Two Elders, Irene Billy & Charlie Willard, a spiritual leader, Henry Saul and a young warrior, George Manuel Jr. are appeared in court March 12 on charges of criminal contempt for refusing to leave their home and the Skwelkwek’welt Protection Centre located at Skwelkwek’welt and on unceded Secwepemc Traditional Territory.

The defendants refuse to recognize Canadian jurisdiction in the case. They say the Secwepemc have never ceded, surrendered or signed treaties with any foreign government and continue to hold an inherent and legal right to their lands.

They further charge the governments of British Columbia and Canada, the Sun Peaks Resort Corporation and the British Columbia Assets and Land Corporation (BCAL), a provincial crown company, with conspiring to force the Secwepemc Indians from their own land they call Skwelkwek’welt.