Tag Archives: Grace Islet

Grace Islet’s Salvation Is In Sight

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Grace Islet’s Salvation is in sight. Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource, announced the Province is partnering with local First Nations and the Nature Conservancy of Canada to preserve the First Nations burial site.  Though negotiations with the owner have not concluded, many are are celebrating a victory.

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From An Era When First Nation’s People Were Regarded As Savages

The ECOreport looks at the situation on Grace Islet & sees that  British Columbia’s Cemetery Act descends from an era when First Nations were regarded as savages.

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The construction you see above occurred because the government refused to intervene after the owner took out the right permit. It was built on Grace Islet, a recognized First Nation’s burial site in Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island. This could not have happened in a white graveyard. It is only possible because British Columbia’s Cemetery Act descends from an era when First Nations were regarded as savages.
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A State Of Disgrace

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The person who sent the picture above called it a “state of disgrace.” If Grace Islet were a White burial ground, instead of a First Nations burial Islet, that house would not be under construction. European graves are protected under British Columbia’s Cemetery Act. First Nations graves that pre-date the colonial era are treated differently.  They can be dug up, the bones put in museums and, in the case of Grace Islet, houses can built over top of them.  The Ministry responsible knows this is a burial islet, but says it  excuses its unwillingness to act by saying the owner took out the appropriate permit.

Vigil on Burnaby Mountain

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Broadcast on Cortes Community Radio (CKTZ, 89.5 FM), Salt Spring Island Radio (107.9 & 102.1 FM GREEN) & Powell River Community Radio (CJMP, 90.1 FM)

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Barry Slawsky Drops Grace Islet Suit

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Barry Slawsky’s lawyer  filed a notice of discontinuance from his legal suit against the defenders of Grace Islet.  It is clear the brief occupation of the Islet cannot be dismissed as a simple case of trespass. First Nations leaders view this situation as blatant racism on the part of the BC Government, which has refused to protect one of their ancestral burial islets because Slawsky had a building permit.

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BC Indian Chiefs passed a resolution in support of Grace Islet

By Roy L Hales

As you can hear in the video below, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs passed a resolution in support of Grace Islet Burial site. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip made the announcement at a demonstration at the provincial legislature, in Victoria, yesterday. He said the vote was unanimous.

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A Stop Work Order for the Construction on Grace Islet

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Chief Don Tom, of Tsartlip First Nations issued a Stop Work Order for the construction on Grace Islet. A segment of screen fencing, below the high water mark, was removed so that he could land on the First Nations burial islet. The group accompanying him waited for two RCMP constables, who were given a copy of the order. Chief Tom also fastened a copy to the fence above the high water mark.

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Sept 10: Rally for Grace Islet in Victoria

From Joe Akerman, Donna Martin, Phil Vernon, Briony Penn, Andrea Palframan, Sandra Leckie & Jean Wilkinson for Protect Grace Islet, Salt Spring Residents for Responsible Land Use & Salt Spring Islanders for Justice and Reconciliation

Please join us at the Deputy Minister’s office at 820 Blanshard St. in Victoria from 11:30-12:30 on Wednesday Sept. 10. Together with Chief Vern Jacks and other First Nation leaders and elders, we’ll be asking the Minister to give a clear statement to British Columbians, to bring a just resolution to this issue, and to protect the Grace Islet ancient burial ground.

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Some Might Call it Trespassing

By Roy L Hales

Some might call it trespassing. Others will ask who was trespassing? The 38 people who landed on Grace Islet today? The government that sold a First Nations burial ground without consulting with the previous owners? Or Barry Slawsky, the Alberta businessman who purchased this islet and, fully aware that it is a burial islet,  is now erecting a house there?

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The Need to Expropriate Grace Islet

 Updates from Two Salt Spring Island Residents

In case anyone does not know, Grace Islet is a recognized First Nations burial islet that juts into Ganges Harbour on Salt Spring Island. It was zoned residential, sold and now the provincial Government is letting someone build a house on it. This would not be allowed if Grace Islet were a White burial ground, but this is British Columbia and the graves belong to First Nations People. There have been two recent updates on the need to expropriate Grace Islet:

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