David Suzuki and Grand Chief Phillip Travel to Peace Valley Camp to support Treaty 8 Opposition to Site C

NEWS RELEASE

Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

January 12, 2016

(Treaty 8 Territory/Rocky Mountain Fort Camp, B.C. – January 12, 2016) The historic Rocky Mountain Fort Camp in the Peace Valley, populated by Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land and local landowners opposing BC Hydro’s Site C dam, received a high profile visit today from Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and well known environmentalist David Suzuki, who have joined together in their support of Treaty 8 First Nations opposition to the proposed Site C.

"It is infuriating and deeply frustrating that we continue to be confronted with this provocative and aggressive approach from BC Hydro and the Province of British Columbia when Treaty 8's court proceedings have not even been completed and the Site C project has not been properly reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission," said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip. "It is absolutely unacceptable that BC Hydro is relentlessly clear-cutting forests right now to prepare for the flooding of the Peace River Valley, which will destroy archaeological sites and eradicate prime farmland. The proposed Site C project will irreparably harm and adversely impact the environment and the Treaty 8 First Nations and all residents whose lives are entwined with the health of the land and waters.”

BC Hydro is moving ahead with plans to clear-cut forests around the Rocky Mountain Fort site on the west side of the Moberly River in preparation for building the $9 billion mega-dam. 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.

“I thought we had stopped this mega-dam project 30 years ago,” said author and broadcaster David Suzuki. “It makes no sense that now, when there are more reasons than ever to change course, the B.C. Government is forging ahead. I applaud the camp for taking a stand against an unnecessary and destructive project that will devastate a region already inundated by hydro-electric, oil and gas and industrial developments. Promises by government to uphold and respect treaty rights ring hollow when construction is given the green light before three on-going First Nations court cases against the dam are even finished. BC Hydro must stop its work immediately and allow the court cases to be decided.”The Rocky Mountain Fort Camp is on the traditional territory of the Treaty 8 First Nations. In addition to its 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.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and David Suzuki will be at the camp from 9a.m to 1 p.m. PT and are available for interviews after 1:30 p.m. PT

Media inquiries: Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs Phone: (250) 490-5314 Don Bain, Executive Director, Union of BC Indian Chiefs Phone: (604) 831-9709

 

The latest news from Rocky Mountain Fort camp

Thank you from The Peace River Valley...
As one of the Camp supply organizers, I have to say that the ongoing support to run this camp from individuals in and outside of the North Peace area, has been overwhelmingly positive!
Thank you to All of you who are contributing yourselves, putting your own lives on "hold" to come out and stay at the camp and Help us "Hold the Fort!" Thank you to those who are donating and loaning food and supplies to the Brave winter Campers protecting the forests in our Valley.
....And thanks for those who tirelessly orchestrate the food, supplies and people in and out of the camp.
Thank you to those who cannot come to the Peace but send their positive comments, prayers and thoughts.
Also a BIG thank you to those providing monetary support because without you we could not operate and move buildings and people and purchase neccessary supplies not donated or loaned.
To find out how you can Help to support the Protection of our Valley, inhabitants historical and sacred sites and the forest that protects all. PM me or contact Yvonne Tupper Arlene Boon, Helen knott or Verena Hofmann via Face book
Please Share this post and Keep our Peaceful Protest of the proposed Site C Dam, Rocky Mountain Fort Camp, going!
Not a done deal...
So thank you from the Peace River Valley, its inhabitants, historical and sacred sites and Poul and Esther Pedersen.

KEEPING THE PEACE: WHY IS THIS RIVER SO IMPORTANT TO PRESERVE?

By Andy Sinats

The flooding and destruction of a river valley ecosystem cannot be considered a green solution to meeting energy demand. The following are just a few of the many concerns about the construction of another dam on the Peace River in British Columbia:
1.    The provincial government’s Energy Plan states that “all new electricity generation projects will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions.” The Site C reservoir will not have zero net greenhouse gas emissions. Reservoir creation results in methane production, a potent contributor to climate change.
2.    Reservoir creation results in mercury bioaccumulation. To avoid large increases in both greenhouse gas production and methyl mercury accumulation, C.A. Kelly et al. recommend that areas of low relief and wetlands should not be flooded. Neither of these recommendations can be accomplished if the Peace River is flooded at Site C.
3.    Building Site C will flood much of the only Class 1 farmland in northern BC, including land within the Agricultural Land Reserve. This is the only land capable of growing many vegetables that would otherwise have to be imported.
4.    Further damming the Peace will destroy high-capacity wildlife habitat that cannot be replaced by other habitats in the northeast. The many islands with their back channels that make up this section of the Peace River Valley are vital to wildlife.
5.    The Site C dam would destroy a favourite recreational area. If this project were proposed in the Lower Mainland, the public would never stand for the loss of such a high-quality recreational area.
6.    Much of the area that would be flooded and otherwise affected by the Site C project includes First Nations traditional lands.

IN SUMMARY
The Energy Plan is flawed and has not allowed a serious examination of other greener ways to meet the province’s energy needs.
There should be some areas that are just too precious to destroy. When this project was last examined, through a formal British Columbia Utilities Commission Hearing in 1982, it was rejected as unjustified.

Now, a quarter of a century later, when our ability to use energy ef- ficiently is so much greater, as is our understanding of the value of river ecosystems, why is Site C the best option? Will there be an equivalent level of public scrutiny this time around? Surely such a unique valley cannot be destroyed without examining all the available options.
To quote the late Leo Rutledge, Peace Valley pioneer and long-time advocate for the Peace: “If a government has no respect for its land base, its very earth, then, it has no real respect for its people or anything else.”