March 1, 2010

Open Letter to our Browns Creek Watershed Protection Supporters:

The Okanagan Indian Band and the people of the Okanagan Nation Territory appreciates your support regarding our decision to establish a protective blockade of the watershed at the Okanagan campsite located near Bouleau Lake.

As you know, in response to threats from Tolko to commence logging of the watershed that supplies the majority of the 1,800 residents of the Okanagan Indian Band with our drinking water, we feel we must act at this time to exercise our rights before Tolko Ltd. Resumes logging operations.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly but given the failure of the Crown to protect the health and safety of our community we were left with no other choice.

We are circulating a petition to enact a moratorium on commercial logging, we ask for your further support to obtain signatures from the residents of BC and citizens of Canada.

The petition is to be returned to the Okanagan Indian Band at okibadmin@okanagan.org or fax to (250) 542-4990.

Thank you again for all your support!

To:  The British Columbia Legislative Assembly

Petition to enact a moratorium on commercial logging in the watersheds that supply the majority of 1,800 Okanagan Indian Band residents with their drinking water.

A vital part of the Okanagan Indian Band’s water supply is being threatened by clearcut logging in the watershed that supplies the majority of our 1,800 residents with their drinking water.

Tolko has been given approval by the BC Ministry of Forests to clearcut the Brown’s Creek watershed.  This despite the fact that title to these lands is in dispute and a matter that is before the courts.

PETITION TO PROTECT DRINKING WATERSHED AREAS FROM LOGGING

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in Parliament assembled.

The petition of concerned citizens of the Okanagan Nation, residents of British Columbia and citizens of Canada

Brings to the attention of the House that clearcut logging threatens the water supply of the 1,800 men women of children who live on Indian Reserve #1 of the Okanagan Indian Band.

The undersigned petitioners therefore request the Legislative Assembly to:

a) Enact a moratorium on commercial logging within the watersheds that supply drinking water to the majority of the 1,800 residents who live on IR#1 of the Okanagan Indian Band

b) Undertake a detailed hydrological study of the Okanagan Water Basin; and

c) undertake regulatory and legislative changes in order to ensure that the drinking water of all communities both indigenous and non-indigenous is protected.

Sincerely,

Chief Fabian Alexis                               Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

Okanagan Indian Band                         Okanagan Nation Alliance Chairperson



Note:  A Facebook Group Site has been developed “Browns Creek Protection For Our Watershed”.  Contact our Territorial Stewardship Division if you require further information (250) 542-3444 or 542-7132.



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