July 24, 2020
UBCIC Statement: Call for Non-Violence in Light of Planned Rally Opposing Indigenous Land Defenders
((Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – July 24, 2020) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) calls for peace and non-violence in advance of a planned rally this Saturday “to reclaim the North Thompson Valley” and confront the Tiny House Warriors, a group of Secwepemc land defenders protesting the ongoing expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The Tiny House Warriors are located in the Blue River region of the North Thompson River Valley, and have experienced repeated incidences of misogyny, racism, harassment, and violence for their opposition to the pipeline and the associated work camps that imperil the safety and welfare of Indigenous women and girls. The UBCIC is concerned that the “informal protest” organized on Facebook will lead to greater violence, animosity, and division between and amongst Indigenous peoples and Blue River residents. UBCIC firmly believes in upholding human and Indigenous-rights and condemns any actions that may lead to verbal or physical violence and the incitement of racism and discrimination. Sensitivity, understanding, and a willingness to have meaningful dialogue is needed to resolve tensions and conflicts of interest that may arise between First Nations, authorities, and other people. UBCIC deeply respects the authority and jurisdiction of all First Nations and hopes that respect and open communication can substitute any potentially violent and inflammatory actions against Indigenous land defenders.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of UBCIC: (250-490-5314)
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President of UBCIC: (604-290-6083)
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of UBCIC: (250-320-7738)
UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca