|Elmer Derrick and Enbridge VP pose in her longhouse|
Commentary by Merv Ritchie, Terrace Daily, Dec. 11, 2011
This is the claim recently made in a commentary Elmer Derrick submitted and had published in the Vancouver Sun, “Elmer Derrick is the hereditary chief of the Gitxsan Nation.” This is quite a claim to make. The question is, after accepting upwards of 20 million dollars from the BC Government to run the Gitxsan Treaty Society, does Derrick truly believe this to be a fact, that he is “The” Hereditary Chief?
The Vancouver Sun, and most of the mainstream media, has done a great disservice to all British Columbians. When the 61 First Nations issued a declaration of opposition to the Enbridge project the announcement did not get a bold and prominently featured front page headline. But when one man, Elmer Derrick makes a declaration he supported the Enbridge project, it became exactly that; a front page 'full page spread' declaration of First Nations support for Enbridge.
The same thing happened in late November when most of the mainstream media reported the executive director of Coastal First Nations, Art Sterritt, declared they might consider supporting Enbridge. This was a twist of the truth and caused Sterritt and the Coastal First Nations to issue their own News release reaffirming their opposition.
This is the great tragedy of allowing the Media to remain unchallenged in their mis-representation, and unfair presentation of the truth and the facts. Canadians become mis-informed and then confused on the truth. When did it become okay in Canada to have lies allowed to be printed as truth in our Nations newspapers and broadcast on the airwaves?
Elmer Derrick is not “The” Hereditary Chief. The truth is he has been involved in a court case for years where a number of Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs have been suing Derrick and the Treaty Society demanding he stop making the claim that he even speaks on behalf of the Hereditary Chiefs.
The Vancouver Sun should know this. All media present at the news conference when Enbridge and Derrick announced their new agreement to the world were listening as reporter after reporter asked Derrick where he got his authority and what Gitxsan members supported him in this position. They all heard how Derrick could not answer. They all heard him say, “[I know the Gitxsan support this] just by talking to people.”
Read the entire article at Terrace Daily.
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