(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
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Phone: (604) 684-0231
Don Bain, Executive Director, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Phone: (604) 684-0231