Target: Premier Christy Clark
Goal: Stop the destruction of several First Nations heritage sites to make room for a new dam
A new dam will soon flood a large number of First Nations heritage sites, forcing many families to move. While the dam would be a source of clean energy for the area, it would also displace up to 20 families and reinforce the ongoing exploitation of First Nations people. This is a decision that should have been made in cooperation with the people affected—clean energy is important, but flooding the sites will contribute to the erasure of aboriginal history in British Columbia (BC).
Building any kind of large structure like a dam is going to require that land be lost, but considering the way that First Nations people have been treated in the past, the plan to build the Section C dam seems like only the most recent of a long history of mistakes. The people who live on the land have opposed the project since it was first conceived in the 1970s, but the BC government has concluded that building a dam is more important than First Nations cultural history.
The desire for clean, sustainable energy is a good one, but not at the cost of land that belongs to people whose lands have been stolen in the past. The BC government needs to meet with the First Nations people to find a solution that satisfies everyone, including the people to whom the land belongs and repair the relationship that this dam is destroying. Ask Premier Christy Clark to reconsider the Site C dam and work with the First Nations people to find a compromise.
Dear Premier Clark,
Though clean energy is an admirable goal, we can’t let our desire for affordable energy trump respect for the heritage of the First Nations people in the Peace River Valley. The indigenous people of North America have had their lands taken from them since the continent was colonized by Europeans. It’s time to stop this exploitation and acknowledge that these sites are of historical significance to the First Nations people. Taking them away to build a dam without their consent is exploitative and dismissive of their history.
Please reconsider your endorsement of the Site C dam. While it would provide clean energy to British Columbia, that energy would come at the loss of culturally significant sites to the First Nations people. We need to respect their heritage and work with them to build a better future, including creating sustainable energy sources. Please work with the First Nations people to save their heritage sites and find another way to secure clean energy sources for Canada’s future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mhalifu via Wikimedia Commons