Chief Ron Ignace. (Image: Elizabeth McSheffrey)
By ELIZABETH McSHEFFREY
The moment you step onto Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc land in southern British Columbia, according to Chief Ron Ignace, you are a beggar.
As an outsider, you have no rights and you’ve strayed away from your home and family. You are considered a poor person, he tells National Observer, and you are beholden to the First Nations on whose territory you stand.
His message takes aim at anyone who wants to do business or travel on his nation’s land, be they tourists, government, companies, fishers, or boaters.
“The days of colonial authoritarianism are over,” he says.
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Elizabeth McSheffrey is an award-winning multimedia journalist from Ottawa passionate about human rights, current affairs and travel. Her work has been published by news outlets all over the world including BBC, CBC, CBS, CTV, The Globe and Mail, VICE News, and dpa International. Her experience includes print, radio, television work across Canada, East and West Africa. In 2016 she won the Clements Award for outstanding investigative reporting in support of animal welfare and a Best News Coverage prize at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards. She was also nominated as an AITO Young Travel Writer of the Year and for an investigative reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists. She tweets @emcsheff.