OTTAWA, Oct. 21, 2016 /CNW/ – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde will visit Treaty 8 territory threatened by the proposed Site C Dam in northern British Columbia. On Saturday, October 22 on behalf of the AFN, National Chief will stand with Treaty 8 First Nations in opposing the project. Treaty 8 First Nations are currently taking legal action to overturn federal approvals of the controversial hydroelectric project.
“I am looking forward to witnessing firsthand the beauty and significance of this threatened territory,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “We know the proposed Site C Dam will devastate First Nations traditional territories, including sacred spaces and burial grounds. Flooding these lands tramples on their ability to exercise their inherent and Treaty rights. Allowing this project to proceed is contrary to Canadian and international law, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. First Nations need an approach to planning and development that respects our rights, especially the right to free, prior and informed consent. I stand with Treaty 8 First Nations in upholding their rights and in their struggle to stop this development.”
AFN National Chief Bellegarde will be in Fort St. John, BC on October 22 with leaders and representatives from West Moberly First Nation and Prophet River First Nation who will take him on a tour of the areas that would be affected by the Site C project. The tour is to begin at approximately 9:15 a.m. (Pacific Time) and will include travel on the Peace River and a guided tour of the territory. The tour is expected to finish at approximately 2 p.m. (PT).
There are numerous national AFN resolutions calling for action to stop Site C, including AFN resolution 03/2010, resolution 41/2015 and resolution 71/2015. AFN resolutions can be found at: http://www.afn.ca/en/resolutions