Sinixt Nation receives Notice of Trespass on “Crown Land”
On July 16 2013, Two RCMP officers, one verified as being from the RCMP “E Division” Major Crimes Section and two Ministry of Natural Resources enforcement officers come to “talk” to occupants of the Sinixt encampment on slhu7kin/Perry Ridge. RCMP inform us that anyone blocking the road will be charged with mischief under the Criminal Code of Canada. We informed all the officers of the Sinixt extinction status (which they were already well aware) and of Canadian human rights law and Canada’s legal obligations to conventional international law. The Ministry enforcement officers served Notice of Trespass on Crown Land Orders to “occupants of Sinixt Nation”. The Sinixt lock on the gate was removed and left open with a new lock put in place.
Sinixt maintain the cultural encampment on slhu7kin. Sinixt are not clearly not extinct and we have a right to occupy and use our traditional territories regardless of our so-called Indian Act extinction status.
Stay in contact for video of the conversation between the occupants of the Sinixt encampment and RCMP and BC Ministry of Natural Resources enforcement officers.
Youtube Video of RCMP and Ministry of Natural Resources visit to Sinixt camp:
Below is a copy of the text from the letter sent to BC disputing the ridiculous Notice of Trespass on Crown Land Order.
Date: July 17th 2013
To: Harry Mitchell, 1902 Theatre Rd, Cranbrook BC V1C 7G1
To: Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia
Re: Notice of Trespass on Crown Land issued to our cultural encampment on slhu7kin/Perry Ridge.
The Sinixt Nation is a recognized First Nation group in British Columbia who has continually occupied and used Sinixt traditional territory for at least the last 3000 years as is proven by the work of archaeological and ethnographical professionals, local historical professionals, and through the oral stories of Sinixt human beings.
On July 16th 2013 two enforcement officers from the Ministry of Natural Resources… accompanied by two RCMP officers issued a Notice of Trespass on Crown Land under section 59 of the Land Act to Occupants of the Sinixt Nation cultural encampment on unceded Sinixt traditional territories on or near the roadway leading up to slhu7kin/Perry Ridge.
The said encampment is not a “protest camp.” Our cultural encampment was established to aid skelxw (human beings) in association with Sinixt Nation in the pursuit of their social, cultural and religious developments and is essential to these said developments. Any recent attempt by Sinixt to exercise and defend our human rights as indigenous people in Canada was secondary to our primary focus of continuing to live culturally and religiously as Sinixt human beings within our traditional territory.
The encampment is for traditional purposes such as but not limited to; berry-picking, root digging, hunting, medicine gathering, and religious fasts. Since the encampment was established three human beings in association with Sinixt Nation have conducted cultural and religious fasts and ceremonies. The occupants of the said encampment kept a ceremonial fire for 4 days at the encampment for the human beings conducting the said religious ceremonies.
Directly below the Sinixt Nation cultural encampment on slhu7kin/Perry Ridge is our ancient village site near Lemon Creek known commonly as the Slocan Narrows Pithouse Village. This is one of the oldest remaining interior salish village sites in the entire Interior Platue region. The largest pithouse for its era is also found at our said ancient village site. Sinixt Nation works with the Slocan Valley Rail Trail Society, Archaeologist Dr. Nathan Goodale and his students from Hamilton College in central New York, Selkirk College students and hundreds from the local community for cultural, educational and academic projects at this site.
It is absolutely ridiculous that Ministry enforcement officers would suggest that indigenous people (Sinixt Nation) would be in contravention of a law for “occupying crown land unlawfully” as the land occupied is within the tradition-use area (Sinixt Territory) of the said indigenous peoples and has been mapped at least 5 times by government employees such as George Anthony Dawson, James Teit, Franz Boas, and Verne Ray.
Sinixt human beings have human rights as guaranteed to them by conventional international law.
Sinixt human beings continue to live on and within Sinixt traditional territory and any action taken against Sinixt human beings in the pursuit of their social, religious and cultural development at any cultural encampments within our unceded traditional territories will be received as being complacent in an act of “genocide” and/or “crimes against humanity” according to the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to which Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, The Province of British Columbia, and others are contracted to.
The Crown, Her Majesty, The Province of British Columbia, including but not limited to their employees and agents hold legally binding obligations to consult with FIRST NATIONS not ABORIGINAL PEOPLES OF CANADA, therefore for anyone to continue to “inflict a condition of life” upon Sinixt human beings that deprives them of their cultural and religious rights is a violation of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) according to Canadian law and International law.
You must understand that we cannot be forced to “give up possession of the land” according to the authority of section 59 of the Land Act as it clearly is violating the rule of law as it is still unceded Sinixt Nation territory according to the Royal Proclamation of 1763 regardless if the Province of British Columbia has given it a legal definition of “Crown Land.”
We were given authority by kwelencuten/Creator to occupy and use our land as we have done for thousands of years and noone can lawfully authorize the removal of any structures, shelters, homes, automobiles, and human beings from our lands without first depriving the basic human rights and charter rights that is allegedly guaranteed to Sinixt families.
A written response sent to info@sinixtnation (Sinixt Nation) and forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org (Appointed Sinixt Nation Spokesperson) is required before July 23rd 2013 days as to ensure the basic fundamental rights of Sinixt human beings will be respected by The Province of British Columbia and that no enforcement of a contravention under section 59 of the BC Lands Act will be pursued against the occupants of the Sinixt Nation cultural encampment and that the Notices of Trespass on Crown Land numbered A002201, A001801, and A001802 which were issued by the said Ministry enforcement officers on or near the date of July 13th 2013 will be cancelled and that no future Notices of Trespass on Crown Land will be issued to human beings in association with Sinixt Nation for having cultural encampments within Sinixt Territory.
If you need an extension of time for your response please contact us via the said email contacts and/or by phone and one will be granted so long as you inform your enforcement officers to not enforce any alleged Trespass on Crown Land against human beings in association with the Sinixt Nation cultural encampment in the meantime.
We comprehend that this may be a complicated matter for you to understand so please contact us if you need any further information as we wish to resolve this matter in a humane manner. If you are not capable within your capacities to make any decision on this matter please forward this obligation to your superior.
Lim limt (thank you)
Sinixt Nation aka Arrow Lakes Indians
Marilyn James – Appointed Spokesperson,
Vance Robert Campbell Sr. – Appointed Headman (Chief),
Robert Watt – Appointed Caretaker of the Vallican Pithouse Village Site
on their own behalf and on behalf of their ancestors and the future generations of Sinixt human beings.