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Additional Information About Grand Chief George Manuel

George Manuel and Pierre Elliot Trudeau circa 1975

Grand Chief George Manuel was a visionary, he was a man who led his people over two decades and always stayed true to his traditional teachings. He believed in the preservation of Aboriginal Rights at all costs.

In a speech he stated that he told Nishga elders that the only reason that we have Aboriginal Rights is because our forefathers had the insight to not sell or bargain it away.

He made strong statements that he would not be responsible for selling the rights of children yet unborn.

“I have been involved in Indian affairs and Indian Organizations since the early 1950’s way before funds were made available to Indian organizations, by the Governments, and I will be involved long after governments withdraw their funds from Indian organizations.”

"We want to settle our way through our own values and institutions”

“I don’t have to tell you, you know that the Indian today is suffering, more than any race in the world. Not because of poverty, not because of discrimination, not so much from exploitation, but from more then any other single factor , through loss of his values, his pride, his language, most of all his LAND, in other words his entire way of life.”

“You must understand that many Indians do not give a damn about white acceptance, they given up trying to make themselves understood long ago.”

“Everyone wants a meaning in life, everyone wants and needs a sense of involvement in something larger then the miserable competitive business of providing for his own wants. Everyone wants an opportunity not only to get up but to give up and everyone had something to give. There are more kinds of poverty then the material, and the law of compensation is such, that usually, he who is poor in one sense, is rich in another.”

“As Indians we have a big obligation and responsibility to ourselves and to out children. I say as an Indian that our first responsibility is to act and preach the gospel of action. Action to shed the shackles of ignorance and pity, and from out of the past, take up the war cry of battle, to restore our pride and dignity as men and women. We must rise and fight for what we want and believe, blow by blow, eye for eye, and teeth for teeth. We have to create an image which people of Canada and abroad will respect. An image we ourselves and our children will regard with pride.”

“I ask again to the Indian people, what are we going to do about over coming the many problems and frustrations facing us? You know, everyone knows, only Indian people by their own efforts and initiative can and will make the change from the terrible situation we are in. the future of the Indian People depends on the Indian People.”

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