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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Today TEDDY/ SECWEPEMC NATION
> PLEASE FORWARD AND POST---
> Fighting Genocide on Turtle Island:
> Indigenous Resistance at Sun Peaks
> The Ottawa film screening and presentation will take place on
> Thursday, May 22, 2003 from 6:30- 9 pm
> @ Fauteux Hall (room 232), 57 Louis Pasteur Private
> (at the University of Ottawa)
> Francis "Teddy" Dick, an Indigenous activist from the Secwepemc Nation,
> key organizer with the Skwelkwek'welt Protection Center, will discuss
> Secwepemc resistance to the Sun Peaks Corporation & BC government's
> to displace them from their homeland. The Secwepemc peoples are
> fighting a $70 million expansion of Sun Peaks Resort which includes
> development of luxury hotels, tennis courts, ski and skidoo runs, etc.
> The Skwelkwek'welt Protection Center(s), the organizing base for the
> resistance to the illegal expansion of the Resort, has been targeted
> court injunctions, local white supremacists, rcmp
> harassment and raids, and has been rebuilt several times after being
> bulldozed to the ground by Sun Peaks employees.
> Come learn how the Secwepemc Peoples have organized their resistance, and
> how you can support them in their struggle through concrete acts of
> For further information please call
> Soha at 236-9188 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
> Ronda at 230-3076 or e-mail at email@example.com
> Sun Peaks resort is built on Secwepemc land. This land, known to Secwepemc
> as Skwelkwek'welt, has provided hundreds of generations of Secwepemc with
> everything needed to nourish their bodies and their spirits. Each time the
> Sun Peaks resort has expanded it has caused irreparable damage to the
> watersheds, vegetation, and wildlife in the area seriously impacting the
> Secwepemc's ability to survive.
> Since purchasing the Sun Peaks resort in 1992, the Japanese holding
> Nippon Cable, has expanded on-site accommodation from 100 beds to 4,000.
> 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
> 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
> leases to Sun Peaks to facilitate their expansion. These leases were
> through BC's severely outdated Land Act which does not recognize
> Title. It is business as usual, despite their legal obligations, on the
> colonial frontier. The state-party protects commercial, over Indigenous
> interests, and in June 2001, Land and Water BC obtained a court injunction
> to forcibly remove Secwepemc from their lands.
> To date there have been 54 arrests of the Secwepemc people. Charges range
> from criminal contempt, mischief, intimidation and obstruction of a police
> officer, to intimidation by blocking a road, resisting arrest, and breach
> 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 Secwepemc people set up the Skwelkwek'welt Protection Center at the
> entrance of Sun Peaks Ski Resort in order to protect their Aboriginal Land
> Title and ensure the accommodation of Aboriginal interests in the area. To
> date, five Skwelkwek'welt Protection Centers, two traditional cedar bark
> homes, a hunting cabin, two sacred sweat lodges, and one cordwood
> house--home to a young Secwepemc family--have all been bulldozed or burnt
> down. None of these acts of racial hatred have been investigated by the
> The outright destruction of Secwepemc sacred sweat lodges, and desecration
> of sacred objects violates Secwepemc freedom of religion. The Sun Peaks
> employees who committed these acts were not only not prosecuted, but also
> publicly celebrated the heinous acts that they had committed.
> As Aboriginal title is a collective proprietary interest in traditional
> territories, the Skwelwek'welt Protection Center and cordwood home built
> Skwelkwek'welt territory, were authorized on the basis Aboriginal Title
> permits. Those requesting permits did not want to be confined to their
> reserve where dire social and economic conditions prevail, including
> inadequate housing for all band members. When the homes were ordered
> destroyed by the provincial government and demolished by Sun Peaks workers
> on December 10th, 2002, the family's right to housing was violated.
> On January 10, 2003 a BC provincial judge found four Secwepemc
> Billy, Charlie Willard, Segweses, and George Manuel Junior, not guilty for
> their refusal to obey a court injunction obtained by the Sun Peaks resort
> Corporation to tear down the Skwelkwek'welt Protection Center. The judge
> found that the Crown could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the
> Secwepemc defenders intentions were criminal. This case sets an important
> precedent for other cases of Aboriginal people defending their lands.
> Applying pressure on the BC and Canadian governments to respect court
> decisions, and the inherent and legal Title and Rights of the Secwepemc is
> very important tactic at this time.
> It is time for all those opposed to the Canadian colonial system to
> through concrete actions of solidarity, the rights of the Secwepemc people
> fighting state/cooperate interests in British Columbia. Sun Peaks Resort
> 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
> Peoples from their traditional territories, constitutes genocide under
> International Laws to which Canada is a signatory.
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