Introducing Gulaxkan (The Bear That Sleeps All Winter Long) also known as Rita George

The world needs to know, the world needs to hear, the world needs to listen what this 80 year old matriarch has to say. Listen to what she said about Molly Wickham without mentioning her name, listen to what she said about the Office of Wet’suwet’en without mentioning their name, in a class act, she like her forefathers and mothers, speaks a simple truth. You might have seen clips or excerpts on TV, we bring you the complete uncut version. Special thanks goes to the gentleman who shared this with me.

It would be a fair assessment to say that without the thousands of hours put in by Rita George, the Delgamuukw would have completely failed. It was in large part her education, her knowledge, her background training since childhood that prepared her to become an expert in Wet’suwet’en culture and history.

It would also be fair to say neither the Indian Friendship Center in Smithers, or the Office of Wet’suwet’en, could have existed without her tremendous contributions.
With that I give you the most respected elder of the Wet’suwet’en Nation that I have ever had the privilege of being acquainted with, and hearing her speak again, put tears in my eyes. For the love of truth, honesty and integrity grab a Kleenex and watch and listen, to a rare and precious gift, Rita George.

 

 

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18 thoughts on “Introducing Gulaxkan (The Bear That Sleeps All Winter Long) also known as Rita George

  • Avatar
    February 23, 2020 at 8:09 am
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    Thank you for posting this touching plea by Rita George for some sanity, calm and respect during the present turmoil. She brings a reasoned and respected voice to a feast sadly overflowing with harsh rhetoric, rancour and division. Thank you Rita. I wish you peace and good health.

    At this juncture, I would also like to point out it seems like inopportune timing for Molly Wickham to be taking maternity leave soon from her position as Governance Director at the Smithers Office of the Wet’suwet’en. This could leave the Hereditary Chiefs without an important resource in determining future plans, moves, decisions etc and leave them bereft of her studied input. After all, Molly got well educated through support provided by the Stellat’en First Nation Band (member of the nearby Carrier Sekani Tribal Council ) and aided with scholarships to UVic provided by the New Relationship Trust established by the BC Government some time ago to assist First Nation youth in attaining educational goals and dreams. I wish great good luck to whomever is found to fill Molly’s position in these times of turmoil within the nation. Molly is certainly leaving behind some hard shoes to fill. Molly should land on her feet however…perhaps with some aid from an ongoing GoFundMe account recently established for her and her clan will help see to that?

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/gidimt039en-strong

    Reply
    • Avatar
      February 23, 2020 at 11:55 am
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      Yes, thank you Rita, finally some traditional advice that will go a long way for the people.

      Andrew, you have got to be joking to send Molly money, are you kidding? The balance of what began as a well rounded opinion finishes like an advertisement for milking the public’s heartstrings to no end. Don’t you think the almost $980,000 is enough for Molly her sister that has had to change her name because of backlash over extorting the world with false reasons for having a GoFundMe……

      You are a complete moron should you send this loser money, how about donating to the local library instead, or the cancer wing of the Smithers Hospital.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        February 23, 2020 at 1:04 pm
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        You must have failed to get the drift of the sly sarcasm intended in my missive? I have little or no respect for what Molly and some of the others have been up to of late…and you can go and review some of my earlier letters on recent posts that will attest to this. Peace.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          February 23, 2020 at 2:22 pm
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          I should have written “wink wink” of it at the end of it to make my intentions more apparent and less subtle for the reader. I would have stuck an winking emoticon at the conclusion if I was a doing a Facebook post! My bad.

          Reply
  • Avatar
    February 23, 2020 at 9:39 am
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    thank you Rita, and thank you JLS.

    Reply
  • JLS
    February 23, 2020 at 1:07 pm
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    Just a heads up, we are experiencing extremely high numbers of people trying to watch the video at the same time, its close to a 30 min video that makes it even harder. Hang in there if your experiencing to much delays, maybe try again in a few hours. We apologize, we recently switched to a full commercial server however even they can only handle a certain volume of traffic. Its also posted in full HD quality making it more difficult when hundreds of people are trying to watch it at the same time.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      February 24, 2020 at 4:17 pm
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      I listen to you thank you from the deepest part of hart for that incredible information I’m with you

      Reply
  • Avatar
    February 23, 2020 at 1:11 pm
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    Yes so courageous!!!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
    We all stand on the shoulders of our ancestors !

    Reply
    • Avatar
      February 23, 2020 at 7:02 pm
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      Misayh Cho for your continued guidance Aunty Rita
      Tried phoning you and Aunty Sophie today to thank you for teaching us who stand on the outside wanting to learn properly

      Love & prayers for you ❤️🙏🏼

      Reply
  • Avatar
    February 23, 2020 at 2:07 pm
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    I love the commentary and insights provided by Rita George, above. Her views and sentiments are deeply appreciated by Canadian Nation Builders like me and my people who have nothing but contempt and anger for the protestors and blockaders. It is so refreshing and comforting to hear support the pipeline and for sanity and calm in the midst of this horrible situation. I stand in support of all Wet’suwet’en Nation members who support economic expansion and development and prosperity in their territory and region and who want nothing more than to participate openly and fairly and equitably in our country’s economy and society.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    February 23, 2020 at 6:25 pm
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    Thank you Rita. I hope your words will encourage other matriarchs to speak out. I hope the blinded media will bring us the other side stories, and stop telling only the words that have been bought with Go Fund Me dollars.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      February 27, 2020 at 5:53 pm
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      Right on!!!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    February 24, 2020 at 7:03 am
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    I am pleased to see Gary Naziel step forward and walk in the footsteps with Rita George! Perhaps things
    are going to get back on an even track slowly as other hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en Nation step forward and attempt to mend rifts, explain traditions and, hopefully, quell some of the present unrest in our community. I wish them great good luck and the strength of their ancestors in this important and delicate task.

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-second-wetsuweten-hereditary-wing-chief-voices-concerns-about/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=Referrer%3A+Social+Network+%2F+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links&fbclid=IwAR1fx1KcXAl7S0LbHasmnqfHMYThS-xUCWnq0NmygWoIR7m3Hhdo9PWecHw

    Reply
  • Avatar
    February 24, 2020 at 7:56 pm
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    I hope someone has this video saved in a different format and on their computer! It’s gone from YouTube.

    The truth behind these words must have people worried!

    Reply
    • JLS
      February 24, 2020 at 9:09 pm
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      We do, ours has official permission.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    February 24, 2020 at 9:54 pm
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    Below is the kind of misinformation and rancour one comes across in discussions about these pressing issues on the internet these days. The first words below was someone’s response to me posting the Globe & Mail article about Rita George in response to a Georgia Straight newspaper story regarding the general issues at play here.

    Wayne Bonsan says: ” they are SUB chiefs. They have not yet earned the respect of the tribes, by consensus, to speak for the people. The old lady harbours a grudge because she did a lot of work for the Wet’suwet’en in their SCC case but hasn’t received the recognition she feels shes entitled to. Naziel is a politically corrupt tribal member wanting to get ahead and angry because he can’t muster the consensus of the tribes to become a full hereditary chief. Little people like him are very dangerous because of what they are willing to do and what they are willing to relinquish to have their way, to get ahead. He reminds me of the mayor of a certain Okanagan town, a young flow with big ambitions and low moral fibre.”

    I respond: “Let’s have a look at Warner William shall we? As a Hereditary Chief Knedebeas) he sits on the Board of Directors of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en…an office that is supported with funds tithed from local bands and deals with issues ostensibly outside the band reserves etc. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Moricetown Band Development Corporation (MBDC) that has various resource oriented companies under it’s mandate. Kyahwood Forest Products-sawmill & Kyah Industries Ltd -logging to name a few. He also has had an independent business that contracts equipment and services via bids etc out to the above band companies. He has also been an elected councillor at the Band office. With these positions he most certainly can have a lot of influence in decisions and the “inside track” on any information. BUT…the kicker is when he offered services and considerations to a dreaded LNG Gas Co. in Dec 2014 via a letter of demands to John Rustad (then provincial minister of Aboriginal affairs & Reconciliation) The letter in part reads:
    “The province will identify and protect the Morice Camp site for the purpose of re-establishing and strengthening the Wet’suwet’en’s connection to the land.
    Provide funds operating costs to establish cultural progress related to these camp ($40,000/year)
    The Province through the LNG Environmental Stewardship Initiative, would direct a portion of the funds to the Unist’ot’en for environmental monitors.
    The province will work with the resource companies, the Wet’suwet’en and establish government programs to find innovative ways to construct and operate the cultural camp. An immediate capital cost would be to provide a 15 to 25 KW diesel generator for the use of the camp (estimated cost $30,000)
    On your approval of the above we will provide immediate assurance for the province that there will be unfettered access to our territory.” Obviously much has changed since the askance of these monies
    to allow access to gas workers? Perhaps they were turned down? Maybe you could ask him? At any rate, another one of the problems with the relationship between the democratically elected bands is that THEY get the monies from the agreements for their involvement in the project. The Office of the Wet’suwet’en gets nada. I feel for the chiefs. And remember, even in the 1997 Delgamuukw decision it was determined that the territory was held “collectively by the entire nation” and there were issues with a traditional and unelected hierarchy of chiefs being suspect and considered an undemocratic hindrance to both equity and fair decision making. Some of this happened with the neighbouring Gitxsan Nation when faced with the same problems faced by the Wet’suwet’en today. It is truly history repeating itself…only this time a small group of dissenters is now thrown into the mix. Dissenters with strong outside allies who have little or nothing to do with the area or the Wet’suwet’en Nation and have broader environmental axes to grind. They should all butt out and let the body of the Wet’suwet’en people who actually live here to iron out their problems with land, rights and resource development for themselves. That’s true self determination after all? Isn’t it?”

    I ended with a good article about the experiences and similar problems encountered not so long back our neighbouring Gitxsan Nation.

    https://thediscourse.ca/urban-nation/twenty-years-historic-delgamuukw-land-claims-case-pipeline-divides-gitxsan-nation?fbclid=IwAR0EWh1dvF6vSZ7CvWSAnUfC7jzhs02h0-hmVCLF43m_e5QXFWJLOI-wKPA

    You know what I heard from him after that. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. De Nada.

    Crickets

    I expected as much.

    Reply

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