Gitxsan Come Together, Call for Healing and Strength


While news emerges that a court order may have been obtained to remove Gitxsan leaders and community members who took over the Treaty office in Hazelton earlier this week – in response to a deal made with Enbridge by treaty negotiator Elmer Derrick without the knowledge or approval of the community – a new video demonstrates how the Gitxsan are banding together in this moment of crisis. The situation is summed up eloquently by one of the community matriarchs shown in the video, produced by Ardea Films:

“Today is a new beginning. Today is the day the healing will begin. Our hearts have been broken, our families have been divided. Today, we’ll begin to talk, we’ll begin to love; we’ll begin to share and honour one another once again. So I put this out to all of us as Gitxsan people: We must stay strong, as the whole country – particularly our aboriginal neighbours – are disappointed with us …But we must stay strong. We must stay proud.”

A New Beginning from Ardea Films on Vimeo.


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

9 thoughts on “Gitxsan Come Together, Call for Healing and Strength

  1. Unbelievable.

    I returned today to see how this comment section has progressed. The silence is disturbing. CBCnews is boiling over with the most disgusting, vial, racist comments regarding our plight as Indigenous people. The Attawapiskit crisis.

    I am in the “censorship box” because cold hard facts hurt the faux face of those who identify themselves as canadians.

    Guaranteed I’m not the only Indigenous voice being stifled by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

    Abhorantly uneducated opinions sail right on through the super censor CBC crew and if you indicate/identify that you are Indigenous? Zap! You’re flagged.

    They didn’t like The Art of Stealing Human Rights. They also didn’t like the fact that canada is a registed corporation on the NYSE.

    No folks, they don’t want the tax paying serfs to see the Mask held up as a country. Super Big NO NO.

    So for those who do understand what has transpired across Great Turtle Island the order is to SHUT US UP the minute we open our mouths.

    Never forget, this is Great Turtle Island and the history of this continent has been manipulated beyond reality.

  2. As a Gitxsan who does not reside in the territories, I am extremely proud of the action our people have taken to remedy a mistake of a few individuals.

    Yes, it’s very upsetting but we are governed by our Traditional Laws and we execute the power of those laws.
    Elmer Derrick and the other parties know exactly what their positions are.

    I am saddened by this as I also see a loss of Gitxsan expertise and human resource capacity. The damage is done. Enbridge and Canada knew exactly what they were doing. The Gitxsan are a strong Nation and the crown would like to break us.

    I would like to share this exceptionally relevant speech on The Art of Stealing Human Rights.

    The following extracts are from a speech given by Gerry Gambill at a conference on Human Rights at Tobique Reserve in New Brunswick, in August, 1958. In this speech, he warned native people about how this society goes about taking away the human rights of native people…]

    Maybe this will help all to better understand how deceitful things have always been for us when dealing with the crowns minions or the corporate vultures trying to feast upon us.

  3. Good for these people> The rest of us out here should do the same. Our leaders do not speak for the people who pay their wages & do not represent what the people really want. Throw them out of office for multiple breaches of trust, little respect for truthfulness or the environment which sustains us all. The political system is completely broken, Down with dictators everywhere they are found !

  4. You are teaching All of Canada how to do what is right. You have all my respect and admiration. Stay ‘True North Strong and Free’. Love & Peace. 🙂

  5. Thank you, Leanne for sharing your personal perspective, Leanne. You can help “make it go viral” by forwarding to all your friends and facebook contacts. I agree with you – everyone needs to see this.

  6. Good God, this needs to go Viral!
    This is democracy and I am proud to be Aboriginal. If only the rest of Canada would do this when they are unhappy with representation. Dignity in the face of shame. Don’t wallow in self pity but take action to right a wrong!

    I applaude you!!!!!

  7. Thank you for standing strong and doing the right thing. You have my support. Yes, Enbridge is bringing you together.

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