National Inquiry into Ts’Peten/Gustafsen Lake Standoff

Petition Closed

National Inquiry into Ts’Peten/Gustafsen Lake Standoff

This petition had 593 supporters

The 1995 siege at Gustafsen Lake, B.C. was the largest paramilitary assault in modern Canadian history against Indigenous peoples. Twenty years later, 83-year old Secwepemc great-grandfather, farmer and elder Wolverine is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Attorney General Jody Wilson for a national public inquiry into the Ts’Peten/Gustafsen Lake Standoff. 

In 1995, after a long history of peaceful attempts to have Secwepemc sovereignty respected, Indigenous people from the Secwepemc Nation and their supporters took a stand on sacred Sun Dance lands at Ts'Peten/Gustafsen Lake. The incident began after a local settler rancher, Lyle James, began demanding that the sacred Secwepemc Sun Dance Camp leave land to which he claimed ownership. Approximately 24 Sun Dancers set up camp to defend Ts'Peten.

Wolverine was one of those people.

Beginning in August 1995, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police surrounded the Ts'Peten defenders. Over the next month police, politicians, and media escalated the situation to make this siege the most expensive and largest domestic paramilitary operation in Canada's history: armoured personnel carriers, .50 calibre machine guns, land mines, and an astonishing 77,000 rounds of ammunition were directed at the land defenders. RCMP shot at unarmed people and at people in negotiated no-shoot zones. RCMP Superintendent Murray Johnston expressed the belief that a resolution to the standoff would “require the killing” of the defenders, including Wolverine.

For twenty years, the Ts'Peten Defenders have been calling for a national public inquiry. As Wolverine wrote in his open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Attorney-General Jody Wilson, "The time has come to honour your commitment to Indigenous people, and to a reconciliation between our nations. An inquiry into the Ts’Peten standoff would demonstrate that the Canadian government is truly committed to a new era of respectful, Nation to Nation relationships in which the wrongs of the past are thoroughly understood and acknowledged, ensuring that threats, intimidation, defamation and force are never again used against Indigenous people in Canada." 

Petition Closed

This petition had 593 supporters

Share this petition