Sit-in aims to oust chief

Sit-in aims to oust chief
Natives plan to stay outside band offices until Stan Dixon resigns

Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2007

SECHELT – Sechelt First Nation members barricaded the band offices Tuesday in an attempt to force the resignation of Chief Stan Dixon, who accepted the RCMP’s apology for pepper-spraying a crowd of people June 30.

About 50 band members then staged a sit-in outside the chained and padlocked administrative offices.

Signs reading: “Our elders are watching you” and “Stan isn’t our man” were placed around the site.

The protesters, who tucked into a barbecue lunch of hotdogs and hamburgers, said they will remain outside the offices until the chief quits.

About 25 people who work in the administrative offices were unable to get inside.

“That was the last straw on the back: that he accepted the apology without the consent of council and without consulting people who were pepper sprayed,” said protester Wesley Jeffries, a former councillor.

“He’s making decisions on his own. We need a chief to work for the people.”

The call for Dixon’s resignation came the morning after a regular band council meeting at which a video of the pepper-spray incident was shown.

Fourteen people — six of them children — were taken to hospital after police used pepper spray against a procession of 20 vehicles from the Sechelt Nation celebrating the victory of two teams in a youth soccer tourney.

Sechelt RCMP made a formal apology last week, saying police were trying to control nearby adults and hadn’t intended to spray any children.

On Tuesday, Dixon defended his decision, saying it was a start at reconciling the rift between the police and the band, and an investigation into the incident is more important.

Investigators from Vancouver were expected to head to Sechelt today to start the internal investigation.

Dixon said there is nothing in the band’s constitution that would require him to resign. He can only be thrown out, he said, if he has a criminal record, owes money to the band, is involved in an illicit love affair or is abusing drugs and alcohol.

Dixon’s three-year term as chief runs out next April.

“My integrity is intact,” he said. “I’m not going to bow down to a resignation for something that’s not my fault.” He said there are no plans to have police evict the protesters as some of the councillors are involved in the sit-in.

——————————————————————————————

“Members call for chief’s resignation”, Coast Reporter (July 13 – 19, 2007)

Vancouver Solidarity with Sechelt Nation

14 Sechelt Natives Pepper-Sprayed by Cops

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One Response to “Sit-in aims to oust chief”

  1. I didn’t know this but I have uncles and relatives involved in this. Some calls need to be made tomorrow.

    Thanks for the posts.

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