Aug 30/95: Gustafsen Lake-Support Action


Vancouver Sun
Wednesday, August 30, 1997, Page A3
Canadian Press

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context.]

WASHINGTON -- American native Indians say the armed standoff in B.C. could become Canada's Waco if authorities aren't careful.

About 15 people representing several U.S. tribes demonstrated at the Canadian embassy in Washington on Tuesday to show support for the armed native rebels.

"Honor native treaty rights -- no Waco at Gustafsen Lake," read one sign carried by demonstrators outside the embassy.

Eighty-one people died in Waco, Tex., when fire engulfed a compound belonging to the Branch Davidian religious sect after a 51-day siege by federal agents in 1993.

Chief Billy Red Wing Tayac of the Piscataway Nation in Maryland said native Americans sympathize with the Indians at Gustafsen Lake. He said the way U.S. tribes see the confrontation, it's the white establishment terrorizing people "who just want to have the right to practice their religion."

"Canada has a severe Indian problem," the Maryland chief told reporters.

"They've got to sit down and work this problem out with the indigenous people. If you look at the number of blockades, from the Maritime provinces over to B.C., they have a severe Indian problem. It has to be worked out between the Indian people and the Canadian government."

Some of the demonstrators in Washington met with embassy officials.

An embassy official said the Americans were not aware of key developments in the standoff, including the participation of Ovide Mercredi, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Mercredi was instrumental Monday in reopening communication with the rebels.

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