Several Syilx leaders with the Okanagan Nation Alliance were at Penticton’s courthouse Wednesday to show support for three Penticton Indian Band members facing illegal hunting charges.
Cole Kruger, Felix Thomas Kruger and Fred Kruger were all charged Nov. 21 last year with Wildlife Act offences related to a Jan. 29, 2017 incident.
The trio are facing charges of possessing a dead elk without a licence or permit, trespassing and discharging a firearm in a no-shooting area.
Just a day after the three were charged, Fred Kruger was elected to PIB council in a byelection that filled five vacant seats left open by resignations just a year after the band’s regular election.
Among those present at the courthouse Wednesday, PIB Chief Chad Eneas, Coun. Elliot Tonasket, Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Keith Crow and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip appear alongside citizens, including elders and children, in photos on the Okanagan Nation Alliance Facebook page.
Pictures show members and leaders drumming and singing in a circle near the front entrance of the courthouse, where the trio made their first appearance before a judge.
Their next court date is Jan. 31, according to the Court Services Online website, with the reason for the appearance posted as “to consult (legal) counsel.”