(Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, BC) – The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) joins the Tŝilhqot’in National Government today in observing Lhats’as?in Memorial Day to commemorate and honour six Tŝilhqot’in Chiefs who fought to defend their territories from the colonial government and who were betrayed, captured and hanged in 1864 and 1865. The persecuted chiefs – Chief Lhats’as?in; Chief Biyil; Chief Tellot; Chief Tahpitt; Chief Chayses; and Chief ʔAhan – were exonerated of any wrongdoing by the Prime Minister of Canada in March, 2018.
“The Tŝilhqot’in people and their government have taken control of their narrative and history and keep the truth alive with this annual memorial event. I acknowledge their continued leadership to uphold the sacrifice of their War Chiefs by their demonstrated perseverance to secure recognition for Aboriginal title in the historic Tŝilhqot’in decision,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “First Nations will continue to bring forward historical injustices and their own stories to make visible what was once hidden, lost and misunderstood.
The overreaching jurisdiction of the colonial government and their actions have social, legal and political implications that extend into, and inform our present realities. Reconciliation builds on this understanding and will reverberate through the work as governments and First Nations implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
Trudeau apologizes to Tsilhqot'in community members for 1864 hanging of chiefs