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[OPIRG-EVENTS] INDIGENOUS FREEDOM! Wednesday, April 30, 2003
DELEGATION TO DEPT. OF JUSTICE IN SUPPORT
INDIGENOUS FREEDOM MOVEMENTS
The Canadian government is seeking to destroy Indigenous
freedom movements. Now is the time for all those opposed to
the Canadian colonial system and corporate globalization to support,
through concrete solidarity actions, the rights of the Secwepemc people
fighting state and corporate interests in British Columbia.
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Gather on Parliament Hill
On Wednesday, April 30th, a delegation of activists from Montreal,
Kahnewake, Kanehsatake and Ottawa will visit the Department
of Justice in Ottawa to protest the continued harassment and
criminalization of the Native Youth Movement - Westcoast Warrior
Society, and the Secwepemc Peoples involved in defending their
Aboriginal Title and Rights in Skwelkwek'welt territories.
On April 8th, 2003, RCMP - Emergency Response Teams raided four
homes and two workplaces of Native Youth Movement, Westcoast
Warrior Society members involved in defending Aboriginal Title and
Rights in Skwelkwek'welt territories (aka British Columbia's interior).
In an obvious attempt to dirupt and dismantle the Warrior Society by
targeting Native Youth Movement communications, the RCMP conducted
heavily armed, simultaneous raids in Nuxalk Territory (Bella Coola, BC)
and Secwepemc Territory (Chase, BC). Computers, computer discs,
camcorder cassettes, phone books, emails lists, paper work and files
being confiscated. One warrant also included the right to decode passwords
Not including the latest RCMP attacks, there have been 54 arrests of
Secwepemc peoples and supporters. Charges range from criminal contempt,
mischief, intimidation and obstruction of a police officer, to intimidation
by blocking a road, resisting arrest, and breach of bail conditions. While
forced to pay exorbitant legal defense fees, and/or be incarcerated, the BC
government, RCMP, Sun Peaks employees, local residents and tourists
have all committed crimes against Secwepemc people with total impunity.
The mounting of a public pressure campaign to stop the criminalization of
Indigenous People protecting their Title and Rights is very important at
time. Like the COINTELPRO operations of the 1970's, the Canadian
government is now seeking to destroy Indigenous freedom movements
through disruption and crass arrests and charges against all those
It is time for all those opposed to the Canadian colonial system and
globalization to support, through concrete solidarity actions, the rights
Secwepemc people fighting state & corporate interests in British Columbia.
Join the Delegation to the Department of Justice, Wednesday, April 30th!
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (514)
Letter or Protest to be delivered to Solicitor-General Wayne Easter
Wednesday April 30, 2003
Attention: Wayne Easter, Solicitor General of Canada
We are delivering this letter to protest the Canadian government's
continued harassment and criminalization of the Native Youth Movement -
Westcoast Warrior Society, and the Secwepemc Peoples involved in
defending their Aboriginal Title and Rights in Skwelkwek'welt
territories. 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, sold, released nor surrendered. The BC government therefore
has no authority over Secwepemc Peoples, Skwelkwek'welt territories, or
the resources within them. That power is maintained through the
criminalization of the exercise of Aboriginal Title and Rights, and
forcible removal of Indigenous Peoples from their traditional
territories, constitutes genocide under International Laws to which
Canada is a signatory.
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 more
Land and Water BC, however, disregarded their voices and granted new
leases to Sun Peaks to facilitate expansion, and in June 2001, obtained
a court injunction to forcibly remove Secwepemc from their lands.
Despite recognition of 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, First Nations communities are being forced
one-by-one to prove their Title and Rights within the courts, when
Canada and the provinces could simply abide by the principal of Title
itself. We find this forcing of Indigenous communities into the courts,
draining huge portions of their time and budgets, a vexatious action on
the part of Canadian authorities.
This is true as well when Canada forces those protecting Aboriginal
Title and Rights to defend themselves criminally. There is ample
jurisprudence showing lack of "criminal intent" in cases of Canadian
laws being broken in order to stop infractions of Aboriginal Title and
Rights. At this point, it is clear that police targeting of Indigenous
freedom fighters is nothing more than blatant retaliation for failure to
sever and/or extinguish Indigenous ties to the land. We view the recent
RCMP raids on the Native Youth Movement's communications infrastructure
as part of a coordinated effort to silence and harass those willing to
challenge Canada & BC's illegal expropriation of their territories.
Canada should be ashamed. Each court battle takes food directly out of
the mouths of children, diminishes housing, health care and education
for future generations.
We stand in support of the Secwepemc people's struggle, and make the
following demands in solidarity with their courageous and tireless
1) We demand all charges be dropped against Secwepemc Peoples and their
supporters, and that political prisoners be released. Canada has no
jurisdiction in Skwelkwekwelt territories.
2) We demand all acts of racial hatred perpetuated against Indigenous
Peoples in Skwelkwek'welt - by police, state officials and public at
large - be thoroughly investigated, and tried criminally.
3) We demand 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 Rights.
4) We demand your intervention into the illegal RCMP harassment and
abuse of Secwepemc people, who are only asserting their Aboriginal
Rights and Title to the Skwelkwekwelt territories.
No One is Illegal, Vancouver
No One is Illegal, Montreal
Students Taking Action in Chiapas
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, Montreal
Native Youth Movement, Kahnawake
Collective Opposed to Police Brutality, Montreal
Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement, Montreal
Quebec Public Interest Research Group
Aboriginal Students Network, McGill
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Student Workers Solidarity, McGill
The Dragonroot Center for Gender Advocacy, Montreal
Friends of the Lubicon, Montreal & Toronto
Netherlands Center for Indigenous People
Support Center for Indigenous People, Belgium
Direct Action Casework Ottawa
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