"Mercredi said RCMP were advancing plans to invade an illegal camp of armed native Indians because of white public opinion - They told me that they have to go ahead for two reasons - one, they don't want to set a precedent. And two, they are saying white public opinion demands it."
- Assembly of First Nations 'Grand Chief' Ovide Mercredi, Vancouver Sun p. A3
"The allegations of police and government wrong-doings are so serious that there is no question there should be a public inquiry into whether or not the rule of law was respected."
- Canadian Forum: April '97
Two years ago the governments of British Columbia and Canada were mounting the largest paramilitary operation in Canadian history against a small group of Indigenous and non-native resisters occupying sacred, unceded Sundance grounds at Ts'peten (Gustafsen Lake). A massive cover-up has thus far kept the truth from public view. After a corrupt and bizarre kangaroo court process during which they were denied their counsel of choice, an acknowledged expert in international and constitutional law, Defenders are being held as political prisoners. World-wide, supporters have called for their release and a full public inquiry with international supervision. In the interest of furthering this inquiry call - we look back.
August 29th, 1995, 0830 hrs; "Emergency meeting at operations centre in
Kamloops" ... "the shooting on Sunday was "an incredible lesson: we must increase
communications: two briefings a day henceforward...We can't tell anyone
when 'D' Day is...We need a media strategy. We must have the
understanding of the public based on feedback...This is more like Waco
than Oka: we're dealing with a cult here."
August 29th, 1995, 0900 hrs; "I had a meeting with the CO [Commanding Officer 'E' Division Deputy Commissioner Dennis Farrell] and Chief Supt. Johnston... The aboriginal community in BC think it would be very wrong to bring in outside people to contact the occupants of the camp. This is in reference to the Ottawa proposal received from ex Insp. Potts... We should be giving the local native elders a chance to resolve this issue. We should allow the relatives to talk to the relatives in the camp. This would place pressure on the natives... The CO asked that we get to the respective elders and ask them to assist us... We all agreed that Bruce Clark will not be allowed access to the camp. The approach to the Cariboo elders is to be made by Supt. Len Olfert. Insp. Mahon and Sgt. Price joined the meeting. Sgt Price states that the elders in the Province supports what we are doing. He also agreed that the Cariboo elders would be best ones to help us."
August 29th, 1995, 1037 hrs; "Received a call from Stephen Owen, DAG. Advised him that we are pursuing the involvement of the elders from the Shuswap Nation to assist us in communicating with the people in the camp."
"Considering putting negotiators in trailer near check point so that
media cannot monitor radio-phone from 100 Mile House...Akwesasne "warrior
flag seen on CBC video... High profile of this event could attract letter
bombers, be alert of packages, etc, NSIS [RCMP intelligence - National
Security Intelligence Service] to follow up. 'Ken, Marty & Len' referred
to on Internet message - our personnel"
"Shuswap Liaison Group formed."
"...discussed identifying the leader of the Sundancers that taught Percy
Rosette or any who can influence him that this is not the ways of the
"Len [RCMP Supt.Olfert] advised that he discussed with the Psychologist
the pro/cons of letting CLARK, natives' lawyer, speak with the barricaded
people. Dr. Webster ['Psy-Ops' consultant: WACO, MRTA Lima, Freemen, FBI
training Academy, Quantico Virginia]. Len will let taped messages into
camp from relatives. - I spoke to him about using Elders to help broker a
surrender...it was agreed that Tony Mahon's shop would do the ground
work on it and present it to Len. Tony advised to get to work - also work
on identifying Sundancer"
August 29th, 1995, 1545hrs; "I called Stephen Owen and gave him an update
that all was quiet."
August 29th, 1995, 1630 hrs; "88 military helmets, 92 vests and 11 bunker shields [NATO] ordered; more later. Surveillance aircraft will be filming the camp continuously. 100 Kevlar helmets, weighting 3500 lbs, are shipped by a
commercial Air Canada flight to Kamloops"
"uncanny parallels to Waco - diff. colour of skin - spir. conviction...f**king loons"
"Phone call to Len Olfert. - negotiators have developed an excellent
rapport with Percy Rosette. - negotiators video taped an interview with
the camp's lawyer Bruce Clark - it appears that Clark has a good deal of
credibility with the camp - Len has agreed to allow Clark to speak to the
camp by telephone tonight. He will evaluate the telephone conversation
before making up his mind to allow Clark to go into the camp. Len's
inclination is to allow Clark into the camp, as we have nothing to
August 29th, 1995, 1807 hrs; "Dennis Ryan advises Bruce Clark interviewed on tape today - very coop. - stated position on tape that he wants peaceful resolution - interview by Ryan, Mike Webster, Doug Hartl, Bruce Cameron"
"1900 Bison tour @ Armory - 14 tons, approx. $400,000, amphib., up to
90/100 KMH, 60 (degree) hill or 40 (degree) side-slope, 4wd/8wd. "on the
fly" up to 70KMH diesel, all tires run flat/solid rubber in rear. 2 crew
approx 8 ERT & 1 PSD in rear,withstand up to & include 50 cal. & all but
large mines. Not overly noisy and smooth across country." Police signs
are to be painted on the front, sides and rear"
"Let Clark in...it would demonstrate that we tried everything"
"Charlene Belleau [Shuswap Liaison Group/First Nations Summit] There is a
growing number of Shuswap that are willing to insert their own
August 29, 1995, 2100 hrs; "In this extreme situation the stakes are too high for irresponsible reporting. Nobody is well served, particularly the general
public, who deserves balanced and accurate reporting. You are the
guardians of the information going to the public but the the public does
not approve of media that puts our investigators in jeopardy and possibly
put lives at risk"
August 29, 1995, 2210 hrs; "arrive 100 Mile House Det. - met Brian Turner, S/Sgt. Martin Sarich, et al. Sgt Gates, Kevin Mann, Brian Hodgkin, Ray Wilby working on ERT OPs Plans re: 1 Clark visit to site 2. possible surrender"
"Radical native Indians could gain more support for their political views
if the standoff at Gustafsen Lake is settled in a gunfight, prominent BC
Indian leaders said Monday...Council of Haida Nations president Miles
Richardson urged non-Indians calling for a quick resolution to the crisis
to consider the consequences of a shootout. Most of BC's native Indian
leaders have not supported the Gustafsen Lake rebels, but Richardson said
the frustration over land claims and political self-determination is rife
within Indian communities. 'The feelings that these people have are felt
broadly by the aboriginal people,' Richardson said. 'It will intensify and
bring to the surface those feelings,' if the dispute is resolved with
violence, Richardson said...Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council co-chair
Lillian Howard said 'From the native community,there is going to be a lot
more support and empathy as it goes on.'"
"We can only assume you are planning a Canadian version of the infamous
Massacre of Wounded Knee...and will be notifying our broadcasters as such"
"When a people are acting in conscience and belief and the government
assaults them from arrogance, prejudice, intolerance, or impatience, the
government and its leadership will be condemned in history for its
disservice to peace, democracy, liberty and humanity. I urge you to act immediately to defuse a dangerous situation, to begin dialogue and to seek arbitration of all issues perhaps by an independent and impartial panel comprised of no Canadians and no Indians"
"The Traditional People are seeking to have an IMPARTIAL AND INDEPENDENT
THIRD PARTY COURT ADDRESS THE TRUE ISSUE OF JURISDICTION ACCORDING TO
EXISTING CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. Our people at Gustafsen Lake should be
commended not condemned for trying to defend against the genocide of our
People. They are seeking Truth and Justice for us all."
To sign the petition demanding an inquiry by email, send a message to SISIS@envirolink.org with "petition" in the subject header and "I support the petition for a full public inquiry into the events surrounding the Gustafsen Lake crisis," your name, and your city of residence in the body of the message.
For more information, contact Splitting the Sky - Phone/Fax: (604) 543-9661 Bill Lightbown - Phone: (604) 251-4949