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LETTER – A declaration of support for the SSN on Ajax

SSN members at Jacko Lake (Pipsell).

Dear Mayor Peter Milobar and Kamloops City Councillors:

As a Kamloops homeowner and voter who is deeply concerned about the longstanding failure of Kamloops City Council to take a meaningful position on the proposed KGHM Ajax mine, I wish to invite each of you to join me and many other Kamloopsians who will be in attendance this Saturday, April 1, to sign the declaration of support for the SSN Pipsell Decision. This is a public event from 10 am to noon at the Irving K. Barber Centre at TRU. Details can be found on the attachment, which is copied below for your convenience.

This an opportunity for you as Mayor and Councillors to show that you are indeed committed to reconciliation with area First Nations people and have the discernment and ability to be on the right side of history at this important time. I remind you that last September, Stk’emlupsemc of the Secwepemc Nation (SSN) filed their title case in B.C. Supreme Court for lands that KGHM wants to mine. In May, just prior to that, the provincial government revised its assessment of SSN Aboriginal rights and title, finding that SSN holds strong prima facie claims for both in relation to those lands.

Please consider joining the many Kamloops residents who are stepping up to take action Saturday in support of this historic declaration of human rights.

Respectfully,
JOHN McNAMER
Kamloops

Declaration of Support
for the
Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation
Pípsell (Jacko Lake & area) Decision

WHEREAS on March 4, 2017 the Joint Council of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc (“SSN”) released its Decision on the copper and gold mine proposed by KGHM Ajax Mining Inc. for the area within the traditional territory of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc known as Pípsell;

AND WHEREAS the decision of the Joint Council of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc was made in accordance with Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation’s laws, traditions, customs and land tenure systems supported by the evidence and assessments as presented in the Pípsell Report and SSN Panel Recommendations Report, and in recognition that Pípsell is a cultural keystone area with significant spiritual and historical importance to the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation, which significance is fundamental and undiminished;

AND WHEREAS the Joint Council of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc decided that: The SSN does not give its free, prior and informed consent to the development of the lands and resources at Pípsell for the purposes of the Ajax Mine Project. The Ajax Mine Project in its proposed location at Pípsell is fundamentally in opposition to the SSN land use objective for this sacred site.

Pípsell is a cultural keystone area which must be preserved in a state consistent with the traditional importance of the site to the Secwepemc people. Pípsell must only be used in ways which preserve and sustain the area, which allow for the culture of the Secwepemc people to be exercised and maintained, and which preserve the use of Pípsell for all Canadians in accordance with Secwepemc law.

NOW THEREFORE we, the undersigned organizations, on this day declare our support for the Decision of the SSN Joint Council, and declare our support for the preservation of Pípsell as a cultural keystone area, to be preserved in a state consistent with the traditional importance of the site to the Secwepemc people, and only used in ways which preserve and sustain the area, allow for the culture of the Secwepemc people to be exercised and maintained, and preserve the use of Pípsell for all Canadians in accordance with Secwepemc law.
— Signed on April 1st, 2017 at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC. Secwepemcúlecw.

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About Mel Rothenburger (4612 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on LETTER – A declaration of support for the SSN on Ajax

  1. …”(T)he right side of history….”[paragraph 2] -Never, has there been a more loaded statement -all the way back to WW. 1 and WW. 2 causes- than this statement. Due, mainly, to the lack of objectivity around the formative (and present day) use of the word ‘collaboration.’

    For if you think that using stereotypical references to past claims on present land is sufficient to exclaim fair and objective desire to have all people of BC properly involved over the long-term, then you are deluded.

    The right side of history is now not to be greedy in the substance of your approach, but collaborative; for the word reference of land claims in itself has the word ‘only ours’ written _all_ over it…and no desire to recognize present situations, PER SE !

  2. tony brumell // March 28, 2017 at 3:44 PM // Reply

    It’s time for Kamloopsians to get behind this “Stop Ajax “movement.Come up to TRU on Saturday at 9.30 AM and make reconciliation a reality and the truth undeniable.A clean environment is far more important than money

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