[Tim Wees is an independent observer at the Ts'peten trial.]
April 21, 1977 - Surrey, B.C.
The court is still involved with the preparations for the final run to the finish line. Today, Judge Josephson said that he intends to call the jury back on Thursday morning to start hearing final submissions. He asked if there were any objections, and there were none.
His lordship said, "If I'm allowed to say hallelujah then let me say it."
The judge canvassed the room to see how long submissions will take. It may be that these will be concluded by the end of Friday. Next week the judge will charge the jury, and he may be a couple of days with that. All of these forecasts are somewhat like trying to predict the weather and are subject to change depending upon the vagaries of the court participants.
The jury will then be sequestered to determine the verdict.
All eyes will be on the high security, "anti-terrorist" Surrey courtroom #7 this week, as Regina v Pena et al, the longest criminal trial in Canadian history, begins hearing final summations from counsel. BC Supreme Court Justice Bruce Josephson will then "charge" the 7 woman, 5 man jury, who will then deliberate to consider the case.The summations will begin Thursday.
Before the defence closed, Josephson, citing the Delgamuukw case and the doctrine of "stare decisis", dismissed the jurisdictional arguments of Shuswap elder Wolverine. "That will be grounds for appeal on the basis of your fraud in not dealing with the law," responded the much respected elder. (Background on Delgamuukw at http://kafka.uvic.ca/~vipirg/SISIS/clark/scchoax.html)
Tension is mounting as a verdict approaches. The traditional sovereigntists and native rights lawyer Dr. Bruce Clark have urged the jury to recommend referral of the matter to an independent, impartial third party tribunal.
There is a strong sense that the BC and Canadian authorities' corrupt and fraudulent defiance of the binding constitutional and international law that precludes their jurisdiction on sovereign unceded Indian territory must be dealt with soon. This jury has heard from defendants and from Clark that by recommending third party adjudication, they have the power "to stop this genocide now."
The termination and extinguishment policies of BC's NDP government continue to provoke protest and resistance. On Friday, April 18, thirty members of the Native Youth Movement occupied the BC Treaty Commission Office (BCTC) in Vancouver. The Commission, which oversees a bogus "treaty" process, is headed by Alec Robertson, once senior partner of Davis and co, one of BC's powerful corporate law firms, and director of logging giant Daishowa Canada, infamous for their violations of Lubicon territory. The Native Youth Movement demanded:
1. an unbiased coherent independent review to all current treaty process issues pertinent to all native youth in their territories;opposition to the fraudulent BCTC. In a letter to BC Premier Glen Clark and BC Ministers, Tsilhqot'in Deputy Chief Ray Hance wrote, "I repeat that, like the people of Penticton, the Tsilhqot'in National Government urges you to negotiate, not to confront. But I must also warn you that if you choose to ignore that advice and to provoke confrontation, you will achieve confrontation on a scale that will shock you."
2. a budget breakdown of all allocations of funds where chief and council of BC are concerned;
3. to speak to the BCTC chief negotiators; and
4. that all native youth have equal representation on all processes concerning native affairs
If the governments continue to provoke and incite confrontation, if murderous adventures like Gustafsen Lake continue to be orchestrated for political purposes, the attention and intervention of people of good will from around the world will be required.
No matter what the verdict of the Gustafsen Lake jury, and despite the seamlessly perfected system of colonization known as BC and Canada, the indigenous peoples will continue to be the sovereign. Increasingly, their resistance to corporate colonialism in defence of their rights to sovereignty and self determination is finding allies and supporters among the growing underclass within the settler regime itself, who perceive a common enemy, reject the colonialist genocide, and are determined to replace racist oppression with honour: