(Prince George, Lheidli T'enneh territory) - The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) applauds the decision by BC Supreme Court Chief Justice Hinkson’s decision to reject the City of Prince George’s application to evict those living in tent cities.
“This decision will have far-reaching consequences,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee of the BC Assembly of First Nations. “The City claimed that people had a place to go, which was clearly false. Chief Justice Hinkson saw through their arguments, and ruled that the City could not force people out of their tents when they had no other options.”
The judgement by Chief Justice Hinkson disregarded the City’s arguments that residents of the tent cities were responsible for criminal activity since there is no proof that they had committed any crimes. He also referenced the Gladue decision, which takes colonial violence against Indigenous peoples into consideration in the justice system.
“The City of Prince George has been targeting homeless people, 80% of whom are Indigenous, instead of working with First Nations organizations to solve the problem,” Regional Chief Teegee continued. “Today’s decision should give the City pause, and make them stop punishing our society’s most vulnerable. I continue to extend a hand towards the City of Prince George, and other municipalities in BC, to work together to put a stop to the homelessness crisis gripping this province.”