kłałq̓ʷiwas (Cawston, BC), sməlqmix/ Syilx Territory: Under the guidance of elders, on August 31, 2017, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) will host a Day of Action to announce an affirmative strategy to ensure the expedited reburial of exposed ancestral remains to their original burial grounds.
The burial ground was desecrated on February 29, 2016 and since this time LSIB have not been able to fully recover the remains of our ancestors on the site. LSIB was granted temporary access to collect approximately 500 exposed remains but additional collection is required. In the face of this challenge, an archeological impact assessment permit has not been granted to fully determine the extent of the burial grounds. A year and a half has passed and the government has yet to provide a meaningful solution to the issue.
As Chief Keith Crow of LSIB states “We have been very patient waiting for this to happen, and for the property owners to sign the permit so that we can go to work. We’ve had all our information in place within the first month. We had everything done and ready to go to work last summer and now we are here where we are today. We were promised that we would be on site in July of 2017, we’re in August, work has not happened yet because they can’t get the permits signed”.
“There’s a universal acknowledgment that burial sites, cemeteries and sacred places are indeed sacred and should not be desecrated for real estate purposes”, adds Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, furthering that “What we are spiritually obligated to do in accordance with Syilx Law and custom is to take care of our ancestors, plain and simple”.
The Province of BC must uphold their own laws and policies through the Heritage Conservation Act and ensure the site is protected and the remains are respectfully reburied.
Schedule of Events- August 31, 2017
10:00: Meet at the corner of Daly Drive & Upper Bench Rd, Cawston, BC. Parking available on location
10:30 – Opening prayers and greetings
10:40 – Media announcements from Chief Keith Crow and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
11:00 – Site visit to perimeters of the property
For further information please contact:
Chief Keith Crow, LSIB