CONTRIBUTION · 7th July 2012
A group of members that blocked a treaty ratification vote on B.C.'s Sliammon reserve in the community of Powell River, are seeking an injunction to halt the next vote rescheduled for July 10.
Members released a statement on June 16 when they blocked the initial vote, outlining their concerns over council spending and the eligibility of voters.
"We've been playing in an uneven field and the government has been stacking things in order to get a 'yes' vote," said protester Brandon Peters.
The Sliammon Treaty Society and the Sliammon chief and council have an injunction against the protesters that prevents the group from blocking the polling station for the rescheduled vote.
In a statement released yesterday, B.C. Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Mary Polak reiterated her support for the treaty vote.
"The Tla'amin Nation and Sliammon Treaty Society have worked for many years to negotiate a treaty with British Columbia and Canada," she said. "There has been an extensive process to communicate with the community about all elements of a treaty, including what it would mean to move out from under the Indian Act."
The issue has caught the attention of other First Nations bands in treaty negotiations across British Columbia. Arthur Manuel, a former Neskonlith chief, along with some Tsawwassen band members joined the protesters in saying the treaty negotiation process has been flawed.
Maa-nulth First Nations, a Treaty Society of five First Nations on Vancouver Island, declared their support for the Sliammon treaty vote. Maa-nulth and Tsawwassen are the only two First Nations that have ratified treaty agreements with the province of the 60 nations in negotiation.
If the Sliammon treaty ratification passes it will provide 8,300 hectares of land, self-governance and an approximate $30 million payment over 10 years.
The reason the Sliammon people who oppose the modern treaty is that the proposed treaty will extinguish their Aboriginal Title and Rights under the modification provisions. Furthermore, there is a total lack of legitimate membership and voting rules regarding the proposed vote scheduled for July 10, 2012.
They cite that the United Nations under the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination did make observations to Canada regarding the Tsawwassen Final Agreement that methods of voting and monitoring must be transparent and money should not be used as an inducement to produce a result.
The Sliammon treaty opposition state there are no transparent rules regarding membership and voting and that massive amounts of money have been given by the government to get a yes vote.
Brandon Peters from Sliammon: (604) 483-4475
Jackie Timothy from Sliammon: (604) 298-3907
Protesters seeking the injunction and the Sliammon Treaty Society will be in B.C. Supreme Court Monday for the ruling.
And to the Treaty Team Member that criticized Janice...
Comment by Cynthia on 10th July 2012
Why don't you post your name? This only proves my concerns, why can they criticize anonymously? Can Janice respond to that person? Every reserve should have an advocacy office where members can get information that they are seeking (and rightfully should have), without being subjected to their bullying tactics.
Sounds like Janice has already been to a few meetings....
Comment by Cynthia on 10th July 2012
Meetings at KitsumKalum are not like council meetings in Terrace and Kitimat or any other Democratic Council meeting.
If you oppose anything that council implements you are subjected to name calling, glares, whispers of "dissident" and "terrorist". God forbid if you vote "No" to anything.
(And this comes from Employees and Band Administration, the people in charge, not regular band members.)
Even if you voice your concerns in a polite respectful manner you are still attacked and your family will get a phone call to "shut you up".
Unless you are tough enough to put yourself on the firing line over and over again, most people give up after many bouts of bullying.
Kitsum kalum just made it a law that you can be an employee of the band and a councilor at the same time with no conflict, without a real reason to do so.
In my many City Council observations there has always been polite debate, everyone gets a chance to voice their concerns, there is a compromise and the situation is delt with. Not so on our reserve.
So Janice, I understand you not wanting to subject yourself to such treatment over and over. Especially when you have a true hereditary name, like yourself and your brother, a true chief name with his territory. They do not want true hereditary matriarchs and chiefs involved in any discussions. This takes away from their power stronghold.
I will put myself on the firing line again and again, this is the will of many hereditary elders and True Chiefs that I have spoken to and they do not want me to stop.
Comment by James Ippel on 9th July 2012
You are extremely harsh on Corporations, Indian Traitors, and Enbridge, but fail to critisize CTR (Coast Tsimshian Resources) for their rape, pillage, and plunder of the forests. Why don't you take the time to visit some of the logging sites of this company on TF #1 on Branch 4. This is in the Sleeping Beauty area. There are so many burn piles of usuable timber that if they every to burn them we would not see the sun for 6 months. They took only the best to export to China and will burn the rest.
You are quick to take offence and make accusations, but fail to name the culperts. You do little or nothing to our knowledge at any meetings at the Kitsumkalum Hall, but are quick to critizise on this forum. If you have such a major problem with the Band Council at Kitsumkalum, go to the Media, or failing that, write, write, and write again to the local media, get the radio and tv involved.
For your information, I sympathize with you. I recently spoke with a member of Kitsumkalum, and I commented on the fact that the building of a rail spur into the Rock Quarry would greatly benefit the Band, I was surprised by his answer: Ya, for the Band Council.
It is time for a major overall if this is the attitude. It can only start at the groundroots, and please don't expect any help from your local provincially elected representative. In my opinion he will support the currently elected Council. He is well aware of where his support comes from.....
Should you not attened the meetings first?
Comment by Kitsumkalum Member on 9th July 2012
We didn't see you at that meeting Janice. It was heavily advertised. Please come to tommorow's meeting on "TAX".
All residents of British Columbia...
Comment by Janice Robinson on 8th July 2012
Children included....no matter what colour you are, or what your religious and political beliefs, should be welcome at these so-called treaty meetings.
These treaties are being forced upon us by corporate-friendly governments and well-paid Indian traitors (and their families). Treaties are land-grabs, and are necessary for corporations like Enbridge to lay down their pipelines, dig trenches through pristine wilderness, log all trees to send to China, and kill fish habitats.
Take a risk, and just see if you can stomach any community meeting where Tsimshian people are subjected to treaty-related propaganda and brain-washing. By golly, there's an event today! At Kitsumkalum Hall. What! You didn't know about it? That's because they do not want you there. You might vehemently disagree, and protest.
They tell us treaty will change nothing. The status quo will persist. Nepotism abounds, and stifles national honour. We are powerless. The benefactors will continue to be god's-chosen family(s) of your particular reserve, corporations blessed/supported by government cronies, and China . So, accept and surrender. All this, communicated over a meal, with smiles plastered all over their crooked faces, and bought mouths.
Please attend these political, treaty events. All B.C.ers! Come and witness.