They were so well educated already in 1920, their claims so well articulated, the Canadian Government made it illegal for a lawyer to represent them and for any person to fund raise to help the Indians. Nice eh?
Only a few decades ago were Indians elevated above the status of animals and it was only one year ago when Indians were legally allowed to sue their Indian Act Chiefs over issues of basic human rights. [ http://www.terracedaily.ca/cgi-bin/show_articles.cgi?ID=8175&TOPIC=0 ]
The first white man to arrive to settle in Terrace, a small community in Northwest BC, (where this author is writing today), was only 100 years ago. George Little, the proclaimed founder of Terrace is reported to have been assisted by Emma and Charles Nelson, the high Raven Chief of the Kitsumkalum Tsimshian Nation. As was always the case with these people it began with an act of friendship. Soon the traders and settlers disrespected all the Indian people. In Terrace the railway was pushed through graveyards without any regard for the emotions of the people.
Communities were burned and disease purposefully spread. In a final act of indignity to Charles Nelson, during one winter a train with a snow plow scooped him and his dog team off the tracks. He never fully recovered and died in 1930.
To not feel any shame for the actions of our Canadian Government and the previous actions of the former British traders, to not feel any responsibility for the genocidal actions which have allowed us to live with the comforts we have today, is akin to accepting what the Germans did to the Jewish people in the 1940's as understandable.
Until Canadians and the media begin to address facts and reality, to admit openly and honestly what happened, not just 300 years ago, but what happened only a few decades ago, (and still today) the lack of knowledge will foster even more hostility.
The treaties which were made need to be respected not just on the terms they were made, but with the full acknowledgement they were made under duress of a complete genocide. The land in BC, which has yet to be settled by treaty, needs to be recognized as still belonging to the original people.
AND IT CONTINUES TODAY