Similkameen Indian band at odds with province over protection of ancestral remains
By Steve Arstad
FILE PHOTO - The Lower Similkameen Indian Band received a letter of support from the Okanagan Nation Alliance as they continue to deal with the province in finding a process to deal with ancestral remains discovered on private property, such as the ones found in this Cawston orchard in late February, 2016.
(STEVE ARSTAD / iNFOnews.ca)
July 29, 2016 - 5:30 PM
PENTICTON - The Lower Similkameen Indian Band has acquired the support of the Okanagan Nation Alliance in it’s struggle with the province to protect their ancestral remains.
The alliance’s executive council signed a letter of support at an emergency meeting held at the Lower Similkameen band’s office yesterday, July 28.
At issue is the continuous discovery and disturbance native burial sites. Over the years, several burial sites have been discovered along the Upper Bench area of Cawston.
The Lower Similkameen Indian Band developed a process to properly address the issue after a burial site was uncovered in the area in late February of this year, but claims the province takes the position it doesn’t have any role or responsibilities with regard to preservation of ancestral remains.
“Enough is enough. We have waited long enough and we demand immediate action from the province,” Lower Similkameen Band Chief Keith Crow says.
The band is upset at what they see as the provinces’ lack of commitment to meaningful discussion regarding the issue, since the discovery of the ancestral remains earlier of this year.
The Okanagan Nation Alliance Chief’s Executive Council announced in a media releaseit would be taking direct action on the matter "due to a long standing lack of meaningful dialogue and lack of solutions” from the province to deal with the remains.
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