All That's Left is Struggle: Russell Kwasistala - Laichkwiltach Nation



July, 1993

On Native sovereigntists in the courts:

If I stole the Parliament building last week and it was found in my country this week I would be in court for theft, the Parliament building would be returned, etcetera.

That's why I'm not afraid of using the word apartheid. South African apartheid, because the Gitskan/Wet'suwet'en chiefs proved without a shadow of doubt that Aboriginal title still exists.

If Aboriginal title still exists, then who the hell is handing out these harvesting permits? And these mining resource permits? It certainly isn't the Gitskan/Wet'suwet'en people, according to the judgement that I read from court.

It's just the employee catering to the employer--when you look at the federal appointment of the judges, at the provincial appointment of the judges, they're appointed by the parties that are in power, usually.

Both the federal and the provincial governments should give up this nonsense of trying to leave First Nations people in an apartheid state. Because we have proven we have the skills to hire lawyers, to fight nationally for our rights and freedoms and to enjoy the homelands that were alloted by the Creator.

On colonial devestation of Laichkwiltach lands:

There was land slides and mud slides and spawning salmon couldn't get to their homes. That happened in my life--this has been going on for 90 some-odd years of logging.

Granted, a lot of people say it's changed for the better, but that remains to be seen. We won't know the impact for probably 200 years after the first logging operation started.

Clearcuts in our Laichkwiltach Nation are part of the worst parts of North America. Tree Farm Licenses 34 and 37 are some of the biggest in North American history. And they're smack dab in the middle of our world, of our country of olden times. And they've all but creamed it now, so you can imagine the impact [and] damages into our area.

And in the mining areas, you have leaching minerals, acid leaching. . . This has become sort of like a nuclear zone where nobody really cares to go to anymore. They tried to fix one [mine] up at South Oyster River and there's been political window dressing to it by non-Native do-gooders, but they haven't cleaned the problem up.

In my life I've seen four rivers completely lose fish habitat. You know they've absolutely decimated the fish stocks that used to be there.

On fighting for recognition of sovereignty:

I, myself personally, with my Chief filed an action against Joe Clark and the so-called Native leaders of British Columbia to sue and protect our inherent right.

And we encourage other people to file their property actions against Canada and the BC government.

It's basically an assimilation format--trying to see another 50 years before anyone wakes up. But we're already awake to that.

For more information about these issues and the Laichkwiltach Nation, write or phone:

Captain and Chiefs
the Independent State of Laichkwiltach
1439 Weiweikum Road
via Campbell River, BC, Canada
V9W 5W9
Phone: [604] 287-8443

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