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Okanagan Chief slams “thinly veiled” attempt by Tolko to incite violence against Okanagan Indian Band

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 | 4:52 pm

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Okanagan Indian Band Chief Fabian Alexis today slammed Tolko’s “irresponsible” and “thinly veiled attempt to incite violence against the Okanagan Indian Band membership.”

“Blaming us for the closure of the Armstrong Plant is utterly ridiculous,” said Chief Alexis.  “The amount of wood we are preventing Tolko from logging amounts to about 15,000 cubic metres which at most would only be a three day supply for the mill.”

“The fact is that Tolko had previously put out a news release on Jan. 19  where it announced it was curtailing lumber production due to poor market conditions,” said  Alexis.  “Also in its news release of Feb. 24 Tolko made reference to BC Ministry of Transportation load weight restrictions due to unseasonably warm weather.”

The band also has pictures showing that Tolko’s Armstrong sort yard is full of logs so, said Alexis, the fact they are laying off workers at that mill has everything to do with market conditions and nothing whatsoever to do with our decision to protect our drinking water supply.

Last but not least, Alexis noted Tolko closed their Armstrong mill for two weeks last year, it has even been referred to by some industry insiders as Tolko’s annual curtailment.

“We request that Tolko apologise for their highly misleading statements to the media and warn them that if they persist in trying to incite violence against our community we will not hesitate to take them before the BC Human Rights Commission.”

Before the introduction of Tree Farm licenses in 1962, most of the creeks running into Okanagan Lake were protected as water reserve areas.  But after to decades of unsustainable logging practices, Alexis said the hills above the Okanagan Valley are a patchwork of clearcut.

“The result has been fish bearing creeks that flood in the Spring and go dry in the Summer because the forest ecosystem that used to absorb and then slowly release that water has been largely wiped out.”

Okanagan Chief slams “thinly veiled” attempt by Tolko to incite violence against Okanagan Indian Band5.051

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13 Responses to “Okanagan Chief slams “thinly veiled” attempt by Tolko to incite violence against Okanagan Indian Band”

  1. Al says:
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    Go for it Tolko, as for the OIB grow up, spend your time doing something useful, because contrary to your understanding this is not your land. If you wish to fish, hunt and gather substance feel free but make no mistake this is NOT your land. I would venue to guess if you asked most in your band where Tolko has the right to harvest they wouldn’t know and it is also possible few have ever stepped or visited the area…..Grow up and join the 21st century and quite living in the past…
    Our Governments and the other people of Canada have made their apologizes so get on with contributing to Canadian society and let your past go….

  2. Thunderspirit says:
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    Hey war monger al this is indian land and we have been here for over ten thousand years how long you been here?Stand your ground my people for great power is on your side more powerful then anything you could ever dream of.Tolko are liars they feel they have to lie,they speak with forked toung now we know what kind of whitemen we are dealing with here liars and destroyers.Those who wish for war over peace.The entire world is watching what is happening out there Al and tolko what people would want to do business with liars.

  3. Orion Alexis says:
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    Many of those creeks and streams Chief Fabian is talking about are used to fill resevoirs for drinking water on the reserve. Would you like it if someone started to indirectly affect your supply of fresh, clean water?

  4. Al is ignorant says:
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    First of all, I think you mean ‘venture’ to guess, not “venue”. That aside, inequities do still persist and to state otherwise is a display of utter ignorance. Apologies, or “apologizes” ,do not absolve a long history of heavy-handed corporate and government dealings with Aboriginal communities. Actions of good faith are the only worthy means of building trust. Tolko has failed at this. Partnerships are not forged in bad faith dealings. You don’t have to look any further than Tolko’s dealings with its own employees to understand its modus operandi; our way or no way. Unfortunately, this was the case with its Kelowna severance dealings, and it will likely be the same outcome for the OIB.

    A weak corporate citizen that can’t even use the excuse that it must answer to its shareholders to justify greed.

  5. grumpydigger says:
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    it all boils down to the fact that these Indians will not abide by the court orders……. and they believe that they are above the law………I always get a big laugh how these people believe that all the land is theirs,and they ask everybody else where they come from………..you guys crossed the Bering land Bridge during the last Ice Age and you come from Asia yourself………………

    far as I’m concerned, the government and the RCMP should do their job and put an end to this…………..all these Indians want to do is push their point until they get a big cash payout…and then they’ll be really happy………….I’ve seen it many times before and that’s what’s happening now……….

  6. Thunderspirit says:
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    Realy grumpydigger? money is not the issue whiteman the sacred waters and sacred site is.I have met the soul of the chief in charge out their he is a good and just soul.I even breathed power into him for his good soul.Now what is yellow?red and white makes yellow no we are the first nation here not you,if you wish to continue your redneck rants do so for the world is watching very closely all that is happening out there.Now they can see what we have to deal with on a daily basis liars and racists who think they can bully us on our own land,i think not.Stand tall and strong my people for powerful forces are watching over you out there.

  7. Joe Downtown says:
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    I’m not usually one to side for blockades and that sort of nonsense, but I think the drinking water issue is fairly reasonable.

  8. Say What ? says:
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    Before they completely destroy their Okanagan business, Tolko should make amends with the OIB. Tolko have started a war they cannot win.

    And Al- where have you been my white brother. Your father and grandfather, as did mine, took over this land with guns, whiskey, and disease, so maybe you could reach out, instead of strike out.

    If you looked hard, perhaps you could even find a little “humble”.

    I am white man.

  9. Rick says:
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    Hey could you maybe stop calling them Indi**ns like what year is this…it just sounds so redneck in the year 2010..india is miles away lol…water is so much more important than one company or even hundreds of jobs..lets think of future generations and not our current situation!!!

  10. grumpydigger says:
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    Thunderspirit says: …..money is not the issue whiteman the sacred waters and sacred site is.I have met the soul of the chief in charge …….LOL everyplace the big companies wants to log there is a sacred site…….pretty much all the locations are second growth and were logged before in the 50s and 60s…….the environmental safeguards for the watershed are in place and the logging companies must abide by them in order to get their tree farm license…

    If you are so concerned with sacred sites, perhaps your people should be going into other locations that are not being logged at this moment and doing your investigations instead of waiting until there is money to be made from a logging company…………..as far as you meeting with the soul of the chief involved ……save that to impress the armchair environmentalists who still believe that Indians somehow communicate with greater powers than other people…

  11. Al says:
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    Say What
    I wasn’t born yesterday and yes I acknowledge that the inhabitation of North America isn’t something anyone should be proud of. However, a long at history will tell you that empires were not established without guilt of invasion or whatever else it might be called. In Canada we gave our apology.

    These people have no more right to disrespect the law and no right to think this land is theirs alone. I fthey feel they need to earth to carry on with their traditions they have right in BC with unrestricted access to Crown land…that is a principle that has been in place for decades.

    These holigans are starting to push the envelope too far with their poor us attitude. This is not old growth forest, watersheds are to be protected by environmental laws and standards.

    It is my hope this leads to a strong stance by the non natives and that they finally and forever are relegated to the side of every other Canadian because they are not special. Let them practice any form of worship and connection with the earth they choose but for gods sake get with it and quite preaching soverinty and special status.

  12. Thunderspirit says:
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    Hey gravedigger i am a Shaman creator of the highest order if a petty one such as yourself must know.I have taken on causes all over the world and much on turtle island like site 41 in Ontario ie sacred waters,Ki nation against intrusions of mines on indian land and false arrests.Black Mesa Hopi and Navaho territory,sacred site,Mt Tenabo sacred site,barrick gold.Now the most recent causes of the day,Eagle rock sacred site in Michigan and now the sacred waters where you are.To name a few the list goes on and on.Everytime i involved myself in these just causes powerful repercussions happened in every area.So yes i do speak to the earth spirits,i also speak to the creator for i am one with all of creation here.I live in poverty i have never accepted money for any of my works,and never will.So no whiteman not all of us do these just things for money.You do not know me and for that i am grateful for you are not worthy,sourceless man have fun down there.Power to the people in this just cause!!

  13. BLouis says:
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    I get so sick and tired of hearing such ignorance that is used to support bigoted lies pasted for facts. Verde River in Chile (Tip of South America) archaeologists had agreed that settlement at that site had occurred 12,500. This was supposed at the (now get this) that North America, Europe and Asia where still under an ice sheet.

    Your ancestors where traced from North India who moved west and eventually settled into what is now Europe and eventually became modern European Nations. There isn’t two sets of rules in this regard. Why do you think that we still retain International recognition of those rights? It you that is a minority in this recognition. The answer is simple, if they don’t respect the rights and ownership of others, who will respect theirs.

    As for us not respecting the law, the answer is we are. In the Wilson Title case evidence was to be protected and respected. It was TOLKO threat to resume logging in an area already under a protection order that included evidence. These order to allow TOLKO to resume activities in the Brown’s Cr is now under appeal and will be heard as early as March 10,2010.

    This isn’t a new argument, we have been trying to protect our watershed for the past two decades. We brought these very same issues including community watershed protection since TFL 49 was transferred to Riverside Forest Products. We were told that it would be managed “like” a community watershed.

    IF this is so, why is Ewer Cr now harvested at 47% that is the highest in the province. Why are reaches in Nashwito Cr logged at 37% prior to beetle infestation? What is purpose of destroying the long-term benefits of watershed protection for tens of thousands instead of few hundred benefiting short-term economic gains.

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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