Editor’s Note: This is part seventy-three of a series of testimonies given by our aboriginal neighbors. We are posting these in an attempt to allow everyone to better understand just how badly Canada has neglected the first nations of Canada. These are the words submitted to the JRP Hearings, to Enbridge and to the Government of Canada.
ORAL PRESENTATION BY MR. JIM MUNROE
MR. MUNROE: Thank you, Victor.
I am here today — I was asked by Ken Sam to speak for him on his behalf. He couldn’t attend. He is a registered intervenor and he’s a spokesman for the Daiya-Mattess Keyoh for Dick. Dick is the boss of the Keyoh.
And then there’s a lineage that follows; Ken is next in line as the Keyoh Hotachum (ph) and a Keyoh Hotachum is the boss of the Keyoh, the Chief of the Keyoh, of the family, takes care of the land. And Dick right now is the Keyoh Hotachum and today lots of people refer to them as Keyoh Holders.
You’ve heard how passionate people are about the land and the family is about — the Daiya-Mattess family is, of course, very passionate about the land. You’ve heard about the impacts of logging have — the family has been opposed to the destruction of the land and the impacts it’s had on the wild life and their dependents and survival on that from the animals.
And this is a picture in my PowerPoint of a protest that — in here is Ken Sam and Victor Sam a couple of years ago.
The Keyoh is, again, located north-east on the north-east shore of Great Beaver Lake and it’s about 40 kilometres east of Fort St. James.
And this is the map that Larry had up, and this is an excerpt from that map and it’s blown up to show the Daiya. And Lillian talked about Daiya was Louie Mattess’ — where Louie Mattess got the land from — he passed it on. And then you can see Louie Mattess’ name here.
And Louie Mattess is Dick’s grand-father. Dick was raised by Isidore Louie who is Louie’s son. So Dick is — the orange line was the original territory that Daiya owned and Daiya owned this prior to 1840, which is significant, I think, because the courts look at 1846 as a Title date.
So Crown and First Nations Aboriginal Title is co-existing sovereignties, co-existing Titles, because the Crown — the First Nations have never ceded their Title to the land and in B.C. there are no treaties.
So we have — we’re here to tell you about our impacts to this area that Dick owns on behalf of his family.
In the report by John Dewhirst, he wrote that the Keyoh with its extended family is the main traditional economic and political event of the Eastern Carriers. Keyohs are ancestral lands of patrilineal extended family led by Hereditary Chief, or Keyoh Holder.
John Dewhirst is a primary anthropologist on the Tsilhqot’in decision. He spent 19 days in cross-examination in front of Crown lawyers. He’s also predominant in — main anthropologist in nine other court cases and primary anthropologist in Van der Peet; so he’s considered by the Courts to be an expert witness.
Keyohs were present at Stewart Lake prior to the first arrival of Europeans in 1806, and the Keyoh has persisted as the basic economic and political unit of the Stewart Lake Carrier Society to present day, thus the extended family with its Keyoh, is analogous to the traditional houses of the Wet’suwet’en and the Gitsxan.
I think this is significant because there are Court cases — of course, Delgamuukw is the leading Court case when it comes to Aboriginal title. And our system is analogous to those systems.
When the Stewart Lake Carrier became involved in the fur trade, the Keyohs provided fur resources for the extended families and supported trap lines. In 1926, the British Columbia government required that all trap lines be registered, and the Chiefs who owned Keyohs registered them as trap lines. Often referred to as trap lines today, the Keyohs continue to provide traditional game, fish, plant and fur resources for the extended families.
The registered trap line today is 714T008. The Keyohs were basis for traditional sustenance, economy prior to 1846. They continue as the basis of Aboriginal traditional domestic economy today. The Daiya-Mattess Keyoh is an example of a Keyoh that has operated from at least the 19th century, before 1846, to present.
This is from a January 9th submission by Enbridge, and we just — I just only just came across this the other day to confirm — we weren’t aware that it was exactly going through the Daiya-Mattess Keyoh, but it does.
This — if you look at the north arrow on this, the image should be slightly rotated counter-clockwise, and the Keyoh boundary roughly runs across, like straight across, but the pipeline is actually going through. I’ll show you that.
Here’s the Keyoh boundary again, trap lines — commonly referred to as trap lines today. Up around — this is Slewgeseh (ph). There’s a cabin on this lake here. Dick — he went up to the main — another main cabin. There’s four cabins on this between his Keyoh that they regularly use. And in a use and occupancy study that Dick did with Terry Tobias in his — it’s published in the book “Living Proof”. He said he went across everywhere and used all this area back and forth, even where there was no trails. They used all the land.
And even though if you refer to that text in the book “Living Proof” by Terry Tobias, in Chapter 4 there’s a map. There’s heavily used areas here that Dick has recorded, but Dick was the only one that recorded these sites and it was only in just a roughly probably half an hour session because his area was not the focus of that use and occupancy, so it’s more to the north.
But it shows an example — I think what that book does is shows an example of the extensive use and occupancy continued to today from that area for this particular Keyoh, the Daiya-Mattess Keyoh.
I created this map on Google Earth to do this overlay, and there’s a feature on Google Earth where I can check the elevations. And there’s only 13 metres difference, I think, which is interesting, between this point and this point. So what happens with this water body, it’s fairly — not very much elevation change and the water flows. This is an inlet, Satatlo (ph), and it goes outlet here. There’s the village site here, pre-contract village site that Daiya would have used. This is one of his main villages.
And — but Dick’s got — the family’s got cabins all over that they use on the land right now. Of course, they did then, too.
But my point here being is that the water level with 13 metres’ elevation difference is susceptible to impacts. It won’t be easily — if there’s ever a spill, it would never be — it wouldn’t be easily cleaned up.
There’s a place all along this side of the lake, it’s called Yandadee’ach (ph), and it means “floating ground”, and it’s habitat for fish and all kinds of animals. Birds nest on it, grebes. There’s all kinds of, like Larry was talking about earlier, swans, pelicans. Pulldoos — they call them pulldoos, and they used to catch them in the nets here. They’re — I think they’re called coots, but they set nets for them just above the water line.
Dick did that when he was a kid. All of the families come together and they do all kinds of traditional activities, including — and one of the activities was a fall time duck hunt. Spring time they collect eggs, spring beaver hunts, fall beaver hunts, fall moose hunts. All of this is documented a little more detail in the report by John Dewhirst.
It’s a picture of Isidore Louie. It’s Dick’s father. He raised his uncle — his uncle, who raised him.
Our tenure has been passed down through generations.
Our genealogy shows Kenny’s grandfather and Dick’s adopted grandfather, Isidore Louie, born in 1897, who owned this land. He got it from his father, Louie Mattess, and Louie got it from his father-in-law, Daiya, and Daiya got it from his father-in-law, Natateltet, who owned it and lived before 1846. He lived the same time as Chief Kwa (ph) whose birth dates were recorded from 1755 to 1840.
And the name of the report by John Dewhirst where this is recorded by him is — and dated December 31st, 2011 and we submitted that, it’s called “The Historical and Cultural Context of the Daiya-Mattess Keyoh, A Family Ancestral Territory, Great Beaver Lake, B.C.”
The report details the genealogy and tenure of the Aboriginal rights and title and is filed as Number A2L7R0.
We also filed a letter from our — the Indian Act Band Chief, Fred Sam, and it’s filed under A2L7R0, who — and the letter goes on to say that Kenny is a spokesman and the family is stewards of that land, the registered trap line number.
We also filed a protocol. It’s a Keyoh-to-Keyoh protocol, and it’s signed by our neighbouring Keyohs, which shows recognition and respect of each other’s title and rights.
Recently there was a Court case by the Wet’suwet’en and they recognized each other’s titles and rights, and that was used as Court evidence.
We also filed a Tribal Council resolution, and the resolution was — I think it was October 6th was at the AGM where they adopted this resolution, and the resolution says that Keyoh Huwunliné are the stewards and hold title and rights. Keyoh Huwunliné means the people who take care of the land, the protectors of the land.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Munroe, if I could just interrupt you for a sec.
I was remiss in not dealing with your motion that you filed, and I understand that the documents you’re referring to are some of the documents that you filed in that motion requesting that they be considered as late written evidence.
Am I correct?
MR. MUNROE: That’s right.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you very much. Would you mind if I just dealt with that now? I should have dealt with it at the beginning, and I forgot to.
So we did receive a motion requesting late written evidence, and some of the documents you have already referred to were in that motion.
Mr. Roth, has Northern Gateway had an opportunity to review this information? This is the information that I think we started to think we were talking about before, but we weren’t.
MR. ROTH: Yes, indeed, Madam Chair.
We’ve reviewed the material, and we think it’s all relevant and it actually helps to understand the oral evidence given today, so we certainly have no objection to any of the material being introduced.
And I believe Mr. Sagalon also indicated that Mr. Dewhirst was preparing a similar ethnographic study to the one that was prepared for the Daiya-Mattess that will be filed some time later.
But again, if it’s of the same nature as this, it would be very relevant to understanding oral evidence that he provided earlier today.
THE CHAIRPERSON: And are there any other parties who want to make comments?
Mr. Spencer, this is the time that you wanted to make a comment? Does your microphone now work? We’ll give it a try.
MR. SPENCER: Yeah, this is what I was addressing earlier, is the additional evidence.
I’ve been travelling as the Panel has, so I did not have an opportunity to review the material very closely. I did note the paragraph referring to Crown prejudice, which drew my attention.
I don’t see any material prejudice to the Crown to us proceeding today as we essentially have here. And in light of Mr. Roth’s comments, I think any concerns the Crown may have can be dealt with by an application for further evidence — filing further evidence, if that’s required, and we’ll make that in the ordinary course if necessary.
So perhaps we’ll get appropriate consideration at that time, if it is necessary, so we’re here and we want to hear the evidence.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Again, I apologize for the delay in this. I got carried away with listening and didn’t do my job on the procedural piece.
But the Panel does accept the late filing evidence and so, Ms. Niro, will we also be giving this a visual aid number just to be able to track it? No? We’ll be dealing with it through the exhibit list?
THE REGULATORY OFFICER: Yes, I would say through the exhibit list, and this is your ruling also, but I think we’re at Ruling 19 right now.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, terrific. So the ruling of the Panel is that we do accept this as late written evidence because of its relevance and ask you to continue on.
And I apologize for the interruption at this point.
MR. MUNROE: Justice Neilson said in — probably I won’t pronounce this right. This is in Gitxsan. This is a Gitxsan Court case, (native word) versus British Columbia. She said:
“The Crown must consider higher level plans. Ongoing extraction of limited resources from First Nations traditional territories represented a potential significant infringement on those Aboriginal interests.”
The Daiya-Mattess has an ecosystem force management plan. It’s a stewardship plan that we filed under A2L7R0.
They also said that the — in this particular house that it requires a level of deep consultation, a very high level of deep consultation. And our anthropology says that we have a high claim, so I think we’re analogous as well to the Gitxsan system and that Court case.
When we did our management plan, they consulted with the family and took into consideration their values on the land. And it’s dependent on use and occupancy of the land, Aboriginal rights dependent on use and occupancy of the land.
And the students at UBC who developed this plan set aside a portion of this Keyoh territory for protection of habitat for — so that the family can sustain themselves and continue use and occupancy of their territory.
They don’t have rights to go to another territory. They can ask, but they don’t have rights. We don’t have rights to go to another territory. Use is by permission, and it’s by consent. There are strict rules traditionally about the use of somebody’s territory. It’s exclusive use and occupancy. And traditionally, trespass is by death.
And there are laws around that. There’s terms in our language it’s called (native word) and (native word) and it means they did -people disappear if they don’t respect the land and they don’t ask.
So in this plan that the Diaya-Mattess family has adopted, they’ve allowed a balance of interests. And we understand that the greater society requires needs, but we also require needs. The family adopted this plan formally in a meeting on July 20th, 2011.
The students looked at wildlife. They looked at risks; they looked at limitations and opportunities. They looked at a management approach and strategy. They looked at the family’s values, the family’s objectives and they looked at indicators and targets which they could balance both the interests of the family and of greater society. And they looked at scenarios and results to come up with a best approach. There’s no perfect approach, but they looked at the best approach, a compromise.
I talked earlier about our Keyoh-to-Keyoh protocol and the respect that we have for each other, that all the Keyohs around Great Beaver Lake, we all respect each other’s territories.
Dick is the boss of his Keyoh and he makes decision with the rest of his family. The main objectives of the plan are to protect aquatic ecosystems, restore wild life habitat. There’s been a lot of disturbance to the Keyoh already.
I don’t know how much — what the volumes of the — how much has already been disturbed through clear-cut logging, but it’s gone through extensive clear-cut logging and our plan is mostly about how to rehabilitate the land so that we can continue to have some form of intact ecosystem for future generations, children and grandchildren. We have that right.
So the plan looks at protecting our culturally significant areas and values, so roughly half of the Keyoh is — that the family has adopted as — to be this culturally significant area.
Wildlife is one of the main objectives of the plan. The culturally significant species are moose, beaver, wolverine, caribou, sand hill crane, fisher and American white pelicans.
Fisher are a blue-listed species. Other species are black bear, white-tailed deer, mule deer, common night hawk, rusty black birds and muskrat. There’s all kinds of animals and they’re all part of an ecosystem.
And we’re concerned about cumulative impacts, not just from the pipeline, but all of the impacts from the roads. And this study that we did, that we submitted, it took into consideration the amount of disturbances that have already been — happened on the land.
There’s the railway. There’s roads that go through the territory, just hundreds of kilometres of roads, and our sustenance is dependent upon — largely upon large game animals. And the statistics show that 90 percent of large game animals are killed within half a kilometre of right-of-way of a road.
And there’s a section in the plan that looks at that and describes that more, and it shows visually how much area is left. And another right-of-way through our Keyoh would not be acceptable in the present form of an Enbridge pipeline.
This next slide just shows the blue-listed and — some of the blue-listed species, special concern species from our Keyoh.
The species are all integral to that particular area of land. And I heard some people say that, you know, it’s part of — this is part of the environment. Everything is there for a reason in that area.
I’ve heard some people say they don’t think that — they think that we live outside of the environment or something, you know. But this is where we get our food from, and everything is inter-connected and it’s all dependent upon each other.
Some of the risks are global warming, risks to our Keyoh. Increased water temperatures, water flows. These are disturbances to the land from impacts of clearing the land, and definitely another right-of-way would have impacts.
There are ecological threats, pests and disease. And when the ecosystem is weakened — when we create disturbances, the ecosystem is weakened and things go out of whack.
We have stories that we were taught from when we were small youth, children. And they talk — they’re legends, but they’re true to us and there are transgressions that happen and if we take too much from the land, bad things will happen, we’re told.
The students looked at the Enbridge pipeline as a risk. There’s risks of spills, there’s risks of the right-of-way clearing. There’s anthropogenic use of right-of-ways. We’ve talked about how right-of-ways create disturbance and other users, other actors use those — use those right-of-ways.
The railway already runs through the Keyoh. There’s already a high level of disturbance from roads.
There would be herbicide use along the railway and forestry is using it already. These are all cumulative impacts. I don’t know what the — how they would propose to maintain a right-of-way if they would use herbicides, or other roads to go up and down the pipeline route. No doubt, they would have to do some of those activities.
But there are opportunities with this plan that we’ve submitted. The plan doesn’t include the Enbridge pipeline but there are still opportunities for greater society that benefit from use of our Keyoh.
We’ve set aside part of our Keyoh as a carbon sequestration area. That part that we’d be able to — that we would retain as — for our use and occupancy could be used as a carbon sequestration area and revenue can be generated from that area. I think the number was $18 million that would be generated if that area was set aside for carbon credits.
We’re not interested in the money we’re just interested in production of our Keyoh for our family.
Our plan also looks at harvesting in the future a certain part of — to the north and to the east of Salmon River, which we allot to set aside, but it also incorporates some intensive silviculture and some road deactivation and higher levels of buffers to create habitat or prevent fragmentation of the forest for future generation.
Our family are people who depend on our Keyoh for our survival and our rights must be protected.
MR. SAM: Thank you, Jim.
Just a final thought. From Daiya-Mattess Keyoh to Kitimat, the majority of First Nations people are against this pipeline.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
MS. SAM: I just want it recorded that the map that was done by Julian H. Steward, he got the stories from my grandfather, Chief Louis Billy Prince, and Thomas Cho (ph). Thomas Cho was Thomas Julian. They verbally gave all that information to him.
Thank you. Masi.