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October 28, 2017 2:36 am

Aboriginal Leaders from Northern B.C. Call for Action

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 @ 12:21 PM

Prince George, B.C. – On the eve of a series of meetings with the Provincial government, several Aboriginal leaders from across Northern B.C. have issued an open letter to the Premier of B.C.

In an open letter to the Premier,   the leaders are calling for a change to what it labels the “narrow and short-sighted approach” to consultation with First Nations.

The leaders say while all First Nations “want to increase economic opportunity for their communities” the government is ignoring the cumulative effects of development on their traditional territories. They point to the development of the Site C dam as one example of a project that is taking place in a region already stressed by oil and gas development.

“The cumulative impacts from developments in our territories threaten our values, our rights, and our future” reads the letter.

The Chiefs also say the Environmental Assessment process is “broken” saying too often “government allows industry to set the agenda for developments in our territories, and our issues, concerns, and rights are an afterthought. We are not properly consulted on the strategic decisions that define the future of our lands, waters, and other resources.” As an example, the Chiefs point to the planned Pacific Northwest LNG plant on Lelu Island off Prince Rupert.

The letter also points out that despite winning a series of legal challenges which confirm their treaty rights “governments refuse to acknowledge the significance of those victories. They deny our role in managing our territories and attempt to minimize the effect of those legal decisions.”

Premier Clark says she has long believed First Nations were not getting their fair share of the benefits of resource development, ” I think British Columbia has done a great job of extracting resources over the last couple of hundred years, but we haven’t done a great job of sharing with First Nations fairly. Consulting with First Nations is part of that, and making sure the result of that consultation is delivering those benefits, those financial benefits, those employment benefits to First Nations is the other part.”

The Chiefs reiterate that they are not opposing all development ” we are often leaders in securing appropriate development that benefits not only our communities, but also all British Columbians.”

The Aboriginal leaders will meet this afternoon for a strategy session to prepare for the meetings with the Premier and Cabinet which are slated to start tomorrow.


‘The Chiefs reiterate that they are not opposing all development’

That made me snort coffee out of my nose. Just look at the list of legal challenges, protest camps (blockades) and other obstacles that first nations have put in front of every proposed resource extraction project in northern BC. Site C, LNG terminals, pipelines, mines, etc., etc. It’s laughable to think that first nations support economic development that would support hard-working BC residents, whether aboriginal or non-aboriginal. Less than 5% of the population is destroying the resource-based economy in northern BC and the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people.

VOR….you verbalize what many, if not most of us are thinking. Most of us are fed up with how racist the FNs have now become. It may be time for the silent majority to speak out and take action. Let’s picket, protest and blockade the protestors.

Which leaders wrote the letter?

Like saying no to bringing in thousands of terrorist….hopefully

We have a Government that is basically looking after the interests of big business in BC, and hence they go through the process of negotiating with the First Nations. Then we have the FN looking out for their interests.

I seriously doubt that anyone is looking after the interests of the majority of taxpayers in BC that pay the taxes that support all the negotiations and pay out all sorts of dollars to various programs.

Soooo. Who looks after our interests. That’s the million dollar question.

We need clarity on the issue of FN land claims, and we need the Government and big business to get up front and honest with these issues. We then need to ensure that all British Columbians benefit from the resources of this Province.

Racisim rearing its ugly head again.. shame on you guys.. They should teach racism to adults for they seem to need it more than the kids in school

Agreed with comments above. We may be the majority and won the battle over this land years ago, but we are now being treated much like minorities. This does have to stop. We need to take this challenge on because of our pride and with our own financing (unfortunately) but things need to change. We are not the bad guys. Our fore fathers built this province with their own 2 hands and their own hard earned money. The dilemma will be coming up with enough financing, as the group we are challenging is financed by our government.

What I have to ask is…are they looking to get rich? Do the First Nations bands want free money from the companies just because they happen to live in the area that development is taking place?

Or are they looking to bring their reserves up to modern standards that benefit every member of the band? I could get behind that kind of initiative as some if those poor folks live in deplorable conditions….

I just don’t understand what the end game is. I cannot support huge transfers of wealth into a group of people just because they happen to live near a place where resources are rich. If that’s the case then EVERY Canadian should be entitled to the same piece of THAT pie…..

Let’s see no native communities, affected by site c. Some native groups have signed off on LNG and pipelines. Agreements on mines. Makes me wonder about the true motive here.

I see sum Banged there heads on the way down….can’t fix StOOpid ya no.Communities not effected!!do you live up that way?? We do not need this Dam..plain and simple..like sum here ..cause crusty clark says we need it!! like she needs a hole in her head..not a bad idea!!
Just like this harper gov. ain’t dun Nothing for the natives population….built 3 homes in 10yrs not bad Eh!!

Tackdog…….we could crowd fund the Challenge Group to start. Donors can be anonymous.
The bigger problem, as I see it, is having a spokesperson to stand up for our “Challenge Group”
That person would be very unpopular in public, But would have the support of the silent majority.
We would need a Paul Watson type of person. Look at what he accomplished with Greenpeace.
Look at what the Haida accomplished in Haida Gwaii. They had an idea and moved it forward until they had both Federal and Provincial support.
It all starts with an idea and a small group of people and then it will grow.

If we say or do nothing then we are in support of those FNs that are promoting racism and inequality.

@614………huh? You should use spell check so we can decipher what your rant is.

Wow, Im with you on this one Palopu, and cant agree more stillsmokin. Everyone has an opinion (usually a very strong one) about this issue. I ask all of you this…if this was your acreage, farm, or family property, how would you feel? These people (im speaking of the Unis’ot’en specificaly) did not ask for the pipeline to route through their land. How they are being treated, their rights and preferences totaly disregarded, speaks volumes. Why also if they are supposed to be “consulted”, are there reports of RCMP filling accomodations in that area. Do these people look like terrorists? At what point is “no” just not acceptable? If this is such an important pipeline, find an f’in way to NOT go through their land. Please take the time to look into their story. Im not saying every dispute is handled the same way, but this one in my opinion, is pretty cut and dried…they don’t want the pipeline. Take a few minutes to watch a video or two before firing back please, thanks :)

Sqrlly you are ignoring the native groups that have negotiated and signed on.

Seamutt, im not ignoring those groups. If Fraser Lk, Ft Fraser, Burns Lk, and Vanderhoof all say yes, but PG says no, does that mean PG is the bad guy? These are not all the same group, they are all members of the same band but different clans…or do they all look the same to you?

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