Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs pleased with peaceful end to blockade

HAZELTON, BC, June 11, 2012 /CNW/ - The Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs are pleased the blockade of the Chiefs' office in Hazelton has come to a peaceful end. The Simgiigyet (chiefs) had been unable to access their building since December 2011.

"We are happy to see the R.C.M.P. was able to remove the blockade without incident, though we paid a six month penalty waiting for them to do so," says Gwaans (Bev Clifton Percival), "Throughout it all, we've also listened as unfounded financial allegations were thrown about by the blockaders. They've been demanding an audit of the books. Therefore, as an act of goodwill, we will be voluntarily submitting to an assessment of our books by independent federal auditors."

The Chiefs' Office submits its books for auditing by the BC Treaty Commission and its own auditor every year. For the last five years the Office has employed Vandergaag and Bakker, chartered accountants in Smithers. These moves stem from a financial management plan enacted by the Simgiigyet in 2006 to ensure proper accountability and transparency.

"It is good to see common sense has finally prevailed. However we as Gitxsan know the solutions to the disagreements in our nation lie within ourselves," says Wii Elast (Jim Angus), "We need only look to our Ayookw and the feast hall to properly solve disputes. I look forward to bringing our people together to come to a consensus on how to move forward."

At a meeting of the Gimlitxwit on Monday June 4th, the chiefs agreed there was a need for a meeting of all Gitxsan to discuss the issues and dispute within the Nation. The meeting time and place is still to be worked out for all parties.

SOURCE Gitxsan Treaty Society

For further information:

For further comment please contact:

Gwaans (Bev Clifton Percival)
Office of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs
250-847-0603

Wii Elast (Jim Angus)
Office of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs
250-877-3089

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Gitxsan Treaty Society

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