Ts'peten Defender James OJ (Eyabay) Pitawanakwat, sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for his role in the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff, is now eligible to apply for day parole. S.I.S.I.S. is soliciting letters of support for OJ's application. Letters can be addressed "To whom it may concern," and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to P.O. Box 8673, Victoria, "B.C." "Canada" V8X 3S2. Letters must be sent with enough time for OJ to receive them by February 26, 1998.
The letter should point out that the attack by the Canadian state against Mr. Pitawanakwat and the other indigenous traditionalists on unceded, sacred, Shuswap Sundance grounds was a violation of international law, incurred the outrage of the world, and that the criminalization of the Ts'peten Defenders instead of submitting the jurisdictional dispute to independent, international adjudication, is itself a crime by BC and Canada. Mr. Pitawanakwat and Shuswap elder Wolverine - sentenced to 8 years imprisonment - are political prisoners not criminals and should be released forthwith. As well, a full and comprehensive public inquiry must be held into "all aspects of the Gustafsen Lake matter," as demanded by Canada's Assembly of First Nations.
"Sovereignty is the issue, Canada is the problem. Honour the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Ceremonies like the Sundance need to be protected from cultural genocide. This is the basis of my resistance. We are not militants or terrorists. We are warriors for our people, our families, our generations yet to come. If I was asked it it was worth it, I would answer: "I know how my ancestors felt, YES, it was worth it. I thank the Great Spirit. All my relations... I believed this then and I believe this now!"
-- OJ Pitawanakwat's summation to the BC 'Criminal' trial
"Canada does not recognize the right of self-determination to be a right of self-determination as that term is understood in international law."
-- Denis Marantz, Canadian representative to UN Working Group on Indigenous Peoples July, 1992