*Update Jan.8th-First Nations prepare for arrest to stop Site C dam, ask Prime Minister to suspend Federal approval

UPDATED January 8th-2016 – new release by Grand Chief Stewart Philip 

NEWS RELEASE
January 8th, 2016

UBCIC Calls on BC Hydro to Back off from Peaceful Site C Protestors in Treaty 8 Territory

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C.- January 8th, 2016) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is denouncing BC Hydro’s deliberately provocative and reckless attempts at fast tracking construction on the proposed Site C project despite the legal uncertainty of the project moving forward.

Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land have been camped out at the historic Rocky Mountain Fort Camp since late December to defend their traditional territory in the face of the proposed $9 billion Site C dam, which would flood 107 kilometers of the Peace River and its tributaries. Local landowners have also joined in the fight.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of UBCIC, stated, “We are absolutely outraged that BC Hydro is working at the proposed dam site when critical court proceedings are in motion and a decision on Site C proceeding has yet to be determined. Yesterday, BC Hydro moved equipment in toward the camp, despite publicly saying they are speaking with Site C dam protestors and local authorities to try to peacefully end the standoff. The RCMP made three arrests at the north bank entrance of the project yesterday morning including a former regional district director. We are deeply concerned that BC Hydro’s actions are increasing tensions on the ground.”

Through formal resolutions, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs fully supports the efforts of Treaty 8 First Nations to ensure that their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights are honoured and preserved.

Grand Chief Phillip concluded “We continue to urge the provincial and federal governments to immediately cease proceeding with the proposed Site C dam project until such time as the Site C court proceedings are complete and the Site C Dam proposal is properly reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission. Further provocations on the part of BC Hydro will only serve to escalate tensions in an already volatile situation.”

For further information, contact:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Phone: (250) 490-5314

January 7th,2016

http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/first-nations-prepare-for-arrest-to-stop-site-c-dam-564495361.html

Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land call on Trudeau to stop megadam in B.C.’s Peace Valley

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FORT CAMP, BC, Jan. 7, 2016 /CNW/ – First Nations members camped out at an historic fort site slated for destruction by the Site C dam say they are prepared to face arrest to protect their traditional territory.

Joined by local landowners, Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land say they will not permit BC Hydro to proceed with plans to clear-cut forests around the Rocky Mountain Fort site on the west side of the Moberly River. The site, selected by explorer Alexander Mackenzie, was the first trading post in mainland B.C. and is situated in the traditional territory of Treaty 8 First Nations.

The $9 billion Site C dam would flood 107-kilometres of the scenic Peace River and its tributaries, including the traditional hunting and fishing grounds of Treaty 8 First Nations. In late December, despite three on-going First Nations court cases against the dam, BC Hydro built a bridge across the mouth of the Moberly River in preparation for logging in the proposed reservoir area.

In addition to its legal, economic, political and archaeological significance to indigenous and non-indigenous people, the camp is the gateway to the rest of the threatened Peace Valley. BC Hydro has served notice that the camp must be dismantled.

“Logging and flooding this part of the Peace Valley will irreversibly harm our ability to hunt, fish, trap and exercise other constitutionally-protected Treaty Rights, especially since much of the rest of Treaty 8 Territory has been devastated by other hydro-electric, oil and gas and industrial developments,” said Art Napoleon, “To have any meaning, these treaty rights require a land base and waterways where there are wildlife and fish, and which is capable of supporting a diversity of plant life. Treaty rights also include management level decision-making to protect moose calving grounds, medicine harvesting and berry picking, and spiritual practices – all of which will be obliterated by Site C.”

A delegation of First Nations chiefs told Prime Minister Trudeau’s key Cabinet members in December that suspending federal approval of the Site C dam is a critical litmus test of his government’s promised new relationship with Indigenous Peoples.

“The Prime Minister says that Canada’s most important relationship is with its Indigenous Peoples and that he promises to uphold and respect Treaty Rights,” said Helen Knott, “This is what we are trying to do at a grassroots level.  I speak as Great Great Granddaughter of Chief Bigfoot, the last to sign Treaty 8 in 1911, and I am trying to honour my Grandfather’s original intent and uphold those rights he meant to protect.  I ask Prime Minister Trudeau to also honour that original intent.”

“We applaud the court cases being brought by West Moberly, Prophet River and others, but they take time to wind their way through the courts.  Meanwhile, before the court cases are even heard, BC Hydro is destroying the very valley that these court cases are intended to protect.  The way I see it, they are stealing from future generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.  We are not here just for us but for the ones that will come after us,” said Helen Knott. “As individual Treaty 8 First Nation members, we cannot stand by. Do I want to be arrested? No, I am here peacefully doing what I believe is right and needed but this land is a part of who I am and I will take a stand for it. Prime Minister Trudeau can stop BC Hydro from destroying the Peace Valley. Until he does, we will”.

SOURCE Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land

For further information: Helen Knott, Prophet River First Nation member and Treaty 8 Steward of the Land, at (250) 280 2277; Art Napoleon, Saulteau First Nations member and Treaty 8 Steward of the Land, at (250) 818 5626

 

BACKPOSTS/HISTORY:

1) BC Hydro issues eviction notice under cover of  New Years Eve https://lailayuile.com/2016/01/02/bc-hydro-issues-rocky-mountain-fort-campers-at-site-c-a-24-hour-eviction-notice-on-new-years-eve/

2) A litmus test for ‘Real Change’ : where is Justin Trudeau on Site C? Why isn’t new federal government investigating why Harper invoked cabinet secrecy on Site C decison? https://lailayuile.com/2016/01/04/the-litmus-test-for-real-change-where-is-prime-minister-justin-trudeau-on-sitec/

3) ( photos of demonstration here)  Separate demonstration at Site C BC Hydro gates results in three arrests, including Arthur Hadland- long time former Peace River politician https://lailayuile.com/2016/01/06/longtime-peace-river-politician-and-site-c-opponent-arthur-hadland-arrested-at-site-c-demonstration-today

 

14 thoughts on “*Update Jan.8th-First Nations prepare for arrest to stop Site C dam, ask Prime Minister to suspend Federal approval

  1. Jack Hackett

    Don’t stand a chance stopping this project unless the courts order such. This project is being built to supply the LNG plants with power. Then the LNG plants will be able to undercut other producers who are made to process the LNG with their own product, this being Natural Gas.

    Like

    1. Laila

      It’s already been determined that the plants would supply their own power by a natural gas power plants. That reason fell by the wayside long ago.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-12-10/british-columbia-clark-optimistic-on-lng-despite-oil-rout

      We don’t even need it. If BC hydro brought the planned Revelstoke 6 online we’d still be fine. http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/286625931.html

      No, this is really another foolhardy legacy project that is going to sink this province so far in debt that the light from the other side of that debt won’t be seen for many generations. Like the Massey Bridge.
      But she can say that was a project she got done.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Once again the idle no more FNs are leading the way. Without them, where would effective dissent come from? The NDP? I’d rather vote FN! Seriously, right now our voice is that of the old and the indigenous. What does that say about the majority aside from impotence and ignorance, complacency and subjugation? Are we also mute and shackled?

    Like

  3. e.a.f.

    If arrests start, then the media may cover this. If this becomes a First Nations Treaty Issue it may get some traction especially if the organizers can attract some international media. it would be nice if they could get the British paper, The Guardian to cover some of this. they have huge international readership.

    In my opinion Christy has promised too many of her “friends” contracts to back down now. She’ll turn this into a fight between her and whomever. The aim now is to have her target a group, which she won’t get much traction with targeting.

    This is all about the money to be made on this project. It would be interesting to know who got what contracts and who much they contributed to the B.C. Lieberals. Same goes for the Massey Bridge. it will make a lot of money for some and the taxpayers are on the hook for decades. Christy and her “friends” get to retire and live long happy lives. what more could you want?

    Like

  4. All other avenues for fair play having been cut off by the governments, long, persistent, and well peopled, non violent civil disobedience is the only option left; not only to the First Nations but also all residents especially farmers.

    Civil disobedience has been the principal tool of all seekers of freedoms since time immemorial. It spawned and then protected every single concession to the people by the establishment in history.

    The establishment does not care about other people’s rights and uses its de facto control over the instruments of government to have its own way in all things. If you think I exaggerate start with Magna Carta, work your way through the Peterloo massacre, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Suffragettes, the modern Womens’ Movement, the throwing off of colonial chains, finally, after World War II and later, the fall of the Berlin wall and the list goes on.

    Censorship in the UK, Canada, and the United States has persisted for centuries and is picking up steam.

    There is only one defence to the “soft” tyranny of the “establishment” and that is to refuse to obey.

    They control the means of passing and supporting laws that suit them then piously tell the world that they have the law on their side.

    The people of the Peace River are fighting for all of us and we must support them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Debbie McBride

    Right you are Rafe. I know there is bemoaning that it seems that only the old and the indigenous (both groups I belong to) seem to be stepping up to the plate in this fight.

    The fact is we are the ones who can do this. It has always been the Elders who have the knowledge, the time and the ability to stand against the shortsighted, ego boosting “legacy” mega projects those in power force on the ordinary citizens.

    Truth is, I remember being pretty disengaged from world and community events in my younger years as my family grew up. Just keeping them alive and on the right path to adulthood took most of my energy and time. Though there were times when I did drag my pubescent and reluctant children to the protests I could get to.

    My experience has taught me that we need to give the younger generation a chance to participate in any way they can.

    I have 8 grandchildren under the age of 10 and I see my kids doing all they can to make the world better for their children. Unfortunately, sitting at a protest site just doesn’t fit because they don’t have nannies to take care of their children.

    However, they are all social media savvy and making sure that the disgrace at the Peace is made a worldwide embarrassment for our politicians. Especially PM Trudeau who has made much of his green intentions.

    This is an issue that can only be resolved by our new Federal government. PM Trudeau has an opportunity here to keep a campaign promise that made in BC and made sure he had a majority government.

    Silence and looking the other way is not an option. It is now the Federal (Trudeau) government that must bring common sense to this amoral flooding of precious land and put a stop to the ego project of BC politicians.

    The Feds are where the focus must be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laila

      New this morning:

      While BC Hydro tells the public they are consulting with campers, in reality they moved equipment towards the camp.

      NEWS RELEASE
      January 8th, 2016
      UBCIC Calls on BC Hydro to Back off from Peaceful Site C Protestors in Treaty 8 Territory
      (Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C.- January 8th, 2016) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is denouncing BC Hydro’s deliberately provocative and reckless attempts at fast tracking construction on the proposed Site C project despite the legal uncertainty of the project moving forward.
      Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land have been camped out at the historic Rocky Mountain Fort Camp since late December to defend their traditional territory in the face of the proposed $9 billion Site C dam, which would flood 107 kilometers of the Peace River and its tributaries. Local landowners have also joined in the fight.
      Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of UBCIC, stated, “We are absolutely outraged that BC Hydro is working at the proposed dam site when critical court proceedings are in motion and a decision on Site C proceeding has yet to be determined. Yesterday, BC Hydro moved equipment in toward the camp, despite publicly saying they are speaking with Site C dam protestors and local authorities to try to peacefully end the standoff. The RCMP made three arrests at the north bank entrance of the project yesterday morning including a former regional district director. We are deeply concerned that BC Hydro’s actions are increasing tensions on the ground.”
      Through formal resolutions, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs fully supports the efforts of Treaty 8 First Nations to ensure that their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights are honoured and preserved.
      Grand Chief Phillip concluded “We continue to urge the provincial and federal governments to immediately cease proceeding with the proposed Site C dam project until such time as the Site C court proceedings are complete and the Site C Dam proposal is properly reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission. Further provocations on the part of BC Hydro will only serve to escalate tensions in an already volatile situation.”
      For further information, contact:
      Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
      President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
      Phone: (250) 490-5314

      Like

  6. r

    post above;equipment misdirection tactic?
    Site C;a mirage in the desert of climate change?
    not pragmatic in the current commodities/energy price collapse enviornment As well as BC dismal track record of overbudget projects and or under performing toll bridges etc.

    Like

    1. Laila

      I fully agree. I have yet to see any response to any reader, from any Liberal MP, including my own sadly.

      Real Change can only be shown by actions, not just on one or two issues, but on many of importance to everyone. This project will impact everyone in the province via their Hydro rates, which people are already having a hard time keeping on top of.

      Email, write, call. But peacefully please.

      Like

  7. Pingback: Cutting through the spin of Energy Minister Bill Bennett’s statements on Global BC News. | No Strings Attached : Laila Yuile on politics and life in B.C.

  8. Pingback: Powerful and compelling words from Treaty 8 Elders at Rocky Mountain Fort Camp,but is anyone in government listening? | No Strings Attached : Laila Yuile on politics and life in B.C.

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