Thursday, August 05, 2010

I'm sure there's more to this than the letter "A"

Published in the Kitimat Northern Sentinel, August 4, 2010.
If you have had the time to read my previous editorials, you, of course, know I'm new to here. 
Logically, this means I'm not familiar with Kitimat and Kitamaat history. 
I have read Pixie Meldrum's Kitimat – The First Five Years, I have toured the museum and Curator Louise Avery was generous with her time telling me of Kitimat's acclaimed history as have many of you with your personal recollections. 
What I haven't found in the histories I've had access to is the substance of the rancor between Kitamaat and Kitimat. 
It is obvious to me the fate of the communities is tied together and I've had a number of people in Kitamaat and Kitimat express that idea to me. 
I don't see any evidence of joint cooperation. 
That could be because I'm new here. 
Recent letters published from council members from both Kitamaat and Kitimat suggest poor communication and suspicion between the councils, or maybe just council members. 
As much as I appreciate having the letters published in the Kitimat Northern Sentinel, I assume the councils have more direct methods of communication. 
Of course maybe they don't, I'm new here. 
The people of Kitamaat and Kitimat seem to have good relationships and respect for each other, but officialdom seems challenged. 
If officialdom is challenged, progress is challenged. 
The success of Kitamaat is a success for Kitimat. 
Progress in Kitimat is progress for Kitamaat. 
I'm not sure if it is the current circumstances which are challenging or if it is the joint history. 
The Haisla Nation was here before Kitimat and will be remain here even if Kitimat is no longer viable. 
But the people of Kitimat love this place, they tell me so everyday, and only leave begrudgingly. 
Perhaps the people of Kitimat love this place in a different way than the people of Kitamaat, but the love is still true, and there is a common place to start from. 
Haisla member Herb Grant expressed the hope that his upcoming All Nations Hockey Tournament would provide the opportunity for bridge building between Kitamaat and Kitimat.
Bridges are important to get from one place to another, but they must be crossed to get there. 
It make take a hockey tournament, a phone call or best of all a shared meal, but letters to the editor are not a bridge. 
While the histories of Kitamaat and Kitimat are vastly different, you share common future, and futures are best when they are shared.

Related Links
Kitimat Northern Sentinel [original posting]
Kitimat Northern Sentinel [Open letter from Haisla Chief Councillor Dolores Pollard to Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan]
Kitimat Northern Sentinel [Open letter from Kitimat Councillor Randy Halyk to Premier Gordon Campbell regarding Haisla requests to the province]
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