Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Residential School Survivors Occupy Vancouver Church

International Media Statement, For Immediate Release

The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (Vancouver)
Sunday, February 15, 2009 - on Squamish Nation territory ("Vancouver, Canada")

Residential School Survivors Occupy St. Andrew's Wesley United Church to Protect the Remains of Children Killed at the Alberni Residential School

Two dozen aboriginal survivors of the Indian residential schools non-violently occupied St. Andrew's Wesley United Church in Vancouver today to stop the destruction of the grave sites of children who died at the former Alberni Indian Residential School.

The protestors entered the church sanctuary as the worship service commenced and unfurled a banner declaring "All The Children Need A Proper Burial". After leafletting the congregation and making a statement, the protestors left, vowing to return if the United Church did not surrender the remains of native children who died under their care and halt further destruction of their burial sites.

The occupation was prompted by the partial destruction this week of the last building of the United Church's former Alberni Indian residential school, where eyewitnesses claim that the remains of former students are buried.

"They're destroying the evidence of their crime, and under the law, that's a crime" said Bingo, a survivor of the Alert Bay residential school. "We're not listening to their bullshit anymore. We'll be back with more people next time."

Squamish hereditary Chief Kiapilano, who legally evicted the United Church from his territory last March, endorsed the occupation and called for similar actions by other residential school survivors. These occupations of United Churches during their Sunday services will continue and will escalate until the fallen children are brought home, their killers are brought to justice, and the residential school crime sites are all protected.

Issued by The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (Vancouver)
Contact: 1-888-265-1007 or 250-753-3345

Note: A video transcript of today's occupation will be posted this week on the website, above, and is available on request.

Read and Hear the truth of Genocide in Canada, past and present, at thiswebsite:

"Kevin [Annett] is more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than many who have received it in the past."- Dr. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"A courageous and inspiring man." (referring to Kevin Annett)- Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Belfast, Northern Ireland"

The very lands we all along enjoyed
they ravished from the people they destroyed ...
All the long pretenses of descent
are shams of right to prop up government.
'Tis all invasion, usurpation all;
'Tis all by fraud and force that we possess,
and length of time can make no crime the less;
Religion's always on the strongest side."

- Daniel Defoe, Jure Divino (England, 1706) From: Eagle Strong Voice
Story Source: The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (Vancouver)
Image Source:

Native Rights News is making this material available as the result of a press release issued by The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (Vancouver). We are publishing the image from in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine codified at Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107: This article is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information. Distribution of this material is for research and educational purposes that will promote social and economic justice and benefit society.

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