In 1985 and 1986, ninety-year-old Witsuwit'en Chief, Maxlaxlex or Johnny David as he is better known was the first Witsuwit'en to give Commission Evidence in the Delgamuukw land claims case in which the Witsuwit'en and Gitxsan of Northern British Columbia were battling for title to their traditional territories.
'Hang Onto These Words' presents the actual transcripts of the questions and answers between lawyers working on both sides and this knowledgeable and outspoken Native elder who spoke in his own language and whose words were then translated by an interpreter into English. The evidence was given in a makeshift courtroom set up in David's own home. Anthropologist Antonia Mills was present during these proceedings, and in this book, she introduces and contextualizes the evidence within the Delgamuukw case.
In his testimony, David provides a rich description of the Witsuwit'en way of life as well as the injustices suffered at the hands of Indian agents and settlers. He ends his testimony saying, “If you hang on to these words, everything will be all right.” The challenge of hearing his voice, and using it to negotiate the meaning and substance of Aboriginal rights remains unresolved and resonant.
|Publisher:||University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
Antonia Mills is an associate professor in the First Nations Studies Program at the University of Northern British Columbia.
Table of Contents
HAGWILNEGHL /RONALD A. MITCHELL
MISALOS / VICTOR JIM
The Commission Evidence of Witsuwit’en Chief Maxlaxlex / Johnny David
VOLUME 1: Direct Examination of Johnny David by Peter Grant, 20 September 1985
VOLUME 2: Direct Examination of Johnny David by Peter Grant, 26–7 September 1985
VOLUME 3: Direct Examination of Johnny David by Peter Grant, 17–19 October 1985
VOLUME 4: Direct Examination of Johnny David by Peter Grant, 19–20 December 1985
VOLUME 5: Direct Examination of Johnny David by Peter Grant, 29–31 January 1986
VOLUME 6: Cross-Examination of Johnny David by John Milne, 24–5 February 1986
VOLUME 7: Cross-Examination of Johnny David by John Milne, 21–2 April 1986
VOLUME 8: Cross-Examination of Johnny David by John Milne, 28 April 1986
Redirect Examination of Johnny David by Peter Grant, 29 April 1986
Cross-Examination of Johnny David by John Milne, 29 April 1986
Credits and Sources