Tag Archives: Halfway River First Nation

Mercury Contamination Stiffens Opposition to Site C Dam

By Roy L. Hales

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Though construction on British Columbia’s W.A.C. Bennet dam began 54 years ago, fish are still so contaminated with mercury they are unfit for human consumption. Chief Roland Willson, of West Moberly First Nation, said BC started issuing health advisories after the dam was built. On May 11, 2015, he brought 200 pounds of contaminated bull trout to the legislature lawn for a press conference calling on the B.C. government to reverse its decision to approve the controversial $9 billion Site C dam. Willson said poisoning fish is a violation of Treaty #8.

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Site C, “As long as the Sun Shines, the Grass Grows & the Rivers Flow”

By Roy L Hales

The First Nations that signed treaty #8, in 1914, were promised the right to continue with their traditional way of life “for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow.” The antiquity of their presence site is evidenced by prehistoric chert arrowheads, burials and local tradition. It has continued into modern times as a summer gathering place. When BC Hydro dams the Peace River, on site C, they will be taking away lands on which these people have hunted, fished and gathered their traditional medicine plants. Of Course a century ago no one knew that this could become one of the most promising liquid natural gas fields in the world.

The land that is about to disappear is also home to about 20 threatened species. It is a migration route for fish such as the bull trout and arctic grayling, as well as home to the mountain whitefish. The islands are calving grounds for moose, mule deer & elk, habitat for red & blue listed neo-tropical birds.

Continue reading Site C, “As long as the Sun Shines, the Grass Grows & the Rivers Flow”