Delgamuukw Trial Transcripts

[Commission Evidence of Johnny David Vol. 2] British Columbia. Supreme Court Sep 26, 1985

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 TRIAL EXHIBIT 74B - 24 & 27 September, 1986  Extracts from COMMISSION EVIDENCE of JOHN DAVID, Volume II  INDEX TO EXHIBITS  1  Photograph of Totem Pole dated October 25, 197 6 by National  Museum of Canada Stamp, negative No. 59526, Page 22.  REPORTER'S NOTE:  Wherever Laksilyn appears in this transcript it should be spelled  LAKSILYU. 2  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  VICTOR WILLIAM JIM,  Wet'suwet'en Interpreter,  Previously Sworn.  JOHN DAVID,  Witness called on behalf of the  Plaintiffs, previously sworn,  testifies as follows:   UPON RESUMING AT 9.00 a.m. 26 September, 1985  MR. GRANT: On the record then. For the record, this is the  continuation of the examination of Johnny David which  adjourned one week ago on September 20th, and Johnny has  been sworn in his own language, in Wet'suwet'en. The  Interpreter, Victor Jim, has also been sworn in his  language to translate from Wet'suwet'en to English and  into English from Wet'suwet'en.  The other persons present are Mike McDonald who  is doing the video work; Veronica Harper the Court  Reporter; Antonia Mills who is here to assist by writing  out Wet'suwet'en words for the Reporter; Don Ryan who  is here as one of the people assisting Mike McDonald;  John Milne who is here as counsel for the Defendant,  and myself, counsel for the Plaintiffs.  EXAMINATION IN CHIEF BY MR. GRANT (continued)  QLast week, just before we adjourned you performed one of  your dances and songs out in front of your totem pole; could you tell  me when that song and dance are performed  in Wet'suwet'en feasts?  AI sing my song and I dance to the song whenever there  is potlatch. You can't tell when exactly potlatch is going to be.  QThe song that you performed last week, and the dance,  what did they signify?  AThe songs and dances happen whenever there's a feast  and that's how we have been doing it.  Q   Who owned that song and dance?  A   It belongs to me and that's my dance. Further to what  is saddened by an occasion, and the song and dance are performed to  lift the spirits of the poeple. It is  done by all the clans.  Q  Does each chief have particular songs and dances which  belong to them?  A   Yes, the hereditary chiefs each have their own songs 3  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  and dances, and when someone is saddened they perform their dances  This is our Indian law.  Q   Would you perform that dance only at the feast of Laksilyn?  A   Yes. It is only done at the Laksilyn feast and this is  all the chiefs.  QWould you only perform it at a funeral feast or would  you also perform that dance at a pole-raising feast?  A   Songs and dances are performed when someone dies or when  a pole is raised. The pole is like telling a story about  our people.  Q   You also showed us the poles in front of your house and  I understand one is the pole of Maxlaxlex and the other  the pole of Kila. You referred to the fact, I believe  it was Gitdumskanees was on those two poles; why is his  figure on the bottom of Maxlaxlex pole?  A  Because that is the law of our people. Figures not put  on there for any reason. Serves the purpose and  Gitdumskanees is referred to as mountain.  QIs Gitdumskaneeson the pole of any other chiefs in the  Laksilyn clan?  AHe is on the other poles of the Laksilyn but not the  other clans.  QYou also showed the otter and the dog crests on your  pole; is the otter crest on the pole of any other chiefs  in the Laksilyn clan?  A  The otter and the dog are only on the Laksilyn pole.  QAre they    THE INTERPRETER:And he said that Johnny was boss of the  Laksilyn.  BY MR. GRANT:  QAre they only on the pole of Maxlaxlex?  AThe figures are on my pole and I am the boss.  QDoes the otter crest relat to the territory of the  Maxlaxlex?  AThe otter crest comes from our hunting territory which  we own.  QIs this crest a very old crest or was it something that  Maxlaxlex acquired recently?  AThe crest has been in existence for many years, many  yeares before I cam along.  THE INTERPRETER:And he said it's been in use for a lifetime.  In Hagwilgatewhere Old Sam is buried on his headstone  you see the figure of the otter.  BY MR. GRANT:  QDid the otter crest exist before Old Sam in the earlier  Maxlaxlex days? 4  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  AYes, they use the crest before Old Sam and people before  him as well.  QSo the crest existed long before the white man came?  THE INTERPRETER: He said yes, hundred years before the coming  of the white man. Okay, he said that Old Sam used it.  He could remember the age, between 80 and 90 and the  uncle before Old Sam was about 90. Now he's using it  and that gives you an idea of how long it's been used.  BY MR. GRANT:  Q   Last week, you showed the otter crest on your blanket  and it's hanging up on the wall there behind you. Is that  the crest that's on the wall behind you, on your blanket,  that is the otter crest?  A  Yes. Yes, it is the otter crest.  QIs there a particular history with the otter crest that  you know?  AYes there is. The people act out the movements of the  otter and amongst our poeple the otter is considered  a very dangerous animal.  QThat is, the otter is considered dangerous amongst your  people?  AThe otter takes on the form of the human and again attaches  itself to a male or female and once he does that, the  people would lose their mind and just go anywhere.  QIs there a history of this happeneing on any occasion  a very long time ago?  AThe person whose name I took over, Old Sam, it happened to him, and  it took our people a long time before they  finally rescued him from the grasp of the otter.  MR. GRANT:Just for the Interpreter, he referred to some  grabbing?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes, they had to tie him down.  MR. GRANT:Tie who down?  THE INTERPRETER:Tie Old Sam down so he wouldn't injure himself.  BY MR. GRANT:  QYou know the otter dance and you have performed it at  the feasts?  AYes. Doesn't matter when we perform the dance. The otter  is a very dangerous animal and people who laugh at it  will be affected the most. And the otter may be considered a devil.  THE INTERPRETER:And he doesn't want to speak about that  any more. He said all the other animals in the forest  our poeple have no problem talking about. Those animals,  the otter, they don't like talking about it because it's  so dangerous. 5  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  BY MR. GRANT:  Q   Does anybody hold the crest of a caribou?  A  Peter Alfred's wife has the caribou crest.  Q   Is she a Laksilyn?  A  Yes.  THE INTERPRETER: Then he described a pole that is in  Hagwilgate on the way to the graveyard. You see a figure  on top and that is the figure of the caribou.  BY MR. GRANT:  QWhose pole is that?  THE INTERPRETER: He said it was Madalyn' s uncle's pole.  BY MR. GRANT  QWhat was Madalyn's uncle's Indian name? Feast name?  THE INTERPRETER:Then Johnny said Madalyn's name is now Dzeek,  her feast name. And his children's blankets all have the  caribou crest on their blankets.  MR. GRANT:I'm sorry, whose children?  THE INTERPRETER:Madalyn's children.  MR. GRANT:Okay.  THE INTERPRETER:And it's similar to this blanket but with  the caribou crest on the back.  MR. GRANT:You're indicating his own blanket for the record?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes.  MR. GRANT:That's on the wall?  BY MR. GRANT:  QJust for the record, the blanket on the wall, that is  the same blanket as you were dancing with last week?  Is that right?  AYes.  QWhat was the feast name of Madalyn Alfred's uncle who  owns the pole at Hagwilgate?  A   I didn't mean the totem pole, I meant the gravestone of  Madalyn's uncle in Hagwilgate.  QOh, Okay.  AWhich had the caribou crest. It is on the way to the  graveyard at Hagwilgate.  Q   I asked what his name was?  A  That was Madalyn's uncle's name and that is the name that  Madalyn now holds. Dzeeh.  QFor the record D-Z-E-E-H. Does anyone hold a crest of  the skunk?  A  That is the crest of Peter Alfred.  QWhat clan is he in?  AHe is Gitdumskanes and at the hall you will see the 6  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  plaques of all the crests of our people.  THE INTERPRETER:He asked me, if you have time, to open the  hall to show you the crests of our people that are on  the wall at the community hall. He is describing all the crests that  are on the walls and some haven't been  done properly but you can recognise the crests.  MR. GRANT:Did he just go through the list of the crests  around the walls now? Did he just tell you which they  were?  I am asking you whether he did that or not?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes, he did.  MR. GRANT:Because I would like you to translate what he  said then and that is, if you have to ask him to do it  more slowly.  THE WITNESS:Where we sit, above us you could see the otter  crest and to the left of that crest you see the frog  crest. Then on the two walls are the ones that belong  to the Beaver and Fireweed Clan on this wall.  MR. GRANT:The first wall you referred to is one of the long  walls along the side:  THE INTERPRETER:Along this side.  MR. GRANT:And the second wall, where there was the two crests  is the end wall?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes. He said if you go the hall he'll show  you.  MR. GRANT:Okay.  THE INTERPRETER:Then you can put it right. He said to bring the  video camera in and film the crests.  MR. GRANT:Then he can describe them when we're in the hall?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes.  MR. GRANT:Can we go off the record for a moment?    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  MR. GRANT:We can go back on the record. You don't mind  if I lead a little, just to get into the area?  MR. MILNE:Not at all. Not at all.  BY MR. GRANT:  QLast time you told us that Jimmy Michel announced your  name at the feast when you got the name Maxlaxlex; did  Jimmy Michel get a name at that feast as well? If so,  what was the name he got?  A  Yes, he got the name Samaxsam.  QThat's S-A-M-A-X-S-A-M for the record.  Do you know the history of the name Samaxsam and  how it came to the Wet'suwet'en people? 7  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  AYes, it came from the Nass River.  QCould you tell us that history and what happened?  THE INTERPRETER:I don't know if I can remember all that he  said.  MR. GRANT:You should stop him as he goes along. Tell him  it will take time to interpret.  THE WITNESS: The name came from the Nass River.  It is given  to Old Tiljoe's uncle, and after a period of ten years  that name was given to Old Sam, and that was when I  received the name Maxlaxlex.  MR. GRANT:You want to ask him the same question again?  Are you finished?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes.  BY MR. GRANT  Q   The first Wet'suwet'en to get the name Samaxsam, was  that before Old Tiljoe?  A   It was during the time when Old Tiljoe was alive.  Old Tiljoe and Jimmy Michel went to Kitsegukla.  Q   Who gave the name Samaxsam to them?  A   There is a chief from Nass River who is in Kitsegukla  when Old Tiljoe and Jimmy Michel went to Kitsegukla and  that was when the name was given to them.  Q  Had there been a dispute or killing of a Wet'suwet'en  by someone from the Nass?  A  Old Tiljoe's brother was killed in the Nass and  Old Tiljoe went to avenge the death of his brother.  This was when he was given the name. Jimmy Michel ran  through the village on a pair of snow shoes and Samaxsam  was notified that Jimmy Michel was in town to avenge  his death -- to avenge old Tiljoe's brother's death.  When Samaxsam found out that Old Tiljoe and Jimmy Michel  were in town called a feast, and Old Tiljoe and Jimmy  Michel were also invited, where a song and a head-dress  were given to Old Tiljoe. The head-dress was painted  red, red cedar bark. The song he sung is Samaxsam that  was given to Old Tiljoe along with the name.  THE INTERPRETER:And he acted out the part where he is using  the spear.  MR. GRANT:Who would use the spear?  THE INTERPRETER:The dancer.  MR. GRANT:That is the song that Johnny just sang that you're  referring to?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes.  BY MR. GRANT:  QIs that sung in Wet'suwet'en? 8  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  AThat song that I just sung, it is sung in the language  of the Nass River people.  THE INTERPRETER:And I don't know the translation of it.  It doesn't have Wet'suwet'en words?  THE INTERPRETER:No.  BY MR. GRANT:  QI would like to move back. You said that the name was  given because Old Tiljoe's brother was killed; who killed  him and why?  AHalfway between Kitwancool and the Nass River there was  a grave marker of Old Samaxsam, who was the size of this  table, and on this big log was a big stone and that was  knocked over. When the two poeple had come to this grave  marketer, they were playing around on it and it tipped  over and Samaxsam avenged this by killing one of the  We'suwet'en and it was(n't?) Old Tiljoe's brother that knocked  this rock over, but somebody else. There was Samaxsam  uncle whose grave was marked with this big tree and this  rock.  QYou said there were two Wet'suwet'en, was one of those  Wet'suwet'en that was around the market Old Tiljoe's  brother?  Alt was not Old tiljoe's brother who knocked the rock  over, it was people from ....  THE INTERPRETER:Pointing in that direction ....  THE WITNESS:.... the people from there they have gone back  and Old Tiljoe's brother was coming through that area  and he was the last person going through and he was killed.  BY MR. GRANT:  QCan you describe this marker? Was it a rock on top of  a log or was it a rock with some wooden markers in it?  Alt was big rock similar to what you see in the graveyards  today.  QDid it have wooden markers in it?  THE INTERPRETER:He said I don't know. It is over hundred  years ago.  BY MR. GRANT:  QYou said that some people from "over there" kocked this  rock over, were they from the Babine?  AThese people from this area and my father has seen the  rock and that was how he described it to me.  THE INTERPRETER:His father had seen the rock when he was  a young man. He had told Johnny, that is what he is  telling us now. 9  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  BY MR. GRANT  QDo you know if this marker was also a marker of the border  of the Nishga territory?  A   I don't know whether that was the boundary marker but  I knew it was marker for grave.  THE INTERPRETER:    And he would like somebody to find the location where that stone is and he would like to see it  as well.  BY MR. GRANT:  QWas Old Tiljoe alive when you were young:  AYes, and they had brought his body back to Joe Nass'  house over here.  MR. GRANT:They brought Old Tiljoe's body back?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes.  THE WITNESS: And when Old Tiljoewas buried I spoke at the  feast, as well as Jimmy Michel.  BY MR. GRANT:  QIs that when Jimmy Michel took the name of Samaxsam?  A  Yes. That was the same time he got the name of Samaxsam.  QWas the song of Samaxsam that you just sang, was it sung  at that feast?  AYes. Everybody witnessed. And the regalia that he used  was also shown at the feast but I don't know where they  are now.  THE INTERPRETER:He said that he is getting tired.  MR. GRANT:Can we go off the record for a moment please?    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  BY MR. GRANT:  Q   You have told us that your father was Smogelgem or Chief  David, is that right?  A  Yes.  QAnd Smogelgem held territory on the North Bulkley, is  that correct?  A   Yes, he did own territory where we had been in North  Bulkley where he was brought up as a child.  Q   You have indicated that you moved there from Moricetown  soon after you were born and you were raised there?  A  Yes, I was born there and then later on we moved to  North Bulkley.  QJust so we understand, the land that we are talking about,  can you describe it in relation to Houston or Perow or  Topley, which are three towns in the area now?  AThe area we are talking about is where we have been ....  THE INTERPRETER: He is talking about us and Don, Tanya, and  I asked him further how far from Houston and he said  it's about 11 miles east of Houston the area we are  talking about. 10/11  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  BY MR. GRANT  QHow big an area is Smogelgem's territory there?  Alt's a big territory but it's just a small area that  -- cleared anarea that my father, Smogelgem, lost.  QAt some time when you're rested we'll talk about the  big area but I would just like to ask you now about this  small area. Was this on -- did he say hwo far it was  from Houston?  THE INTERPRETER:He said it was 11 miles from Houston.  MR. GRANT:Is that on the other side of Houston?  THE INTERPRETER:East.  BY MR. GRANT:  Q   Can you tell me what your father did on that land?  A  He did a lot of trapping. He did some haying and I personally know where all his traps were.  QNow, did you grow up on the area where he was haying?  AYes. I was brought up in the area where he did his  haying and I know all the areas where he did his trapping.  Q   Did he have a house or farm there?  A   In the area of North Bulkley my father had a big smoke  house and when he died the white people burnt it down  and they kicked me off the land.  Q   Can you tell us how old you were when that happened  approximately?  A  My dad died in 1908 and must have been around 30 or 40,  and I got a letter from Mr. Loring, who was the Indian  Agent at Hagwilgate. I received a letter from him telling  me to get off the land and he was going to give me some  acreage in Hagwilgate which he never did.  QDo you still have that letter?  A  No I don't have it any more. The area around the present  ballpark in Hagwilgate, he had promised me 160 acres  and I helped survey that land. I asked Mr. Loring if  he was going to give me that 160 acres in Hagwilgate  and he said to wait a while. He said the land commissioner  from Ottawa was coming and that they would give you the  160 acres in Hagwilgate. I was never given the land.  The land commissioners never came and Mr. Loring lied  to me. About two years later Round Lake Tommy was given  a letter from Mr. Loring where he was kicked off his  land and Round Lake Tommy was given some property just  next to the community hall.  Qln Moricetown?  THE INTERPRETER: He's pointing to the area down here which  is the area near the community hall.  MR. GRANT: For the record, that's in Moricetown. 12  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  THE WITNESS: Round Lake Tommy, he was very good man, worked  hard, and when he was kicked off his land some of the  non-Indian people took Round Lake Tommy to an area east  of Houston where he was given a small portion of land.  The non-Indian people were angry at Mr. Loring for  treating Round Lake Tommy in a deceiving manner.  BY MR. GRANT:  QWhere was Round Lake Tommy's land that he was thrown off?  ARound Lake area where the present community hall is  situated is where Round Lake Tommy had his home.  QWhich community hall?  THE INTERPRETER:Round Lake community hall.  MR. GRANT:Okay.  THE WITNESS:Round Lake Tommy's father died in Round Lake  and he is buried not too far away from the area I just  described.  BY MR. GRANT:  QYes? What happened? Go ahea.  AHe even -- Round Lake Tommy's father was buried on his  land. Mr. Loring still kicked him off his land similar  to the way he kicked me off my land.  QDid you ever go back to your father's land to see what  had happened?  AYes, I have been back to the --to North Bulkley, I was  there with you guys    THE INTERPRETER:He's refeering to Don and myself, the film  crew and Tanya.  THE WITNESS:I have talked about it for many years, there  seems to be nothing I can do.  BY MR. GRANT:  QWhen did you first go back there after you got the letter  from Mr. Loring?  AI went back immediately because I was doing my trapping  in that area.  QWhat had hapened when you first went back there?  AThey never talked to me or anything about the territory. They knew I was trapping on the territory. It  was only the cleared farmland that was taken from my  father.  AWhen you back there to trap, was there somebody living  on that cleared farmland?  A  When I went back Mr. McGuinness was living on the property that my dad had cleared.  QHow many years was that after you had left? After you 13  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  had moved off it with Mr. Loring?  THE INTERPRETER:He said it was a long time.  BY MR. GRANT:  QYou said a few minutes ago that you were getting tired,  about 15 minutes ago, would you like to stop now and  rest?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes, he said he is getting tired and would  like to rest.  MR. GRANT:Go off the record.  THE INTERPRETER:He said he has told you everything that  he knows.  MR. GRANT:Go off the record now.   OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION   EXAMINATION ADJOURNED AT 10.25 a.m. UNTIL TOMORROW.  I hereby certify the foregoing to  be a true and accurate transcript  of the proceedings herein, to the  best of my skill and ability.  Veronica Harper (Ms.)  Official Court Reporter  :VH-Oct.l2/85B.C.S.R.A. #263  NOTE:Transcript of evidence continues  on the following page, #14 14  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant   UPON RESUMING AT 9.00 a.m., 27 September, 1985  MR. GRANT: This is the continuation of the examination of  Commission Evidence of Johnny David which was adjourned  yesterday, September 26th, because Johnny was getting  tired. The same persons are present as were present yesterday.  EXAMINATION IN CHIEF BY MR. GRANT (continued)  QI asked you about the east in which you obtained your  name and I would like to know under Wet'suet'en laws  does anyone call out your name when you received it and,  if so, how are they related to you?  AWhen I got my name all the hereditary chiefs from the  other clans would call my name.  MR. GRANT:They did call his name?  THE INTERPRETER:They did call his name. They would go right  around the feast hall.  BY MR. GRANT:  QIs there a Wet'suet'en tradition called Niggiyotsi which  relates to your father's clan?  aThere is a system in Wet'suwet'en which is called Niggiyotsi  and it is where all the high chiefs are called around  the hall. They mention your name and say something about  your crest. It is only the high chiefs that are called  to do this. When the high chiefs holler out the names  they are given some money for witnessing it, and it's  like signing your name on a piece of document.  QAre they also given food and other gifts at the feast?  AThe ones that holler out hte names are given money and  for all the other people in the feast hall food is distributed to them.  QDo you know how much money was given out when you received  your name Maxlaxlex?  THE INTERPRETER:He said money is spent when you receive  a name, and then I asked him if he spent a lot of money  and he answered that he did. Couldn't remember the amount.  He said that if somebody there named ne then he would  receive some money.  BY MR. GRANT:  QWhen these chiefs call out your name do they relate it  to their name and refer to your crest?  AThey mention his name and then something to do with his  crest. They are paid what amount is decided by the  people.  MR. GRANT:I'm sorry, they're? 15  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  THE INTERPRETER:They are paid the amount that is agreeable  to the people who came there.  BY MR. GRANT:  QAre they paid a different amount depending how high a  chief they are?  AThe chiefs with the bigger names are given more money  than the ones with the smaller names.  QWere the only two names given out at your feast, Maxlaxlex  and Samaxsam?  AYes, just the two names.  QDid they talk about your territory at the time of your  feast?  THE INTERPRETER:When he got his name, along with the name  went the territory.  MR. GRANT:Was that announced at the feast:  THE INTERPRETER:When he got his name he was given the area  around Copper River. And the whole hunting territory  is shared by the clan except for the fact that the head  chief is the one that decides who goes on there.  BY MR. GRANT:  QIs he the one who decides who goes on the territory?  A  Whoever is the head of the hunting territory can decide  who hunts and traps in that territory and if other people  want to go there they would have to come and see him,  the head chief, to get the okay to hunt there.  MR. GRANT:When you say "him" your're referring to Johnny?  THE INTERPRETER:Referring to Johnny.  He also talks about the area he had at North Bulkley  and his father's trapping land in the North Bulkley area.  BY MR. GRANT:  QWho privdes the money at the feast to give out to the  chiefs?  AThe people fvrom the clan all put in money and a certain  amount is set aside for witnessing of the name and that  is the money that is distributed to the high chiefs.  QWhen you're referring to people you're referring to the  Laksilyn?  AYes, Laksilyn, we all help one another.  QAre the people who put the money in the same people who  have rights to use your territory?  AThe people from Laksilyn could use the territory with  permission from head chief, and this is how it has been  done in the past, and this is the same system of helping  when someone has died and the casket needs to be paid  for. Even when a small child has died they are treated in the same  manner as a adult where money is collected. 16  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  and expenses paid for.  QWhen Old Sam died what relations of his were responsible  for obtaining or making the casket and preparing him  to be buried:  ANot just the family puts in money, it's the whole clan.  They all put in money so that he gets a decent burial.  QIs the Beaver Creek area in your territory?  AMcDonnell Lake is here, Beaver Creek runs this way and  my territory is on this side of the lake.  QOn the side opposite Beaver Creek?  AYes.  MR. GRANT:And he said something about Kitsegukla?  THE INTERPRETER:The McDonnell Lake area belongs to Big John  from Kitsegukla.  BY MR. GRANT:  QWas Old Dennis Wet'suet'en and, if so, which clan?  A   Old Dennis was my uncle and he was from Laksilyn clan.  Q   Did Old Dennis get the rights to use Beaver Creek area?  A   Yes. Beaver Creek area was given to Old Dennis.  QCan you tell us why? Who gave it to him and why?  A   Big Charlie from Topley Landing and given Beaver Creek  area to Old Dennis since Old Dennis has spent a lot of  money on Old Charlie's brother at feast.  QWas the Beaver Creek area, did it originally belong to  Big Charlie?  AYes, it did belong to him. His brother had died, Old  Charlie's brother had died    QBig Charlie's brother?  ABig Charlie's brother had died and Old Dennis had spent  a lot of money on him at the feast.  QJust to be clear, Big Charlie gave Old Dennis the rights  to use the Beaver Creek area?  AYes.  QFor how long did Old Dennis have those rights? Would  they go on to Johnny or any of the other people in his  house or clan? Or did they stop when Old Dennis died?  AHe used it for many years and Jack Joseph, who was a  strong head chief, after Old Dennis had died he took  over the territory.  QWhat clan was Big Charlie in?  ALaksilyn clan. Old Dennis was his half brother and that  was why he was given the territory.  Q   Did Old Dennis use that territory while you were alive?  A   Yes, I seen him using the territory and David Dennis  and I also walked the territory. Old Dennis went blind,  was blind for about 35 years, and David Dennis was the  person who did most of the trapping in this territory. 17  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  QNow, was the territory that David Dennis trapped in  including the Beaver Creek area?  AYes, it was Beaver Creek area and all the money that  he made from the furs, that money was given to his father,  Old Dennis  QWere you alive when Big Charlie gave Old Dennis  the rights to the Beaver Creek area?  THE INTERPRETER:Would you repeat that again?  MR. GRANT:Were you alive when Big Charlie gave Old Dennis  the rights to the Beaver Creek area?  THE WITNESS:Yes.  BY MR. GRANT:  QWas it given to him at a feast?  AHe was given probably at the feast, I wasn't there but  everything is done according to our Indian law.  Qlf it is done according to Indian law, is it given at  the feast?  A  Yes, it was announced at a feast.  QWas any name given to Old Dennis along with the territory?  AJust the territory was given to him, he already had a  name, and I was a small boy when this took place. What  I am telling you now is information Old Dennis told me.  Old Dennis was a strong Christian and he did not lie  to other people and it is his words I am telling you  now.  Q   What was Old Dennis' chief's name?  A   Since he was a strong Christian he had an Indian name  before -- since he was a strong Christian he just used  his European name which was Dennis Clark.  Q   Was his Indian name Dikyannualat?  THE INTERPRETER:Can I see the spelling?  THE WITNESS:His name was .... I forget that name.  BY MR. GRANT:  QYou're reaching out, maybe you can tell us what that  means?  THE INTERPRETER: He is describing the name. The names means  Grizzly clawing away at tree.  MR. GRANT:Before you translate is he giving any sort of  explanation or just talking about    THE INTERPRETER:He's just talking about some people.  MR. GRANT:Can we just go off the record. I just want to  know what this is about.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  MR. GRANT:We can go back on the record now. 18  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  QYou gave an answer on the record and it was translated  off the record, and just to summarise you were referring  to some other people you would like to be here when  you talk about Smogelgem. I did indicate yesterday we  would be asking about Smogelgem's territory and depending  how well we do today, we'll probably do that when those  other people are present.  Okay, I would like to ask you about the feast at  which the pole outside your house which you described  on this Commission was raised. Your pole, that is the  pole of Maxlaxlex, was carved by Thomas George, is that  right?  A   Yes, it was Thomas George who did all the carvings on  the totem pole.  Q   And Thomas George was the husband of Mary George?  A   Yes he was the wife of Mary George.  QHusband?  AHusband of Mary George and since Mary George could not  carve the pole, Thomas George carved the pole and when  the moneys were paid for carving the pole, all the money  went to Mary George.  Q   Mary George was related to your father, Smogelgem?  A  Mary George was my father's grandchild. That is how  the business is done.  Q   Just to clarify that, is that the Wet'suwet'en tradition  that your father's relations are responsible for carving  your pole?  A  Yes, they are the ones, yes. And Thomas George's sons  are alive today, Leonard George and Andy George.  Q   And Leonard George presently holds your father's name  Smogelgem?  A  Yes he does.  Q   Is the Wet'suwet'en word for the responsibility of the  father's relations to carve the pole called Wastyelgilsut?  A   Yes, that is right.  QThat is spelled, for the record, W-A-S-T-Y-E-L-G-I-L-S-U-T.  Alt's right, if I want anything done I go to Thomas George's  children. That is why I want them here ....  THE INTERPRETER:Pointing at Peter.  THE WITNESS:.... so Peter can listen.  BY MR. GRANT:  QYour father was in the Gitumden clan?  A  No, Laksamshu.  QWhat was the name of his house? 19  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  A  He was from the owl house.  THE INTERPRETER: Misdziya, which is translated owl house.  THE WITNESS:The poeple from the owl house who are related  to my dad, when Leonard and Andy are here I want to mention  all those names and have then written down so that they  know who all my relatives are.  BY MR. GRANT:  Q   Now, referring back to your pole raising, before you  actually arranged to have the pole carved, did you announce  this at a feast?  A  Yes, it was mentioned at the feast and the pole was taken  four miles west of here, up the mountain following one  of the creeks, and it was brought down here to this site  here when it was carved.  QDo you know the name of that creek?  AThere's a small creek or spring comes from under the  ground and where that spring is directly behind near  the moutnain is where the pole is taken from, and in  the spring many people went up there and brought it down  and they were paid for bringing the pole down.  Q   Is there a name for that particular ceremony of cutting  the tree in Wet'suwet'en?  A   It is called dikanteztsias -- it means tree falling over.  QD-I-K-A-N-T-E-Z-T-S-L-A-S  MR MILNE:Can I get that again?   OFF THE RECORD  BY MR. GRANT:  QIs a song sung and the history told when a tree is cut  down?  AYes, before the tree is felled the song is sung with  the drum called tegul and it took many people to bring  it to the road.  Q   Who actually cut the tree down for your pole?  A  The person I hired to fell the tree is dead and  I can't remember his name.  Q  Would it have been a relation of Thomas George?  A  The person that was hired to fall the tree was Dick  Naziel, and he is from the Gitumden clan.  QWhen was the pole raising feast?  Alt is marked on the top of the totem pole, 1948.  QWhy did you as Maxlaxlex raise the pole?  AWhen I got Maxlaxlex I got the totem carved to pay for  Old Sam's name that I have now.  QIs that the completion -- you said last time there were 20  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  three feasts, is the pole raising feast the completion  of the feasts in which you get your name?  AYes, that is the final feast for getting the name.  QWhere was the pole carved?  ARight in this area. Thomas George.  QWas there a special ceremoney when the pole was brought  from the mountain to this area here? You're indicating  by your hosue.  AOnce Thomas George peeled the bark off, songs were sung.  QWere those the songs of your clan or Thomas George's?  THE INTERPRETER:He was having trouble remembering it ans  so I asked him if it was the song from the Laksilyn clan  and he said it was.  BY MR. GRANT:  QWas that the same song you sung outside when you performed  outside last week?  AYes, it was the song that was sung.  QFor the record, I am referring to the song that was performed on these Commission hearings outside by his poles.  Qln the process that I just described it is done right  throughout the Sikeena River area.  QBefore the pole was carried down the mountain, did Thomas  George sit on the pole and sing songs?  AWhen it was brought here is when he sat on the pole and  sang the song.  QDid you invite other people here when that was donw?  AYes, I invite the people to come.  QWould those have been people from other clans in this  village and your own clan?  AYes, all the people from all the clans brought the pole  here.  QDid it include people from other villages like Kispiox,  Hazelton and Kitsegukla?  AYes, there are people from Kispiox, Hazelton, as well  as some of my relatives from Fort Babine. They stayed  in the old log house that was next door.  QHow long was the ceremony here when the pole came down  the mountain?  Alt took them two weeks to carbe the pole. After the  pole was completed I invited people to the hall where  I paid for it.  QDid the other people in the Laksilyn clan help you?  AYes, all the Laksilyn clan helped me even the small children  who put in their little quarters.  ADid you invite people from other villages to that feast?  AYes. I wear my blanket and went around to the different  villages and invite people and they all showed up. 21  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  Q   Is that what is supposed to be done under Wet'suwet'en laws? A  Yes, that is how it is done and Jimmy Michel went around  with me.  QWhat is that called in Wet'suet'en?  A   That is called Wuyaniyay, which means inviting people.  QW-U-Y-A-N-I-Y-A-Y  THE INTERPRETER:He said now you can speak our language!  BY MR. GRANT:  QHow long did the feast last for your pole raising?  Alt was all done in one night when everybody went back  to their homes.  QBefore the feast was the pole actually raised? If it  was, could you tell us how it was raised?  AWhen the pole was laying on the ground ropes were put  on it in three different directions and people were singing while they were pulling it up.  THE INTERPRETER:He said everybody had a good time.  BY MR. GRANT:  QIs this the way all Wet'suet'en pole raisings are done?  AYes, and the Skeena River people do the same.  QWas there an old pole of Maxlaxlex that you used as a  model for this pole?  AYes, there was one pole many years before this one.  QDo you remember a pole -- you also have the pole of Kila  up in your yard, was that raised at the same time?  Q  Kila pole was raised just recently whereas mine was  raised before that.  QWas there an old pole of Kila located somewhere else  that you remember?  A   There is a pole in the canyon area in Hagwilgate, just  the one pole but now we have the two poles to represent  that one.  Q   I'm showing you a photograph of two poles, could you  take a look and see if you recognise either of those  as the pole of Kila?  THE INTERPRETER:While he was looking at it he asked me if  there was a figure of a man and I told him this pole  did, and he said that is the pole of Kila. It is only  one but now we have two poles to represent this one pole.  MR. GRANT:You're indicating, for the recrod, the pole on  the right hand side of the picture with the figure of  a man on the top. That may be marked as Exhibit 1 on  this Commission please.  Off the record.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION 22  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant   EXHIBIT No. 1 - Photograph of two totem poles,  dated October 25, 1976 by  National Museum of Canada stamp,  negative No. 59526.  MR. GRANT:Back on the record. We have now marked as  Exhibit No. 1 a photograph of two poles that has the  National Museum of Canada stamp on the back, dated  October 25, 1976 and negative number 59526, for the record.  At this time I only have one copy of that photograph but in due course will provide copies to counsel  for the Province.  QDo you know when the pole of Kila Iin Exhibit No. 1 was  raised?  AI don't know, I probably wasn't even born.  Q   Did you ever see that pole when you were alive? In the  photograph?  A   No, I did not see during my life.  People have just told me  about it.  Q   I take it from your question that you recognise that  pole of Kila's because of the crest of Gitdumskanees  on the pole?  A  Yes, Gitdumskanees is on top of the Laksilyn clans' poles.  THE INTERPRETER:He was saying that Gitdumskanees and  Hag Wii Negh some of the head chiefs from Laksilyn. All  the peole in the back row are head chiefs.  BY MR. GRANT:  QYou have described that back row when we went through  that chart?  AYes.  Q   Now, was a song made for you at the time of your pole  raising?  A  Yes, the song was made for me but I have forgotten the  song. Alec Michel was the one who made the song for  me.  Q   What clan is he from?  A  He is from the Gilserhyu.  QG-I-L-S-E-R-H-Y-U for the record. Was a feast dish  made for your feast when your pole raising occurred?  AThere is just a pot that was put there and that's where the money  went in.  QDo you recall a dish with a dog on one end and a frog  head on the other end?  AYes. The dog dish was carved by Thomas George for both  Kila and I. 23  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  QWas this done at the time before the pole raising?  Alt was after the raising of the pole.  QDo you have that dish now?  THE INTERPRETER:He says -- I asked him if he had the dish  and he said yes, in the   the storage house. And  the crest on the pole is the dog --on the dish one is  the dog and one end is the frog.  BY MR. GRANT:  Q  Who holds the crest of the dog?  A  Mabel Sam, who is Kila, who holds the dog crest.  QDoes the frog head refer to your clan of Laksilyn?  AYes. That frog belongs to all the Laksilyn clan.  MR. GRANT:Maybe go off the record for a minute.   OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  MR. GRANT:Go back on the record.  QFor the record, you have instructed the people here to  get the dish which is now in front of you; is this the  dish you were talking about?  A  Yes. It's the dog plate we call it.  QPrior to this dish being made was there another one that  was used in the old days by Kila and Maxlaxlex  ABefore this one there was another one shaped like a boat  and on the end the dog crest and on the back the frog  crest.  QWas the other one bigger than this one?  AYes, a lot longer than this. It was about ten feet long  and all the berries were put in there, and this is where  the people dipped their berries from the feast.  QThe bigger dish was used at feasts, is that correct?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes.  BY MR. GRANT:  QNow on the side to the camera there are frogs, three  frogs -- you want to turn it around -- and also on the  other side and three frogs; can you tell us why those  three frogs are on both sides?  AThe frogs are painted on these, the crests that belong  to the Laksilyn, and this bowl is used to put in the  money, and the money from here is what is used to pay  the people in the feast hall.  QHave you used this bowl at the feasts of Maxlaxlex or  Laksilyn?  AI used it once not too long ago.  QOn the side closest to you at the end is what appears 24  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  to be a dog, is this the dog that you were referring  to when you described the crest of Kila?  AYes, this is the crest of Kila.  QOn this other side is a frog -- just turn it -- what  appears to be the hed of a frog, is that the frog you  were referring to earlier?  A  When Thomas George carved this he was paid  $40.00. That was paid by myself and Kila.  QDid Thomas George carve it because he was related to  your father and in the same clan? I'm sorry, his wife  was.  ABecause Thomas George was related to Logalgut Row Sam,  because he was related to them, it means it is not ....  Qlt means what?  THE INTERPRETER:Thomas George logalgut rose means Thomas  George is related on -- related to Rose.  MR. GRANT:On which side?  THE INTERPRETER:On the father's side.  MR. GRANT:Could you just stand it up so there's a sense  of the size. Okay. Go off the record.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  MR. GRANT:Go back on the record.  THE INTERPRETER;He said you did the right thing by taking  the picture of it. If there is ever to be a feast of  great importance, this would be taken out where the money  would go in. He said he's tired now, he's spoken long  enough.  MR. GRANT:Could you ask him, I will stop after one or two  more questions. I just want to finish this section then  I will stop.  QBehind you is the blanket that is your blanket you wore  last week; was that blanket made by Mary George?  AYes, Johnny and Mary George and lexalzut.  MR. GRANT:Translate that? What does that mean? Is she  on his father's side?  THE INTERPRETER:Yes, she is on his father's side.  BY MR. GRANT:  QAgain, is that the Wet'suet'en tradition that your relations  on your fatther's side to make your blanket?  AYes it is. That is the same system with the Skeena River  people, yes.  QDo you want to stop for today or do you want to take  a break for ten minutes and then go for a little longer?  THE INTERPRETER:He said to finish it and he wants to go  to bed. 25  DAVID, J.  In Chief  Mr. Grant  MR. GRANT:We'11 stop now and he can go to bed. Go off the  record now.  THE INTERPRETER:Next time he is speaking about father's  side coming.  MR. GRANT:He wants to speak about his father's side and  he wants them to be here.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION    EXAMINATION ADJOURNED AT 10:45 a.m. SINE DIE  I hereby certify the foregoing to  be a true and accurate transcript  of the proceedings herein, to the  best ofmy skill and ability.  Veronica Harper (Ms.)  Official Court Reporter  :VH-0ct.l4/85+B.C.S.R.A. #263


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