Re: Gerald Johnston - Disruption of Church Services



    NORTH VANCOUVER, March 17 /CNW/ - On Sunday, March 16, 2008, Gerald
Johnston, claiming to be a hereditary chief of the Squamish Nation,
participated in the disruption of a church service at Holy Rosary Cathedral in
Vancouver.
    The Squamish Nation disassociates itself with Mr. Johnston's actions and
wishes to clarify that his actions were in no way representative of the
Nation. Further, Kevin Annett, who purported to speak on behalf of the
Squamish Nation, is not a member of the Nation and has no association with the
Nation whatsoever.
    More generally, Gerald Johnston has recently purported to speak for the
Squamish Nation on various matters. This Press Release clarifies that Mr.
Johnston has no authority whatsoever to act as a Squamish Nation
representative in any capacity.
    The facts are as follows:

    
    -   Gerald Johnston is a member of the Squamish Nation but does not live
        in any Squamish Nation community;
    -   The Squamish Nation values all of its members including Gerald
        Johnston, but regrets that Gerald Johnston appears to be having
        personal issues and delusions;
    -   Gerald Johnston's claim to be a hereditary chief is not accepted by
        the majority of the Squamish Nation community;
    -   Gerald Johnston has never been a member of the Squamish Nation
        Council, the elected governing body of the Nation;
    -   Gerald Johnston last ran for a position on the Squamish Nation
        Council in December 2005. He placed 64th of 68 candidates, receiving
        only 55 votes from a total of 2,243 eligible voters; and
    -   In January 2008, the British Columbia Supreme Court held that Gerald
        Johnston had neither the authority nor the capacity to act on behalf
        of the Squamish Nation (Te Kapilanoq v. British Columbia 2008
        BCSC 54)
    

    Respecting the actions of Mr. Johnston and his supporters in disrupting
the church service, Squamish Nation Hereditary Chief and Chairman of Council,
Chief Bill Williams stated:

    "The Squamish Nation condemns Gerald Johnston's actions in interfering
    with the Sunday mass at Holy Rosary Cathedral.

    I expect to be given respect while in engaging in my own spiritual
    practices and believe the same respect should be given to others.

    The Squamish Nation believes in pursuing reconciliation respecting
    historical injustice through respectful processes. We wish to fully
    disassociate the Nation from Mr. Johnston's approach.

    I am writing to the church on behalf of the Nation to express our regret
    over the actions of Gerald Johnston and to clarify the Nation's
    position."





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Squamish Nation Communications,
Krisandra Jacobs/Juniper Groves, (604) 980-4553, communications@squamish.net

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SQUAMISH NATION

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