Indigenous Peoples

The location of the Site C dam in proximity to Fort St. John and Taylor

A news release from the First Nation’s Leadership Council last week suggested July could be the month when push comes to shove in the debate over the construction of the Peace River Site C dam.

It said the Treaty 8 First Nations had received notice from BC Hydro that as early as July 6 — five days prior to the tenth annual Paddle for the Peace protest event — construction work could begin at the project site.

David Suzuki
Academic, author and activist David Suzuki. Photograph by: Mark Blinch , THE CANADIAN PRESS   Read more:

Using DNA to track the movement of people in the past, scientists suggest our species evolved some 150,000 years ago on the plains of Africa. That was our habitat, but unlike most other animals, we were creative and used our brains to find ways to exploit our surroundings. We were far less impressive in numbers, size, speed, strength or sensory abilities than many others sharing our territory, but it was our brains that compensated.

Max Fawcett

Last week, the Tseil-Waututh Nation announced in no uncertain terms that it was not supporting Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain Pipeline. And while the project has had more than its share of setbacks over the last year, the press release from the TWN – one that included supporting legal statements, an environmental assessment and the assertion of a de-facto veto – might represent the most serious one yet.


A report that shows a widespread fallout zone for mine-waste storage facilities in northern and central B.C. has led to a call for more protection of watersheds, assurance that communities receive long-term benefits, and creation of a cleanup fund.

The survey being released today was commissioned by the B.C. First Nations Energy and Mining Council in the wake of Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine-waste dam failure last year.


Almost six months after the B.C. government approved construction of the Site C dam, BC Hydro is still waiting for the province to issue the dozens of permits needed before shovels can touch the ground.

The permits have been held up because the province needs to conduct “meaningful consultation” with the Treaty 8 Tribal Association on the hydroelectric project.

Cassidy Oliver

This 3.5 min video interview with the long-serving President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs touches on the Petronas LNG proposal, opposition to the Site C Dam and being arrested on Burnaby Mountain protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal.


Diana Day
B.C. NDP nomination candidate Diana Day (right) is speaking out against the Site C dam.

Last week, I held a press conference with Harold Steves, former NDP MLA and a founder of the Agricultural Land Reserve, speaking out against the B.C. Liberal Site C dam. This project is not only a human-rights violation—depriving people of the right to food and water—but breaks Treaty 8 itself and, if constructed, will also be a contravention of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


Note: Several Canadian law professors issued this joint statement May 26, 2015:

We write as professors of law at several Canadian law schools to recognize and commemorate the May 26, 2015 release of Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Assessment of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tanker Expansion (“TMEX”) Proposal(the “Assessment”).

Carlos Tello
Rueben George holds a copy of Tsleil-Waututh's assessment of the Trans Mountain Pipeline project. Photo: Carlos Tello

In an old legend from the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, a two-headed serpent brings hunger and disease to the Burrard Inlet, killing off the salmon. In order to survive, the people had to confront the serpent and slay it.

“We’re now facing another long dragon that needs to be slain,” Tsleil-Waututh Sacred Trust Initiative member Rueben George told a crowd of 100 gathered at Whey-ah-Wichen Park in North Vancouver on Tuesday.

“That’s the Kinder Morgan pipeline.”

Mychaylo Prystupa
Candace Campo, Audrey Siegl and Taylor George Hollis in front of the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza that was docked in North Vancouver on Friday. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

A massive Greenpeace ship will depart the Port of Vancouver on Tuesday with a cross-Canada Aboriginal delegation. The delegation seeks to raise alarm about the potential surge in U.S. oil tankers set to ply past British Columbia’s coastlines in the future, should Shell's Arctic oil drilling plans go full steam ahead.


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