January 16, 2015
An Open letter to Chief Councillor, Barry Nikal
Dear Chief Councillor Nikal,
The Haisla, like your band has had to make hard decisions regarding economic development whether it was forestry or natural gas pipelines. As Chief Councillors our responsibility to our communities was and always has been to do what we think is best for our members whether that be a job, training or just help with their future.
We felt helpless under the Indian act and treaty was not delivering what was promised to get us out of poverty, leaving us begging for more money from Ottawa.
Personally, I know what you’re going through. It may feel like you and your supporters are being outnumbered, but you are not. Fifteen of your neighboring First Nations have made the same tough decisions and do support you and your community.
In talking with you over the years, I am confident in your integrity and character and I truly believe you care for your people. At times, you may feel alone, but you are not. There are a number of First Nation leaders that are facing the same tough decisions to try to build a future.
The Haisla still foresee some hard times ahead for our nation, but making the best strategic decisions with what we have now is necessary in order to keep moving forward.
Congratulations on your progress.
Chief Councillor, OBC