FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is calling for alternative solutions to the Site C Dam project after touring the lands on October 22, 2016.
“My visit was an opportunity to see firsthand the devastating social, cultural and environmental damage this project will inflict on Treaty 8 First Nations. I am standing with Treaty 8 First Nations and First Nations across the country in opposing this project and standing up for First Nations rights. This project ignores the legal requirement under Canadian law to fully assess impacts on Indigenous peoples’ rights. Domestic and international law directs Canada to respect our rights. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples calls for free, prior and informed consent. Canada’s approach to planning, managing and regulating development needs an overhaul and First Nations need to be part of that work.”
The tour took place with representatives from West Moberly First Nation and Prophet River First Nation. They traveled along the Peace River and had a guided aerial tour of the territory.
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Treaty 8 First Nations have taken legal action to reverse approvals of the project. The project is slated to flood thousands of acres of Treaty 8 traditional territory. They also said The Site C project will “exacerbate impacts from existing large-scale hydroelectric development in the region and will devastate traditional First Nations territory.”