Members of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs are mourning the sudden death of Art Manuel.
Manuel passed away at the age of 65 from congestive heart failure.
He served for many years as Chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band, Chair of the Shuswap National Tribal Council and Leader for the Interior Alliance.
Union of BC Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says Manuel was an iconic leader.
“He was a strong, outspoken member of our chiefs council at the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, he’s traveled extensively, representing the indigenous environmental network throughout the world, championing the cause of indigenous rights, our in land rights and human rights.”
Phillip says Manuel was also an outspoken critic of the B.C. treaty process.
“He stood on our inherent right of self determination and the fact we are still sovereign and indigenous nations within the context of the Canadian system of government.”
Phillip says Manuel worked “relentlessly” on land claim issues.