More than 60 Lil’watemc were brutally arrested for blocking the Lillooet Lake Road. 25 years later, still pursuing justice and a Lil’wat future.
BC Supreme Court never allowed the Lil’wat defenders to deliver their legal defense in court.
The Lil’wat argument was that Canada has no treaty with Lil’wat and it therefore has no jurisdiction on Lil’wat territory. Neither does the RCMP. So the scenario of RCMP officers arresting Lil’wat people for defying a BC court injunction in Lil’wat territory was an illegal, extra-territorial move by Canada and unjustifiable at law.
25 years later Lil’wat is still suffering for Canada’s occupation of Lil’wat nation territory. The argument remains the same.
The resources leave, the environmental damage is catastrophic and the people are poor. Traditional government carries on at the office of the kitchen table, being unwelcome at the multi-million dollar Band office which accepted about $70 million from the province to go along with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Lil’wat territory.
Lil’wat Elders and sovereigntists pursue international remedies, with the case Edmonds v. Canada at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Washington DC.
And they send communications to the UN treaty bodies. Canada’s occupation of the unceded nations of Turtle Island, and its justification for doing so – the Doctrine of Discovery and Canada’s repeated assertion that the inclusion of Aboriginal rights in the Canadian constitution is superior to Canada’s obligations under international law – are completely indefensible.
The following is a statement from Lil’wat to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the occasion of the 6th review of Canada under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: