Trans Canada Highway Expansion Comes To a Halt After More Ancestral Secwepemc Remains Found

8084341_lTrans Canada Highway Expansion Comes To a Halt After More Ancestral Secwepemc Remains Found

(November 4, 2013, unsurrendered Secwepemc Territory)

On Friday, November 1, 2013, Secwepemc visited the site of the newly unearthed remains of an 8,700 year old ancestor.  This burial site is also the site of an ancient village and the oldest to date found in BC.  There was also a grizzly bear mound alter found at this site.

The ancestral remains were unearthed by archeologists, from the province.  The province is pushing through a major highway expansion from Monte Creek to the Alberta border.  This highway cuts through our valley and Secwepemc ancient and current village sites, as well as, Sacred sites to the Secwepemc.

There are currently three burial sites that have been unearthed by archeologists.  One was found in 2009 and was the site of a burial of a woman dating back 6,000 years ago.  This site was of great controversy because of the push by the province to get carbon testing done on the remains.  Which would have meant taking body parts from our ancestor, a group of strong Secwepemc Women stopped it.

Now what has happened is the province has moved ahead to push this highway expansion through, on November 1, when the Secwpemc arrived to this specific site of the 6,000 year old ancestor, there was a crane and other heavy machinery ready to move our ancestors remains 8 metres deep, so they may go ahead with their highway expansion.  The Secwepemc told them to pack up there equipment and move out.

This site now has a Sacred Fire and the Secwepemc are asking for everyone to come to honour our ancestors and bring their prayers, offerings, bundles and songs.  We are calling on all pipe carriers and hand drummers to come to the Sacred Fire.  We have the Sacred Fire lit and we asking everyone to come on Monday, November 4 to Thursday, November 7, 2013.  We are asking everyone that can’t make it to our Sacred Fire to hold ceremonies in their Traditional Territories.

The location of the Sacred Fire is approximately 5 km west of the Pritchard store at one of the burial sites, the other burial site is approximately 2 km from the fire.

The Trans Canada Highway expansion is not only threatening to cut through our Ancestors burial grounds but there is also a very significant, Sacred site for Secwepemc, at Hoffman’s Bluff that is also at risk of being blown up.  This spiritually and culturally significant site has a Secwepemc story that tells us about a giant rat that lives there and can not by any means be disturbed, or the fate of the Secwepemc will fall.

As Secwepemc it is our responsibility to defend and protect our Secwepemc Laws, including respect of our Ancestors and their final resting place.  We respect the burial ceremonies that took place to lay our Ancestors to rest.  We will not disturb them, let their spirits be able to rest the way they were meant to.

The stance that the Secwepemc have always taken and stand by today, is that our Secwepemc Territory is uncceded, unsurrendered, and therefore, the province of BC, nor the government of Canada, has no authority or jurisdiction over our Lands because we, Secwepemc are the true land and title holders.

Please support our stance to defend our Ancestors.

Contact:  Miranda Dick

Distrubuted by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]


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