Tag Archives: Occupation

Tensions rise between RCMP and First Nations against fish farms

For Immediate Release, October 17, 2017

RCMP, Marine Harvest, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans has just arrived on site to where Members from six First Nations of the Kwakwaka’wakw have been occupying fish farms, in their territorial waters for nearly two months near Alert Bay, B.C.

Yesterday, the peaceful occupiers, were been served with notices of injunction applications to be heard in court on Wednesday. Sources have reported significantly increased RCMP, Marine Harvest employees and Fisheries and Oceans employees in nearby Port McNeill headed to Port Elizabeth with boats and water equipment.

RCMP have been escorting the Norwegian vessel, Viktoria Viking, contracted by Marine Harvest to refill salmon pens with juvenile stocks, against local First Nation consent. The company is restocking, despite that most of the farm tenures and/or licenses expire before the fish mature.

The escalation in tactical teams, equipment and police numbers deeply concern First Nation members who have been asserting their rights to consent and consultation. Communities oppose the open net salmon farms’ effects on wild salmon including spread of disease, sea lice and other environmental concerns.

The police have no jurisdiction to remove the occupiers, and are supporting the illegal restocking of destructive open net salmon pens in their territory, instead of defending rights and title, and right to wild salmon assert community members.

The police escalation follows a gathering of Namgis, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Mamalilikulla hereditary leadership and community members this weekend. David Suzuki, UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Elected Chief Bob Chamberlain, and Elected Chief Rebecca David representative from the BC AFN, were present to show support for those occupying the farms, messages indicated over 90 First Nations are in support of the collective nations’ demands for removal and ongoing occupations.

Last week, Premier John Horgan met with approximately forty Kwakwaka’wakw leaders – elected and hereditary alike,and supporting community members – First Nations and non First Nations, alike. of the community who demanded the fish farms be removed.

Media Contact:

Ernest Alfred
Email: alertbayalfred@gmail.com
Cell: 250 974 7064
Carla Voyageur
Email: gwayee_jane@yahoo.ca
Cell: 204 292 1098


Winnipeg’s Urban Treaty Payments Delayed Because Of Occupation, Indigenous Affairs Says

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada says urban treaty payments are delayed because of the INAC office occupation. (Dave Gaudet/CBC)

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada says urban treaty payments are delayed because of the INAC office occupation. (Dave Gaudet/CBC)

Traditional annuity payments of $5 are usually handed out in mid-June

CBC News Posted: Jun 22, 2016

First Nations people looking to pick up their annual treaty payment in Winnipeg at the Forks will have to wait.

The treaty payments have been delayed as a result of protestors occupying the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada office in downtown Winnipeg, the department says.

The traditional annuity payments of $5 are usually handed out in mid-June for two weeks to people who are members of a Treaty First Nation.

In April, protesters occupied the INAC office in Winnipeg to stand in solidarity with the Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario which declared a state of emergency after multiple suicide attempts.

Other INAC offices across the country were also occupied but most ended within a few days. The occupation continued on much longer in Winnipeg.

“The office was closed in mid-April as the result of an occupation by OccupyINACWinnipeg,” an INAC representative said in an emailed statement. “Regional staff have continued working from remote locations to deliver essential services.”

INAC said the treaty payment in First Nation communities will be delivered as normal but the payments in Winnipeg are postponed.

INAC said further details will be available when a new date is confirmed.


Demonstrators Continue To Occupy Williams Lake Indian Band Office

Occupation of the Williams Lake Indian Band office entered day two Wednesday

Warrior Publications

Williams Lake band office occupation Secwepemc women and youth join the occupation of the Williams Lake Indian Band Office, May 25, 2016. Photo: Facebook.

by  Angie Mindus, Williams Lake Tribune, May 25, 2016

Occupation of the administration office at the Williams Lake Indian Band entered day two Wednesday with no quick resolution in sight.

Six men entered the office just after 8 a.m. Tuesday after they forced their way in and asked staff to leave as women staffers were opening the building for the day.

What followed next was an initially swift response from heavily armed members of the RCMP, who secured the perimeter around the building and communicated with the protestors and also with band councillors gathered at the community’s resource building across the street.

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Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society Joins Occupation Of Williams Lake Indian Band Office

Photo: Williams Lake Indian Band Occupation via Facebook

Photo: Williams Lake Indian Band Occupation/Facebook

By Red Power Media, Staff | May 25, 2016


The Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society has joined the non-violent occupation of the Secwepemc Williams Lake Indian Band Office to continue to fight for our Nation, our Women, our Youth, our Future Generations. A sacred fire has been lit to call our People together to address the corruption of the Elected Chief and Band Council system imposed on us by the colonial Canadian government.

RCMP officers, aiming their guns at the unarmed Secwepemc occupiers, have surrounded the building and have arrested and charged April Thomas, a Secwepemc woman who just returned from presenting the plight of the Secwepemc Nation to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva and is known in the community for her opposition to the elected band council system.

Secwepemc families are being forcibly and illegally removed from their homes in the midst of a housing crisis, our People live in poverty and debt while millions of dollars borrowed from the federal and provincial governments for the illegal NSTQ treaty are unaccounted for, and those who attempt to defend their Territories, themselves or their families are targeted by the Chief and Band Council.

The structure of the Indian Chief and Band Council system, created and enforced by the Federal Canadian colonial government allows for decisions to be made by the Chief and Council without the knowledge and consent of the People. This is unacceptable. After exhausting all other means to address our ongoing concerns, we stand here now demanding to be heard. We will not tolerate the use of the RCMP in internal Nation matters, and we will certainly not tolerate the continued use of the RCMP in dealing with the unsettled land issue.

Our Lands were never ceded or surrendered and cannot be ceded or surrendered without the full, free, prior and informed consent of our People. The actions of the Chief and Band council, without the consent of the people, are therefore illegal and we do not recognize them. This includes all unlawful evictions of Secwepemc families and any and all decisions in regards to resource extractive industry, the NSTQ Treaty and our Territories.

All decisions made in regards to the Nation and our People must be made with the consent of our People, there is currently no participatory decision making protocol or policy that allows for this within the Elected Chief and Council system. Until the People are included in the decision making of the Nation, all decisions made by any other body claiming to represent Williams Lake Indian Band or the Secwepemc Nation are declared null and void.

We will continue to occupy the Williams Lake Indian Band office until further notice. We ask that Anne Louie, elected Chief, meet with us in person immediately to begin discussions in reference to our concerns. In solidarity with the INAC occupations across Canada and Indigenous resistance worldwide.

Vancouver Occupation Of INAC Office Ends

Indigenous women and children who occupied INAC offices in downtown Vancouver for one week leave the building after securing a meeting with federal ministers to discuss their demands. (Facebook)

Indigenous women and children who occupied INAC offices in downtown Vancouver for one week leave the building after securing a meeting with federal ministers to discuss their demands. (Facebook)

#OccupyINAC protesters leave building after securing meeting with federal ministers

CBC News Posted: Apr 25, 2016

The occupation of an Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada office in Vancouver by a group of Indigenous mothers ended Saturday, after the ministers of INAC and Canadian Heritage agreed to meet with the group in May, Council of Mothers spokesperson Jerilyn Webster says.

“This is big for us, as far as government placing Indigenous issues as a priority on its agenda,” Webster said.

“But these are just the first steps to the real work that needs to happen.”

Vancouver’s occupation started on Monday, April 18, following occupations of other INAC offices across Canada.

#OccupyINAC protesters were demanding action on the suicide crisis in Attawpiskat, Ont.

Toronto protesters left that city’s INAC buidling on Thursday, saying they were directed to leave by youth from Attawapiskat.

That’s when Vancouver’s group shifted the focus to reinstating a youth cultural program and increasing Indigenous language funding, both federal responsibilities.

A spokesperson from INAC confirmed via email that Minister Carolyn Bennett will meet with the group “in the coming weeks” to discuss language funding, and also to discuss a youth culture program disbanded by the Harper government in 2012.

“We’ve heard from the youth about the importance of rebuilding their identity as proud Indigenous people, and we agree that cultural and wellness programming plays a valuable role,” states the email.

Protesters who occupied the INAC office in Vancouver for six days say they've secured a meeting with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett. (CBC)

Protesters who occupied the INAC office in Vancouver for six days say they’ve secured a meeting with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett. (CBC)

Webster said she’s cautiously optimistic about the gesture.

“This new government didn’t just shut its ears; it listened, it wants direction and we’re here to provide that, but we don’t want lip service.”

Re-establishing culture and language programs fits into a bigger healing picture, Webster said. The fallout from historical injustices in Indigenous communities has created circumstances in which people, like those in Attawapaskat, are now killing themselves.

“As mothers, we see the sense of urgency and we did what we had to do to make addressing it a priority,” said Webster.

Vancouver’s occupation drew civic and Indigenous leaders, but it also found new supporters such as the local chapter of No One Is Illegal, a social justice group that advocates for immigrant rights and issues.

“We were able to bring all these people together for a common goal,” Webster said.

Occupy Vancouver was the only #OccupyINAC group that involved only women and children.

“We wanted our kids to stand with the kids of Attawapiskat,” Webster said.

Vancouver was the second to last INAC office to be occupied. Protesters are still inside the INAC office in Winnipeg.