First Nations protest at Sun Peaks 

Members of the Adams Lake and Neskonlith Secwepemc First Nations chose the busy holiday period between Christmas and New Year to highlight their objections to expansion plans at the Sun Peaks ski resort.

The bands marched through Sun Peaks village near Kamloops Dec. 28 and protested in front of resort hotels and homes.

Native Internet news networks indicated the protest was in response to Sun Peaks Resort advertisements that development would continue despite First Nations objection.

Protestors began gathering at noon, Dec. 28 at a protest settlement located just west of the resort near Chase.

Neskonlith Chief Arthur Manuel was quoted in the Kamloops Daily News just before Christmas as saying the protest camp itself should serve as notice to potential investors that area bands have significant claim to the land.

"That camp is a very clear notice that whoever goes up there is going in there with full knowledge there is an aboriginal interest in the area."

The camp has reportedly gained support from Canadian aboriginal leaders.

The protests are designed to have an impact on the number off skiers that visit Sun Peaks.

Head of the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs, Stewart Philip, has been quoted as saying the protests will continue at Sun Peaks until the resort suffers the same fate as Apex Mountain in Penticton.

That ski resort fell into receivership after roadblocks crippled business.

"The federal government, as well as the provincial government, would be well served to take these issues seriously," said Philip. "They are going to continue on with this campaign throughout the winter and throughout the upcoming summer and so on."

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