Okanagan Nation Alliance

February 20, 2010 16:21 ET

Letter of Support: Browns Creek Watershed Protection

Okanagan Nation Alliance Supports Okanagan Indian Band's defense of their Territory

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor WESTBANK, BC, MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2010) -
Chief Fabian Alexis
Okanagan Indian Band
12420 Westside Road
Vernon, B.C. V1H 2A4

Re: Browns Creek Watershed Protection

Dear Chief Alexis:

I am writing in support of the courageous stand you, your council and your community are taking in defense of your water supply.

The best way for us to strengthen our aboriginal title and rights is to exercise them. Over most of BC the Crown has no treaty no bill of sale that demonstrates how they came to be in possession of the land they claim is theirs. There is no document that says we ceded, surrendered or sold away our land or our rights.

I have already written to the Minister of Forests and the Premier of BC expressing our absolute shock and anger at the Province's position in regards to Tree Farm License ("TFL") 49 and its continued silence on Tolko's industrial logging plans in the Browns Creek Watersheds. The Province has been aware of the Okanagan Nation's Title claim to the Watersheds since the beginning of the Wilson litigation in 1999 and this is yet another example of the Province working in concert with Forest companies to clear cut as quickly as possible before the Crown loses title to these lands.

Through our collective efforts we have been able to force Tolko to scale back the size of their clear cutting operations.

As the Okanagan Nation Alliance, we will continue to support the Okanagan Indian Band and know that as a Nation we will not stand idly by and watch the destruction of our Watersheds, water and culture. If necessary, we will fight cut block by cut block and we will take all steps necessary to protect Okanagan Title and Rights.

Sincerely,
OKANAGAN NATION ALLIANCE

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Chairman

cc:
ONA Chief's Executive Council
ONA Member Bands
Honourable Pat Bell, Minister of Forest and Range
Honourable George Abbott, Minister of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation
Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of Environment
Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs
Grand Chief Ed John, First Nations Summit Task Force Political Executive
Jody Wilson, Regional Chief, Assembly of First Nations
National Chief Shawn Atleo, Assembly of First Nations
Minister Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs, Canada
/For further information: Chief Fabian Alexis, Okanagan Indian Band cell (250) 306-2838, phone (250) 542-4328/ IN: ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY, JUSTICE

Contact Information

  • Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Chairman, Okanagan Nation Alliance
    Primary Phone: 250-430-5314
    Secondary Phone: 250-707-0095