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LETTER: Forest industry has negatively impacted Treaty 8 lands

My name is Richard Behn.   I am a Dene Elder and citizen. I hold no elected office.  I speak for myself and my descendants.  I hold title and headmanship to a traditional family territory.  I live on the Fort Nelson Indian Reserve #2.
I am a witness to the industrial land use that followed the transfer of the war road (a two-mile-wide stretch of land from Dawson Creek to mile 1222) from the U.S. back to Canada in 1948.  It’s called the Alaska Highway.
The forest industry by far has had the most negative affects on the forests on the lands protected in Treaty 8.
I would like to let the public know that there are processes ongoing within our community and there has been no collective decision by the Dene of Fort Nelson, the holders of Treaty 8 Benefits and responsibilities.  The underpinning of our traditional vocations on the land was to leave our territorial holdings to our future generations, intact.
Thank you,
Richard Behn
Dene Elder and citizen

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