Delgamuukw Trial Transcripts

[Commission Evidence of Fred Johnson Vol. 3] British Columbia. Supreme Court Dec 18, 1986

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 3-128  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne    1. 00 p.m. , THURSDAY, 18 DECEMBER,  1986   OFF THE RECORD  GLEN WILLIAMS,  Gitksan Interpreter,  Previously Affirmed.  FRED JOHNSON,  A Witness on  behalf of the Plaintiffs,  Previously Affirmed.   UPON RESUMING AT 1. 10 p.m.  MR. O'BYRNE:  This is the Continuation of Commission Evidence  of Fred Johnson, also known as Lelt, and present are  myself, Darrell O'Byrne;  the representative for the  Attorney General of Canada, Mr. Leonard Cohen;  the  Plaintiffs' counsel, Mr. Stuart Rush; Miss Susan  Marsden as linquist;  our Reporter, Veronica Duffy;  Mr. Glen Williams, the Translator and, of course,  Mr. Johnson, the Witness; and Mr. Mike McDonald,  the video tape operator.  CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR.  O'BYRNE (contd)  Q   Mr. Johnson, how are you feeling today? (Question  not translated)  A    (In English)  I keep going all right.  I keep thinking.  Q   Mr. Johnson, when we last adjourned, just before that,  you and I had been talking about walking along the  railway tracks to the land of Lelt;  do you remember  that?  A   Yes, I remember.  Q   At that time   A   (In English)  I see life.  Q   At that time you remember that you told me it was  too dangerous to walk along the tracks, do you  remember?  A    (In English)  I know the dangers of that crossing.  Q   I'm sorry, I didn't hear you?  A   I know the danger of walking along the tracks.  And  any the village like that.  Q   Now, Mr. Johnson, perhaps I can explain to you that  I wanted to know:  how far from Kitwanga the land  of Lelt is, and that's why   A   This is our land.  It's a chief station. That's why 3-129  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  we have totem pole.   That's  why we have stories,  books in Ottawa, many years ago.  Q    The reason why I had asked you about walking along  the railway track was so that I could tell how far  from Kitwanga the land of Lelt started?  A    From here?  Coming from here?  Q    Coming from Kitwanga?  A    Not very far.   Around the tunnel.   It's not very  far.  Q    How long would it take us to walk there along the  railway track, if we stopped all the trains?  A    If there's a good road, maybe one hour. Or more.  Q    All right.  Then how long would  it take us to walk  across the land  of Lelt to the other side of the  territory?  A    Distance?  How long?    DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS:    If I walked,  it's a big country, the land  of Lelt.  It's huge.  There is many of them.  Lots  of Frogs.  And they speak lots, and they train the  young people.  BY MR . O'BYRNE:  But how long would it take us to walk across the  land that you as Lelt call your own?  There's lots of chiefs. There's lots of us. And  there's lots of our grandchildren. And they have  discovered gold there, around Lome Creek, and there's  a mountain there, (?) , and there's ada'ox  for those.  It's there.   The chiefs own that land.  Our grandfather owns it.   There is ada'ox for that.  We have to act like  real men. We cannot act not  like real men.  Mr. Johnson, what I am  trying to find out is, how  big is the land of your House of  Lelt?  I am one of the spokesmen and there's Hlengwax, who  is also a spokesman,  and  Haa'kxw, and T'axts'ox,  and Luulak, and we have naxnox, and there's a  number  of people who know this.  And the white people know  as well.  When the train  first came, and  there was  a lot of people that came and they said to me  "Hello, Chief", and the train --  when the train  was running it stopped at the station  by the  crossing. There was a paper that was sold for  maybe five cents, and these white people seen  me and they said "Hello, Chief" and he said it 3-130  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  to some other people as well when they came.   We  watched.  (In English)  I remember.  Q    Mr. Johnson, are you able to tell me how many days  it would take to walk across the land of Lelt?  A    Long time.  Long time.  Maybe one day.  Maybe two  days. For I am one of the ones that own the land,  I 'ma Frog. And the other people do it as well.  We have paid expensive for this. The other people  from Gitsalasxw realise this as well and whoever pays  for the funeral will own the land.  Q    At what point does the land of Lelt stop and does  the land of the Nisga' s start?  A    At this side, they know. They know themselves.  Just  what we do is exactly what they do as well.  (In English) About the life many years ago. And  the generation yet. Thank you.  Q    Is there any mountain or river or canyon or anything  like that so you can tell me where the land stops  between Lelt and the Nisga'?  A    That's round the Nass River because they gather their  food there and about their lives.  (In English) That place is still like that, all over  now, many years now.  Q    So the land of your family, your house, Lelt, goes  to the Nass River?  A    The Kitwancool own part of it. And the Kitwancool  people know themselves.  They know themselves.  Lelt's  land ends at Winskant' imi ' idit, and there's lots of  food on the land. And all the things that will make  you lucky, wa'um's, different kinds of medicine which  the Lord has given us and it's still the same today.  Q    Mr. Johnson, you have throughout the time we've been  asking questions often told us about medicine; are  you what's known as a "Medicine Man"?  THE INTERPRETER:  I can't remember the term for "medicine",  I can ' t remember the term for that.  MR. RUSH: Can you phrase it in another way?  MR. O'BYRNE:   Can the Linquist assist you?  Go off the record  for a minute?  MR.  RUSH:  Yes.  MR. O'BYRNE:  Go off the record.     OFF THE  RECORD DISCUSSION  MR. O'BYRNE:  We have just been off the record there for  a moment to allow the Linquist to assist Mr. Williams 3-131  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  with a particular word in the Gitksan language.  Perhaps, Madam Reporter, if you could read back  the last question?  THE REPORTER:  Question:  "Mr. Johnson, you have throughout  the time we've been asking questions often  told us about medicine; are you what's known  as a 'Medicine Man'?"  THE WITNESS:   (In English)  That's right.    DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: He must give blessing to the grandchildren  and that way look after his grandchildren and nobody  will stop him.  (In English)  The Lord keepeth, the Lord keepeth and  do time, a few hours, and go bright,  still light good,  and every family good.  Lucky. Yes, that's right.  MR. O'BYRNE: Mr. Translator,  I may have to clarify unless  you give the answers from the Witness,  they're not  being recorded.  THE INTERPRETER:  Okay.  MR. RUSH: If you can, Glen, just repeat the English.  THE INTERPRETER:  Okay.  THE WITNESS: Keep loud talking.  MR. RUSH: That would help.  MR. O'BYRNE: Whatever he just said, can you repeat that?  None of that went down on the transcript.  THE INTERPRETER:  I thought she was writing it down.  THE REPORTER:  Some of it did.     OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  BY MR . O'BYRNE:  Q    Mr Johnson, did you use the term "Indian Doctor"  in  saying the question -- in answering the Interpreter?  A    (In English)   I remember what he said.  I remember what my grandfather said.  Q    Are you  an Indian Doctor then, Mr. Johnson?  A    (In English)   To know anything, that's right. Because  ada'ox knows. They educated us, our uncles, our grandparents,  so we would know and nobody can stop, nobody  can stop us.  No other nation can stop us, about the  family.  (In English)   Look at the family last night. Lots  of count, maybe more than a hundred, about a genera- 3-132  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  tion. Look at the concert  last night, maybe more  than a hundred.  Q    Mr . Johnson, are you particularly trained in using  the herbs and medicines you told us about?  A    To be lucky, yes. We use it for trapping so that  we can get more furs and nobody can stop it, and we  must know those. We must take that because we' re  the new people and that will make us happy.  You see  our houses, they're getting better, and look at this  house, it's nice.  (In English) That's what my heart say.  That's okay.  Nice food coming. Every generation happy.  Give a  little more.  With the government.  Q    Is there an  Indian Doctor in the House of Lelt?  A    Yes. They always Indians.  That's where the stories  come from. That's their source. They educated us,  how to live, how to survive.  If there is danger from  the wild animals, they tell us how to pose, and for  anybody that listens, he's lucky. That's part of  the halayt, to be lucky, to be well on the battlefield, on the war field. It will get better. His  house will be well.  Q    Does this  Indian Doctor help you to do that?  A    Yes, he helps  them make them well.  Q    And then   A    And there's songs to it as well.  Q    Who is this Indian Doctor in the House Of Lelt?  A    Lelt himself.   There's lots of them.  There's lots  of Halayt and they confirm it. They confirm it in  the show and they show it. There's songs to it.  And there's names for the land. And that ours must  be transferred.  Q    Is it your job then to teach the younger people to  do what you  do?  A    ( In English)  That's right, and not be afraid because  he's sure.  The truth.  Tell the truth, the Lord says .  Q    Mr. Johnson, in your younger days did you ever do  any prospecting?  A    What kind of rock?  What kind of mineral?  Q    Gold or silver or any other precious metal?  (Question  not translated)  A    Yes, we did.   We always used to hunt.  We found sometimes black  rock and we used it for a post, a marker.  Q    On whose land  would you prospect?  A    My father's.   Meziaden. That's where me and my brother  was. 3-133  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  Q   Did you have a prospector's license?  A   We never took a license from the government.  We just  used a marker.  No.  Q   Have you ever worked for the Provincial Government,  Mr. Johnson?  A    For work?  Q   Yes, for work.  A   For a road?  Q   For anything?  A   Sometimes I used to work for them.  They seen that  I was a good man. They seen me as a good man.  MR. O'BYRNE:  Excuse me, Mr. Translator    THE WITNESS:  I knew the country.  BY MR . O'BYRNE:  Q   Were you building road for the Provincial Government?  A   Yes, I just helped, whatever the foreman said, I did.  Q   How old were you at this time?  A   Maybe over 20. Going to be 30. Maybe around 30.  Q   Were you married at this time?  (Question not translated)  A    (In English) Yes.  Q   Did you have children?  a    (In English) Oh yes.  Q   How many children did you have then?  A    (In English) One, two, three,  four, five, over eight  or more.  Q   How long did you work for the Provincial Government  building road?  A   Maybe three weeks or more, just when it was finished.  Q   Have you ever worked for the Federal Government?  A    ( In English) What is Federal Government?  Q   The Government of Canada?  A   Yes.  Q   What did you do   A   Mr. Jenks was the person who used to live at the  station.  He built a stable, and there was another  fellow with Mr. Jenks and he used to sit on a horse.  Mr. Jenks was his name, he used to ride a horse down  the road. He found us at Meziaden. My father wanted  to talk to him.  Don't take our land, that's what  he told him.  That's what my father said to Mr. Jenks.  Chief 'Wiilitsxw said we want to write the paper not  to take our land.  That's what Mr. Jenks did, he took  a piece of paper and wrote, Mr. Jenks will not take  any land he sees because it's Indian land.  That's  what Chief Wiilitsxw said.  That's what Jenks told, 3-134  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  he was a government man, he was big man. There was  other people with him as well. Sometimes he used  to be with Indian people, his workers.  This Mr. Jenks, was he a government man from the  government in Ottawa?  ( In English)  I think so.  That is the law of power.  I think so.  I think so.  He was from the Nass River. Grandson, who was a big  man, he used to translate, and he died a long time  ago. Grandson was his name.  Have you ever voted in a federal election, Mr. Johnson?  DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS:  For the land?  BY MR.  O'BYRNE:  Q    In any federal election?  A    I voted not to let any of the white people touch my  land.  This is the land of the Indian people, because  there will be trouble.  We are living, we're alive.  We're alive, we're people that are alive.  Q    When did you vote not to let the white man take your  land?  A    Long time ago. Long time ago. There was a fellow,  a lawyer who was representing the Indian people.  I can't remember his name.  Maybe Mr. McMillan.  Can't  remember his name. This lawyer died.  He must have  been a big man.  Q    Where did you go to vote?  A    On this side, that's where we live. Every time there's  a meeting, I always go to these meetings.  And I always  listen.   Whatever is good for my brothers, my sister,  and my generation. I keep on listening.  I keep for  my life,  to return good. And everybody too.  Q    Have you ever voted to elect any politicians to  government?  A    Where at?  Sometimes I do.  There was a meeting in  Terrace, and there was one individual that gave me  a blessing on the platform, and the village came,  and there was a lawyer.  There was a woman lawyer,  and there was a witness.  And there's a fellow from  Vancouver that spoke, and he liked where I was standing  and I was one of the men to be recognised within the  brotherhood.  (In English)  I know,  I keep remembering.  Q    Mr. Johnson,  if you were going to give someone permis- 3-135  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  sion to go on your land to hunt or to fish, would  you have to consult with anybody else in your house?  A    It must be told. A person doesn't live very long.  A person is hungry and he must eat.  They must communicate with each other.  Q    If you give someone permission to go on the land of  Lelt, does that permission end when you die?  A    He must hold it and -- because other people have  witnessed this.  Q    If you pass the name Lelt on to someone else, would  all the persons who use the land with permission have  to go to that new Lelt and ask permission again?  A    Whatever I say, whatever grandfather say, that's what  will be done. That's the way it will be done because  survival is very hard.  Q    Could any successor to you as Lelt take away the permission that you gave to somebody to use your land?  A    That's -- same thing will happen, that it will remain  the same.  Whoever expensed for the funeral, it will  remain the same. That's our law.  Q    Have you already picked a successor to be Lelt after  you are no longer Lelt?  A    Somebody will come. They will come.  There's other  people who I selected, I have given the land to.  Luulak is one of them.  And I have given another one,  T'axts 'ox. And there's other people that come from  other villages that help.  They warm up the houses  and they will be expese, and there's other helpers  as well, and there will be a feast.  And it will be  acknowledged and say thank you.  Q    Do you know who will be  acknowledged and confirmed  as the new Lelt?  A    There are people who are there already.  There are  people that are there already.  Q    Can you tell me the names of these people?  A    Within our own tribe, the Frog.  Q    Do you as Lelt have any land other than that land  which is out near Woodcock?  A    There's lots of us. There's other land as well.  The mountains have the names . They have names where  we get our food, There's groundhog, there's huckleberries . All kinds of food. About our lives.  (In English)  Everybody's  like that anyplace.  Q    Does Lelt have the right or permission to use other  people's land?    DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN 3-136  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  THE WITNESS:  He must ask first.  If they say okay,  then  that's fine. If they say no, it's no.  BY MR. 0'BYRNE:  Q    Have you asked and has somebody said okay?  A    Yes, we must agree. And there must be people, there  must be a party. They must explain.  They must explain  that there' s a lot of expense. I think we could give  one mountain away to have peace.  Must be there.  He  could use the land, that' s our law.  Q    Do you know or have you been told whether or not any  of the land of Lelt was taken in a war?  A    There's land  within Lelt, because after the flood  and there's people that are from Terrace that have  their own ada'ox and there's names of big chiefs there.  Q    Have members  of the House of Lelt ever fought with  the people who are at Terrace?  A    There's a lot of things that the old people tell us  and they're right.  Whatever an elderly person who  has white hair says, that's right. It must be sealed  by the Indian people, or stamped.  Because they have  a lot of knowledge.  Q    Did any of the old people with white hair tell you  of any wars with the Nisga?  A    I just heard very little. Yes, they used to say.  Sometimes.  We don' t expect another person to, because  somebody -- because that's why some people get killed  at Meziaden. Txawok and Ligigalwil were killed at  Meziaden.  And 'Wiilitsxw, my father.  That's why  people went to Kitsegukla.   The Kitsegukla people  know today and all the people, they followed. The  people were faster in the old days.  And they walked.  They went to where the bodies were and they cremated  them.  They cremated Txawok and Ligigalwil. That's  why Kitwancool, my father, and his brother, Axts'oon  was his name, Saniik and Amint'a, Atxwmssex, the young  people, they  found a big waterfall at Meziaden, a  big waterfall.  The Lord had made that so the people  would catch fish.  The fish found at Meziaden, we  used to take  the fish, just enough fish and we didn't  sell any fish. We gave them away.  We gave it to  the people who were starving.  Because it's tough  to eat. When there's time for a feast they will return  and favour, maybe a canoe, maybe a gun, as a gift.  They return it with a good heart, that's our law.  Q    Mr. Johnson,  do you know what year this is?  A    Today? The year today? 3-137  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  Q    Yes.  A    It's hard for me, I don't have a very good life.  I don't count everything.  Q    You were in the hospital earlier this month, is that  correct?  A    Yes,  I was in Rupert. And I was in Terrace.  (In English)  Two times I was in Terrace.  Q    Do you know how long ago that was?  A    Maybe over a week ago or maybe about two weeks ago.  And the doctor told me how to live, and he spoke to  me.  He told me how to put my hand.  He told me how  to breath and he told me how to lie down for me to  breath properly and to recover.  That made me feel  little bit better.  Q    Do you remember this doctor's name?  A    Where at? Kelly somebody.  (In English)  Yes, he know.  He my name in the book.  Doctor .... doctor ... he give me pills.  Q    Do you remember how  long you were in the hospital  in Terrace?  A    About one week. At another time maybe about four  days or more.  (In English)  Doctor's  in the book, he know me.  Q    Mr. Johnson, has your land been damaged by the white  man?  A    Where at? Where at?  Q    The land  that you have described to me that's about  an hour' s walk from Kitwanga?  A    He took the trees away, and they say we don't own  the land, that's why, and  we're very disappointed.  We're still alive, we're still alive today,  we are  here.  Q    Other than taking the trees away, has any other damage  been done to your land?  A    We always tell them not to cut our timber, and there  was a fellow that came from Terrace. There was a  fellow from Terrace that came and cut the timber and  took it to Terrace. We said we agreed in this  village  that the logs will not go out of this village   any  more.  Q    Has the white man done anything else to your land  other than cut the trees down?  A    They don't cut around any more. I think they should  quit, and we'll see what happens.  (In English) Maybe all right for all the Indian  generations.  The best way to do nice lawyer to come to tell anything 3-138  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  Better to do this first. That's why myself was like  that. Thank you.  MR. O'BYRNE: Perhaps this would be a convenient time to  do a tape change.  Go off the record.    SHORT RECESS  MR. O'BYRNE: Go back on the record then. We have just been  off the record for a tape change.  Q     Mr. Johnson, do you speak for any other chiefs?  A     Yes.  Q     Which ones?    DISCUSSION  IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS:   What kind chiefs?  Who?  BY MR . O'BYRNE:  Q     Chiefs in your house?  A     Yes, I am one of them.  Q     And who are the others?  A     We have a seat. We have the ada 'ox.  Q     Do you speak for Luulak?  A     Yes. I've spoken already.  Q     Do you speak for ther chiefs?  A     I can.  Q     Which?  A     Yes sir, if they agree.  Q     Which other Chiefs do you speak for?  A     There's a feast, this is what I know, when it's time  for my table, and there's groceries on it, and it's  my turn and I talk and all the other people listen.  They listen, they hear.  Q     Do you speak for Haalus?  A     Yes. If he lets. He'll tell me to speak, and there's  a seat here, there's a seat there for other people,  and they tell me to speak.  Q     In this lawsuit against the governments, do you speak  on behalf of other chiefs?  A     Where's the court going to be?  Q     Have you spoken at any feasts on behalf of any other  chiefs in regards to the lawsuit against the  governments?  A     Yes, I can. Yes, I can. We've said it many months  ago.  Q     If you get sick again and have to go to the hospital 3-139  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  who would speak on behalf of you?  A    Somebody will speak. Somebody that's chosen to speak.  Q    Who would choose that person?  A    The people who own the land. They will just -- they  will discuss it. Luulak and Haalus and T'axts'ox.  Discuss who will be the spokesman. They will have  a meeting.  Q    Can you direct who will speak for Lelt?  A    That's what I described, that's how it's going to  be. The people who will select, they will select,  they will know who is ready.  They will get advice  from me.  That' s why somebody should be here and maybe  one or two people and they should listen.  I can't  be alone all the time.  There has to be witnesses.  To do righteousness.  Q    Under what circumstances can you as Lelt speak for  other chiefs?  A    If I'm not present the people who stand right beside  me will listen and will witness, and there's somebody  that will take my place.  Q    Can you speak on behalf of other chiefs in regard  to their land?  A    I've said it already, I don't feel very right when  I hear. I feel along when other people are not here  and liquor is the one that interferes with other  people.  (In English) About the liquor, no good.  Gets in on  the village.  Q    Who is using your land now?  A    The same people who chose.   Luulak and Lelt. They  will be the same.  Nobody can just walk over there  and beat me up.  That's not right. It's not right.  It's not right for a person from Vancouver to come.  He just can't come and live in the place that is owned  by Indian people.  It makes us mad and makes us cry.  But people live her for long time, that's good.  Q    You told us about a piece of paper that you made where  you gave your land to two women;  do you remember  saying that?  A    Yes, I remember.  She knew,  she's smart, she wrote  it down. She wanted to be right. Show his children  and his family.  He write it down from what I said,  and wrote it down and I signed it, my cross, that  was the truth.  (In English)  To tell the truth.  Q    Was that your Will that you made up?  A    Yes. That's the Will.  And I have done it for another, 3-140  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  for T'axts'ox, and there's lots of children now.  I didn't want these children to starve.  And they  know me.  I am not a bad person.  I want something  to be bright.  Q    Have you given anybody outside of your family permission to use your land?  A    I gave it to one person, my relative.  It is my relative, it was my nephew, and he was Lax Seel, Frog.  I was his grandfather and I am blind, and I gave a  place for him to live.  A place for him to get food.  And other people came and they told, they made him  leave, they didn't agree with him living on the land.  They made fun of him.  I don' t like that. I don't  agree with that, that's lying.  I want peace.  Q    What people made fun of him?  A    The person you call Haxpegwootxw,  he had relatives  coming all the way from Vancouver and they called  him, and he spoke a lot of English.  He was almost  a young man.  He didn't want to listen. And he never  spent one penny. He just came and he just said whole  bunch of things that didn't make good sense. And  he must be asked to leave.  We don't want any trouble.  Q    Who should ask this person to leave?  A    Maybe a policeman.  Maybe a policeman will do it.  I've talked to the policeman  already in Hazelton.  We just told him. This policeman said he will just  ask around first before he does anything. I went  with Mel Morgan, who translated  for me, my own grandson, he drove the car.  We went into the policeman's  house.  It was not very long time ago.  Q    Can you tell me approximately how long ago that was?  A    The people know that live around Hazelton.  Constable  knows.  Mel Morgan knows, my grandson who go with  me, who translated.  Q    Was Mel Morgan married at that time when he translated  for you?    DISCUSSION  IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS:   He's a man. He drove a car. He stays around,  you want to talk to him, he'll answer.  I think I'm prepared    He wants me to.  I think I'm prepared to adjourn for the day,  it is 4.35, and to continue tomorrow morning.   What  time would you propose to commence?  MR. O'BYRNE  THE WITNESS  MR. O'BYRNE 3-141  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  MR. RUSH: Well, I would like to be sure we have enough  time tomorrow that we can finish Cross, or at least  have sufficient time that we can probably finish it,  so I'm happy with 9.30 if you are?  MR. COHEN: I would say 10.15 because we are coming from  Smithers.  In my view that would allow us sufficient  time to complete the evidence of this Witness.  MR. RUSH: How is that with you?  MR.  O'BYRNE:  That's fine.  MR. RUSH: Is that all right with Glen and Mr. Johnson?  THE WITNESS:  Yes.  MR. O'BYRNE: All right, I propose we adjourn until 10.15  tomorrow morning .  PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED AT 4.35 p.m.  I hereby certify the foregoing to  be a true and accurate transcript  of the proceedings herein, to the  best of my skill and ability.  A. Veronica Duffy (Ms)  Official Court Reporter  AVD:  Feb. 11/87 B.CS.R.A.   #263 3-142  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne     10.15 a.m.  FRIDAY, 19 DECEMBER,  1986     11.00 a.m.  WITNESS ARRIVED  GLEN WILLIAMS,  Gitksan Interpreter,  Previously Affirmed.  FRED JOHNSON, A Witness on  behalf of the Plaintiffs  herein, Previously Affirmed.    UPON RESUMING AT 11.05 a.m.  MR. O'BYRNE: This is December 19th, 1986 and this is the Continuation of the Commission Evidence of Mr. Fred  Johnson, and the same people are present today as  were present yesterday when we commenced.  CROSS-EXAMINATION  BY MR. O'BYRNE (contd)  Q     Mr. Johnson, how are you today?  (Question not  translated)  A     (In english)  Good.  Thank you.  Q     Mr. Johnson, yesterday you told us that you had made  a Will where you gave your land to two individuals?  A     Because I'm going to die.  Q     Is that the traditional    A     (In English)  I still thinking what to do.  When I am starting to be young and know ahead of time.  (In English)  That's why I am doing that. Somebody  help me,  I'm not alone.  Q     Is that the traditional Gitksan method of passing  land?  A     That's right. Speak.  We speak. Tell about story.  (In English)  Long time story. Learn to know, and  the generation.  Q     When you  were a young boy, Mr. Johnson, were the  white men already living in the Kitwanga area?  A     No.  Q     When the  white man came did your chiefs want them  to live in the Kitwange area?  A     No.  Q     Do you think the white man   A     I didn't  hear.  I keep wanting to know everything.  No.  Q     Do you think the white man has a right to live here? 3-143  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  A    It it's right. If it's right,  if there's an agreement  Q    Who should decide if it's right?  A    Simgiigyet.  The grandfather will speak. The uncles.  Q    Who should the agreement be with?  A    They should meet amongst themselves.  The other people.  If no,  I went to a meeting and they said no.  No.  They're too busy.  People shouldn't come and just  do anything they want.  They're always busy.  They  have their own job.  Q    Do you think the white man should be removed from  your land?  A    We're alive. We are alive. There is experience with  us, within us, and that everybody too.  Q    Have you ever sued the government before in regard  to your land?    DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS:  About our land?  BY MR. O'BYRNE:  Q    Yes, about your land?  A    There was white man that came and land, that's why  the Indian people got ready. They took away our  clothing, regalia.  They didn't want anybody from  another village just to come and tell them how to  live.  You guys know this. I was very small.  I  lived in Kitwancool when I was very small.  I knew  and I knew the way the meetings went.  At one time my father used to receive the summons  it was a blue paper, and there was blood and markings  on it, and we all gathered around him, my brothers  and I, Chief 'Wiilitsxw, and they returned the summons.  We returned it to the policeman.  And there was a  minister that was a witness, Mr. Price was his name.  He was accompanying and they returned it. We didn't  know what the paper was. We didn' t know what we  did wrong.  We were just quiet and living where we  gathered food, there' s a table there.  It was one  time my father got a summons. While my father was  educating us to learn how to gather  food, and return  it.  Return it to him to make him  happy.  2     Mr. Johnson, you have told us that  there are certain  fishing sites which belong to your family;  are any  of those on an Indian Reserve?  h This person came, he came and he made our fishing  hole firm, and there was a reserve on it, and there 3-144  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  should be a name on it. A name on it.  Q    Which reserve is your fishing site on?  A    Yes.  Gisga'ooxs.  At Gwinilx, where there's lots  of eels.  We do it because of our children.  Just  enough.  We respect the fish and respect the food.  We don't want to waste it. We don't want to treat  the fish like garbage.  Some of the old fish, we  save it for the dogs.  Q    How do your people protect and maintain the boundaries  of their territory?  A    Other people know where they have to come to.  Where  they meet. Every year they do.  Other places to  the west and farther west, they know.  Q    How would someone for example like me know where  your boundaries are?  A    In your heart you know.  You know the way you live.  Ever since an Indian person was very small he listened  just like what you're saying, he listened. He would  get up every morning, before you do your business,  and they listened and it makes their grandfather  very happy. The high chiefs would be happy.  If  there' s a big meeting and a good cook will boil it  and cook it properly, just the way we do it now.  They call everybody in the big feast hall. People  are happy.  This is what I've seen myself.   Somebody  speaks, they bless it. They bless it and there will  be more return. There will be more return for the  person who acquired the meat. There will be no  trouble.  Q     Did your grandfathers ever erect totem poles on their  hunting grounds?  A     Yes, right. The names of the land.  Q     Is that one way they marked their boundaries?  A     There is an indicator where the land is actually  at, everybody.  There's a marker there just like  a totem stone and there's a marking on there.  There's  a story written on there. Sometimes a cane, a cane  of Lelt.  I have a rock just back here with a snake  on there.  A snake.  Q     Are there any members of the House of Lelt living  on the land of Lelt?  A     Yes.  We agree on it.  Q     Who or what member  of the House of Lelt is living  on the land of Lelt?  A     What I said a while ago, Luulak will live on there.  T'axts'ox will live on there. We have other relatives  We have Haa'kxw. We have other relatives.  Because 3-145  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  of the survival, that's why we do it. Our survival.  The chiefs.  Q    Are any of those people you've mentioned living on  the land today?  A    Yes.  They have houses on there.  Smokehouses as well  Hunting houses . There's traps.  There's lots of  other tools there.  The white man discovered gold  at Lome Creek. Big gold. And there was a big house  and there was lots of workers there.  The trail that  the white people had went amongst the rocks, and  they had a small bridge and they went way above up  in the mountain at Lome Creek.  They want to dig  it up again and they dug down, there's enough workers  there. There was enough workers there and the workers  were smart, they went way in digging, and where they  were digging it collapsed. It collapsed and they  helped dig themselves out. They used something to  help them breath inside, and other people came to  help.  Other people came to help them. My brother,  carrying something.  My brother, he carried what  we used, he carried over a hundred pounds. There  was a job given to him where the gold was. At Lome  Creek.  When did they find gold at Lome Creek?  A     It was around what I was talking about when they  came -- when the white people came and they snuck  around and looked around for gold.  Q     Were the train tracks here when they found gold?  A     No. This is long time ago.  It was long time ago.  Q     Is it before you were born?  A     Yes, and I listened.  I always really listened.  It is because I wanted to be -- didn't want to get  hurt.  That' s why my grandfather always used to talk  to me.  We exercised, we learned, it was like going  to school,  to live little bit longer life. The white  people took millions and millions and millions that  belongs to Indians.  (In English)   You know. This is the story.  Q     Why do you say it belongs to the Indians?    DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: Because they're around. The creator gave a  lot of things to the Indian people.  The Indians  have really good land. If they're smart. The same  with animals and the goats and the mountains.  When  it snows the goat go down at a place called Lo'opagan 3-146  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  that's where they live. If they are scared, if something scares them, they move down, where the rocks  are and any wolf or cayote wouldn't be able to kill  them.  They go to a really steep place.  Q     Was the gold here before the Indians came to live  here?  MR. RUSH: What was the question?  THE REPORTER:  Question:  "Was the gold here before the  Indians came to live here?"  THE WITNESS:  Yes. It was all over. Sometimes they would  find it.  They just looked at it and they just left  it. They're happy.  They're happy for the land.  They remember their grandchildren.  BY MR.  O'BYRNE:  Q     Has the land of Lelt been the same size since the  white men came?  A    Always the same. It was always the same. People  know.  Just one thing,  they destroyed the trees where  the animals would eat properly. They would take  proper fresh air if they were up higher.  If there's  too many mosquitoes, the bear would go up in the  trees where there's not too many mosquitoes.  Just  like anything else would do as well.  Q     Are there any white persons not members of your house  living on the land of Lelt?  A     Now they live at Gwinilx.  Somebody lives there.  Many years now. They plant food.  Q     Mr. Johnson, are the Gitksan people different than  the Wet'suwet'en people?  A     The way they look?  Q     Are their languages different?  A     Different.  Different for the Tsimshian people too.  Q     Do the Wet'suwet'en people have different  lands than  the Gitksan people?  A     No, it's all the same.  If they're unhappy they talk.  They have nothing to do. They can't do anything.  They can't do anything about their grandchildren.  Q     Do the Gitksan people have a different culture than  the Wet'suwet'en people?    DISCUSSION   IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS:   No. They're the same. We speak  the same.  We say the same thing. 3-147  JOHNSON, F.,  Cross-Ex.,  Mr. 0'Byrne  BY MR . O'BYRNE:  Q     Has any of the land of Lelt been given by the government to other people?  A     For white people?  Q     All right, white people.  A     Yes, they. Yes. You guys know the book in the Land  Bureau, you know already.  Q     Have any members of your house been denied the right  to use the land of Lelt?  THE INTERPRETER:  To deny them, is that what you're saying?  MR. O'BYRNE:   Yes.  THE WITNESS:  Yes. Yes, they denied us, they took it.  They didn't ask us.  BY MR.  O'BYRNE:  Q     Who did that?  A     One time when the white people first came, and there  was a person that was looking after land and  he took  the land. The person got really mad because  he  cleared it before.  He was really mad. He got caught  by a J.P. at Miinskanist.  Listen, Louie Delt(?)  was his name, and he had lots in his family now.  He got taken in and the J.P. did it at Miinskanist,  and the white people called it.  He said "are you  going to shoot me".  Louie didn't say, he disagreed.  I was mad, I was really angry, that's why I said  that.  I didn't say that I was going to shoot you,  I just told you, I told you it was my land and you  shouldn't touch it. I cleared it already.  I harrowed  it. I eat potatoes. That's why -- had a big garden  there, that's --we had a big garden there and that's  why he got fined $100. What we call a J. P. did that.  (In English)  And Louie says more hundred dollars.  He said "I'm Mr. Louie", that's what he said.  I  know thi s.  MR. O'BYRNE:   I wonder if wecould go off the record for  a short adjournment?     SHORT RECESS  MR. 0' BYRNE : Go back on the record here.  Back on the record  After the short adjournment, those are all the  questions I have for you, Mr. Johnson.  Thank you  very much.  THE WITNESS:   That'S good.  MR. COHEN:  I have no cross-examination.  MR. RUSH: Mr. Johnson, the lawyer who's here acting on 3-148  JOHNSON,  Re-Ex.,  Mr. Rush  behalf of the Federal Government as well indicated  that he had no cross-examination,  so I'm going to  ask a few questions of you. That's Mr. Rush speaking  now.  MR. COHEN: Why don't we go off the record for a moment?     OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  MR. RUSH: Mr. Johnson, it's Mr. Rush again that gets to  ask you some  more questions. I just have a few more  questions to ask you and then we're going to complete,  I think.  RE-EXAMINATION BY MR. RUSH:  Q     You just told Mr. O'Byrne about the story of Louie  Delt. That was interesting account  for me. Can  you tell me, when did that happen?  A     They came.  They examined. They examined  what kind  of country.   Just one person. He was the only person  selected.  Government somewhere. Government  from  way out somewhere, maybe  from around Ottawa. Anything  good could grow.  And that man reported  in Ottawa.  How good,  if it was good,  if the fruit could grow  really good,  about the life.  The Indian people own  this. That's what the government did.  Q     Now when you    A     This is what this person reported. Everything.  Blackcurrants.   Rhubarb.  And what time it riped.  This is work here of the white people.  Louie was  very heart-broken.   He was very heart-broken  because  the white man claimed the land. He was really angry.  That's why Louie, he was very heart-broken, and he  got really mad at the white man.  He was a tough  man. The people of this village, and he had a fishing  hole. He had a fishing hole west -- these kids,  his wife's fishing hole,  belongs to his wife. Chief.  Chief of the  women.  (In English)  I will be glad to say this.  Q     Mr. Johnson,  what was Louie's wife's name?  A     I can't remember,  I forgot. He's related to Arthur  Matthews ' wife. That's their wilnat'ahl.  Q     Now, were you alive -- had you been born at the time  that Louie was fined by the J.P. ?  A     Yes.  Q     How old were you?  A     I was very small. And just recently I heard the  whole thing and  that's the way it was. There's lots 3-149  JOHNSON,  Re-Ex.,  Mr. Rush  of land that the white people have done this to.  There is a big fight.  These people are dead now.  Philip Sutton at Miinskanist, the white people took  his garden, and the white man got mad instead and  he wanted to fight instead.  Philip Sutton put up  a fight, he had a fight with him.  Philip almost  got hurt, the white man hurt him, and he was in the  hospital for a while, maybe in Hazelton somewhere.  Philip Sutton was his name. He was very heart-broken  because that was his survival, and it's hard clearing  land. For his own survivial,  that's why he done  that.  Q     Who's Philip Sutton related to?  A     That is a person living at Miinskanist now. These  are just a newer generation now. They don't really  know now. They ' re the newer generation, the relatives  of. He replaced -- this person replaced and he held  for the survival of Herbert Burk, even if he is a  white man, he's a good man. He stands in the position  of truth.  He wants to  be happy of what the elders  were saying.  Q     Yesterday you told us that you were one of the men  to be recognised in the brotherhood,  I think you  used the word "brotherhood"; can you tell me what  brotherhood that was?  A     In Terrace.  In Terrace we went with a lady lawyer,  Mrs. Harry was her name.  That was her name.  She  wanted to help us. She made - - she wrote for us.  She wrote down things  on paper and she gave it to  us and it burnt. This  letter written by the lawyer  that said that Indian  people owned the land, and  people on the whole brotherhood heard it. This one  person heard it. I was about a young person at that  time and he took me on the platform in the hall in  Terrace.  He patted me on the back and said "look  at this person,  this person will stand and he will  pray for the brotherhood.   He will pray, pray for  the people in this area" , and there was lots of people  We ate the food of the Tsimshian. Everybody was  happy. Council  members were there.  Q     How old were you when  this happened?  A     Over twenty somewhere,  maybe more. This person spoke  the one that came from  Vancouver. Or maybe from  Vancouver Island.  "You are all right", that's what  he said to me.  The Lord will bless you. That's  what he said.  They know today, other people  know  today. 3-150  JOHNSON, F.,  Re-Ex.,  Mr. Rush  Q     Do you know the name of the brotherhood? Was it  just called "The Brotherhood", or was it called "The  Indian Brotherhood", or was it called "The Allied  Indian Brotherhood"?   Do you know the name of it?  A     The Brotherhood on this side of British Columbia.  The Gitksan brothers.  Help your brother too.  ( In English) Anyone.  They know.     OFF THE RECORD  BY MR.  RUSH:  Q     Yesterday you told us, Mr. Johnson, about the place  where Lelt's land ended and where the Kitwancool  land started. You told us about a place called  Winskant' imi ' idit.  I wonder, do you know, are there  any rivers close to this place that you can help  identify for us?  A     Yes, this is our land.  Us. Our land.  The Nisga'  people know how big their land is as well.  Q     Is there a river close to this place?  A     Where?  Q     Close to Winskant'imi'idit?  A     No.  That is where the waters come from.  It is where  the source of the water comes from, and they go to  a lake, and they go to the lake of Kitwancool.   And  there' s a hole there. The Frogs own that.  Q     Is this  a mountain?  A     Yes.  The whole thing. There's lots of Frog, they  know.  Q     Is the Kiteen River close to it?  Just pause there for a moment.     OFF THE RECORD  BY MR.  RUSH:  Q     Mr. Johnson, do you know of the Kiteen River?  A     And  Way over?  Q     Yes.  A     I just hear.  I just hear.  Q     Now, you said that the waters from Winskant' imi' idit  flowed into Kitwancool Lake?  A     Yes. Comes from around, the water come from within  the mountain. Maybe underneath. Maybe underneath  glacier.  It comes out small and then gets bigger  and runs behind Kitwancool. This is where the  Kitwancool  get their food, their game, goats, groundhog, the same thing. 3-151  JOHNSON, F.,  Re-Ex., Mr. Rush  Proceedings  MR. RUSH: Now,  I 'm going to pause here because I think  I've asked the questions I need to ask and I'll just  look at my notes and see if there's anything  further.  If you can just cut us off at this point, Michael,  and I'll take a break but I think I 'm just about  concluded.     OFF THE RECORD  MR. RUSH; Thank you for waiting, Mr. Johnson.  Q     Do you know Canyon Creek? Do you know about  Canyon  Creek?  A     No.  Q     All right then   A     I just know one thing, Sedan Creek.  That is  what  I know.   It's going to be different word.  Q     I wondered if you knew any of the creeks around the  place you call Winskant'imi'idit?  A     That's the headwaters.  That's the water, the headwater of  the -- the sources of the waters that go  into Kitwancool  River. That's the part of Sedan  Creek that runs into Gisga'ooxs.  That's the  same  one. That's  the same one. All of us, we know that.  There's lots of us. We have lots of relatives. Ever  since I was small they used to tell me. Other people  speak and they say that' s right.  MR. RUSH: Thank you very much, Mr. Johnson.  Those  are  all of the questions that I have, and those are all  the questions  that we the lawyers have. I want to  thank you for giving us the information that  you  have and the patience that you have shown us.  Thank you very much.  THE WITNESS: Thank  you my heart, my life. Amen.    PROCEEDINGS CONCLUDED AT 12.15 p.m. , 19 DECEMBER, 1986  I hereby certify the foregoing to  be a true and accurate transcript  of the proceedings herein, to the  best of my  skill and ability.  A. Veronica Duffy (Ms)  Official Court Reporter  AVD:Feb. 16/87 B.CS.R.A.   #263


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