Office of Wet’suwet’en – Blockades on the horizon?

Years ago, as in around 30 to 40 years ago the roots of historic land claims were forming, a lady of great distinction was finding her feet on the aboriginal scene, we now have a few articles where we have told parts of the story, inclusive of our belief that without Gloria George and her connections the end results could be quite different today. At that time we had Iona Campagnolo,  MP for the Skeena Riding, and who later moved up to the become 27th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and the first woman to hold the office.

We had the following image that was black and white colorized so you could see what Chief Smogelgem’s regalia (Blanket) looks like. It bears the killer whale logo on both sides and a large sun made of shining sequins in top center, as does that of Gloria’s regalia.

The headdress in this case is grouse/killer whale.

Gloria George and Chief Smogelgem dancing at the Bulkley Valley Exhibition in Smithers 1978

Gloria George and Chief Smogelgem dancing at the Bulkley Valley Exhibition in Smithers 1978

Leonard George (Smogelgem)

I won’t repeat what I have shared about her in previous articles to save your time, previous articles regarding Gloria are In defense of the Wet’suwet’en Matrilineal Coalition and Wet’suwet’en Strong – The Symbol of Male Dominance over women. and The Chief Problem – the Office of the Wet’suwet’en  What we do know is of all the hereditary chiefs for the Wet’suwet’en, few have given as much of their life in dedication to serving the  Wet’suwet’en people as Gloria has.

The question of legitimacy of the Office of Wet’suwet’en is now a serious issue as they decided Gloria George and Darlene Glaim are no longer hereditary chiefs based on a difference of opinion over LNG. Also is the question of how close is the Office of Wet’suwet’en to bankruptcy? What is triggering their intentions and actions?

We have now found another document (2013) from the Office of Wet’suwet’en this time it was a submission made to Pacific Trails Pipeline once again affirming Gloria George and Darlene Glaim as official hereditary chiefs. (Point 372 or Page 90 in the file)

PTP_FHCP_Response_to_DFO-25Nov13-Final

 

We need to point this out as Warner Naziel has been making claims Gloria was never officially recognized as a Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief. This is the second document published by the Office of Wet’suwet’en that confirms Gloria George is Chief Smogelgem. (see In defense of the Wet’suwet’en Matrilineal Coalition for the other document.)

Further Warner Naziel is in the wrong house, he belongs to the Owl House and cannot inherit the hereditary chiefs name from the Sun House.

There are no lawyers who can argue Wet’suwet’en Law, its completely subject to the interpretation of the “Wet’suwet’en Five.”

The “Wet’suwet’en Five” are John Ridsdale, Warner William, Jeff Brown, Ron Mitchell, and Alphonse Gagnon.

Warner Naziel who belongs to the Owl House, and is trying to steal the title from the Sun house. The title that rightfully and legally belongs to Gloria George. Meanwhile it would be even more interesting if Gloria was to challenge the legality of the removal of title and rights, done by the Office of Wet’suwet’en.

Warner Naziel claims under Wet’suwet’en law, that Gloria does not qualify, based on the same set of rules it would beg the question of how many chiefs since the 80’s qualified? The official set of rules was written by the “Wet’suwet’en Five.”

I want to interject from a 2009 document that according to the Office of Wet’suwet’en’s version of Wet’suwet’en Law

“In 1993 we met and had a feast at old hall and chief councilor from Burns Lake Robert Charlie said yes, we need to learn about the feast system but we don’t know where we belong here. None of our elders practice the feast system which is the foundation of Wet’suwet’en government. He wants to know if there was a chance he could get a name. He was told that in order to get a Wet’suwet’en name you must earn it. That turned him off, declaring to be part of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Several years later he told me he had no place with us.”

The Office of Wet’suwet’en is still governed by and under Canadian Law regardless of what the infamous “Wet’suwet’en Five” say it is.

The only chief who is NOT a hereditary chief is Warner Naziel, so that leaves us with 5 Hereditary Chiefs, deciding an issue that belongs to 13 Hereditary Chiefs, that would hardly sound like Wet’suwet’en law is being followed at all.

Also comes the question of if legally the Office of Wet’suwet’en and the Wet’suwet’en Treaty Society are one and the same?

Clearly the money, more than 14 million dollars is now gone, they no longer are publicly declaring any income, so its anyone’s guess if there is any at all. For 2018 they exceeded expenditures $10,505.00 so that gets added to the deficit.

With the question of how long can they float the boat “Office of Wet’suwet’en and the Wet’suwet’en Treaty Society” before they have to close the doors of the Office of Wet’suwet’en?

Yes they need to talk reconciliation, the first item on the agenda has to be funding, they need funding or they will have no funds for any court case soon. So they better pick their legal battles very carefully.

Sent out via email campaign, the threat of new blockades.

Sent out via email campaign, the threat of new blockades.

 

Sent out via email campaign, the threat of new blockades.

Sent out via email campaign, the threat of new blockades.

Sounds like deep paranoia is setting in within the ranks, or there are so few local Wet’suwet’en, that they are now calling on radicals from outside of our territory.

So the pressure is on to get government to hand over money, to keep the blockades from happening, a sort of unofficial blackmail by way of rumors and rumors of wars.

The Office of Wet’suwet’en are not being upfront in their dealing with Canada, it appears they play a game of riddles, first come illegal tactics of blockades, then when it goes to court they claim “sidestepped hereditary chiefs authority” so it begs the question of what actions are sanctioned by the Office of Wet’suwet’en and what will they claim is not of their doing? In a nutshell what actions will they be legally responsible for and what actions will they pass on to those on the front lines?

A risky proposition to those on the front lines who might be left holding the bag legally when the Office of Wet’suwet’en runs out of funds.

 



Thanks for having taken the time to visit and read our articles. I had my say, feel free to post your thoughts as well, be part of making a difference.
JLS
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