All That's Left is Struggle: John Williams, Lil'wat Nation



July, 1995

Sovereignty is the Issue, Canada is the Problem

"Throughout our history with you we repeatedly told you that by our laws and our ways of life the Creator placed our people in our territory many thousands of years ago. At no time in our history have we sworn allegiance to Canada."

-- from the Lil'wat Indian Liberation Movement's submission to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, June 16, 1993.

John Williams is a member of the Indian Liberation Movement, based in the Lil'wat Nation, his home territory. Williams has seen many blockades to protect sacred burial grounds, as well as direct effects from the colonial powers' human and ecological destruction.

For example, Vision, a widely used herbicide, is likely at least part responsible for mysterious growths on many Lil'wat wildlife, and thus a decline in hunting for the people. In this interview, John Williams outlines his Nation's relations with Canada.

Under the Indian Act the Indian people are a non-entity and we've tried to get that cleared in our last letter to [Prime Minister] Kim Campbell and asking her what is a human being and what is a nation.

And if we can get answers to those and if the answers are the same as what I'm thinking it is, then Canada is violating all our human rights. And Canada hasn't got the right to do to us what they're doing, or to any indigenous group on this continent.

Canada is not following the rule of law. If they're not following their own law then who's law are they following?

You know, when you look at all the tragedies that are still happening, like at Davis Inlet and what happened there with the suicides and that. That will continue until we get recognized as nations, until we get recognized as a people.

That's what we see as the solution. If Canada would follow its own rule of law then they won't be imposing.

A lot of the things that we're saying we wrote to the Assembly of First Nations in 1982, and told them that they do not represent us because we are a sovereign nation and we'll have our own persons to talk for us.

And the only way we'll agree is that we have a bilateral process with Canada -- a nation to nation talk. And we won't accept anything else. We don't need an organization which the government pays to exist. We call it sort of like conflict of interest."

If you support people's movements, and not government lackeys, then support the Lil'wat people.

John Williams can be reached at:

[SISIS editor's note: this contact information may no longer be correct]

Box 155
Lil'wat Territory
via Mount Currie, B.C., Canada
V0N 2K0
Phone (604) 894-6635
Fax (604) 894-6846

"There is, rightly, concern over an endangered bird species, the Spotted Owl. . . . Why is it that throughout the entire world this bird is seen to hold a greater place in the order of life than the remaining 1,500 Lil'wat Peoples?"

--Indian Liberation Movement

Back to SIS