'Hang Onto These Words': Johnny David's Delgamuukw Evidence

Edited by Antonia Mills

© 2005

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 502 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 1.3in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED DEC 2005

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    Regular Price: $60.00

    ISBN 9780802085344
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Quick Overview

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.

'Hang Onto These Words': Johnny David's Delgamuukw Evidence

Edited by Antonia Mills

© 2005

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.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 502 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 1.3in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Antonia Mills is an associate professor in the First Nations Studies Program at the University of Northern British Columbia.

  • Table of contents

    Foreword
    HAGWILNEGHL /RONALD A. MITCHELL

    Foreword
    MISALOS / VICTOR JIM

    Foreword
    MICHAEL JACKSON

    Acknowledgments

    Introduction
    ANTONIA MILLS

    The Commission Evidence of Witsuwiten 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

    Notes

    Glossary

    References

    Credits and Sources

    Index

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