Okanagan Nation Alliance & Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

February 26, 2011 11:32 ET

Court Recognizes Community is Not Represented by Splinter Group

British Columbia Supreme Court Decision Recognizes that Aboriginal Community Is Not Represented By Small Splinter Group

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER, BC NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2011) - The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Colville) are pleased with today's decision by the British Columbia Supreme Court that the Indigenous People of the Arrow Lakes area are not represented by a small splinter group.

"We welcome the official recognition by the Canadian legal system that a small number of individuals cannot represent the Nation in court," Colville Chairman Michael O. Finley said today. "It is the Colville and the ONA that collaborate to represent the large number of descendants of the people of the Arrow Lakes area living in Canada and the United States, and ensure that the rights and responsibilities inherited from our ancestors are protected in both countries."

Today's ruling by the BC Supreme Court found that a small group of individuals, led by Marilyn James and Robert Campbell, members of the Colville Tribes, do not have standing as representatives of the descendants of the Lakes in a proceeding related to proposed logging at Perry Ridge in the Nelson area of British Columbia.

"We are very pleased that the Court did not give effect to any argument that our people are extinct," said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the ONA. "Rather, the ruling simply focused on the inability of these specific individuals, who are part of our various communities and are represented by the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Colville, and the governments of our member communities, to declare themselves representatives of the Nation." /For further information: Grand Chief Stewart Phillip at 250 490-5314; Chairman Michael Finley at 509-634-2208.

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    Primary Phone: 250-490-5314