Sam Wilson, an elder in the Cowichan Tribes, is organizing a shut down of the band offices in Duncan on Oct. 4. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Blockade planned for Cowichan Tribes’ band office

Protest by some members set for Oct. 4

Sam Wilson intends to see the Cowichan Tribes’ band offices in Duncan shut down on Oct. 4

Wilson, a Cowichan Tribes’ elder, said he’s appealing for all members of the First Nation to join him in his efforts to hold Chief William Seymour and his council accountable for a number of issues that he claims are negatively impacting them.

RELATED STORY: SEYMOUR RE-ELECTED AS CHIEF OF COWICHAN TRIBES

He said there is a serious failure of fiduciary duty to Cowichan Tribes members by council and they are living in a crisis situation as a result.

Wilson said he told the chief five years ago that he would shut down the administrative offices if there are no solutions to the many issues facing the members by this time, so that’s what he intends to do.

“One of our main concerns is over the certificates of possession of property,” he said.

“Many of our legal estate holders are being pushed off their properties even though they have certificates of possession. Also, we have child welfare concerns. We had dozens of our children abducted a couple of years within a short period of time by our Child and Family Services. That organization is run by the band, but it operates as an entity unto itself.”

Wilson said band members are also concerned about unemployment, early deaths, elder abuse and the inability of the band to provide an acceptable quality of life.

“We want to see all the financial statements, and we would also like to see a new chief and council,” he said.

“I’m asking all band members to come out on Oct. 4 and support us and voice their opinions. We intend to block the gates at the offices at 8 a.m. before most people get there, and we intend to keep the offices closed for as long as we have to.”

Chief William Seymour said Cowichan Tribes has no intentions of closing its offices on Oct. 4.

“I think that it’s unfortunate that Wilson is doing this,” he said.

“I don’t want to talk too much about it right now because I don’t want to promote this planned blockade.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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