Skwelkwek'welt Update - September 14, 2004
Skwelkwek'welt Update - September 14, 2004
The Skwelkwek'welt Protection Center, along with various support groups, held a rally at Sun Peaks on August 29 to protest the on-going expansion of the Sun Peaks Ski Resort. On the same day, Secwepemc members and their invited guests began construction of what was to be a permanent structure. This structure was to:
- monitor environmental damage at Skwelkwek'welt
- inform visitors and investors of the on-going unsettled land issue in the area
- assert and exercise our Secwepemc Title and Rights to our unceded lands by occupying our lands
- educate our people, our guest, the public, and the courts of laws we stand on and the legal right to live on our lands
- restore Secwepemc culture and language to our people (as taught by our traditional Elders)
When we began the occupation of our lands, we were immediately attacked by the Sun Peaks Ski Resort Corporation, bc government officials (acting under the patently unconstitutional BC Land Act), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the court system, and certain Shuswap chiefs.
A chronology of events to date:
With no formal SNTC Chief's Resolution and Non - Secwepemc people identified as media contacts; 3 Identical Press releases, 1 on ordinary paper, 1 on Kamloops Indian Band Letterhead and 1 on Shuswap Nation Tribal Council Letterhead are issued with the support of at least 5 chiefs which condemns the rally and the invitation to Chief Stewart Phillip to attend.
Rally of approximately 200 people at Sun Peaks.
Construction of our building / residence begins.
Secwepemc Members are issued a Trespass Notice on land where building is constructed on encumbered, un-surveyed "crown" land ( on the edge of the 16th fairway of the golf course ).
The notice informs the people to leave by 8:00 p.m. but no one leaves the site.
Members of the Secwepemcul'ecw Traditional Peoples Government attend the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council meeting to clarify which bands are involved in the issuance of the press release. It was confirmed that 5 bands supported the press release - Adams Lake, Little Shuswap, Kamloops, Whispering Pines and North Thompson.
3 bands said they were unaware of or did not approve the press release - Neskonlith, Bonaparte, and Speltsin.
After much discussion it was agreed to hold a meeting on September 16, 2004 to discuss the Skwelkwek'welt issue further. The meeting is to take place at Skwelkwek'welt.
SNTC Chiefs meet with RCMP Cpl. Brian O'Callaghan, NCO i/c T'kumlups Detachment ( Kamloops Rural ). Cpl. Callaghan, in a September 10, 2004 call to Janice Billy, could not remember what chiefs he met with nor could he recall their individual names.
A court injunction is granted to remove Secwepemc from their lands at Skwelkwek'welt.
The court injunction hearing is held in Vancouver Supreme Court. Secwepemc Nationals Arthur Manuel, Arnie Jack, and Janice Billy act as their own legal counsel.
As Exhibit "A", Jack enters an affidavit on behalf of himself, Janice Billy, Sawses, Sen Xexe7 T'e Spelqweqs.
Skwelkwek'welt Update - September 14, 2004 ( PAGE 2 )
The existing laws and statutes relied on in this affidavit were: Shuswap - Okanagan Declaration, Royal Proclamation of 1763, 1832 Blackdome Intertribal Agreement, BNA Section 91 ( 24 ), BNA Section 109, March 16, 1875 Duty of Disallowance ( Striking down british columbia Lands Act ), Convention for the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, Nuremburg Principles, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Canadian Constitution Section 35 ( 1 ), Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ( Section 25 ), Supreme Court of Canada December 11, 1997 ( Paragraph 144 and 145 ) and the Haida Decision BCCA.
Immediately after Secwepemc Elders testify, Judge Satanove reads her pre - written decision and unilaterally annexes 846 hectares of Traditional Secwepemc Territory. She grants the injunction and enforcement order to remove Secwepemc from their lands at Skwelkwek'welt.
The August 28, 2004 press release issued by the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and / or Kamloops Indian Band is heavily relied upon the Crown lawyer, Sun Peaks lawyer, and Judge Satanove in her decision.
The RCMP serve the Provincial enforcement order to Secwepemc Nationals and their supporters at our Protection Center. With provincial legislation usurping Canadian Constitutional Law, everyone disposes of their order in the fire and refuse to leave the residence.
September 07, 2004
RCMP issue a press release stating "talks are in progress between the first nations interest group located at Sun Peaks and local first nations representatives. Police at this time are not planning any action pending all communications being exhausted with the occupants at Sun Peaks....Police would prefer that the matter resolve itself and are hopeful that continued negotiation will resolve the issues at hand"
In Kelowna BC, a letter is hand-delivered to Minister of Indian Affairs and Federal Cabinet by Shuswap Chief Mike Retasket which requests the Canadian government to intervene in the Skwelkwek'welt issue.
At 4:09 pm, RCMP constable Brian Castle ( Cassell ? ), visits the Protection Center and speaks to Janice Billy on the cell-phone. Three times he states on the phone "Janice, either you take this structure down or we will". Castle also states that "all previous press releases ( ie: September 07, 2004 ) issued by the RCMP are null and void". With Castle's ( Cassell ? ) statement implying that an RCMP attack on the Protection Center is imminent, immediate calls by the media to the Kamloops District RCMP Detachment and the T'Kumlups / Kamloops Indian Band RCMP Rural Detachment result in the denial of any RCMP officer to the site at anytime that day. This is videotaped.
Arthur Manuel and Janice Billy call Inspector Randy Wilson to inform him of their concerns re: RCMP behavior toward the people. Mr. Manuel and Ms. Billy inform him of their extreme concern regarding past violent actions of the RCMP on their people.
An agreement is made which allows for Mr. Manuel and Ms. Billy to be contacted before any moves are made by the RCMP.
Another Trespass Notice is issued for the Protection Center on the west side of Sun Peaks ski resort.
The notice says to remove the center by 5:00 p.m. September 9.
Two RCMP officers ( Terry Grimm and Kelly Auld ) arrive at the Protection Center to ask when the people will be leaving. They are informed of the agreement between Inspector Randy Wilson and Arthur Manuel and that all communications will take place between these two parties.
With no inclusion of or invitation to the Sewepemcul'ecw Traditional Peoples Government, SNTC Chiefs and Kamloops RCMP ( Kamloops Indian Band Rural / District ??? ) meet secretly at the SNTC to unilaterally discuss the cessation of the exercising of Secwepemc Title and Rights at Skwelkwek'welt, Secwepemcul'ecw and the coordinated enforcement of the September 03, 2004 provincial injunction and enforcement order.