‘They’re deciding our future and we don’t have a say’ says Stanley Jim
A member of the Carcross Tagish First Nation shut down a council meeting over the weekend and prevented Chief Dan Cresswell and council from entering their offices Monday, protesting his government’s lack of consultation with its members.
“Right now, all I see is they’re deciding our future and we don’t have a say,” says Stanley Jim while sitting in front of the main administrative building where he built a wooden door jamb to bar the entrance.
Jim says the tipping point for him was when his government signed a financial agreement without consent from its members, something he believes chief and council don’t have the authority to do. He argues decisions like that should be brought in front of a general assembly and he says he has the support of other Carcross Tagish members.
He says he shut down the office to make a point. “Get our word out and also put pressure on our First Nation to be accountable, to be transparent.”
Harold Gatensby is among Jim’s supporters, and says his community needs to change.
“A lot of announcements made about wonderful things happening in Carcross but we never hear about it until it’s announced either in the newspaper or over the radio,” says Gatensby.
“Big things that change our lives: subdivisions being developed, big $44 million projects being done. Everything that’s being done over here, we don’t know. We hear about it when it comes out in the newspaper.”
The protest has spurred chief and council to have an open meeting with its members, scheduled for March, says Laurenda James, who came out to support Jim.
“I’m glad that they have set up a meeting and what not. So hopefully they won’t just brush us off again without addressing each individual’s concerns,” says James.
Jim says the building will re-open Tuesday.
CBC was not able to get a hold of Chief Cresswell or council for comment.