Building bridges or driving a wedge?

To the editor;

Re: Simpcw First Nation Speaks on Wells Grey Cave, Feb., 28, 2019

I agree that the province should be working with First Nations in planning the future of the cave. However, the above article creates many questions that need to be answered.

According to Chief Shelly Loring, the “Secwepemc have evidence of its existence and are consulting their archives for further information”. She is also quoted as saying, “The Secwepemc have had knowledge of its existence since time immemorial”. I look forward to seeing what evidence Shelly has to offer. I think that before anything happens at the cave site, there should be an archaeology dig and any artifacts should be carbon dated if possible.

Shelly said that they’re not necessarily opposed to sharing the cave with Canadians. I have to ask if that comment is Shelly’s idea of truth and reconciliation. That’s not building bridges; that’s driving a wedge. The best example of that happened in Clearwater late last summer when Annie and the Tiny House Warriors took over the North Thompson Provincial Park to protest the Trans Mountain Pipeline. After being arrested and evicted, they went to Blue River where some restaurants and gas stations were so disgusted that they refused to serve them. Is this what the Wells Grey cave situation is coming to?

I remember back in the l980’s when I attended a meeting where one of the guest speakers was then-chief Ron Ignace. I always remember his closing statement: “It’s time the red willow bent the other way”. This brings me to the last part of Shelly’s closing statement: “……all work and planning with respect to the cave will be suspended until we sit down and pave a path forward together”. Shelly, before this can happen, the red willow can’t bend to the left or right, but stand tall and look forward.

Jim Lamberton,

The Rambling Man

Clearwater, B. C.

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