Downstream Indigenous Communities Unite to Call on BC Government to Cancel Site C Project
— Press Release December 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – A group of Indigenous communities from across the Mackenzie River Basin has jointly called upon BC Premier Horgan to cancel the Site C Project.
In an unequivocal act of solidarity, the downstream Indigenous communities have united to express their shared opposition to Site C, and their collective commitment to the Peace River. As the open letter states, “History has shown that downstream indigenous communities bear enormous costs when BC Hydro puts the Peace River and downstream waters at risk.”
The Indigenous communities emphasize that the reasons for terminating the Site C Project are overwhelming:
Expert officials from UNESCO and the IUCN found earlier in 2017 that Site C Project failed to consider important downstream effects to Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has called for Canada to better regulate the Peace River and undertake a proper assessment of Site C.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination determined that proceeding with Site C would be inconsistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), stating, “The impact of this dam on Indigenous Peoples would be permanent, extensive, and irreversible”.
The BC Utilities Commission’s Inquiry into Site C confirmed that proceeding with the Project will have significant costs and financial risks.
The downstream Indigenous communities state that Site C poses an insurmountable risk to their way of life, rights and cultures, which are deeply intertwined with the Peace River
More than a dozen indigenous communities from across BC, Alberta and the Northwest Territories have joined together to request that Premier Horgan cancel the Site C project.
For more information:
Melody Lepine, Executive Director, Mikisew Cree First Nation Industry and Government Relations