First Nations representatives will take part in a ceremony Monday to honour of six Tsilhqot’in chiefs wrongfully executed 151 years ago.
Members of the Tsilhqot’in National Government will be on hand at New Westminster Secondary School, a site known to have remains of Tsilhqot’in War Chief Ahan.
On July 18, 1865, Chief Ahan was the last of six war Chiefs hanged during the Chilcotin War of 1864/65.
As one of the Chiefs that protected territory from further disease and unlawful land-taking, TNG Tribal Chair, Chief Joe Alphonse says Chief Ahan’s legacy is far reaching. Alphonse says the TNG has concerns about School District 40’s plans to build a new school and convert the current school grounds to a memorial site.
“The location of Chief Ahan’s remains is of great importance to us. We have let our position be known and are here to determine whether there can be proper protections put in place. The best case scenario would be the relocation of these remains to our territory. Although we are in New Westminster today – this is an issue that is important to us as Tsilhqot’in people,” says Alphonse.
On October 23, 2014, Premier Christy Clark fully exonerated the six war Chiefs of any wrongdoing and recognized them as heroes for protecting their lands and people.