URGENT Call for Support
Williams Lake Indian Band Seeking Justice at the Supreme Court
Despite its public promises that Specific Claims Tribunal decisions would be final and represent lasting resolution of specific claims, Canada successfully convinced the Federal Court of Appeal to overturn the Specific Claim’s Tribunal’s decision in the Williams Lake Indian Band’s (WLIB) village site specific claim. The only way now for the WLIB to achieve justice for the illegal alienation of their ancestral village lands is to assume the substantiaSCCl financial and emotional burden of taking Canada to the Supreme Court.
The outcome of this decision will profoundly impact Indigenous Nations across BC and Canada and will shape the role of the Tribunal and the future of specific claims. Canada is seeking to diminish its responsibility as a fiduciary and to greatly limit the scope and level of redress and compensation it owes to Indigenous Nations with specific claims. Canada also seeks to restrict the powers and independence of the Specific Claims Tribunal. The Tribunal was created to resolve specific claims fairly and with finality so Indigenous Nations could achieve justice and to advance reconciliation.
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs is leading a coalition to intervene in the Williams Lake case and urgently needs the support of all Indigenous Nations. UBCIC and its partners urgently need your financial support to cover the costs of participating as interveners in this judicial Review.
The stakes are too high to do nothing
Since 2007, a shocking 85% of specific claims have been rejected by Canada or had their files closed, leaving Indigenous Nations with unresolved specific claims extremely limited alternatives. The Specific Claims Tribunal is the only remedy within the current policy for these rejected or closed claims. Most Tribunal decisions to date have been strongly in favour of Indigenous Nations.
The Supreme Court’s decision will determine the authority and independence of the Tribunal to make final decisions on claims which is why the UBCIC led coalition must intervene.
To provide urgently needed financial support, please send a cheque addressed to Union of BC Indian Chiefs with the memo note “Williams Lake Intervention” to:
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
500-342 Water Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1B6
To make alternate arrangements or for more information, please contact: Jody Woods, Research Director, UBCIC, 604-684-0231, [email protected]