Natives Occupy Catholic Church in Vancouver, Issue Eviction Notice

Posted: March 17, 2008 in BC, Headlines, Jeff's Blogs, Land claims, Natives, Terrorism

The following was forwarded to me and is an excellent example of the dangerous rate at which the arrogance of Natives in Canada is growing as a result of the ongoing lawlessness in Caledonia. Note the use of excessive propaganda designed to mask their abhorent behavior.

Update: March 23rd/08 – I’ve added the label of blog to this article due to the volume and nature of the comments. Thanks for all the feedback 

Squamish Territory (“Vancouver, Canada”)
16 March, 2008

Led by Hereditary Squamish Chief Kiapilano, fifty people occupied Holy Rosary Catholic Church in downtown Vancouver this morning in the midst of a high mass, and issued an Eviction Notice to the Roman Catholic Church.  (See Public Declaration, below)

Triggered by the refusal of the Catholic Church leaders to reply to a Letter of Demand asking that they identify the buried location of children who died in their Indian Residential Schools, the occupation surprised the church-goers, who sat silently as the procession of residential school survivors, elders, and their supporters walked quietly to the front of the church sanctuary and stood facing them with a banner that read “All the Children Need a Proper Burial.”

Despite physical intimidation by one of the officiating priests, the group stood its ground, and distributed copies of the Eviction Order to the congregants.  Acting under the authority of Chief Kiapilano, Kevin Annett Eagle Strong Voice handed an original copy of the Eviction Order to presiding priest Glen Dion. The group then began drumming, and, led by the elders and Chief Kiapilano, slowly proceeded out of the sanctuary as the congregegants stood up.

Outside the church, the group gathered again, where Chief Kiapilano and others spoke.

“I’m Chief Kiapilano. I’m one of the survivors of the Catholic schools. They used every method to shut me up, but I’m still here. We’ve got to stand up and put these people out.”

The crowd roared.

“They now have 72 hours to get off Squamish territory” said Kevin Annett to the crowd. “I hope you’ll all come back next Sunday to help enforce this eviction order. That’s Easter Sunday, when they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Well, we’ll be here to witness the resurrection of the Squamish Nation.”

William Combes, a survivor of the Catholic residential schools in Mission and Kamloops, B.C., spoke to the crowd.

“In the residential school I witnessed murders, burials, you name it. But the truth’s going to prevail over their lies”

Chief Red Jacket of the Seneca Nation said,

“it’s long overdue, that this land be given back to Chief Kiapilano, its rightful owner. If I was caught with stolen goods, I’d be taken to jail. Why isn’t this happening here?”.

“I would like to reaffirm Chief Kiapilano’s hereditary title” said an aboriginal man who came from Vancouver Island to be pasrt of the occupation. “It’s the first time I’ve seen someone serve an eviction notice on a church. I’m really proud to be here. I will pass this on to my children and grandchildren”. The crowd roared once more.

Led by the elders, the group then proceeded to Christ Church Anglican Cathedral and St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church, where the same Eviction Order was posted on their front doors.

Despite the noticeable absence of aboriginal media, the event was covered by local and national television and radio stations. 

A similar occupation occurred at two churches in downtown Toronto the same morning, and was reported in the Toronto Star and Sun newspapers. At one of the occupied churches, St. James Anglican, the protestors were physically accosted by parishioners and their banner was torn.

Chief Kiapilano’s group is disseminating the Eviction Order to the nearly 300 Catholic, Anglican and United churches on his territory, throughout Vancouver. They plan to return next Sunday to open up Holy Rosary church and others to the hungry and homeless, and to release more evidence of mass murders in Indian Residential Schools.

“I’m only doing what should have been done long ago” declared Chief Kiapilano.

Public Declaration and Press Statement

On the Land of the Squamish Nation –

March 16, 2008

I am Kevin Annett Eagle Strong Voice, and I have been authorized by Hereditary Squamish Chief Kiapilano to make the following Declaration.

As of today, March 16, 2008, the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United Churches of Canada operating in the territory of the Squamish Nation have been ordered permanently off that territory by Chief Kiapilano, under the authority of his traditional tribal law.

Chief Kiapilano has evicted these churches from his territory because of their illegal trespass and occupation of his land, their failure to pay his Nation rent or acknowledgement for more than a century, their responsibility for the deaths of thousands of children in their Indian Residential Schools, and their refusal to return the bodies of these children and surrender those responsible for their deaths.

This Eviction Notice gives these churches 72 hours to remove their belongings from the nearly three hundred buildings owned and operated by them in Squamish territory, which encompasses all of Vancouver and the north shore and outlying territories. After this three day period, Chief Kiapilano and his allies will peacefully occupy and take over these buildings, and open them as sanctuaries for homeless and hungry people.

Therefore, as of 10:00 am, March 19, 2008, PST, the buildings of the three corporations known as the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the United Church of Canada, will belong to the Squamish Nation, and these church corporations will no longer be recognized by us.

This Eviction Notice also empowers me, Kevin Annett Eagle Strong Voice, and my associates, to take this measure of occupation and to conduct on Squamish Nation territory an independent inquiry into crimes in Indian Residential Schools, including by locating and returning the buried remains of children who died in residential schools run by these church corporations.

As part of this inquiry, the church buildings that will be occupied by Squamish Nation members will be opened to the public as a venue for the convening of this independent inquiry, to which we will invite international observers and the media in order to share our findings.

Finally, it is the aim of this campaign to bring to justice those persons responsible for the crime against humanity known as the Indian Residential School system, and therefore we will be establishing Indigenous Courts of Justice on Squamish Nation territory where those accused of such crimes will be brought for trial and sentencing.

We take these actions as a clear Declaration of our sovereignty as a Nation, for the cause of final justice, and for the healing of all nations burdened by the legacy of genocide. We therefore call upon all people of conscience to join us in this struggle, under the guidance of a loving and just Creator, to whom we commit our lives and our mutual honor.

Kevin Annett Eagle Strong Voice

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Comments
  1. James says:

    Talk about ambitious! Trying to steal land by decree and messing with many people’s belief system at the same time. They’ve got some balls.

  2. Richard Jones says:

    Much like the Crown did to them, isn’t it?

  3. WL Mackenzie Redux says:

    My god these people are just so full of hate and vitriol….they need clinical help not some pagnist rationalized self pitty.

  4. Debbie says:

    Disgusting, absolutely disgusting, and on palm sunday, One day they will be required to stand in front of their maker and justify this complete and utter lack of respect in a house of God.

  5. sunray says:

    Hi Jeff;

    Although I read your site, I have never commented until now.

    My comment may not sit well with some of your viewers, however, I’m hoping that my point is understood.

    We all have the right to assemble peacefully as many have fought and died to give us that right.

    I do not agree with protests or assemblies at someone’s ‘house’, be it Julian Fantino’s house, a political representative’s house, or God’s house.

    Some things are sacred, and they should stay that way.

  6. Nicola says:

    Perhaps it’s time that in order for us to protect our “freedom of religion,” we obtain a “bubble zone” around our Catholic churches. I am appalled and extremely angry that this was allowed to take place. We have a judicial system to weed out any citizen , clergy member, etc guilty of any crime. The lack of outrage from Catholics on this matter is very very wrong.

  7. caledoniawakeupcall says:

    Generally I agree with what most have had to say about this so far. I would like to take a moment to address Richard and Sunray though.

    Richard, you can play connect the dots with ancient history all you want to, and I certainly don’t deny that many wrongs were committed against Natives in this Country, but it’s no excuse for their behavior today. These people are making a point of striking at what for many is the most sacred institution there is and for reasons that have nothing to do with my religious beliefs, I view this as a new low for them that sets a horrifying precedent.

    Sunray, I thank you for taking the time to comment and for reading. I understand and respect your view on gathering at someone’s home to protest, but for the people that Fantino has personally left at the mercy of sadistic criminals by refusing to allow the OPP to do their job, there was little choice.

    The belief that Mr. Fantino seems to have that he can run away from his personal decision to allow a community to be tormented by going home at the end of the day needs to be addressed and that’s what we were trying to accomplish. None of us set foot on his personal property, and one of the neighbors the media claimed was so upset by our hanging 2 flags actually invited us in for food and wine.

    All Mr. Fantino had to do for the event to be called off was sit down and speak with some of the people who have been tormented on his orders, so it was in fact Julian Fantino who was responsible for the protest at his home.

    Take care and thanks for weighing in,

    Jeff

  8. Richard Jones says:

    With respect Jeff, we are not talking about just ancient history here. As you are very well aware, there are a grat number of survivors of Residential Schools alive today. The lives of these people, as well as their children and grand-children have been greatly affected, in the most negative ways imaginable. Neither you, nor I, nor the majority of your readers can have any understanding of what impact such a horrendous government and church policy has had on the people most affected. Here is what triggered the event, as per the article you have posted…

    “Triggered by the refusal of the Catholic Church leaders to reply to a Letter of Demand asking that they identify the buried location of children who died in their Indian Residential Schools, the occupation surprised the church-goers, who sat silently as the procession of residential school survivors, elders, and their supporters walked quietly to the front of the church sanctuary and stood facing them with a banner that read “All the Children Need a Proper Burial.”

    Would it really have been too much for the Catholic Church to reply?
    You call it ancient history. It is not ancient. This country and the Christian churches most involved in these abhorrent schools must be held accountable and must do everything they can do to answer the unanswered questions of survivors and descendants of those who were sent to these schools. To not do so continues the legacy of hypocrisy and the continued hiding of the truth.

  9. WL Mackenzie Redux says:

    Richard Jones Says:
    March 17, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    “Much like the Crown did to them, isn’t it?”

    No actually…and only a delusional viewpoint of fact and history could support such a ridiculous sophism.

  10. Nancy says:

    In response to Debbie:

    I agree that the house of God is to be respected by parishners, priests, and public. However, I believe that the group of peaceful protesters are making the point that the church has disrespected them under the guise of religion.

    Given your response, I imagine you are not open to hearing about the atrocities faced by Aboriginal peoples of Canada and their children within the house of God and under its tenets. I will censor their experiences of sexual, physical and mental abuses for your tender sensibilities. However, I will tell you that the abuses they faced and still face today far outweigh a peaceful march into the house of God.

    When we all meet our creators, we will have a chance to ask what He/She thinks about harm to children and cultural genocide, as opposed to standing up for what’s right.

    God bless you, you need it, Nancy

  11. Bruce Webb says:

    I to try to understand, how the Basic Foundation “THE WORD OF GOD” that Our Country built On and around, can be twisted to encourage this and all types of hate. Then when we see who is doing it and why, yet Canada just let’s it continue.

    Our Government has NO POWER over OUR LAWS! Our People have NO CONTROL over OUR GOVERNMENT and OUR COURTS CONTROL OUR CHURCHES!

    Simply cause PET and MR C and My Queen gave the POWER TO LAWYERS! They knew it when they did it and if they did NOT. The Government of today should TRY to fix it, not just use it for GREED and POWER and to Screw Canada!

    I had not watched the news as on Sundays. I know news happens but I try not to dwell in the negative all seven days of the week. So I did not hear that? I have watched since but I guess, it did not hurt anyone with the Freedom to practice any faith worth talking about much.

    I had to stop and ask my wife, if she watched, and what she thought?

    Now I understand better, why so many cameras were there!

    They wanted a Violent response!!!

    They wanted to be thrown out by force the way they lost their land.

    I am not Roman Catholic, as you know, and Canada never was. However they have made many mistakes in the past that all Christians will be held accountable.

    Canada was under British Rule when developed in to the Nation that accepted everyone from everywhere and British Rule was not Roman Catholic but Church of England at the time I think. So I’m not sure what the response would have been in that Church, but if it were the Vatican in Rome, they would have made the news several nights running.

    I may not make enough noise to point out the direction I think our country’s going, but if I can with out hurting anyone, and it helps others to see and understand I must try.

    I am just a Canadian, that believes in God, and knows we are all created equal, and it makes me ill to see my government, bend the Word of God for VOTES, in the name of RIGHTS.

    I don’t even have any anger, just a deep disappointment that This Hour Has 22 minuets tell a more honest look at Canada than Canadians do and we laugh at ourselves, then keep taking ourselves to court and yet change nothing.

    Thanks for the note, and I won’t let it eat at me, in fact it is really funny if you stand back and just watch.

    TTFN

    Rocker-Daddy Tazz
    “My Space”

  12. caledoniawakeupcall says:

    To both Richard and Nancy,

    I agree there is no way for you or I to understand the suffering of the victims of residential schools. I would suggest however that in this circumstance that tragedy is being used to mask the disgusting act of occupying a church.

    I would also agree that if the church knows of secret locations of buried children, they should make that information immediately available, but I have yet to see a shred of proof that in fact there is a conspiracy by the church to cover up these alleged mass graves.

    That doesn’t change the fact that we can’t have a group of people running around occupying and issuing eviction notices to churches, much as we can’t have the same group of people setting up illegal smoke shacks wherever they like, occupying land they surrendered a long time ago, using it as a home base to commit any crime they like without fear of arrest, and now calling themselves a new form of government so they can extort buisnesses along the so called Haldimand Tract.

    None of this behavior is tolerable by any group in our society and yet somehow it’s OK when Natives do it because.. ? If someone can explain to me why this one group should be completely above the laws of our Country and the rest of us should just ignore it, please feel free to do so.

  13. WL Mackenzie Redux says:

    Some people here need to read and follow (edited.. sorry but too many people would try to call that site racist) 12 steps to cultural recovery….it’s sage advice for reserve culture looking to escape the endless cycle of victimhood politics, youth gangs, violence, crime, and addiction, reliance and FN leadership corruption.

    Primary among these steps are:

    1. Stop Making Excuses.
    4. Stop defending criminals and other low-life.
    5. Buy a mirror.
    6. Face Facts
    7. Buy a calender.
    10. Stop wasting money.
    12. Stop Living in Fantasyland

  14. sunray says:

    Hi Jeff;

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, and providing a place where I can share my thoughts with you and your viewers.

    Though I can appreciate your perspective, I would not cross any line that would wrongfully place me at your home, or another’s, without considering my own actions.

    I’m all for peaceful protesting. I’m all for peaceful assembly. But I am direly against protesting and/or assembly – peaceful or otherwise – that would, or could, bring about ramifications of unease for the individuals whose abode becomes directly involved by my actions or efforts.

    I will never agree with the violence that has happened in Caledonia. I will never agree with any ongoing unrest regardless of the perpetrator(s). And I will never agree with anyone who believes that Canada cannot do better to address it’s own unrest before it goes treading gloriously around the globe to address everyone else’s unrest.

    My father is a veteran. I only knew him for a short period of his life and mine. Thankfully, I have older siblings who knew him better than I ever did. After looking at old black and white photos of my father during WWII firing a 50mm gun (as it was described to me) I asked my sibling what they thought our father would think of ‘today’. Her response was “I don’t know. But I do know that in his time he would rather have been a ‘Peacekeeper’ than a ‘Peacemaker’. “

  15. caledoniawakeupcall says:

    Hi Sunray,

    I think many of us can appreciate your position.

    I have the good fortune to be working with 2 armed forces veterans, and they have many times echoed your thoughts on Canada allowing this to happen to our own country while trotting around the globe trying to fight for the rights that we’re being denied at home.

    The general excuse seems to be that the situation is complicated or delicate, but the reality is that our politicians are spineless which has bled into the handling of law enforcement by the OPP when dealing with a group of violent thugs who whine and scream about minoritiy rights, treaties that existed with the British Crown, land claims, and oppression to confuse the general public and mask the real issue of law and order.

    Pre Schoolers are easily able to understand that when people commit crimes they are arrested, but this concept continues to illude the McGuinty Liberals, and the OPP.

  16. Louis says:

    First nations peoples should stop living in the past
    Letter to Editor Vancouver Sun
    Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    Enough is enough. Our native people have gone too far and need to step back and think about what they are doing. Disrupting Palm Sunday service at the Holy Rosary church in Vancouver is beyond what we can and should tolerate.

    I am very sorry for what happened to our native people in the past, but that is exactly what it was — in the past. It was wrong and was horrific. But we who are living now cannot change the past and neither can the aboriginal people. We all need to be sure this type of treatment to any people never happens again, but now we all must move on and do what we can to ensure that no one suffers like this again.

    Make a good life for yourselves now, stop living in the past and holding a terrible anger that can accomplish nothing. Put all that energy into helping and educating your young people, in dealing with those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and work with rather than against the others who live in this great land to make it peaceful and safe for all.

    JERYLL SMITH

  17. Louis says:

    Residential schools disrupted entire lives, not just services
    Letter to Editor Vancouver Sun
    Published: Saturday, March 22, 2008
    Re: First nations peoples should stop living in the past, March 18

    How unfortunate to have your Palm Sunday service be disrupted. Imagine, then, having your entire life disrupted in the way that residential schools separated children from their families. The result is entire generations without the privilege of learning family and parenting skills. What then do they pass on to their children? It doesn’t take a great thinker to know that stating “move on” is simply dismissive. What is the point of us believing that it is of paramount importance that we nurture our children within loving families?

    I’m sure that the Catholic Church supports the notion of the importance of children being raised within the family unit. If it is so important, why then is the basic courtesy of understanding not extended to people who have not had the benefit of family nurturing? It is impossible for you to really walk a mile in their shoes, but a little basic empathy would allow you to see that entire generations of people cannot just flick a switch and “move on.” It’s not that easy and it’s the reason we all believe that our children should be nurtured and protected from harm.

    Email to a friend

    Printer friendly
    Font:****Your Palm Sunday service interruption was the reaction from a people who have been unimaginably hurt in their formative years. Perhaps turning away from righteous indignation and seeing this as a signal to lend a hand up might be the humane thing to do.

    GUNNAR FOSS

    Coquitlam

    http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/letters/story.html?id=a80c4420-271e-4603-b6ea-45addb32e222

  18. Louis says:

    So what Nancy is saying is that two wrongs make a right. That vengence and revenge are acceptable modes of behaviour. IF they are sympathetic to her cause.

    I wonder Nancy if you would feel the same way if it were your rights being violated. If your home was occuppied and you were the target how you might react if we all stood up for the perpetrators. Hey they’re ancestors were hard done by so you deserve this today??

    I doubt very much you would express the same opinion.

  19. Louis says:

    Just imagine if this had happened at a Muslim Mosque!

    Would Muslims sit back and allow this to happen or would they wait for police? Not! They would have tossed the disrupting parties out and forcefully.

    Maybe Catholics and all Christians need to take a lesson on standing up for themselves from their Muslim bretheren. Either that or be fed to the lions. It happened once and society is heading that way once again now.

    God bless the folks in Caledonia.

  20. Shorelineliz says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I am Native. Ojibwe. And French. I am a Roman Catholic. Instead of leaving a comment I want to know more about this situation. I read the article about the Demand Letter to return the bodies of Indian children to the Squamish. Does anyone have any other information about what Kevin Annett and this Squamish chief did, what other things they tried to do to get this situation resolved before they stormed into this/these churches on Palm Sunday and posted this eviction notice? I would appreciate any information about this situation you can give.

    On another note: I don’t think storming into the church during religious services was the way to handle this. And, I don’t think an eviction notice will come to anything. It certainly won’t get these bodies back. Thank you. Liz+

  21. Nancy says:

    Hello Louis:

    No, I do not believe that two wrongs make a right. There are so many issues intertwined in the protest that we can easily become sidetracked from the main argument, as I may have done in my hasty rebuttal to Debbie.

    I am just a white person that is frustrated by the lack of understanding by Joe public about the multiple oppressions against Aboriginal peoples. It is with great respect and tentativeness that I put in my two bits on the table. It is my opinion that resolution can only come when past hurts are recognized and efforts are made towards reparation. I believe that some Aboriginal peoples are frustrated by this lack of understanding and the lack of federal government to resolve treaty promises dating back to the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

    I realize that people were possibly made to feel uncomfortable with the church demonstration. Perhaps, this method was not what some would call ‘acceptable’ behaviour, but let us not forget that social scientists have uncovered that in the 1920s approximately 50 percent of the children did die while in residential school. Knowing this, is it not a fair question to know where their bodies lie and to be angry when you are rebutted for asking?

    These Aboriginal peoples can not go back in time and ask the people responsible for their children what happened, but they can request that historical records be made available.

  22. Louis says:

    Shorelineliz,

    “I don’t think storming into the church..was the way to handle this.”

    Good for you. Niether do most residents here.

    The scoup on Kevin Annett is he has been booted out of some other church, he’s got a bone to pick with churches in general, he’s can’t be reasoned with, and the local Squamish native band has distanced themselves from his deplorable behaviour.

    BTW – a friend of mine attended the same church this past Sunday, the police were outside and did not allow protestors to disrupt services this time.

  23. Louis says:

    Nancy, Okay points made. However this government already speads massive amounts on natives, people bend over backwards to “accomodate” them. Even illegal activities. Shall we just abandon the rule of law and let society fall apart becasue of past events?

    Also – nobody alive today hasn’t got ancestors who were hard done by. Why not “accomodate” everyone?

    None of the people in the Church that day had squat to do with hurting natives. So why persecute them, if not for shere revenge. Misplaced at that?

    Head should roll though among the authorities that are allowing lawlessness in Caledonia.

  24. caledoniawakeupcall says:

    “a friend of mine attended the same church this past Sunday, the police were outside and did not allow protestors to disrupt services this time.”

    In Caledonia the OPP would have been there to ensure that nobody tried to stop the Natives from disrupting the service.

  25. Louis says:

    LOL – that’s funny, sad and pathetic all at the same time!

    Great article by Jonathan Kay in the Post today!

  26. Anonymous says:

    OPP are the opiates of the elite, but they screw over the masses.

  27. Annie says:

    Having buried a child, I believe the Catholic Church should give this information to any surviving family members. However, given how secretive the church is one should never hold their breathe. If there are graves, it is shameful to not have identified. They have no right not giving out that information, and they should not be allowed to hush that up, like they have sexually deviant priests. Inexcusable.

  28. david :kannler says:

    i think the native people of kanata should take back the common law domain of this land and demand the return of all there dead and wounded and expel all these admerality juristiction demons back to the oceans from which there laws come. they have every right and all my support. im not native but would gladly obey native law and defend native territory if it gets rid of these illegal occupiers permanently.

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