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Wet'suwet'en Protests and Blockades in BC


DonLever

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just block the government funding they receive, cut off their natural gas access to their homes, and that pipeline will be approved.  they're 100 native groups supporting this, so why is it held up because one group think they aren't making any money. you do not see project like this held up in the states, on wonder their economy is better than ours, because they build

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Just now, Squamfan said:

just block the government funding they receive, cut off their natural gas access to their homes, and that pipeline will be approved.  they're 100 native groups supporting this, so why is it held up because one group think they aren't making any money. you do not see project like this held up in the states, on wonder their economy is better than ours, because they build

Its not that their not making any money its just they want more money. Its always about the decimal point

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2 hours ago, Warhippy said:

With respect.  No

 

Not everything with First Nations people is about money.

tbh I don't know how issues like this are supposed to get resolved. Elected bands vs hereditary chiefs - maybe thats not even viewed the same way inside of first nations cultures as we'd view it from a western perspective. I have no idea how you'd reach a compromise when elected bands say yes, and hereditary chiefs say no. 

 

There's no way for the government (or any of us) to assess the validity of a hereditary chief claim to power over land. That has to come from within a band. So what are we supposed to do when those things are at odds and there's a major project on the table? In this case it sure looks to me like the will of the band members is positive toward the project. But should the fed's wait until the Wet'suwet'en figure it out amongst themselves? 

 

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47 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

this is true, but in this case it looks like what the hereditary chiefs want and what the band members want is clearly at odds. 20/20 elected band councils want this project. Thats pretty amazing, almost nothing gets consensus like that. 

 

There might be some conflict in terms of where the boundaries lie in terms of responsibilities for unneeded land, but in this case we have a very clear statement of what people in the bands want. I think thats why the actual numbers of first nations protestors is quite low against this project. 

It's a complicated scenario. How does hereditary chiefs vs band councils work? They'll likely have to figure that out among themselves, western perspectives would likely inflame such discussions. As much as some people would love it, the various levels of government can't strip them of their aboriginal rights or land claims. If it were that simple they'd have done it years ago. 

 

The government will have to tread lightly, they're unlikely to want the international attention they got last year and they've already had the UN breathing down their necks regarding Canada's historical treatment of indigenous people. 

 

There are lots of perspectives out there, that's normal. But some of them are just disgusting. Some folks would have protesters run over and maimed or murdered. Some would solve the perceived "indigenous problem" with violence or coercion. What a wacky world. 

Edited by Coconuts
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50 minutes ago, Sbriggs said:

Its all about the money, as control\power = revenue. Many reserves out there are self sufficient and are not the ones blocking progress its the ones who haven't figured it out yet and want to continue with the old ways of handouts

No, no it isn't about money.  It's sad but not shocking people like you still exist when you make these claims.

 

it's not about money because the land holders have already agreed on land usage.  The money has already been agreed upon.  The fact you don't even know this but assume and state it is about money is ignorant and not even remotely shocking.

 

Again, educate yourself on who is holding things up and why.  I'll give you a hint, it is NOT the people who have given license to use their titled land to the Coastal Link project.

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6 minutes ago, Coconuts said:

It's a complicated scenario. How does hereditary chiefs vs band councils work? They'll likely have to figure that out among themselves, western perspectives would likely inflame such discussions. As much as some people would love it, the various levels of government can't strip them of their aboriginal rights or land claims. If it were that simple they'd have done it years ago. 

 

The government will have to tread lightly, they're unlikely to want the international attention they got last year and they've already had the UN breathing down their necks regarding Canada's historical treatment of indigenous people. 

 

There are lots of perspectives out there, that's normal. But some of them are just disgusting. Some folks would have protesters run over and maimed or murdered. Some would solve the perceived "indigenous problem" with violence or coercion. What a wacky world. 

The issue of rights is complex for sure. One thing we do know from recent SCoC decisions is there isn't an aboriginal veto on projects. There is a serious duty to consult and accommodate but at the end of the day the federal government has final say, thats just how it is. It doesn't mean that you can just go out and stomp on people's rights tho like some want it to mean.

 

I've lost a lot of respect for the UN tbh with their recent debacle over this project. That committee didn't even know there was unanimous support among elected bands :picard: I think they're more interesting in virtue signalling that actual facts, at least that particular committee. 

 

Yeah these topics bring out some of the worst stuff, its why CBC no longer allows comment sections on first nations stories. 

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36 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

tbh I don't know how issues like this are supposed to get resolved. Elected bands vs hereditary chiefs - maybe thats not even viewed the same way inside of first nations cultures as we'd view it from a western perspective. I have no idea how you'd reach a compromise when elected bands say yes, and hereditary chiefs say no. 

 

There's no way for the government (or any of us) to assess the validity of a hereditary chief claim to power over land. That has to come from within a band. So what are we supposed to do when those things are at odds and there's a major project on the table? In this case it sure looks to me like the will of the band members is positive toward the project. But should the fed's wait until the Wet'suwet'en figure it out amongst themselves? 

 

Hereditary Chiefs long outlived their usefulness.  Band councils have a far more diplomatic say on things.  the issues in this instance is that the titled land owners HAVE the right to say what happens on their land and to ask others to respect that within the band.  The band councils then have the right to ask other members of the nation and band if they are ok with it but in the end it is still the right of the titled land holder to grant permission.  In this instance the bands on the route have agreed, the titled land holders have agreed, the hereditary chiefs and other groups of First Nations members have said no.

 

Under normal circumstances bands and chiefs have the right to shut down a project IF they feel and can prove it puts the land and the band at risk, but in this instance it doesn't.  That court case was already decided as was the assessment on impact.  The bands have agreed to allow this by and large but a few holdouts and 4 chiefs have said no.

 

This isn't an oil line, there is no tailings pond or risk of oil spill in the event of a leak.  

 

This is just a group of chiefs and solitary groups of people banding together to try  to say no.  I do not begrudge them their right to do this but in this instance I find it silly as; the REAL threat from this comes from the fracking at the source not the pipeline route.

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3 minutes ago, Warhippy said:

Hereditary Chiefs long outlived their usefulness.  Band councils have a far more diplomatic say on things.  the issues in this instance is that the titled land owners HAVE the right to say what happens on their land and to ask others to respect that within the band.  The band councils then have the right to ask other members of the nation and band if they are ok with it but in the end it is still the right of the titled land holder to grant permission.  In this instance the bands on the route have agreed, the titled land holders have agreed, the hereditary chiefs and other groups of First Nations members have said no.

 

Under normal circumstances bands and chiefs have the right to shut down a project IF they feel and can prove it puts the land and the band at risk, but in this instance it doesn't.  That court case was already decided as was the assessment on impact.  The bands have agreed to allow this by and large but a few holdouts and 4 chiefs have said no.

 

This isn't an oil line, there is no tailings pond or risk of oil spill in the event of a leak.  

 

This is just a group of chiefs and solitary groups of people banding together to try  to say no.  I do not begrudge them their right to do this but in this instance I find it silly as; the REAL threat from this comes from the fracking at the source not the pipeline route.

So I need things to make sense. What I can't figure out is who ultimately speaks for first nations bands? There seems to be this idea that there's a bright line between ceded and un-ceded land, but that land is owned by the same group of first nations people. From what I've read, hereditary chiefs aren't emperors, they need to listen to their people as well don't they?  Clearly this project has support from the people. 

 

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12 hours ago, canuktravella said:

 ya the government needs to clear the way for people going to work and trains and ferries etcetc   pipeline can be fought in court if they want  but otherwise get out of here.  If people dont like oil companies dont drive a car  or use anything made with oil good luck with that tho. Sick of lobbyists protesting   when they just trying to make money on it. Tent city lobbyists are a prime example of causing trouble at price to taxpayers 

typical Canadian hipocracy

We should speak up about _________ (insert foreign country here) 's human rights abuse

BUt don't get in the way of our progress

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So this is interesting - the answer to my question about who represents the land is "it depends". It doesn't seem like there's a clear answer and the best approach is early consultations. It also seems very much grounded in the particular community(s) effected. 

 

 

 

 

"The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change." Sir John A Macdonald, 1887

Long before Prime Minister John A. Macdonald made the above statement of intent, the Indigenous Peoples who had occupied the land since time immemorial had effective, traditional forms of leadership and governance. The traditional form of governance pre-contact was most commonly based on leadership by hereditary chiefs. However, it should be noted that "chief" is a European term. Traditional leaders were headmen/women, clan leaders, heads of villages, or groups of people. 

 

Chief_Dr_Robert_Joseph.jpg

Hereditary chiefs, as the name implies, are those who inherit the title and responsibilities according to the history and cultural values of their community. Their governing principles are anchored in their own cultural traditions. Hereditary chiefs carry the responsibility of ensuring the traditions, protocols, songs, dances of the community, which have been passed down for hundreds of generations, are respected and kept alive. They are caretakers of the people and the culture. My father, Chief Dr. Bob Joseph, O.B.C., is a hereditary chief, and as his son, one day I will become a hereditary chief in accordance with strict cultural laws.

 

The introduction of the Indian Act in 1876 introduced the Elected Chief and Council System which forced communities to elect their leaders, and to hold elections every two years. Know also that they are elected by their people but are accountable to the federal government. As you can imagine, this new form of leadership caused friction and confusion.  

 

Here are five hereditary chief FAQs:

1. Does every First Nation in Canada have a hereditary chief?
No. In some communities waves of smallpox and measles epidemics wiped out the entire hereditary lineage. These communities rely on elected chief and council as laid out by the Indian Act.

 

2. How is the hereditary chief title passed to next person?
Each community and culture has its own protocols and ceremony. In many west coast cultures, the title and responsibilities are passed to successive hereditary chiefs during apotlatch.

 

3. What happens if there isn’t someone next-in-line to take on the title and responsibilities?
Again, each community may have its own protocol and ceremony for passing the title along. In some communities it can go down through the men and others through the women. They will also have rules about next person to inherit if there is no available or willing heir. I am aware of one culture who if the oldest nephew does not want the responsibility they can pass it to the next oldest nephew as long as it’s conducted in a public ceremony. I know in other cultural practices that if there is no son then it goes to the daughter who takes it with her as dowry to her new husband. Those are just two examples of many. Remember, there are 11 major language families, 50 different dialects, and over 600 bands in Canada. There are many, many more examples but we just wanted to give a small perspective.

 

4. If there is both a hereditary chief and an elected chief, which one has the final say on economic development projects?
My favorite answer that I share in my public and onsite training workshops is “it depends”. If you are working with a community that has both forms of leadership, it is something that needs to be sorted out before you go and commence work. I propose that research be undertaken before any kind of work begins. It will save you tons of time and expense for the effort. To find the information you will need to check out websites, visit cultural centres, talk to community people, talk to government people and even reach out to consultants to share their insights. Personally, I have seen situations in which the elected people who have say on development projects and other examples where it is the hereditary chiefs who have the say on development.

 

Sometimes they get along and understand each other and other times their relationship is tense, to say the least. The common mistake here is that people assume it is the elected chief and council and that’s what gets them into trouble. Also, if this was a level 300 Indigenous Consultation and Engagement course I would tell the participants that the rights are collectively held by a group of people, and that a broader group of people needs to be involved in decisions around economic development.

 

5. How can one community have two forms of leadership? What if the elected chief and the hereditary chief have different philosophies or views about a certain issue?This is a great question. When the Indian Act brought elections into the communities it was an attempt to further erode age-old traditions and cultures by neutralizing the role of the traditional leader. The process of having elections, and having community (and sometimes family) members vying against one another caused, and continues to cause, a great deal of friction, particularly in smaller communities. 

Calling the elected leader “chief” was another measure aimed at undermining the role of hereditary leaders. Polarizing opinions between elected and hereditary chiefs, especially in concern with granting approval for resource development projects, can be a source of friction in First Nation communities. Again research and planning of approach are the best ways to deal with different views or philosophies.  

 

 

 

 

https://www.ictinc.ca/blog/hereditary-chief-definition-and-5-faqs

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13 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

So this is interesting - the answer to my question about who represents the land is "it depends". It doesn't seem like there's a clear answer and the best approach is early consultations. It also seems very much grounded in the particular community(s) effected. 

 

 

 

 

"The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change." Sir John A Macdonald, 1887

Long before Prime Minister John A. Macdonald made the above statement of intent, the Indigenous Peoples who had occupied the land since time immemorial had effective, traditional forms of leadership and governance. The traditional form of governance pre-contact was most commonly based on leadership by hereditary chiefs. However, it should be noted that "chief" is a European term. Traditional leaders were headmen/women, clan leaders, heads of villages, or groups of people. 

 

Chief_Dr_Robert_Joseph.jpg

Hereditary chiefs, as the name implies, are those who inherit the title and responsibilities according to the history and cultural values of their community. Their governing principles are anchored in their own cultural traditions. Hereditary chiefs carry the responsibility of ensuring the traditions, protocols, songs, dances of the community, which have been passed down for hundreds of generations, are respected and kept alive. They are caretakers of the people and the culture. My father, Chief Dr. Bob Joseph, O.B.C., is a hereditary chief, and as his son, one day I will become a hereditary chief in accordance with strict cultural laws.

 

The introduction of the Indian Act in 1876 introduced the Elected Chief and Council System which forced communities to elect their leaders, and to hold elections every two years. Know also that they are elected by their people but are accountable to the federal government. As you can imagine, this new form of leadership caused friction and confusion.  

 

Here are five hereditary chief FAQs:

1. Does every First Nation in Canada have a hereditary chief?
No. In some communities waves of smallpox and measles epidemics wiped out the entire hereditary lineage. These communities rely on elected chief and council as laid out by the Indian Act.

 

2. How is the hereditary chief title passed to next person?
Each community and culture has its own protocols and ceremony. In many west coast cultures, the title and responsibilities are passed to successive hereditary chiefs during apotlatch.

 

3. What happens if there isn’t someone next-in-line to take on the title and responsibilities?
Again, each community may have its own protocol and ceremony for passing the title along. In some communities it can go down through the men and others through the women. They will also have rules about next person to inherit if there is no available or willing heir. I am aware of one culture who if the oldest nephew does not want the responsibility they can pass it to the next oldest nephew as long as it’s conducted in a public ceremony. I know in other cultural practices that if there is no son then it goes to the daughter who takes it with her as dowry to her new husband. Those are just two examples of many. Remember, there are 11 major language families, 50 different dialects, and over 600 bands in Canada. There are many, many more examples but we just wanted to give a small perspective.

 

4. If there is both a hereditary chief and an elected chief, which one has the final say on economic development projects?
My favorite answer that I share in my public and onsite training workshops is “it depends”. If you are working with a community that has both forms of leadership, it is something that needs to be sorted out before you go and commence work. I propose that research be undertaken before any kind of work begins. It will save you tons of time and expense for the effort. To find the information you will need to check out websites, visit cultural centres, talk to community people, talk to government people and even reach out to consultants to share their insights. Personally, I have seen situations in which the elected people who have say on development projects and other examples where it is the hereditary chiefs who have the say on development.

 

Sometimes they get along and understand each other and other times their relationship is tense, to say the least. The common mistake here is that people assume it is the elected chief and council and that’s what gets them into trouble. Also, if this was a level 300 Indigenous Consultation and Engagement course I would tell the participants that the rights are collectively held by a group of people, and that a broader group of people needs to be involved in decisions around economic development.

 

5. How can one community have two forms of leadership? What if the elected chief and the hereditary chief have different philosophies or views about a certain issue?This is a great question. When the Indian Act brought elections into the communities it was an attempt to further erode age-old traditions and cultures by neutralizing the role of the traditional leader. The process of having elections, and having community (and sometimes family) members vying against one another caused, and continues to cause, a great deal of friction, particularly in smaller communities. 

Calling the elected leader “chief” was another measure aimed at undermining the role of hereditary leaders. Polarizing opinions between elected and hereditary chiefs, especially in concern with granting approval for resource development projects, can be a source of friction in First Nation communities. Again research and planning of approach are the best ways to deal with different views or philosophies.  

 

 

 

 

https://www.ictinc.ca/blog/hereditary-chief-definition-and-5-faqs

That's about accurate yes, depending on which band in which nation you're speaking to or of.  it's also infuriating that this information is out there but people like..."that guy" above seem to think money being thrown at First Nations people, maybe some fire water will solve everything

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33 minutes ago, dm_ranger said:

Part of my frustration in this story is that people are angry the RCMP are enforcing a court order.  Shouldn't the protest be about the judges then?  

I understand at times the RCMP deserving criticism, and I understand the legacy of distrust that exists between RCMP and First Nations, but this is not the RCMP acting on their own initiative.  They are enforcing a court order.  If you want to protest -- protest the courts.

The RCMP are an occupying force now.  The genocide of CDN indigenous people continues with the support of CDN politicians and our courts. 

Our indigenous women are targeted for violence / disappear.    Our prisons are 25 % first nations but only 4 % of CDN population is aboriginal.

First nations children make up the vast majority of children apprenhended and put into foster care.....

We have elected band chiefs making up to 1 million per year while their own band ciitzens have no housing available on reserve.....

 

Now we have first nations unceded territories being invaded by  armed RCMP with shoot to kill orders.....  with peaceful  indigenous citizens being arrested off of their own lands....

 

Conciliation is just a lie  to get first nations people off their lands / territories without proper compensation. 

 

Meanwhile in Canada we still have first nations communities that do NOT have acccess to CLEAN drinking water.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Jimmy McGill said:

tbh I don't know how issues like this are supposed to get resolved. Elected bands vs hereditary chiefs - maybe thats not even viewed the same way inside of first nations cultures as we'd view it from a western perspective. I have no idea how you'd reach a compromise when elected bands say yes, and hereditary chiefs say no. 

 

There's no way for the government (or any of us) to assess the validity of a hereditary chief claim to power over land. That has to come from within a band. So what are we supposed to do when those things are at odds and there's a major project on the table? In this case it sure looks to me like the will of the band members is positive toward the project. But should the fed's wait until the Wet'suwet'en figure it out amongst themselves? 

 

Think of those who are "elected officials" to be the ones that were fully assimilated, their value system changed to what was really important was the almighty$$$$.

Now look at the Hereditary Chiefs as those who held onto their values and beliefs and valued the culture, the land, its people more important than Money and Power.

Hence, this issue is about Money versus the Environment.

It's funny though that the misinformed claim all they want is money and that is farthest from the truth. They want what everybody should want and that's things like clean drinking water , renewal resources such as salmon and a world which our children and grandchildren can enjoy long after we are gone.

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12 minutes ago, kingofsurrey said:

The RCMP are an occupying force now.  The genocide of CDN indigenous people continues with the support of CDN politicians and our courts. 

Our indigenous women are targeted for violence / disappear.    Our prisons are 25 % first nations but only 4 % of CDN population is aboriginal.

First nations children make up the vast majority of children apprenhended and put into foster care.....

We have elected band chiefs making up to 1 million per year while their own band ciitzens have no housing available on reserve.....

 

Now we have first nations unceded territories being invaded by  armed RCMP with shoot to kill orders.....  with peaceful  indigenous citizens being arrested off of their own lands....

 

Conciliation is just a lie  to get first nations people off their lands / territories without proper compensation. 

 

Meanwhile in Canada we still have first nations communities that do NOT have acccess to CLEAN drinking water.

 

 

 

Sorry but sadly that will go right over peoples heads and they just worry about how much money is coming out of their pockets. Its a sad society we live in today.

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