December 18, 2014
(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde today stated strong disapproval for the decision by the Government of British Columbia to go forward with the construction of BC Hydro’s Site C Dam project. “The dam does not make sense legally, environmentally or economically.” The dam would flood the Peace River Valley from Fort St. John to the existing Peace Canyon Dam west of Hudson’s Hope, as well as the mouths of the Halfway and Moberly Rivers. Treaty 8 First Nations, in particular, have expressed serious concerns that their lives, lands and traditions will be adversely affected by this project.
“This decision by the Government of British Columbia clearly goes against indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent,” said National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “We stand with the Treaty 8 First Nations in pressing for regional environmental assessments to take into account the cumulative impacts of all projects in the Peace River Region. First Nations are not against development but we have the right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to projects in our traditional territories. The Assembly of First Nations will continue to support all First Nations in upholding our rights in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Section 35 of Canada’s constitution which recognizes and affirms existing Aboriginal and treaty rights.”
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.