This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
From Chief Clint Williams and STS President Vern Pielle
June 30, 2012
We are writing this letter to make sure members are updated on recent events and to encourage voters who have yet to vote on the Tla’amin treaty, to exercise your democratic right to do so. We remind members once again that the treaty staff and communications team remain available to answer any questions you might have about the treaty. First of all, thank you to all of our citizens who have already cast your ballot in the treaty vote. All ballots already cast are valid and are in the custody and control of the independent Chief Electoral Officer. We look forward to finalizing our treaty vote on July 10, 2012. Please make sure you have voted on this important decision about our future. *** In recent weeks, the debate about the treaty vote has become quite heated and resulted in a blockade of the polling station and postponement of the treaty vote scheduled for June 16. In the interest of safety, first and foremost, and in order to allow all Sliammon voters to exercise their voices and choices through a democratic vote, an injunction was obtained to ensure that voters will feel free to cast their ballot. A court injunction was never a preferred course of action. However, to ensure the continuation of the democratic process and overall public and community safety, it became a necessary action and the blockade was ultimately dismantled peacefully. As part of the injunction (and consistent with the ratification procedures) no disruption or interference with the voting will be allowed within 100 meters of the polling station. There are many accusations, allegations (some of them personal) and misinformation circulating throughout the community and in the media. As we have done throughout our communication process, we continue to urge Sliammon people to seek out the facts. The treaty team has taken the time to meet directly with many of our members in smaller groups or family sessions. We have also held many open meetings in our community and with our members who reside away from home where all members have been welcome to attend, ask questions and make statements. We have provided audited financial statements and information which is still available on our website, and we have made arrangements for members to meet individually with various resource
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Sliammon First Nation Office Sliammon Treaty Office Ph: 1-877-483-9646 Ph: 1-877-483-4427 Ph: 604-483-9646 Page 1 Ph: 604-483-4427
people and advisors including experts in areas such as finance and law, members and representatives from other communities. We have also arranged for site tours for as many members as possible to view our lands and territories first hand. We thank those of you who took the time to participate in these information sessions. No matter what the feelings or beliefs of members are, or have been, we remain respectful of everyone’s right to free speech. We have done our best to provide factual information and to respond and follow up on all questions that have been raised about the purpose and content of the treaty. The questions that have been asked are all good and valid ones, and we are pleased at the seriousness of the discussion and debate around the issues. Sliammon people truly care about our future and understand the importance of this potential turning point in our lives. There is an abundance of information available on our website for anyone who still has questions. In addition, the treaty team will continue to be available to members right up to voting day to answer any treaty-related questions you still have. *** On July 10 we are being asked to consider whether we think that the new tools of governance, jurisdictions, financial and natural resources set out in the treaty will enable us to change our way of life and make our Sliammon world richer: socially, economically and culturally. Through this democratic process, Sliammon people are empowered to express our choice in a fair and safe way. We as the Sliammon Nation have negotiated this treaty close to 20 years under the direction of our members, ancestors, elders, and many Chiefs and Councils and treaty boards as a way of releasing us from the Indian Act system we’ve been under for far too many years. That system created division and disharmony in our community. Now we are all seeking a way where we can once again become unified and prosper as a Nation, as individuals and as families. We are at a cross-road in our history. Our choice is whether we will continue to struggle for our rights and survival under the colonial system of the Indian Act that has suppressed and oppressed us for more than 150 years -- or if we take advantage of the immediate opportunities available to us under treaty. The treaty will allow us to once again access and have a say throughout our territories and to have full and direct control over our treaty lands and resources. It would provide us with significant additional financial and natural resources with which to dismantle that colonial system and allow us to rebuild our Nation based on our vision of being healthy, self-governing stewards of our lands and resources. It will enable us to work towards continuing to improve the quality of our lives for present and future generations.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Sliammon First Nation Office Sliammon Treaty Office Ph: 1-877-483-9646 Ph: 1-877-483-4427 Ph: 604-483-9646 Page 2 Ph: 604-483-4427
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Sliammon First Nation Office Sliammon Treaty Office Ph: 1-877-483-9646 Ph: 1-877-483-4427 Ph: 604-483-9646 Page 3 Ph: 604-483-4427