Letter to the Editor: Don’t ignore Hereditary Chiefs

When Hereditary Chiefs make decisions pertaining to their traditional territories they don’t have to consult with band council chiefs

Editor:

I would like to address articles  in The Prince Rupert Northern View on Feb. 10 pertaining to the All Native Basketball Tournament and sponsorship by LNG companies. If the chair of the ANBT wants to keep politics out of the tournament, then he shouldn’t accept sponsorship from controversial industries like liquefied nature gas, which may be the cleanest burning gas, but in taking it out of the earth, is the dirtiest, utilizing approximately 1,000,000 gallons of fresh water per day!

The water may be reused a few times but eventually becomes so contaminated it has to be stored in holding ponds (similar to Mount Polley’s) that eventually burn down and re-enters the water system at a great cost to humans, wildlife!

A little lesson in history; when Columbus (and whomever else) ‘discovered’ North America, all of the North American continent was owned and occupied by indigenous peoples, speaking their own languages in the traditional territories. There were no English and or French languages spoken. There were no reservations, no band councils and certainly no “Indian Act”.

When Hereditary Chiefs make decisions pertaining to their traditional territories they don’t have to consult with band council chiefs or councils who are a creation of the “Indian Act” and the Federal Government of Canada.

When Canada created the “Indian Act” and “Indian” reservations between Massett and Skidegate (Band Councils) we now own less than one per cent of the total land base of Haida Gwaii.

Justin Trudeau is like a breath of fresh air compared to Stephen Harper’s dictatorial regime. Mr. Trudeau has promised to implement the 94 recommendations of the truth and reconciliation report examining the history and legacy of the residential schools in Canada.

Hereditary Chiefs make decisions on and within their traditional territories by consulting with their clan matriarch and clan members.

Yaahldaaju (Gary Russ)

Skidegate