There are a few items up for negotiation that are disagreeable within the BC Treaty process and I believe should be opposed by our people. I will expand these topics over the upcoming weeks to elaborate my stance and how they will negatively impact us and more importantly, our future generations.
- Taxed! - Need I go further? Well I will soon enough...
- Private Property - the issues that arise out of private property.
- Becoming more western and exploitative rather than sustainable and more Kwakwaka'wakw
- Municipal style government - a look into self government
- Sell off 90%+ of our lands for a rock bottom, dirt-cheap price…and then the Canadian government can still legally infringe on what little we have left after.
- Withdraw from future legal claims despite recent successes in going the legal route (Chilcotin have regained 50% control over their lands, a landmark case that still needs in depth study).
- Put control of fishery limits forever in government hands and DFO, with their headquarters way over in Ottawa and therefore will never have a real understanding of our local needs and circumstances, both food and cultural.
- The "'Namgis claim" - did we settle here on British lands a couple hundred years ago or did they? This agreement's language treats the land as if they were giving it to us. We must focus on language putting any agreement as a transfer from us to them. It will put the issue in perspective considering we will be selling over 90%+ of our lands to the Canadian government. We own this land - the Canadian and Provincial governments would not spend $1 Billion if they thought otherwise.
- "Certainty" - meaning we will never be able to change as 'Namgis. No matter what changes in the future our rights will always be the same. We will be frozen in time as if the Kwakwaka'wakw never changed before the Europeans came. What other people on earth are forced to act a certain way to be part of a nation? Any evolution would be treated as Canadian influenced by the courts, making assimilation the ultimate goal of this process. No other nation has to go through this because it goes directly against the United Nations Convention on Human Rights. The reason Canada is making certain it remains this way through the treaty process is because it keeps us dependent on the Canadian government despite their claims of independence after signing with them.
- Debt - every year we are going $500,000 dollars further into debt. I encourage all members to look at our financial statements and ask questions on our spending.
This is not a comprehensive list as there are many things to disagree with, but I will start with the most obvious and important. Something to think about: What about those who have signed treaty already? Are they happy and does the Canadian government abide by these older treaties? According to our Kwagu'ł brothers and sisters, they have consistently failed to honour their agreement with them. Why would our agreement be any better?