The Lil’wat have never given or sold any of our land to any government or nation. Although settlers and colonial governments marginalized us from the land, we never relinquished our right (in law or in our hearts) to our home. In our endeavors to restore and preserve our rights we have earned a reputation for political resistance. We are willing to stand up for what we believe in – it is essential for the survival of the Lil’wat Nation.
In 1911, the Lil’wat people joined First Nation communities throughout the region in signing the Lillooet Declaration at Spence’s Bridge. The declaration outlined the demands for the reinstatement of our right to our traditional lands and was a primary example of First Nations solidarity and political resistence. The issues raised remain unresolved 95 years later.
For many years after 1911 it was illegal in Canada for Indians to organize against the Crown for the recognition of our rights to the land. This law forced the resistance underground, but it did not go away.
In the 1970’s to today, community activism has defended against the abuse of our right to fish (1975 Fisheries Protest & Arrests); the right to protect our sacred places by destructive clear-cut logging (Ure Creek blockade, Stein Valley Protection); standing in solidarity with other Indigenous peoples (Oka Road Blockade). More recently our people have stopped new ski hill development in endangered grizzly bear habitat (Sutikalh).
Today Ure Creek is again threatened by development. We, the Lil’wat people, will resist any attempt by developers to destroy this sacred area of our traditional territory.