Recently we learned the Joint Review Panel holding public hearings about the Northern Gateway pipeline had concerns about security in Hazelton. In response, the JRP moved the hearings to Smithers. In spring, they had the same kind of concerns in Bella Bella, where their airplane was met by First Nations people in regalia, drumming and chanting, and the JRP got in their cars and drove off and stayed in the hotel room all night and the next day, canceling the first day’s session where school children were scheduled to present.
The JRP said they were concerned, which means they were scared, afraid, they had fear.
When the human mammal perceives a threat, the adrenaline kicks in, the heart speeds up, pupils dilate, blood flows directly to the extremities of arms and legs in order to do the fight or flight thing. Blood circulation to the brain decreases, causing us to lose about 20% of our thinking ability. It’s not our fault, we can’t help it, this is a evolutionary survival mechanism, a purely physiological response.
This physical activity is in response to perceived threat, whether triggered by an actual breathing snorting sabre-toothed tiger two feet away from you, the raised eyebrow of a co-worker, or even a mis-read e-mail.
I hope all Terracites and Northwest BC residents will join me in encouraging the JRP to remain calm. Let us tell them that the Hazeltons in summer are dreamy-gorgeous, where well-kept gardens and wild berries bloom at the convergence of three charming rivers. Let’s mention to the JRP that Old Town looks like the Wild West, with wooden boardwalks! Take a day or two off the grind of work and be a tourist for a bit, wear your shades and shorts.
Also, while in the area, the JRP could drive up the Nass highway to Greenville to see the new museum, Anhooya’ahl Ga’angigatgum’ (the Ancestors’ Collection). The website says, “This gathering of priceless artifacts — on display together for the first time — contains over 300 Nisga’a cultural treasures. You will be moved by the power and spirit encountered here.”
A note to the JRP: the big impressive group of Nisga’a mannequins, when you first go in, strong and tall and imposing – they are real enough, that is for sure. Your heart might skip a beat.
Charlynn Toews, Terrace, BC