POWELL RIVER, BC, June 16, 2012 /CNW/ - A vote for the ratification of a Treaty for the Sliammon Nation came to a halt today when the voting poll was blockaded by a small group of Sliammon protestors.
"It's unfortunate that a small group prevented our Members from voting on whether or not we should proceed with the Treaty," said Sliammon Nation Chief, Clint Williams. "Our challenge now is to give our Members their democratic right to vote on the Treaty."
"We've fought for decades for this right," said Vern Pielle, President of the Sliammon Treaty Society, speaking on behalf of their Board. The Society has been tasked with ensuring that all Sliammon Members were fully informed of all aspects of the Treaty and the Agreement-in-Principle and Constitution that preceded it. "This is not a new process - we have been negotiating with the BC and Federal Governments for a long time. Some of us have been working on this process for close to two decades."
"We need to finish our process," said Pielle. "All of our Members - not just a few - must have the right to make their views known. And we're now working on finishing that task."
The Sliammon Ratification Committee, comprising representatives from the Sliammon Nation, and the Federal and BC governments, are overseeing the voting process, in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer. The Ratification Committee will be determining a new voting date shortly, and will be issuing a Notice of Vote. The Committee has said that the votes already cast are valid, and are in the custody and control of the Chief Electoral Officer.
For further information:
Chief Clint Williams, Sliammon Nation - Phone: 604-414-8968
Vern Pielle, President, Sliammon Treaty Society - Phone: 604-414-8734