Regarding Monica Lamb-Yorski’s recent article entitled Band Seeks Mine Agreement.
It is not my interest to criticize or find fault, I am, however, saddened as I read this article.
I am reminded of comic funnyman Rodney Dangerfield, his argument through his career on stage was always: “I get no respect.”
The question that comes to mind as I read Monica’s article is: Joe Alphonse demands respect but offers little in return, if Monica’s article is correctly interpreted.
I am particularly referring to his comment, “If we have to, we are going to push to get Taseko out and another company in that will work with First Nations People.”
Confrontational negotiations will win nothing for anybody, as we can see with any negotiations. Negotiations are, like it or not, simply give and take.
I am in no way suggesting that First Nations should approach negotiations like a whimpering dog crawling on its knees.
First Nations have the right to receive the greatest respect, as well they should be prepared to give equal respect in any undertaken negotiations.
Whenever negotiations are approached with one side taking firmly entrenched positions, there simply can be no negotiations.
Simply speaking both sides will just simply dig in their heels and absolutely nothing can be resolved.
Diplomatically speaking making advance absurd statements only serves to cloud issues, my argument has always been, if you want to solve issues, both sides need to carefully weigh and fairly consider the platform and issues of the opposing side.
If respect for the opposing sides issues is not given, there can never a resolution be found.
Speaking in a generalized way; one thing that will always destroy negotiations is where goal posts are simply not firmly entrenched.
Possibly Joe Alphonse needs to take a lesson or two from the Williams Lake Indian Band.
The Williams Lake Indian Band seems to have been quite successful in their negotiations with local mining companies.
As much as Joe may be a real fine and upstanding representative of the greater Native Population for him to be in any way involved with negotiations of any kind with Taseko following his dearth of inflammatory comments about Taseko and Prosperity, it hardly seems like constructive grounds for any negotiations.
I suggest the Esdilagh People seek someone to negotiate for them without Joe’s hard headed negative baggage.