August 26, 2010
Chief Joe Tom
P.O. Box 2000
Tofino, BC, V0R 2Z0
By post and facsimile: 250-670-1102
Dear Chief Joe Tom,
We are writing in support of the Hesquiaht Nation’s opposition to the proposed public sale of the Boat Basin property (Cougar Annie’s garden), as it is in complete disregard to Hesquiaht Title and Rights over this territory, and is a breach to the treaty process.
We recognize that the Hesquiaht Nation retains Aboriginal Title and Rights in their territories and natural resources, including the Boat Basin property located in Hesquiaht Harbour in Clayoquot Sound. Hesquiaht Title and Rights have never been extinguished through treaty or superseded by law. Despite the fact that Ada Annie Rae-Arthur (Cougar Annie) lived on and cared for the Boat Basin property for eighty years through a Crown land grant, we firmly believe that pre- existing and ever present Hesquiaht Title and Rights must be recognized and respected. Extensive archaeological evidence within Hesquiaht Harbour supports the fact that the Boat Basin property is not public land that can be sold- the Hesquiaht Nation are the rightful stewards and title holders to this land.
Additionally, like the Hesquiaht Nation, we understand that through the treaty process, nothing can happen to undermine the Hesquiaht Nation’s claim to all territory within Hesquiaht boundaries, which means that the proposed public sale cannot proceed.
In conclusion, we re-iterate complete support to the Hesquiaht in asserting their Aboriginal Title and Rights over their territories and natural resources, and opposition to the proposed sale of the Boat Basin property.
On behalf of the UNION OF BC INDIAN CHIEFS,
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Chief William Charlie
Chief Robert Chamberlin
Boat Basin Foundation
Hesquiaht Council and Administration
BCAFN Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould
First Nations Summit Task Group
UBCIC Chiefs Council
INAC Minister John Duncan
MARR Minister George Abbott