Williams Lake, BC (December 9, 2016): The Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) learned 5 wild horses were found dead in late November 2016, 25 km south of the Tsilhqot’in community of Yunesit’in. As the horses were found within a small area it appears someone intentionally killed them. Intentionally harming or killing a horse is illegal under section 444 of the Criminal Code and carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in jail. The local RCMP detachment has been asked to conduct a thorough investigation to identify anyone responsible and hold them accountable.
The TNG is offering a reward of $1,000.00 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.
Chief Roger William, TNG Vice-Chair and Chief, Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government, says, “These horses were roaming in South Chilcotin ranges. The Tsilhqot’in Nation has proven Aboriginal title and rights in this area, including the right to capture and use wild horses. Intentionally harming horses is an outrage and a violation of our Aboriginal rights and values.”
Chief Russell Myers Ross, TNG Chief and Chief, Yunesit’in Government, says, “The Tsilhqot'in view horses as unique to our culture and have been part of the ecosystem for more than 200 years. There is an intrinsic value that we have with the wild horses in the Tsilhqot'in Territory. Many community members have expressed anger, disbelief, and betrayal over those that have caused harm to the horses. There has been a pattern of indifference for the wild horses in the past. Yet, for us, it is not normal and will not be tolerated.”