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Members of Coast Salish Katzie First Nation, supporters block Golden Ears Bridge


Anti-2010 Olympics Convergence, Coast Salish Territories, (Vancouver, B.C.)
 
 
Contact: salmonsovereignty@hotmail.com
 
Feb. 13, 2010, as part of the Anti-Olympics Convergence in Vancouver B.C., members of Coast Salish Katzie First Nation and supporters blocked the Golden Ears Bridge.
 
The Bridge spans the Frazer River between Pitt Meadows and Langley, and is adjacent to Katzie 1 and Katzie 2 Reserves. It is about a half hour drive outside of Vancouver.
 
The bridge opened on June 16, 2009. It is owned by Translink, who say, “it will have major long-term impacts on the region, improving travel times and promoting economic activity.” Clearly disregarding the negative impacts on Indigenous people.
 
Construction of the bridge desecrated a 3000 year old burial ground. It’s massive pilings in the river disrupt currents, and the ability of local Katzie fishers to fish. Situated at the mouth of the Frazer River, the bridge effects already threatened habitat for Salmon and Indigenous fishing communities all up the Fraser River.
 
Statement by a participant in the action:
 
“My people have been told when to fish and how big our net can be since our book of rules (Indian act) in 1896. My family has been arrested for fishing when they were not allowed.”

“The bridge affects my family in many ways. For thousands of years my family has been fishing on the Fraser River. The exact same spot where they built the Golden Ears Bridge is where my father, my grandfather and so on, is where we were taught to fish. The exact same spot we have been fishing is where there is a 6 lane bridge.”

“That bridge has caused hurt and pain with me and my family. The bridge is built on my people’s sacred burial grounds. That bridge has destroyed the river far beyond Katzie’s boundaries. Because of the bridge I’m forced to change my teachings and ways of fishing. That bridge has destroyed the natural path for the salmon to continue up the river for indigenous people to eat to survive. Dredging gravel out of the river to build bridges and highways for the Olympics is destroying the delicate ecosystem and putting declining fish stocks at further risk.”

These people worked on the site where the bridge is now built - they asked to be anonymous because they would lose their jobs:
 
“We dug up history of our ancestors - human remains, arrow heads and beads. They gave us a choice: either we dig up our peoples history or they were going to send non-native people to do it. We were forced and no options from our community!”
 
--Anonymous hired archeologist worker.
 
After the remains were found, members of Katzie First Nations people were paid to build tiny coffins and bury the bones where they were found. Many of the workers thought this meant they wouldn’t build the bridge at that spot.
 
“So many bones were found, in fetal position, and scattered bones were found These are my people; these bones are my grandfathers and grandmothers. After we had a ceremony to bury the bones in small coffins we made, they went ahead and built the bridge anyway right over top of our sacred burial ground.”
 
--Anonymous Katzie First Nations worker.
 
 **Part of the media strategy of this action was to avoid the use of mainstream corporate media and utilize alternative media and personal networks. Please post this to your site and/or forward this message along to your contact lists. Tnx.
 

 

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Comments

Members of Coast Salish Katzie First Nation, supporters block Go

For immediate Release
February 24, 2010

Re: Members of Coast Salish Katzie First Nation, supporters block Golden Ears Bridge
Anti-Olympic protest draws attention to ancient burial site

"This protest did not have any political affiliation with Katzie First Nation nor did Chief and Council sanction or participate in this protest." said Chief Mike Leon.

The mis-information posted by the "anonymous" person was the unsanctioned perspective of that individual who may have been a Katzie member not the governing body.

Katzie was not aware of the protest until February 15th.

balls out

I'm glad to hear that some of my people have balls and are not just sheep herded around by the sheperd(THE WHITE MAN/GOVERNMENT) I don't mean to appear rascist or close minded but it would be foolish of me to think that the governments laws rules and regulations have anything to do with having my best interests at heart.In reality these things are put in place to confuse and oppress my people(herd). Maybe i'm the only one who is affected by these rules but thats because im not afraid to do what my instincts tell me to do that is my right. As a katzie first nation member, british columbia is my back yard.It upsets me that all indian bands that have unsigned treaties in bc dont feel the same.

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