Homeless aboriginal people “evict” City of Vancouver from Oppenheimer Park

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Homeless tenters in Oppenheimer Park say they've received an eviction notice from the City of Vancouver.

However, the tenters say they have the support of First Nations leaders from the Downtown Eastside and they're not going anywhere.

Today (July 20), they've issued their own eviction notice, effective immediately, to the city. It reads:

We, the indigenous people here today in Oppenheimer Park, do hereby assert our Aboriginal Title, as established in law by the Supreme Court of Canada in Tsilhqot’in v British Columbia. Our people have held title to this land since time immemorial, and we are exerting our right to exclusive authority, recognized as an inherent element of our title, over this land and this camp. The City of Vancouver recognizes the unceded and enduring existence of our Aboriginal Title here. Under this recognition, we now require that you leave this place and cease any attempts to remove people or their belongings from this place. Because we are the title holders to this land, we assert that you do not have jurisdiction over this place until such time as our title to it is lawfully resolved. Any actions against this camp are thereby unlawful actions against our title; we demand an immediate cease and desist of action or the threat of action against this camp or those within it.

A news release from the tenters and their supporters says that about 30 percent of homeless people are aboriginal due to the "effects of colonization and poverty". It also notes that the 1,798 homeless people counted in Vancouver in March was the "highest number ever counted".

Referring to the Downtown Eastside local area plan, the release also claims: "Vision Vancouver approved a plan for the Downtown Eastside that seeks to displace 3,350 residents."

On June 25, city council voted to formally acknowledge that the city lies on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

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Sasha Wiley

Jul 20, 2014 at 10:06am

It's so gross that the City of Vancouver keeps trying to enforce their anti-tenting by law, even though it's the same as the Victoria one that was found to be unconstitutional in R.v. Adams. As far as I'm concerned, the City can talk about tenting in parks just as soon as the homeless count is zero. Meanwhile, it looks like painful lessons for Vision Vancouver about the fact that people who you evict for development plans don't just disappear. Trying to police homelessness into invisibility looks to be the actual Vision Vancouver anti-homelessness strategy.

Chief Kitsilano

Jul 20, 2014 at 11:16am

Attention ROB MORGAN
city as TENANCY without Tenancy Agreement with us as LANDLORD. We have the substance of the Claim when you are ready for it, or your lawyer can contact kitsilanband@gmail.com

This case forms core of our argument but then moves to Delgamuukw and finally to Tsilhqot'in.

Stanley Q Woodvine

Jul 20, 2014 at 1:28pm

Good for them!

A kind of slow, creeping genocide stalks the aboriginal people of Canada.

Language has changed over 200 years but not the colonizer's attitude to the colonized.

The goal of the Canadian Indian Act is still to keep aboriginal people in their place; keep them on the reserves across Canada -- pockets of corruption, third world poverty and hopelessness -- where the spirit of First Nation people will surely whither and die.

When aboriginal men and women flee reserves they do so like refugees from a war zone.

In the preliminary report of the 2014 regional count of homeless people, aboriginal homelessness across the Metro Vancouver region increased a shocking 48% compared to the last count in 2011.

The fact is, the mean streets of the Downtown Eastside are seen my many as a great improvement over life on reserves.

That should be enough to tell everyone that something is terribly wrong.

There can be no statute of limitation on the historic crimes committed by Canada against First Nations people simply because there has been no end to those crimes.

Land Title is Fiction

Jul 20, 2014 at 1:40pm

Nothing so excites the mind as that dull, incredible fiction supported by warfare known as land title. Since time immemorial, warring families have determined themselves into apoplexies of violence in pursuit of their boundaries and terminuses and all manner of ridiculous geometrical insanity.

There is but one true title to land: occupancy. And anyone who wishes to interrupt an occupancy, that is called an act of war.

It is interesting that this "Chief Kitsilano" uses a gmail account, an email account provided by an American corporation. Perhaps the whole fiction of title vested in certain parties is little more than an American corporate land-grab, stretched out over a few generations? I do wonder who would better protect lands: small, tribal societies without air forces and without any SIGINT capacity or large industrial societies built on the ruins of the greatest Empire that ever was, the British Empire.

If I had my way, I think I would side with Britain over gmail, but that is just little old me, someone of no consequence who thinks geometry is more or less indicative of psychosis.

guest

Jul 20, 2014 at 1:55pm

I support the tenters even though I am in pain thinking they are not in a proper home with heat, running water, and safety.

Chief Kitsilano

Jul 20, 2014 at 2:36pm

ATTENTION ROB MORGAN et al:

In Mathias see Kitsilano, Haaxw and "other Indians" for basis of the right you possess to be on that specific land, willing to enter into a Landlord Tenancy Agreement , as Landlord, with City as one of many Tenants all obligated to consult US (see Delgamuukw case for Haaxw and see Mathias case for Haaxw, and see Tsilhqot'in case for duty to consult and be resolved to you or any of you (who knows US)as "other Indians http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2001/2001fct480/2001fct480.html

see cased heading: Delgamuukw & Haaxw http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/1997/1997canlii302/1997canlii302.html

see recognition of Aboriginal Title in Tsilhqot'in http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/2014/2014scc44/2014scc44.html

Go the ResTen Office and apply for no cost to file documents they will provide Head the Claim this way, as the courts already have this Title on record :Kitsilano Wilps(Tscin) Haaxw, Laax Sal(ish) Haida. No title on Earth except Jesus Christ, has superior authority. Add any names of the Occupants of the Park as entitled by US to use our rights until further notice.

250 842 3240 kitsilanoband@gmail.com

Good Luck and thanks for believing in Christ

RUK

Jul 20, 2014 at 8:16pm

It's exciting, I hope that the governments actually try to deal with this title issue in a straight up way.

The rights of Aboriginal title are pretty broad but not, as I read them, particularly robust.

If you look at this new case, Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44, you'll see that at para 83 Madam Chief Justice McLachlan approvingly cites Delgamuukw on the types of incursions on Aboriginal title that would be lawful:

"In the wake of Gladstone, the range of legislative objectives that can justify the infringement of [A]boriginal title is fairly broad. Most of these objectives can be traced to the reconciliation of the prior occupation of North America by [A]boriginal peoples with the assertion of Crown sovereignty, which entails the recognition that “distinctive [A]boriginal societies exist within, and are a part of, a broader social, political and economic community” (at para. 73). In my opinion, the development of agriculture, forestry, mining, and hydroelectric power, the general economic development of the interior of British Columbia, protection of the environment or endangered species, the building of infrastructure and the settlement of foreign populations to support those aims, are the kinds of objectives that are consistent with this purpose and, in principle, can justify the infringement of [A]boriginal title.

Is there a "compelling and substantial public purpose" in treating the City of Vancouver as the single lawful steward of the use and disposition of Oppenheimer Park? I'd say that you could make that case. Oppenheimer Park is in Vancouver, it is a park paid for and maintained by Parks and Rec, it is in a zone that the city has specially designated for social housing purposes, etc. etc.

But instead of you or me just saying this stuff, someone is trying to establish the force of the legislation in the real world. That's good. Let's do this, let's see how it all shakes out.

Tents4now

Jul 20, 2014 at 9:14pm

Fully support the aboriginal people. I am thrown for a loop why aboriginal people would follow something as idiotic as Christianity. It destroyed/s their people. (And any other naive person)

"Good Luck and thanks for believing in Christ" WTF Chief? This makes ZERO sense. Throw that garbage away. Not bad enough they murdered your babies, raped your women, molested your boys.

W T F CHIEF?

Xtina

Jul 20, 2014 at 10:36pm

Imagine the property tax on Oppenheimer Park!

Captain Vancouver

Jul 21, 2014 at 5:23am

Why do Indian groups always try to pull stunts like this with slightly-less-than-stellar real estate like this and not Robson Street, British Properties or Stanley Park?

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