Trudeau needs to take a hard second look at the Site C dam: AFN, Amnesty
By Perry Bellegarde and Alex Neve | Dec 9, 2015 11:35 am
Every day, federal and provincial governments make decisions about resource development projects. Some are relatively benign decisions, with few or no impacts on First Nations rights. Others carry the potential for massive and irreversible impacts on the rights of First Nations.
British Columbia’s planned Site C hydroelectric dam falls into the latter category. It will have devastating impacts on the rights and territories of Treaty 8 First Nations in B.C. Approval for Site C means approval for flooding the last pristine stretch of the Peace River valley west of Fort St. John, turning it into a massive reservoir.
Indigenous peoples in northeastern B.C. rely on the Peace Valley to provide for their families and maintain their way of life. It is a wellspring of their culture — a place to hunt, fish, gather plant medicines and engage in ceremony. The rich valley floor and hillsides are particularly important in a region already squeezed by the construction of two large dams and massive, ongoing oil and gas development. There are fewer and fewer places left where Indigenous Peoples can exercise these crucial rights.
Site C would submerge graves and destroy sites of unique cultural and historic importance, prime farmland important to Indigenous and non-Indigenous families and wipe out some of the last, nearly-pristine ecosystems in the region.
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