Tŝilhqot’in Delegation Attending the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva

TŜILHQOT’IN NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
253 – 4th Avenue North – Williams Lake, BC V2G 4T4 – Phone (250) 392-3918 – Fax (250) 398-5798

Media Release – November 22, 2019

Tŝilhqot’in Delegation Attending the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland: Leaders and Representatives from the Tŝilhqot’in Nation are attending the 8th United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland from November 25 -27, 2019 to share the Tŝilhqot’in journey and advocate on behalf of all the Tŝilhqot’in people and for the human rights of Indigenous peoples around the globe.

The Tŝilhqot’in journey began back in 1864/1865 when six Tŝilhqot’in War Chiefs met for peace talks, under a flag of truce and were deceived, wrongfully arrested and hanged. The execution of these six Tŝilhqot’in War Chiefs motivated the Tŝilhqot’in to seek justice for our people, and after 25 years in the Canadian court system, the Tŝilhqot’in Nation established Aboriginal title, for the first time in Canadian history, to a portion of the Tŝilhqot’in homeland. This decision is known as the “Tŝilhqot’in Decision”.

Despite this landmark victory, the Tŝilhqot’in are still compelled to fight every day to protect their way of life and their human rights as Indigenous peoples, including over a decade of court battles, regulatory hearings and peaceful actions to protect the sacred lands and waters at Teẑtan Biny from proposed mining activities.

The Tŝilhqot’in Nation chose to travel to Geneva to attend the Forum on Business and Human Rights to highlight the need for free, prior informed consent as a fundamental condition of business and to join Indigenous peoples around the world in calling for the implementation of the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples.

Quotes:

Nits’inʔin (Chief) Otis Guichon, Tŝideldel First Nation

“The 8th Forum on Business and Human Rights is an opportunity for us to take our story and advocate on behalf of our people at the international level. The Tŝilhqot’in understand first-hand the challenges for Indigenous communities around the world and the fight that exists to have our rights recognized and respected. The Tŝilhqot’in have won rights and title in Canadian courts, and now we are working every day for the safety, the way of life, and the human rights of our families and communities. We are headed to Geneva to share our experience, learn from others, and to hold business and governments accountable for respecting our human rights as Indigenous peoples.”

Nits’inʔin (Chief) Francis Laceese, Tl’esqox First Nation

“Our story is a global story. Our struggle is shared by Indigenous peoples across Canada and around the world. As Indigenous peoples, we all hold the freedom, the jurisdiction and the rights to care for our lands and waters and benefit from our homelands in the ways of our ancestors. It is important that the truth of Indigenous peoples around the world is heard. That is why we are attending the Forum on Business and Human Rights, because governments and business need to start recognizing our jurisdiction and our rights to free, prior informed consent or the conflicts with Indigenous peoples will continue.”

Media Contact:
Jacey Warne
Communications Manager
Tŝilhqot’in National Government
250-267-3270

*Please be aware that the delegation will have a window of time to take media calls while in Geneva due to the Central European Time (CET) zone.

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