The Secwepemc Natives of interior British Columbia report that a sixth Protection Centre has been set up at the entrance of Sun Peaks Ski Resort to protect Aboriginal Title and ensure the accommodation of indigenous interests. It has been met with legal threats by the Sun Peaks developers, the protesters say.
The Secwepemc also say they have established a network of support and human rights observation groups and monitors who have been placed on alert in the event Sun Peaks and the provincial government use court action to remove Skwelkwek’welt Protection Center Numbers 5 and 6. They include representatives of the Mennonite Central Committee, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Canada-Columbia Solidarity Campaign, and Sami delegates from Samiland. (Sapmi).
These groups visited Skwelkwek’welt last week to meet with Secwepemc and devise plans for training for human rights monitors to be sent to the area and support peace-building efforts. Protesters say these efforts are needed to help prevent on-going police intimidation and harassment of the Secwepemc.
Doug Pritchard of Christian Peacemaker Team said, “We have worked in many aboriginal communities and we call upon all Canadians to respect the rights of their Aboriginal neighbors”.
Sophie Aikio from Samiland stated, “the Secwepemc are facing the same concerns as indigenous peoples all over the world. Whatever happens in Canada affects us as well. Indigenous peoples throughout the world are following the situation of the Secwepemc in Canada.”