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Lil'wat Roadblock 1990 -to- Lil'wat statement to UN 2015.

More than 60 Lil'wat were brutally arrested for blocking the Lillooet Lake Road. 25 years later, still pursuing justice and a Lil'wat future.

by Kerry Coast Original Peoples, →Dominion Stories

Tsemhuqw and Lahalus in Lil'wat, 1990.
Tsemhuqw and Lahalus in Lil'wat, 1990.
At the roadblock.
At the roadblock.
Tipta.
Tipta.

Also posted by Kerry Coast:

BC Supreme Court never allowed the Lil'wat defenders to deliver their legal defense in court.

The Lil'wat argument was that Canada has no treaty with Lil'wat and it therefore has no jurisdiction on Lil'wat territory. Neither does the RCMP. So the scenario of RCMP officers arresting Lil'wat people for defying a BC court injunction in Lil'wat territory was an illegal, extra-territorial move by Canada and unjustifiable at law.

25 years later Lil'wat is still suffering for Canada's occupation of Lil'wat nation territory. The argument remains the same.

The resources leave, the environmental damage is catastrophic and the people are poor. Traditional government carries on at the office of the kitchen table, being unwelcome at the multi-million dollar Band office which accepted about $70 million from the province to go along with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Lil'wat territory.

Lil'wat Elders and sovereigntists pursue international remedies, with the case Edmonds v. Canada at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Washington DC. 

And they send communications to the UN treaty bodies. Canada's occupation of the unceded nations of Turtle Island, and its justification for doing so - the Doctrine of Discovery and Canada's repeated assertion that the inclusion of Aboriginal rights in the Canadian constitution is superior to Canada's obligations under international law - are completely indefensible.

The following is a statement from Lil'wat to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the occasion of the 6th review of Canada under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

"Líl’wat is concerned with the realization of its rights equal to other humans; its freedom and independence. We have always maintained and continue to maintain that we are a free and independent state. 
 
"This has been acknowledged and publicly confirmed by our neighbouring nations. The international community of States Parties to the UN Charter have yet to recognize our political status however it must be noted that Líl’wat people have not been a participant in the creation or ratification of international human rights law. The resulting mechanism is therefore unable to provide a forum for the resolution of existing issues between Canada and Líl’wat.
 
"While Líl’wat is being referred to as “Aboriginal,” “Indian” or “First Nations,” by Canada, and referred to as an “Indigenous People” in the UN, we are Líl’watmec of Líl’wat. Líl’wat has no treaty with Canada. Líl’wat has never freely determined our political status as being integrated in any way with Canada. 
 
"Líl’wat refuses to be treated as if it was a Canadian minority group and has therefore limited its participation in the 114th Session of the ICCPR to presenting this simple question:
 
"When will the International Community of States address the occupation of Líl’wat by Canada, by assisting in the formation of a third party, impartial, independent tribunal to hear the international dispute between Líl’wat and Canada?"
 
The statement to the Committee included the text of the 1911 Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe, and a link to the 2006 thesis of Lynda Jean Crompton at UBC, "Prisoners of Democracy: The Lil'wat right to an impartial tribunal; an analysis of the Lillooet Lake roadblock case."
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