Thanks JOhn, truly.
> Dear Christine and Jeanne,
> I know this is off the mark of cancer but saw this in todays' NY Times
> and just had to pass it along. Congradulations...I think. Like Stephen
> Nyce's grandfather said "...not to celebrate until you know for sure what
> you are celebrating"!
> I have always loved and related to American Indian beliefs and
> philosophy. It is a real loss that the European forefathers saw fit to
> anniliate rather than assimilate the Native Indian into our culture...we
> lost the opportunity to learn a great deal...how very sad. Also lost was
> a chapter on healing and treatment of numerous ailments.
> I just pray that we learn from the mistakes of the past...although
> history seems, at times, to be like a record stuck in a scratch, and
> repeating those same tragic chapters of our heritage.
> God Bless ...and, onward and upward into the light!
> [Click here for home delivery services]
> August 5, 1998
> In Canada, New Treaty With Indians Threatens
> Division and Uncertainty
> By ANTHONY DePALMA
> EW AIYANSH, British Columbia -- Canada's
> federal Government signed a landmark treaty
> with West Coast Indians Tuesday, giving a group of
> them control for the first time of a majestic
> swath of pine forest, crystal streams and towering
> peaks, along with the legal rights to run their
> own nation.
> The Canadian Government had hoped the treaty --
> seen as a model for dozens of other Indian land
> claims -- would foster the process of
> reconciliation between indigenous people and other
> Canadians. But its most immediate result so far
> has been division, suspicion and great uncertainty
> throughout British Columbia and across Canada.
> Some Canadians argue that the treaty, which won't
> take effect until it goes through a full
> ratification process, fundamentally alters the
> Constitution and endangers the country's delicate
> unity by allowing the Indians a level of
> self-government that has been denied to
> French-speaking separatists in Quebec.
> The rights granted under the treaty are comparable
> to those of Indian tribes in the United States,
> which already have the power to govern most of
> what happens on their reservations, although
> conflicts occasionally arise there over the extent
> of Indian jurisdiction and just who is covered by
> Indian laws.
> But the treaty signed Tuesday in Canada carries
> with it even more potential for conflict because
> it was signed so much later than those in the
> United States, which were largely struck more than
> 100 years ago. Now about 50 other Indian groups
> are staking claims to territory covering virtually
> every square mile of British Columbia, even for
> already-developed cities like Vancouver.
> If Tuesday's precedent, which covers about 750
> square miles, is repeated, as seems likely, there
> will be intense clashes with high economic stakes.
> Even before Canada's Minister of Indian Affairs
> and Northern Development, Jane Stewart, arrived
> for the signing this morning in this remote corner
> of Canada, hard by Alaska, the historic treaty
> with the Nisga'a (pronounced nis-GAH) people was
> being attacked. Some residents of British Columbia
> fear the treaty establishes a new level of
> government based on race, with its own system of
> privileged justice and sanctioned inequality.
> Others criticized its price tag -- the equivalent
> of $320 million in United States dollars spread
> over several years, in addition to the land -- as
> a giveaway.
> The commercial fishing industry and others
> condemned provisions they feel give the Nisga'a
> unfair access to natural resources.
> Indian claims were bolstered in December when
> Canada's Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling
> involving the Gitxsan, another British Columbia
> Indian group, that Indian claims extend to the
> land's natural resources. The court also
> recognized Indian oral history as having legal
> Nevertheless, rival Indian groups in the province
> oppose the treaty because it impinges on their own
> land claims.
> Even members of one of the four bands that make up
> the 5,000-member Nisga'a nation has gone to court
> to stop the treaty. Some members, like James H.
> Stevens, say it is poorly conceived and badly
> executed because it omits 90 percent of the
> territory that the Nisga'a have traditionally
> "It was done by a bunch of young guys on the
> negotiation committee who don't even know our
> resources or our culture," said Stevens, a
> 72-year-old elder of the Kincolith band of the
> Nisga'a. "Maybe they were just sitting there
> nodding their heads."
> Despite the flood of criticism, federal
> negotiators and most Nisga'a leaders believe the
> treaty breaks new ground in Canada's long and not
> always successful relationship with its Indian
> "It's time we did it," said Lorene Plante, a
> Nisga'a woman who took part in the negotiations.
> While also hopeful, Stephen Nyce was more guarded
> since he, like many other Nisga'a, has not yet
> seen the details of the treaty. "My grandfather
> told me not to celebrate until you know for sure
> what you are celebrating," he said.
> Tom Molloy, the chief federal negotiator, said
> that for the first time an Indian treaty will
> resolve a question of territory while establishing
> the principles of self-government that can free
> Indians from dependency on the federal Government.
> "Today we join Canada and British Columbia as free
> citizens, full and equal participants in the
> social, economic and political life of this
> country," said Joseph Gosnell Sr., president of
> the Nisga'a Tribal Council, who wore a headdress
> trimmed with seal whiskers and ermine furs. "We
> intend to live here forever."
> While Indian self-government is a new concept in
> Canada, most of the more than 500 Indian tribes
> and councils in the United States already govern
> themselves to varying degrees, and with occasional
> challenges from non-Indians.
> Jerry J. Cordova, a negotiator with the office of
> self-governance in the United States Department of
> the Interior, said that in most cases, non-Indians
> are not allowed to run for office or vote in
> tribal elections, but there are exceptions.
> The American tribes consider themselves sovereign
> nations, a view not always shared by individual
> states and the Federal Government. The tribes
> often do not tax the people living on their land.
> In some instances, their right to levy taxes has
> been challenged in court.
> The experience of the American Indians suggests
> that a tribe's ability to govern itself greatly
> increases the chances of its reaching economic
> "Tribes that do have better control over their
> assets -- whether cultural assets or trust funds
> -- are more successful in economic development,"
> said Lela M. Shepard, development associate with
> the First Nations Development Institute, a
> nonprofit group that provides financial assistance
> to Indian tribes like the Pauma Tribe of Southern
> California, which used a $300,000 grant to improve
> its orange and avocado orchards.
> Ms. Shepard said the biggest problem for most
> tribes is raising the money to begin projects,
> since many banks are reluctant to lend them money.
> The Nisga'a treaty that was signed Tuesday will
> allow the indigenous people here to run most of
> the social and economic activity in the area they
> will control -- more than half the combined land
> and water area of Rhode Island. They will set and
> collect taxes and determine how the revenue is
> spent, while agreeing to eventually give up the
> exemption from some sales and income taxes they
> have had.
> Ms. Stewart, the Indian affairs minister, praised
> the treaty, calling it "a just and honorable
> settlement" that reinforces the Supreme Court of
> Canada's directive that negotiation, not
> litigation, is the way to settle Indian land
> Following Tuesday's signing, the treaty proposal
> will be put to a referendum among the registered
> members of the Nisga'a. Fewer than 2,000 of the
> 5,000 Nisga'a live in the area that is considered
> their ancestral home.
> Some British Columbia residents want a
> province-wide referendum on the treaty because
> they say that by preventing non-Indians from
> running for government offices or voting in such
> elections, the treaty fundamentally changes
> Canada's Constitution.
> Indian leaders have rejected the idea of a
> provincial referendum, calling it "the white man's
> veto." The Premier of British Columbia, Glen
> Clark, said the 250-page treaty is too complicated
> to be put to such a broad test. The people of
> British Columbia will be able to make their views
> known when the treaty goes before the provincial
> legislature, he added.
> Following that, it also will be voted on by the
> federal Parliament in Ottawa. Negotiators believe
> the whole process could be completed by next
> spring, although substantial objections could
> delay it.
> Unlike the eastern provinces that signed land
> treaties with Indians hundreds of years ago,
> British Columbia entered into only a few such
> deals, on Vancouver Island and in the northeastern
> part of the province, before abandoning the
> process. Small scattered reserves were created but
> the Indians themselves never surrendered claim to
> traditional lands.
> By all measures, Canada's 800,000 indigenous
> people are the poorest, least educated and least
> healthy Canadians, which deeply embarrasses many
> Canadians. The Government has been looking for a
> way to change the situation by embracing the idea
> of self-rule.
> Government officials hope that by giving Indian
> groups clear title they can not only compensate
> for past injustices but also encourage forestry,
> mining and other activities to sustain
> independence. Uncertainty over who controls the
> land has hampered such efforts.
> Tuesday's treaty is considered full and final, and
> can be amended only with the consent of the
> Indians, the province and the federal Government.
> "It's a done deal," said Jack Ebbels, the chief
> negotiator for British Columbia.
> But this is not like past deals in which Indian
> bands were bullied into giving away most of their
> The Nisga'a will become major landholders in
> British Columbia, owning the land outright, just
> like other property holders. They will own the
> rights to all the timber, except for existing
> leases, and subsurface minerals, and will be able
> to negotiate future contracts.
> Local government will be in the hands of the
> Nisga'a, who will have the power to make laws
> concerning language and culture, property,
> employment, traffic and most social services. The
> 100 or so non-Indians living on Nisga'a land will
> not be allowed to run for office or vote, although
> they will have the chance to do so in elections
> involving education and boards of health that
> directly affect them.
> These restrictions have already stirred a huge
> controversy that threatens to derail the
> ratification of the treaty. Despite the small
> number of non-Indians on Nisga'a land, critics are
> worried about the precedent of establishing
> governments on racial lines.
> "For the first time I know of, they are
> entrenching inequality in the Constitution of
> Canada," said Gordon Campbell, leader of the
> Liberal opposition in British Columbia. Campbell
> said that this also endangers Canada's national
> unity. "We are giving to the Nisga'a government
> something that the Quebec government asked for a
> long time ago and were told, 'No, you can't have
> it.' "
> But Ms. Stewart, the Indian minister, said the
> Constitution actually guarantees Indians special
> rights simply because they were in Canada before
> Europeans arrived. She said the federal Government
> fully supports the restrictions that the treaty
> places on participation in Indian government.
> But that has proved to be a far more uncomfortable
> position for the province. "It was a thorny,
> thorny issue," said Ebbels, the provincial
> negotiator. He suggested that the province had
> been worried about non-Indians being taxed by the
> Nisga'a without any representation in the local
> government. In the end, Indian taxing powers were
> restricted to Indians, while others will continue
> paying taxes to the province.
> "We took some comfort in that," Ebbels said.
> Other Places of Interest on The Web
> * Homepage of the Nisga'a Indian Tribal Council.
> [Click here to order home delivery of the New York Times]
> Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives |
> Quick News | Page One Plus | International | National/N.Y.
> | Business | Technology | Science | Sports | Weather |
> Editorial | Op-Ed | Arts | Automobiles | Books |
> Diversions | Job Market | Real Estate | Travel
> Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today
> Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
This is an automatically-generated notice. If you'd like to be removed
from the mailing list, please visit the Medicine-On-Line Discussion Forum
at <http://www.meds.com/con_faq.html>, or send an email message to:
with the subject line blank and the body of the message containing the line:
unsubscribe mol-cancer your-email-address
where the phrase your-email-address is replaced with your actual email