“We’ve never said no to the production of energy. We’ve said, let’s protect the valley. It’s the last piece of our backyard that’s relatively untouched.” – Chief Roland Willson, West Moberly First Nations
The Peace River Valley in northeastern British Columbia is a unique ecosystem and one of the very few areas in the region that so far has been largely preserved from large-scale resource development. First Nations and Métis families and communities rely on the valley for hunting and fishing, gathering berries and sacred medicine, and holding ceremonies. Their ancestors are buried in this land.
The proposed $8 billion plus Site C hydroelectric dam would flood more than 80 km of the river valley, stretching west from Fort St. John. The severe impact on Indigenous peoples is beyond dispute. A joint federal-province environmental impact assessment concluded that the dam would “severely undermine” use of the land, would make fishing unsafe for at least a generation, and would submerge burial grounds and other crucial cultural and historical sites.
The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations have gone to court to protect their traditional lands. Their struggle has been supported by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the Assembly of First Nations and many others - including local farmers and other landowners in the Peace Valley.