Statimc Native Youth Movement Warrior Society St’at’imc Nation Statement on 2010 Olympics

Posted by admin on Jun 20th, 2008

To Whom It May Concern;

Please accept this letter as a declaration of opposition to the upcoming 2010 Olympics set to take place within traditional St’at’imc Borders. Many members of our Nation, including children, youth, elders and land users do not support the Olympics taking place in Whistler for many reasons. First being that Whistler and many other towns, cities and municipalities are illegally occupied by foreigners and run by fraudulent government systems that oppress the original inhabitants, the St’at’imc People. These government systems are built to hold lands illegally and destruct entire ecosystems in order to gain profit for the already wealthy corporations.

In turn, the St’at’imc People are pushed aside while traditional hunting and fishing grounds; once used freely at will, then become Privatized, and or “Crown Land.” Our people depend on migration of animals for basic survival and the teachings we pass onto our next generations. The people visiting our territory are tourists and do not depend on fish and deer for long hard winters. Many people who are impoverished depend solely on these animals to feed their families and the more people who disrupt the delicate balance between the environment, animals and humans, the worse off surrounding tribes will be. This includes major health concerns including Cancer, diabetes, substance abuse and spiritual well-being.

We, as Indian people of this territory need the balance of our Mother Earth in order to maintain strong ties to who we are as Original People.

The second issue at stake with the upcoming Olympics is the misuse of traditional cultural practices such as ceremony and song. Many of these practices by our people are meant to only be shared within the territory, and therefore only be used by the original People of the St’at’imc Nation. Out of respect for all ancestors who carried these songs and ceremonies thus far, we need to keep the traditions strong by teaching them to our younger generations, instead of foreigners first. The knowledge of these traditional ceremonies is a privilege and should not be mocked or commercialized in exchange for money, if not respected, these ceremonies will be useless and meaningless.

The funding of the Olympics before the funding of the suffering, homeless and impoverished people of these Indian territories shows only that the government in B.C. is only interested in economic gain and not the well-being of the people who lived here prior to the Olympics. These groups of people include young mothers, single parents, people of color, and drug dependant people who have nowhere to turn, except the streets or worse off, death. The Indian people of the streets in Vancouver need to return to the traditional ways of living, including feeling pride to be Indian. Further impoverishment will conclude in complete loss of culture, language and ways of living on our land. More money is sure to cause more problems for our people in the sense that our systems are not based on economic gain, but spiritual, physical, and mental well being, this includes a sense of belonging to where we come from. If our Land is destroyed, there is no hope to regain our knowledge as traditional St’at’imc People, but as a product of foreign rule and fraudulent systematic genocide.

To those who are supportive of the Olympics, there are many reasons for you to reconsider your support including the future of your children and the continuation of our ways as Original People. Selling our land, means selling our rights to the land, this includes hunting, fishing and building traditional homes for food preservation and recreational uses. Once these agreements are made, they are forever, thus leaving our upcoming generations with no option but to abide by the foreign rule, and not to maintain ownership held for thousands of years by our ancestors.

In conclusion, man has no power over the Earth, we must care for this Land as though our lives depend as it, as it does. We depend on our Earth for water, food, homes, and spiritual well-being. There is no one to protect it but us, therefore we must take our proper place in defending the land as Original People. In one way or the other, each of our tribes hold names that represent Original People.

Our tribe, are Ucwalmicw, People of the Land, we will defend our land by all means necessary.


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