(Secwepemc Territory/Kamloops, BC – December 11, 2017) This morning, the BC NDP government made the decision to continue construction on the Site C hydro-electric Dam project over the objections of the Prophet River, West Moberly First Nations and other First Nation organizations. The Site C hydroelectric project will be the third in a series of dams constructed on the Peace River since the late 1960’s. The Peace River Valley is a culturally and environmentally unique microclimate with high agricultural value and the capability to provide a sustainably produced supply of fresh fruits and vegetables to over a million people; however, this decision will see the flooding over 9330 hectares of Treaty 8 First Nation territories forever, including 120 kilometers of the Peace River further impeding its flow northward, destroying burial sites, traditional hunting and gathering places, and sacred spaces.
The Provincial and Federal governments’ decision to proceed and issue permits with respect to the Site C Dam was made without the full, prior and informed consent of Treaty 8 First Nations, and in contrast to the findings of the joint federal and provincial environmental impact assessment which clearly stated that the Site C dam will undermine Indigenous and Treaty 8 rights.
Regional Chief Terry Teegee stated, “While I appreciate the difficult nature of the decision Provincial Cabinet had to make, I am disappointed that in spite of their stated commitment to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples they have chosen to proceed with the destruction of the Peace River and the abrogation of Treaty 8 rights.” Regional Chief continued, “In deciding to continue construction without the free, prior and informed consent of the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations, the BC government has failed in their first test to all Indigenous Peoples, and failed to embrace a new vision for a clean renewable energy future for BC.”
West Moberly and Prophet River have pledged to continue to use all available processes and legal options to oppose the construction of the Site C Hydroelectric Dam, and the BCAFN will continue to stand with them throughout this process.
For further information, contact:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee
BC Assembly of First Nations