B.C. First Nations chief charged with sexual offence involving minor
VICTORIA — A First Nations chief in British Columbia is facing a charge of sexual interference of a person under the age of 16.
The British Columbia prosecution service says Roger William of the Xeni Gwet’in is alleged to have committed the offence in Williams Lake, B.C., on or about May 12 and was expected to make his first court appearance on Wednesday. It says special prosecutor Brock Martland approved the charge after he was appointed on Monday because the assistant deputy attorney general considered the matter in the public interest. William, a former champion bull rider, was a leading figure in a Supreme Court of Canada decision that granted the Tsilhqot’in Aboriginal title to more than 1,750 square kilometres of land in the Nemiah Valley, a mountainous area with pristine lakes, alpine valleys and wild horses.
The decision in 2014 was the first time a Canadian court declared Aboriginal title to lands outside of a reserve.
The Xeni Gwet’in First Nation is one of six Tsilhqot’in communities.