CBC radio has announced that the NYM are planning to remain inside the BC Treaty Offices in Vancouver at 1155 West Pender. A Native Youth Movement spokesperson David Dennis said that BCTC chief Commissioner Alec Robertson, a former senior partner of Daishowa law firm Davis & Co, and himself a former director of the multi-national logging firm Daishowa Canada, had arranged to forcibly evict the NYM members at 4:30 PM (PST).
The following is a firsthand account of the press conference and discussions between Chief Commissioner Alec Robertson and NYM's David Dennis, with thanks to Jim Edenshaw.
...Delgamuukw conference. The press conference and rally was well attended by supporters and press. At the press conference Dave and some youth supporters restated their reasons for occupying the BC Treaty offices.
After the press conference Dave Dennis had a discussion with Alex Robertson in Alex's office. After discussing the reasons for occupation and reasons the BC Treaty should be scrapped Dave stated that he and his followers had no intention of leaving the BC Treaty and asked Alex if he would leave. Alex stated he would not leave and that he thought they had a deal with the Native Youth and they would vacate the offices. Dave said no such deal was made. Alex then stated that there was confidential material in these offices and that the Native Youth broke into 3 offices and because of that they would have to leave. The Native Youth responded that no offices were broken into and that was a lie.
Alex responded to a question from the press about "what's next". Alex responded that he did want the office occupation ended but did not want a confrontation. It is their call and as of this moment we do not know what they will do. Waiting for more information.
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Drumming and singing: We're going to fight until we win...
CBC News: They're part of a growing group of young people called the Native Youth Movement. They've been occupying the BC Treaty Commission since Friday afternoon. Today they invited the media in to get their message out. Natanis Derjolais says young people think they've shut out of the Treaty process. They oppose a process that will forfeit their inherent rights to their land.
Natanis Derjolais: They say this is where we're going to be - in 'Canadian society' where we'll be 'economically stable', 'self-government' and all that...but really what it is, is extinguishment of Aboriginal Rights.
CBC News: Twenty-three year old David Dennis says the young people won't leave the Treaty Office until they get this message across.
David Dennis: Well, until our message is out there...we've got support letters coming in and we really want to put the challenge out there to other indigenous youth to challenge their respective Bands and leaderships and such. We want to stop this process.
CBC: There's been no move to remove the young people from the Treaty Office but Dennis says they're preparing to be removed by force. Amanda Pfeffer, CBC News, Vancouver.
Native Youth Movmement
(604) 977-1510 (pager) or (604) 490-5314: Monty Joseph or David Dennis