The provincial and federal governments’ decision to proceed and issue permits with respect to the Site C Dam was made without the full, prior and informed consent of Treaty 8 First Nations, says Terry Teegee, Assembly of First Nations regional chief.
In addition, he says, the approvals were given in contrast to the findings of the joint federal and provincial environmental impact assessment which stated that the Site C dam will undermine Indigenous and Treaty 8 rights.
“While I appreciate the difficult nature of the decision provincial cabinet had to make, I am disappointed that in spite of their stated commitment to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples they have chosen to proceed with the destruction of the Peace River and the abrogation of Treaty 8 rights,” Teegee said in a press release. “In deciding to continue construction without the free, prior and informed consent of the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations, the B.C .government has failed in its first test to all Indigenous peoples, and failed to embrace a new vision for a clean renewable energy future for B.C.”
Premier John Horgan announced the $10.7 billion hydroelectric dam would proceed on the Peace River. Scrapping the project would have cost the province $4 billion.
West Moberly and Prophet River have pledged to continue to use all available processes and legal options to oppose the construction of the Site C hydroelectric Dam, and the BCAFN will continue to stand with them throughout this process.