ure creek 

Lil'wat contemplating more blockades By Lorraine Passchier A native injunction and blockade action are looming as a group of Lil'wat attempt to overturn a B.C. Supreme Court appeal decision which dismissed their sovereignty suit last November. "The injunction at Ure Creek expires soon and I think it's time to issue my own injunction so they won't be able to use the road or go over the graveyard," Harold Pascal said. The traditional watchman of the Lil'wat burial sites said the native injunction would be aimed at International Forests Products, the police and other parties taking advantage of the Lil'wat "good will." Ure Creek, which flows into the north end of Lillooet Lake, is the sight of an ancient Lil'wat burial ground. Lil'wat natives were arrested following a blockade and protest of the logging road International Forest Products was building into the Ure Creek area three years ago. Pascal and Jason Wallace were acquitted of obstruction charges in the 1991 Ure Creek blockade by provincial court Judge Keith Libby, while four others were found guilty. The group launched an appeal of their acquittal and a summary conviction from the 1990 Duffey Lake Road blockade was tagged on. Pascal and Wallace grabbed the attention of the court watchers since it was believed to be the first time an acquittal had been appealed in B.C. They said Libby did not have the jurisdiction to hear their case since the blockade took place in land the Lil'wat consider sovereign. However, Justice B.I. Cohen agreed with the Crown's assertion that the landmark Gitksan- Wet'suwet'en decision had conclusively rejected the native sovereignty agreement when he upheld Libby's original ruling last November. the case is now being heard in the B.C. Court of Appeal, but it could conceivably end up in the International Court of Justice in The Hague if the Lil'wat exhaust every legal option available to them in Canada and don't find success. "We're not the problem, we're not out there to cause trouble, we only want to have the issue of law addressed. There is no treaty or accord that says they can settle in our area," Pascal said. He expects a decision in his latest appeal, which is being closely tracked in legal circles, to be made within the next week. Meanwhile, controversial lawyer Bruce Clark is in Ottawa preparing an application to submit to the Supreme Court of Canada in the event the appeal is rejected. Clark, who has been living in Bulgaria for more than a year, prepared written submissions for the appeal but was not granted a permit to appear as counsel. Geoff Plant, a constitutional legal expert with Russel and DuMoulin, is representing the Crown. Pascal said while he is now focusing on the current court proceedings, another blockade is pending and he won't hesitate to seek support from the outside to bolster his cause. He was arrested at Ure Creek this spring when he was the only member of the Mount Currie community to participate in a protest organized by the Forest Action Network. Charges against him were later dropped.

Readers also liked…

Latest in Whistler

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation