United Sto:lo call for war council

A message of solidarity went out from the Sto:lo people this week to say that the Yale Treaty will not work for them.

A message of solidarity went out from the Sto:lo people this week to say that the Yale Treaty will not work for them.

The treaty as ratified by provincial reps, could lead to an “unprecedented” level of conflict in the Fraser Canyon over fishing rights and heritage sites, warned Sto:lo leaders in a joint press release.

Sto:lo of all political stripes boarded a chartered bus in Chilliwack, and headed to a protest in North Van early Wednesday morning to protect rights they say they’ve had “since time immemorial.”

Protestors were asked to wear red t-shirts and bring their drums, and a Sto:lo War Council has been called into action.

The disagreement stems from a declaration by the Yale First Nation that its members are distinct from the Sto:lo and therefore have a right to sign a separate treaty for lands they claim in the Fraser Canyon. The Sto:lo dispute that, arguing the Yale cannot claim ownership of lands traditional held and never surrendered by the Sto:lo.

The Wednesday morning protest was meant to send a “clear message” about Sto:lo unity to B.C. Treaty Commission Members attending the First Nations Summit meeting in North Vancouver, said Sto:lo Grand Chief Joe Hall, president of Sto:lo Nation.

“We feel in some ways the government is saying that there isn’t a groundswell of support from the people on this, just the politicians,” Hall told The Progress. “They seem to think there is a division among the Sto:lo, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.”

A meeting was held at Chawathil First Nation this week where a Sto:lo war council was demanded by angry community members.

Tribal chief Tyrone McNeil of the Sto:lo Tribal Council said the people have asked the two tribal organizations “to kick into gear” the Sto:lo War Council, headed by Grand Chief Ron John to flesh out a strategy to defend Sto:lo rights.

“It’s always been our hope to avert that,” Hall noted. “But it’s more than rumour now. It’s preparation and planning.”

He underlined that Sto:lo reps followed steps laid out in the the treaty process “to the letter of the law” and stated early on in the process that they had grave concerns about their rights in the canyon being forfeited under the treaty.

The canyon is a “very important” corridor for the Sto:lo.

“We have people in our community that are very protective of our culture and practices, they have said they won’t let a piece of paper stand in the way of them exercising their rights,” Hall said.

“So it’s very important that this is not ram-rodded through to give them another treaty notch on their belt, and that we try to resolve this before it’s too late. All the government has to do is hit the pause button. They’ve done it before and can do it again.”

Just Posted

COLUMN: Search for Grace shows community’s true nature

As Chilliwack searches for missing woman, a writer looks back 61 years at a similar story

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

Weapons, drugs, cash, vehicles seized from downtown Chilliwack house

July 5 raid at Princess Avenue address led to one arrest and charges so far

OPINION: Victims too often pushed aside in B.C.’s criminal justice system

What do the complainants in criminal cases want to see done? No one is asking

Trial starts Monday for Chilliwack pastor facing child porn charges

Main Street Church’s former executive pastor John Vermeer set for seven-day trial

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Most Read