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Sinixt Petition for Consultation on Perry Ridge Logging Dismissed

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The Sinixt Nation was before the BC Supreme Court the past several weeks, seeking the right to be consulted on a planned logging project in their traditional territory. Today the judge ruled against their petition, legally clearling the way for Sunshine Logging to begin logging a section of Perry Ridge, amid the Slocan Valley in the Kootenays. The Sinixt are supported by the local non-aboriginal community as well, represented in part by the Perry Ridge Water Users' Association - who share the Sinixt concerns about safety risks from rock slides and various potential environmental impacts. Several weeks ago, Damien Gillis had a chance to interview the Sinixt official representative, Marilyn James and her supporters at the Vancouver courthouse.

Statement from the Sinixt lawyer David Aaron:

This is regarding the Sinixt judicial review application, by way of
> Petition, against BC's issuance of a timber sale licence on Perry Ridge.
> Today, the Court, by way of oral reasons for judgment of Willcock J.,
> dismissed the Sinixt's Petition on the basis of the Court's finding that the
> Petitioners are not a group capable of sufficiently precise definition with
> respect to their group membership.
> We say that the Court failed to deal with this question with sufficient
> regard to the historical factors that have affected the Sinixt, including:
> the establishment of an international boundary through Sinixt territory; the
> subsequent restriction against free passage across that boundary; the
> Crown’s failure to provide adequate reserve land and to protect traditional
> village sites and burial grounds; – these are all factors that lead to the
> historical disenfranchisement of the Sinixt from statutory rights in Canada,
> including the right to enter and remain in Canada, the right to viable
> reserve land, the right to membership in an Indian Act band and the
> opportunity for representation through a band council.
> This is the historical context within which the proceedings were advanced on
> behalf of a collective that lacks legal capacity to sue in its own right.
> And this is the historical context within which the claim was advanced on
> behalf of that collective by individuals who, over the past 25 years, have
> emerged as representatives through the realities by which a distinct,
> aboriginal rights holding people has given expression to an autonomous
> modality of self-representation, by reference to traditional cultural tenets
> and, ultimately, by the necessity of vigorously representing the interests
> of the collective when they were most threatened.
> We do not feel that the judgment today gave sufficient weight to this
> historical context. The Sinxit will consider their appeal options once
> they have had an opportunity to review a written version of the judgment.
> Until then, there will be no further comment to the press.
> The Sinixt will be holding a vigil at the Perry Ridge Forest Service Road
> site commencing at day break on February 26, 2011.
> --
> Barrister & Solicitor
> Tel: 250.551.6840
> Fax: 866.685.7376

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Far from over!

Just so readers know...
If need be there will most definately be a community blockade of some sort to protect Slhu7kin/Perry Ridge. Please keep informed on the Struggle for Slhu7kin/Perry Ridge.
The Vigil that took place was more of a meeting of vigilant people, when people first arrived, there was already a small fire burning in the road and there will be many more community fires to come.  
Also a sacred ceremony was held in the traditional pithouse on the reclaimed Sinixt lands in Vallican yesterday. Some people travelled from the Colville Reservation in Washington state just to be there, over 30 people attended.

Sinixts and supporters are

Sinixts and supporters are hosting a not welcome party at Perry Ridge for Sunshine Logging today, Please come out and show your support. Updates coming.

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