WLIB elder Jean William in full regalia during the powwow at Sugar Cane Wednesday

WLIB elder Jean William in full regalia during the powwow at Sugar Cane Wednesday

Band celebrates initial tribunal victory

The Williams Lake Indian Band celebrated its specific claims tribunal victory in Sugar Cane last week with a community dinner and powwow.

The Williams Lake Indian Band celebrated its specific claims tribunal victory in Sugar Cane last week with a community dinner and powwow.

WLIB Chief Ann Louie said even though the federal government filed a judicial review against the ruling, and the court has reserved its decision for the time being, the community felt it was necessary to celebrate the tribunal ruling.

On Friday, Feb. 28, the Specific Claims Tribunal released its decision finding the Williams Lake Band was wrongfully dispossessed of its village lands in Williams Lake in the late 19th century.

Judge Harry Slade held Canada accountable for the Crown’s failure to protect the village lands from non-Indian settlement.

“It’s imperative we celebrate,” Chief Ann Louie said. “If we just sit back then we’re not honouring the work that we and our forefathers did.”

For more than 150 years Chiefs and Elders have been alleging First Nations were pushed off their village lands.

The tribunal decision clearly stated the dispossession from the lands was wrong, Louie said.

On April 7 and 8, WLIB members and supporters, along with the Kitselas Band from the Northwest B.C., spent two days in court because the federal government has filed judicial reviews against both bands’ specific claims tribunal rulings.

Louie said one of the statements made by the federal government’s lawyers in the court was insulting.

“He stated that oral history was inconsistent with reliable evidence. In other words our people are liars or made up the evidence we provided.”

The Tribunal argued the government needs to allow the Tribunal to make the final decisions for all specific claims to come to an end as an alternative to going to court.

Louie said WLIB will be waiting for the outcome of the court ruling because it will impact the case and the tribunal overall.

“I personally do not see any purpose for the tribunal if the federal government gets its way. Once again the government says one thing and does another.”

Claims do not return lands to First Nations, but will instead financially compensate to a maximum of $10 million.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Maude and R.C. Cotton, at the Cotton Ranch in the Chilcotin. (Photo courtesy of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin)
HAPHAZARD HISTORY: The Cariboo history of R.C. Cotton

Who was R.C. Cotton and why is his name associated with this site?

Have a letter? Email editor@wltribune.com
LETTER: B.C. mine permitting process needs to change to avoid layoffs

I can’t believe a permit to reopen Gib East Pit has been delayed again.

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Most Read