Saturday, June 4, 2011
Why do the Tsimshian First Nations have the desire for a comprehensive treaty Agreement? Why would they go through all the trouble to take on the federal and provincial governments? The Tsimshian people want change. They want the land and the rights they deserve. They want their rights recorded on paper and protected by all parties involved. The Tsimshian people want the government to promise that their rich heritage and culture will be preserved and that their artifacts will be treated with respect. The Tsimshian tribes have been involved in various treaty processes for the past 25 years and they still have not made the progress that they desire. The Tsimshian want the right to hunt, fish and practice the traditions that they've kept alive for thousands of years. The Tsimshian have held claim over their land for centuries and we need to fight to protect their claims to the region. Northern B.C is currently growing in population and is being recognized as a region rich in resources and natural bounty. Indeed, the Tsimshian region appears to have an endless supply of trees, fish and wild game but the unprecedented corporate interest in the area is going to cause a whole new wave of problems for the Aboriginal people who call this land home. Corporate interest will spell the expansion of cities, the clear cutting of forests and the creation of ports and industrial centres. In the past few years industrial endeavors have already created disputes between the federal government and local Tsimshian tribes. In 2007 a proposed industrial park in Terrace created a dispute with the Metlakatla Tsimshian clan. They claimed that the land had traditional meaning for their people and that the transfer of the lands ownership to the city would undermine their basic rights.