Phoney Great Bear Rainforest Deal
Interfor's Destruction of Nuxalknalus (King Island),
the So–called "Great Bear Rainforest" in 2008
photos were taken on 23 October 2006 by Ian McAllister. They show
Interfor's clearcut destruction of the old growth temperate rainforest.
Right: For scale, note the person in the middle of the clearcut.
The huge stump is all that remains of an ancient
cedar tree, sacred to the Nuxalkmc. Despite their importance to our
culture, cedars are highgraded by the logging industry and are being
exterminated. I understand why forest activists are frustrated about
the ongoing logging in the so – called "Great Bear Rainforest."
For me it is more concern and worry. There should be more support for
the forests, and the life in and around it. The animal life, marine life,
and bird life; the environment and its integrity.
Then, there is support
needed for sovereign First Nations who believe in saving these things.
Logging practices and forest management policies have not changed. I
believe the so called "Ecologically Based Management" and "Great
Bear Rainforest" Agreements were only to buy some time for the industry
and wait for the resistance to the clearcut logging to stop. Of course
neither of these phoney deals save the forests: they are a farce because
logging continues as before.
Through the BC Treaty and other agreements
many First Nations are giving in to the logging industry. When they are
bound to such processes, First Nations can't badmouth logging practices;
timber markets; logging companies; or the official agreements. The process
on the table is a legal contract with an official gag order.
First Nations who are caught up in these processes have essentially relinquished
their sovereignty and historical status as a First Nation. They become
bound by legal and contractual routes whereby they try to get as much
as possible, financially and economically. What they possessed
becomes a social and economic bargaining chip: part of a "business" arrangement.
The ancestral and historical connections to their Lands and Rights are
lost and a new definition or term must be adopted.
Left: Interfor clearcut
logging operation on King Island, 23 October 2008. For scale, note
the person in blue. Click to enlarge. These are Nuxalk ancient cedars: stolen
from our land: the wrecking of our culture.
Sovereign powers to protect Indigenous
Lands and Rights are confined and become a matter only of "business" such
as logging or mining. Within these restrictions, First Nations must
then negotiate jobs, monies, or a status with the companies. Many
get caught in the pitfall of a joint venture status. Government and
industry use contrived figures to show how many First Nations are involved
in this corrupt process, just as they do with the number of grizzly
bears that are killed during the annual trophy hunts. It is left
up to the public or individuals to figure out the real figures.
of the contrived information is used as public relations or propaganda
to serve the status quo – also to show how much they are doing
to keep the Indian happy and well. Although greed and corruption
may drive some First Nations to ignore their responsibilities to
the lands, not all Indian citizens and leaders are susceptible.
It is disappointing that big environmental groups go against their
word and say negative things about First Nations. I don't believe
that this representation is good for their campaigns as environmental
groups nor is it good that they are signatories to the disreputable
Great Bear Rainforest Agreement. Of course, many First Nations are
being bought off through their leaderships and accept the corruption.
Historically this has been bred by the Canadian government's bureaucracy,
the "Department of Indian Affairs," where
Indian leaderships learn what is needed to advance their communities.
Discretion is used to determine which direction is the "correct" one
and not surprisingly, the batting average is not good. Corruption
is difficult to pin down and prove but it can be seen, read between
the lines, and determined by lucrative or surprise deals. . . . this
would be an awesome project for an Indian detective. These sorts
of corruptive tradeoffs and deals are also used on the environmental
community, for example in the case of the so called Great Bear Rainforest
Agreement. These are parallel tactics to those used historically against the First Nations.
Today, while Canada
and BC are stumbling through their own legal systems, it is likely
that their lies and untruths will eventually catch up with them.
It can only last so long. But meanwhile officials are able to railroad
through many lucrative development and resource extraction projects
before they can be stopped or contested by First Nations.
Much attention and publicity is given to First Nations who are co–opting
by accommodating and complying with government and industry. It is similar to
a reward system or a promotion that gives the impression, i.e. the
"illusion," of compliance so that unjust tactics and lucrative
deals are easier to make with First Nations. Ever since the BC treaty
process was contrived, it seems that this kind of negotiated tradeoffs
have been made with certain Indian leaders.
A large book could be written exclusively about these kind activities. The phoney Great Bear Rainforest
deal is yet another example. Like most of Indian history; it is hidden or
concealed so that the general public is not aware of it.
NUXALK STRONG – NUXALK FOREVER