Rita George is a Wet’suwet’en Matriarch and hereditary sub chief who today is speaking out against the so called “solidarity” protests happening across Canada under her nation’s name.
As an 80 year old in the Gidimt’en Clan (Bear Clan), she helped translate a seminal Supreme Court of Canada decision in Delgamuukw which paved the way for Indigenous communities to obtain greater control over their land.
Ms. George says her and the other Matriarch have not been consulted by the Wet’suwet’en nation members who are using her clan's name to protest climate change policy, resource extraction and Indigenous reconciliation.
Listen to what this respected Matriarch and Elder in the Wet’suwet’en community has to say about the protests going on in Canada and on her territory. Also see:
Rita George: Wet’suwet’en Matriarch Speaks Out
This is powerful. Rita George, Wet'suwet'en Matriarch & Hereditary Subchief.— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) February 25, 2020
“What’s happening out there is not right. We didn’t give our permission (to use our name in protest)...”#WetsuwetenSolidarity #WetsuwetenStong #AllEyesOnWetsuweten pic.twitter.com/Ngv6cKHh6H
"I want the world to know why I stepped forward is, as a Matriarch, is if I don’t say anything now, the world will think that the Matriarch are behind all these protestors that’s going on. And, none of the Matriarch were contacted.
What’s happening out there is not right. We didn’t give our permission for the young woman that[s] repeatedly saying that she’s representing the Wet’suwet’en Bear Clan, and she didn’t even contact us, and we were surprised to hear her saying that she was representing the Gidimt’en Clan, which is the Bear Clan. And, we felt that wasn’t right because it’s not right without our permission that she’s out there saying she’s representing us.
The Matriarch, some of them are really sick, some of them are up to 87 years old, they’re not even contacted. And without their permission, things are happening and its really hurtful. It’s not the way of our ancestors. Our Ancestors have in the past, any dispute they have, they talk it over, peacefully, respectful, love, and all that is not there."
- Rita George, Wet'suwet'en Matriarch and Hereditary Subchief