After participating in the Paddle for the Peace this summer, David Suzuki make a personal commitment to fundraise in support of Treaty 8’s legal challenge to the Site C Dam. In his own words, here’s why he has pledged to raise $5000.
“Paddling down the Peace River at the Paddle for the Peace event this year I said to my wife, “It doesn’t get better than this and I can’t wait until our grandchildren are older so that we can bring them to paddle this same area and one day they can bring their grandchildren.”
What’s going on in Fort St. John is the same battle going on all over the planet. Twenty-three years ago a Kayapo leader asked me to help him stop several dams that would flood huge areas of the Amazon. We helped him raise money and awareness, which caused the World Bank to pull their loan, and the dam projects were stopped. I recently met him again, and he is facing the same threats again now and is still trying to stop the same dam proposals. Site C was also proposed over 30 years ago and we also managed to stop the dam from being built. Now we face the same battles once again in both of these areas and around the planet. The work to keep these beautiful, natural environments protected over the years can’t be in vain. We stopped them once. We can and will stop them again.
If built, Site C would violate First Nations’ rights under Treaty 8, rendering them irrelevant to the point of mockery. Treaty 8 guarantees First Nations the right to hunt and fish “for as long as the sun shines, the rivers flow and the grass grows.”
But are treaty promises even worth the paper they’re written on when hunting grounds will be drowned under water, moose populations decimated and fish contaminated with toxic methyl mercury from decaying vegetation?
Site C would also obliterate hundreds of graves and ceremonial sites, and so hinder cultural and traditional practices. Hunting, fishing, collecting medicinal plants and visiting sacred sites are activities by which First Nations maintain their cultural and spiritual identity and connection to the land. How long will Treaty 8 First Nations be able to sustain a vibrant, living culture when the dam devastates their land and communities?
We need to come together to support Treaty 8. I invite you to help stop the dam by making a donation on this page; your gift will go to the Treaty 8 legal fund.”
To contribute to Suzuki’s page, visit https://fundraise.raventrust.com/fundraise?fcid=493279