May 31: Statement by OJ, Ts'peten Defender [S.I.S.I.S. note: The following is a speech that Ts'peten Defender James Pitawanakwat, aka OJ, prepared for the rally held in Vancouver on Saturday, May 31, 1997; it was read out by a supporter as OJ is being held in jail pending sentencing on June 6.]

Our Native Land's Stolen Jurisdiction: Living the Illusion of Reality

by James Pitawanakwat, aka OJ

You, the public, have been duped out of money. Billions have been put into hiding and suppressing the truth of valid issues. The police of this province have acted in a seemingly wilful manner to defame any resistance, a total conflict of interest to its mandate. The Queen of Britain put together a police force to protect the Native people, guaranteed by the Royal Proclamation. To this date, federal and provincial governments have stonewalled any valid claims to the land by the Native people. The quest for resources on Native lands is the governments' objective. Section 109 of the British North America Act says "subject to a purchase or a treaty from the Native People", which has never been done in BC. So when passive resistance says "you have no jurisdiction", the people in power get jumpy. They say "the Native people are becoming aware of our scam. How do we deal with the growing Native problem, so that disinformation and smear campaigns begin to portray and discredit Natives, turn them into 'hostile' and 'militant' Native groups, to raise the level of racial intolerance and racial contempt in this province?". A complicit ploy to justify the use of force to lay at rest the land question and jurisdicton issue. Stolen jurisdiction. Our future was secured by our ancestors. The governments of the colonial era and Canada know this. But greed is the motivating factor to our oppression. The government plans to improve its solutions to its problems on us. We will resist.

In the interest of peaceful coexistence, justice, and respect for Native nations and the Native collective rights, the public of Canada must insist and draw attention to their governments to take immediate steps to end this kind of dominance and oppression. A stand was made to maintain a sacred site from the dawn of cultural genocide. We as Native people have a greater concern than the deficit: protecting our identity as a collective body, as a nation in Canada.

The top dogs of the RCMP lied to you, the public. Through complicity to exercise genocide. All evidence revealed this throughout the trial. To this date, there is no reason for judgement pertaining to the 'colour of right' defence by the judge. The convictions brought in by the jury are a ploy to intimidate the youth and other nations here in BC, to not stand for their Native rights and proclaim "no jurisdiction".

The Crown acted in a hostile position towards the Ts'Peten warriors. The Crown violated the concept of equality guaranteed in the Royal Proclamation. A serious breach to the obligations to Native nations.

A small victory over genocide, but a loss to cultural genocide. The religious right was demolished: the Sundance arbor was burnt with a recommendation from the RCMP. A public inquiry into the conduct of the RCMP must be viewed, as well as a third party resolution process that is independent from the governments here in Canada. Canada claims to have no political prisoners. I can't change who I am. I am a warrior to my people.

all my relations,

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