Stand by your words is an often used quote by First Nations leaders, so let’s have a look at what was said. I will post his words in yellow to show what he said in the included video.
It starts off with John Ridsdale waving like a school kid demanding attention, and it was granted. John start off be saying this is a statement of human rights violations of the Wet’suwet’en people in north western BC Canada, as well as the struggles of indigenous rights defenders across BC
He forgot to include what those violations were and when they occurred.
I am here on behalf of the Office of Wet’suwet’en and I am supported by the BC Union of Indian Chiefs which represents over 110 First nations in British Columbia, Canada and is mandated to support in defence of our inherent Wet’suwet’en title and rights.
Note: The BC Union of Indian Chiefs does NOT represent all first nations; it’s a boys club with membership fees, it works only for first nations who pay membership, even if it means working against other non-member First Nations. There are 198 distinct First Nations in B.C., each with their own unique traditions and history. So that leaves 88 First Nations bands that do not recognize this boys club or its authority.
John then asks the UN pay close attention to that it is crucial for state in the implementation of the UN declaration of indigenous rights to do so meaningfully and as a whole, not is what is selectively convenient.
Free, prior and informed consent is not an enhanced consultation process and states cannot ignore indigenous people through their own systems of government and that they have freely chosen for themselves.
OK let’s stop there for a minute, now we are talking about one a small fraction of Wet’suwet’en people opposed to the CGL pipeline, after all this is what this whole mission is about, stopping CGL.
Consider that a fraction of a nation is opposed to the CGL pipeline, and the Stellat’en First Nation, Saik’uz First Nation, Cheslatta Carrier Nation, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Saulteau First Nations, Kitselas First Nation, West Moberly First Nations, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Nadleh Whut’en Indian Band, Burns Lake Indian Band, Blueberry River First Nations, Halfway River First Nation, Doig River First Nation, Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Yekooche First Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band, Skin Tyee First Nation, Witset First Nation, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Haisla Nation all not only want this project to go through, they need it for their survival.
That said the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues had better consider the rights of the whole, as opposed to the very few who openly admit to being anarchist, that do not recognize the province of British Columbia, or the Government of Canada or the authority of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Seriously if the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues supports John Ridsdale, is then in fact saying it no longer recognizes the authority of Canada to govern. That’s a dangerous line to cross for the UN.
John goes on to say, that it is crucial that the state recognize indigenous peoples human right to peacefully express their decent to corporate development in their lands and in their territories. Violations of those rights have been persisting for centuries and must be halted.
Let stop there again, what this is leading to again is the road blocks put up by John’s followers. Police are under the Canadian constitution allowed to remove those blockades and enforce court injunctions; these are not violations of human or indigenous rights. To suggest it is would be to suggest indigenous people are above the law. But it does concur with the problem Canada now has with Office of Wet’suwet’en openly admitting they do not recognize the authority of Canada.
John goes on, we would kindly like to invite you out to our traditional territory, we are our government, we decide who comes on our territory, we are the hereditary chiefs. British Columbia and Canada have only presumed authority on our land. We the Wet’suwet’en chiefs invite you to our territory.
There you have it again, John refusing to recognize the authority of Canada, leaving the UN to decide if or not Canada is a legal country, or if John is out to lunch. Yes some of the chiefs are hereditary chiefs, other need to prove their legitimacy. If John was right and telling the truth without twisting it to mean Morice logging road, Smithers, Telkwa, and Houston all fall on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory.
If what John says is true, they would have to shut down Highway 16, the CN Railroad, and Smithers and Houston airports as well as helipads. All of this is Wet’suwet’en territory John, so this again is only about the CGL pipeline on Morice River logging road.
John goes on to say. We are troubled by the ongoing trend in Canada that the interests of natural resource extraction are superseding the rights of indigenous people on our lands and territories. This trend is deeply disturbing especially if Canada states continue to speak of reconciliation with indigenous people in the highest levels of government. The Supreme Court of Canada in Delgamuukw v British Columbia, in 1997 established that ongoing indigenous title to our lands and territories and the corresponding right to determined how this land is used and by who have not been extinguished by this imposition of illegal colonial regime.
Whoa wait a minute that is not at all what the Supreme Court of Canada in Delgamuukw v British Columbia said. It did however say.
“In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada issued an important decision, Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, that considered Aboriginal title to Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en traditional territories. The Supreme Court of Canada decided that a new trial was required to determine whether Aboriginal title had been established for these lands, and to hear from other Indigenous nations which have a stake in the territory claimed. The new trial has never been held, meaning that Aboriginal title to this land, and which Indigenous nation holds it, has not been determined.”
John goes on to say, indigenous legal orders and systems of governments must be recognized and respected and not trampled upon in interests of corporate development.
The problem John is the Delgamuukw v. British Columbia told you to go back to the negotiating table, you took 14 million dollars, and went on a spending spree under the Office of Wet’suwet’en, when Wet’suwet’en members demanded to see detailed financial reports, you refused and denied them.
In 2009 it must have become apparent you did not have funds left to actually negotiate land claims anymore so you pulled out the negotiations. To date the Office has spent close to 20 million Wet’suwet’en dollars so that some people could become rich logging contractors while the vast majority are no closer to having land claims settled that the day the court case was completed.
You take another 2 million from Horgan, and you hand pick the logging road rebels for a vacation to New York to attend this function.
If you’re wondering why I am using your English name is because like so many other we feel you have tarnished your chiefs name and blanket, the word misogynist is more appropriate. You stripped 3 women of hereditary title for not agreeing with you on CGL, however you did not strip a single male for doing exactly the same thing, if that is not sexist, I hardly know what is.
At very least there should be an investigation into your conduct to determine if or not you are fit to lead the Wet’suwet’en people, let alone speak on their behalf at the UN.
You go on to say, indigenous people have the right to defend our home and territories, we have the right to free prior and informed consent for any industrial activities in our lands or territories.
Your homes are in Witset, they have never been threatened, as for territories, you walked out of the land claim negotiation, it was not the governments that walked out. You still to this date have neither proven your claim to the land, nor negotiated it due to your own negligence.
You go on to say, they should not be threatened or criminalized for the exercise of these established rights.
Whoa wait up there John, what established rights, no such rights have been established, neither you nor your followers are above the laws or courts of Canada. You break the law, and police come and arrest you, like they did.
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.