An Absolute Betrayal. Canada Issues Permits Ignoring Treaty 8’s Upcoming Federal Court Hearing

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – July 29, 2016) Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada have issued federal permits to allow construction of BC Hydro’s Site C dam hydroelectric project to immediately ramp up construction. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in all of his Ministerial Mandate Letters “No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, states “The honeymoon is over! Treaty 8 has just been granted a hearing in the Federal Court of Canada this September. Rather than respecting the treaty rights of Prophet River and West Moberly and the legal process by pausing or even slowing down site preparation and construction, the Trudeau Government, like cowardly, thuggish thieves in the dark, quietly issued federal permits before a long weekend to allow for the acceleration of construction.”

Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, declared “The eradication of 107 kilometres of the Peace River and its tributaries will destroy critical hunting, fishing and gathering sites as well as burial, archaeological, historical and cultural sites. The erasure of Indigenous Peoples' history and land use grossly violates Section 35 of the Constitution and the spirit and intent of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, proclaimed “Meet the new boss same as the old boss. How can Indigenous Peoples begin to trust the Trudeau Government when they continue the business-as-usual approach of the Harper Government? If the Trudeau Government truly wishes to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, it must recognize, respect and exercise the shared responsibility to uphold the rights and the promised peace and co-existence of Treaty 8.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip: 604-684-0231