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St’at’imc: We have exclusive jurisdiction

February 12, 2014  
Lillooet  News, p. 5
            The St’at’imc Chiefs Council has sent the following letter to the Prime Minister of Canada and Premier of B.C.
            Feb. 7, 2014
            The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, PC, MP
            Office of the Prime Minister
            Honourable Christy Clark
            Premier of B.C.
            Dear Prime Minister and Premier:
            Re:  Jurisdiction in St’at’imc Territory

We are writing to collectively advise the Province of British Columbia and Canada that the St’át’imc Chiefs Council hereby declares that St’at’imc hold exclusive jurisdiction over our Territorial Lands and Resources.

            We are supported in this declaration by observation that both Canada and the Province have “left the field” in terms of your capacity and political will to properly review and adjudicate development applications – exposing our natural ecosystems  (whether fragile or hearty) to neglect and “death by a thousand cuts.”  Consequently, we, as the original inhabitants of our Territory see the need to intervene and declare your assumed authority over our Lands as extinguished.

            Your failures to properly manage these same Lands and resources is evidenced by:

·       allowing the degradation of the Fraser River as one of the world’s premier salmon spawning habitats.
·       the surrender of  salmon habitat to industrial/commercial and municipal interests.
·       the utter failure to re-invest in sustainable forest management.
·       the proposed commercialization of our water via the Water Sustainability Act.
·       the surrender of compliance and enforcement functions to industry.
·       the move to professional reliance, de facto adopting a self-serve approach to compliance with standards.

We have lived in our Terrority for time immemorial and we will take whatever actions are required concerning our right and ability to continue to sustain ourselves for the next several thousands of years from the natural wealth our Terrority provides.

             Consequently, we are putting the Province on notice that your development permits and licenses will not be recognized by the St’at’imc Chiefs Council until the Province has properly and meaningfully reconciled your assumed jurisdictions with our inherent jurisdictions.
            Chief Harry O’Donaghey,
            Kukwpi7 Perry Redan,
            Chief Patrick Williams,
            Chief Shelley Leech,
            Chief Larry Casper,
            Chief Robert Shintah,
            Chief Art Adolph,
            Chief Don Harris,
            Chief Susan James,

Submitted by John McNamer

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