Canada

Gustafsen revisited

Some native leaders are upset about an RCMP awards ceremony held Friday. It was a ceremony held to honour members who served at Gustafsen Lake.

The RCMP handed out awards to more than 350 officers and civilians involved in the Gustafsen Lake standoff five years ago.

Friday's ceremonies at Vancouver's Seaforth Armouries honoured people for "bravery and outstanding service."

The president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says he's outraged by the awards. Stewart Phillip says Gustafsen was a disgusting example of police using force to stifle the voices of native people

The RCMP say they are sensitive about Gustafsen Lake. That's why Friday's ceremonies were low-key, but say they wanted to recognize a job well done.

Police and native militants faced off at Gustafsen Lake in the southern Cariboo, in a month-long land dispute in the late summer of 1995.

It was a hostile, tense situation. At one point, police opened fire on a vehicle driven by natives. No one was injured.