Dec 11/98: St'at'imc assert title & rights


S.I.S.I.S. note: There are unconfirmed reports that the Chief of the Bridge River band and his wife were assaulted in today's actions. Additionally, CBC Vancouver finally reported the actions briefly on the noon radio news, quoting Union of BC Indian Chiefs' President Stewart Philip as saying today's actions were simply "the prelude to a spring offensive". Contacts for more information are attached to the end of this release.


Bernard Schulmann
Friday, December 11, 1998

Today 7 of the 11 Stl'atl'imx communities have banded together to protest the lack of implementation of the December 11 1997 Delgamuukw ruling.

The protest is taking the form of a blocking of Highway 99 in Mount Currie, Lillooet, and Pavilion, the blocking of road 40 at Bridge River and the blocking of BC Rail in Shalath. Only the movement of logs and wood products is being stopped - the general public is not being held up.

The participating communites are:

Lil'Wat - Mount Currie
Xwisten - Bridge River
Tilikt - Lillooet
Sekw'el'was - Cayooh Creek
Xaxli'p - Fountain
Ts'kw'aylaxw - Pavilion
As of this time (9:30 am) there are reports of violence at the Bridge River blockade.

All the blockades will be coming down at 12 noon.


Bernard Schulmann
Treaty Office

Please feel free to pass this on.


St'at'imc Nation
December 11, 1998

The People and Chiefs of the St'at'imc Nation are uniting. Our united St'at'imc Government will work on collective issues such as land, forests, fish, wildlife and other natural resources. We plan to establish a Government to Government relationship with the Province of British Columbia and a Nation to Nation relationship with the Government of Canada.

We are moving back onto our traditional lands to exercise our St'at'imc Title and Rights. Our first step in this direction is signified by the Delgamuukw Inn, located at Nzawt/Msut (South Seton). This is our first traditional camp on St'at'imc lands away from our reservations. The Supreme Court of Canada's Delgamuukw Decision (1997) verifies our legitimate title to and rights on traditional lands. The Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe, along with our continuing use of the land and its resources, is proof of our St'at'imc Title and Rights to our traditional territory. By asserting our Title and Rights as affirmed by Delgamuukw, we are breaking the chains of the colonial reservation system.

We believe the governments of British Columbia and Canada are not taking Delgamuukw seriously. Instead, in the year since the Delgamuukw Decision was handed down, both governments and industry have carried on with "business as usual". We have seen no change in this approach. This is unacceptable to the St'at'imc People and Chiefs. Significant legislative and policy changes must be made.

Today, on the first anniversary of the handling down of this historic decision, we have agreed to launch a peaceful action during which we will:

* hand out information to the public to help them understand our issues and concerns.

* stop logging trucks from taking logs out of our territory.

* in solidarity with the Interior Alliance Nations, stop trains from moving natural resources through our territory.

* stop provincial vehicles (except emergency vehicles) from moving through the territory.

* We will carry out these activities from 8 AM until Noon on Friday, 11 December.

The St'atimc Chiefs are prepared to take action at several levels. We are prepared to negotiate. We are prepared to take political, legal, and as necessary direct action in order to facilitate a new relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. Negotiations must be tailored to meet the needs and rights of the St'at'imc People.

Present and future negotiations regarding our Title and Rights cannot based on "extinguishment", but must be based on Government to Government, Nation to Nation agreements which clarify the terms for co-existence. Extinguishment is not an option. Constructive agreements which clarify mutually agreed upon terms for peaceful coexistence are the only means to achieve certainty for everyone in BC and Canada.


St'at'imc Chiefs, via
Lillooet Tribal Council
80 Rancherie Drive, PO Box 1420
Lillooet, BC VOK 1VO
Telephone (250) 256-7523
Fax: (250) 256-7119

December 11, 1998

To: The Honourable Jean Chretien, Prime Minister, Government of Canada
    The Honourable Glenn Clark, Premier Government of British Columbia
Re: December 11, 1997, Delgamuukw Decision

The attached Statements clearly indicate that the St'at'imc People and Chiefs will unite to deal with St'at'imc Title and Rights. The Federal Government's Comprehensive Land Claims Policy was extinguished by Delgamuukw. Provincial policies and regulations must be changed to meet the test of Delgmamuukw. St'at'imc laws, policies and regulations now have to be recognized. This Statement establishes a Government to Government relationship with the Province of British Columbia and a Nation to Nation relationship with Canada. Business as usual is not acceptable.

With respect,

St'at'imc Chiefs (elected Chief Counsellors):

Chief Mike Leach, Chief Gary John, Chief Art Adolph, Chief Fred Alec, Chief Robert Shintah, Chief Dave Terry, Chief Alan Stager, Chief Perry Redan, Chief William Machell.


We, the undersigned St'at'imc Chiefs, on behalf of our People, state the following:

That we once again concur with our Chiefs' Statements made to the Crown through our Lillooet Tribal Declaration, Memorials, and Deputations in the early days of colonial development. That we welcome the news that the Crown, through the Supreme Court of Canada's Delgamuukw Decision, recognizes that we continue to hold title to our territory and everything pertaining thereto.

That our Rights, which flow from our Title, must be addressed.

That we stand for a Government to Government relationship with the Province of British Columbia and a Nation to Nation relationship with Canada, so that all matters of past and present importance to the People of each of our communities be subject to these discussions in order that we shall have a definite understanding with regard to lands, water, timber, game, fish, etc.

That we agree to sit as Chiefs' Council to address these matters.


Letters of protest:

Solidarity and support:

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