Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs Press Release April 5 2012
Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs Press Release April 5 2012 The Gitxsan Unity Movement stands firm onbacking the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs, who haverequested the Gitxsan Unity Movement to secureand keep a 24 hour 7 day a week watch over their building. In light of new developments, the GitxsanHereditary Chiefs do not acknowledge the GitxsanTreaty Society as a representation of the Gitxsan people.
In a Declaration signed by 91 Gitxsan Chiefs that states:The Gitxsan Treaty Society (GTS) does not represent the Gitxsan people and is to be shut down for the following reasons:Lack of consultation with the Gitxsan clans and communities: GTS staff members, specifically the Executive Director, Head Negotiator and Negotiator did not utilize the principle of free, prior, and informed consent in entering into the December 2, 2011 agreement with Enbridge Inc; specifically, GTS entered into the agreement without the knowledge or authorization of the Simgigyet.
GTS senior staff did not follow the Gitxsan ayookw (Gitxsan law practiced in the Wilp Li’ligit) in the agreement that he negotiated with Enbridge Inc. Therefore, the Gitxsan Clans have lost confidence in the ability of the Gitxsan Treaty Office and the Gitxsan Treaty Society to represent the best interests of the Gitxsan. Further, the agreement could do irreparable harm to: The ayookw; to Gitxsan solidarity with neighbouring First Nations who are fighting to stop the pipeline; human health; and, to the ecosystems and wildlife in the watersheds which the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project is proposed to cross.
I also confirm I agree with the following action:1. Members of the Gitxsan Treaty Society Board of Directors representing my pdeek ( clan) have been recalled and have no authority to speak on behalf of my pdeek;2. The Executive Director and Negotiators of GTS have been terminated; Other office Staff are to be given notices of indeterminate lay-offs.
3. Enbridge Corporation is to be notified that the Gitxsan Simgigyet are not party to the December 2, 2011 agreement and the agreement is therefore null and void;4. British Columbia Treaty Commission, the Federal and Provincial Governments, and other third parties, be notified that GTS does not represent Gitxsan chiefs and has ceased operations;
5. An apology is to be extended to First Nations who will be impacted by the Endbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project;6. The Task Force be authorized to carry out any necessary actions, including but not limited to, engaging professional assistance, required to terminate the operations of GTS. The Task Force is to regularly report their progress to the Simgigyet, who will give further direction as required at duly called clan meetings.
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.The Gitxsan Chiefs shut down the Gitxsan Treaty Society on December 5, 2011 because they were acting contrary to Gitxsan law and values through their unilateral agreement with Enbridge.
The Gitxsan Unity movement is 100% volunteer driven, with Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs and members working in the best interest of our land, culture and people.We are very disappointed in Judge McEwan decision to call the very people, who had put the foundations of GTS in place, illegal. When in fact in earlier court room comments Judge McEwan clearly pointed out that the GTS was operating illegally with few society members.
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 Simgigyet and the Gitxsan Nation.CONTACTGitxsan Unity MovementPO Box 332Hazelton, BCV0J 1Y0For more information, please contact:email: email@example.com