Site C Dam - cutting trees
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 24 May, 2018 Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories
Vancouverites Bring a Piece of the Peace to BC’s Attorney General
At noon on Friday, May 25, Fight C, a Vancouver-based group dedicated to solidarity with the Peace River Valley’s protectors, will be gifting David Eby mulched Peace Valley trees that were clearcut in preparation for the Site C dam. This destructive, wasteful project would destroy forests and farmland that BC needs intact as its best possible response to climate change. Fight C asserts that it is NOT too late to stop the dam, as the trees will grow back if the northern valley is not flooded.
“Because not many people in the Lower Mainland have been up north to the Peace Valley, they may not realize the vast territory that would be flooded for the dam is a huge violation of Treaty 8,” says Lianne Payne, a member of Fight C. “Because the Province of BC signed onto Treaty 8, everyone in BC is responsible for upholding this treaty that protects the right of First Nations to live, hunt, fish and practice their culture on the land. As settlers and treaty people, we need to hold our governments accountable to act honourably.”
June 21, National Aboriginal Day, is also the 119th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 8, largest and last treaty. Vancouver author Rita Wong asks, “How long will it take for us as Canadians to honour our treaties in this era of “reconciliation”?” She and hundreds of other citizens are pledging at a new website, http://witnessforthepeace.ca, to follow and support the West Moberly and Prophet River court case seeking to protect the Peace Valley,
“We cannot allow this to be out of sight, out of mind. Since BC’s MLAs aren’t making the trip to witness the destruction of the land, we will bring it to their doorsteps. Hopefully this reminds them of what they are allowing when they don’t stand up against the Liberal bullying tactics to force the dam upon Indigenous people, despite its blatant environmental racism,” states Mike Gildersleeve.
“When the government fails us, it’s up to the people to step up,” adds Lindsay Hughes. “This dam amounts to attempted genocide. In this time of supposed reconciliation, BC must do better. It must walk its talk of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.”
We invite the media and all members of the public to join us at 2909 West Broadway, at David Eby’s constituency office in Kitsilano, where Fight C has been holding weekly actions in solidarity with the Peace Valley every Friday from 12 pm to 2 pm. The actions have ranged from a vigil, complete with a coffin to mourn the death of evidence-based decision-making, to a lemonade stand to raise funds for the legal battle waged by West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations and for our children’s exorbitant Hydro bills if the dam is not stopped. The court case for these two First Nations from Treaty 8 is expected to begin in late July 2018.
“In a recent turn of events, the Federal government is not opposing the injunction sought by the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations. Why can’t BC follow this lead?” asks Shahira Sakiyama.
The attached photographs show how perfectly healthy, good trees were wastefully mulched, and not used for timber in BC Hydro’s destructive haste to clear the valley while the West Moberly First Nation is still seeking justice and recognition of their sacred relationship with the Peace River, “the main artery of West Moberly territory, the lifeblood of their culture,” according to the injunction application they filed in January 2018.
For more information, contact Rita Wong at 604.653.4006, firstname.lastname@example.org.