When we launched the “Join the Circle: No Site C” campaign on Monday, we knew we had some strong allies in northeastern British Columbia. We saw the powerful resistance to the plan to flood fertile farmland, drown cultural sites and destroy traditional hunting and fishing grounds. Farmers and First Nations have been demanding justice, and building solidarity, around the damming of the Peace River ever since the project was approved last fall.
What we weren’t quite prepared for was how strongly the rest of the world felt about stopping Site C.
Whether you’re a taxpayer who doesn’t want to be on the hook for an $8.8 billion project that promises to hike hydro rates, or an environmentalist worried that Site-C will lock us into tarsands and fracking expansion for generations, you have been raising your voices and taking a stand. Packed town halls in Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria brought hundreds out to hear Chief Rolland Wilson speak about what’s at stake for his people—and how, together, we can fight back. With a legal challenge to the dam project set for July 20th, three Treaty 8 Nations are calling on allies to donate, fundraise, and Join the Circle so that this dam is never built.
Our online crowdfunder passed $25,000 by Monday afternoon. We calculated that you donated $2400 in 24 hours! We raise a glass to Patagonia, whose generous donation of $17,000 got the ball rollling. We also bow to Margaret and Jim Little, who sent in a generous donation and wrote “We are “Joining The Circle” so that the Peace River Valley will remain as is for generations. Flooding of the Peace Valley will have significant impacts on our First Nations and their Treaty Rights. Promises were made to keep our land free and now it is time to make that stand for the future.” And we thank each and every one of you who is able to find $20, $50, or $250 to ensure that when Treaty 8 Nations stand before the courts this July, they will have the strong legal representation they deserve.
It is an incredible moment in Canadian history, as indigenous people stand up to protect all of our descendants, and our common future, from short sighted and rapacious industrial development in their traditional territories. It is an honour to be called to stand together.