Letter of solidarity to Mi’kmaw Nation & Sipekne’katik First Nation

October 20, 2020

Dear Mi’kmaw Nation & Sipekne’katik First Nation,

The Squamish Nation stands in solidarity with Mi’kmaq fishers. We join in you in your calls for immediate action by governments and law enforcement.

The Squamish Nation profoundly condemns the racist, violent attacks on our Mi’kmaq relatives that have taken place over the last several days at the hands of non-Indigenous fishers, and calls upon the federal and provincial governments to take immediate action in protecting your inherent rights, lives, and safety of your Mi’kmaq fishers, including members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation.

“What the Mi’kmaq have been subjected to over the past week — both the violent actions of the non-Indigenous fishers, and the inaction of the federal and provincial governments and the RCMP — is nothing short of abhorrent. We stand in solidarity with our Mi’kmaq relatives, today and always,” says Chris Lewis, Squamish Nation Spokesperson.

The attacks on your Mi’kmaq fishers are in direct contravention of the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1999 ruling (R v. Marshall) that protects the Mi’kmaq’s inherent rights to fishing – activities that have been practiced since time immemorial. The law must be upheld by all levels of Government.

These last few days have seen an affront to the legal and constitutionally-protected rights practiced by your Mi’kmaq fisherman to generate a moderate livelihood. Further, the escalating dangerous and violent crimes perpetrated by non-Indigenous people — with minimal intervention by the RCMP — have also threatened the entire Mi’kmaw Nation’s sense of safety, security, and protection.

“The Sipekne’katik First Nation of the Mi’kmaw Nation are leading by example for all First Nations in exercising your Indigenous and treaty rights. You are role models for many First Nations, and we at the Squamish Nation send a message to your people and your fisherman of the Mi’kmaq Nation that you are not alone, and we have your back,” says Khelsilem, Squamish Nation Spokesperson.

This is utterly unacceptable, particularly in a time where our governments tell us that they are working towards reconciliation and giving meaning to the United Nation’s Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

The Squamish Nation calls on all relevant levels of government and their leaders to act quickly and decisively. All levels must stand up against these acts of racism against the Mi’kmaq and affirm and respect Mi’kmaq rights. There is no space for governments to stand by and be complicit as blatant acts of racism and violence are perpetrated. The government must act to uphold the Indigenous and treaty rights of the Mi’kmaq.

Yours in solidarity,

Skwetsi7meltxw                                     Tiyáltelut                

Joshua Joseph                                      Kristen Rivers

Council Co-Chair                                    Council Co-Chair

ASA Team’s Fall Newsletter for Parents of K-12 Students

The Ta7lnew̓ás Education, Employment & Training Department’s Advocacy, Support and Assessment (ASA) team has prepared a Fall Newsletter for Squamish Nation parents of K-12 students.

Inside, you’ll find information regarding:

  • COVID-19 supports
  • School supports that are available to Squamish Nation members, on and off-reserve, and on-reserve Squamish Community members.
  • Educational supports
  • Outside resources
  • Private school & special education private school
  • Contact info for connecting with the ASA team

Click here to download the ASA team’s Fall Newsletter.

NEWS RELEASE: KHELSILEM REAPPOINTED AS SQUAMISH NATION COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON FOLLOWING RESIGNATION OF ORENE ASKEW

October 9, 2020, North Vancouver, BC — Yesterday, at a duly convened meeting, the Squamish Nation Council selected Khelsilem (Dustin Rivers) to serve as a Council Spokesperson after accepting Orene Askew’s resignation from the role. Khelsilem previously served as Spokesperson from December 2017 until June of this year.

“I’m honoured to step back into the role of Spokesperson for our Nation, and thank my colleagues on Council for their support” said Khelsilem.

Khelsilem will serve as one of the Squamish Nation Council’s two official Spokespersons, along with Chris Lewis, Syeta’xtn. The Spokesperson’s role is to speak on behalf of Council at events, meetings, and political gatherings. They engage with media and communicate the Council’s position publicly, as required.

Council would like to thank Councillor Orene Askew for her dedicated service as Spokesperson for the Squamish Nation from October 2018 until October 2020. Orene will continue to serve as an elected member of Council for the remainder of her term, and remain actively involved in various committees and projects.

“It was an honour to serve my Nation as a Spokesperson for the past two years,” said Orene. “My decision to step down from this role was based on the social justice, anti-racism, and diversity and inclusion work opportunities that I want to pursue in our territory. As I engage in this work, I will strive to ensure that our peoples’ voices are at the forefront.”

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Media contact:

Lauren Hutchison
Senior Communications Officer
604-363-4055 | lauren_hutchison@squamish.net

Advisory Committees: Call for Applications & Nominations

Have your voice heard! Join a Squamish Nation Advisory Committee

Council is now accepting applications and nominations to fill 10 spaces on each of the following Advisory Committees for a two-year unpaid (volunteer) term, beginning in December 2020: Youth, Elders, Housing, and Budget & Finance.

Application deadline: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2020

An Advisory Committee is composed of 10 Squamish Nation members appointed by Council to provide advice to Council on issues or matters as determined by Council, and shall include two Council members to act as liaisons between Council and the Advisory Committee. All committee meetings will take place online via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members currently serving on an Advisory Committee are invited to re-apply for the next term.

Due to COVID-19, the application process will be online only. Members requiring support completing an online application can email council_applications@squamish.net. Elders can also request assistance from the Elders Coordinators.

More information about the Advisory Committees, as well as application and nomination forms, can be found online at www.squamish.net/advisory-committees

Capilano River Advisory: Gradual Increase of Water Flow to Occur This Week

Metro Vancouver has advised the Squamish Nation that it will be releasing water via the Cleveland Dam in a highly controlled manner the rest of this week.  This release will increase the river level approximately 8 inches and will occur between 8 pm and midnight. This will hold constant until Friday at which point the levels will fluctuate with the weather patterns and operational use. 

“A key function of the dam is to ensure that both the lake levels and river levels remain safe. Because we are now into autumn and expecting heavy rainfall this weekend, we have been assessing the appropriate release of water, and beginning this evening we will be lowering the level of the lake below the elevation of the spillway gate so that the gate can be lowered and taken out of service by the end of the weekend. We are adding additional staff to monitor our operational practice during this activity. Once the spillway gate is fully open, we expect it will remain so through the winter.

Residents will continue to see fluctuations in the river throughout the fall and winter, both from natural weather patterns and from updated operational requirements for the dam.”

Click here to read the complete update from Metro Vancouver on the recent unexpected release of water at the Cleveland Dam.

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