Sto:lo head to B.C. Supreme court over Yale Treaty

Some Sto:lo are travelling to Vancouver on Friday morning to show support for filing a statement of claim to protect their fishing rights.

A court battle could be brewing over the Yale First Nation Treaty.

Some Sto:lo members will be boarding a chartered bus Friday in Chilliwack, heading for Vancouver to show support for the filing of a statement of claim in B.C. Supreme Court to protect Sto:lo people’s collective rights and title in the 5-Mile Fishery.

Grand Chiefs from Sto:lo Tribal Council and Sto:lo Nation will be joining Sto:lo community members at the law courts to mark National Aboriginal Day by rejecting the notion that any level of government can give a small community like Yale, with its 200 members, rights over fishing sites in the Fraser Canyon to the exclusion of the Sto:lo people, which number 6,000 to 10,000.

The final agreement of the Yale treaty was signed in B.C. on April 13, marking the third treaty to emerge from the B.C. Treaty Process.

Yale Chief Robert Hope told The Progress said no one will stop the Sto:lo fishermen from coming up the river to fish, but that they would have to check in upon arrival in Yale territory.

That gatekeeper role the Yale will play post-treaty is precisely the bone of contention. The ongoing political tension is the result, along with threats of violence.

Sto:lo leadership has vehemently disagreed with the notion that the Yale is an independent nation, and have stressed again and again that Yale is historically a Sto:lo community.

Sto:lo officials have expressed outrage over recent federal and provincial approval of the Yale First Nation treaty because it gives exclusive title in a stretch they call the 5-Mile Fishery, going from Spuzzum to Yale, to Yale First Nation. They are also concerned about losing access to burial grounds and other cultural sites.

Treaties are supposed to bring certainty and harmony for both native and non-native alike, but the Yale First Nation treaty does neither, said Sto:lo president and Grand Chief Joe Hall, in a release.

“The Yale treaty totally misses the mark in that regard and worse yet establishes a harmful precedent for all remaining treaty tables in B.C.,” said Hall. “All parliamentarians must take ownership of their decision to ignore the sensitive issues surrounding the Yale treaty and will be held accountable for any conflict that arises.”

The approval of the Yale treaty is seen by some as a way for officials to show that the treaty process is working.

“This is a divide and conquer strategy by the federal and provincial governments and will result in conflict between aboriginal people and non-aboriginal people,” said Grand Chief Doug Kelly.

“All we are asking for is that the 5-mile fishery be a protected area where all Stó:lō including Yale could continue to exercise their rights in perpetuity. We have a long standing history of protecting our lands and rights. Our people are united and will not stand by and let this happen.”

The final agreement of the Yale Treaty which was introduced for ratification in the House of Commons on May 31, provides that the Yale First Nation will privately own about 1,966 hectares of Treaty lands, made up of 217 hectares of Yale’s former Indian reserves and 1,749 hectares of Crown lands. In addition, Yale First Nation will receive a capital transfer of $10.7 million, less any outstanding negotiation loans, and economic development funding of $2.2 million.

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: Gun enthusiasts fill Chilliwack venue for antique show

Collectors, proud owners and vendors took part in the event that approaches half a century in age

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Horse found stuck in muddy field rescued in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge firefighters set up a pulley system to drag the horse to solid ground

VIDEO: Two Maple Ridge contortionists have sights set on Cirque

The Pair competed at the Viva festival in Vegas and are now auditioning for spot on America’s Got Talent

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Most Read