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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Support the Secwepemc People - Apr 9, Noon

from OPIRG Carleton <opirg@carleton.ca>

Uprise in Solidarity with Secwepemc People Fighting Sun Peaks Ski Resort

Tuesday, April 9th, 2002
Noon (12:00) at the corner of Bay St. and Queen St.,
downtown Ottawa

Sun Peaks' $70 million Destruction Plans

* clearcut 2 more mountains for skiing bringing the mass irreparable damage
to 5 clearcut mountains - this destroys the water systems

* expand an existing golf course pumping increasing amounts of chemicals
used for weed control into our water system

* construct Delta Hotel bringing mass tourists into Secwepemc hunting, food
and medicinal gathering, and spiritual areas

* invest money in a smear campaign against "the Indians" so that Sun Peaks
can continue to create mass destruction to the land, the water, the plants,
the animals, and Secwepemc lives without dealing with a backlash of public

OTTAWA! Show your solidarity with these folks for the few days that they are
in town. 


April 1, 2002
SECWEPEMCULECW (Chase, British Columbia): Go Home!
by Doug Pritchard

"Go home you f--ing Indians!" shouted yet another carload of visitors 
leaving the Sun Peaks ski resort as they passed the Skwelkwek'welt 
Protection Centre No. 6. This Protection Centre, a large tent with a 
wood-burning stove to give relief from the freezing temperatures, was 
set up at the entrance to the resort in order to protect Aboriginal 
title and ensure the accommodation of indigenous interests.

"Duck, everyone, it's a drive-by yelling!" joked a young man to the 
circle of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal supporters, including CPTers 
Doug Pritchard and Janet Shoemaker, assembling for prayer.

"What do they mean, 'Go home'? I am home," said an elder at the 
Protection Centre. "This is our land. This is where we hunt and 
gather our berries and medicinal plants. This fire-pit is our living 
room. This tent is our bedroom."

Since purchasing the Sun Peaks resort in 1992, Nippon Cable Company 
has expanded on-site accommodation from 100 beds to 4,000. They have 
plans approved by the British Columbia government to continue 
expanding to 20,000 beds. But the Secwepemc people oppose this 
expansion and the ecological damage they say it will do to their 
traditional hunting and gathering lands. They cite recent Canadian 
and BC court cases which require that the Province and corporations 
ensure that the concerns of Aboriginal peoples are addressed in such 
development projects.

Management at Sun Peaks asks why the Secwepemc people are only 
protesting the expansion now, several years after it began and after 
they had signed a Protocol Agreement with the Corporation. In 
response to the protests, Sun Peaks has obtained court orders 
requiring the relocation or destruction of four Skwelkwek'welt 
Protection Centres and associated sweatlodges built since October 
2000. There have been 54 arrests of Secwepemc elders, land-users, 
leaders and youth who were engaged in defending their lands. Earlier 
this month, Sun Peaks delivered a letter demanding that the Secwepemc 
remove the remaining Protection Centres because they "have not 
communicated with the corporation about your activities or received 
our approval to carry them out."

In a news release on March 20, the Secwepemc say this letter makes a 
mockery of Canadian court decisions and that their nation continues 
to dispute the legality of the Sun Peaks expansion project. They have 
also established and placed on alert a network of support and human 
rights observation groups in case Sun Peaks or the BC government 
tries to remove the Protection Centres.

Christian Peacemaker Teams had an exploratory delegation, consisting 
of Doug Pritchard (Toronto ON) and Janet Shoemaker (Goshen IN), in 
the region March 17-26. The delegation met with Aboriginal peoples 
and their supporters, Sun Peaks management, police, and local 
politicians to better understand the current situation and the 
prospects for peacemaking.

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