One of the major pillars in the RCMP "disinformation and smear" campaign against the traditional-sovereigntists at Ts'Peten (Gustafsen Lake) was the contention that they were "not supported" by BC Native organizations.
Although patently false, this lie has once again resurfaced in the mainstream media, in anticipation of the sentencing on June 6 and 10. One example is the recent editorial in the Victoria, BC paper the Times Colonist which stated: "the defendants spoke only for themselves and their activities were not planned or supported by the province's main aboriginal communities, or by an aboriginal organization."
These attempts to isolate the defenders ignore all the expressions of solidarity from indigenous nations and organizations locally and internationally. Now Chief Saul Terry, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, one of the province's two mainstream native political organizations, has endorsed on CBC Radio the call for a public inquiry, echoing his organization's statement from the time of the siege:
At a specially convened emergency meeting, Union of BC Indian Chiefs representatives, Tribal Council representatives and various Band Council members, sovereign Aboriginal people and concerned aboriginal citizens from various Native communities throughout BC, met in Merritt, BC today to discuss strategies that shall assist in the peaceful resolution of the standoffs at Gustafsen Lake and Ipperwash Provincial Park.
CRISIS BULLETIN - September 11, 1995
The 60 to 70 delegates hereby issue the following statement and recommendations:1. Contrary to the statement made by the Premier of BC on September 5, 1995;..."the armed occupation at Gustafsen Lake is the handful of violent extremists, without the participation or support of a single band or tribal council" THE PEOPLE AT GUSTAFSEN LAKE DO HAVE THE FULL SUPPORT OF THE DELEGATES ATTENDING TODAY'S MEETING. The delegates in attendance are from all parts of the Province.Finally, delegates strongly urge all aboriginal citizens and nations to mobilize and employ any and all means necessary to facilitate a peaceful resolution to these human and political rights issues.
2. The delegates recommend that the application of deadly military force never be considered as the final option to resolve these human rights issues.
3. Further the delegates recommend that an International United Nations mediator (independent of these particular issues) be appointed to mediate between the occupiers of Gustafsen Lake and Ipperwash Provincial Park, Ontario and representatives of the Federal and Provincial Governments.
For further information, contact Chief Saul Terry: (604) 681- 0231