Jun/97: Ts'Peten (Gustafsen Lake) pamphlet

[S.I.S.I.S. note: the following is a pamphlet that can be copied and distributed by anyone looking to raise awareness and support the Ts'Peten Defenders. We have attempted to reproduce the pamphlet here as close to the original layout as we can in a WWW format, to make it as easy to reproduce as possible. The original was copied on 8 x 14 (legal size) paper.]


"The excessive force being used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the misrepresentation of the situation by the Office of Premier Harcourt, added to the fact that no food, water, or medicine is being allowed into the TS'PETEN SUNDANCE SITE calls for immediate intervention of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights."
- Coordinating Commission of Indigenous Organizations & Nations of the Continent, letter to UNHCR, Sept. 16, '95.

"There is a line, and that line is that there shall be no alien intervention in the affairs of the state."
- BC's NDP Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh, Vancouver Sun, Sept. 15, '95 A1

"The state retains that inherent right to use force."
- Dosanjh, Times Colonist Sept. 18, '95 A1

"Raphael Lemkin, the Polish jurist who coined the term
'genocide'...wrote: 'Generally speaking, genocide does not
necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a
nation, except when accomplished by mass killing of all
the members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify
a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at the
destruction of the essential foundations of life of
national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups
themselves.... Genocide has two phases: one, destruction
of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other,
the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor.'
     The current actions of the BC government and the
RCMP toward the Ts'Peten Defenders, as well as the
negligence of the Canadian national government to
intervene and put a halt to these actions, 
unambiguously qualify as genocide." - Belgian Human
                    Rights group KOLA, letter to Jean Chretien, April 25, '97
"'Finally the buck stops here,' Dosanjh said, taking ultimate responsibility for whatever happens at Gustafsen Lake." - Vancouver Sun, August 29, '95

In the summer of 1995, a group of native and non native people came together to protect the Sundance grounds at Ts'Peten (Gustafsen Lake) and were met with massive state force.

The Sundance site is unceded Indian land, in the territory of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) nation. The federal and provincial governments of Canada continue to attempt to bury the land issue and its messengers. The Defenders have been criminalized for standing on Natural, International and Constitutional law concerning native jurisdiction and land rights, and for defending themselves against threats and assaults by ranchers, police and military. The judicial system has once again refused to address the law. Judge Josephson prevented the jury from considering key evidence, testimony and legal arguments, and disallowed at the eleventh hour all the principle defences: jurisdiction, colour of right and self-defence. After a ten month trial, the Defenders have been convicted of various "mischief" charges to "private property" on land which Canada has never legally obtained by treaty or purchase.

SENTENCING is ongoing. Even though incarceration for a simple mischief charge is highly unusual, the Crown has stated that it will press for lengthy prison terms for all defendants, on the basis that mere presence in the camp constituted "conspiracy." This despite the fact that "conspiracy" was never included in the charges and the Crown first introduced that theory late in the trial. Eleven Defenders could face up to ten year prison terms. Wolverine - a Secwepemc elder and organic farmer who has been held as a political prisoner without bail since Fall 1995 - and three others could face up to life imprisonment. Join the others demanding justice: demand Freedom for the Ts'Peten Defenders, an independent, impartial third party tribunal into the jurisdiction question and a public inqury into Gustafsen Lake.

"Any contention that the newcomer judge and jury in the present action can be seen to be 'independent and impartial'... patently and blatantly is insupportable. The jury and judge, qua newcomers, are partis pris. As newcomers, they are effectively adjudicating upon their own complicity in genocide, which genocide occurs in consequence of the new comers' premature application of their own criminal law process to the aboriginal people occupying yet unpurchased territory."
- Petition/Motion/Constitutional Question, introduced by defence during the Ts'Peten trial and dismissed by Justice Josephson.

"You must accept the law as I explain it to you without question. This means that when you decide what the facts of this case are, you must apply the rules of law I will give you. It also means you must apply the law as I explain it to you... You are not allowed to decide this case on the basis of what you think the law is or what you think it should be if that conflicts with what I tell you about the law... You must not apply your own interpretation...because as I just stated, I am the sole interpreter of the law. You must take the law from me as I relate it to you in my instructions."
- Judge's Instructions to the Ts'peten trial jury: Outline, May 7-12 '97

"you will probably have no difficulty concluding that the alleged offence occurred at the time and place alleged in the indictment." - Judge Josephson to the jury, May 8 '97

[S.I.S.I.S NOTE: in the original pamphlet, the following two pages were in two columns. We have reproduced them here as one column of text.]

"A peaceful solution is what we always wanted." - RCMP Supt. Len Olfert, CO, The Province, Sept. 18 A4

"Anyone got a gun? It's for a peaceful resolution." - Sgt. Dennis Ryan, RCMP negotiator, RCMP training tape A12

"The CO commented and I agreed that we need to clean them out entirely and not have any hanging issues similar to what occurred at Oka." - notes of RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brown, August 10, '95

"Len strongly feels that there are a small group, 6 warriors, that will not give up - it will require the killing of the hardliners." - notes of RCMP Assistant Commissioner Murray Johnston, Sept. 1, '95

"C/Supt. Johnston advised that Supt. Olfert wants to get more proactive and take down the red truck and occupants if they can." - notes of Assistant Commissioner Brown, Sept. 9, '95

People inside camp: 18
RCMP officers surrounding them: 400
RCMP count of shells attributed to camp: 106
RCMP count of bullets fired by RCMP : 77,000
RCMP 50 calibre machine guns: 4
Army Armoured Personnel Carriers: 9
RCMP "deta sheets" (land mines) used: 8

"I'm in constant contact with the RCMP at the highest level." - Dosanjh, Province, Aug. 28, '95 A5

M: "So we could have some dead fucking terrorists?"
S: "... No, no we don't."
M: (laugh) "Not that lucky."
- Sgt. Peter Montague and Sgt. Martin Sarich, RCMP training tapes, Aug. 27, '95

"If there are natives on the ground and one has a weapon I will empty 2 clips on full automatic in 4 seconds." - unidentified RCMP officer, RCMP training tape A4

"No one can really determine what they want or just what the issues are. We kind of think they're fanatical and they're terrorist - and they seem to want to engage in war for some reason." - Olfert, Edmonton Sun, August 20, '95

Q So there was mention of Gustafsen Lake and the need for an operational plan as early as May?
A Well, I don't know if we talked about an operational plan, but we are monitoring to see what's happening... There is too many other things that had to be done before we could proceed with a plan.
Q And at that point you realized that there was a land dispute between Percy Rosette and Lyle James?
A Oh, yes. Yes, we knew that. And an eviction order followed and that sort of thing. Yes, I knew that.
- Olfert under cross-examination, Jan, '97

"It was necessary to ensure that the public perceived a continued threat from the people in the camp." - Olfert, court testimony, Jan. 6, '97

"It's not the first time we've had to take flak jackets out to the firing range" - Cpl. John Ward, RCMP training tape A11

"Is there anyone who can help us with a disinformation or smear campaign?"
- Dennis Ryan, early Sept. '95, RCMP training tapes

"Smear campaigns are our specialty." - Montague, early Sept. '95, RCMP training tapes

"Kill this Clark and smear the prick and everyone with him." - Ryan citing Olfert, RCMP training tapes

"We're all going to do damage control here when things have to really go off and people are going to get killed." - Doug Hartl, RCMP Crisis Management Team, RCMP training tape B6

"The coverage reminded me of CNN's handling of the Gulf War, with the reporters locked up in steady contact with the generals and the military's spin doctors... The rush to sweep the Gustafsen Lake and Ipperwash affairs out of the news the moment the physical standoffs were removed, shows all the signs of a classic coverup." - Dr. Tony Hall, U. Lethbridge Native Studies professor, Canadian Dimension, Dec. '95

"Probably the Creator was looking after us... if you look at the trees, in what direction did the bullets enter in? There you will find who had heavy fire power." Wolverine, CBC evening News, Sept. 22, '95
July 11, '96 : Cst. Fleming testified he told Lyle James to clear cut the crime scene.

"The political terrorism waged against Indigenous Peoples and the manipulation of the crisis by the Canadian authorities continue to remain as root causes of the conflict which erupted at Ts'Peten. From the beginning, the Canadian Government and the provincial authorities of British Columbia attempted to criminalize the Sundance Camp defenders without addressing the underlying issues of sovereign rights on unceded indigenous territories."
- Tupac Enrique, Indigenous Peoples Alliance, letter to BC's NDP Premier Mike Harcourt, Sept. 25, '95

"Do you have no shame, calling the aboriginal people "rebels" and "squatters" on their own land?" - Leonard Peltier Foundation, letter to BC Premier Mike Harcourt, August 29, '95

"The peaceful surrender of rebels at Gustafsen Lake could help propel BC into a fall election, political analysts said Sunday... NDP support has strengthened over the summer, a pheno-menon analysts say shows voters approve of the way the government of Premier Mike Harcourt has handled native Indian militants... One high-placed government source predicted Harcourt will call an election before next week." - Vancouver Sun, September 18, '95

"We fully support the RCMP. There is one law for all people in Canada"
- Dosanjh, The Province August 20, '95 A5


Silence is complicity. Demand an independent, impartial, third party tribunal into the land issue in BC, a public inquiry into the events at Gustafsen Lake and freedom for the Ts'Peten Defenders:
Prime Minister Jean Chretien
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont. K1A OA6
Phone: 613-992-4211
Fax: 613-941-6900
email: pm@pm.gc.ca

BC Premier Glen Clark
Parliament Builings, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Phone: 250-387-1715 or 604-431-8119
Fax: 250-387-0087 or 604-660-0279

Ujjal Dosanjh's Hate Crimes Hot-line:

United Nations Commission on Human Rights
Palais des Nations 8-14
Avenue de la Paix 1211
Geneva 10 Switzerland
email: hchr@unog.ch

For more information and forwarding of copies of your letters to more politicians, human rights groups and the Ts'Peten Defenders, contact:
S.I.S.I.S. Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty
WWW: http://kafka.uvic.ca/~vipirg/SISIS/gustmain.html
email: SISIS@envirolink.org
PO Box 8673 Victoria BC V8X 3S2

Back to SIS