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Report: Action against Sun Peaks Resort

On Saturday, October 22, No One is Illegal members in
an unannounced action went to the Vancouver Snow Show
to protest the occupation of Sun Peaks Ski resort on
Secwepemc territories, land which has never been
ceded, released, nor surrendered.
Sun peaks resort is located near Kamloops, British
Columbia and is owned by Nippon Cable. Despite the
fact that the United Nations has repeatedly condemned
Canada for violating International Human Rights of
Indigenous
communities, Sun Peaks Ski Resort continues to abuse
the rights of the Secwepemc people through the
continuous expansion of its overpriced bed units and
hotel chains such as Delta Hotels on the Secwepemc
Territories.

Sun Peaks Resorts has forced the arrests of 54
Secwepemc Elders, youth and land-users. In the past
four years five Aboriginal Protection Centers, two
traditional cedar bark homes, a hunting cabin, two
sacred sweat lodges, and one cordwood home (home to a
young family) have all been bulldozed or burnt down.

Environmental activists have since echoed the
concerns of the Secwepemc people noting the
irreplaceable damage of the surrounding environment
should this expansion be allowed to continue. The
development of Sun Peaks Resort has led to the
destruction of the vital mountain ecosystem through
clear-cuts. Sun Peaks resort pollutes the water with
weed-control chemicals for their golf course and with
chemical and bacterial additives used to make
artificial snow. Sun Peaks over-consumes water and
energy to make this artificial snow (it takes 1/3 the
energy of a average town to run a medium ski area).
Indigenous writer and activist, Arthur Manual states
that "Our Elders and traditional land users know that
the added burden these resort users would put on the
land would totally destroy the land and make it
unusable for traditional land purposes." (Manuel,
2003,
p. 324.)*

The Boycott of Sun Peaks Resort is supported by
hundreds of organizations and individuals including
Naomi Klein, Ward Churchill, Assembly of First
Nations, Council of Canadians, Women in the Woods,
Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and many
others.

No One is Illegal members gathered outside and inside
the Snow Show to vocalize their disgust with Sunpeaks
blatant refusal to acknowledge the rights of the
Secwepemc people and to encourage skiers, snowboarders
and tourists alike to "BOYCOTT SUNPEAKS". People were
generally responsive towards the campaign offering
both words of support for the Secwepemc defenders and
disgust at the actions of Sunpeaks with hundreds of
leaflets distributed. The action continued for several
hours while Sunpeaks representatives and security
photographed and harassed No One is Illegal members.

The next day, Elder Irene Billy and Ska7cis Manuel
returned from Geneva where they delivered an
independent indigenous submission on Canada's human
rights record. A number of indigenous nations: the
Nuxalk Nation; the Secwepemc people who are defending
Skwelkwek'welt against the expansion of Sun Peaks Ski
Resort; the St'at'imc nation who is opposed to the
construction of a ski resort at Sutikalh; and the
Pilalt Nation who wants to protect fishing at Cheam
and their sacred mountains; made it clear that they
want to protect their territories and that they will
not extinguish their land rights. Many of their
members, including elders and youth, have been
arrested for exercising their indigenous rights and
protecting their territories. Elder Irene Billy
herself had been arrested at Sun Peaks Ski Resort and
said:
"As indigenous peoples we have the right to decide
what happens in our territories and no development can
happen without our prior informed consent."

For more information on Skwekwek'welt support
 http://noii-van.resist.ca/skwelkwekwelt

** Manuel, Art. (2003) Aboriginal Rights on the
Ground: Making Section 35 Meaningful. Box of Treasures
or Empty Box? Twenty Years of Section 35 Edited by
Ardith Walken and Halie Bruce. Canada. Pp 314-342.

--
No One is Illegal-Vancouver
To subscribe to low-traffic email annoucement list
email  noii-van@resist.ca
web:  http://www.noii-van.resist.ca
email:  noii-van@resist.ca
(604)682-3269 x 7149
Office 714, 207 West Hastings, Vancouver BC V6B 1H7

The No One is Illegal campaign is in full
confrontation with Canadian colonial border policies,
denouncing and taking action to combat racial
profiling of immigrants and refugees, detention and
deportation policies, and wage-slave conditions of
migrant workers and non-status people.

We struggle for the right for our communities to
maintain their livelihoods and resist war, occupation
and displacement, while building alliances and
supporting indigenous sisters and brothers also
fighting theft of land and displacement.

homepage: homepage: http://noii-van.resist.ca/skwelkwekwelt

. 06.Nov.2005 15:38

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. 06.Nov.2005 15:38

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Sun Peaks Supporter 15.Nov.2005 15:19

Higher Living

I am responding to an article I found on the Internet by the Portland Independant Media Center. I am a local resisendt of Sun Peaks for 6 years now and I am appalled at the onesided artlicles, comments and exploites, some native groups have issued about Sun Peaks Resort. I do believe that many Native groups have been wrongfully treated by many government organizations and various companies. But, many are only seeing the side that Secwepemc Native band are reporting about. Many do not see the immature and violent way they have been protesting. I personally was attacked in the first protest a few years ago. I was peacefully enjoying a cup of coffee at a local cafe, when about 15-20 native peoples, surrounded me screaming profanities and banging drums in my face yelling "go home white man, get of my land". For one thing I am not entirly so, I have a wide and colourful ancestry. Amoung these people were teenagers and little kids no more than 7 years old. I ask myself, is this the way the elders want to teach their children on how to solve problems? After my attack they chased a horse and buggy carriage up the village with tourist on the wagon. this could have created a serious accident. This is only one example of some of the outragious protesting attempts by the Secwepemc Native Band. I and many other people do not deserve this treatment from this group or any other. I think that Secwepemc needs to re-evaluate their approach, so mabey more government organizations, will take them seriously. A not to readers on articles about Sun Peaks: Please do not believe everything you hear or read. Get the info from both sides before you make a judgement.
A final thought: I have never seen any native use this land for gathering and hunting. And I dont believe anyother long time resident has either. Sun Peaks is hear to stay. No outrageous and sometimes violent attempts to protesting will move the people who live hear and love this place. Lets try to use a more human approach to solve this problem. Fighting like little kids doesnt get us anywhere.