Union of BC Indian Chiefs Supports Opposition to Proposed Sun Peaks Incorporation

News Release
February 4, 2010
Neskonlith Indian Band’s Chief Judy Wilson and Adams Lake Indian Band’s Chief Nelson Leon have repeatedly voiced their communities’ deep alarm over the complete lack of meaningful consultation in the face of the accelerated rate of community consultations with non-Native residents to incorporate Sun Peaks Resort as a municipal government.

“The Union of BC Indian Chiefs fully supports the efforts of Chief Wilson and Chief Leon to ensure that the rights of their respective communities are recognized, respected and protected,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “What started as a recreational tenure for a local ski hill, has turned into a massive four-season high-density resort which now desires to incorporate as a municipality. Once again, third party interests are granted and further enriched at the expense of the constitutionally protected land rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

In March 2007, the UBCIC Chiefs Council passed Resolution 2007-21 which noted the efforts in 2007 of Chief Wilson and Chief Leon to respond to the work of the Sun Peaks Incorporation Study Committee. Specifically, they stated their communities’ opposition to the municipal incorporation and to the proposed Ministry of Forests’ road construction to Sun Peaks Resort until their Aboriginal Title and Rights were addressed and their interests fully reconciled.

Grand Chief Phillip concluded, “We agree with Chief Wilson and Chief Leon on Sun Peak’s referendum, how can 209 votes overrule more than 7,000 Secwepemc people who possess unceded Secwepemc Title. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs fully supports meaningful consultation that respects Aboriginal Title and Rights and not a process where the economic or commercial interests of the privileged few trump ecological values and constitutionally protected Indigenous Title and Rights.

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Media inquires:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Phone: (604) 684-0231

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.