Tuesday, February 18, 2020

AFN News Conference on Wet'suwet'en Territory

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde holds a news conference to discuss the protests against the natural-gas pipeline that crosses Wet'suwet'en territory in northern British Columbia.

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Wet'suwet'en, Aboriginal Title, and the Rule of Law: An Explainer By First Peoples Law

Photo by Mike Graeme

The Wet'suwet'en, Aboriginal Title, and the Rule of Law: An Explainer

February 13, 2020


By Kate Gunn & Bruce McIvor

The RCMP’s enforcement of the Coastal GasLink injunction against the Wet’suwet’en has ignited a national debate about the law and the rights of Indigenous people.

Unfortunately, misconceptions and conflicting information threaten to derail this important conversation. Below, we attempt to provide clear, straightforward answers to address some of these fundamental misunderstandings.

What about support for the project from the Wet’suwet’en elected Chiefs and Councils?

 Media outlets across the country have repeatedly reported that First Nations along the pipeline route, including the Wet’suwet’en, have signed agreements in support of the project.
Underlying this statement are several key issues that require clarification.
First, the Wet’suwet’en, like many Indigenous groups in Canada, are governed by both a traditional governance system and elected Chiefs and Councils.
The Chief and Council system exists under the Indian Act, a piece of federal legislation. It was introduced by the federal government in the 19th century as part of Canada’s attempts to systematically oppress and displace Indigenous law and governance.
The Wet’suwet’en hereditary governance system predates colonization and continues to exist today. The Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs, not the Indian Act Chiefs and Councils, were the plaintiffs in the landmark Delgamuukw-Gisday'way Aboriginal title case. They provided the court with exhaustive and detailed evidence of the Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan governance system and the legal authority of Hereditary Chiefs.
Unless otherwise authorized by the Indigenous Nation members, the authority of elected Chiefs and Councils is limited to the powers set out under the Indian Act. The Indian Act does not provide authority for a Chief and Council to make decisions about lands beyond the boundaries of the First Nation’s reserves.
By contrast, the Hereditary Chiefs are responsible under Wet’suwet’en law and governance for making decisions relating to their ancestral lands. It is these lands that the Hereditary Chiefs are seeking to protect from the impacts of the pipeline project, not Indian Act reserve lands.
Second, Indigenous peoples hold rights to lands in Canada which extend far beyond the boundaries of Indian Act reserves, including Aboriginal title and rights to the lands they used and occupied prior to the arrival of Europeans and the assertion of Crown sovereignty. Aboriginal title and rights are protected under the Constitution Act, 1982 – the highest law in Canada’s legal system.
Third, the fact that First Nations have signed agreements with Coastal GasLink does not, in itself, mean that its members support the project without qualification.
Across the country, Indian Act band councils are forced to make difficult choices about how to provide for their members – a situation which exists in large part due to the process of colonization, chronic underfunding for reserve infrastructure and refusal on the part of the Crown to meaningfully recognize Indigenous rights and jurisdiction.
The fact that elected Wet’suwet’en Chiefs and Councils have entered into benefit agreements with Coastal GasLink should not be taken as unconditional support for the project.
Finally, similar to how Canada functions as a confederation with separate provinces with their own authority, First Nation decisions on major projects are not simply a matter of majority rules.
The Quebec provincial government made it clear that it was opposed to and would not sanction the proposed Energy East pipeline. The federal government and other provincial governments respected Quebec’s right to make this decision. Similarly, First Nations often disagree about major projects. One cannot speak for another and the majority cannot simply overrule the minority or individual First Nations.
Please Read the rest of the Article here  The Wet'suwet'en, Aboriginal Title, and the Rule of Law

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Merry Christmas

Finally found the time to add some new pictures. Work goes on.
Papla7sut waiting for Doug Dan to come home.

We are waiting for the government's final decision on the Sutikalh/Melvin Creek resort.
We hope that after 20 years of no movement or work on this "project", the NDP gov. will do the right thing and cancel the certificate.

We are building two new A frames at the camp this spring. Lots of room for guests.
In case you didn't know, we have high speed internet and phone. 1.778.770.1886.

Happy New Year, one and all!







Sunday, December 1, 2019

New Bridge

Well people,,,,,the new bridge is finally completed. Looks pretty good.


This bridge cost about $5000. That emptied the bank!
Donations are welcome for the general costs here. That includes, Internet and phone (satellite), gas for the generator and food for the chickens and dog.
The tiniest donations are welcome.
More posts are coming. Thank you for all your help and support.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Sutikalh Bridge Update

Please note that we now have a "DONATE" Button
on the right column at the top.

Now You can give a gift donation directly to the Sutikalh Camp
This will help a great deal to sustain the Camp into the future.

Please donate what you can so that we can get the bridge
rebuilt, and buy needed supplies for the Winter.

Thanks very much!

Posted by Terry Krysak


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Sutikalh Bridge Rebuild

The Sutikalh Camp is in great need for funding to build a new bridge.
Please click on the link below to donate what you can to help rebuild the bridge.

Our friend Rosalin Sam is running the campaign.


Thanks very much.
Terry Krysak

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Joffre Peak Massive Landslides


Photo by Peter Parry

Here is a recent photo of the landslides at Joffre Peak, as seen from Duffy Lake, from the Highway.
CBC has reported that there is some belief that the warmer weather has melted the permafrost, and cause the slides.
Posted by
Terry Krysak  


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