Settlement of Cheslatta Concerns Near
Prince George B.C. – The Cheslatta First Nation will be getting some good news on Monday.
The word came as Premier Christy Clark addressed the third annual Gathering of First Nations Leaders and the B.C. Cabinet.
Specifically she addressed her comments to Cheslatta Chief Corrina Leween “On Monday, we will finally get a chance to put to right, the wrongs that were done to the people of your community over half a century ago. I want to take a moment to remember how difficult it is to set aside long held legitimately founded grievances and decide instead to work toward resolving them.”
It was July of last year that the Cheslatta and Province of B.C. signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at finding solutions to the decades old issue of flood waters washing out gravesites. There has also been an outstanding grievance about natural resource activity.
The Premier said sometimes the longest held grievances are the ones that are the hardest to let go. “Chief you and your community decided to take that harder path, and I know you did this because you wanted to create a better future for your community.”
Ever since the Kenney Dam was built more than 60 years ago, the Cheslatta Lake and River system have been uses as a spillway channel to link RioTinto Alcan’s reservoir to the Nechako River. When there is flooding, the high water levels have washed out graves, and the Cheslatta regularly discover skeletal remains on the shore .
The MOU included the provision of $400 thousand dollars for short term watershed restoration projects in the Cheslatta’s traditional territory.
Details have yet to be reveled, but Monday’s announcement is likely to present a cash settlement as well as natural resource opportunity and benefits for the Cheslatta.
Good for the Cheslatta Carrier Nation.
A great step forward.
In a time where the focus is on bringing in more and more “New Canadians” we tend to forget that we still need to deal with existing problems.
Federal and provincial higher ups…settle these made in Canada problems once and for all. We need a united Canada for the future.
That’s great but does Christy have the federal governments blessing? Election on the horizon.
I find the following comment interesting:
“On Monday, we will finally get a chance to put to right, the wrongs that were done to the people of your community over half a century ago”.
I find it interesting because it causes me to wonder what will happen if and when First Nations peoples start to bring up the wrongs that were done to them by other First Nations Peoples.
First Nations peoples waged war upon other First Nations peoples! Not all of course, but history has shown that neighbouring groups did not always get along.
So, right now we have First Nations laying claim against Federal and/or Provincial Governments. What will happen if and when hundreds of bands start laying claim against other bands for the wrongs that were done to the people of each community perhaps hundreds of years ago or more!
Agree Hart Guy
I wouldn’t worry about First Nations apologizing to each other when nothing says racial exclusion of “fellow British colony subjects” like the Komagata Maru.
The Komagata Maru sailed from Hong Kong, then a holding of the British Empire, via Shanghai, China, and Yokohama, Japan, to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1914, carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, British India. Of them, 24 were admitted to Canada, but the other 352 passengers were not allowed to disembark in Canada, and the ship was forced to return to India. The passengers comprised 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims, and 12 Hindus, all British subjects. This was one of several incidents in the early 20th century in which racist exclusion laws in Canada and the United States were used to exclude immigrants of Asian origin.
Then there are the “Canadian Citizens” of Japanese heritage. Beginning after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and lasting until 1949 (four years after World War II had ended) all people of Japanese heritage were systematically removed from their homes and businesses and sent to internment camps. The Canadian government shut down all Japanese-language newspapers, took possession of businesses and fishing boats, and effectively sold them. In order to fund the internment itself, vehicles, houses and personal belongings were also sold.
Not to worry HG and acrider, Canadian history is full such offences and injustices, none more so than against the “First People” who were here before our ancestors settled this land.
JGalt, it would seem that you don’t think that we are aware of the Komagata Maru, Japanese-Canadian history and other such historical offences and injustices but you would be incorrect. Nothing says injustice like the Iroquois largely wiping out the Huron!
I am more than aware, but thanks for your long winded history lesson.
Are you conveniently ignoring the offences and injustices committed by First Nations peoples and if so, are you doing so in an attempt to appear ‘holier than thou”? If that’s what you are trying to do, it’s not working! ;-)
The first of the Crusades began in 1095, when armies of Christians from Western Europe responded to Pope Urban II’s plea to go to war against Muslim forces in the Holy Land.
But what would all of those “holy wars” be of concern to First Nations in North America? It was not their monkey and not their circus. Perhaps you should apply that to pre-contact history here? Not our monkey and not our circus either?
No of course not, because everything, even before contact is your business if it is meant to offend, or vilify a people… its what racist do, right HG?
JGalt, you toss out the racist card a lot, usually I suspect and as I have said before, in an attempt to appear “holier that thou”!
In my first comment on this thread, I posed a question:
“What will happen if and when hundreds of bands start laying claim against other bands for the wrongs that were done to the people of each community perhaps hundreds of years ago or more!”
I’d like to know if you deny that such wrongs have occurred? You speak of the “facts”! Do you deny the facts regarding these wrongs? Do you believe that First Nations peoples have legitimate claims against other First Nations peoples for the wrongs that were inflicted upon them, OR do you deny them such claims?
JGalt, I have many Ukrainian friends and perhaps on behalf of them and all other Ukrainians in Canada, you should add the Ukrainian Canadian internments from 1914 to 1920 to your long list of grievances!
“Ukrainian Canadian internment”
Pretty sure the Japanese got cash settlements for time served… alot more than any native did in residential schools I might add. Also, most were not children being sexually, physically and mentally abused for the most impressionable years of their lives…. mortality rates were 60% in some of those schools. But hey; potatoe poatoe right? Lame.
Please provide some facts to support your suggestion that the Japanese got cash settlements for time served and that the amounts were a lot more than natives from residential schools got.
With respect to the Japanese internment, it certainly wasn’t a picnic in the park:
“Hundreds of women and children were squeezed into the livestock building,” remembered Yukiharu Misuyabu, an interned teenager. “Each family separated from the next by a flimsy piece of cloth hung from the upper deck of double-decked steel bunks. The walls between the rows of steel bunks were only five feet high, their normal use being to tether animals.”
After months in animal stalls, the Japanese-Canadians were shipped on sealed trains to the interior Husbands and wives, parents and children were separated — the men to work on road gangs: women and children to shantytowns in the B.C. wilderness.
Hey, JGalt, did you know one of your left wing heroes, Tommy Douglas, first leader of the Federal NDP and “father of Medicare”, advocated for the forced expatriation of ALL the Japanese in Canada after World War Two? Even people who had been born here, if they were of Japanese descent, and had never even been in Japan or spoke the language? If those ones wanted to stay the males had to agree to be castrated, so they couldn’t breed.
As regards the ‘Komagata Maru’ and other such incidents of racial prejudice early on in BC’s history, it was the LABOUR movement that were the loudest advocates of a “white only” BC. They didn’t want any ‘inferior’ people coming in and undercutting white man’s wages.
Jgalt you are weak on history. You do know what happened at Pearl Harbour. Hey how about Japanese invasion of China and millions killed. Did you know about the espionage on the west coast? Not all Japanese as you state where relocated only those some what near the coast. Did you know there was a very real warranted fear of Japanese invasion at the time.
Anyhow I don’t know your age but you are a shining example of the liberal left education system of today rewriting history.
Oh by the way there are two nearby native groups that barely talk to each other to this day.
As a matter of interest First Nations in BC had slaves. Especially those on the West Coast from the Queen Charlottes to Vancouver Island.
If JGalt wants to take the time he can so some reading on how these slaves had no status, could not marry, were at the mercy of their owners, who could (and did)kill them if they chose.
I think it would be fair to say that every race and creed on earth has problems with other people. How far back do we go with our history, before we find that we too were mistreated.??
I don’t believe that it is right to load the sins of the father onto the sons, who were not born at the time, and had nothing to do with the sins.
We has normal human beings should be able to come to terms with the First Nations, and other races if we so choose, however playing the blame game is basically non productive.
Sins of our fathers eh? Last residential school closed in 1996… I went to school across from a “native school”….. not so long ago was it.
IF ANY OF YOU REGULARLY AND CONTINUALLY FOUND THE REMAINS OF YOUR LOVED ONES ON YOUR PROPERTY BECAUSE OF A DAM BUILT IN THE AREA, YOU WOULD ALL WHINE AND CRY TILL THE COWS CAME HOME!!! Not to mention this has been happening for more than 60 years! Wow! Oh, but wait Hart Guy has a point, the people that were wronged have probably all died and their children shouldn’t say anything…. even though remains are still found to this day. HOW ABOUT NOT!
Don’t get too worked up Medeon, race baiting is what this Hart Guy TROLL and some other rednecks on this site do for entertainment.
They are the reason why, the site mods have had to close Aboriginal stories to comments in the past, and it looks like they are going to have to do it again in the future!
Hart Guy is the type that will use people and kids living in poverty against union members to make them feel bad about the wages they get… pure sleaze.
JGalt, as usual, you didn’t answer the question!
No surprise there, what with you being a butt-kisser and all! Far easier to do that than to face facts!
So, here’s another question for you! Where, in any of my comments, did I state that the Cheslatta First Nation do not deserve some form of compensation?
Medeon, thanks for agreeing with me that JGalt is a butt-kisser, haha!
Medeon, where did I state that the people that were wronged have probably all died and their children shouldn’t say anything, even though remains are still found to the day?
I asked a question, a valid question:
What will happen if and when hundreds of bands start laying claim against other bands for the wrongs that were done to the people of each community perhaps hundreds of years ago or more!
Here’s a question for you! Do you agree or do you disagree that some First Nations peoples may have valid claims against other First Nations peoples for harms inflicted upon them?
Another question for you, if you agree that there may be valid claims, what might you suggest as a reasonable form of compensation?
Hart Guy…. I am not your guy. Move along ;-)
Medeon, I asked you a question and I expected a mediocre answer at best. Thanks for your far less than mediocre response!
Obviously some First Nations peoples do have legitimate claims against other First Nations peoples for harms inflicted upon them! Perhaps you are too scared or too politically correct or a combination of both to admit that FACT!
There are Cheslatta people still alive who directly experienced the eviction and flooding. It wasn’t that long ago. Furthermore, trauma of that sort affects children and grandchildren. The community was badly disrupted. People lost much of their nominally movable property, which made families poorer and left less to pass on to the children. And the failure to move the graves has produced recurring reminders of what happened.
It wasn’t just the Cheslatta who were victims of eviction and flooding. Many white people who’d settled in the areas affected by the rising waters were also forced out. They were offered a pittance for a lifetime of hard labour building up their farms and ranches. The government argued they weren’t worth anything, since the whole area didn’t have much of a ‘cash’ economy, and the people there were largely self reliant. They took their concerns over the forced evictions and pittances offered in compensation to the then leader of the BC CCF,(forerunner of today’s NDP), Harold Winch, forerunner of today’s NDP. He wouldn’t even give them the time of day. Guess being ‘independent producers’, as they were, didn’t quite put them in the right mold regarding ‘socialist’ ideology. It fell to WAC Bennett, at the time a back-bench Conservative elected MLA, to champion their cause.
Harold Finch, forerunner of today’s NDP wouldn’t even give them the time of day, and it fell to WAC Bennett, at the time a back-bench Conservative elected MLA, to champion their cause?
Say it isn’t so!
Ah, but it was, Hart Guy. Though JGalt and his ilk will never admit that ‘anyone’ elected as a Conservative has ever cared for the people that form the electorate, even when those people, in that particular instance, weren’t even in Bennett’s own Kelowna riding.
The whole episode has been very well recorded by several authors and biographers. One excellent autobiography that recounts what went on in detail was Cyril Shelford’s “From Snowshoes to Politics”. Shelford’s family was one of the ones affected when the Kenney Dam was built.
JGalt here is more history lessons for you. Read the link for actual real reason for the Komagata Maru. You are welcome.
“The Socialist Party provided the Komagata Maru’s legal defence in Vancouver, which was no small affront to “progressive” thinking at the time. British Columbia’s labour movement and left-wing leadership had been rife with racist hooliganism ever since B.C.’s assortment of socialist leagues and union councils coalesced into the Provincial Progressive Party in 1902. Fractious and comically sectarian, the one thing the party delegates firmly agreed upon at their founding convention was that Asian immigrants should be barred from Canada.”
Interesting that Christy Clark made this announcement at the third annual Gathering of First Nations Leaders and the B.C. Cabinet.
At this gathering, she avoided talking about the Tsilhqot’in decision a 2014 Supreme Court case ruling that granted a B.C. First Nation outside of a reserve official aboriginal rights and title, including the rights to choose how that aboriginal land is used. If respected at a provincial level, it would effectively block Clark’s liquified natural gas goals where First Nations oppose them.
Interesting that Christy Clark also avoided the subject of a reconciliation framework to move forward in the province of British Columbia with First Nations. These are two important issues to BC First Nations that she completely avoided.
UBCIC Grand Chief; Steward Phillip was right when he said; “quit “story time” and get down to business”
I applaud every effort by anybody and by any level of government and any party to rectify the wrongs that were inflicted on Canadian First Nations in the past and present!
Political negativity is totally uncalled for!
BTW, I do not click on links that are posted by those who are obviously motivated by political axe grinding!
Define “rectify”. I’d like nothing more than for all this kind of stuff to go away and no more of my hard earned tax dollars spent trying to “rectify” the past.
I want the first nations people to realise that this country now sits on a basis of shared values and shared history. Just because your ancestors were wronged by my ancestors doesn’t mean that I need to he held accountable by their actions.
I want the media AND the government to realise that they promote racism and intolerance way more than anyone else with their reporting policies and special programs that the majority of the population doesn’t have access to.
I’d like the left leaning liberals on this site and others to realise that just because you happen to disagree with the way things are playing out in this province in regards to what the natives are and aren’t entitled to DOES NOT mean you are racist. That card has been well overplayed.
I just want to live in a country where people are judged by their actions and not their ethnic background. I want EVERYONE to be consulted when someone wants to build a mine or log some trees. I want all social programs available to EVERYONE rather than a select few based on ethnic background.
I really don’t care about the colour of your skin. Treat me with respect and I’ll treat you with respect. End of story.
Fact: The majority of Canadian Territory has been negotiated for “title” to the Crown, through TREATIES with the Indians. BC is the only province that has not negotiated with First Nations for “title” of the land.
So you ask how we define “rectify”; in the case of rectifying this historic wrong in BC, just have our Provincial Government follow the “rule of law” by following up on the Tsilhqot’in decision a 2014 Supreme Court case ruling that granted a B.C. First Nation outside of a reserve official aboriginal rights and title, including the rights to choose how that aboriginal land is used.
You want to “rectify” the fact that we stole First Nation’s land without negotiating a treaty with them, then on May, 2017 vote in a government that will uphold the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision on this matter. NO? Then stop your right wing belly aching on this subject, because you are the ones who continue to avoid rectifying this situation!
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