The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations would like to congratulate the people of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation as they honour the truth to forge a new relationship with Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joins the Tŝilhqot’in people in a healing event held today recognizing six Tŝilhqot’in War Chiefs as heroes. The ceremony will acknowledge the wrongful hanging of the six Tŝilhqot’in war chiefs in 1864 and 1865. Five chiefs were imprisoned, tried and executed in October 1864 after accepting an invitation to discuss terms of peace to end the Chilcotin War. A sixth chief was hanged the following year.
Through mutual agreement, the Tŝilhqot’in, the province of BC, and Canada have come together to address the significant rift between them and begin the work that must occur around a troublesome history of injustice, misrepresentation and lack of recognition of First Nations people within the Tŝilhqot’in territory and the nation.
The BCAFN fully support the Tŝilhqot’in in their fight for justice for their ancestors and leaders. In order for justice to occur today, we must acknowledge the past where no justice was afforded to the six chiefs who were wrongfully murdered for simply protecting their people and territory. Canada must reconcile it’s horrible past and the injustices towards indigenous peoples of Canada. In order for true reconciliation to occur Canada must rectify past wrongs.
“We honour the six Chiefs who lost their lives for protecting their people, we hold our hands up to the Tŝilhqot’in Chiefs today for continuing to fight for justice for their Chiefs,” states Regional Chief Terry Teegee.
This is the first time in history a Canadian Prime Minister has visited the Tŝilhqot’in Territory and he will be there to address the Tŝilhqot’in people as he clears War Chiefs of any crimes. Earlier this year in March Trudeau stood in up in Parliament and apologized to the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and exonerated the Chiefs.
For further information contact:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee. Phone: (250) 981-2151.
BC Assembly of First Nations