Saturday, January 12, 2019


  The controversy in British Columbia, with Indigenous people blocking access to a pipeline and facing down armed police until a deal was reached Thursday, has some of its roots in the intricacies of Indigenous governance.
  Robert Jago, a First Nations writer from a band under hereditary rule, explained that the powers vary widely. For some First Nations, hereditary chiefs act as dictators; for others, there’s full democratic rule, with hereditary leaders in title alone; and in others still, “open conflict” between hereditary chiefs and elected band councils or collaborative decision-making. “In this case, they seem to be in conflict,” said Jago.
   It’s important to note that there isn’t one set of hereditary chiefs or one set of elected officials within the Wet’suwet’en nation. There are five clans, each of which has its own set of hereditary chiefs and then band councils, which comprise people from different clans.

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