On the morning of the 16th, the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs had opened the meeting by singing a song composed for the hearing. The song expressed the depth of their connection to their territory, the chorus “noh' y'in tah way atsaan tsun” translated to “our territory is our livelihood”. But the song also clearly expressed their opposition to the pipeline, closing with the line, “Enbridge noh' y'in tah wagga way sow' ye'h” (Enbridge don't step onto our land).Here's the thing though: This bullshit government, all its hirelings, and its likely criminal paymasters, none of them deserve any respect. The harper government is a criminal government that hides behind institutions for which it has no respect itself. The proper attitude towards any harpercon slime-ball who seeks to lecture anyone about respect for others and the rule of law is to laugh in their face and tell them that they have renounced all claim to our respect and that they will listen to what you have to say and that you are granting them an unearned privilege by listening to whatever lies they are being paid to spout.
Prior to the hearings in Burns Lake on the 17th, representatives of the National Energy Board organizing the review panel indicated that they did not want the Wet’suwet’en chiefs to open with an anti-Enbridge song again. While the review panel presumably considered this prerequisite respect for Enbridge, dictating the terms of traditional opening ceremonies to Wet’suwet’en chiefs on Wet’suwet’en land disrespected those chiefs and their authority.
There was a buzz amongst the hereditary chiefs about the gall of the government folk who sought to dictate proceedings on Wet’suwet’en land. The chiefs, however, did not cede control of the opening. The panel was convened to hear their testimony, and would begin in accordance with their process. The chiefs paraded into the room in full regalia, assembled before the crowd, and again performed their oppositional anthem.
While the details of this performance were conveniently quieted in the official record, which only recorded this demonstration as the “Opening Ceremony”, numerous cameras and cell phones captured events and the words and images of Wet’suwet’en protest circulated through social media.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
This article by Tyler McCreary; "An Essay on Respect" focuses on how the chairperson of the Joint Review Panel for the community hearings into the Enbrigde Pipeline simultaneously disrespects the Haisla, Tsimshian, and Wet’suwet’en First Nations while asking them to respect everybody else, including the Enbridge Corporation that threatens their land: