May 7/97: CASNP - Judge stacks deck for Ts'peten Defenders


Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with the Native Peoples CASNP
National Office: 39 Spadina Rd. Toronto On. Canada M5R 2S9
mailing address: PO Box 574 stn P Toronto ON. Canada M5S 2T1
phone: (416) 972-1573 fax: (416) 972-6232
web site:

May 7, 1997

CASNP. Surrey BC. May 7, 1997. Said a faithful observer throughout the trial in Surrey British Columbia, "They're still trying to shoot the messengers!" Canada continues its offensive against Aboriginal and sovereign rights, moving from Gustafsen Lake to Courtroom No. 7 in Surrey. The same tactics are being used - intimidation, threats, withholding and manufacturing of evidence, manipulation and genocide. The establishment, through the RCMP and the Canadian Army, attempted to murder the Aboriginal people on their own unceded territory.

The latest grotesque chapter in the continuing saga is this attempt by B.C. Judge (Stonewall) Josephson to steer the jury into convicting the defendants while suppressing the central issues of jurisdiction, sovereignty, self-defense, colour of right, rule of law and third party impartial adjudication. In short, there is nothing to make this a credible process.

Judge Josephson goes further than the "forked tongue". He is tampering with the right of the jury to make its own decision based on 11 months of real testimony and evidence. "You must accept the law as I explain it to you, without question", demanded Josephson. He tells them to forget four weeks of brilliant testimony by Bruce Clark, Aboriginal rights lawyer, and Loretta Pascal, Lil'Wat elder, on the basic issues. Judge Josephson instructed, "You will probably have no difficulty concluding that the alleged offences occurred at the time and place alleged in the indictment": just to make sure the jury decies the right (white) way.

The judge spent three days telling the jury what to consider and essentially to forget what they heard over 11 months. He shamelessly instructed them on what to take from that testimony and what to forget. In essence, he said, "I'll tell you what to think and what to forget".

When it comes to sovereignty issues, this grotesque behaviour is not unusual in Canada.

What has not been dealt with, yet again, is the challenge to the courts on the jurisdiction issue - which is protected under Canadian constitutional law - their own law! The Aboriginals ask British Columbia, "Where is the treaty? Where is the receipt for the purchase?" They can't answer because they know they have none.

The Crown Prosecutor recommends to the judge that "the jury should be given a brief explanation and be told it (jurisdiction) should not be part of their deliberations". Jurisdiction is the legal right recognized in the constitution as the exclusive jurisdiction of the Aboriginal nations over their lands, resources and possessions on unceded territories. The land at Gustafsen Lake is unceded sovereign Aboriginal Shuswap territory, which was brought out in the trial and confirmed by the Privy Council of Great Britain, the Canadian constitution and the Royal Proclamation 1763. They affirm Aboriginal nationhood, sovereignty and ownership of North America. For Canada to have jurisdiction they must go through the process outlined in their own laws: purchase and treaty. This is not the case for British Columbia or most of Canada. The Canadian judicial system has usurped jurisdiction, forced the owners of the land into their illegal kangaroo courts and is now trying to railroad them for being on their own homeland.

Jones William Ignace, known as "Wolverine", Shuswap elder, told the judge: "Finally after 139 years an officer of the court admits there is no purchase" (of our land). The accused are charged with using extortion and force to achieve justice. If we substituted the RCMP for the Gustafsen Lake defendants based upon the present charges, there would be an airtight case against the RCMP, who would undoubtedly be convicted of hate crimes, attempted murder, genocide, numerous weapons offences, violations of numerous international protocols and covenants such as the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 1948, violation of the Geneva Conventions, war crimes and other sordid criminal colonial acts.

"Smear campaigns are our specialty", said Sgt. Peter Montague, Chief Media Liaison for B.C. RCMP, affectionately known as "He lies but doesn't get his hands dirty", aka "Pinocchio". The 56 hour RCMP Training Video presumably was made to train police throughout Canada, in Aboriginal Genocide 100 and Colonial Crimes 101. It sets out the strategies for carrying out a Waco (Texas) style "final solution" of the Aboriginal problem. Wolverine said, "If you impose a life sentence on me, let my life be the seeds ... of liberty for the Red People". He also said, when they refused his eighth parole hearing, "Thank you very much, your Honour. Some day I will sit and judge you". Judge Josephson looked at him in stunned silence.

An elder observed, "I am surprised the judge did not raise the question of the obvious perjury of the RCMP officers. Why didn't he tell the jury to disregard their evidence because it is perjured and therefore the jury could not believe the other evidence they gave of their aggressive attacks and attempts to murder the people in the camp, including admitting they started the whole shooting fracus. In fact, the police were the aggressors through the whole event".

The last question of the Gustafsen lake trial was asked by Manuel Azevedo, lawyer for the defendants, and directed to Lil'Wat elder, Loretta Pascal. He asked if she had any knowledge of native persons who had suffered mistreatment, beatings or death at the hands of the RCMP. Josephson did not allow her to answer.

Needed is a full public inquiry into the whole matter from beginning to end. The citizens of Canada are entitled to know the whole truth, including the multi-million dollar cost to the taxpayers. Aboriginal nations must be dealt with on a nation-to-nation basis according to constitutional and international laws. If convicted, we expect all peoples to vigorously protest this outrage. Acquittal means that the Aboriginals are right, that the Canadian judicial system has no jurisdiction on unceded sovereign Aboriginal territory.

A decision is expected next week.


Back to SIS