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 CurrieAs of this time (9:30 am) there are reports of violence at the Bridge River blockade.
Xwisten - Bridge River
Tilikt - Lillooet
Sekw'el'was - Cayooh Creek
Xaxli'p - Fountain
Ts'kw'aylaxw - Pavilion
All the blockades will be coming down at 12 noon.
Please feel free to pass this on.
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.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.
* 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Solidarity and support: