The Office of the Wet’suwet’en have not been honest about a major impediment in settling land claims. They are refusing to concede or even negotiate land that other First Nations are claiming.
There are by legal definition two Wet’suwet’en claims in progress, the “Office of the Wet’suwet’en” and the “Carrier Sekani Tribal Council” representing 90% of Wet’suwet’en land claims under the title of Wet’suwet’en First Nations”. See the map for detail.
The Office of the Wet’suwet’en primarily represents the two communities of Witset and Hagwilget. Even the community of Wiset is at odds with the OFW.
The Office of Wet’suwet’en does NOT represent all of the Wet’suwet’en people.
Part of the problem with the OFW Wet’suwet’en claims is that they are based on trapline licenses, and not much more. Almost 100% of land east of Smithers, and south of Houston is currently being disputed through the BC Treaty Commission by the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council.
“Stop blaming goverment and industry when you, the office of Wet’suwet’en are the problem in unsettled land claims”
How can the Office of the Wet’suwet’en blame business and goverment when they refuse to come to an agreement with family and neighboring claims. The Office of the Wet’suwet’en continue to try to impose their authority on Wet’suwet’en people who want no part of their power struggles.
You could lose 100% of the Morice Lake area in court, right now you could get 100% of the benefits from pipeline without risking your claim to the territory. You can kiss millions of dollars and decades of opportunities goodbye if you want to play hard ball, and end up losing it all in court, this area is contested by the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council on behalf of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations.
If the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council on behalf of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations wins in court it will be at the expense of Witset and Hagwilget, who will not get part of the pipeline funding. Unless the communities of Witset and Hagwilget apply to join the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and abandon the Wet’suwet’en Five and their “Office of the Wet’suwet’en”.
“Are you willing to gamble your peoples rights away?”
A large part of this overlap issue is in the land the Gil_seyhu (Unist’ot’en) and Tsayu are claiming, it does not belong within the OFW Claim, they belong to the Wet’suwet’en people though the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council claim as they real owners the original people who lived there with their families in Houston.
Not the relatives dropping in from Moricetown, with blockades and anarchy on their minds.
Part of the problem was created at the advice of Don Ryan (in my opinion bad advice) as follows.
“The issues for us on the treaty table are a competing claim.
You have people on the treaty table discussing these issues, and Carrier Sekanie is claiming the same thing in Prince George.
The band councils are doing different things.
We must sit and talk to them and bring everyone together. There will be tension on these fronts. You have a situation where pipelines and competing claims must be sorted out.
The treaty process is not the right path for us.
This process takes your title away from you. We need to be aggressive as to what we can do on the land. I can quickly take you through the treaty process. They have a formula and figure how much they will offer you in cash. Our neighbors in the Nass signed a treaty, speak to them and they will tell you the same story. $750,000 per person is what they will offer you. When they give you that money, you will not own the land.
They will also offer you land and that will be around Moricetown. They also have a formula, one section of land. They are still trying to get you off the land. I’m interested in discussing the options with you.” Don Ryan 2009
So clearly the Office of the Wet’suwet’en have chosen the path of conflict and confrontation. Clearly the Office of the Wet’suwet’en knew about this since 2009 and explains why they withdrew from the treaty process. It also coincides with the start of the Unist’ot’en Camp
BC Treaty Maps
Supporting evidence. (large view) From the BC Government Treaty Office
For a larger view of this map click here.
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