NEWS RELEASE · 19th January 2012
Gitxsan Unity Movement
The United Gitxsan Chiefs remain firm in our resolve. Gitxsan Chiefs united against Enbridge say that the GTS meeting held in Gitsegukla has no force or effect.
The Gitsegukla meeting cannot change the will and direction of the majority of Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs who have signed Declarations ordering GTS to shut down. Any attempt to re-organize itself will be met with opposition. GTS ' invitation to select chiefs to attend a meeting on January 17th in order to vote on GTS Bylaws and discuss Enbridge does not change the United Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs decision of December 5, 2011.
On that date, GTS was told to shut down; senior staff members, Gordon Sebastian, Elmer Derrick and Bev Clifton Percival were terminated and all other staff to be indeterminately laid off. GTS, the British Columbia Treaty Commission, Canada and B.C. were informed that GTS does not, and cannot, represent Gitxsan Chiefs in treaty or other negotiations. The Hereditary Chiefs say “GTS is to remain shut down pending its winding up under the Society Act.” The motion passed at the Gitsegukla meeting trying to make GTS a legal entity is wrong for the following reasons:
•Any plan to re-organize must be approved by the Court following a hearing proposed for February 20, 2012 – until the decision of the Court is made; the GTS is an illegal entity. Any business conducted by GTS is illegal and of no force and effect unless the Court orders otherwise.
•Chiefs who signed Declarations were not invited or did not attend as they had already given direction that GTS is to be shut down;
•The Court directed that all Gitxsan people were to be involved in the decision as to whether GTS can re-organize; it cannot re-organize based on a vote of 47 select people;
•Gitxsan individuals who wished to speak at the meeting were prevented from doing so;
Forty eight Chiefs have stated that GTS is to shut down and cannot represent them in any negotiations therefore GTS does not have a mandate and will not receive one.
On January 10, 2012 the United Gitxsan Hereditary chiefs gave notice that GTS cannot attempt to re-organize; it cannot say it acts for Gitxsan chiefs and cannot use the word" Gitxsan" in its name without the approval of all Gitxsan chiefs.
The United Gitxsan Chiefs remain firm in our resolve that GTS is to be shut. We remain committed to our December 5th, 2011 objectives and we call upon all Gitxsan people to remain strong in the face of GTS’ continued defiance of the will of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs and Gitxsan Nation members.