STRACHAN, Bruce




Author Tags: First Nations

After a high-speed, 67-kilometre chase on the icy West Pavilion Road, on Christmas Eve, 1993, an RCMP officer shot and killed Rusty Michell, an armed and drunken member of the Lillooet First Nation. Of the three officers who pursued Michell in two vehicles, two were Status Indians. An inquest one year later absolved RCMP Sargeant Al Olsen of culpability in the homicide, given that Michell had been on a violent rampage that night and he had allegedly threatened to kill Olsen with a rifle at the scene, but Bridge River Indian Band Chief Saul Terry criticized the police for lack of caution. Bruce Strachan’s Hazardous Pursuit (1995) is the result of his year-long investigation of the incident and the strained relations between Aboriginals and police in the Lillooet area—home to the Stl’At’Lmx Nation Tribal Police, the first Aboriginal police in British Columbia, established in 1991. “There are no heroes on these pages,” Strachan writes. “….We have condemned native people to life on reserves, stripped away the connections to their heritage and given them no hope for the future. Then we send armed police officers to protect us when the anguish and outrage of over a century of injustice turns violently against us.” A former Social Credit cabinet minister, Strachan has been a bar-room piano player, a tire salesman and an education administrator. He has written separate columns on politics and cars for The Prince George Citizen and hosted a weekly radio show in Prince George where he has lived since 1966.

BOOKS:

Strachan, Bruce. Hazardous Pursuit (Caitlin, 1995).

[BCBW 2005] "First Nations"