Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands

Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and TNG Chief Joe Alphonse ride to the meeting place Friday at Xeni Gwet’in where Trudeau exonerated six hanged war chiefs of 1864 before Tsilhqot’in members. Angie Mindus photosPrime Minister Justin Trudeau and TNG Chief Joe Alphonse ride to the meeting place Friday at Xeni Gwet’in where Trudeau exonerated six hanged war chiefs of 1864 before Tsilhqot’in members. Angie Mindus photos
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands
Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands

About two hundred Tsilhqot’ins gathered in the Nemiah Valley Friday to witness Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally apology and exonerate six of the Nation’s war chiefs who were hanged in 1864.

It was a picturesque scene at about 1 p.m. when Trudeau and Chief Joe Alphonse, TNG chairman, galloped into the grassy area flanked by snow-capped mountains to start the historic meeting.

Following speeches by the current Tsilhqot’in chiefs, Trudeau took to the microphone, stating he recognized that the war chiefs were only protecting their nation which was under threat by another at the time when they were lured to a meeting in Quesnel by colonial officials for peace talks and were instead arrested, tried and hanged.

“Those were mistakes that our government profoundly regrets and is determined to set right,” Trudeau said.

“The treatment of the Tsilhqot’in chiefs represents a betrayal of trust, an injustice that you have carried for more than 150 years.”

The chiefs that perished on Oct. 26, 1864 near Quesnel were Head War Chief Lhats’as?in (Lhas-awss-een); Chief Biyil (pe-yal); Chief Tellot (tay-lot); Chief Tahpitt (ta-peet); Chief Chayses (chay-sus); and Chief Ahan (a-han) who was hanged in New Westminister in 1865.

Those who took part in the day Friday said they felt happy about the exoneration from Canada, but also sad that their war chiefs had to give their lives to protect their lands. He said they hoped now they rest in peace.

Chief Joe Alphonse said the meeting on traditional lands was an enjoyable, relaxing experience for him compared to going to Ottawa in March to the House of Commons where Trudeau first formally exonerated the war chiefs.

Read More: Prime Minister Trudeau formally exonerates Tsilhqot’in war chiefs

He said he was very pleased that the Prime Minister accepted the invitation to come to the title lands so that the TNG members could hear for themselves the exoneration.

Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua thanked Trudeau for coming to title lands and said he was proud of his Tsilhqot’in people.

“I’m so excited to keep moving forward and it’s an honour and I thank Justin Trudeau for being the first prime minister to come to title lands and to set history right.”

Chief Russell Myers Ross said he hoped the apology would allow for meaningful government-to-government work moving forward.

After the formal apology and exoneration, the Nation presented Trudeau with a special gift — a replica of the buckskin jacket given to his father which was made at that time by Tsilhqot’in member Julie Gilpin. Julie was on hand to present the new jacket, made by her daughter Denise Gilpin, to Trudeau.

“It fits perfect,” Trudeau said, smiling and noting all his dad’s jackets were small for him.

Trudeau then made his way into the crowd to greet as many people as he could before making the long journey back to Williams Lake by vehicle, the same way he came in, and flying out of the airport there.

Payel Laceese, a grandson to Julie and son to Denise, said he hoped the meeting would bring healing.

“Our people can let that go without there being that grudge,” he said, adding he felt there was a special connection with Trudeau, due to the history with the jacket.

“It’s not just a nation-to-nation relationship, it’s family-to-family.”

Former Xeni Gwet’in chief Annie Williams also thought the meeting was exceptional.

“It’s hard to believe he was here,” she said as the convoy pulled away. “It felt like he was one of us.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Ater-group Airon Slug identified during YES’s Bio-Blitz. (Yellow Point Ecological Society photo)
Yellow Point Ecological Society’s Bio-Blitz a big success

The Yellow Point Ecological Society held their first-ever Bio-Blitz over the weekend… Continue reading

Grade 12 LSS student Catherine Sampson, Grade 8 LSS student Cianna Vincent, and LSS Aboriginal Education teacher Brenda Kohlruss led the LSS ceremony honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith Secondary ceremony honours missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

A small ceremony was held in the LSS foyer on the National Day of Awareness for MMIWG

Peter and Wayne Richmond and 49th Parallel Grocery won the award for Business Achievement 20+ Employees at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s 22nd Black Tie Awards on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Submitted)
Ladysmith businesses recognized at Black Tie Awards

Black Tie Awards are given annually by the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce

Ladysmith’s Town Council met on May 4 and set a 0.52 percent increase for 2021 property taxes. (Town of Ladysmith/YouTube)
Town of Ladysmith sets 0.52 percent tax increase for 2021

Mayor Aaron Stone praises the increase as among the ‘lowest in the province’

The CVRD introduces new app to contact residents during emergencies. (CVRD photo)
CVRD launches new app to spread information during emergencies

Cowichan Alert is a free app that can be downloaded onto smartphones, computers

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found unresponsive at Saanich jail

Man was in Victoria police custody the day before being found

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Most Read