‘B.C. Ministry Enables Aboriginal Trespassing’

“This is our land and nobody is going to stop us from fishing.”

Here’s another example of a Canadian property owner being caught between aggressive aboriginals asserting their ‘race’ rights, and a government that’s enabling them:

“Melody Walker of Okanagan Falls says the property adjacent the east bank of the Okanagan River and immediately south of the Okanagan Falls dam has been in her family’s possession since the 1940s.

“She claims native fishermen are trespassing on private property to get to the dam, where they are currently fishing sockeye salmon. 

“My mother grew up on that property, she knows first hand where the river boundary is. We own to the high water mark of the river,” she says.

“Walker says provincial ministries have been asking the family for right of way along the east side of the river for years. She says that a narrow strip of Crown Land that originated as fill exists on the north side of the dam, but south of the dam, her family’s property runs right to the river.

“Dealings with the provincial ministries went sour, and we refused to grant a statutory right of way,”

she says, adding officials were never refused access when they needed it.

“Walker says two years ago, a government survey was done that adjusted Walker’s property boundary halfway up the east bank, opening the door for ‘First Nations’ assertions of right of access to the dam {Because, of course, fishing at the base of a dam is a ‘traditional practice’?}

Okanagan Falls resident Melody Walker points to the east bank of the Okanagan River to her family's property (STEVE ARSTAD -- InfoTel Multimedia)
Okanagan Falls resident Melody Walker points to the east bank of the Okanagan River to her family’s property (STEVE ARSTAD — InfoTel Multimedia)

“Walker says she has hired her own surveyor and is gathering historic photos of the river to present her case. She says prior to the dam being built, the historic native fishery was located further downstream, adding that the Osoyoos Indian Band legally relinquished title to the land in question in the 1940s.

“Problems with the fishery began in 2009, when salmon began returning to the Okanagan River as far as the Okanagan Falls dam. She says her family tried to cooperate with the fishermen but after encountering such issues as liability, death threats, litter, cutting paths through her property and trespass, they began restricting access.

“The public should be concerned about the fishery, who is in charge of it, how it’s being done. Personally, I think the methods used are inhumane, and I don’t believe all the fish being taken are used for sustenance,” she says.

“Osoyoos Indian Band member Roger Hall, who was fishing at the dam Friday morning, July 15, said he wasn’t delegated to speak on behalf of ‘his people’, but was willing to present his view.

“Hall said in the past he sat on the Okanagan ‘Nation’s fisheries commission.

“I believe we have the right to fish and I don’t believe we should be blocked access. As far as the issue of crossing private property, that’s a loaded question. The big issue is, who owns the land, and who has the right to say we don’t have the right to ‘our fish’?

–‘Conflict arises with growing native fishery in Okanagan Falls’,
Steve Arstad, Info News (Penticton), July 17, 2016 
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FEATURE Image: Global
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Here’s a further comment from the aggrieved property owner:
“I can’t prove that all of the fish being snagged, speared and netted aren’t being used for sustenance, but I don’t believe that they are. An interesting ‘side fact’ — our property was part of the Osoyoos Indian Band Reserve… and the Band chose to relinquish it in a transparent, legal, fair (above board) transaction.

“My grandparents bought it when it was legally designated ‘private propery’ at Okanagan Falls, BC, Canada. I agree that Natives have been on this Continent for…years … I just don’t believe that makes ‘indigenous’ persons ‘more’ Canadian than I am, with ‘more’ rights… And if an ‘indigenous’ person doesn’t identify as ‘Canadian’ first, that’s a different ‘political’ matter. I’m addressing trespass and private nuisance on/to our private property.”
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Article COMMENTS: “If it is her property, it is her property…and she should NOT have to make exceptions. After a while, this argument between native soil and non-native soil grows weary. With all that is going on in the world, would it be so hard to just move forward to today and demonstrate some equality — it seems like non-native people have no rights at all.

“I raised my family alone, poor, but still paid taxes and was denied supports for my kids in school, while their aboriginal counterparts were provided all sorts of extra assistance along the way. Neither of my children could go to post-secondary school because we couldn’t afford to…but any of their aboriginal counterparts had the option of pursuing academic studies, all expenses paid. The whole thing has got to change…just as the rest of the world has. I am not racist, just tired of being told I am not as worthy of the same opportunities and rights. Just let her have her land.”
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“Trespassing is trespassing. If they want to fish, they should go on the other side of the river. Also, using modern monofilament nets isn’t catching fish like ancestors, it’s raping the river.”
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“Why are they not fishing on the other side and respecting the property owner?? This seems blatantly obvious…. Also, if the Osoyoos Indian Band relinquished the title to the land, then they are definitely trespassing and should be charged accordingly….fish or no fish!

http://infotel.ca/newsitem/conflict-arises-with-growing-native-fishery-in-okanagan-falls/it32728

http://globalnews.ca/video/2825742/access-dispute-at-okanagan-falls-pits-homeowner-against-okanagan-nation-alliance

https://www.facebook.com/chbcglobalokanagan/videos/1342854365737013/ 

Melody Walker (Photo -- Deborah Pfeiffer)
Melody Walker (Photo — Deborah Pfeiffer)

“A longtime Okanagan Falls family is upset that {aboriginal} people are trespassing on their property in order to fish in the Okanagan River.

“Eleanor Vader-Walker, whose family has owned land east of the river next to the dam going back to the 1940s, says the problem stems from the ‘Okanagan ‘Nation’ Alliance’ not respecting their property boundaries

“Vader-Walker’s daughter Melody Walker says the problem has been ongoing, with the ONA believing they can legally walk along the river on the north side because it is Crown land.

“But it is her belief the land has been incorrectly re-surveyed at the request of the government after the family refused the provincial government a statutory right of way.

“South of the dam and on the east side of the river is 100% our private property,” she said. “And the ministry are willfully enabling trespassing, endangering me, my mom, our pets and our property.”

“According to the Okanagan ‘Nation’ Alliance, ‘nation’ fisherman have begun to harvest along the river, as the sockeye is a ‘food source’ for {so-called} ‘Syilx Peoples’.

Chief Jonathan Kruger (Global)
Chief Jonathan Kruger (Global)

“‘Penticton Indian Band’ Chief Jonathan Kruger, who has been fishing this week, said Walker is creating an obstruction, putting locks on gates that are not her property.

This is our land and nobody is going to stop us from fishing“, he said. “There are also safety issues. We have elderly people walking up that river because of her actions.”

“He added that he was proud of the men and women doing the fishing, that it is very community based and a good atmosphere and that it was sad to have this situation here.

“This is also the first run, he said, and they are anticipating a bigger run in August.

“The Band says its primary ‘mandate’ {with which they’ve anointed themselves} is to ensure the conservation of the sockeye fishery…

“Walker said, however, that the family is standing their ground.

“We are currently paying our own surveyor to have this matter corrected,” she said.

–‘Fishing dispute heats up’,
Deborah Pfeiffer, Castanet News (Penticton), July 18, 2016

http://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/170828/Fishing-dispute-heats-up

Claimed'TraditionalTerritory'--Okanagan'Nation'The claimed ‘traditional territory’ of the Okanagan ‘Nation’ includes (from north to south) Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Enderby, Armstrong, Vernon, Nakusp, Merritt, Kelowna, Peachland, Slocan, Nelson, Castlegar, Penticton, Princeton, Keremeos, Oliver, Osoyoos, and south to, and including, Creston in the U.S.A….

ERBLThisLandIsOurLand-HonourTheTreatiesForOnce600x600See also:
‘So You Think You Own Land?’ (Sauble Beach) {August 14, 2015}: https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/another-treaty-adjustment/

‘Supremes Get It Wrong Again’ {Nov. 21, 2015}:
https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/supremes-get-it-wrong-again/
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3 thoughts on “‘B.C. Ministry Enables Aboriginal Trespassing’

  1. You know the problem with the “this is our land” slogan , is that we’re not living 500 years in the past.. So A) … It isn’t your land, because, had the Europeans not arrived, your family lineage most likely would have been a slave or a worker, and you wouldn’t have owned squat.. And B).. There are a lot more people in the world today, than there were 500 years ago, so our resources have to be managed accordingly, and wisely.. Gone are the days, where the indians can run a 1,000 buffalo over a cliff, to smoke maybe 2 or 3 for the winter.. And by the way.. It was the native Americans, who elliminated 80% of all the large land mammals in North America, so shut up about your: “we only take what we can use” BS..

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  2. And rest assured, these natives shop at the local Save-On Store and Safeway, like everyone else does.. They’re no more dependent on the salmon, than anyone else is, in order to survive.. Most likely, they sit and wait for a welfare cheque.. ..

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