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Today the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society and Ancestral Pride launch the Imperial No More Campaign. We are launching this campaign to stop Imperial Metals before they cause any more violence and devastation to the lands, waters and our lives. We are seeking support to protect our unceded territories and to ensure the children of all people can eat the salmon and breathe the air, we cannot do it without your support.
“We the people are the Protectors and Land Defenders and with our allies supporting this indigenous-led resistance, we will make a stand to stop Imperial Metals from violating our rights. Not one more mountain will be mined, not one more water way destroyed in the name of profit, not one more tree logged to create roads for these mines.” –Kanahus
Kanahus Manuel of the Secwepemc Women’s Warriors Society, mother and artist and Sacheen Seitcham of Ancestral Pride, Grandmother, medicine maker and traditional midwife have been organizing resistance to the illegal mining operations of Imperial Metals on their territories since before the devastating tailings pond breach in 2014. We stand to protect Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe and Chitaapi Mountain from Imperial Metals.
Despite their efforts Imperial Metal’s Mount Polley mine continues to operate and in November 2015 the province issued a permit for the company to discharge their toxic tailings into Hazeltine Creek, the same waterways affected by the 2014 breach.
“The Time is Now, We Cannot Wait Anymore”
The creeks, rivers, lakes and ocean are all connected. The poisons being discharged into Hazeltine Creek flow through the connected waterways. The salmon which return to the rivers form the oceans must pass through the toxins never cleaned up by Imperial Metals. This is not just an Indigenous issue, we all live downstream. The destruction of the land by mining is violence and enough is enough.
Two full years after the catastrophic breach of Mount Polley’s Tailings Pond, Imperial Metals continues to operate illegally destroying the land and endangering the lives of all the surrounding people.
Over the last week the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society and Ancestral Pride have been taking direct action with the support of allies to show Imperial Metals that we will escalate resistance until they cease and desist all mining operations on our Indigenous territories.
On August 4th we marked the 2-year anniversary of the devastating Tailings Pond breach with a gathering of Indigenous land defenders, allies and supporters to shut down the mine and to assert sovereignty over our unceded territories. There were workshops, feasting, training, ceremony and information sharing.
After skilling up together we completely blocked all workers from returning to work and stopped mining activity.
On August 9th the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society and Ancestral Pride successfully occupied the Imperial Metal’s Vancouver Office. Imperial Metals ordered thirty police offers to violently assault Indigenous women and supporters, with four arrests and many bruised bodies. Spirits remain high and we know the world is watching, we have support from around the world.
“Colonial violence is real! The mining companies in central and south amerikkka are already killing indigenous people for protecting their land and their ways of life. We are quick approaching that time here in kkkanada and we need to know where everyone stands? Will you put your bodies on the line to fight for the future?” -Sacheen
It is time to gather the resources to SHUT IMPERIAL METALS DOWN!
What the funds will be used for:
All funds raised will be used to develop and maintain the campaign to Stop Imperial Metals. Up to this point Sacheen, Kanahus and their supporters have been operating on their own funds and small contributions from their networks.
Here is where the funds will be used:
• For the materials and equipment necessary to hold events, direct actions and provide documentation for media releases.
• To repair our vehicle and cover the travel costs for members of the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society, Ancestral Pride and their supporters to be where they need to in order to continue pressure on Imperial Metals and their shareholders.
This also means we will be able to connect with the grassroots community, indigenous and non-indigenous most affected by Imperial Metals mines.
• To ensure we have the necessary funds for any legal fees that arise when the RCMP come down on our supporters and us.
• For awareness spreading materials and activities.
• To provide capacity building featuring Guerilla Media training, grant writing opportunities for other indigenous land defenders and our supporters.
• To build homes at Tska7 (Ruddock Creek) and Chitaapi (Catface Mountain) to assert our rights and title over our territories by living on them. This is most important as occupation is key to stopping resource extraction!
• We plan to host a large gathering that can bring together members of effected communities and our supporters to strategize and build a stronger movement to resist Imperial Metals on all affected territories.
“Colonial violence is real! The mining companies in central and south amerikkka are already killing indigenous people for protecting their land and their ways of life. We are quick approaching that time here in kkkanada and we need to know where everyone stands? Will you put your bodies on the line to fight for the future?”
For more information:
Imperial Metals is engaging in mining practices and operations that are in direct oppostion to the protocols and inherent rights and title of the Secwepemc, Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Wet’suwet’en, and Tahltan First Nations.