SOURCE: Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN)

Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN)

January 21, 2016 12:59 ET

Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) and the Land Question

KAMLOOPS, BC--(Marketwired - January 21, 2016) - SSN have never ceded, surrendered or given up any interests in our territory and ask the question: When will the Province of BC and KGHM recognize SSN ownership and jurisdiction on our territory?

SSN are disappointed in the Province's recent statement that they will vigorously oppose the Title Claim but are hopeful that the Government of Canada will take the time needed to respond in a manner which upholds the recently issued Ministerial mandates. These included the implementation of the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Report which calls for the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and for corporations to commit to meaningful consultation and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects. The SSN Project Assessment Process continues with Panel Hearings scheduled for May and a public and ceremonial release of the SSN Decision on Aboriginal Day (June 21, 2016) at Pípsell [Jacko Lake]. The SSN will publish the Oliver Memorial (1911) [see attached] this week in local newspapers to promote awareness and education on the history of the Land Title issue.

Kukpi7 Ron Ignace stated, "It is unfortunate that the Province has taken this as an opportunity to fear monger and further drive wedges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal People, which directly counters recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Report. We will steadfastly defend our rights as we have done since the 1800's, as our Chiefs in 1911 stated in the Memorial to Oliver, 'We assure you… the present agitation among us over these matters is simply the culmination of our dissatisfaction which has been growing with the years. With changing conditions, greater pressure and increasing restrictions placed on us, we had at last to organize, and agitate. Either this, or go down and out, for our position has been gradually becoming unbearable', the same statement holds true to this day"

Kukpi7 Fred Seymour stated, "For over 100 years we have heard promises that the land question would be dealt with between our Chiefs and the government. We have seen this issue raised regarding Schiedam Flats, 6-Mile, Harper Ranch, the Douglas Reserves and the list goes on. At some point the government must come to the table with the mandate to properly deal with this issue it's their unwillingness that has left us with no recourse but the court system. This is a problem they have created and they are now trying to make us look like villains for holding their feet to the fire."

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