Visit from David Suzuki and Chief Stewart Phillip lifts spirits at Rocky Mountain Fort

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Dr. David Suzuki and Grande Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs drew even more attention to the Site C Dam by paying a visit to Rocky Mountain Fort on Tuesday January 12, 2016.

“I heard that the camp had been set up and figured wow this is really going to get things going,” said Dr. Suzuki speaking about the Treaty 8 camp at the Fort. “So I just wanted to let them know that they are not alone.”

Dr. Suzuki understood the concerns of those camped out and went on to explain his own frustration with continuing construction despite ongoing court cases, “I’m asking what do treaties with Canada mean? If Canada signs treaties do we mean it or not? These people have been promised all kind of things under these treaties. Continuing despite the court cases says in Canada pro business and pro development override everything else including treaties that we’ve signed, its shameful!”

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When questioned upon arrival at the Fort, Grande Chief Phillip passionately explained, “I’ve had the honor and privilege to be up in Treaty 8 territory over the span of a number of years. I’ve participated in the Paddle for the Peace pretty much every year now for the last several years so I’ve seen first hand the beauty of this land. To come back and see such horrific destruction and devastation is absolutely heart breaking.” he continued, “I’m so deeply honored to be here in this camp knowing what it represents and my heart goes out to the people that had it within their hearts to out here in the dead of winter and set this camp up.”

“Stopping Site C for good has always been my passion and goal, I’ve been groomed to be here ever since I was a little girl with my grandpa going to Site C meetings,” asserted Tupper. With cold winter temperatures those staying in the camp have been frequently asked how long they intend to stay by both media and security. Knott stressed, “what we’ve been saying is we will be here as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the river flows, which is a part of the treaty.”

Spirits at the camp were certainly lifted by the visit from Dr. Suzuki, Grande Chief Phillip and local media. Knott emotionally confessed, “I was out there earlier and seeing the helicopter coming in I started crying because it has been really hard out here.” A diverse range of people already occupies the camp but attendants still hope to build more solidarity and support across the province. With a recent airdropped expansion of a new bunkhouse the Rocky Mountain Fort can now comfortably house more supporters.

First Nations and non First Nations people standing together is an important aspect to Dr. Suzuki, “What excites me here is you see Non First Nations people willing to go and get arrested and go to jail. It’s got to be more than just First Nations people.”

“We need to begin to organize people working in solidarity and unity,” urged Grande Chief Phillip. He continued, “it always takes the courage and integrity of a small group of people to bring about social change. World history has proven that and this is what this camp represents.”

The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs also released this video that shows the progress of construction of the dam.

No #SiteC – Flyover of the fast-track work of BC Hydro.Today we did a flyover of the proposed Site C project site. 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.

Posted by UBCIC on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

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