Gitxsan industry meets Gitxsan activism in B.C.


6 thoughts on “Gitxsan industry meets Gitxsan activism in B.C.

  1. The sawmill in question was purchased by the Gitxsan people for the Gitxsan people.
    During meetings held in prince George by the Gitxsan chiefs the subject of all the teen suicides within the Gitxsan territories was discussed, and a solution to address the problems were also discussed. It was decided by the Gitxsan Chiefs to appoint two people to address the problem and find solution’s.
    The people appointed were Edward Green and Cam Stevens who were later joined by Calvin Lee. Identifying the problem was the easier of the problems.
    After many meeting and interviews of young people the one main topic was that there was no hope for the future. With a failing education system that pushed the young people through the system with out giving a proper education and no employment in the Hazelton’s and the surrounding villages and municipalities. With no skills and having to leave homes the young people were and still are looking at dismal futures. Thus the suicides.
    It was decided that there was a need to create an opportunity for employment and training so a site was needed to offer these opportunities and a plan was developed to purchase the south Hazelton sawmill from the owner Barry Tyre.
    An offer was made to Mr Tyre by Edward Green . One dollar and the Gitxsan would assume the debt load that was owed to the government. While in negotiations the provincial government seize3d the south Hazelton assets for monies owed and the negotiation began again but this time with the provincial Government who now owned the mill.
    An agreement was finally reached and the provincial sold the sawmill to the Gitxsan People. The sawmill was placed under the Gitxsan Forest Enterprises incorporated as an entity was needed to transfer ownership to, this was not a permanent plan.
    The plan was to bring a group together with an individual from each reserve and municipality within the Hazelton area. This group would then work together to start up the sawmill and all of the training facilities that was needed to insure the futures of the young people.
    During these planning stages The Gitxsan Development Corporation was started with Mr. Connors and Mr. Krusniski as President and vice president. These two individuals also appointed themselves board members of the corporation. The GFEI company also fell under the jurisdiction of GDC. All of the plans were turned over to Mr Connors and Mr Kursilniski along with the feasibility studies. Experts were brought in to examine the facilities and ascertain whether the machinery was still in good shape. 11 million dollars had been spent on upgrades to the mill before it was shut down.There was a promise by Mr Connors that the sawmill would be running shortly and every year the same promises were made. This year however there were no promises and no meeting have been held to discuss the plans for the mill. An employee from GDC leaked out some information that the sawmill would be torn down and sold for scrap.
    Logs from the Gitxsan Forests will continue to be shipped overseas and jobs will be shipped overseas. we have nothing. Our children will continue to commit suicide and live off of the small amount of dollars received from on reserve social service, which amounts to approximately 165 dollars a month. this is the real story.

  2. The title has our family house name incorrect. Its Nikate’en. Not ending in “m”. And Rick Conners. Not an “o” at the end.

  3. #GitxsanWantAnswers like our FB page for more information regarding our assertion of our daxgyet. Everyone else calls it a protest or blockade.

  4. APTN first blush at understanding our complex assertion of our Section 35 right to Gitxsan governance and institutions according to our indigenous worldview and its relevance and application in today’s society. A living culture, resilient and steadfast to the core, going against the will of a multi-millionaire, Wilps Nikate’en and Niisto, a family, fighting for their lands and people. Hamiya APTN

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