Chief Roland Willson, of West Moberly First Nation, said his people celebrated the 100th anniversary of Treaty #8 in 2014. One of the provisions is that they will be allowed to use the land about to be submerged by the Site C Dam “as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the river flows.” This appears to be the Treaty Canada wants to forget.
It has been eight days since the RCMP gunned down a demonstrator in Dawson Creek. According to the Independent Investigations Office, he “approached officers in an aggressive manner and when he did not comply with directions and commands, he was shot.” It is the latest in a series of actions, which appear to have began with the BC government’s decision to break Treaty #8. Though this aspect of the project is not often talked about, the terms of the treaty seem clear. First Nations were to have use of the lands about to be submerged as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the river flows. So how is proceeding with Site C not breaking a treaty?
There are many reasons to oppose the proposed Site C dam. It will flood what is reputedly some of the province’s most promising farmland. Most of the inhabitants of the Peace River Area, where the dam would be built, oppose the project. There are alternative energy sources, such as geothermal, which BC Hydro has not explored. The most serious objection, however, is BC may break a treaty if they build the Site C Dam.