No Olympics on Stolen Land: Statement from Sutikalh Camp

Posted by admin on Dec 7th, 2003

Statement from Sutikalh Camp, St’at’imc Territory, Winter 2003.

The 2010 Winter Olympics directly threatens unceded St’at’imc territory and Sutikalh camp. established in May 2000 to stop construction of a $530-million ski resort in the Melvin Creek area. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is itself located on the territory of the Lil’wat, a community of the St’at’imc nation. To this day, most of BC remains unceded sovereign Indigenous territories by Canada’s own laws (inc. the 1763 Royal Proclomation).

Although fraudulent treaties were made across Canada as British colonial forces expanded westward (the Numbered Treaties), this process was discontinued in BC (with the exception of the Douglas Treaties, primarily on Vancouver Island around Fort Victoria, Fort Nanaimo, and Fort Rupert, and a small portion of Treaty 8 in the north-east corner of the province). According to the 1763 Royal Proclomation, the British were to make treaties– surrenders of territory– before any trade or settlement could begin. Virtually all of BC remains unceded Indigenous territory. The Royal Proclomation was re-affirmed in the 1982 Constitution Act, and remains law to this day. BC is therefore an illegal and fraudulent government, which has neither the moral nor legal authority to govern, never mind claim land or carry out business.

The 2010 Winter Olympics represents a unique challenge to Indigenous territory and environment because of its already apparent and potential effects on the region. These include the acceleration of the Sea-to-Sky highway expansion ($600-million), a project which will serve to open up the area to even more capital expansion and investment; and the allocation of $20-million to the Lil’wat and Squamish band councils, a move which has served to divide communities, to buy off some, and to pacify others.

This region is already one of N. Americas fastest growing makrets for outdoor recreation and winter-sports tourism. That the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corp. has named the entire spectacle the ‘Sea-to’Sky Games’ only serves to further promote this “market.” Any Winter Olympics will accelerate expansion of the winter-sports tourism industry and generate greater potential investment for NGR Inc., thereby posing a direct threat to Sutikalh and the mountain region it was established to protect.

Overall, 2010 will increase expansion of the entire ski resort industry. This means greater destruction of mountain eco-systems, forest, pure water, and the animals. Moreover, the construction of roads, bridges, and other infrastructure to support this industry is paid for by government, that is, through further taxation of society as a whole (and in the interest of the corporations). The same is true for 2010. The Bid Corp. claims the Games will be self-financing. They say the $2-billion budget for 2010 is paid for through corporate sponsorship and tickets. But this is only true if massive government funding is not counted.

In preparation for 2010, officials tell us that a rapid-transit system must be built from Vancouver to the International Airport in Richmond ($2-billion); that the Sea-to-Sky Highway must be expanded ($600-million); that a new hockey arena at UBC must be built, along with a speed skating complex at SFU, and an athlete’s village (altogether a cost of $620-million); and that Vancouver will need a new trade and convention centre ($405-million).

With these and other projects government and corporations are trying to push through as “critical” needs for BC and 2010, the real costs of the Olympics will be $4-billion to $6-billion– most of it paid to corporations through government funding.

Despite a few jobs, the rest of society is further impoverished. The capitalists are the only ones to profit.

Leonard Peltier, an Anicinabe-Lakota jailed in the US for his involvement with the American Indian Movement, has observed,  “They will justify their actions in the name of ‘development’… development? What the first peoples of the Americas need is ‘recovery’, not development. Recovery from the very same colonization, domination and genocide that multinational corporations want to perpetuate for their own gains today” (Statement against the FTAA, 2001).

As the world faces ongoing and escalating military conflicts, economic, political and environmental crises, the prospects for catastrophe increase daily. The world we leave for future generations will be decided in the choices and struggles we make today.

Our oral history tells us that the land will always be the source of survival and life itself.

It is this future 2010 directly threatens; we call on all Indigenous peoples and citizens of BC to reject, refuse and resist 2010!

We urge all citizens of Vancouver to vote No in the Feb. 22/03 plebiscite.

We demand that the International Olympic Committee not award 2010 to Vancouver on July 3/03, due to the ongoing and illegal occupation of Indigenous territories, in violation of both Canadian and international law.

Reject 2010, Refuse Social Impoverishment, Resist Environmental Destruction!

Defend Indigenous Territories!

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