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

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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Comments (21) Add New Comment
Sasha Wiley
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.
Rating: -3
Chief Kitsilano
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.
Rating: -31
Stanley Q Woodvine
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.
Rating: -9
Land Title is Fiction
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.
Rating: -10
I support the tenters even though I am in pain thinking they are not in a proper home with heat, running water, and safety.

Rating: -12
Chief Kitsilano

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
Rating: -37
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.

Rating: +8
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.

Rating: -10
Imagine the property tax on Oppenheimer Park!
Rating: +23
Captain Vancouver
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?
Rating: +10
Chief Kitsilano
#tents4now, we support the belief that Jesus Christ is the "way, the truth and the Life" without supporting the Pauline version of that extended story. Yes Xtianity was exploited by individuals and by the British/Canadian Colonizers, and the Church did do awful damage. To place all of the blame for the injustice fully on the faith is overkill and throws the Baby Jesus out with the dirty water.

Jesus exemplifies the best approach to life by the simple act of living a prayerful live devoted to sharing with and serving others. Our Potlatch culture combined religious belief with social and economic guidance that also lines up with the words of Jesus but fell out of step with the Protestant master-slave paradigm of the elite and the workers and of course Catholicism is mere Pedagogy designed to teach obedience to claims of superior virtue and authority, both which never have delivered on their alleged integrity of being, churchmen being mere gatekeepers.

So, kindly allow us to advance our faith in Heaven and resist the temptation you seem to submit yourself to, in preaching atheism or agnosticism. You probably believe Science is not itself a religious position that has never proven anything that is not consistent with Christ's cultural advocacy. Science only purports to have accomplished a single universal truth when in fact, Science is the drive behind the manifold versions of Popular Democracy that is now tearing the world asunder.

Still, we appreciate your devotion to your own belief system but wish you could allow ours to prove itself in action, not merely in theory.

KUTGWrk forever.
Rating: -25
Chief Kitsilano
RUK responds with respect and integrity that is itself sufficient reward for this radical action by the Homeless, most being Indian. The power and value of Democracy is vested in the process of culture and so law is the final bastion we may challenge in achieving justice. But we all well know it is unwise and rude to seek benefits by confronting others so they fear they will lose their ways of being or even be placed in the unhappy position of the poor.

Luv your politeness and invite you to review another case about the very land now in issue, remembering that when we claim the Park we also claim the whole Province. This Mathias Case tells you about Snauq and mentions miscellaneous 'Indians' of uncertain ancestry who were unable to fend against the powerful Squamish/Capilano claim and so, un-entitled Indians were paid off for surrendering their claim to this land (tho' it was only defined as the Kitsilano, or False Creek Reserve; we also own(ed) Stanley Park and Deadman’s Island)`. Much fraud transpired in this case but now it will all come out and you, your friends and even those who despise this process, will emerge with better rights than at present. An Indian based community can reduce the bureaucracy required by the Apartheid regime imposed by the Racist policy and Indians will be brought within the taxation regime, adding to the treasury what now stays in private ‘indian’ pockets.

Finally may we remind all that this 'homelessness' is infectious and can turn any city into a "Detroit" in matters of months, if the runaway overpopulation is never curbed, so these poor souls a'tenting (I was there among them for 7 years - 2002-2010) are actually 'canaries in the mineshaft' who warn against more racism, more enmity and more "government."

This URL is the case without our annotations arguing for defining the whole Province as a 'legal fictional Indian Reserve in which all the people in the Province work from the Indian Right toward their personal and individual and family intersts, instead of from the right of the British Queen, downward from the rights of the rich to the absence of rights of the poor.

You are cordially invited to add to this process and to take action as your conscience dictates.

Go down and meet the people there and see our friend Ray Louie, who has been informed of this plan since the Olympics in 2010.

Howa, you are beloved.
Rating: -21
Alan Layton
Thanks to RUK for shedding some light on the ruling. The media completely failed to mention any of this, or at least the media I have been exposed to. I had read that part of the ruling stated that the First Nations had to show that they have been actively controlling use of the land, which is why so many bands have been making pronouncements that nobody can enter or use their land without their consent and I figured that this aboriginal 'eviction' notice was just part of that process. However it looks like any single band trying to claim full title to the land will have significant court challenges to overcome.

I vote that RUK be given a column in TGS.
Rating: +4
Apples and oranges
Lots of different issues being thrown into the mix here, so I'll throw in my two pence.

First of all, it's only in these civilized countries that recognition and allowances are being made to aboriginal peoples. Typically, the conquerors charge in and devastate the locals, rape the women and land and resources and that's that. And if they choose to stick around for a few hundred years, the conquered stay conquered. This whole thing of suddenly respecting the locals is a very Canadian thing, and that's fine -- but it has consequences.

As you can see from an awful lot of fighting around the world, these days primarily Russia and Israel/Palestine, the argument of "we were here first" doesn't carry a lot of weight. The Jews were there first. Nobody really disputes that, and the historical record agrees... but that's irrelevant.

Anyway, notwithstanding that the hypocrisy of those who don't support Israel but do support the local aboriginal land claims, let's get back to the local situation.

Since our aboriginals don't like to "stay conquered' and the conquerors haven't done anything to keep them conquered -- indeed, they've gone out of their way to be nice and listen and offer land and money and restitution and all that... well, here's the very Canadian result.

Gregor dresses up with the aboriginal garb, hangs with the aboriginal leaders, gets given an aboriginal name, and city council unilaterally declares that, indeed, it is their land.

I'm sure Gregor and the boys thought they were just being politically correct and securing some votes ("Win-win boys! It's genius") but now it's time to pay the piper. Back in the day when political correctness didn't mean shit and war meant victory and losing a war meant devastation, all of this is pretty clear-cut.

Today, in Canada, the only right thing to do, given all that, might simply be to give the whole fucking thing back to the aboriginals. It's indisputable that they were here first. Just like the Jews in Israel. But the tent-city inhabitants aren't launching rockets towards downtown and the Canadian Army isn't going to invade Oppenheimer Park. In other places, we wouldn't be talking about it... you'd wake up this morning and Oppenheimer Park would be a barren wasteland, end of problem.

But, again, this is Canada, where we do the "right thing".
Rating: +3
Pat Crowe
Sounds more like Freemen of the Land than native rights going on here. Is there a problem with making this stand over "native land" in February as opposed to July?
Rating: +7
Chief Kitsilano
Fiction can be legal and most law is a fiction supported by the courts. States are fictional and your belief that law has to be enforced with bloodshed is the most monstrous fiction ever; Tolstoy, Gandhi and Whitman dispose of that falsehood by saying "force ousted by force is still force, not law.

Still your contribution is real, not fiction and you have about 45% of those who read your comment.

Canada, you should understand, is governed by The Supremacy of God and Rule of Law, the only country on Earth so constituted and that opens Heavens portals to peaceful rational people seeking to avoid and avert the chaos tearing at Earth.

You have only snippets of our intended Land Model to measure and already you would destroy us with mega-bombs and infinite armies, which to date have been ridiculed by peasants in Asia, Africa and now Eastern Europe. It’s not fiction that Jesus Christ holds the trump over the Nations and is the author of our story; dispute that if you dare; He is remembered for erasing cities from the factual world.

If we promise to share the land fairly, distribute goods equitably and oppose all injury to nature, would you lower your weapons awhile?

Thanks for reading and for praying a bit more before preying on the good, the innocent and the divine.

I welcome direct discussion by phone. txt or GMAIL (don't get your 'American bias about using google's fine email service but you can illuminate that).
Rating: -11
The Chief says
"preaching atheism or agnosticism"???
"You probably believe Science is not itself a religious position"???

OK from the top 'Not believing there is a God is no more a religion, than NOT collecting stamps is a hobby"
Science is NOT a belief system, it's a method based on 'evidence-based inquiry'.

See what happens...your an otherwise intelligent person, but see what religion forces you to do...engage in ideological stupidity and then you start sounding suspicious.
Rating: -1

A column? I'm no Stanley Q. Woodbine, a truly gifted writer-photog. Just an opinionated so and so.

However if the Straight wants me to do it, I will certainly do it.

(Like the Straight wants that.)

@Apples and oranges

Like you, I have wondered why Canada bothers to treat with the First Nations given that we conquered them.

Then I did a little bit of reading - turns out, A and O, that the First Nations were not conquered at all, but independent communities which established agreements with the incoming French and English.

Claim settlements have taken generations to work through the courts, but the treaties didn't just evaporate and so they are cannot be ignored.

On the other hand, in 2014 it seems rather shocking and horrid to be talking about giving Canadians differing legal statuses based on blood inheritance.

Nor is it easy to show that legal walls between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians have been to the benefit of the aboriginal people.

These are all real subjects to address in a practical way, not to wish away.
Rating: -2
Alan Layton
@RUK - you underestimate your writing talents my friend. Also I believe you would give a balanced report to a very biased newspaper. I remember when one of the writers wrote, inaccurately, that the MAXIMUM salary for teachers in BC was $78,000 when he knew full well that it was the AVERAGE maximum salary. He also never gave the size of the population at this higher category either and refused to acknowledge or correct his deception.

You seem to have a great deal of integrity, which is lacking these days in the media.
Rating: -5
meh, let them camp. let everybody camp in all the parks for free if they want. imagine if they even planted fruit bushes of all kinds in the parks too! would be easier for aboriginals to live closer to the old ways livng off the land. also remove fishing licences for 4 or less fish a day (2 lunch 2 supper) nobody will make fish extinct with a rod, its commercial fishers with nets that drag and wreck the habbitat not people with rods. promote freedom, true freedom. 9-5 slavery should be an option not something they try force us into by making as hard as possible to live in true freedom. land of the free my azz, land of the 9-5 slaves at best.
Rating: -5


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