Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

June 28, 2005 18:00 ET

RCMP Interference

Outdoor Indigenous Traditional Training Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER, BC--(CCNMatthews - June 28, 2005) - On June 27, 2005 in Vancouver BC the Burrard Street Bridge was blocked off at both ends at around 2 PM by members of the VPD (Vancouver Police Department), and the RCMP ERT. Police have not released a statement.

Two friends from the West Coast Warrior Society and a driver were surrounded by the VPD, and RCMP ERT with sub-machine guns and assault rifles and taken into custody but later released without being charged as all necessary documents (except bows and arrows) were in order for possession of outdoor equipment and hunting rifles.

One of our friends dislocated his shoulder and sprained his wrists during the apprehension and requested medical attention, which was not given to him. As well as the $23,000.00 worth of Outdoor Indigenous Traditional Training (OITT) equipment, a laptop, cell phones and brief case were taken and not returned upon their release.

OITT is part of recommendations commissioned by our Nation after phase one of our Holden Creek Heritage Camp Study ("Blockade") in which we were compelled to stop International Forest Products from logging old growth cedar in our Sacred Valley between the Broughton Archipelago and Kingcome Inlet. Other recommendations are to finalize our Heritage Policy, seek funding for our own Land-Use Vision and further inventories of archaeological sites in the Holden Creek watershed.

Our two friends of the West Coast Warrior Society, David Dennis, and James Sakej Ward are security advisors and trainers working with us to facilitate OITT, which is endorsed by the authority of our Hereditary Chiefs, Elders and members under our jurisdiction and laws of the land.

OITT, is a course we are offering to not just our Village members but also our off-reserve members who have not grown up in our natural environment. It will provide teachings from our grassroots hunters and fishers to provide, protect and enhance our traditional roles and way of life.

As this incident was not justified and all documents were in order, and the equipment purchased from a public retail outdoor surplus store, we expect an apology, an explanation and the return of all items unjustly confiscated. We as First Nations must not tolerate terrorism and intimidation on our own lands, as we respect common law we expect foreigners to respect our laws, customs and jurisdiction.

We ask that the RCMP not try to spin this as "hostile indianism" to justify other injustices or future injustice, as we just want freedom and peace within our lands. IN: ECONOMY, JUSTICE, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Eric Joseph, Chief, Tsawataineuk First Nation
    Primary Phone: 250-974-4224
    Secondary Phone: 250-974-3013