as edumacated as you (I have half my grade 12 - grade 6) but me thinks I smell something that has turned. And Matt I write sports columns too, good guess! Let me ask you this, Do you think Gordon Campbell got promoted to be Ambassador to Great Britain because he was really smart and did a good job as Premier, or do you think he got promoted because he did as he was instructed? Maybe you believe he made all those decisions like selling BC Rail, BC Hydro, BC Ferries and the BC Rivers to American controlled corporations all on his own? Next position for him is the IMF where he can help solve Greece’s debt problems, they do such good work there don't you think? Lots of smart people really solving problems. Oh, I'm sorry, no facts, just empirical evidence, and that is something I am truly full of.

Daxgyetm Hanaak
LMAO - Who said anything about treaty? Im pissed off because you seem to think your plastic shamanism constitutes any real wisdom. . . . . [continued as previously posted]

Terrace Daily
Wow, someone sure touched a nerve!

Daxgyetm Hanaak
FINALLY - if someone claims to be a "traditionalist" then why do they hang on to the 'Indian Act' - a blatant tool of colonization with every fibre of their being? The IRONY!

Terrace DailyThere are a few different perspectives on these matters. One regarding the Indian Act, is how it provides Band Councils all the powers they need to do everything a Treaty would provide. The only issue is the land. Currently the Nisga'a are touted as getting about 7 % of their traditional territory. This is a foundational statement for the subsequent treaty negotiations. But as a Gitxsan you should be aware of Neil Sterritts book, 'Tribal Boundaries of the Nass Watershed' whereby it was demonstrated through copious quantities of material the Nisga'a received well over 25% as they claimed most of the Gitxsan Territory as their own. The entire Nisga'a Treaty was based on lies. So, as you promote a Treaty for any nation, you had better be promoting the acceptance of nothing less than 25% of your traditional territory because that is the current precendent. I am pleased you respect traditional ways. You may not have been subjected to squallor and destitution in your life but most FN have. My words were designed to provoke emotional impact. Sometimes this is the only way to get peoples attention.
Facebook anger continuation part two of two
Comment by Terrace Daily on 19th May 2012
Rachel Goil Robinson
get your facts straight........

Terrace Daily
Detail the statements ie. Facts - which are wrong - and do it on the Terrace Daily so everyone can be exposed to how wrong the writings of Merv Ritchie are. I am a fan of the I hate Facebook club. I am done with this banter here. I will gladly respond on the Terrace Daily website.

Rachel Goil Robinson
you want me to do your research for you?

Daxgyetm Hanaak
I am done with this banter as well Merv, you haven’t heard a word I said...

Terrace Daily
Rachel, this type of response is exactly why facebook sucks. I asked what fact was wrong and you refuse to tell me, I have done decades of research, written thousands of articles and travelled interviewing elders from the entire northwest to the southeast of BC. A summary with attached supporting documents is found here [we posted a link to our story - HOW THE TSIMSHIAN GET FLIM FLAM SHIM SHAMMED] - And Hillary, I have heard (read) every word, I understand you are hurt but that is not my problem. Deal with the real issues not my commentaries. Read Neil Sterritts book, read Damelahamid, the Visitors who never left, read the Tsimshian, Persistence and Change, and mostly read Paul Tennants books. Talk to those involved in the Unity Movement. Sterotypes are stereo types for a reason. Hating being Indian is a crutch. Loving yourself, who you are, Gitxsan, and helping the Children so they don't fall into the ever present trap of despair and eventual suicide is where all our energies should be focused. you are lucky to have a job, even if you live pay cheque to pay cheque. most NW Indians can only dream of a pay cheque. and it isn't for the lack of want or trying.

Terrace Daily
And further, the article was not about indians as much as the corruption of governments and administrations across the globe, honorariums and per deim pay for saying yes to activities that destroy us all as people, regardless of our race and culture.

Daxgyetm Hanaak
I DO know my fellow Gitksan of the Unity Movement. I can also tell you not everyone buys into Neil's work on how to be a good little "Indian" and I HAVE read and know my history and stories. Again, you assume too much. I am not hurt, I am irritated that you see yourself as a deliverer of knowledge and you prey on the people who are most vulnerable. Your "decades of research" in the article you have posted are a mish-mash of truth and misconception.

Rachel Goil Robinson
I thought you were done with this banter,

Rachel Goil Robinson
sorry, I meant Merv

Daxgyetm Hanaak
LOL I couldnt help myself and clearly Merv couldn’t either, but yeah screw this...

Terrace Daily
Then point out the problems with the research, or write your own informative piece. That is what this is about. ed u ma cation! We all must share to become knowledgeable. It is what your ancestors did, always, in the feast halls and out. Today we do not do that or have the closeness to share. The internet mediums seem to be the only way. Don't get mad at me for attempting to bring light into the darkness, to bring awareness to the masses. I will most certainly be wrong about some things. No one is perfect and has all the answers. but when someone speaks, attacking is not the solution to an open awareness. that just shuts down the conversation and drives us into darkness again. we must talk to each other and engage in respectful debate. That is what I have been encouraging for 6 years now. Call me an ass all you want, it will not change things. We have children killing themselves. That is what we need to address. We have corporations attempting to exterminate you and poison your land. that is what we need to address. All the rest of this attack Merv crap is just that - CRAP. Now do something productive to help your people!

So there you have the conversation. After you deleted your comments, ours standing alone looked like we were having a debate with a ghost. Hence we also deleted ours. But like all facebook comments, they are still available. So, to conclude, what part of our writing infuriated you? Or was it simply that you had nothing left to defend your arguements with? Please understand we respect you and the work you do, we just believe your concepts are misguided. as media it is our job to expose this. No other media will as they are too afraid of losing advertising revenue from Bands and other agencies.
Part one of three - A facebook exchange with treaty
Comment by Terrace Daily on 19th May 2012
Dorothy McKay
Wow....Hilary is part of a communication team with the Kitselas First Nation & I am surprised to read some of her comments about the Nisga'a, as she and her team have made a trip to view the Wilp Si Ayuukhl Nisga'a (WSN) while in session at the Nisga'a Lisims Government. Thank you for posting...

Hilary Zornow
Dorothy McKay - the only comment I made was about the fact the Nisga'a have not lost any section 35 rights. I have been arguing the use of the term "Indian". Has somebody taken my words and posted them in some other way? I regret getting into this debate, my personal feelings toward the Indian Act still stand - I dont believe it has done us any good.

That was the ONLY comment I made in reference to the Nisga'a.

Also to clear the air: I believe in self-government, moving away from the Indian Act and taking control of our own affairs. If my words have been used out of context I would consider that a serious offense.

Terrace Daily
Writing under a different name - Daxgyetm Hanaax - you engaged in quite a debate but I read nothing negative from you, Ms Zornow, about the Nisga'a or their treaty. What you made very clear was your hatred of the word "Indian" - likening it to the word "Niggar" - You became very acrimonious and sanctimonious. And then you deleted all your side of the conversation, possibly to hide your true thoughts regarding Indians? I would suspect these emotional reactions to the use of the word Indian, the word you despise with such venom you forbid your children to use it, would not be a positive attribute for a treaty team member. What other negative emotions do you hold towards your heritage?
Part two of three - A facebook exchange with treaty
Comment by Terrace Daily on 19th May 2012
Terrace Daily
Here is a direct copy of your words regarding Indians, and your attack on us; - - - - - - -

Im pissed off because you seem to think your plastic shamanism constitutes any real wisdom. For the record the term 'Indian' has nothing to do with solidifying Aboriginal rights and title. Any "traditionalist" who seems to think the term has anything to do with their rights has been duped by the very system they should abhor - which is the Indian Act and they clearly don't know a damn thing about case law and the system of oppression Native people have been fighting to reclaim their space on their land. The term "Indian" had nothing to do with solidifying Aboriginal Rights & Title with the land mark case of Delgamuukw - we did that on our own WITHOUT the name that had been given to us by the colonizer. And yes I know all about the Royal Proclamation of 1763 - why anyone thinks this is some new revelation is laughable. If you are trying to "oust" me with your inane accusations about the "substantial amount of money" I'm making you're gravely mistaken again. I live paycheck to paycheck like any other working class Joe. I also know very well your source of information so don't try to pull your silly tactics on me! You think you have provided this amazing expose, but really you sound like a fool...

Terrace Daily
And then you wrote these words - -
FINALLY - if someone claims to be a "traditionalist" then why do they hang on to the 'Indian Act' - a blatant tool of colonization with every fibre of their being? The IRONY!

My hatred for the word "Indian" is not part of a "party line". It stems from the fact that the 'Indian Act' was designed as a means to oppress Native people, along with Residential Schools. I am not an "Indian" I am Gitksan PERIOD. Any person who seems to think the Indian Act is a savior of our rights hasn't read it and they don’t understand it. The Indian Act dictates every action native people make and is responsible for the sad state of life on reserve. The education clause in the Indian Act, to this day, states the Government has permission to come and take children away if you don’t send them to school - did you, and the many people who defend it, know that? I was a child when my people began the fight for recognition of our rights to our land and the right to manage our own affairs, unfortunately too many people forgot what that fight was about and have remained happy to accept the status quo. The 'Indian Act' doesn’t give Native people the right to hunt, fish and gather, section 35 of the Canadian Constitution does and that isnt going anywhere, and it hasnt gone anywhere for the Nisga'a either (FYI). This isnt about treaty for me, its about our people moving beyond a system that has muted them and made them powerless. I was raised to fight for what I believe is right and I havent forgotten where I come from. If it makes you feel better my name is Hilary Zornow. The pseudonym means "Strong Woman" The statements I have made have been mine alone, as a free thinking individual.

And if you must know I was raised in the feast hall and have been groomed from the time I was a child on our Gitksan Laws. Being Native isnt about having a status card or how many times in a a year you go hunting and fishing - its about the way you live in this world, with integrity. My grandfather was a Chief and I respect our customs, but I also think as Native people we have a long history of adapting to changes in our world and thinking outside the box of the oppressor. We arent victims, we are survivors! Most people forget it was their ancestors who gathered in delegations in front of parliament buildings to plea for their rights to live on their own land. The 'Indian Act' had taken that away and relegated them to the small parcels we live on now. They hated the 'Indian Act' and fought against it yet here we are defending it? There's something wrong with that

Part three of three - A facebook exchange with treaty
Comment by Terrace Daily on 19th May 2012
Ernie Wilson
I am Gitxsan eh & I for am not offended by Mervs outlook, its honest & truthful. I don’t like corruption in government local or otherwise. the fact someone is actually reporting on native gov corruption is amazing cuz NOOONE else does! if what went on on rez gov went on in a city hall thered be a phenomenon of frogmarched native politicians in the press.

Terrace Daily
But then Ms Zornow (aka Daxgyetm), it was this exchange, after you returned to respectful debate and after insulting our research, (claiming we got it from some secret source you know about???)
Daxgyetm wrote: "I can agree with your sentiments about respectful debate - fine. In my opinion exposing the myths and lies of the 'Indian Act' IS something productive. The work I do isn't easy, but I am tasked with a role of ensuring the people I work for have the information they need to make an informed CHOICE. I take my job seriously and would never compromise my own belief system to pass on a series of lies. I have earned everything I am, and I will not apologize for that."

Daxgyetm wrote: "At the end of the day it is the First Nation who can hear all sides of the debate and CHOOSE for themselves what they want. I can appreciate your sympathies for our people, but at the same time you are perpetuating an image that is not based on positivity. YES I know how bad it is - it saddens me every day, but I refuse to assume the role of the victim. In my years I have gone through the series of emotions of anger and resentment where most people are at today. I weigh debate thoughtfully and as I mentioned you have hit on a series of truths, but some of your research methods have not been unbiased. I still dont like the word "Indian" and dont allow my children to use it either. Corruption exists in many forms in this world, yes in politics, but as humans we are all prey to the same weakness and no one form of governance is immune to that."

Daxgyetm wrote: "Also I'm not ashamed of my heritage I am proud of who I am. I am proud Gitksan. That is the word my people use to describe ourselves. Your woman can have whatever opinion of the word she wants for me it's as bad as the "N" bomb"

Daxgyetm wrote: "Seriously? I dont know who the hell you think you are and how you get off saying that word "Indian" is noble and my hatred for the word has anything to do with my pride in being Aboriginal. I know Im not alone in the way I feel and I think you need to quit trying to play social worker. You dont know me! Anyway Im through talking to you and hearing your second hand "knowledge". You have no right talking about my children, my kids are proud Gitksan and you have no right trying to say my discouraging the word is discouraging their pride in their heritage."

Daxgyetm wrote: "Also I'm not ashamed of my heritage I am proud of who I am. I am proud Gitksan. That is the word my people use to describe ourselves. Your woman can have whatever opinion of the word she wants for me it's as bad as the "N" bomb"

Terrace Daily
I wonder if the Kitsumkalum treaty team feels the same way about the word "Indian" That would explain a lot about the exclusionary tactics, the refusal to allow alternative points of view to see the light of day. If even one tenth of the treaty money was delivered to a team offering an alternative, an opposing voice to the pro treaty organizations, I am certain all the band members would be contacted directly and delivered all the information. Kitsumkalum has only about 650 members. Getting all the addresses and sending out one mailing, including postage and copying wouldn't cost a grand. Lets see, they get $300,000 every year. So $30,000 should allow the opposing voice at least a few mailings of an alternative perspective so that when a vote comes real information, complete information, might be available. Spending tens of thousands on glossy brochures, not getting a hold of every band members, only offering one side of the issue, not ensuring the true house groups are stood up, not using real Hereditary Chiefs in the discussions, well something is seriously amiss.
When is Corruption not Corruption.
Comment by Ron J. Sterritt on 18th May 2012
As long as foreign Companies are paying into Politicians "Re-election Campaign Pots", it is "Just Donations", not "Signing bonuses". The key is in the Labeling of the corruption money. Canadian Politicians have "Given away" all the resources in Canada (except Potash) for "Donations". The last resources are on Indian Land. This is why the push to complete the Genocide by Assimilation Program. "Fake Treaty Agreements" made by a handful of scammers is acceptable. By calling them "Societies", they don't answer to the people of the villages. Their "Debt load of Taxpayer Money" either has to be repaid or they give up all the "tribal Land base" and "Status as Indians". This is "Fake Human Rights". Shame on Canada.
Gitxsan man applauds Merv... AGAIN =D
Comment by ernie wilson on 17th May 2012
thanx Merv your amazing in your ability to deliver cold hard truth in your reporting without corporate propaganda or government party lines dictating what you write =D
i really like your work please keep it up as long you can because insofar as canadian reporters go, you are 1 of very few who dare to write the Gods honest truth!
BTW i am not offended by the truth eh! ;)
Strike the Root
Comment by Catherine on 17th May 2012
Ever ask yourself "Who Profits from the War on Drugs?"

1 - 14 year old kid can generate up to $10 million for the capital markets. How? Launder it at a fast food joint (that's trading on the market). Then, leveraged that money with debt and derivatives. Now if the kid goes to jail, that generates income (for the private prison) - recyling kids in and out of jail serves 3 purposes - 1. the profits speak for themselves. 2. it keeps this segment of the population dumb and desperate. 3. It deprives small business of the upcoming work force (human capital)necessary to thrive making it easier for corporate takeover.

As your pensions and mutal funds, RRSPs etc are all tied to the market - who will push the button to stop this insanity?

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
Daxgyetm Hanaak:
Comment by Janice Robinson on 17th May 2012
The truth hurts.
It must be spoken, and spoken again.
We must face our truths, and face them now!

It is not Tsimshian to be corrupted by money, power and greed. One cannot be Tsimshian while drunk on alcohol, drugs or money. Tsimshian cannot treaty away the land and our culture. Yes! We all know that most of the abuse heaped upon us (physical, SEXUAL, financial, mental, emotional, professional) is NOT perpetrated by non-Indians! Most of the hurtful, shameful, lying B.S. in our lives has been courtesy of other "Natives," "Aboriginals," "Red men," "First Nations politicians," "Indigenous Ones," "Turtle Islanders." Whatever! Stop feigning victimhood over the use of the term "Indian."

Ceasing all this destructive lying, corruption and theft from our peoples MUST start at home......on your own territory. In your own home. On your own reserve. We must address it straight on now. Continued DENIAL that it exists will be the death of (Y)OUR nation!

Thanks Mr. Ritchie, and staff at the Terrace Daily.

Whii Nea ach.
I am not offended you are offended
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 17th May 2012
Your understanding of the word Indian is false. The use of it is of critical importance to protect all Indian rights, the land, treaies, all of it is based on the word "Indian". Most educated Indians I know, and I associate mostly with traditionalists, those who believe in their hereditary culture, treasure the word Indian. But this is not about an us vs them thing, it is about all of us being abused by our "leaders" the directors, the elected thieves. They love us fighting each other. That way we are distracted from their thieving tactics. They have the Gitxsan fighting the Gitxsan, the Tsimshian fighting Tsimshian, the Haisla fighting Haisla, the Tahltan fighting Tahltan, the Nisga'a fighting Nisga'a, what could be better for the industrialists and the white supremecy.

Spend some time addressing the isssue and ignore your hurt emotions stirred up by this expose'. Look at your own leaders ans ask for full disclosure about everything to everybody. Don't waste time writing me, cause it is a waste of your valuable energy. And please, post your comments on the story, (instead of facebook) that way your perspective can be read by all those who read the story.
Honestly, I AM offended at the commentary.
Comment by Daxgyetm Hanaak on 17th May 2012
Honestly, I AM offended at the commentary. I'm educated and know all about the history of Native people and take great offense to the many assumptions you make about Native people. I'm not ignorant to the realities of the world and Im irritated you think I am!

And BTW Indian is a derogatory term because it was a falsehood from the get-go!

You Sir are full of it!
My response to the facebook comments
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 17th May 2012
I am sorry you are offened, but not about the commentary. The Indian Act is named as such because it is about Indians. Indians is not a derogatory term, it is not bigoted or racist.

First Nation and Aboriginal could be easily considered an abuse of Indians as the use or appliction of these new terms removes the protection afforded Indians by the 1763 Royal proclomation signed by King George the III and the Indian Act. Abandon the term Indian to your own determent.

Now as for the rest of it, I hope the content made you look into the reality. If it agitated you enough to get mad, maybe it agitated you enough to really think about the problems we all face. Government and industry abusing us all, Indians and Non Indians alike.

The very best thing might be to shoot the messenger to hide from the message. That'll work to fix the problem. And as for the Stupor of filth and despair, I'm sorry, I guess the high suicide rate is an indication of great social comfort.
From Facebook comments
Comment by Daxgyetm Hanaak on 17th May 2012
Who are you calling an 'Indian' Mr. Ritchie? I'm offended at your over-use of this term in this article. Who the hell do you think you are anyway? Yeah sure you have covered this issue extensively, but some of your assumptions of Native people are unacceptable and clearly you dont understand anything!

WTF is this statement about -> "When one has lived in poverty all their lives, watched their grandparents and parents starve in a drunken stupor of filth and despair or even one raised as an orphan, it is easy to draw one into accepting vast sums of money simply for saying yes."

->" Vote buying used to be illegal. It was affront to proper democratic principals. But no more. Every executive member of every business or organization does it with impunity. It is fully public and a game many men and women happily play along with. Indians are the easiest."

"Indians are the easiest"?
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 17th May 2012
Any corporate or business interest promising jobs has the elected and media world in a frenzy, like crack addicts to a shortage of cocaine. The long term impacts be damned, we get another fix. Carry on.

Oh for the lack of good people with morals and integrity.