What’s Really Happening at Gustafsen Lake and Why (1995)

1990-2010, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Imperialism, Indigenous, Occupation, Privatization, Subjectives of Refusal, Tactics of Disruption, The 'Natural World', White Supremacy

This piece describes the conflict between sundancers of the Shuswap First Nation and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) during August and September of 1995. Members of the Shuswap Nation were engaging in their annual sundance ceremonies when individuals from the RCMP SWAT team began encircling the camp. More Shuswap sundancers as well as other nations soon arrived to defend those already there from violence. Throughout the coming weeks, the RCMP began painting these individuals as “terrorists,” blaming them for recent shootings in the area, and cutting off all communication to and from the camp, including that of the media. Those in the camp demand that an impartial third party tribunal be set up to decide on the question of jurisdiction over unceded Native American territories. They have refused to leave their defensive position until their petition has been forwarded from the Governor General of Canada to the British Privy Council and the Queen, as stipulated in the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The piece includes information on how to contact the various governments, lawyers, and other groups involved in the situation to apply pressure in support of the Shuswap, Mohawk, and all other indigenous nations.