Gitxsan Huwilp Government proposes “military armistice agreement” with RCMP Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG)
APTN Video: C-IRG on Gitxsan territory, November 2021.
Terrace, BC-based CFNR reports: “After months, even years, of RCMP activity on their lands, the Gitxsan Huwilp Government are proposing a military armistice agreement. If approved, the agreement would limit the activity of the RCMP’s controversial Community-Industry Response Group on their territory.”
“[Last] month saw the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs ban the unit from their territory, but the RCMP refused to comply. Now, they have drawn up a draft armistice agreement, which will be presented to RCMP leadership next Tuesday [April 25].”
The article further explains: “It would limit the C-IRG’s access to Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan territory unless approved by Parliament, call for the cessation of hostile acts on the land, and limit the number of RCMP allowed on their territory to 9 authorized officers.”
The Gitxsan Huwilp Government is comprised of 48 chiefs. And as explained on the Gitxsan Huwilp Government website: “The diverse Gitxsan Nation, in Northern BC, is made up of four clans and House Groups called Huwilp led by Simgiigyet who hold the governance authority (Daxgyet).”
C-IRG on Gitxsan territory
The previous notice prohibiting the C-IRG from Gitxsan territories had stated: “While we embrace safety measures for our community, the militarized squadron of the RCMP [the C-IRG] funded to the tune of $50M, have been sent to terrorize our people at the barrel of a gun during peaceful protests and blockades.”
Gitxsan hereditary chief Sim’ooget Gwiiyeehl (Brian Williams) has commented: “We’re a peaceful people and we’re not trying to hurt anyone on our lands and the C-IRG, they’re usually in full fatigues, carry lethal weapons and have dogs.”
In December 2021, CBC reported: “Gitxsan leaders say MLA Nathan Cullen is no longer welcome on their territory after he failed to meet them to discuss the deployment of RCMP officers at an encampment at a railway line in New Hazelton, B.C.”
The article adds: “It followed the release on social media of a video showing an arrest near the encampment in the northern B.C. community, in which four officers are seen on top of a man who is shouting that he can’t breathe.”
Video: Denzel Sutherland-Wilson shouts “I can’t breathe!” as C-IRG officers tackle him.
In February 2020, after the second C-IRG raid on Wet’suwet’en territory, Ricochet also reported RCMP arrest three hereditary chiefs at Gitxsan rail blockade. That article noted: “The blockade participants’ only demands were that the RCMP withdraw from Wet’suwet’en territory and the provincial and federal governments agree to negotiate.”
In this letter, Secwepemc, Sinixt, Wet’suwet’en, Gidimt’en and Unist’ot’en communities have also called for the abolition of the C-IRG.
That letter also notes: “Gitxsan hereditary leaders have spoken out about the unnecessary militarization and criminalization displayed by C-IRG. Some of the Simgiigyet (hereditary chiefs) have called for C-IRG to be prohibited from their lands for the safety of all.”
We continue to follow this.