A Secwepemc man who was a key figure in the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff in B.C. has died. William Jones Ignace, known as Wolverine, was 82 years old.
The standoff began in 1995 when about 20 First Nations occupied a piece of ranch land near 100-Mile House that they said was sacred and part of a larger tract of unceded territory.
In response the RCMP brought in 400 armed officers, backed by helicopters and armoured personnel carriers, blew up a supply pick-up truck with buried explosives, and fired thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Both sides exchanged gunfire and one person was injured but no one was killed in the confrontation.
Wolverine spent five years in jail for his role in the standoff.
In January, 2016, Wolverine and other protesters began calling for a national inquiry into the level of force used by the RCMP during the 31-day confrontation.
"He leaves with us a great legacy of indigenous resistance, struggle and victory. He is widely respected and loved, not only by his family, community and Secwepemc Nation, but throughout the world as well," stated the Ts'Peten Defence Committee, in a Facebook post.
According to Wolverine's granddaughter, Chelsea Sampson, he had been battling cancer when he died on March 22, 2016.