Tsilhqot’in face colonial burden


The newly rebranded “New Prosperity” is, once again, entering a risky venture.


The newly rebranded “New Prosperity” is, once again, entering a risky venture that depends on the Crown’s ability to claim exclusive ownership over the land.

The July 2, 2010 federal panel report highlighted the potential infringement of aboriginal rights and title. Legally, these represent proprietary rights that give the original communities the ability to choose what happens with their land and to determine what kind of development should exist. Overwhelmingly, during the course of the panel hearings, the Tsilhqot’in and Secwepmec indicated their preference to keep the land and culture protected for the benefit of animals and plants, and the community economy that relates to consuming from the land.

Indigenous nations still hold these rights and responsibilities, which were never legitimately or legally extinguished. Each landmark court decision affirms this fact. Like these court decisions, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which took 20 years to construct to devise basic minimal rights, expresses the need for “free prior informed consent,” the ability to make decisions in regards to the potential affects, the right to raise children within their culture and land.

Although Canada pretends innocently that the rule of law is never violated, it appears that the Tsilhqot’in will continue to face the burden of the colonial code: the Crown is superior, Indigenous inferior; therefore, the Crown shall apply arbitrary rules, processes, and initiate any economic development activity without our consent. Consent is the heart of the issue. Yet it should be clear that the Crown has not dealt with the fundamental issue concerning the land, and this unresolved issue will ensure that Taseko Mines’ proposal will fail once again.

Russell Myers

Williams Lake

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

Just Posted

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

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

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

Accident rates, injury claims and court costs have driven ICBC into deficit in recent years. (Black Press Media)
Judge rejects taking lawyers out of minor ICBC injury cases

Ruling the latest setback for B.C. NDP’s insurance cost reforms

Most Read