Delgamuukw Trial Transcripts

[Commission Evidence of Fred Johnson Vol. 1] British Columbia. Supreme Court Sep 2, 1986

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 1-2  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush    UPON COMMENCING AT 11. 00 A.M. , 2 SEPTEMBER, 1986    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  MR. RUSH: This is the Commission of Mr. Fred Johnson. I'm  Stuart Rush and I'm the counsel on behalf of the plaintiffs. Here today on behalf of the defendant, the  Province of British Columbia, is Mr. Darrell O'Byrne.  The translator will be Mr. Glen Williams.  Now, Mr. Johnson, at the beginning of the Commission  we have to take an affirmation of you, and Veronica Duffy  will be doing that and she will do that now.  GLEN WILLIAMS, Gitksan  Interpreter, duly Affirmed.  FRED JOHNSON, a witness called  on behalf of the Plaintiffs,  duly affirmed, testifies as  follows:  THE WITNESS: Yes, that is what I am going to do. I learned the  laws from my grandparents, that I will do, I tell the  truth.  EXAMINATION IN CHIEF BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, what is your Gitksan name?  A Drifting, drifting way out with frog. Drifting away on  the river. It is a frog floating down the river, way  out. That is what we have on our blankets.  Q Is your name Lelt?  A Yes, that is my name. I was acknowledged by the other  chiefs.  THE INTERPRETER: What he is saying, given that name by some of  the elders, that I was chosen and that name will never  be lost in time.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q What does the name Lelt mean in English?  A My grandfather taught me because only one man to hear  good works. Many time ago.  THE INTERPRETER: What he is saying that there is -- our people  used the snake as a symbol of truth and that is why they  acquired the name Lelt.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Does that Lelt mean snake?  A (In English) Yes. Just snake. Lelt is chief. 1-3  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  MR. O'BYRNE: Mr. Rush, it appears the Translator said something  I don't know what that is but    THE INTERPRETER: I said to him just try to be more specific to  the answer instead of wandering all over.  MR. O'BYRNE: Just again for the record there appears to have  been other material or other statements of the witness  that haven't been translated.  THE INTERPRETER: What he said earlier: We have totem pole,  tells you where some of the stories are, our grandfathers  have passed down to us.  MR. RUSH: You have to translate what Mr. Johnson says and  perhaps you could use the word "I" as if you were actually.  Mr. Johnson' s voice.  THE INTERPRETER: Okay.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q How many years have you been Lelt?  A I was somewhere around 18 years when the elders seen what,  type of person that I was, that I was ready to take the  name of a major chief. I was about 10 years old.  Q What is your house name?  A Wilps Lelt.  Q What is your p'tekt? Your clan?  A Frog.  Q Is the name Lelt, is that a Simooget name?  A That's right. That's chief name.  THE INTERPRETER: I am just telling him I speak the English.  MR. RUSH: What did he just say?  THE INTERPRETER: He was just saying, describing how the chief  was, they tell us just like being a chief of -- just like  a captain on the ship.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q What are the other chiefs in the House of Lelt?  A T'axts'ox and Luulak.  THE INTERPRETER: He's just trying to think of somebody else.  THE WITNESS: Anda Naxnox, that's why we're here. There's lots  of people that attend. They acknowledge and confirm.  The people from the Nass, some Moricetown people come,  Kispiox and Kisgagas.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, What does the name T'axts'ox mean in  English?  A (In English) , well, something too rough.  THE INTERPRETER: He is saying that is something tangled like a 1-4  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  String and unwind it, that means T'axts'ox.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q What does Luulak mean in English?  A Some other people are scared of -- it's a ghost.  Q What was your mother's name?  A Luutxesxw.  Q What does her name mean in English?  A Small person. Small child. That honours the laws of  their forefathers. And people of the tribe are happy.  He's lucky.  (In English) Lucky man talking about it, and lucky.  Thank you.  Q What house did your mother belong to?  A The same house, Lelt.  Q Before you were Lelt, who was Lelt before you?  A Brother.  Q What is your brother's name?  A T'axts'ox. After a while his name was Lelt.  Q Does your brother have an English name?  A Harry 'Wiilitsxw. My father named.  MR. O'BYRNE: Sorry, Mr. Grant but    MR. RUSH: Stuart Rush.  MR. O'BYRNE: Sorry. . . .1 didn't get the name?  MR. RUSH: Harry 'Wiilitsxw.  Q Who was Lelt before your brother?  THE INTERPRETER: He can't really remember right now.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q How old are you today, Mr. Johnson?  A (In English) I think the people say in Indian office,  he says 92 couple of years ago.  THE INTERPRETER: Ninety-two, Indian Affairs in Hazleton said  he was 92 two years ago.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Were you born in 1892?  A (In English) I think so. I feel it!  Q Where Were you born, Mr. Johnson?  A Meziadin Lake.  Q Where is Meziadin Lake?  A Nass River, stikine own. Stikine chief gave it to my  father. During the war. Chief talking about keeping it.  Kitwancool people now.  Q I'll ask you about that in a minute, Mr. Johnson. Before  we get to that, can you tell me how many brothers did you  have. 1-5  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A Frederick. Harry. Luulak is my grandfather.  THE INTERPRETER: Luulak was his grandfather.  MR. RUSH: Luulak was his grandfather?  THE INTERPRETER: Yes.  THE WITNESS: Hlengwax, high chief of this village. He's got  totem pole here.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q How many sisters did you have?  A There was lots but they all died.  Q Are any of your sisters living today?  A No.  THE INTERPRETER: What he is saying, that we have two ladieS  now, one lady's name Luulak and one lady's the name of  T'axts'ox and these are the people that are in the house  that must continue to follow the laws of our people in  feasts and during funerals.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q What is the lady's name that holds -- what is the lady's '  English name that holds the name of T'axts'ox?  A The wife of Mel Morgan.  Q What is her first name?  THE INTERPRETER: His grandchild's his wife. What he is saying  is that these are the two that are paying now. They're  paying now for some of the expenses, that they must do  that and from the ones that look after the community here  BY MR. RUSH :  Q Mr. Johnson, what is the name of the -- the English name  of the person who holds the Gitksan name of Luulak?  A The wife of Gary.  Q Gary? What is Gary's last name or his surname?  A (In English) Gary Williams. He's a good man too. Good  lady too.  Q How many relatives do you have in the House of Lelt?  A There's lOtS. They help each other. They do the same  thing with the lands. They help each other and their  knowledge, they help the ladies of the House of Lelt,  and they care for the land, they look after the land.  THE INTERPRETER: What he is saying, the land is -- that is our  survival, that is what he is saying.  THE WITNESS: That is where we get our life from.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q You told me that your brother's name was -- one of your  brother's names was Frederick; do you remember Frederick's  Gitksan name? 1-6  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A Waxgyooxsxlw.  Q What does that mean in English?  A Waxgyooxsxlw means a frog on the river and it is floating  down. That is why it' s Naxnax.  Q What Was your father's name?  A Chief 'Wiilitsxw.  Q Chief 'wiilitsxw?  A (In English) Yes. Chief Blue Grouse, Chief Mountain  Grouse. Blue Grouse.  THE INTERPRETER: Big Grouse.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Is 'Wiilitsxw, does that mean blue or mountain grouse?  Is that the meaning of the word?  A That's right.  Q What village was your father from?  A Kitwancool.  Q What village was your mother from?  A (In English) This place.  Q Kitwanga?  A (In English) Yes, that's why they built the totem pole.  Q What Was your father's house? What house did he belong  to?  A Kitwancool.  Q Yes. What was his wilp?  A Wilps 'Wiilitsxw. Lots of nephews. Had newphews and  grandchildren.  Q Do you remember what clan your father came from?  A I thought Wolf. Gibuu.  Q Do you remember your grandfather' s name?  THE INTERPRETER: He' s trying to remember. He's trying to find  the name .  THE WITNESS: We always have grandfather. Luulak was always  our grandfather.  MR. RUSH: Luulak?  THE INTERPRETER: Yes.  THE WITNESS : Luulak and Hlengwax.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Was your father's name 'Wiilitsxw? Was this a Simooget  name?  A Waxyetsxw was father's child name. Means walking.  Waxyetsxw means it is always grizzly bear walking.  Q Now, do you know how your father was given the name of  'Wiilitsxw.  A Even when he was small he was selected to hold the name  'Wiilitsxw.  Q How was he selected to hold the name of 'Wiilitsxw? 1-7  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A He had feast, there was feast and they had sitting places  for themselves. The high chair for the chief.  Q Now, Which Of your father's relatives are you close to?  A John Robinson, Kitwancool. Gordon Robinson. They have  lots of girls, ladies from the house, lots of nephews.  Some from the Nass River. And they're returning home to  Kitwancool now they're a little older.  Q Are there any other relatives from your father's house  that you are close to?  A There's some others.  OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: Sam Txawok. Sam Molson is from Hazelton, from  Wolf, and they're related.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q What is Gordon Robinson's Gitksan name?  A Cannot remember his name. Hadoxwmyee is some of their  names . That is names of my relatives, relatives of my  grandfathers, nephews. They have lots of ladies and  they're in Kitwancool. They're having children.  Q What is John Robinson's Gitksan name?  A His mother's name was Hadoxwmyee., I think that's his  name.  (In English) No, maybe I can't -- I forget that. John  'Wiilitsxw. Kitwancool.  Q Now, Mr. Gordon Robinson and Mr. John Robinson are part  of your wilps aren't they?  A Yes, that's correct.  Q Now, can you tell us what responsibility does your  Wilksiwitxw have to the House of Lelt?  A If I die they are the ones that will handle me. They will  put me to ,rest. And all the other chiefs will confirm and  acknowledge.  Q Do they have responsibilities for you while you're alive?  A They know me, they have some responsibility.  THE INTERPRETER: He' s saying that they have the responsibility  of undertaking the funeral. If something happened to  him that is their responsibility. They always acknowledge  him, that they know him, and they always trade with each  other with food.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q When you tell us that they trade with food, what kind of  food does your father's side trade with you?  A Berries. Sometimes meat. Groundhog meat.  Q Now, Mr. Johnson, what happens if there is a dispute 1-8  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q Now, Mr. Johnson, what happens if there is a dispute  between your house, Wilps Lelt, and the house of your  father?  A They gather and they talk to each other.  THE INTERPRETER: He is describing some of the fishing holes  that they own. Gwinilx is one name and Gisga'ooxs is  one name .  BY MR . RUSH :  Q We asked about if there Were any differences between  your Wilksiwitxw and your house and you told us that  people would meet and talk. Would they do anything else?  A They have feasts, whatever the chief says, the other  chiefs second it.  Q Now, are there laws which help decide how differences  will be fixed?  A Yes, there exists, the people work on it, the people are  the -- they discuss the problem and the people deal with  it and usually it comes out to something that -- something  gets resolved from the meeting.  Q How did you learn about the laws?  A My grandparents always talked to me.  Q Where did they teach you? Where did they talk to you  about these?  A When my grandfather in Gitanmaax and when there was nobody  to replace him they called upon me. I was chosen by the  high chiefs. They forced me to have the position and the  helped with money and groundhog, and the chiefs were all  happy and there was a feast.  Q Now, when you lived with your father as a young boy, did  he teach you about being a chief and about how to use  the land?  A Yes.  Q What did be teach you?  A He wanted -- my group here wanted me back from Meziadin  where I lived when I was about the right size, I was  married already. And she was smart. He honoured the  other chiefs. Even to this day we still honour the  chiefs.  Q Now, as a young boy, Mr. Johnson, can you tell us what  your dad -- what your father taught you when you lived  in Meziadin?  A All the trapping, and we had cabins. That is what the  white man have destroyed. We had lots of traps there,  over 300. Bear traps too. Just like good farm. About  the generations.  Q Did you have hunting there too? 1-9  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A (In English) Yes, that's right, he know.  Q What did you hunt there?  A (In English) Beaver, marten, lynx, otter.  Q Okay.  A (In English) Bear. Any kind of food. Fish. Lots of  fish.  Q Where did you fish?  A We hooked salmon from the falls.  Q Did your father teach you how to do that?  A (In English) That's right. They taught us. Taught us  how to save food.  Q What else did he teach you about the territory where you  lived? .  A He taught us about the trapping area and he taught us to  look after animals so they will -- there will be more  animals.  Q Did you live in a house or a cabin in Meziadin?  A Yes, we built a house.  Q Where Was the house?  A Where we take our trout. That is what the white man have,  destroyed now. They didn't tell us anything. We lost  all our traps. Our tools.  Q How big was the Meziadin Village, Mr. Johnson?  A We up to Gisa'anmeldit, and right around Glover, up  pretty close to Stewart. Right around Stewart. $40 for  bear, they got,  Q Now, Mr. Johnson, did your father teach you how to use  the territory where you lived?  A We honoured our father. He taught us how to be lucky,  way to sleep. We must be clean. And that will attract  animals if we are clean. Lots of marten. That was  right, that we had lots of furs, what we call Ligiwil.  Q Ligiwil? Does that mean furs?  A Blankets, HudsOn Bay blankets. And it means groundhog  skins that are sewn together.  Q That is what Ligiwil means?  THE INTERPRETER: Yes.  THE WITNESS: (In English) I get one time Indian agent come  there, Mr. McCullough, good man. Preacher too.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q I am going to ask you about Mr. McCullough in a minute.  I just want to ask you if there were -- did you pick any  berries on the Meziadin territory?  A (In English) That's right, there was lots of berries.  Q Did you - - what does he say?  A There was lots of food, all kinds of food make you better 1-10  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  (In English) No lonesome place. Happy place.  Q Did your family teach you where to find berries and how  to pick them?  A They taught us how to dry berries. They dried berries.  They rolled them up, soap berries, all kinds.  Q What other kinds of berries? You mentioned soap berries,  what other kind did you have there?  A (In English) That's right, everybody see.     OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: Huckleberries. Feel better when you eat. Nice  cook.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q You told us about your father who taught you about the  territory and some of the animals and the berries that  are on the territory, did anybody else from your family  teach you about things when you were a boy?  A When I returned to Kitwanga that is what the people taught  me here as well.  Q Do you remember the first time when you returned to  Kitwanga?  A I was married and I was somewhere around over 20 years.  Q After you moved to Kitwanga have you lived most of your  life here in Kitwanga?  A Yes, just Kitwanga.  MR. RUSH: Okay.  THE INTERPRETER: What he is saying, eventually there will be a  transfer to Chief Luulak and with the acknowledgement  and confirmation of Chief Hlengwax.  BY. MR. RUSH:  Q Now, what was your mother's Wilksiwitxw?  A We had lots of Wilksiwitxw, from Kispiox. Albert Tait.  Can't really remember the Simooget name of Albert Tait.  I think T'elgahuux. Head chief from Kispiox.  THE INTERPRETER: That' s his relation too.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Are you close to T'elgahuux?  A Yes.  THE INTERPRETER: He is close.  THE WITNESS: (In English) You know the story too.  MR. RUSH: Yes.  Q You told us that your two brothers, Frederick and Harry 1-11  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A That's right.  Q How many brothers did you have altogether?  THE INTERPRETER: His uncle Isaac.  THE WITNESS: Isaac's name was T'axts'ox at one time and he had  a house here.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q That was your father's brother, Isaac?  THE INTERPRETER: That' s his mother' s brother.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q You told us you had lots of sisters but they all died?  A Yes.  Q Do you remember, Mr. Johnson, how many sisters you had?  A There was lots.  Q Which if your brothers -- you told us that all of your  sisters had died. Are all your brothers dead as well?  A They're all dead now.  Q And how about -- I'm SOrry, Mr. Johnson, go ahead?  A That is why we have two people now, Gary' s daughter,  that we must fulfill the law that our people will be  buried to take care of it after it has been buried as  well.  Q Mr. Johnson, what was your wife's name?  A Niilox, Gitksan name.  Q What was her English name?  A Maggie.  Q What village was she from?  A Kitwancool. She was small child. That is why Gordon  Johnson name is Malii. That is daughter of Malii. That  is why we have lot of grandchildren now. They're strong  and now there's -- how they honour their grandfathers,  and they're knowledgeable about their survival.  Q Do you remember when you were married?  A I was somewhere around 20 years, around there. At  Miinskanist. Mr. Edgar was name of the half-breed  preacher. He had lots of family too.  Q Is Miinskanist, is that at Cedarvale?  A Yes, Miinskanist, very close to Big Mountain.  Q Was Maggie's last name, was that Williams?  A Yes. Looked after his uncle.  Q What clan was your -- was Maggie from?  A Lax Gibuu.  Q Was Malii Simooget chief?  A Yes, head.  Q Was he from Kitwancool?  A Yes. Totem pole too. Lots totem pole. Many years ago 1-12  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  before the burning.  Q Is Malii's totem pole still standing today?  A Maybe. Kitwancool looks after it.  Q Kitwancool looks after it if it is there?  A Any totem pole he know.  Q Mr. Johnson, Was your marriage to Maggie, was that  arranged by your parents?  A Yes, they selected. I must look after, it was selected.  Q It was selected?  THE INTERPRETER: Yes. You just can't pick anybody that would  just be -- that wasn't very knowledgeable. There was a  selection that had to go into it.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q How did your mother and father and Maggie's mother and  father select you for the marriage?    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE INTERPRETER: It was from his side that selected Maggie.  His real relations. That he will look after his wife.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q What Was important about Maggie, about selecting Maggie  as your wife?  THE INTERPRETER: He said they seen me as a leader, will eventually be Simooget, and that is what the -- how they  selected me.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Was there any meeting of the families where the selection  occurred?  A Yes, they give out gifts. And they give out gifts to the  relatives of my wife. We ate on the wedding table. And  the preacher talk and the blessing.  Q Now, was there a relationship -- what was the relationship  between your Wilksiwitxw and the House of Malii?  A They're all in Kitwancool, John Robinson, Gordon Robinson  and all the children and all the women.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: They're all related to -- they know each other  is a chief. They live peacefully with each other.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q Was the House of Malii at that time larger than your 1-13  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  father's house?  A There was lots in the House of Malii. They had a song  and totem pole and his own Ada'ox.  Q Mr. Johnson, Were there lots Of people in the House of  Malii?  A Yes, there was lots.  Q Were there more people in the House of Malii than in  your father's house?  A Almost the same. They're careful of that and they have  to follow the law.  Q Now, were you encouraged to help your wife's family in  any wax?  A That's right.  Q How would you do that?  A I was happy and I always helped. I had more luck in  return.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: Anything, sometimes I trap and I give them some  furs and I sometimes give them some money.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q When did your wife Maggie die, Mr. Johnson?  A Three years ago.  Q Did you and she live together here in Kitwanga?  A Yes.  Q Did you have some children?  A Lots.  Q How many did you have?  A Dora. Hannah. Margaret. Effie. Sterling.  (In English) . What next? And a little baby too.  OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: Esther. Pauline Morgan. And they're just  regenerating now. After they're married they have more  grandchildren.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q You must have lots of grandchildren, do you?  A Yes.  Q I bet you have some great grandchildren. Yes?  A That's right.  Q Mr. Johnson, what is -- I think you told us before that  the Village of the House of Lelt was Kitwanga, am I  right in that? 1-14  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A That's right.  Q Are there Other houses at Kitwanga?  A That's right, that's the way it was. Yes.  Q Can you tell us what Wilnat'ahl means?  A Where a number of people are sometimes, there's lots.  They judge things. And they work together. And they  have power as well. They have spokesmen as well.  Q Can you tell us who is part of your Wilnat'ahl here in  Kitwanga?  A Some of them are in Kispiox. T'elgamuux that is where  our story originates.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  BY MR. RUSH :  Q Are these relations -- SOrry?  A The new people that are standing now are Gary's wife and  Malcolm's wife. A lot of our Wilnat'ahl have died. They  were quite big when they died.  THE INTERPRETER: These two he named are the ones that will  have to carry on with the Wilnat'ahl.  THE WITNESS: These two will also co-ordinate my death. They  have to be responsible and take charge when I die.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q What does your Wilnat'ahl do at the feast?  A They invite people they discuss things, whatever they  deciding. They must be reconfirmed power in their own  community, with the life and food.  Q Is 'Wii Hlengwax part of your Wilnat'ahl?  A That's right. He's more of a head Chief. He's pretty  close.  (In English) This is here my table, another one  here and another one here.  OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE INTERPRETER: He is just talking how they're seated at a  feast. That he sits here and 'wii Hlengwax sits here,  and others down the rank, and when they discuss things  or have a problem they discuss it amongst themselves at  a table.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q Where does 'Wii Hlengwax sit? Does 'Wii Hlengwax sit  close to you?  A When 'Wii Hlengwax speaks all the people that with him 1-15  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Wilnat'ahl, will honour what 'Wii Hlengwax said and will  implement some of the things, and they also acknowledge  'Wii Hlengwax as higher chief than me, and they respect  him.  OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE INTERPRETER: He sits on his left side.  THE WITNESS: We always communicate, even today we still communicate. We discuss things that are right even to this  day.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Now, is Haa'kxw part of your Wilnat'ahl?  A That's right.  Q Where does Haa'kxw sit at the feast?  A He sits close to me, he Simooget. Roy Harris is Haa'kxw.  He went to school, he smart, and he drinks heavy now.  Spoils the country.  Q What is 'wii Hlengwax's name?  A Jim, I think Jim. Jim Laxnitz.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE INTERPRETER: He lives --he was mentioning the name of Jim  Laxnitz but wasn't too certain.  THE WITNESS: He lives at Miinskanist now. He's the son of a  half-breed. Burke his name is. He was chosen by the  chiefs that he would be the -- take the name of  'Wii Hlengwax because there was nobody else that was  left, but he take the name 'Wii Hlengwax. His name was  Herbert Burke.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Is his name Herbert Burke?  THE INTERPRETER: Yes.  OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: Yes.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Is Haalus - Hlengwax part of your Wilnat'ahl?  A That' s right, they' re  We shared a common  territory with him. We know each other.  Q Mr. Johnson, has your house always lived at Kitwanga?  Has the House of Lelt always lived here at Kitwanga? 1-16  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A Yes.  THE INTERPRETER: That is what he can remember.  THE WITNESS: That is why there is totem poles. Everybody now  long, many years ago, any place still good yet.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q The villages or K'alts'ap of Wilps Lelt, are there other  villages that are in the history of the Wilps Lelt?  A No. I can't. When there was -- after the flood they  waded through the water.    WITNESS SINGS SONG  THE WITNESS: After the flood went down, it was like that all  over .  BY MR. RUSH :  Q What was like that all over?  THE INTERPRETER: He is describing -- there was -- the song  describes a rocky area and he describing how there was a  mountain goat on this one particular side where they  landed after the flood, and as he looked up he could see  Gwunwakx, which means goat in our language up in the  mountain. That is part of the song. That is how they  seen the goat and the mountain after the flood. He was  saying that other tribes were also, drifted all over the  place during and after the flood. The Nishgas.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Is What you have been telling us part of the Ada'ox of  the House of Lelt?  A Yes. The song too.  MR. RUSH: Yes. Now, Mr. Johnson, we have to take a break, have  to take an adjournment if we could put it that way to  change the tape on our camera. So it might also be a  good time to take a break for lunch.  Is that agreeable, Mr. O'Byrne?  MR. O'BYRNE: That' s agreeable to me.  MR. RUSH: We' 11 just stop now for about half an hour, about 45  minutes, and we'll start again this afternoon. Is that  all right with you?  THE WITNESS: Oh yes.  RECESSED FOR LUNCH AT 12.4 0 P.M.  UPON RESUMING AT 1. 40 P.M. 1-17  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  MR. RUSH: All right, Mr. Johnson, we are going to come back and  start the Commission again. I'll be asking you a few  more questions and, just before we start, Glen, I just  wonder if when you're translating keep your voice up a  little higher because in this big room it is a little hard  to hear. Again, please tell us even if it is repeated the  expressions that Mr. Johnson uses.  THE INTERPRETER: Yes.  EXAMINATION IN CHIEF BY MR. RUSH (CONTINUED) :  Q Mr. Johnson, jUst before lunch you were telling us about  what happened after the flood and you were about to tell  us that other tribes had drifted, and I wonder if you  can tell us some more about that?  A They were searching for land and that's when they first  acquired the land. Anything else?  Q Where did they first find the land?  A They knew the location of T'emlaxamit near Hazelton. The  Skeena was only a small river at that time and as the  years went by it got bigger and bigger.  Q How many years ago was that? How long ago was that?  A (In English) Long time. You know, somebody more know.  Many years for that. Thousand years, something like  that, maybe more.  Q Where did they go after T'emlaxamit?  A They drifted along the river and that is when Lelt first  discovered their land and they made a song out of it,  Gwunwakx.  Q What is the song that they made? What does the song say?  WITNESS SINGS SONG  THE WITNESS: That' s the song they sung and that's the way they  got their "food there. There was plenty of food around  there.  THE INTERPRETER: He' s describing a raft. He's describing there  was these logs that they used similar to a raft, put them  together and that is what they drifted on, and they came  to a place where there was baby goats on the rock. They  were on the mountain so just near the land where they  landed. There was a baby goat, what we call Wakx.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Where did Lelt Start his jOurney?  A They came from somewhere around Black Water when they  were first starting to search. They had a feast where  the high chiefs, the Simooget had a feast and they made 1-18  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Sure that everybody was at that particular feast.  Also the other thing was to get ready for war, and  there was some people that didn't attend that feast.  They were out hiding and they were out hiding around the  place known as Kispiox. That is what the name of Kispiox  is, hiding, places where to hide.  Q Why did Lelt leave Black Water?  A They knew before what was going to happen, they heard of  other lands, other places. They heard, that is why they  said -- set out to put strength in other land, put their  power into the other lands.  Q How many people went with Lelt?  A Lots. His own Wilnat'ahl accompanied him. Not too many,  just right numbers. They knew it was strong, they knew  it was healthy.  Q What Other houses Went with Lelt?  A All of them, Lelt, Luulak and T'axts'ox.  Q Any others?  A There was a fair amount of members and later on the other  people followed.  Q Who Stayed behind?  A There was enough that left and then when the people that  were left behind knew that it was safe and they had  acquired the land, there was food, the others followed  and there was other nations, like the Tsimshian that went  after the place called Anduduun.  Q Did any high chief leave before Lelt left?  A Before they left they got ready and they always talked.  Before they left they talked.  Q But people came down from Black Water at different times,  was there any chief that came down from Black Water before  Lelt came down?  A They know it themselves who left there.  THE INTERPRETER: And he is saying that the Simooget in the sky  was the one that guided them.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q Did T'elgamuux, did he leave Black Water?  A Yes, just recently left Black Eater. Then they had more  children, they had lots of children, that's why there's  information, Yooxhlxwm.  THE INTERPRETER: For future generations, he added on.  MR. RUSH: What is the Gitksan word that you used?  THE INTERPRETER: Yooxhlxwm.  MR. RUSH: What does that mean?  THE WITNESS: (In English) If you catch them you will be all  right. Keep trying. 1-19  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE INTERPRETER: That' s learning. You're told stories, the  history so that you are growing up to be wise, smart,  and be rich.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q Mr. Johnson, Was Melulek a Chief that left Black water?  A Yes.  Q Did Melulek go with T'elgamuux or did Melulek go    A Yes, T'elgamuux.  Q Where did T'elgamuux and Melulek, where did they settle?  A It's always been Kispiox. That's always been Kispiox.  Q Did Haa'kxw go with Lelt when they left Black Water?  A That's the way it was. That's still the same today.  Q When Haa'kxw and Lelt left Black water Where did they  first stop? Where did they first settle when they  drifted?  A Kispiox.  Q After Kispiox where did they go?  A They went for the land. Same what I said a while ago.  They helped each other. They talked to each other.  They asked each other. They talked to the big chief.  They talked to Luulak and T'axts'ox, talked to the big  chief. They had to make a totem pole. After they came  to the land where there was food, they had to make a  totem pole .  Q Mr. Johnson, where did Haa'kxw and Lelt- where was their  territory when they stopped their travelling?  A Same thing I told you while ago, and my song, same thing  I told you. Haa'kxw owns Anskeexs. Gwinilx. They had  to bury somebody and that is how they acquired the land.  Giskaast had to repay their expenses for burying somebody  That is how they own Anskeexs.  Q What territory did Lelt own]  A The same. When Lelt, Giskaast, same Gisga'ooxs.  T'axts'ox owns . Ansimlaan, Gisga'ooxs, that is where the  high chiefs got their food. And they speak for those  territories. That's why they speak for those territories  and that is why they have longer life.  Q When Lelt and Haa'kxw arrived at these territories Was  anybody here then? Was any other tribe here at that  time?  A No, they didn't see any. They were the first ones there.  They were the first ones there. Just like other places.  They hold and acknowledged or confirmed with each other.  And that's -- it's peaceful, they're happy about their 1-20  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  property, they know who own different lands and that's  how peace was amongst the people.  Q Did Axti Hix COme later Or Was he there?  A He's Kitwanga as well. He's head chief of the Wolf in  Kitwanga.  Q When did Axti Hix COme to Kitwanga?  A Long time ago. It was long time ago as well.  Q Did he COme before Lelt?  A They did same things after the flood, when it was open  just like in the springtime, you know. They look for  good places to grow and just looking for good land.  Q You mentioned earlier, Mr. Johnson, about Sedan Creek?  A Sedan Creek?  Q Yes.  A Sedan Creek?  Q Do you know Sedan Creek?  A How far is it from   THE INTERPRETER: He is asking the question -- how far is it  from Gwunwakx?  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Where is Gwunwakx?  A The same place as Gisga'ooxs and Gwinilx.  Q Sedan Creek I think is not too far from Kitwanga?  A No, just around Gisga'ooxs.  Q When Lelt and Haa'kxw Came from Black Water did they  drift the whole way or on the raft that you described?  A That's right, that's the way it was. Saxsgan, that means  raft.  (In English) Logging canoe.  MR. RUSH: He said logging canoe?  THE INTERPRETER: Yes.  THE WITNESS: They tied logs together, they tied -- they used  the skin of the bear, the black bear or the grizzly bear,  and cut them in just little strips and made a rope just  like the skin of a cow.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q What did the people eat when they came down on the raft?  A Fish. Fish. Real fish and berries and Xhlayax. Grease  from the ooligans. Grease from the bear. They had tea  -- they made tea from the plants that they can pick during  the winter, and when you boiled it it was kind of a red  dye that came from it. They used something like that,  raspberries for tea as well. They preserved the meat of  the bear in big strips and preserved it so it will last  during the winter. And they built something like a house 1-21  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  on four posts and there was a little building where they  put all the meat. So it won't spoil during the winter.  THE INTERPRETER: And he said if anybody needs food they always  shared the food with the people who need it.  THE WITNESS: When they have a feast they announces out publicly  in the feast that if you are given something you announce  it publicly in the feast that you are returning something  that was given to you. They gave it to a Simooget.  (In English) It be all right to keep talking?  MR. RUSH: I have another question, Mr. Johnson.  Q When Haa'kxw and Lelt got to Kispiox, were there people  at Kispiox already?  A There was lots there. There was lots of people living  there. They know who they are, that is why they're chief  now.  Q When Haa'kxw and Lelt stopped their journey, where did  they build their houses?  A Right here, Kitwanga. There was a house, Wilp Baxlats.  There was Wilp Baxlats here and there was totem poles.  When they were -- after they came here there was laws  that were governed. They had to know the law of the  community. There was other people that were here and par  of the area where Gubihlgan holds territory is at  Xsagaldiiest, Small Oliver. When one person died,  Gubihlgan, there was nobody to bury this particular person.  T'axts'ox went about and invited people to come to a  feast. This way they pay for the expenses of this person  that had owned Xsagaldiiest, and they invited the people  who had owned Xsagaldiiest, and they jointly had a feast,  and Gubihlgan paid all the expenses, funeral expenses.  Gubihlgan requested a blanket that held the authority  but Xhlayax put in their possession and that was done  publicly at a feast. That Gubihlgan holds authority over  Xhlayax and nobody else tells them what to do on that  Xhlayax. Nobody can talk about, just Gubihlgan.  There's a lady in our village right now, her name is  Florence Daniels, she's the daughter of a chief, chief's  daughter. She does not attend too many feasts right now  and she 's not really active in the community.  Q If I can just ask you to explain a word you used, Mr.  Johnson? You talked about the people building houses at  Kitwanga and you mentioned a wilp called Wilp Baxlats;  what does that mean?  A Wilp of giving. From the land, the things he acquired  from the land.  (In English) Every time, every whole summer.  Everybody know. 1-22  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q You told us there were houses at Kitwanga when they  arrived, who owned those houses?  A Jeffrey Morgan. Axti Hix. Lelt. Us.  Q Now, what was --do you know where Haa'kxw's territory  was located?  A Same place I said a while ago, Anskeexs, Ada'ox, they  are -- Simooget in the sky helps them on what their needs  are.  Q Where is Haalus' territory?  A Seven Sisters' area. Miinskanist area, they have their  own government.  Q Now, Mr. Johnson, can you tell me does Lelt speak for  Haalus?  A If they ask me to speak for them I will speak for them  but we're always to go. We always discuss before we say  anything so that we make everybody happy and that people  will be together on things that we do.  Q Does Lelt speak for Haa'kxw?  A Yes, I'm the one that must speak for them. I have to.  'Nidinsxw. It means I must approve of it. If I'm not  sure I will go back and ask.    OFF THE RECORD  BY MR . RUSH :  Q Mr. Johnson, does Lelt speak for T'axts'ox?  A I speak as well.  Q And for Luulak?  A Yes, I speak for Luulak, and we know each other, we know  what we have to do. And they know.  Q Now, Mr. Johnson, earlier you told us about 'Wii Hlengwax  and you told us that you're very close to 'Wii Hlengwax?  A Yes.  Q Did 'Wii Hlengwax come from Black Water?  A From what I understand of that all the Wilnat'ahl came  from Black Water area. After a while they find land up  in Sedan Creek and up around --up further on the Sedan  Creek, and I am not too sure whether Wilnat'ahl, whether  my father or my father's father.  THE INTERPRETER: I just asked him if he was tired.  THE WITNESS: No, I just remember everything. When you talk I  remember .  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Are there songs for the territory at the Seven Sisters'  Mountain?  A Yes, there is. 1-23  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q Do you know the song?  A And a dance. Yes, I know.  WITNESS SINGS SONG  THE INTERPRETER: What he said a while ago, it was just like,  just something like a show. God is helping, that is  part of the song, that is what he just translate just  now. God is helping me.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q What does the SOng mean? Thank you for singing the song,  Mr. Johnson, but tell us what it means?  A They made a song of the mountain because God has guided  us.  THE INTERPRETER: He is describing a knoll right near Seven  Sisters where there is lots of berries and there's names  with mountains.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q Do you know the names of the mountains?  A There' s Seven Sisters. . . .  THE INTERPRETER: He' s describing Seven Sisters as it looks  like there are human beings on each peak, and there's a  smaller hill there that looks like the son, and that is  what the name of the hill -- that particular hill is  the son of the other bigger peaks. Laxguhlxw, it means  the child of.  THE WITNESS: (In English) Any more to say?  MR. RUSH: Yes.  THE WITNESS: (In English) Go ahead.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q Are there fishing sites that are located around the  Seven Sisters' territory]  A Gitluusek means, it's place to get fish. Down the bottom  of Miinskanist, Cedarvale.  MR. RUSH: Maybe you could translate?  THE WITNESS: They make these dip nets but they make them out  of plant and they made them long enough so you can get  about 10 fish in there, and there was -- and they had  big shafts on it, about three fathoms long, and that is  some of the sites they have on the bottom of the Seven  Sisters.  BY MR . RUSH  Q Do these sites have particular names? Are there special 1-24  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Gitksan names for these sites?  A Gitluusek, there was just west of Miinskanist, there's  a village called Miinskanist. There's an old village  there, lots of people, that's where the monkey took one  of our relatives. The relative was lost for about a  year just above Gitsegukla, around Seven Sisters. That  is when he returned.    WITNESS SINGS A SONG  THE WITNESS: When the relative finally returned to this village  this is the song he sang, and they invited guests, other  chiefs to witness the song and the return of that relative.  (In English) Everybody laugh, make happy. Clap.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q What does the SOng mean?  A When he is going down the mountain after he was kidnapped  by the P'ekis, he had two kids, that is why we inherit  that one name, Noxs P'ekis and Lax Seel - Ganeda. Nox  P'ekis is the name.  Q Mr. Johnson, What Was the name of the relative Who was  kidnapped by the monkey?  A I don't really know.  THE INTERPRETER: He figures it will be T'uxmihlxw.  THE WITNESS: We went all the way to Gitsalasxw. As big people,  I can't really remember the name of the mountain, I think  it was Roche de Boule, but I 'm not sure. That is where a  lucky man was walking around, he was chasing after a whit,  bear when he was, just near the white bear, and he kicked  the ground and the mountain cracked in two.  THE INTERPRETER: That is why he is describing the mountain  going in two.  THE WITNESS: (In English) That is big story. Somebody know  more than me. That's right. Andrew Anduduun, he knows.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, I just want to ask you a little bit more  about the story of the monkey and your relative; did  the monkey have a name? Is there a Gitksan name?  A She's the daughter of a high chief. Everybody knew that.  Her name was Noxs P'ekis.  Q But that Was -- that Was your relative that was taken but  is there a Gitksan word for monkey? What is the word you  use?  A That's P'ekis. White people say monkey.  Q White people say monkey? 1-25  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A I guess so.  Q What do the Gitksan people say?  A P'ekis.  Q Is there a Crest that -- is there a Gitksan Crest that  comes from this story of the monkey?  A Yes, there's Ayuks. It's on the pole. Axgoodim Haxt'akxw  He's a powerful man with a bow and arrow and they're on  the totem pole now, bow and arrow as well. That is why  you get, we have the name Axgoodim Haxt' akxw .  Ayuks means shoot in our Gitksan.  Q Is that on one of the poles out in front of your house?  A Yes, that's the one.  Q Does this Ayuks belong to' the House of Lelt?  A Yes. There are other people that come and confirm and  acknowledge and help out the Big Simgiigyet.  Q What you have told us about the kidnapping of your relative and this crest, can you tell me how long ago this  happened?  A Long time. Long time.  Q Mr. Johnson, who told you about this?  A Oh, all my own chiefs. And Lelt was, and confirmed by  Hlengwax and Luulak as well.  Q Do you tell the other chiefs at a feast what you have  told us here today?  A Yes, and they know that we own the P'ekis, belongs to me.  The people in the feast know that. I'm the one that own  that name. They had long tail, they try to grab the tail  and they have -- in the feast they have big tail walking  around amongst the chiefs and people try to grab the  tail, and they miss the tail and they have fun. There's  maybe little kids that are walking beside one of the big  tail and what they're doing is picking up peanuts and  eating them. People have fun.  (In English) That's where the children, that's all  right. Go ahead.  Q Okay. Did your mother tell you about the relative and  the monkey as well?  A Yes, he did. Yes, we always used to talk about.  Q How big is the territory over there at Seven Sisters?  A That's long, big, goes all the way to Small Oliver Creek.  Q Does Small Oliver Creek have a Gitksan name?  A Xsagaldiiest. Soap berries. There's lots of soap  berries up in there. Xsagaldiiest, that is what they  call.  Q Xsagaldiiest, does that mean soap berries? Maybe I should  ask what does Xsagaldiiest mean?  THE INTERPRETER: What was that again? 1-26  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  MR. RUSH: He's referred to Xsagaldiiest -- I'm not saying it  properly I'm sure but....  THE WITNESS: (In English) Xsagaldiiest, soap berries. Just  like ice cream, same kind pail and fill up just like  ice cream, that is what they name Xsagaldiiest. There's  lots of soap berries all around it. This is how they  name the creek.  MR. RUSH: I think we might have had enough for today. Maybe we  should adjourn now until tomorrow.  THE WITNESS: Yes.  MR. RUSH: Thank you very much for singing those songs for us.  Will you be ready to tell us some more tomorrow?  THE WITNESS: Oh yes.  MR. RUSH: Maybe what we' 11 do, I've talked to Mr. O'Byrne, and  he thinks we can start tomorrow at 11: 00 o'clock. Will  that be all right with you again?  THE WITNESS: Yes.  MR. RUSH: We'll stop now. Thank you.  PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED AT 3.00 P.M. TO BE RESUMED  3 SEPTEMBER, 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)  (formerly Harper)  Official Court Reporter  AVD/jg-Sept. 15/86    B.CS.R.A. #263  NOTE: Transcript continues at page 1-2 8 1-28  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  GLEN WILLIAMS, Gitksan Interpreter  Previously Affirmed:  FRED JOHNSON, a witness called on  behalf of the Plaintiffs,  previously affirmed, testifies  as follows:    UPON COMMENCING AT 11.35 A.M. , 3 SEPTEMBER , 1986  MR. RUSH: Mr. Johnson, we can start the Commission again. It  is the second day of September -- the 3rd, and I have a  few more questions to ask' you from what you told us  yesterday. Can you translate that please?  THE WITNESS: Yes.  EXAMINATION IN CHIEF BY MR. RUSH, (Continued) :  Q Mr. Johnson, yesterday you told us about the Village of  Gitluusek; can you tell me who first settled at  Gitluusek?  A Hlengwax.  Q How long ago did 'Wii Hlengwax settle there?  A Long time ago. It was at the time when people were first  acquiring land. They seen it was a good site to go there  to fish. Lots of fish there. The river is narrow --or  the water is narrow there and there's lots of fish. They  live together. If there's anybody that wanted fish they  would come to that village and get fish there. After a  while it grew and grew to be a village, and it's just at  the west of Miinskanist. They lived around the food.  Q Did Haalus live with 'Wii Hlengwax at Gitluusek?  A Yes. Haalus lived. They all shared in expenses and the  work, and they always communicated with each other.  Q Before 'Wii Hlengwax came to Gitluusek, where did 'Wii  Hlengwax come from?  A I'm sure that he came from a place called Anxt'im'it.  That is at the headwater of Sedan Creek. There's a lot  of game there, a lot of bear, and there's a lot of porcupine, 'wii Hlengwax owns that territory up in that  area, that is what his father told him.  Kispiox, Wilnat'ahl, would always be together with  Wilnat'ahl from Kitwanga. They always communicated. They  always discussed issues that were discussed with  Wilnat'ahl.  Q Mr. Johnson, when did 'Wii Hlengwax and Haalus come to  Kitwanga?  A They always communicated with the Kispiox chiefs. They 1-29  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  knew each other. They were always ready for war. They  didn't know when to predict any wars and they always  communicated. They worked in gathering food and they've  always communicated with each other.  Q When did they abandon Gitluusek?  A It was at the time when people were moving, T'axts'ox,  went to Gisga'ooxs, 'Wii Hlengwax was around the Seven  Sisters area.  Q 'Wii Hlengwax came to Kitwanga?  A What everybody did what was 'Wii Hlengwax did. Yes, he  did. And the same with the Axti Hix. From 'Niidilx  they moved around as well.  Q Why did 'Wii Hlengwax come to Kitwanga from Gitluusek?  A It was the time at the war. There was a war going. The  big chiefs got together, they gathered, they met and they  got ready for the war. They prepared some cedar bark  into rope things, they tied it into a rope.  Q What did they do with it?  A They decided they were going to pile up on the hill,  that's where he had the war will be. That's where the  battle will be. All the chiefs, Axti Hix, Haa'kxw and  others, T'ewelasxw. There was always names, they had all  names . They had good idea that they were thought out and  planned out. Everybody helped out, and the ladies, they  prepared the food. There was lots of food prepared,  berries, fish, grease from fish. Small blueberries and  soap berries. And there was big piles of food.  Q Big piles of?  THE INTERPRETER: Big piles of food.  THE WITNESS: The war was coming from the Haida. Skidegate.  And Tsimshian people will come. And when they came  there was -- they had people watching on the hills. They  had signs, signals. They used a cloth and they used  different noises though people were perched on different  hills. They had all instructions. There were people  stationed at certain peaks. They used the two canoe up  the Skeena to Kitwanga.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Who did?  THE INTERPRETER: The Haida.  THE WITNESS: The T'a'ots'ip was ready. They had logs, really  big logs. They tied them right around the whole hill  these logs. There was about maybe three or more logs  that were on top of the hill that locked the people in.  They used the hooves of the cariboo. They hung them  together almost like a rattle, that was their telephone. 1-30  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  When they were coming, they came at night. There was  one man perched on a tree. He was hiding on the tree.  There was a small spring, it was just like a mirror  that spring. There was a reflection in the spring of  the man perched on a tree right around where the .  T'a'ots'ip is now. There was people that are still  watched at certain locations, waved different signals to  each other. When somebody dropped the cariboo hooves  they would make that kind of noise. . . .  WITNESS INDICATES NOISE  THE WITNESS: When they heard that particular noise, it was a  last-minute warning that everybody had to get up on the  side. When the invasion came up on the hill, you know,  the logs that were tied up on the hill, when the invasion  came they cut the ropes, cut the ropes and let them roll  on the invading tribe. They were all crushed and they  were all flattened out. There were real strong men that  were killed as well from the invading tribe. There's a  totem pole that's situated here that shows some of the  humans that were placed on the pole that shows the story.  I don' t know where that totem pole is now. Maybe has  sold it. I liked that totem pole. Maybe you could look  around Sargeant's in Hazelton, maybe they sold it.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q Mr. Johnson, Where is T'a'ots'ip?  A Open valley. Below the white man's hall. You know where  it is.  (In English) Somebody show you.  Q Yes, somebody did. Do they call it Battle Fort today?  A Yes. That is what we say, it is T'a'ots'ip, the place  of the war. This hill is named T'a'ots'ip as well.  Q Can you just tell us what T'a'ots'ip looked like? Were  there houses there?  A Yes, there was a house. The House of T'axts'ox, the  house of the big chiefs. I am not too sure but I think  Sakxwmhiigook and other chiefs too.  Q Did they have houses up on the hill?  A Yes.  Q Did the Chiefs also have houses down in the hill? Were  there any houses at the base of the hill?  A They dug the ground out. There was lots of holes that  were dug around the base of the hill but the houses were  on top of the hill.  Q Can you tell us, Mr. Johnson, why did the Haida come to 1-31  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  invade the Gitksan? Why did they come to invade  T'axts'ox and the other big chiefs?  A There was a battle at Kispiox and Luutxesxw, our lady  was taken or kidnapped. They took a small girl. They  took them to the Haida village. The Haida people know  now. This young girl, young princess valued for the  chiefs. She shouldn't marry anybody who doesn't have any  knowledge. She had to marry a chief, that is our law,  to marry a chief. Luutxesxw was really worried. If it  was a boy that was born of the Luutxesxw the Haida  people would kill it because it was a boy. If it was a  girl they would let it live. That was the law of the  Haida people in the village. This is why Luutxesxw, at  night she cut -- got a knife and cut the head off the  chief in the Haida, and that is what you see on the totem  pole today.  She took this head and put it in the canoe, at the  front of the canoe, and there was a child or one or two  childs in the canoe. She took a canoe and she was going  to head home, this was at night. Nobody noticed her.  There was some people that assisted her.  The lady had - - they had things that were pin marks  in her arm that were -- that indicated that she was of  royal blood and a princess in that house, that she just  would not marry anybody. She had to marry a chief.  As she was nearing the mouth of the Skeena there was  a bear called Mediigimxwooxhl. It's on the -- there's a  bear on the pole right now. That's the figure, it's a  figure on the totem pole now of a bear with the water.  It's on the totem pole. The bear put his paws right on  the canoe but the bear did not tip the canoe. She then  proceeded up - - she wanted to go up the Skeena but she  didn't -- she was lost, so she continued on and eventually  came onto,the village of Kincolith where she was taken in  She stay here for about -- she proceeded on after  about one or two months at Kincolith, then proceeded up  to another village called Gitxatin or Gitwinksihlxw. Then  stay there for a time, then proceeded to Gitlaxdamiks.  There was a few totem poles there. She stay in major  chief's houses.  The people talked, they seen a bear at the river.  They seen a lot of coho in the river. And as the children  of Luutxesxw were getting bigger, they were getting older,  they were getting a bit meaner, and they made bows and  arrows and they shot the bears. They bought them.  There was no guns at that time but it was still good.  Just some place had guns, very few guns. 1-32  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  They were on their way home. They used the grease  trail, it was the trail, a road. They always got game  along the trail because the children of Luutxesxw were  quite mean. They went by Kitwancool, a place called  Kitwancool , the village of Kitwancool. They stay there  with Kitwancool for a while. Kitwancool looked after  them because there was always wars at that time. When  they arrived in Kitwanga. . . .  Q What happened when they arrived there?  A They counted each other. They inspected each other. The  people inspected them. They wanted -- they paid them.  It was a good war. Lots of groceries, lots of fish.  Humpback coho too. There was lots of fish. There was  fish, spring salmon, coho and lots of trout in the lakes.    OFF THE RECORD  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, What was the name Of the Kitwancool village  where you said they went and stayed for a while? I have  it as Xskiigyeenit.  A I put the village, it was a narrow valley and there was  mountains on both sides, that is why Kitwancool get the  name narrow.  Q Mr. Johnson, when Luutxesxw -- I'll get the name correctly  yet -- when Luutxesxw, when she was taken to where the  Haida live, who took her there?  A That ' s what I heard. Only thing I heard was what I told  you earlier. The Haidas took LuUtxesxw and give her to  a family. Luutxesxw didn't want any of her children to  be killed. That's why he cut the head off the Haida,  that is our Ada'ox on the totem pole, there are names on  the pole. There are people that care for those. They  care for me. They watch for me. There are people that  look after me and if anything happens to me, if I should  die, there are people that will take care of me, that  will bury me properly as well as make expense to cover  my funeral.  Q Mr. Johnson, what was Luutxesxw's -- what was her son's  name?  A Neek' t.  Q What did She do with the head Of the chief that she cut  off where the Haida lived?  A She carried it around in the canoe. She took the --  Luutxesxw took the tongue of the chief and used it as a  soother. As she was paddling across from the Haida she  used as a soother on the little baby when she was crying. 1-33  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  You see it on the totem pole today. That is what Neek't  mean, and brave because he sucked on the tongue.    WITNESS SINGS SONG  THE WITNESS: This is the song of Luutxesxw.  THE INTERPRETER: What the parts of the song is saying, it's  just the head of the Haida and they're making a song.  THE WITNESS: That is the rest. It belongs to our Wilnat'ahl.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q You Said that this Was On your totem pole, can you tell  us what is shown on the totem pole that indicates the  tongue and the soother -- the tongue that was used as a  soother on the child?  A That' s what --on the pole it's carved on the pole, it's  a Ada'ox, it tells the same thing. 'Mahlasxw. These  were fierce people, they weren't scared of anything.  It's just like, in wars, that they go out and really  fight. That was in that time that people were fierce.  There was only one or two guns at that time. There  weren't very many guns and they always used their signs  on the mountains that people were in certain areas. The  Haidas were really mad because a number of them died.  That's why we have the totem pole now, it' s all the  stories in the totem pole.  Q Was Neek't brave and fierce?  A Yes, he was, and mean. He was fast and there was meanness in him. That's why the Haidas didn't want any --  they didn't want any man to be born so Luutxesxw and the  Haidas were afraid of retaliation from Luttxesxw's  children that were boys.  Q How did Neek't die?  A He was quite weak, he was getting old. Maybe other people  know. There was another man, I don't know his name,  there was two of them.  Q Two?  THE INTERPRETER: There was two men. He doesn't know. . . .  THE WITNESS: The people were scared of them.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Do you mean, Mr. Johnson, that there were two people  who were Neek't, or there was Neek't and another man?  A There was Neek't and there was another man, I can't  really remember the other name. I forgot. He is the  brother of Neek't. He was a good man. He used a bow  and arrow. 1-34  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush    OFF THE RECORD  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, you told us about how the chief's tongue was  used as a soother by the little child, is there a Gitksan  name for that?  A An'mootixsts'imdilx. The meaning of that is that they  made bottle out of the tongue and that is why we have  that name now, An'mootixsts'imdilx.  OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, how long ago did this happen? The story  that you just told us about Neek't and Luutxesxw?  A Oh, long time. Long time. It is a long time.  Q Who told you about this Ada'ox?  A That's why we have the totem songs now, crest and songs  that have names of chiefs and crests and stories.  Q Was there somebody in your house or your family who told  you about Ada 'ox and Neek't?  A All my uncles. That is why they took me, Neek't and  family. I've always listened and that -- I will always  remember and I will always tell the story. That is what  is happening today with our death.  Q I just wanted to ask you, Mr. Johnson, you told us that  one of the places that Luutxesxs went with her child and  her children was Gitlaxdamiks; can you tell us where  Gitlaxdamiks was?  A Around Nisga' . The old village. Gitlaxdamiks. It's just  there's little lakes, it never runs dry. Just above  the village, there's these little lakes and that is why  they called it Gitlaxdamiks. There's these little lakes  that never dry up, just above your village. They knew  that there was food and game in the area and they made  permanent settlement there with totem poles. They have  their own Ayuks. They have Ayuks there that they may  spend at least $4,000 on. The property of Simgiiget.  There was a Simooget in the sky, Simooget, that gives  certain powers with the totem pole and our Ayuks and he  gives it to us and it is just like cement to us. We  see it, just like cement, it is ours.  Q Mr. Johnson, you told us that Luutxesxw, she also went  to Gitxatin. Where is Gitxatin?  A West of Gitlaxdamiks, maybe one or two or a little bit  more west of Gitlaxdamiks. Where they get grease.  They have their own tools. That's where the grease trail 1-35  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  goes. Where they get ooligan grease and ooligans. That  we use as Indian medicine as well.  Q Did Neek't go to T'a'ots'ip?  A Yes, he was always around there. They were always around  there. There's two of them, I've always been told. They  looked after these two people. They were always lucky.  People were pleased with them, they were happy with these  two. The people here with pleased with these two men for  organizing the T'a'ots'ip and saved the lives of people  in this area, and the people honoured them.  Q Now, does Neek't -- did Neek't have any other names?  A It was always Neek't. It was only recently that the  people have English names now. White people at that time  didn't know that we had our own nAmes and they didn't  know how to spell those names. That is why today we have  English names.  Q Now, Mr. Johnson, before you told us about the Neek't --  the Ada'ox of Neek't, you told us about 'Wii Hlengwax.  Did he go to T'a'ots'ip.  A He is very high chief as well. The Old 'Wii Hlengwax.  Q Did the Old 'Wii Hlengwax -- was he there when the Haida  came to fight?  A Yes, he was there.  Q Was Lelt there too?  A Yes, all of them were there.  Q Okay.  A I have said it a number of times. I remember.  Q Thank you for telling us again.  A (In English) Yes. Thank you too. I want to say something for you, all right?  Q I have    A (In English) No time?  Q No time.  A (In English) You have to Wait. Down the village....  Q Can you tell us, Mr. Johnson, a little bit more about  T'a'ots'ip? You told us about holes where they stored  food, can you tell us how they stored the food there?  A They dug in the ground. They got branches, Laxsaxseexs.  Spruce, the ones with the sharp needles on the branches.  Mice can't get in there or rats can't get in there or  else the small little needles would poke them. They used  the bark of the Haawak. They used the branches to line  the hole, and it was done purposely to keep the mice to  stay out of the root cellars. They used bark there. . ..  THE INTERPRETER: I don't know the English name of Haawak. I  think it is birch bark.  THE WITNESS: They line it as well. It is just like a can today 1-36  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  that's well protected. Sometimes they made canoes out of  birch bark. They would sew it together and they would  use some kind of gum to patch up the holes. It's just  like non-Indian canvas canoes they have today.  BY MR. RUSH;  Q Mr. Johnson, we are at T'a'ots'ip, were there any other  small buildings or any other small houses that the people  had there that were not up on the hill?  A Yes, there was some houses around where the people worked  in the ground. That's where some of the -- there were  these -- there were some holes that were dug near the  highway on the way to the; community hall up in the valley  now, where people were stationed in those holes. They  just had enough so their head could stick out of the  ground and look around, and they may still be there today  Q Do you know if they had a sweat-house?  A Yes, there was a sweat-house. They heated rocks outside.  It was -- they put -- they could judge the heat of the  rock. They just warmed their rocks up. They put them  inside these little huts. They would put these rocks  inside this little hut they made out of branches and it  would be hot enough to make them sweat and get the sickness out of the body. They used a special rock, fairly  big rock that would just be -- this particular rock would  be just enough to keep the heat inside the building for a  long time. I've seen it. I've seen my own brother do  this.  When I'm sweated, and there's a lot of sweat on me,  when you finish after the sweat rock, they go outside  and they wipe themselves down, they wipe themselves down  with a cloth and this cloth would be soaking wet. There'!  a little -- they had a little lard tin, I've seen that  when the non-Indians use towels today, but it is a cloth  that is soaking wet. They twisted it and they put it in  this little can. It was similar to a lard can they had  years ago. They would fill it with water from the sweat  and the cloth.  After he has done that he went back into -- went  back into the sweat-lodge to cure the sickness. That's  why -- and he would repeat the same procedure again and  fill up the can just to attempt to get the sickness out  of the body. And he got well. He was liked. He was  healthy again.  (In English) Run around like a rabbit.  Q I want to ask you    A (In English) That's right. 1-37  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q Thank you for telling us that. Can you tell us as well,  Mr. Johnson, did the people at T'a'ots'ip, did they have  any special place where the young girls went? When they  were 12 or 13 about to become a woman?  A They lived away. They lived away.  Q Where    A There's a law for that. There's a law for that and it  is to do with lucky, with being lucky, and it is still  the same today. Lots of berries and lots of fishes and  you do well in trapping. You only fire one barrel at the  bear and you get him. The same with the grizzly bear.  It would only take three arrows and kill the grizzly  bear. Lucky and you have' to know how to be lucky.  Hunting ground is Indian bank. That's what my father  say. Or grandfather say. When you want something just  enough you get your marten and beaver. And you leave  some for next year too and for other people too. You  will be rich.  (In English) I know this.  Q Just to    A (In English) Maybe you do too.  Q I hope I will be rich and resourceful like you. Can you  tell me, Mr. Johnson, when did the people come down to  Kitwanga from T'a'ots'ip? When did they move here to  Kitwanga?  A There was a village here already. They've seen the  location where the T'a'ots'ip is now, they selected that  place. It was -- location for to do battle. They set  up Haidas to come up to T'a'ots'ip. They worked together  just like all in one union and just like one accord.  MR. RUSH: You have told us a lot this morning. It might be  time to just take a break for lunch. It is just shortly  before one o'clock, Mr. Johnson, so maybe we'll stop now  and have a bite for lunch.  Is that all right with you, Darrell?  MR. O'BYRNE: Fine by me.  MR. RUSH: Thank you.  THE WITNESS: (In English) Thank you. Talking man here.    RCESSED FOR LUNCH AT 12.55 P.M.    UPON RESUMING AT 1.55 P.M.  MR. RUSH: We'll start the Commission again, Mr. Johnson, and I  have some more questions for you and we'll go through  until about three o'clock. 1-38  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  EXAMINATION IN CHIEF BY MR. RUSH, CONTINUED:  Q The first thing I wanted to ask you, do you recognize  the name of -- a chief by the name of Alaist?  A The only thing I can remember is the name itself. There  was names have always been transferred. There was Alaist  a long time ago. It was transferred to another new  Alaist. And the Alaist would always listen and listen  to the stories. To me Alaist is important and the person  that uses it views it as important as well.  Other chiefs have acknowledged and confirmed the name  of Alaist. People always learn by listening and they  must learn the law. Names are always stationed. When  there is a feast they spend a lot of money. A lot of  gifts go out and the guests at the feast acknowledge and  confirm what happens at a feast. And that name is also  acknowledged as well.  Q Can Lelt speak for Alaist?  A Yes, he could. They always communicate. They talk to  each other about the right thing. When they meet, they  talk to each other. They agree on certain things. They  agree on the plan. When people, guests, other people  expect something, sometimes before a feast they would  lend groundhog. They don't go out and ask for the  groundhog, they just lend a groundhog and it is still  the same today.  Q This morning, Mr. Johnson, you told us about Ayuks; can  you tell me what you mean by the word Ayuks?  A Something they wear. From the earth they are chiefs that  acknowledge and confirm the Ayuks. If there was something  that was wrong with Alaist that he needed the feast the  people would lend Alaist a groundhog. They don't --  Alaist does not have to ask for it.  Q Who can use the Ayuks?  A Something like me. Ayuks is power of our forefathers  and grandfathers that listened. Beautiful living. They  hold -- it is not something that you -- it is something  you don't play around with and when -- can't just -- it's  something that is treasured.  THE INTERPRETER: I don't have the word for it right now.  Something yOu just can't play around with is what he is  saying.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q What happens to someone if they use your Ayuks and they  shouldn't?  A Only if we consented to it that they could use it. I  know that people will not be permitted it if we say no 1-39  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  but if we ask and we give them consent then they can use  Ayuks. If somebody asks me now I want to be sure to  write it down, and I would consent by showing that, I'll  put the cross on and to be the truth on the paper.  Q If someone USes Ayuks without consent, what do you do?  A There's big problems when -- real problems when somebody  uses that. That tell them to not use it. They tell them  to when you using it. It is breaking the law,  Alagansxw.  Q What is the Word you used again?  A Alagansxw. The people who are mad that own the particular Ayuks will anger them and they have broken the law.  Q Could this be raised at a' feast?  THE WITNESS: They don't say really when there's lots of people.  Just when they -- actually when they actually use it  that is when they approach them. There is people around  that would know if somebody used it, the Ayuks. They  judge for themselves. And they speak from where they're  seated.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q Yesterday, Mr. Johnson, you told us about P'ekis, and  can you tell me, there were one or two more questions  I wanted to ask you about P'ekis. Can you just tell me  what did P'ekis look like?  A (In English) That's right, I remember.  It was almost like us, almost like us. Almost  like a human. Almost like a human and talks as well and  had legs. They had legs as well, even the small P'ekis  had legs.  Q How tall was P'ekis?  A Almost like a human. Almost like a human. Just like a  human.  Q Can you tell me where P'ekis was located? Where exactly  along the river was P'ekis found?  A Around Gitluusek, up in the mountains. Part of the  Seven Sisters. Around Gitluusek. Where they pick dip-  nets and that is the meaning of it. Luutxesxw, pulling  dip-nets in.  Q That is the meaning of Luutxesxw?  THE INTERPRETER: Yes.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Did the P'ekis make a noise? 1-40  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A The P'ekis took one person from Gitluusek and took him  to above Gitluusek. Where the P'ekis had two children.  People were all searching for missing person and then  finally about a year the P'ekis returned and the person  was returned. The P'ekis brought along a child. That  is why the song goes. . . .  WITNESS SINGS SONG  THE WITNESS: The song after they sang the song they celebrated  or had a feast when they returned. The P'ekis came to  return the child. They valued the homecoming, the return  that is why the big chiefs invited the guests and they  had a little bit of a feast. They valued it, they  treasured it, and they used the mask of the P'ekis. They  had a fairly tall person using the mask and had a real  long tail and used to pick up his tail. And they had a  small little P'ekis beside him, small little boy looked  like him, and they whistled. People would give them  peanuts. Now people use apples and nuts. They would  make these noises, they're eating apples and peanuts.  People had already had feast when they returned. They  valued it, they treasured it. They met. That's why  there's songs now.  BY MR. RUSH :  Q Thank you for singing the P'ekis song again for us.  A (In English) That's right.  Q Did your grandfather have territory where P'ekis was?  A Yes, that's right. Yes, there's people there. They  have their own land now. They're good people. They had  no problems . They listened and there was no problems.  They got along together.  Q What Was your grandfather's name?  A That was the law of our grandfathers. He's real high  chief, the father of Luutxesxw, Sakxwmhiigook, head man  of the Kitwanga village. Gadaxeex, the father of my  mother.  Q What Clan Was your grandfather from?  A Xskaak. It's on the totem pole now.  Q Who owns that totem pole?  A I have an adopted son, Allan Johnson. He came from  Gook. We adopted him for a fair amount of time, and he  has four children and he lives right near the totem  poles now. He has his own songs. The songs of our  grandfathers.  (In English) You tell me what you mean? 1-41  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q What is Allan Johnson's Gitksan name?  A T'ewelasxw. Chief names. He has a fair amount of  expenses. He has a fair amount of expenses now and when  anyone dies, any lands, Wilnat'ahl, he would spend a lot  of money, and he looks after the community of Kitwanga  now. Just like all the other chiefs do in the community.  And like other villages do.  Q Mr. Johnson, did your grandfather -- your mother's father  did he tell you about T'a'ots'ip?  A Yes, that's the one I told you about. Just now I told  you about.  Q Yes. This grandfather, did he tell you how long ago it  was that the Kitwanga people defended T'a'ots'ip from  the Haida?  A Long time ago. Long time ago. Yes, it's long time ago.  Q Would this have been in the time of your grandfather's  grandfather or before him?  A There's lots. I have lots of grandfathers. People in  Anskiiyee, and they must grow up properly.  MR. RUSH: What *s the word?  THE INTERPRETER: Anskiiyee.  MR. RUSH: What does that mean?  THE INTERPRETER: Well. . . .  MR. RUSH: Maybe I can ask what that means?  THE WITNESS: (In English) Children, many children.  THE INTERPRETER: Many generations. More children.  MR. O'BYRNE: Sorry, Mr. Rush, I'm unclear as to what    THE WITNESS: Somebody that listens to their grandfathers will  live for a long time.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, you used Anskiiyee, can you tell me what  that Gitksan word means in English?  A (In English) Generations. Family.  Messages that go into them early in the morning.  And they listen. Whoever listens, whomever listens  lives a longer life. The chief talks, the chief always  does the talking in the morning. Whomever leaves without listening will not live a longer life.  (In English) Like your mother, like your mother,  he teach you how.    OFF THE RECORD  BY MR. RUSH :  Q Mr. Johnson, Can I ask you now some questions about your  own names? You have told us about the names of your 1-42  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  father and grandfather. I am going to ask you now about  your own name. Can you tell me what your first name was,  your child's name?  A Waitgyooksxw Hlgu Ganaaw' .  Q What does that mean?  A It means little frog. Little frog that is floating way  out. It is little frog that is trying to swim across  the river. Goes -- the water is powerful enough that  it just pushes the little frog down the river.  Waxgyooksxw was my oldest brother's name. Frog is floating down. Gibuu'mandoo' was before I took the name Lelt.  Xaxaitxwmxhlekx after eating, after you eat you holler,  you holler towards the mountain.  Q What does Gibuu'mandoo' mean in English?  A On the other side of the mountain in the valley. On the  other side of the mountain, and the same with  Xaxaitxwmxhlekx. We have lots of names. We have lots  of naxnox.  Q How old were you when you got Waxgyooksxw?  A My mother had a dream that one of our relatives was  returning.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  BY MR. RUSH :  Q Mr. Johnson, you told us that your child's name, I  thought you said was Waxgyooksxw, is that right? Is  that your child's name?  A Yes.  Q And you were telling us that you received this name when  you were small, is that right?  A Yes.  Q Were you a small baby or were you a child when you got  the name, do you remember?  A Nuuguts'aaw' was one of my other names as well. It is  the name of -- Wamhlguhlxw is important to have. If you  don' t have it people don't value you, they don't see  your existence.  Q If you don't have what, Mr. Johnson?  A If you don't have, they don't recognize your existence.  That's the law of our forefathers.  Q Do you still have the name Waitgyooksxw?  A Yes. That's how you knows -- how you know who I am.  If anything happens to Waitgyooksxw he gets a gun or  blanket and he gives it to his relative. As a gift to  his other side of the family.  Q You said you had the name Nuuguts'aaw'? 1-43  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A That's the name I had. It' s Wamhlguhlxw they call it.  People -- it means that -- it stems from the mother or  the father's side. Sometimes other people may be  ashamed of this but I'm not, I don't mind it, but other  people are ashamed of it.  Q Do you still have this name Nuuguts'aaw'?  A Nuuguts'aaw'?  Q Do you still have this name?  A (In English) That's right.  Anybody want and I remember. My mother give it,  my relation. We still have that name.  Q Do you still have the name Gibuu'mandoo'?  A Yes. That's why we keep those names and that's why we  have totem poles and that's why people are wealthy.  Some people are ashamed of their names.  Q Mr. Johnson, did you tell us the meaning of the name  Nuuguts'aaw' ? What does that mean?  A Coming from another Wilnat'ahl. He came from that  Wilnat'ahl, little baby born. People know, they know  what baby's coming. That's still happening today and  some people don't use it today. The only way they know  now is through the story book or book you buy in the  store.  Q You also told us that after you received the name of  Gibuu'mandoo' , that you got a name called Xaxaitxwmxhlekx  Am I saying it correctly?  A Gibuu'mandoo' is on the other side of the mountain.  Because it's the wolf on the other side of the mountain,  that is why it's sung, or the daughter of the wolfe, that  is why they say Gibuu'mandoo' .  Q What name did you take after Gibuu'mandoo'? Did you take  the name of Lelt?  A Lelt, my own brother.  Q When did you take the name Lelt?  A It was fairly long time ago, many years now. Maybe around  50 years ago.  Q Who gave you the name of Lelt?  A Wilnat'ahl, the chiefs. I'm the one that is going to  stand in that position. I'll live a long time.  Q Who spoke at your feast?  A Our chiefs, our grandparents. Hlengwax confirmed and  acknowledged it. He showed Ayuks, he showed the law.  They taught me the songs because they knew I was going  so I would learn the songs.  Q Why were you chosen to be Lelt?  A There was nobody to take that position. They talked  to other people. There was two or three who are our 1-43-a  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  grandparents had talked to me. They asked me and I  listened and I never left. I always listened.  Q Did you and other members of your house contribute at  the feast?  A Yes. Oh, lots.  Q What did you contribute?  A I gave out some Gwiismauxs. I listened to my father.  The others in our family brought gifts, food. They  fished cups or bowls of flour, sugar and grease, and  Gyeex. Bear bacon.  Q Did you speak at the feast?  A I couldn't really speak at that time, I always listened.  I always listened. I always was prepared to learn.  They spoke. I didn't say too much, I only said very  little but the people of my Wilnat'ahl were happy.  Q In addition to 'Wii Hlengwax, who else spoke at your  feast?  A Myself, that's the law that I stand right beside 'Wii  Hlengwax and Haa'kxw. T'axts'ox. Luulak. Round table.  That's where our power is. That' s the power and that' s  why we are seated that way. That's the way we are  seated at a feast.  (In English) I just little loud talking, I remember.  That's right.  Q Mr. Johnson, did they have a song at your feast? Did  they sing a song at your feast?  A Yes, they sang a song.  Q Do you remember the song?  A Yes.  Q What kind of song is it?  A The Wilnat'ahl took the song.  WITNESS SINGS SONG  BY MR . RUSH :  Q What does the song mean?  A Showing that he is finally taking the power. He is  getting exposed to the other high chiefs, that he was  taking the power. He's going to be taking the laws,  the laws of our forefathers, the laws of survival, and  that he will start now to participate amongst the high  chiefs, and it's his first exposure as a chief to the  other chiefs that are in the feast.  Q At your feast, did your house -- did they distribute  something? Was money given away?  A Yes, there was some money. There wasn't that much money  in those days. 1-44  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q How much money did they give away in those days?  A Sometimes hundred. My uncles did that. My grandparents  did that. Fish was 10 cents each. Sometimes people  only had $40.  Q Did your house give away berries?  A Yes.  Q Did they distribute    A Fish.  Q What else did they distribute?  A Soap berries. Dried soap berries, Xhleex. It's almost  like crabapples. They mix it with ooligan grease. They  made their own bowls or bins. They knew how to do  things. They had their own medicine. If you killed a  grouse, you take part of the grouse and tie it around  your son' s thumb until it dries. You take a whistle.  You take the -- you want somebody to be fast running,  you take part of the whistles here and you put it on  your leg and you would be fast runner. Your children  is one that you do that to or your nephew, that is the  law.  Q Did your house distribute groundhog skins at your feast?  A (In English) That's right. Yes, we distributed, it was  just like money.  Q Did they put a blanket on you, Mr. Johnson?  A Yes, they give it to me.  Q Do you remember who did that? Who put the blanket on?  A es, it was my grandparents that put on my blanket.  Q Was there a naxnox performed at your feast?  A That's right.  Q That was the naxnox that Was performed, can you tell us  about that?  A This stood out. There was two plays, the new chief that  is coming in lucky. There was this bird that makes this  noises and the naxnox would ask the bird to give us the  food. When there was a feast there would be gifts that  would be just piled, blankets. Sometimes they go to  Vancouver to trade and exchange Indian food -- exchange  it for Vancouver food. Halibut, dried halibut. There  was lots of food that was exchanged. And they would  have lots of other food when they returned. They always  helped each other on their return.  Q Was there an Ada'ox Spoken at your feast?  A Yes, they tell -- yes, I told you that before.  Q That Was Ada'ox about how Lelt Came from Black Water?  A Yes, and other people. Other villages confirmed and  acknowledged our Ada'ox. High chiefs acknowledged and  confirmed. 1-45  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q You told us you had a blanket that was put on your at  your feast?  A (In English) That's right.  When they put the blanket on other chiefs seen it.  Q What Was On the blanket that the Other Chiefs COUld See?  A Frog and a snake.  Q Where is this blanket, what happened to the blanket?  A It's over at my house, and there may be one in here  somewhere. There's a snake on there. I have a snake  cane also.  Q Did you have the snake cane with you yesterday?  A Yes, I didn't bring it with me today.  Q Will you bring it and show it to us tomorrow?  A (In English) What time?  Q Ten o'clock?  A (In English) Yes, that's right.  Q Could you bring your blanket tomorrow too?  A (In English) I guess so.  Q Good.  A (In English) I guess so. I got key.  Q Okay. That is the key to your house, is it?  A That's right.  Q Can you tell us, does Lelt have any other regalia?  A There was lots many years ago but our house burned. We  couldn't put it out. We only had small supply of water  at that time. There was nobody that helped us to put  the fire out. They just watched.  Q Did you have an Amhalayt?  A Yes, it burned. It was about $4,000 that burned in the  fire and nice gun.  Q Did you have a rattle?  A Yes.  Q What did the Amhalayt look like, can you describe it for  us?  A There was frogs on it. And the snake.  Q Who used to Wear this Amhalayt? Who wore this Amhalayt  in the feast hall?  A Sometimes I used it. Sometimes other people, people in  our Wilnat'ahl would use. They would use it.  Q Would you use it in -- would the people in your Wilnat'ahl  use it with your permission?  A Yes, they have to ask. That is why we live together, we  have work together, we have power and the same thing with  the land.  Q Can you tell us what did the rattle look like?  A There was a bird on the -- almost like a robin, there's 1-46  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  wings inside, and they had a good handle on it. The  wings would be on the side of it and you shake it.  THE WITNESS: That's what -- when the guests come in and they  see the person -- see the rattle and all the regalia  they would recognize and confirm the owners of that.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, you sang another song and you clapped your  hands when you sang the song. What did the song mean?  What relation does the song have to the rattle?  A Showing the other high chiefs that I am now Simooget and  they would acknowledge whatever I say. And the law will  never be lost. And that our nephews will learn that  they will follow our traditions, take over our names.  The law still exists today, still good today, but some  other people don't really know.  Q Mr. Johnson, at your feast when you took the name Lelt,  what other chiefs from other clans were there to watch  this happen?  A Kispiox. They invite the chiefs and the chiefs accompanied their nephews. They looked after the, their  chief. They looked after their chief. The young people  would carry something that's heavy and they were the  strong ones and they would do all the carrying. The  weak people don't carry anything.  Q Were there Lax Gibuu Chiefs? WOlf Chiefs there?  A Yes.  Q Were there Giskaast Or Fireweed Chiefs there?  A That's right.  Q Were there Chiefs from Gitsegukla?  A Yes.  Q Were there chiefs from Gitanmaax?  A (In English) That's right, big things Gitanmaax. Big.  Q Were there chiefs from Kisgagas and Galdo'o?  A That's right, Mr. Law, you're right.  Q Were there chiefs from Kitwancool?  A Everybody.  Q There must have been a lot of people there?  A Yes, there's lots.  Q Can you tell us about how many people there were?  A There were lots of people in the old days. Lots of  people in those days. The disease came around and  people died, and when liquor came in the people died as  a result of liquor. The liquor came from the white  people. 1-47  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  (In English) No good.  Q What's no good?  A It's not very good when they send the liquor in.  Q Mr. Johnson, you said there was lots of people at  your feast. Where did they hold the feast? Where  was it held?  A When the people arrived here -- when people arrived  here the song was sung.    WITNESS SINGS SONG AND CLAPS HANDS  THE WITNESS: The people danced into -- they used the House  of 'Wii Hlengwax. It was the feast house. It was  a big house. They brought in the lights. They carried  the lights in. They brought -- they greeted people  and they gave gifts out when they greeted the people,  after the people were seated. They call it Begwuntxw,  the first arrival.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, you sang another song for us, you just  sang another song, what did the song mean?  A It means we are happy. Flowers. Flowers were coming.  Flowers were going. They greeting other chiefs that  are coming to the feast. It's -- you go out and greet  people, the other chiefs.  Q Who sings the song when you greet the other chiefs  as they come to the feast?  A The people learned it before the arrival. People  learned before the arrival came, the actual coming  of the people.  Q Did you sing the song when the people came, or the  other members of your house sing it?  A The whole village did. They were happy and the guests  were happy. When all the flowers came, the people  were happy with the flowers falling from the sky,  Other guests were happy. They cooked the fish. Burned  big salmon and grease would be -- would come from  the salmon. Tear up the fish and put them into --  after they tore up the salmon, they put them into  a big bowl. This was eaten by the guests.  Q How many hours or days did it take for the feast to  happen? How long was the feast?    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: Round six days, and there's other people in  other houses that would have -- would like -- would 1-48  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  host the feast as well in different other houses.  They liked it, they invited people to their own houses  There was lots of people in different houses. They  would all stay in the village. Sometimes they would  go -- they would have breakfast, and sometimes they  would have rice, potatoes. They :would have a big  fire going. There would be grease by the door. They  had grease that was -- they had in small bins. They  had this grease that they had near the door and they  would have -- there was these big spoons, wooden  spoons, and they would grab the grease and throw it  right over the fire and it would make a big flash  inside the building, and the people applauded to the  big fire. Other people in other houses would do it  as well .  Q It sounded like a very big feast, Mr. Johnson.  A Oh yes, there's a big feast.  Q It must have been a very important feast, was it?  A Yes. They acknowledged it. They knew it was the  truth. Sometimes when there was a wedding planned,  sometimes Wilnat'ahl would give a whole canoe to the  wife's side of the family. Sometimes a horse. They  just don't give the woman for nothing. They don't  take for nothing.  This is acknowledged and confirmed by the  Simgiiget, and the children grow up to be smarter.  They acknowledge the land and confirm where the  children will be on the land.  Q Mr. Johnson, I think we're running out of our tape  for today. We are coming close to the end of the  day and I would like to adjourn until tomorrow. Can  you come back tomorrow again?  We'll start again tomorrow at 10. 00 o'clock  and I'11 ask you some more questions about some of  the other regalia that you own.  A (In English) I hear you.  Q Is that okay?  A What is your Wilnat'ahl?  Q My Simgiiget, my mother's family?  A Yes.  Q Is that right?  A Yes.  Q My grandmother ' s family?  A Yes .  Q They don't have any big Gitksan names. Just simple  names like Rush.  You know a Rush, don ' t you? His name is Joe?  A Yes. Know Joe too. Another one -- what's the name 1-49  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  of the other?  MR. RUSH: He's a different Rush from me. We come from  Ontario. We' 11 start again tomorrow at 10. 00 o'clock.    PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED AT 3. 25 p.m.  TO BE RESUMED 4 SEPTEMBER, 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)  (formerly Harper)  Official Court Reporter  AVD: jg-Sep. 16/86    B.CS.R.A. #263  NOTE: Transcript continues at page 1-51 1-51  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  GLEN WILLIAMS ,  Gitksan Interpreter,  Previously Affirmed:  FRED JOHNSON, a witness called  on behalf of the Plaintiffs,  previously affirmed, testified  as follows:    UPON COMMENCING AT 10. 20 A.M. , 4 SEPTEMBER, 1986  MR. RUSH: Now, Mr. Johnson, we are going to start our third  day of commission. Today; is 4 September.  THE WITNESS: Fourth September.  MR. RUSH: Yes. I am just going to identify for the purposes  of the tape the people that are here. You know that I'm  Mr. Rush, lawyer for the plaintiffs, and Mr. Darrell  O'Byrne is lawyer for the defendant, agent on behalf  of the defendant. Mr. Glen Williams is doing the translation. Veronica Duffy is here as our Court Reporter.  Assisting me today, Mr. Johnson, as she has been  for the last two days, is Susan Marsden, and she's  helping me with some of the words that you speak. As  an observer today we have Hugh Brody. Those are all of  the people who are here, six of us, including Mike  McDonald helping with the videotape. With that brief  introduction, I want to start our questions today.  EXAMINATION IN CHIEF BY MR . RUSH (CONTINUED)  :  Q Yesterday you told us that Lelt had a blanket and I  asked you yesterday if you had the blanket and you said  you had it at home, and I know that you have brought  the blanket with you; I wonder, can you show it to us  today?  A How do you want to show it?  MR. RUSH: I wonder if Mr. Johnson could just put the blanket  on and just show the blanket to us?    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  MR. RUSH: Mr. Williams is putting the blanket on.  Q This is a button blanket, is it, Mr. Johnson?  A Yes. This is what they call a button blanket. It is  one of them.  Q Okay.  A There's lots of them.  Q This is Lelt's blanket? 1-52  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A Yes, this is.  Q Now, there are SOme figures on the back of the blanket,  could you turn around for us so the camera could see the  figure on the back?  Good, Mr. Johnson, just step forward a few feet so  we can get a better perspective .on this blanket.  A This is the snake cane that I have.  Q I'm going to ask you, Mr. Johnson, about the snake cane  in a moment.  On the back of the blanket, Mr. Johnson, there looks  like a frog and the snake you talked about before, is  that right?  A Yes, that's right.  Q Could you turn around for us and show us the cane? You  told us you had Lelt's cane, can you show us Lelt's cane?  A Yes.  Q It appears to be in the shape of a snake?  A Yes.  Q That' s great. Thank you very much, Mr. Johnson, for  showing us that.  A (In English) In my right hand. Anybody you could thank  you.    OFF THE RECORD  BY MR . RUSH :  Q Thank you for showing us your blanket and your snake  cane   A (In English) Yes, I feel it good to you.  Q Thank you. Are there -- you told me before that there  are some other regalia of the House of Lelt, do you know,  are there any masks that belong to the House of Lelt?  A Yes, we have lots, as well as all destroyed in the fire.  Everything was destroyed in the fire. Sometimes it's  just a fire and you cannot help. We couldn't put the  fire out.  Q Do you remember any of the masks that were destroyed in  the fire?  A Yes, I know.  Q Could you describe some of them as you remember?  A Yes I know. About the power, the strength, the identity.  That is what is on the mask. And a belt, where the  beavers, down the beavers come from the Amhalayt.  Mixk'aax is used for peace.  Q Was this mask that you have described, did that belong  to the House of Lelt?  A That's right. The people, Wilnat'ahl knew that we had 1-53  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  mask. We always talked about it and other people, other  people knew that we had those masks.  Q Okay.  A And they acknowledged it and confirmed it.  Q Now, you told us that one of the chiefs in your house is  Luulak and I am asking you, does Luulak have a mask that  you know of?  A Yes, they had theirs as well. It burnt as well.  Q Can you tell me what Luulak's mask looked like?  A One bear, and one of the ghost. Twisted.  Q Tell me when you last saw the mask that belonged to  Luulak? How did the mask look and how did it operate?  A Almost like a ghost.  Q Almost like a ghost?  A The face would have a twisted, there's other chiefs that  see it and they knew the Ada'ox of it.  Q Did parts of the Luulak mask move?  A That's right, that's what happened.  Q You're making a gesture with your hands, did the eyes  move , Mr. Johnson, on the Luulak mask?  A Yes.  Q Did the mouth move?  A It moves as you see it.  Q And you made the movement that is the mouth?  A Yes. Mouth moved. There was some kind of string they  used near their chest and it was just done so the person  would use it, would move his jaw out the eyeball, or  sometimes eagle down would just shoot from the head.  People were real craftsmen in what they did. Other  people helped them, maybe from the Nisga' people.  Q Mr. Johnson, When the people and the children saw Luulak  using the mask, what was their response?  A They were afraid of it. The face was twisted and the  body was mOving, twisting, and there's power in that  mask.  (In English) That's right, I remember.  Q Was this USed as naxnox at a feast?  A Yes, they used it, they used the law of it.  Q I am going to ask you in a minute about the naxnox but  just before I do, I want to ask you if T'axts'ox had  any regalia too?  A They had some as well and they shared some of the regalia  as well.  Q What about Haa'kxw, did he have regalia too?  A It was all the same, yes, he had. They always helped  each other.  Q And Luulak too? 1-54  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A Yes.  (In English) That's right, still good now.  Q I Wanted to ask youabout the naxnox, can you tell us what  naxnox means?  A There' s strength within a person. And there's a loud  noise, it's got a big power, it"s Halayt.  Q Can you tell us at a feast what's the big power that is  in the Halayt?  A They're showing that they're taking the strength forward  over the territory or the land, and there's been acknowledged and confirmed by other Simgiiget. That is why we  have totem poles.  Q At the feast Where you received the name Lelt, was there  a Halayt at your feast?  A Yes, there was always, they were always doing that. They  all -- they want to give strength to the new leader. All  the people were with me. I was not alone. They are  ready for any expense. People don't have to be asked to  give, they always gave and they made their hearts feel  better.  Q Now, do you remember what the Halayt did at your feast?  Did he dance? Did he play tricks? What happened with  the Halayt at your feast?  A Used a Gwiishalayt and had eagle down in the Amhalayt,  and they blew eagle down for peace, and they blew eagle  down all the way to the other Simgiiget that were seated.  There will be power, there will be power and there will  be peace. There will be power.  Q Was there a naxnox at your feast that this Halayt  performed or performed by someone else?  A Yes. It was Halayt. There's different noise that we  made and loud and not so loud, and there was people, the  people were a little bit scared what was going on and  they hollered out, he is now standing, he is now standing, he is ready to take the position.  Q In the naxnox Was there any signing that occurred? Did  the naxnox have a song?    WITNESS SINGS SONG AND POUNDS CANE  THE WITNESS: And the Andimhanak' came, sat beside me, and they  put Ligiwil right at the foot of the Halayt. They used  guns or canoe or money or groundhog. They valued it,  they treasured it. The young people guarded the door.  They watched. People were not just allowed to come in  and do anything they wanted. They still do that today. 1-55  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  BY MR. RUSH :  Q Mr. Johnson, you sang us a brief song that was sung at  the naxnox, can you tell us what did the song mean?  A It is showing that the -- that there's strength and  there's power in the person. That they will take it easy  there will be no trouble in this man. There will be  strength in this person. It will be placed as well and  it will be the truth.  Q You used the Gitksan word for Andimhanak' , what does that  mean?  A It's your own wife, it's a woman. They danced. There  would be other person who would want to come and dance,  who would come out and put gift upon the feet of the  other -- it was almost like a show, that people laughed,  they had a good time. People enjoyed themselves.  Q In other words you used in describing what happend when  the naxnox occurred was the word Ligiwil, what does that  mean?  A Ligiwil, it means rich, rich. It's everything that's in  the house of the chief. They had big boxes and they had '  boxes of food and they stored them, and gifts, fish,  berries, furs ., Gwiismauxs.  (In English) Just like wholesale.  Q Just like?  THE INTERPRETER: Wholesale. He never slept in.  THE WITNESS: (In English) We can be thinking more. They  always breathed and always prepared to be lucky.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, at the feast I wanted to ask you how did  Lelt use the Lelt cane at a feast?  A They seen it. They seen that I had it. They knew,  that' s when there' s real business being done, that  people had the regalia on. They had something that was  really valuable. Their wives would always accompany  them. There's always a monitor what was talking and  writing down everything that the chief was doing.  Watched for the chief.  Q How did Lelt use the canT  A They seen it and they acknowedged it. They recognized  it. They confirmed it. They seen it was right.  Q Now, Mr. Johnson, do you go to feasts today?  A (In English) That's right.  Q Have you gone to feasts among the Gitksan people all of  your life?  A Yes, they knew me. Tsimshian people know me. Nisga'  people know me. They know who I am, they know who my 1-56  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Wilnat'ahl is.  Q You're aware of the business conducted at the feast today  by the chiefs?  A Oh yes, it's really strong. Nobody's lazy. If a  Simgiiget, high chief, does not attend, he will send a  nephew to be -- to take the position Of the Chief at  that particular feast. That individual will take the  head chief role if something happened to the head chief,  and that's Still true for today.  Q I am going to ask you some other questions now about when  you were a boy. I wanted to ask you some more questions  about Meziaden. Before I do that, can you tell us, Mr.  Johnson, how old were you when you lost your eyesight?  A Past three years. The doctors tried to do something  about my eyes but they couldn't. They sent me to  Vancouver.  Q Mr. Johnson, were you at the time you lost your eyesight,  were you married, did you have the name Lelt?  A Yes, I had lots of children. And even to this day they  strengthened their grandfather's community, they used  their knowledge.  Q Did you lose your eyesight after the fire in Kitwanga?  A Yes.  Q Do you remember how many years ago that was? How many  years have gone by since then?  A It was nearly around four years ago but somebody else  may know.  Q Let me just now ask you a bit about your youth and particularly the territory at Meziaden. I want to ask you  about that now.  A That's where I grew up.  Q Yes.  A I was still small and my mother cared for me. They  looked after me and my small brothers and sisters. We  were really small at that time and they cared for us up  there, that's how our father brought us up.  Q Your father was Chief 'Wiilitsxw?  A Yes.  Q And he was from Kitwancool?  A Yes, that's the village.  Q Do you know what your father's father's name was?  A Waxyetsxw. Waxyetsxw is like grizzly bear walking and  walks long ways. That's the name of the nephew today.  They live in Kitwancool. That is the name of the  Wilnat'ahl there.  Q Did your grandfather live with you out at Meziaden?  A Sometimes. Sometimes they would come and visit us and 1-57  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  they would want to go on the land but they were -- would  have to get the okay from 'Wiilitsxw.  Q 'wiilitsxw, he trapped and hunted you told us around  Meziaden, is that right?  A Yes, that's where it was.  Q You said it was around, close to Stewart and by the  glacier?  A Yes.  Q Do you know the name of any creeks up there?  A Xsugwinbiiyoosxw. Xsadakxwt. There's lots of mosquitos  at Xsugwinbiiyoosxw. Xsadakxwt is on the way to Stewart,  and there's a big glacier there. We have where we trap  bears in the rocks as well, and grizzly bear as well.  There's lots there. That's the property of the chief.  Q Was there a Creek Up there by the name of Wolverine  Creek?  A Yes, to the west of it.  Q What Was the Gitksan name of that Creek?  A The wolverine would eat the beaver as the beaver was  eating the tree. The wolverine would wander around and  look for the beaver, they smelled it. That's why we  named that creek, that' s where the wolverine eat before.  Q What is the Gitksan name for that creek?  A Anxts'imilixnaagets.  Q Was that creek a boundary?  A That's where -- about where it ends.  Q Is that where the territory ends?  Is that what he means?  A Yes, Stikine.  Q What Gitksan Chief OWned the property to the east of  'Wiilitsxw?  OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION IN GITKSAN  THE WITNESS: The Stikine people, Kitwancool owned territories  around, near the Stikine people.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, how did your father, 'Wiilitsxw, how did he  get the territory up there? Do you know why?  A How they gave it?  Q How did he give it?  A They left, they walked, they will find the Stikine  people. They travel. They wanted the revenge. Good  strong men. They got ready, they got organized, they  had eagle down. They had sons. They met with the --  they wanted to meet the war party from the Stikine. The 1-58  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Stikine people finally came to the falls up Meziaden.  That's what the creator created the falls, it wasn't the  non-Indian people that made the falls there. The Stikine  person, the chief came out. He talked from a ways. The  Gitksan people called the Stikine people to come over.  And Chief 'Wiilitsxw    Q 'wiilitsxw, yes?  A   called them over, come over, don't be afraid of  anything. Then they came over, they had fairly big  bullets that they used for guns in those days. They had  bullets ready in their mouth just in case, it was a lot  of style at that time.  Q What did he Say?  A Maybe in Vancouver. They came, the Stikine people. The  Stikine people had a house and they seated the people  properly. They took the guns and they placed them quite  a ways from where they were meeting, and the same with  the Stikine people, they placed their guns and weapons  quite a way from where they were gathering.  The Stikine people started to sing.  WITNESS SINGS SONG  THE WITNESS: That's just one of the songs.  BY MR . RUSH :  Q Was that a peace song?  A That is when they're beginning to recognize the peace.  Q Was this SUng by the Stikine person?  A Yes, Stikine.  Q What happened after the song was sung?  A They started to smoke. The Stikine was cutting up the  cigarettes. Big blocks of smoke. As they were smoking  the Stikine person would be blowing the eagle down  indicating peace.  Q When the stikine Sang the song was he doing anything?  Did he have anything in his hands?  WITNESS SINGS SONG  THE WITNESS: That's when he took a wing.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q What kind of wing?  A A goose wing. The birds of Meziaden. And there's a big  chief that did this. And he waved it, there will be  peace. This will be your land, this was the big chief 1-59  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  talking. We will not return --we will return to our  own village. We will return to our own village, there  will be no more wars, Xsiisxw. They compensated for  the killing of Txawok and Ligigalwil.  Q Who did the stikine Chief give the land to as compensation?  A Atxwmseex and Gela. There were young people of the  Stikine people. There was lots other Stikine people  nearby watching if there was any trouble. Till the  peace happened, and the peace still continuing today.  Q Who did the Chief Of the stikine people give the land  over to? Who received the land from the Kitwancool?  A 'Wiilitsxw and his brother was along with him, his name  was Axts'oon and their nephews.  Q What Were the    A Grandchildren.  Q What Were the names of the Stikine chiefs?  A Atxwmseex and Gela. Policemen. They're chiefs.  Q Were the Stikine people, were they Tahltan people?  A Ts'ets'aut.  Q They were Ts'ets'aut?  A Ts'ets'aut.  Q What did the stikine people do that brought about this  peace? Was there a fight?  A When they killed Txawok and Ligigalwil, they want to  fight, they wanted revenge.  Q Who?  A That's when the peace was established and they would --  will not fight again. There will be peace in our  village, said the Stikine person. That's why we will  not return to this, we will give it to you, 'Wiilitsxw  and Txawok.  Q The two Chiefs that you have named, the names of which  I forget just at the moment, but there were two  Kitwancool chiefs I think that were killed, were they  killed by the Stikine people?  A Yes, that's right.  Q Where Were they killed?  A It wasn't too far from the falls at Meziaden. As they  were returning home they camped at the big tree, that's  where the Kitwancool camped. There was a big field,  steep hill nearby. The Stikine came over and they came  over on the hill, the Stikine, and the Stikine want to  scare the Kitwancool so they grabbed a rock and threw  it towards the camp.  MR. RUSH: Is he describing?  THE INTERPRETER: Yes. 1-60  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  THE WITNESS: There was lots of trees and branches around where  they were camped. The Kitwancool wanted to find out what  was dropping. They thought the squirrels throwing nuts  on the ground. They didn't anticipate any of the Stikine  people around.  In the morning there was lots of Stikine people on  the hills and there was Stikine people on the trail, on  the way home, Txawok and Ligigalwil. They parked right  on the trail. Txawok was up first, he was leading on  the trail. Ligigalwil was right behind. The Stikine  people killed Txawok and they shot Ligigalwil and they  both died. 'Wiilitsxw was following behind Ligigalwil,  and 'Wiilitsxw took off towards the Nass River. He ran.  He had a big blanket on and as they were shooting  him they missed him, they missed him on the side and on  the back. He Went down the Creek that Was a Canyon, a  big steep canyon, and he hid along the canyon. He was  hiding. He was right against the rock and he was hiding,  and the Stikine people were still looking for him on the  bank. The shots were fired by a gun and he got hit, and '  he got shot on the chin and his chin split, and they hit  him, the bullet hit him on the breast as well. The  Stikine person took off.  He left the canyon around and he went along the  river bank of the Nass. He hid around, it was some time  around June when that happened. He didn't have anything  to eat. The people were living at a village called  Xskiigyeenit. He didn't want to take the trail or else  he would see any Stikine people around, so he went around  the trail. He was really hungry. There was little grouse  that were around. He grabbed one grouse, he was going to  eat and he knew how to use the meat of the grouse, he  just put it in his cheek and just let it cook in there.  This 'fishing hole, lots of people lived at  Xskiigyeenit. He told the story there. Other people  went to Kitwancool and they went to Gitsegukla. They  went to see for themselves because they wanted to see  the bodies of the high chiefs that were killed.  Q Was Txawok, was he from Gitsegukla?  A Kitwancool?  Q Ligigalwil, was he from    A That's right, Kitwancool. Yes.  Q When the Kitwancool people went out, what did they find?  A They went to examine where the bodies were and find out  the truth. They started off and they wanted to revenge  and there was going to be a war. They were just going  to burn the bodies of Ligigalwil and Txawok, that's what 1-61  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  the old people did. They burned it properly. That's  what they've seen, they inspected it properly.  Q They found the bodies and did they burn them too?  A Yes, they burned them. They built the fire properly and  the bodies were destroyed properly.  Q What did the Chiefs then decide to do?  A After they finished they burn better after and they had  their plans they want to do. They always watched the  territory. They watched the territory where he believed  the big chiefs of Kitwancool. They weren't scared. They  got ready. They got, and then Stikine person talked, we  broke law when we killed these two people. It was  terrible. This will be your song.  WITNESS SINGS SONG  THE WITNESS: People up know this. Then the Stikine person  waved his hand, this will be your land. This will be  your land. Waved his hand some more. This was the big  chief doing this. And he blew the eagle down. The  eagle down all over floating around.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Did the Kitwancool Chiefs take any revenge for the deaths  of their two chiefs?  A Yes.  Q What did they do?  A They camped at the lake. The war party left. They used  the same kind of -- they used spears, they didn't take  guns.  Q Who Was in the War party?  A Hadoxwmyee and Axts'oon, nephews of my father. Relatives  of John Robinson.  Q Was your father there?  A Yes.  Q Were there people there from other Gitksan villages?  A Yes, Gitsegukla. Yes, the Gitsegukla people know.  Q Were there people from any other village there?  A We had relatives. There were lots of relatives in other  villages that would come out and help and see them off.  Q Were there people from Kitwanga there?  A Yes.  Q Okay.  A They were the ones that really wanted to go out and  fight.  Q What happened when the Kitwancool chiefs along with the  people from the other villages went out to fight? What 1-62  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  did they do?  A They knew their numbers. The older people were quite  swift at that time. They were fast. They found  a marker. NobOdy was lost in the war party. They  attacked early in the morning. The people were still  asleep when the war party came in.  Q Where did the attack happen?  A Right at that lake. Right where we take the -- right  around where the Fisheries Offices are in the lake.  Q Do you remember the name of the lake?  A Meziaden.  Q Okay. .  A It's a rich place, they call it Anxlaaxw.  Q What did the Kitwancool Chiefs do,to the stikine?  A Yes, they attacked them early in the morning. While was  still asleep.  Q Were a number of Stikine people killed?  A Yes, there's lots. Yes. They were all killed. This is  why the ladies used to say, they had -- the sun was  really hot and the Stikine people used to live right in  the sun. They used to make. .. .  (In English) That's right, I remember.  Q Do you know how many people were killed?  A Yes, there was lots.  Q You said they used spears. What else did they use, the  Kitwancool chiefs?  A There's a knife, a big knife along the end, shaft of  cane. The hunters will have these knives.  Q Was it after this fight that the Stikine and the  Kitwancool arranged the peace that you have talked  about?  A Yes, it was after the -- where the falls are, after what  was -- it was right around by the falls where the peace  happened, and that's where the Stikine chief, the chiefs  that looked after them, Atxwmseex and Gela, they look  like they're policemen for the Stikine.  Q Is this how 'Wiilitsxw got the territory around Meziaden?  A That's right, Axts'oon, Ligigalwil, they replaced it for  Txawok and 'Wiilitsxw. It's what they call Xsiisxw.  Ligigalwil, Xsiisxw, and they had lots of children as  well.  Q Were Ligigalwil and Txawok, were they members of  'Wiilitsxw's family?  A Yes, that's right.  Q Chief 'wiilitsxw that you have talked about that was at  the feast, this was your father?  A Yes. 1-63  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q How old was your father at that time?  A He was kind of young and about the right size. But he  listened, he knew how to listen. They used medicine  for him to listen.  Q Were you born yet when this happened?  A Way before I think. But my father used to always tell  me the story. And he told his nephews. We talked about  it and all the people know. There is one person that is  living in Gitanmaax now, Sam Molson, that knows the Ada'ox  is well.  Q That is the Ada'ox from Meziaden, is it?  A Yes, he knows that. Some of their names are Txawok.  They pass on their names.! They know -- they've lived  in other villages so they've just' stayed there.  Q And the Creeks and lakes you have told us about, are  these places where you yourself have trapped and hunted  as a boy?  A Yes, many years. We're taught by our father. They told  us our directions, they give us directions. They told  us how to live. We had to sleep by ourselves. We take  along devil's club and 'Melgwesxw.  Q 'Melgwesxw?  A We always taught to be lucky. And that is what we did.  We bathed early in the morning. We caught lots of marten  I was one that always caught lots of furs. I was still  young when I took Peter 'Wiilitsxw, was my brother, and  Luugits'ai was his other name. We have lots of names.  Because their mother was big chief. Haphap was some of  them.  Q Mr. Johnson, do you know when you were out with your  father 'Wiilitsxw on the Meziaden territory, did you know  a chief by the name of Nagan?  A Yes, Nagan was at Gisa'anmeldit. That's where our power  goes to is Gisa'anmeldit. Nagan was from around Hazelton  Gamanuut, Simon Gamanuut, and Gamanuut means square small  bears by the mountain. They refer that to the land,  power, survival. Nagan and Skawil. Luunoo' was their  other name. The bear died in the Luunoo' .  Q What is the meaning of Luunoo'?  A That's the other name, they sometimes killed or the bear  was dead in the bear's den. Animals, bears used to  always be in their caves in the winter time, they don't  eat there in their cave. They were fat, that is what  the creator has done.  Q Mr. Johnson, where was Nagan's territory?  A Miin Lake. Not really sure if it is Bowser Lake. Just  on the other side of Miin Lake, Gisa'anmeldit. 1-64  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q Was it close to Meziaden where Nagan had his territory?  A Yes, he was close there but there was a line where we  would just go through. Sometimes they would come to  Meziaden and only if they asked they would come and  sometimes they would just come to a lake to get some  trout.  Q So Nagan's territory, was that to the east of Meziaden?  A Where the sun goes down. There's a mountain there  called Anaxhlyee and it's towards where -- towards where  Simon Gunanoot --  Q Nagan' s territory you think is around Miin Lake, is that  what you said?  A Miin Lake is what we call, where they live. There's  mountains. There's -- there would be goats just nearby.  There was fish, plenty of fish, trout.  Q Was Awiijii there?  A What?  Q Do you know a mountain that is called Awiijii?  A Whose language is that?  Q That might be the Stikine language.  A (In English) Yes, I guess so.  Q You think Nagan might have been over by Bowser Lake?  A Yes, they took the land. They still hold it today.  They're Lax Seel. They always talked to me. They always  asked us why we don't live at Meziaden any more. They  wanted us to continue to live there. Just like what  they did. Simon Gunanoot and Nagan.  Q Now, I wanted to ask you, did 'Wiilitsxw have any other  territory? In addition to Meziaden?  A He has a fishing hole at a place called Xskiigyeenit.  Q Where is this?  A His nephews know it now.  Q Where is the fishing hole?  A On the Nass River. It's not very far from what we call  Xskiigyeenit. Kitwancool have lots of fishing holes  around that area.  Q Was there a hunting territory -- hunting and trapping  territory around this fishing hole?  A Yes. It has always been there. They know themselves.  They always tell a number of people, they put out their  story. They put out their message. Other chiefs would  acknowledge it. Sometimes Lax Seel people would speak  and the same with the Giskaast, and another clan as well.  They acknowledge it. They held. They hold.  Q Now, What is the meaning of the Gitksan name for  'Wiilitsxw fishing site and hunting territory?  A His name was Waxyetsxw, his Indian name. They have lots 1-65  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  of names .  Q I think I didn't Say it properly, Mr. Johnson. We'll  just take a minute and I'll ask you again. We are going  to change the tape now and we' 11 just take a moment, we  will change the tape and I'll ask the question again.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION  SHORT RECESS  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, I wanted to ask you the name of 'Wiilitsxw  fishing site close to Xskiigyeenit?  A That's still the property of 'Wiilitsxw. He has his  nephews. His nephews have my names as well. John  Robinson also owns as well. And Gordon Robinson who  died as well. Hadoxwmyee owns.  Q Hadoxwmyee?  THE Interpreter:: Hadoxwmyee .  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Whose name is that?  A That's Gordon Robinson. They're all brothers. His  brother owns now. John Robinson lives in Kitwancool.  Q The fishing site of 'Wiilitsxw, you said it was on the  Nass River, is that close to the falls?  A Way to the west of it. Right near Xskiigyeenit, right  around where the river narrows. There' s a lot of fish  there. They used dip-nets there. They have their own  Ada'ox.  Q What is the Gitksan name for the place where the river  narrows?  A I know the name of it but I can't really remember it.  Q Okay.  A Winskahlk'ul.  Q Winskahlk'ul?  A Winskahlk'ul, a fishing place. It's narrow. There's a  little falls there. Fish can come jump. The falls were  not too steep. There was lots of fish around there.  The pink salmon -- the pink would never make it over the  falls, just coho. Spring salmon.  Q I thought you could remember the name of this fishing  hole. Thank you for remembering that.  Now, I wanted to ask you about the Meziaden  territory again. Did your father tell the Nisga' people  how they got the -- how the war with the Stikine and how  'Wiilitsxw got the territory? 1-66  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A Yes. There was a Xsiisxw with the Stikine. It was  transferred from the Stikine because of the killing of  Txawok and Ligigalwil. They waved the wing out, and  this is the song for it.  WITNESS SINGS SONG  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Did 'Wiilitsxw tell the Nisga' about this?  A Yes, they summonsed my father. Council from the Nisga' ,  Master McCullough, he was the Indian agent.  Q How did they summons your father?  A They wrote on blue paper and there was blood on the  paper. This is the law. They talked Gitksanemx. That's  when the court started.  Q Did the Nisga' want your father's land?  A Yes, they tried to claim it.  Q Is that why they summoned him over the Nass?  A Yes, he was arrested by the council.  (In English) Indian agent was the judge and judged '  him.  Q What happened over there?  A They had court. My father spoke. This was the land that  was given by the Stikine, and he sang the song. My  father brought the wing that he got from the Stikine and  he showed it, and the Indian agent took it. The Indian  agent said this is what happens during the war, on the  battle fields. This is what happens in the battle fields  this is the sign, this is the symbol of battle. That is  why 'Wiilitsxw owns the territory.  (In English) Today like that.  Q Did 'wiilitsxw have anyone else speak for him?  A Yes, somebody else talked. This is what the chief of  the Stikine person gave. One Nisga' was very angry.  He was very angry. That was the person that arranged  the summons with Mr. McCullough. It was Aiyansh. The  Indian agent realized that 'Wiilitsxw was travel, that  is who will be spokesman of the land, and he is not the  only one that speaks for the land up there.  Q Did the Indian agent confirm 'Wiilitsxw' right to the  ownership of the territory?  A Yes, there's paper on it. Game warden took -- maybe in  the office in Terrace. My brothers maybe in Terrace  have copy of this. My brother's children, Frederick  may have this paper. My brother's name is Waitgyooksxw.  Q Mr. Johnson, did any of the Nisga' people speak before  Mr. McCullough? 1-67  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A No. They spoke -- some of them spoke but they didn't  have anything to show. They didn't have any sign.  They didn't have any symbol. They're still talking  about it today.  Q Were there lots of Nisga' people present at the time  this happened?  A Yes, there's lots. That's the tradition of our people.  There were lots and they just stand around.  Q Were there other Kitwancool chiefs present there at the  time?  A Yes, that's what happened.  Q Did Mr. McCullough speak the Gitksan language?  A (In English) That's right. Yes, he spoke Gitksan.  Q Were you there when this happened?  A I was very small. I knew time that the summons actually  came to my father. They wanted 'Wiilitsxw to go quickly  to the court. He Was just on his way out trapping  again. He left right away and his brother, after the  court, they continued to live there.  The Indian agent or Indian office in Hazelton would  always give us -- they would confirm that we could live  there. That recognized that we lived there.  Q Mr. Johnson, did the Nisga' bother your father again  after this court case?  A No, they had -- they didn't. They couldn't.  Q Did the Nisga' accept the decision that was made there?  A No, they were angry. They bit them. 'Wiilitsxw.  Q Did 'Wiilitsxw use the land after that? After that  decision?  A Yes. Yes, they always used it and his brother and his  nephews.  Q Did his brother and his nephews and his children, did  they use it after 'Wiilitsxw died?  A Yes. And the other 'Wiilitsxw that is in Kitwancool  now, John Robinson, and others.  Q Does John Robinson use 'Wiilitsxw territory today?  A Yes. And if he couldn't -- if he was unable to use the  land he would select somebody who would use the land.  Sometimes he would ask me.  Q Mr. Johnson, how old were you when your father died?  When 'Wiilitsxw died?  A I was somewhere around 16 or 18. I wasn't 20 yet. I  remember, I may have been around 20. He was buried in  Kitwancool. There is big cement where his grave is,  and there's tombstone on there with name Chief 'Wiilitsxw  on there.  Q Was he an old man when he died? 1-68  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  A Yes, he was. Very happy we were still growing up and  just getting to be men.  Q After 'Wiilitsxw died, did you continue to hunt and trap  and fish on the territory at Meziaden?  A Yes, we continued to use it. Yes, it was, and all the  people knew. We have lots of material there. I have  over 300 traps there and they may still be there today.  Maybe. Maybe the Fisheries people know who look after  it for me. We had bear traps. We have cabins there.  We have put lumber on top of our houses.  Q What is the    A That's .the law even though the house is not very well  constructed that you would still be lucky and they would  be wealthy.  Q Did you have smoke houses out at Meziaden? For smoking  the fish?  A Oh yes. And there was place where we would store fish  as well. They preserved the salmon right and the fish  eggs and the fish heads. It's just like cheese.  (In English) That's right, I remember when they  talk.  Q Did you look at    A (In English) All fine, make me healthy, anybody too.  They give it away when people are starving, they  give it away. They didn't charge them too much. They  just give them away. Because they had wealthy territory.  When you talk at feast these people that were given the  fish would return at a feast and sometimes they would  use a canoe, sometimes they would use a gun, and he would  probably announce it at the feast.  Q Did you have medicine plants? Were there medicine foods  out on the Meziaden territory?  A Yes. Yes, we used it on ourselves to be lucky. This is  what the Stikine said. The sun's too hot. The Stikine  people walk out of this house and he would have eagle  down on top of his head. This is the Stikine sitting  outside They wanted a little bit cooler weather to come,  not to be so hot. That's what happened.  Yes, and the blue grouse would talk, indicating that  the cooler weather would be coming. Same thing with the  water as well, when the water would be too high it would  slowly go down and that's the time they would get the  salmon. The Stikine people know this now.  Q Now, Mr. Johnson, when did you move from Meziaden to  Kitwanga? How old were you?  A I had a lot of children. I was quite big. My children  were fairly -- getting older. 1-69  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  Q Do you remember    A My uncles, my grandfathers wanted me, I was going to  look after the laws here. It is still the same today.  Q Was your mother in Kitwanga then?  A Yes, that's her own village. Got her own totem poles.  Got her own names here. Luulak.  Q You didn't say -- you said you were quite a big man and  had many children when you moved, do you remember about  how many years old you were?  A I had a fair bit of children and I was maybe over 20,  and I always listened and I heard what people are. . . .  MR. RUSH: I think he said he was over 20 and a little bit more  is that right?  THE INTERPRETER: Yes.  BY MR. RUSH:  Q Mr. Johnson, let me ask you again, were you older, more  than 2 0?  A (In English) That's right. Oh yes. I remember. I'm  from that time. I take big wood, put on shoulders,  over 100 pounds, and I married. I children at that  time.  Q You were married and you had children at that time?  A Yes.  Q Did you move -- when you came to Kitwanga did you move  into a big house?  A Yes. Wilps Lelt.  Q That is the House of Lelt?  A Yes.  MR. RUSH: Mr. Johnson, we have heard the buzzer go in the  hall here and it is just now I think about 12.30, so  we are going to adjourn our Commission now. We'll  start again when the lawyer for the other side and I  have decided on another date that we get together.  It won't be too long from now, hopefully within two  weeks. Within two weeks we'll cross our fingers,  will that be acceptable with you?  WITNESS SINGS SONG  MR. RUSH: Thank you very much.  THE WITNESS: (In English) Thank you. To talk. I learned  how to talk. 1-70  JOHNSON, F.  In Chief  Mr. Rush  MR. RUSH: You learned to talk very well, and you're a great  singer too.    OFF THE RECORD DISCUSSION    PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED AT 12.30 P.M. TO A DATE TO BE  DECIDED  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  AVD/jg-Sept. 17/86     B.CS.R.A. #263


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