With the BC provincial election outcome raising new questions about whether the massive Site C dam will proceed, citizen groups are urging the Trudeau government to break its silence and commit to honouring and upholding the Treaty rights of affected First Nations.
Helen Knott, a great-great-granddaughter of the one of the original signatories of Treaty 8, has travelled from the Prophet River First Nation to take part in a rally on Parliament Hill today.
Rally for the Peace River Valley
WHERE: Steps of Parliament
WHEN: 12:15-12:45, Monday May 29
CONTACT: Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations, Amnesty International Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org / 613-744-7667 ext 236
Helen Knott, Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land
Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Maureen Chapman
Alex Neve, Amnesty International
Members of Parliament
British Columbia’s Site C dam is one of the largest resource development projects of our generation. The Federal Government has acknowledged that it approved construction without ever considering its Treaty obligations to First Nations in Peace River Valley.
The government has promised that Indigenous rights will be protected in the future once reforms to the federal regulatory process are completed. This does nothing to address the concerns of First Nations facing what the environmental assessment of the Site C dam called severe, permanent and irreversible harm to the lands on which they exercise their rights. It is also contrary to the federal government’s commitment to honour and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Helen Knott has said, “This is my home. This is where my people are from. This is where I want to raise my children and my grandchildren. And what will we have left?”
The rally is co-sponsored by Amnesty International, Assembly of First Nations, KAIROS, Keepers of the Water, Peace Valley Environment Association, Rolling Justice Bus, Sierra Club BC, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. More than 120,000 people have signed petitions and postcards urging that construction on the Site C dam be immediately suspended.
On May 27th, Amnesty International recognized the Indigenous Rights movement in Canada with its highest global honour, the Ambassadors of Conscience Award at a ceremony in Montreal. A BROLL from the ceremony is available here.