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Prophet River First Nation, BC Hydro, B.C. reach agreements, settle litigation

VICTORIA – The Province of British Columbia, BC Hydro and Prophet River First Nation have reached two agreements that result in the discontinuation of the Nation’s civil claim against BC Hydro and the Province on alleged infringement of Treaty 8 rights related to the Site C project.

The province will work with Prophet River to improve land management and restore traditional place names in certain areas of cultural significance. Prophet River will also receive ongoing payments during the operation of the Site C project and the transfer of provincial Crown lands, as well as a woodland licence for community forest management.

The province and Prophet River will engage with local governments, stakeholders and neighbouring First Nations during land management discussions and prior to any Crown lands being transferred. The next steps will include identifying specific parcels of Crown land to propose for potential transfer.

The components of the agreements between the three groups include:

* an impact benefits agreement between BC Hydro and Prophet River First Nation;

* a tripartite land agreement between BC Hydro, the provincial government and Prophet River First Nation; and

* a letter of commitment signed by the province.

“Site C has painfully impacted Prophet River and other Treaty 8 Nations,” said Councillor Beverly Stager, Prophet River First Nation, in a news release. “These agreements cannot undo the past, but we are ready for a new future. We accept the promise of a better relationship with B.C. and BC Hydro and have faith that these agreements will help to protect what remains of the Treaty 8 lands and waters cherished so deeply by our people.”

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