What is happening at Unist’ot’en?

With regard to the question of who speaks for the nation with regard to the use of its land, one answer is provided in this video:

But although the existence of a competing claim from the elected band council is acknowledged, its validity is denied without including any of their voices. And although I might prefer the position of the hereditary chiefs from an environmental perspective, I also feel strongly that hereditary (or other) authority has no legitimacy anywhere unless it is regularly endorsed by a clear mandate from the majority of the people whose lives and land it claims authority over.

If the people accept that authority, let them say so in a way that is clearly unforced like a secret ballot. Any claim to represent them without that is just as invalid as that which used to be made by the hereditary chiefs of my own homeland (where it took a civil war and a beheading to start the process of reform – which was slower but less bloody than those required in many other places).

Update(Jan15):For more perspectives see this G&M opinion piece

and this from BIV

Update(Jan24): Here is Jody Wilson-Reybauld’s view.

see also this from the National Observer

Update(Feb12): And here’s another attempt from G&M

Greenpeace also chimes in – with reference to analysis at ricochet.

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