To the Editor,
My name is Adriana, I am the Granddaughter of Smogelgem, late Leonard George. My Grandpa taught me to have integrity and said if I am going to say something I should be able to stand by what I say. My Grandparents on my Mother and Father’s side taught me it wasn’t about how much money or goods you can contribute to the feast hall it is about being there for our people when they need you the most at all times not just in the feast hall. My grandpa Leonard traveled far and wide to be there for our people in all territories he was widely known and well respected.
I feel that it’s important to share about an incident I witnessed as a young girl. When my Grandpa’s brother Andrew George passed away, at his funeral feast I had gone outside to grab something. When I went outside I witnessed elders circled around my Grandpa, like vultures, he was sick with pneumonia and had just lost his brother. They were shouting at him and being very aggressive. I stomped in that circle and yelled at them to leave my Grandpa alone and I escorted him back into the feast hall. I was very young and recognized some of the faces shouting at him I knew enough to know it was over a name, my late Great Uncle Andrew George’s name I believe. I will never forget what I witnessed that day.
Recently, I came across an article in the Prince George Citizen, stating that Warner Naziel will be building a camp at Parrot Lake Recreation site. This location is Sun House territory. It actually belongs to our late Great Uncle Fred George, of the Sun House. All of the grandchildren of Mary and Thomas George grew up there. It’s not good to do things like this, it’s believed to bring bad luck. Taking a name from a different House and building on Sun House’s territory, a different territory. This behavior is shameful and Warner is smearing dirt all over the name, he claims, and he’s walking on our Great-Grandmothers grave.
It is only by the perseverance of our ancestors in the face of colonization and adversity that we are here today I will always honour and respect them for that and so much more.
I am a descendant of Tsabaysa, Gisdayway, Dzi, Knoots, Untloh, Guluksam, Wiloos and Smogelgem. My Grandmother gave me permission to speak and stand with my Father’s family. I know we are not alone. I truly believe everything will work itself out.
I am glad everyone is hearing our truth. So thank-you it’s very much appreciated!