NYM Will Resist... (fwd)

Leslie Schentag (wy497@victoria.tc.ca)
Mon, 20 Apr 1998 21:50:50 -0700 (PDT)

I am forwarding this email message on the request of sovernet-l
Please heed the words of our native youth.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 20:42:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Shafer <wy430@victoria.tc.ca>
To: sovernet-l@speakeasy.org
Cc: infopost <sisis@envirolink.org>
Subject: NYM Will Resist...

Please distribute widely


The Occupation of the Vancouver Offices of the BC Treaty Commission by
approximately 30 members of the Native Youth Movement continues. An
expected 4:30 PM forced eviction which NYM members have promised to
resist, passed with police still holding back from an invasion. It is
hoped that a continuing blitz of email, faxes, and phone calls from
supporters to government officials, police and the Treaty Commission will
continue to prevent any possibility of an attempt to forcibly evict NYM.

NYM has occupied the BCTC premises at 1155 West Pender St since April 17.
Any eviction would have to be authorized by the BC Treaty Commission.
Chief Commissioner Alec Robertson, a former director of timber
multinational Daishowa and a former senior partner of mega law firm Davis
& Co. asked the NYM to leave. They have decided to remain. A CBC Radio
program ALMANAC interviewing NYM's Dave Dennis, was broadcast earlier on
the province-wide network. An edited version follows:

CBC Almanac AM 690 Vancouver, Monday 1315hrs. Interview with D Dennis NYM

NYM: "We're in opposition to the BC Treaty Commission. We occupied this
office to let people know there is oppostion to this process coming from
the Indian community."

CBC: The First Nations Summit has stated there shall be no surrender of
Aboriginal Title. What worries you about what they're doing?

NYM: What worries me is that - number 1 - they're borrowing a lot of money
- borrowing a lot of money on our behalf. It might well be my grand
children that will have to pay off the debt they're incurring. They've
borrowed over $80 million throughout these negotiations. That's my money
that my children will have to pay back. What worries me about this process
is that its an extinguishment process. I know that a lot of our leaders
will get up and say that they will not accept extinguishment but I know
for a fact that these leaders will compromise that right.

CBC: What tells you that?

NYM: What tells me that is looking at the history and politics of some of
these people and just the fact they would enter a process without
consulting their whole nation. We're talking little tiny Indian Act Bands
that are negotiating with a province and calling it a "treaty". There's a
problem right there. Just the fact they would do that - enter a process
without the full consultation of their people would lead me to believe
they're willing to compromise other things.

CBC: There are 30 of you there. Who do you represent?

NYM: I represent myself. I represent my children and my great
grand-children. We, as Indigenous people, have a commitment to our future.
And we see that these processes will have a real bad effect on our future
generations...so therefore I say that I speak for my great grandchildren.

CBC: The reason I ask is that a month ago there was a meeting in Prince
George. Prince George hosted 800 native youth across the province - and I
understand your group was there asking them to support you, but that 90%
said no.

NYM: I think that's totally incorrect. In fact, I recall two or three
hundred people showing up at our workshops who got right behind us. I
think what got confused is that there were a number of people at that
conference that didn't want us to be heard. So they used these tactics -
these tools of oppression against us: like using our elders to turn on us
without them even knowing us. We have to understand that at that
conference there were 3-400 people that came outside and there was a
circle the size of the whole Civic-center.

CBC: Why not get involved in the existing process to convey your concerns?

NYM: Well, I think if we got into this process it would defeat our
position. Our position is that this is Indian Land - this is Indigenous
land. According to Delgamuukw we have Aboriginal Title to this land as
Nations. Certainly for us to voice our opinion through that forum would
tell everyone that we're in agreement with this process.

CBC: This process has been going on for over 100 years. Are you worried
that what you're doing could be damaging that somehow?

NYM: I would certainly hope so. I think that's our intention with the
Native Youth Movement - to stop this process.

CBC: What's the alternative to this process?

NYM: I know the Six Nations (Interior Six Nations Alliance) have been
starting on an alternative process based on Nationhood and based on
Consent, portability of rights - that would speak to the issues we're
talking about.

CBC: What's it going to take for you to end you're occupation there?

NYM: I guess from what I've heard they're coming in at 4:30 and they're
going to carry us out with police.

CBC: Are you going to go willingly?

NYM: Oh no. No, no. We're here to stay and that's our bottom line. We
explained that to the Commisssioners too.

CBC: OK. Thank you.

Email: Glen Clark, NDP Premier of British Columbia: premier@gov.bc.ca
Alec Robertson BCTC Chief Commissioner: info@bctreaty.net
Chief Constable, Vancouver City Police: vpd@city.vancouver.bc.ca
Prime Minister of Canada: pm@pm.gc.ca	

Solidarity and Support:
NYM at the BCTC: Ph. 1-800-665-8330 (if you reach recording call again)
or (604) 490-5314. More info: (604) 977-1510 (pager)

"Our only demand of the BC Treaty Commission is to STOP THE PROCESS!!"