-- The six Tsilhqot'in chiefs were leaders and warriors who acted in accordance with their laws and traditions. They fought against the colonial government of the time, which ultimately lead to their hanging in 1864 and 1865.
-- Today, the Tsilhqot'in people, including the descendants of those six war chiefs, continue to live and care for Tsilhqot'in lands. They have continued to fight to preserve their territory and culture, right up to and since the historic Supreme Court of Canada decision of June 26, 2014, which recognized Aboriginal title for the Tsilhqot'in Nation.
-- A Letter of Understanding between Canada and the Tsilhqot'in Nation was signed in January 2017, marking another step toward reconciliation and recognition of our nation-to-nation relationship.
-- The Government of Canada has committed to working with the Tsilhqot'in Nation to address housing and infrastructure needs in its communities and is continuing to work with the Tsilhqot'in Nation on additional priorities.
WILLIAMS LAKE, BC - Nov. 22, 2018 - The Ts^ilhqot’in Nation will be in the BC Court of Appeal on Thursday and Friday (November 22-23), seeking to protect its sacred site of Tez^tan Biny (Fish Lake) and surrounding areas from an extensive drilling program.
On August 23, 2018, the B.C. Supreme Court upheld a permit authorizing Taseko Mines Limited (TML) to undertake this extensive drilling program at Tez^tan Biny and the surrounding area. The Ts^ilhqot’in Nation obtained an injunction from the BC Court of Appeal prohibiting the drilling program until the appeal is heard and decided.
The Ts^ilhqot’in Nation continues to call on the BC Government to resolve, once and for all, the ongoing threat to Tez^tan Biny and the surrounding area which holds profound cultural and spiritual importance.
The Nation is also seeking the public’s support for our legal efforts. Please consider donations, which can be made two ways:
1. Donations to the legal fund, through RAVEN Trust (tax receipts available).
2. Donations for related costs outside of the courtroom, directly to Ts^ilhqot’in National Government (Scroll to bottom of page, tax deductible receipts unavailable).
XENI GWET'IN, B.C. - Nov. 3, 2018 - Prime Minister’s Office - Acknowledging past mistakes is an important part of renewing the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples. By coming together in a spirit of cooperation and affirming our respect and recognition of Indigenous rights, we can make real, meaningful progress toward reconciliation, to the benefit of all Canadians.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, yesterday met with members of the Tsilhqot'in Nation on their title land to deliver, in person, a statement of exoneration of six Tsilhqot'in chiefs. The statement was originally delivered by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on March 26, 2018.
The posthumous exoneration of all six Tsilhqot'in chiefs – Chief L ats’as--in, Chief Biyil, Chief Tilaghed, Chief Taqed, Chief Chayses, and Chief Ahan – demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to meaningful reconciliation.
During the visit, Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett, and members of the Tsilhqot'in Nation confirmed their shared priorities and vision for the future by signing a pathway letter. The letter outlines commitments to reach milestones on the path to self-determination. Canada also commits to work with the Tsilhqot'in Nation to address housing and infrastructure needs in the Tsilhqot'in communities.
The visit marked an important step forward to recognize and implement the rights of the Tsilhqot'in Nation.
“It was important to me to meet members of the Tsilhqot'in Nation and deliver in person the statement of exoneration of six chiefs – heroes of this Nation – who were treated and tried as criminals. Together, with the Tsilhqot'in leaders, elders, and youth, we can build a new relationship – based on respect, recognition of rights, collaboration, and partnership – and realize a better future for the Tsilhqot'in peoples, for all of Canada, and for the generations that will follow,” says The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“As Tsilhqot'in representatives, we are honoured to be hosting the Prime Minister on our declared Aboriginal title lands. This event is about healing. It will be a day marked in the history books for the Tsilhqot'in Nation and all of Canada. On Mar. 26, 2018, we were in the Prime Minister's government house, yesterday - for the first time in Canadian history - the Prime Minister was in our government house." says Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chairman, National Government
Nits’il?in (Chief) Russell Myers Ross, Vice-Chair, Ts^ilhqot’in National Government. Chief of Yunes^it’in, says, “In spite of the exoneration by the Province and Canada, the political and legal landscape has changed since the Supreme Court of Canada decision but the protection of Aboriginal Rights and our ability to exercise authority in our territory continues to be challenged.
"If there was anything meaningful in the exoneration, it was recognizing that the Ts^ilhqot’in were justified in defending their people and territory from malicious intruders. The Ts^ilhqot’in Nation faces a similar scenario today. Our intent is to shift away from conflict and responsibly look for ways of reconciling by presenting the Dasiqox Tribal Park as an alternative vision for the region.”
Nits’il?in (Chief) Jimmy Lulua, Chief of Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government, says, “In the wake of the exoneration of our Ts^ilhqot’in War Chiefs of 1864 and the visit by Prime Minister Trudeau to our Ts^ilhqot’in Title land, we still continue to fight for what is right. What is at stake with the court hearings this week is more than a drilling permit for our sacred lands and gathering spaces – what is at stake is the ability of the courts and government to do the right thing when faced with a direct threat to indigenous ways of life and our basic needs.”
• Video: Take a Stand for Tez^tan Biny