Government/industry continues to divide, not help

Letter writer responds to previous Guest View in support of pipeline project

Regarding the Guest View “Pipeline issue up to Wet’suwe’ten People,” (Interior News, Jan. 15, 2019), I urge Crystal Smith to look to the mountains/valleys which carry our oral history and our direct relations with Kitimaat. We aren’t them, we are you. Also, look within your circle before blaming. If the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs were consulted instead of a government band chief without a hereditary name portrayed as a chief of the Wet’suwet’en – the project may not have such opposition.

The white man government/industry you vehemently protect are who your ancestors warned you about, I hope. You seem bright as you are beautiful, do you want to carry such a legacy of being a part of a system that caused such division bringing our people to a whole new level of unhealthy, all for the government? USA? China? Compare the hereditary system versus government/industry.

The hereditary system is transparent as evidenced in the feasts – not divisive and behind closed doors. Our self-governance is a highly efficient system which the government outlawed from 1886-1951. Our system prevailed through self-determination.

The Indian Act government reserves have divided and continue to divide.

Wet’suwet’en encompass on and off reserve people whereas, industry government incessantly recognizes tiny groups of reserve people.

Hereditary chiefs possess names handed down for generations whereas band chiefs are, well, government puppets. Our hereditary chiefs speak from the heart with the whispers of our ancestors and for all our people not scripted propaganda. The hereditary chiefs don’t use the language of “give me” but the language of giving through our bahlats.

Our hereditary system, for most, unites, industry has divided. Our hereditary system encompasses all— we are sovereign. The government divides again and again and again like cancer.

Your alliance hints at the oppportunities keeping the reserves dependent on government dollars whereas our hereditary system leads the youth to self-governance. The worldview of government program dependence is oppressive. Our traditional upbringing entails protecting our vast territories for everyone for generations. Industry offers short term employment and government program money for tiny reserves. Our hereditary system is unconditional for most, the govt pays attn to the tiny reserves when looking for “yes people.”

I suggest adherence to the mission statement of increasing dialogue, not assessing blame.

My greatest earliest is memories are on our territories — where even the animals are represented in our clans. To destroy them is to destroy us. To destroy their home is to destroy ours.

Instead of promoting natural gas being funneled from northern B.C. to Sumas Trading in the Fraser Valley to the US — consider our nations’ interest of protecting northern B.C. resources. Remember every mountain, stream, etc., carries a story our legacy.

I hope the root of evil will be lifted, that our people will unite in this unpleasant storm palpable to all.

This unhealthy promotion goes against academia’s community development. Never have I seen such division, such distrust, anything with government involvement brings just that. It all boils down to basic right and wrong.

Cynthia Taha

Bellingham, WA

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