Monday, April 2, 2007

Secwepemc Defenders Win Right to Appeal Conviction for 2001 Blockade

Pair wins right to appeal conviction for 2001 blockade
Darah Hansen. Vancouver Sun. March 31, 2007

kamloops I A mother and daughter, members of the Secwepemc First Nation in B.C.'s southern Interior, have won the right to appeal their 2002convictions for taking part in a roadblock on the Sun Peaks Road nearKamloops one year earlier.

In a hearing earlier this month before the B.C. Court of Appeal inVancouver, Nicole Valencia Manuel, 30, and her mother Beverly Phylis Manuel,51, argued through their lawyer they believed they had the legal right underaboriginal law to participate in the Sun Peaks roadblock in August, 2001.

The roadblock was set up in response to a controversial ski hill developmenton land claimed by the Secwepemc (or Shuswap) people as traditionalterritory. Protesters said the development threatened traditional huntingand medicinal plant-gathering grounds on the mountain, as well as severalsacred sites.

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