News from Lil’wat Nation: Taking Action about Roaming Horses

As beautiful a sight as it is, to see a herd of wild horses out grazing in big open fields, it’s scary when driving home at dusk, to think there might be horses on the road. Horses at large in our neighbourhood is an issue the leadership at Lil’wat Nation are addressing.

Kudos to Chief and Council.

I work two days a week as a contract writer at the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. I have the chance to write press releases and share out news of things the staff and Board are quietly working on, and one of the things I’ve noticed this year is how many of the Too Hard Basket items are being honestly tackled.

That’s real leadership, and I am grateful to the leaders in these communities of ours, for their hours of service and their willingness to roll up their sleeves and tackle the tricky topics.

This memo from December 9 was shared on the Lil’wat Nation website.


  • Roaming horses need to be addressed now as it is a significant public at risk matter with horses being injured, causing property damage and the appearance of the animals being neglected.
  • The horses need to be contained and taken care of ASAP.
  • The numbers need to be significantly reduced and any remaining animals need to be taken care of and be the responsibility of the owners.
  • If the roaming and neglect issues are not addressed the RCMP will be forced to take action.


The BC Livestock ACT (BCLA) says:

  • Owners are responsible and liable for their livestock
  • Non-branded horses are deemed to be “not owned”
  • Animals are considered to be at large if they leave the owners property
  • As per section 8 of the BCLA, the RCMP are able to capture and seize horse at large if they are on highways or private property
  • There is no “free range”

Course of Action:

  • Líl̓wat Nation would like to work with the owners to address this problem and encourage the significant reduction, if not all, of the removal of these animals.
  • Líl̓wat Nation needs to coordinate with the owners and determine a course of action timeline.
  • Líl̓wat  Nation will provide transportation for the removal of the animals for direct sale in Kamloops. The livestock yards will re-open January 9, 2017.
  • The owners need to determine ownership of each animal and a Manifest will need to be created prior to transportation and sale. The horses will need to be sorted out, ownership determined and the fate off each animal decided. This needs to be done in a coordinated fashion and Li̓l̓wat Nation will do whatever is needed to support this prior to shipping.
  • All sales proceeds will go to the owners identified in the Manifest.
  • As soon as practical, Líl̓wat will secure and feed the horses at the Rodeo Grounds until the week of January 9, 2017 to limit the amount of liability and to protect the horses and public.

2 thoughts on “News from Lil’wat Nation: Taking Action about Roaming Horses

  1. josefkuhn says:

    I once had the good fortune to connect with Albert Josef, a Lil’wat elder, who knew far more about horses than I ever will. Do you have an e-mail address or phone # for him? Thank you ~ Josef.


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