The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations are going to court over the Site C Dam project, to protect thousands of hectares of their traditional territories in the beautiful Peace River region of northeastern B.C.
Court challenges are expensive, and the provincial and federal governments have deep pockets. But the Treaty rights of First Nations are strong, and can win this. We need your help to donate, fundraise, and Join the Circle to stop this reckless and destructive megadam.
What’s at Stake?
If the Site C dam is built, the treaty entered into by the Crown and First Nations would not be worth the paper it’s written on. The dam would flood hunting grounds destroy moose populations, and poison fish with toxic methyl mercury. First Nations who have lived in the area for more than 10,000 years are going to court to protect their cultural and spiritual rights to visit sacred sites, gather traditional medicines, and to hunt & fish. BC Hydro cannot be allowed to destroy the last stretch of the Peace River that is the indigenous people’s lifeblood.
The Peace Valley’s unique farmland can provide food for more than a million people a year. Site C would destroy the last sunshine-filled, east-west agricultural valley in BC. And it would flood a swatch of land rich in rare alluvial soils at a time when California – the major breadbasket of North America – is drying up.
As a taxpayer, you are funding this dam, and funding the federal and provincials lawyers to push this risky project through the courts. But more than that, we will be passing on hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to our children and grandchildren, plus the burden of much higher power rates.
Site C will cost $8 to $10 billion dollars. The huge cost will rob the province of valuable resources that could be used to develop other forms of renewable energy, as well as burden the people of British Columbia with debt and high electric power rates that sap our competitiveness.
What’s our goal?
Ultimately, the nations are in this to stop the dam from being built. More immediately, we want to raise $250,000 to pay for the initial legal work. There will likely be a need for more down the road, but for now this will see the nations through two hearings – provincial and federal.
What can you do?
RAVEN is encouraging people everywhere to be part of the effort to protect the Peace River Valley. There are three ways to contribute:
Donate online -. Whatever you choose to give will help. Your donation, be it $10 or $1000, goes directly toward helping First Nations stop the Site C Dam in the courts.
Fundraise online – You can set up your own crowd-funding page, set a target, and reach out to your friends, co-workers and family to help you reach your goal. It takes just minutes to get your own mini-campaign going – and it’s easy and fun!
Host fundraising events in your community. We see it as the best way to raise money and deepen community solidarity with the First Nations leading these legal challenges. Hosting a Join the Circle event can be fun and is a rewarding way to contribute towards the success of legal efforts trying to stop Site C Dam from being built. Events can be simple – like a car wash or bottle drive, a dinner, a movie night, or a benefit concert. We’ve got supportive materials on hand to help your event be a success! To get started organizing an event, contact RAVEN Trust.
The Treaty 8 First Nations this campaign seeks to support – from northeastern B.C – have been actively engaged for years in the struggle to defend their rights and territories from the threat of the Site C Dam. Site C is the third proposed dam on the Peace River; it is located 7 kilometers southwest of Fort St. John and threatens to flood thousands of hectares of prime farmland, irreplaceable cultural sites and wildlife habitat. The Site C Dam has been rejected twice previously.
The nations participated in a Joint Review Panel that concluded Site C would cause significant harm to fishing, hunting and trapping and on other traditional land uses, from BC and on downstream through to Alberta. The federal and provincial governments ignored the concerns of the Treaty 8 First Nations, approving the project. The nations were left with no option but to take the decision to court. Now is the time to stop Site C Dam once and for all.
How Will Your Donation Be Used?
The donations raised will go directly to cover the costs of legal research, writing legal arguments, preparing evidence, and the cost of the actual hearings incurred by West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations.
All donations will be held in trust by RAVEN and disbursed to the legal teams. The lawyers have already committed to many pro bono hours to help keep the cost of the hearings down.
All funds received and how they are used will be fully and publicly accounted for by RAVEN. Donations made in Canada and the U.S. are eligible for tax receipts.
The funds will assist with the costs of legal research, experts, writing legal arguments, disbursements for days in court and attendant costs such as court filing fees.
It’s simple: every little bit helps. If just 4,000 people (out of 4.4 million British Columbians) each gave $25 we’d raise $100,000
The funds are being held in trust for the two nations by RAVEN, an established Victoria-based legal defence fund with a focus on First Nation’s legal efforts. RAVEN stands for Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs. RAVEN then distributes the funds equally between the nations involved in each of the provincial and federal hearings. Ten per cent of the funds are held to cover the costs of running campaigns like this. As a non-profit charitable organization, if costs are met, then all remaining funds go into the pool toward the legal costs.
Absolutely. Simply contact the nation you wish to support.
RAVEN is a non-profit charitable organization that provides financial resources to assist Aboriginal Nations within Canada in lawfully forcing industrial development to be reconciled with their traditional ways of life, and in a manner that addresses global warming or other ecological sustainability challenges. As RAVEN is a registered charity, it can issue tax receipts for your donations. As well, we are stronger when we join together and this campaign will show the depth and breadth of support for First Nation legal challenges aimed at protecting the natural environment for the benefit of all people within Canada.