Is a large dam threatening your traditional territory? Why not simply divert water around it? This is what Milton and the Peigan Lonefighters did in 1990 as construction of the Three Rivers (Oldman) Dam threatened their burial grounds. But on September 7, 1990 nearly 100 armed-to-the-teeth RCMP confronted them.
Two warning shots to the air later, Milton was charged with assaulting 80 officers. The Lonefighters' self-defense has landed them an expensive court battle. The dam continues, even though the Supreme Court ruled it illegal because it never passed an environmental review.
The latest court ruling on the assault and weapons offenses charges favoured Milton (the highest Alberta court to favour a Native person), but another court date looms ahead--this one on Sept. 27, 1993.
"This is the final position that the government wants us to be in--a position where they can finally exterminate us once and for all.
"If First Nations People were Black People or Croatians, we'd probably have the same spotlight that South America or Eastern Block countries have, but we are in the belly of the beast.
"Change will never be peaceful. It's like a nice beautiful day that changes into to a thunderstorm, or a snowstorm--that's how change is going to be.
"Look at Kim Campbell. She's Prime Minister now; she was the Justice Minister who was partially responsible for the raid in Oka, for the raid on Oldman River incident, so I mean it's kind of like an abuser getting to be the matron of the building.
"Poverty and suppression, when it is ignited, not even the individual that it has been ignited in can control it....I am one of many time bombs that are out there.
"People are always talking about this peace and love stuff. There ain't no peace and love in this lifestyle. All you have to do is look at what the grizzly bear does with its life to survive. You have to adjust to the natural elements so that there will be strength for the generation that comes behind. How many people want wimpy grizzly bears? How many people want wimpy Indians? I know the government wants it. MacMillan Bloedel wants wimpy Indians. But I'm sorry to say that the generation I'm raising -- I'm saying it's better to die in battle than to die of starvation and abuse.
"The RCMP has still threatened that they will end my life, because they can't let an Indian like me get away with defending my homeland against them.
"The enemy does not like light shined on them. A lot of people think writing letters does no good, but it does....Even sometimes a simple phone call, saying hey, we care, sometimes that's gold in its own weight.
You can contact the Lonefighters at:
2705, 5th Ave NE, Bay B
Canada T2A 2L6
Fax (403) 235-4561
"The Native people have always known that the government is corrupt."
- Milton Born With A Tooth