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Elders voice their concerns at mini gathering

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  • Don
    Thursday, Oct 07, 2004 Elders voice their concerns at mini gathering http://www.mytelus.com/news/article.do?pageID=community/fort&articleID=1730502 A gathering
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 13, 2004
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      Thursday, Oct 07, 2004

      Elders voice their concerns at mini gathering
      http://www.mytelus.com/news/article.do?pageID=community/fort&articleID=1730502

      A gathering at Kwah Hall gave elders a chance to voice their concerns for the young people in their communities.

      The Nak'azdli Elder's Society hosted a luncheon on September 30, inviting elders from the Tl'azt'en, Saikuz, McLeod Lake and Stony Creek First Nations to meet and socialize as well as speak to local Chief Leonard Thomas about issues affecting them.

      Virginia Alexander, a member of the board of directors for the Nak'azdli Elder's Society said that there is concern for young people on every reserve.


      "No matter who we are we are all concerned about our people," she said.

      She told of children throwing rocks at a taxi driver and roaming the Nak'azdli First Nation at 3 a.m.

      "There's a lot of noise in some places and people can't sleep," said Alexander.

      Chief Leonard Thomas attended the gathering and noted a lack of self-governing bylaws to control residents on the reserve.

      "There are a lot of missing connections on the reserve," said Thomas at the gathering.

      Any bylaws passed by the Nak'azdli Band Council must be sent within four weeks to the federal government for approval.

      The government however can take anywhere from six months to a year to send their recommendations or approval back to the band.

      For instance, with the lack of a noise bylaw on Nak'azdli First Nation, RCMP have little power to stop or restrict noisy parties or individuals.

      "If we had a proper bylaw, we would be able to enforce it," said Thomas.

      "They (federal government) tell us to develop our own system, in order for people to get charged, we need our own judges and we do not have the money for that."

      Chief Thomas also noted the need for an aboriginal security to patrol, caution and protect residents, who often feel uncomfortable with the RCMP.

      "We would not use these people as enforcement officers," he clarified.

      He also encouraged band members to join Citizens on Patrol and phone the proper authorities if they see any suspicious activity.

      "The thing is we can't hold people's hands, it's not like we are not doing anything," said Thomas.

      "We need the blessing of every band member. Everyone of us has been affected, even if you are an elected official or not."




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