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UPDATE: The Council of Canadians opposes the Sun Peaks Resort

Sun Peaks Resort

Sun Peaks Resort

In 1992, the Japanese company Nippon Cable purchased the Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops, BC, as a 400-bed resort. In 1997, the provincial government approved a 24,168 bed expansion to the resort. In October 2000, the Skwelkwek’welt Protection Centre was established to oppose this $70 million expansion and boycott campaigns began. In 2004, solidarity pickets took place outside Delta and Fairmont Hotels in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Montreal, as a further 6,000-beds were added to the resort’s expansion plans.

In late-2004, George Manuel Jr., after having been arrested in a related action, stated, “At Skwelkwek’welt we were not protesting, we are not protesters, we were exercising our Inherent Secwepemc Title and Rights to this land and we will not stop. This is only the beginning of how we will continue to pursue a Title case within the setter governments illegal court system when they drag us to court again.” At the time, the Council of Canadians and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs condemned the arrest of George Manuel Jr. and two others by the RCMP.

The Secwepemc (also known in English as Shuswap) First Nation opposes the resort, as does the Nesconlith Indian Band, because it is on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc, Neskonlith and Adams Lake bands. Secwepemc ancestors are buried in the area. The Secwepemc never relinquished this territory to either the provincial or federal governments by either land claim or treaty. The Secwepemc assert that Sun Peaks undermines their ability to exercise their inherent rights to land-use and occupancy and, thus, their Aboriginal title to the land.

Nevertheless, as noted above, the provincial government approved the expansion of the resort and exempted future developments from environmental and social impact assessments. Furthermore, the federal and provincial governments have refused to acknowledge Secwepemc title and enter negotiations to establish co-jurisdiction.

In 2001, the Assembly of First Nations passed a resolution to boycott bookings with Delta Hotels due to this situation,