A group calling themselves the Chilcotin National Congress is demanding the surrender of the former Kwaleen elementary school and other empty schools in School District 27.

A group calling themselves the Chilcotin National Congress is demanding the surrender of the former Kwaleen elementary school and other empty schools in School District 27.

Group demanding hand-over of schools not endorsed by FN leader, not recognized by the province

A group demanding the surrender of empty school buildings in the Cariboo-Chilcotin is not endorsed by First Nations leadership.

A group demanding the surrender of empty school buildings in the Cariboo-Chilcotin is not endorsed by First Nations leadership nor are they recognized by the provincial government.

Since March, a group calling themselves the Chilcotin National Congress have posted no trespassing signs on a locked gate at the former Kwaleen elementary school on South Lakeside Drive in Williams Lake.

The ongoing postings culminated in the most recent document that states the property has been seized by the group and they further demand the surrender of ownership of not only Kwaleen school, but also Glendale, McLeese Lake, Poplar Grove, 100 Mile Junior Secondary, Anahim Lake and Glencoe schools.

Chief Joe Alphonse of the Anaham First Nation said the Chilcotin National Congress is not legitimate and has nothing to do with the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) or its affiliated communities, chiefs and band councils.

“In our communities leaders are elected and if people want to deal with us they deal with our leadership,” said Alphonse, who is also tribal chair of the TNG.  “They claim to be representative of their families, but I don’t see any hereditary people in their group,” Alphonse said.

School District 27 Superintendent Mark Thiessen said he is aware of the notices and has referred the matter to the Office of the Attorney General of BC.

“The Attorney General’s Office has recently written a letter to the CNC advising them that “the Government of British Columbia does not recognize the Chilcotin National Congress as the proper legal representatives of the T’silhqot’in Nation”, nor does the Government “recognize the Universal Supreme Court of the T’silhquot’in as having any legal capacity to issue valid and enforceable orders,” Thiessen said.

“The Attorney General’s Office’s letter goes on to say that “contrary to the orders [the CNC] has issued, [the government] does not recognize [the CNC] as the lawful owners of the properties referenced in those documents”.

The Attorney General’s Office has asked the CNC to “cease and desist from sending letters and documents of this kind,” Thiessen said.

Inside the former Kwaleen school’s entrance, a document posted in the windows making the claims is signed by “Her Majesty Queen Dorothy Boyd” of the sovereign T’silhquot’in Nation.

Boyd has not responded to the Tribune’s request for an interview.

Alphonse said he does not want to be critical of other Tsilhqot’in people, but warned that people need to be careful with what they are putting out there in the public.

“There are enough issues going on,” Alphonse said. “We don’t need to be adding to those types of issues.”

 

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

Just Posted

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Interior Health reported 43 new COVID-19 cases in the region Feb. 23, 2021 and no additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
43 new cases of COVID reported in Interior Health

No new deaths, Williams Lake outbreak over

A COVID-19 sign is seen last spring at the First Nations community of Canim Lake (Tsq’ scen). (Martina Dopf photo)
Another Canim Lake elder dies of COVID-19

The man was the husband of an elder who died last month outside the community.

Pink Shirt Day is Feb. 24.
This Pink Shirt Day let’s ‘lift each other up’

There are several warning signs regarding bullying:

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

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

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Justin Morissette is still recovering from the injuries sustained in the altercation. He is not yet able to walk without assistance. (Justin Morissette, Twitter)
B.C. man suing city and police over violent altercation with anti-LGBTQ preacher

Justin Morissette argues police knew the threat the preacher posed, and failed to keep the peace

Jack Barnes, who was Cowichan Valley Capitals property from May 2020 until last week, scores a goal for the Penticton Vees during the 2019-20 BCHL season. (Brennan Phillips/Black Press)
COVID-crunched BCHL facing trade deadline dilemma with its 20-year-olds

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

UBC Okanagan students are among the most food insecure in Canada, according to a new study by UBC.
(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UBC Okanagan students among most food insecure in Canada

42.3 per cent either can’t properly feed themselves, or are worried they will soon run out of money

Most Read