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(en) URGENT ACTION: Secwepemc Resistance Without Reservation!

From dr.woooo@nomasters.org
Date Thu, 20 Mar 2003 11:14:14 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

> From: No One Is Illegal <nooneisillegal@dojo.tao.ca>

Justice for the Secwepemc People & Freedom for Turtle Island!

This is a call out for support and solidarity with the Secwepemc people
who are engaged in an ongoing struggle with Sun Peaks Ski Resort, which is
currently occupying the traditional Skwelkwek╣welt territory of the
Secwepemc people. This is a call to support the struggle for indigenous
lands, dignity and freedom in the face of the ongoing efforts of the
Canadian State to colonalize indigenous peoples and lands of Turtle

In March 2003, Irene Billy (74 years old), Winnifred McNab (76 years old),
Janice Billy, Shiela Ignace, and Elizabeth Clemah will stand trial and be
facing charges for blocking the road to Sun Peaks resort on December

In support of them and their communities struggle, No One is Illegal
Montreal and Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement in Montreal have begun
a support campaign for the Secwepemc people. It is time for all those
opposed to the Canadian colonial system to support, through concrete
actions of solidarity, the rights of the Secwepemc people fighting
state/cooperate interests in British Columbia. (Below is background
information on the situation of Sun Peaks and the resistance of the
Secwepemc community.)

In Montreal, the support campaign is asking people to please endorse the
letter below, which will be delivered to the Justice Minister prior to the
five court dates in March. This action is being coordinated in Montreal,
Ottawa and Toronto.

----> If you would like to endorse this letter, please email
noooneisillegal@tao.ca or call 514.409.2049

To get more information about the Skwelkwek╣welt Protection Center and the
struggle of the Secwepemc people against Sun Peaks contact:

Skwelkwek╣welt Protection Center
c/o PO Box 608
Chase, BC VOE 1MO
Tel. 250.689.3295
Fax. 250.679.5306
Email. jbilly@mail.ocis.net

Below is a draft letter of support for the Secwepemc people in their
battle with Sunpeaks. Please feel free to use it or write your own letters
and fax or e-mail them to a) Jean Chretien, the Prime Minister and b)
Gordon Campbell Premier of British Colombia c) Geoff Plant Attorney
General of British Columbia d) Martin Cauchon Federal Justice Minister.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Government of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Tel. 613.992.4211
Fax. 613.941.6900
Email. pm@pm.gc.ca

Premier Gordon Campbell
Government of British Columbia
Legislative Building
Victoria, BC Canada
Tel. 250.387.1715
Fax. 250.387.0087
Email. premier@gov.bc.ca

Attorney General of British Columbia
Geoff Plant
Fax. 250.387.6411

Martin Cauchon
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0H8
Tel. (613)992-4621
Fax. (613) 996-4516

Department of Justice Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0H8
Tel: (613) 957-4222
Fax: (613) 954-0811


We are sending this letter to protest the Canadian government's continued
criminalization of the Secwepemc people. They have been targeted for their
use of their own land and for speaking out against Sun Peaks resort
Corporation and the British Columbia government who continue to
expropriate and destroy what was once a vibrant and abundant ecosystem. We
stand opposed to the Canadian colonial system and support the Secwepemc
people fighting state and corporate interests in British Columbia.

Sun Peaks Resort is built in Secwepemc territories, land which has never
been ceded, released, nor surrendered. The BC government therefore has no
authority over the Secwepemc people or their territories, or over the
resources within the land. That they continue to maintain power through
the criminalization of the exercise of Aboriginal Title and Rights, and
forcibly remove Indigenous Peoples from their traditional territories,
constitutes genocide under International Laws to which Canada is a

As you are well aware, the development of Sun Peaks resorts has continued
without participation of those with Title to the land. In 1997, the BC
government approved a $70 million development plan, allowing Sun Peaks to
continue to expand their resort to 20,000 beds and put ski runs on the
previously undisturbed Mt. Morrisey. The Secwepemc attended │stakeholder▓
meetings and clearly said │no▓ to the development. Land and Water BC
however, clearly disregarded their voices and granted new leases to Sun
Peaks to facilitate their expansion, and in June 2001, Land and Water BC
obtained a court injunction to forcibly remove Secwepemc from their lands.

Despite the recognition of the inherent land rights of Aboriginal People
as Aboriginal Title in Delgamuukw, and despite the Haida decision that
requires provincial and private interests to consult, obtain consent and
accommodate Aboriginal interests prior to pursuing development on
Aboriginal territories, federal and provincial governments still insist
First Nation must prove their title within the court system rather than by
abiding by the principal of Title itself. The Canadian and British
Columbia╣s governments╣ harassment of Secwepemc people is a continuation
of colonial practices that have robbed Indigenous people's of their
self-determination by usurping the land of diverse Indigenous peoples and
destroying Indigenous people's livelihoods.

We stand in support of the Secwepemc people and in their fight in defense
of the land in maintaining their livelihood. In March 2003, Irene Billy
(74 years old), Winnifred McNab (76 years old), Janice Billy, Shiela
Ignace, and Elizabeth Clemah will stand trial and be facing charges for
blocking the road to Sun Peaks resort on December 28,2001. We admire and
respect the courageous and tireless determination of these five women. In
support of them and their communities struggle, we make the following

1) We demand that all charges be dropped for all people charged in
relation to protection of Aboriginal Rights and Title in Skwelkwek╣welt
territory, as Canada has no jurisdiction.

2) We demand that all acts of racial hatred that have been perpetuated
against Indigenous Peoples in Skwelkwek╣welt, by state official and the
public at large, be thoroughly investigated and tried criminally.

3) We demand that Canada and the provinces rescind, amend, or nullify
racially discriminatory policies in order to comply with Section 35 of the
Constitution that enshrines Aboriginal land, treaty, and inherent rights,
and to comply with high court decisions in favor of Aboriginal Title and

4) We demand that the governments of Canada and BC respect their own
colonial laws and stop the illegal harassment and abuse of Secwepemc
people asserting their Aboriginal rights and title to Skwelkwek╣welt


No One is Illegal Vancouver
Students Taking Action in Chiapas
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights Montreal
Collective Opposed to Police Brutality Montreal
No One is Illegal Montreal
Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Montreal
Quebec Public Interest Group
Aboriginal Students Network McGill
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Native Youth Movement Kahnawake
The Dragonroot Center for Gender Advocacy Montreal
Student Workers Solidarity McGill
Friends of the Lubicon Montreal & Toronto
Netherlands Center for Indigenous People
Support Center for Indigenous People Belgium

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