Following the dramatic change in government after this election, the Northern First Nations Leadership Alliance met in Prince George to continue discussions started earlier in the year about major project development in northern BC – in regard to the federal and provincial governments involvement.
“Our new Prime Minister has committed to the United Nations Declaration in regard to ‘free, prior and informed consent.'” Chief of the Prophet River First Nation Lynette Tsakoza said. “This must become the foundation of a new approach to consultations with First Nations, one that results in positive outcomes for our communities, and for Canada.”
The Alliance has agreed to focus first on the proposed Site C dam project, and the approaches to consultation with First Nations.
“Canada has an opportunity to become a leader in alternative energy development,” said Chief Roland Willsonm of the West Moberly First Nation. “I am calling on our new Prime Minister to work with us in developing Canada’s potential to be a global leader in this field, instead of pursuing archaic approaches like the Site C dam. The era of destroying rivers should be over.”
Chief Terry Teegee, Tribal Chief of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, said they are not against development.”The question is what kind of development is going to occur, and how decisions will be made about that development. Right now the system is broken.”
On behalf of the alliance, Chief Na’moks of the Wet’suwet’en Nations has extended an invitation to Prime Minister Trudeau to begin discussions on the issues they feel are ‘fundamentally important’ to the future of Canada.
Site C construction started about two months ago, and the project will not be done for roughly another decade.