Evelyn Camille (Elder, Secwepemc Nation, BC, Canada)
"Aboriginal Title and Land-Rights facing Industrial Exploitation of Natural Resources The Case of British Columbia/Canada
Thursday, 6 April 2017, 14:00-16:00
Lecture within the INPUTS lecture series "Changing ecologies: language, culture and the environment" organised by Eeva Sippola and Joanna Chojnicka
Traditional land rights have been questioned by the European colonizers as soon as the later started claiming the land for themselves. Successively treaties have been signed between the First Nations and the Newcomers. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 declared the Indigenous Nations as sovereign partners within this process. Yet, oral traditions of these treaties transmit a different understanding of these treaties than their written versions. Within the manifold local treaty-situations British Columbia holds a particular position, because many First Nations in this area never surrendered their traditional homelands nor signed general treaties with the Canadian government. They immediately started political and legal actions in order to defend their traditional rights. The Secwepemc Nation, represented here by Elder Evelyn Camille, is one of these Nations.
This presentation will deal with traditional Secwepemc land use, rights and title, and their current struggle to protect their natural resources against destruction by mindless industrial exploitation.