(Haida Gwaii Observer/File photo)

Letter: Gwaii Trust change would sow division

A change of representation for the non-Haida communities of Gwaii Trust has been proposed by factions of Port Clements and Masset.

In fact the Gwaii Trust proposed representation change would result in significantly less representation of those persons living in areas outside the boundaries of the incorporated communities. Why is it being proposed if it reduces Gwaii Trust representation for those in outlying areas? Because it would result in greater possible funding opportunities to the incorporated communities by changing the structure of the Gwaii Trust.

It’s about the money.

The present structured components of the Trust — North, Central, South, and Area E (Sandspit and South Moresby) — would be replaced under the proposed representation by the three incorporated villages of Masset, Port Clements, Queen Charlotte, and the remaining south through north scattered island residents of Areas D and E. This representation change would ignore that outlying residents support their nearest community and cast adrift these scattered residents leaving them with weak ineffective representation. The present structure of Gwaii trust is inclusive and respectful of all Haida Gwaii residents.

Presently the eight directors of Gwaii Trust by consensus approve and allocate funding. Consensus to grant funding has evolved into the unifying realization that while a project is of direct benefit to the community, granted funding raises the values and standards of all the communities.

The proposed change of representation would be divisive and destructive to island unity advanced over time by Gwaii Trust.

The proposed change of representation is detrimental to the well-being of Gwaii Trust and the cohesiveness of our island community.

Residents, particularly those of Areas D and E who would be cast adrift from proper representation within their present Gwaii Trust areas can voice their opposition to the proposed change to their present Gwaii Trust directors to block these changes.

Ron McKee

Past GT Director Graham Island South

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