(April 11, 2007, St’át’imc Territory, Lillooet BC) On April 4, 2007, during the St’át’imc Chiefs Council’s monthly meeting, the final approval for the formalization of a settlement area in Sútikalh (Melvin Creek Cayoosh Creek range) was provided.
This area has received much public attention since an application was put forth by Nancy and Al Raine (NGR Consultants Ltd) for the development of a large-scale ski resort in the area. The ensuing authorization for the ski resort development by the provincial government was extremely controversial.
On August 17, 2000, the St’át’imc Chiefs provided correspondence to Al Raine and the provincial government reconfirming their unified opposition to the planned development based upon the continuing existence of St’át’imc title throughout the territory including the area chosen for the proposed ski resort.
Following direction from St’át’imc people, the St’át’imc Chiefs Council has enabled the development of the Nxekmenlhkálha Lti Tmícwa (land use plan) which is accompanied by the Land and Resource Application Process. These two documents which outline the procedures for land use decision-making form the basis for the formal decision to establish Sútikalh as a settlement area under the authority of the St’át’imc.
When the provincial government began its unilateral considerations and decision-making processes on the Cayoosh ski resort application, several St’át’imc people were concerned to the point of moving into the area to protect it from the proposed development project. Grand Chief Saul Terry, Chairperson of the St’át’imc Chiefs Council states, “St’át’imc people have been living in the Sútikalh area for seven years now and going through this process of establishing the area as a settlement area is more of a formality in order to ensure that the area is protected”.
During his recently completed term as the St’át’imc Chiefs Council Chairperson, Chief Garry John was very instrumental in supporting the on-the-ground efforts to protect the Sútikalh area. Chief John states, “Our people have extensive ties to this entire area and the evidence is there to support our title. The St’át’imc people have provided consistent and unanimous direction regarding the protection of the Sútikalh area.”
The land use decision-making authority being exercised by the St’át’imc Chiefs Council and St’át’imc people is based upon existing St’át’imc title. The process utilizes the values and principles within traditional ecological knowledge systems and this, in turn, provides the model used for the formal establishment of a settlement area by the St’át’imc Chiefs Council.
For further information, please contact:
Grand Chief Saul Terry, SCC spokesperson Chief Garry John
Office: (250) 256-7523 Office: (250) 259-8227FAX: (250) 256-7119