Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Arrest of Wolverine: 1995-2016

Continental Commission Abya Yala
Calls for Extension of Public Inquiry of the Gustafsen Lake Stand-Off (1995)

International Call to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery

When William Jones Ignace, known as Wolverine, walked out of the Ts'Peten Sun Dance grounds on September 17, 1995 he carried a Writ of Arrest to serve upon the representatives of Her Majesty the Queen of England in the Right of Canada who had besieged the camp for 31 days.  The 20 defenders of the Ts’Peten Sun Dance camp were surrounded at one point by 400 officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who fired some 70,000 rounds of live fire into the Sundance compound during conflict, located in Secwepemec (Shuswap) territory.

Wolverine also carried, and still does, the prayers of a continental Indigenous Peoples movement of resistance, rebellion, and regeneration in assertion of the full exercise of our rights of self-determination as Original Nations of Mother Earth.

The Writ of Arrest was put into Wolverine’s hands to serve upon the Canadian government by the Continental Commission of Indigenous Nations and Organizations (CONIC), who previously in January of 1994 had also intervened in Chiapas, Mexico in similar fashion to avert the total massacre of the Maya Nations of Indigenous Peoples during the uprising of the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (EZLN).

Unfortunately in Chiapas January '94, by the time the CONIC had assembled a delegation of International Indigenous Human Rights Observers the bloodbath was already fully underway with over 200 casualties due to the open armed rebellion of the EZLN against the accelerated pogrom of genocide against the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico to be instituted under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

William Jones Ignace, the Wolverine, is now 82 and in poor health, yet still he is calling for a national public inquiry into the level of force used by the RCMP during the confrontation also known as the Gustafsen Lake Stand-off.

Responding to the call by Wolverine, the Continental Commission Abya Yala now returns to lend solidarity and support once again to the cause of unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Secwepemec Nation by echoing the call for public inquiry into the standing of the settler state interests under the Crown of England in the Right of Canada as claimed under the colonial Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom.

Known within the context of the Roman Civil Law system in Mexico as the concept of "Original Property of the Nation", and within the US legal system as "Eminent Domain", the claim in Canada of "Crown Title" by the settler state government is also based upon the purported jurisdiction ascribed to these three governments under the Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom (1492) as designated under the Papal Bulls of Pope Alexander VI Inter Caetera (1493).

The Continental Commission Abya Yala has reissued the original Writ of Arrest made by CONIC in 1995, and in the context of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) called for extension of the Public Inquiry to include the collusion of corporate and government interests in violation of the rights of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples within the context of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the impending Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

To be continued...


As caretakers of Mother Earth we acknowledge and recognize the ongoing impacts of climate change which affects us all, and that the most severe impacts will befall future generations. The denial of this reality by political leaders at the highest level in the world today amounts to the criminal violations of the human rights of future generations which we will not allow to continue.

As a coalition of nations of indigenous peoples that have agreed to work together, we are calling again to our younger brothers of the immigrant settler republics of the Americas to recognize the collective trauma of colonization, and the ongoing destruction to the natural world which has brought the human species to the threat of extinction.



This preliminary study establishes that the Doctrine of Discovery has been institutionalized in law and policy, on national and international levels, and lies at the root of the violations of indigenous peoples’ human rights, both individual and collective. This has resulted in State claims to and the mass appropriation of the lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples. Both the Doctrine of Discovery and a holistic structure that we term the Framework of Dominance have resulted in centuries of virtually unlimited resource extraction from the traditional territories of indigenous peoples. This, in turn, has resulted in the dispossession and impoverishment of indigenous peoples, and the host of problems that they face today on a daily basis.

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