Jul 12/98: Pavilion band blocks highway


Canadian Press
July 12, 1998

LILLOOET, B.C. (CP) -- Native protesters blocked a highway near this southern B.C. Interior town Sunday morning to protest a lack of progress in treaty talks.

Members of the Pavilion Indian band set up the road block on Highway 99 between 6 a.m. and noon.

"The native band was pressing their demands to the government for resumption and results to the treaty process and negotiations," said Sgt. Butch Van Acker of the Lillooet RCMP.

"There were no incidents, minimal traffic was held up."

Traffic was redirected onto Highways 12 and 97 for the duration of the blockade, which added about two hours to the trip for travellers.

Van Acker said about 30 band members peacefully protested, and dismantled the road block on their own.

The 420-member Pavilion band claims almost 2,500 square kilometres of traditional territory between Cache Creek and Lillooet.

Pavilion is located about 350 kilometres north of Vancouver.

Formal treaty talks between the band, a member of the Stl'atl'imx nation, and the government began in 1996.

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