We’re All Treaty People: Site C, Treaty Power and Power Politics

Join the discussion to explore the social and legal ramifications of Site C                  July 5 at Douglas College Aboriginal Gathering Centre.

 

The social cost of moving forward with Site C, the third major dam on the Peace River in northeastern BC, goes far beyond the obvious cost overruns and rearguard economics.  The tension cracks in the river bank where BC Hydro and the BC Government plan to blast aren’t the only cracks that pose a danger. The project will shatter the entire ecosystem of the Peace River Valley.

We’re All Treaty Peoplewill welcome special guest Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Union of B Indian Chiefs and  eature Dr. Gordon Christie, Inupiat/Inuvialuit ancestry, UBC specialist in Aboriginal law (bio attached) and Julian Napoleon Dane-zaa and Cree (bio attached) from the Saulteau First Nations, dedicated to raising awareness around Indigenous issues of land, water, food and community. Other guests will include Adrienne Peacock, a Douglas College Professor emeritus who was a member of the BC Utilities Commission when it rejected Site C in the early 80’s and Reverend Emily Smith the Parish Priest at St. Barnabas Anglican Church in New Westminster.

On the value of land to culture and survival, Mr. Napoleon does not mince his words, “In its destruction of invaluable farmland, waterways, and ecologically rich and abundant biocultural heritage areas, the Site C dam endangers all of our long-term resilience, sovereignty, and food security.”

Dr. Christie will bring clarity to the evening by presenting Treaty 8, its legal ramifications and who is responsible for its adherence. The West Moberly and Prophet River cases as well as the Blueberry River case will be explained in accessible language. But he will also discuss how every British Columbian has a responsibility to ensure that Treaty 8 is respected. Dr. Christie emphasizes that, “Canadians are treaty partners within the treaty 8 regime, and so should be concerned that promises made in the treaty—on their behalf—are being upheld.”

Each guest will be asked to answer the following questions:

  1. Why should the Site C Dam be halted?
  2. What can we do to stop it.

The evening is a fundraiserand pay-what-you canwith food, videos and a chance to meet people working on-the-ground to stop Site C.  All proceeds of the evening will go to three court cases:  West Moberly and Prophet River Bands injunction request, the Blueberry River Bands Treaty 8 case and the Peace Valley Landowners Association whose members are the farmers and ranchers whose farms fall within the 140,000 square kilometers of land targeted for flooding for the Site C Dam.  That territory is equal to the land between Maple Ridge and Hope.  Just think about it.

The event is sponsored by Aboriginal Services, Douglas College and Fight C.

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Information: Mae Burrows   604-526-1956 (h) 604) 916-9026 (c)

 

 

 

Site C: Treaty Power and Power Politics?

Indigenous Rights, Treaty 8 and Reconciliation

Join the conversation:  July 5, 6:30-9:30 pm, a public discussion will take place at Douglas College’s Aboriginal Gathering Centre, to investigate just what is going on when it comes toIndigenous Rights, Treaty 8 and Reconciliation

Featuring special guest Chief Bob Chamberlain,  (@chiefbobby)Vice President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the evening will headline talks by UBC specialist in Aboriginal Law, Dr. Gordon Christie, Inupiat/Inuvialuit, Julian Napoleon, Dane-zaa/Cree researcher on Indigenous Food and Culture, Adrienne Peacock, faculty emeritus of Douglas College, and former member of the BC Utilities Commission and Emilie Smith, Rector at New Westminster’s St Barnabas Anglican Church. (see bios attached)

What is going on?

The West Moberly and Prophet River Bands from Northeast BC and signatories to Treaty 8, will return to court on July 23rd. They are seeking injunctions to prevent BC Hydro from going ahead with work on the Site C Dam, at least, until the conditions of Treaty 8 are settled by the courts. BC Hydro and the BC NDP government are contesting the injunction. The Federal Government recently stated that it will not contest the injunction. International groups including the UN and Amnesty International are calling on all governments to respect Indigenous Rights and the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights (UNDRIP)

Meanwhile, the Blueberry River Band, also from Northeastern BC and a Treaty 8 signatory, will be in court, this summer, as well, in a case brought by the Band against the BC Government, charging that the cumulative impact of industrial development on its traditional territory has breached the government’s obligations under Treaty 8.

Dr. Gordon Christie says, “Canadians are treaty partners within the treaty 8 regime, and so should be concerned that promises made in Treaty 8 – on their behalf – are being upheld.”

Christie emphasizes, “Besides being an economic boondoggle that will only serve to provide cheap power to the oil & gas industry as it goes about fracking in the northeast, flooding caused by the dam will make the exercise of constitutionally-protected treaty rights impossible”

Mae Burrows, Burnaby resident and long-time activist with Fight C is one of the of the July 5thevent organizers, “The Crown signs Treaties with First Nations on behalf of the people of British Columbia and Canada. It’s time we step up to the plate and demand that Governments respect those treaties.”

“What is it with all these court cases?” says Burrows. “British Columbians want to know why First Nations have to go to court to have Treaty rights respected. Why are First Nations still being treated as colonial subjects?”

Last year, the Blueberry Band lost its court petition for an injunction to stop work on Site C however, the judge ruled that “irreparable harm” had been done by industry.

Territory in Northeastern BC and extending into Alberta, has been the scene of an unbelievable amount of destruction as a result of industrialization from mining to gas and oil extraction in the last century.

West Moberly, Prophet River and Blueberry River Bands say again, “enough is enough!”

What can Canadians do to help stop Site C? Julian Napoleon is clear, “If people could come to an understanding of the major threat to our economy, environment, human rights, democracy, and the public institution of BC Hydro, that Site C presents I believe that no rational human being could continue to support the project.”

“Public interest is served by information sharing and open discussion.” concludes Burrows, “and that is what this event is all about.”

The evening is a fundraiser and pay-what-you can with food, music and the chance to meet face-to-face with people who are working on the ground and in the courts to try to convince the BC Government of John Horgan and his local MLA ‘s some of whom are cabinet ministers: Judy Darcy, Mike Farnworth, Selena Robinson, Jodie Wickens, Bruce Ralston, Harry Bains, Raj Chouhan, Janet Routledge and Anne Kang.

All proceeds of the evening will go to three court cases: West Moberly and Prophet River Bands injunction request, the Blueberry River Bands Treaty 8 case and the case being brought forward by the Peace Valley Landowners Association* whose members are the farmers and ranchers whose farms fall within the 140,000 square kilometers of land targeted for flooding for the Site C Dam.  That territory is equal to the land between Maple Ridge and Hope. Just think about it.

The event is sponsored by Aboriginal Services, Douglas College and Fight C.

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Information/Interviews:  Mae Burrows  604-526-1956 (h) 604) 916-9026 (c)

Peace Valley Landowners Association(PVLA The PVLA consists of landowners who are impacted by the proposed Site C dam. The 70+members reflect a cross section of Peace River Country residents from farmers to oil patch workers and retirees many of whom lost their homes when the WAC Bennet Dam was built in the 1960’s.   http://peacevalleyland.com/

 

For Information on the resistance to the Site C Dam  https://witnessforthepeace.c

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The gloves come off in the fight to stop the Kinder Morgan Pipeline

The BC Supreme Court Judge (Affleck) who, on Kinder Morgan’s request, first ordered the injunction limiting protestors to stay five metres away from the gates and waters surrounding the Burnaby Mountain Site, has ramped up the initial injunction.

As of last Friday, June 1, 2018 protestors are forbidden from getting closer than 10 metres of the gates to Kinder Morgan, must keep the roads clear, must obey all the signs and broadcasts — wherever they are claiming Kinder Morgan territory.  And if we don’t do what they say, it will be off to jail for 7 to 10 days.

Canada, get ready!

I was part of a group of 20 within the first 240 people to who under the guidance of our lawyer Chilwin Cheng, Ascendion Law, plead not-guilty.  It was a technical, but important step in attempting to clarify the confusion around civil contempt, which folks up until the end of March were charged with by the RCMP, and criminal contempt.  Judge Affleck, with the agreement of the Attorney General of BC’s office, upgraded the pre-April charges to criminal contempt.  What makes it criminal you ask!  Oh, you are in criminal contempt apparently when you disobey publicly rather than quietly, I guess, like corporate disobedience — do it quietly, I guess and they’ll be nice to you — no matter what.

Lawyer Cheng and his associates working with the group of protestors I was involved with is of the opinion that the contempt charges should be just that and that the punishment should be dictated by something more than public view especially in this day and age where the public part of your disobedience might actually be ‘beyond your control”  given all the digital media present. In addition, Chilwin argued that  violence should be considered when sentences for contempt are handed over. The group I went to court with was proven guilty and we were each given sentences of either $500 or 25 hours of community service.  My service with 411 Seniors Society has already started.

The Travesty of it All

I read an interesting editorial in The Guardian today about how Canada has become a country known for its apologies, particularly under the “teary-eyed” Justin Trudeau. Apologies without substance, of course as Canada continues to impose colonial practice on Indigenous Peoples right across the country, continues to condemn those of us who support Palestinian sovereignty.

before-after-tar-sands

Stick around

This Monday, June 11 the next wave of protests will begin.  Just to be clear, not that they have ever stopped.  Lead by our Coast Salish sisters and brothers not one day has gone by when there has not been some action, ceremony or celebration of the resistance to territorial destruction.

But on Monday a new wave will begin.  With the new boundaries for protest and proposals that fines will now be replaced by jail time the long, hot summer of 2018 is about to begin.

The Watch House for Burnaby Mountain and the Tiny Houses being built right along the line where the Justin Trudeau Pipeline is threatening to be built through Indigenous Territories both First Nations and settlers will be telling the world that it is time to stop the destruction coming from Canada’s “tar sands” — territorial home to the Lubicon Cree and other Indigenous Nations and Métis Communities who have lived in the territory for many, many, generations some, before contact,  and have been fighting against the “tar sands” project since the 1970’s.

 

 

 

 

“We Are Going to Not Allow Kinder Morgan to Finish This Pipeline”

 

Louise Leclair asks:

What does Bill Morneau mean when he says that CanadiansWhales and bitumen don't mix won’t have to pay the indemnification bill for Kinder Texas Oil Giant Kinder M

Anybody want to buy a useless pipeline … or a hydro dam for that matter?

 

 

 

May 21, 2018

By  Andy Rowell  [reprinted from Portside Moderator originally from Common Dreams

 

It’s not just about the spills, it’s not just about the orcas,” said Graham Clumpner one of the paddlers with the Mosquito Fleet: “The bigger issue that we are all facing is climate change,” he said. “We are going to not allow Kinder Morgan to finish this pipeline.”

“They want to bring that oil through here, but we say that we will stop Kinder Morgan,” George-Parker said. “It is not happening.” , Emma Cassidy, Greenpeace

As the clock ticks down until the May 31 deadline over the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project, which will triple the amount of tar sands being transported from Alberta to the British Columbian coast, the campaign against its expansion is spreading abroad.

Yesterday in Seattle, over 200 km south of where the pipeline hits the coast, hundreds of “kayactivists” took to the water to protest against the pipeline.

They were part of a demonstration by the US environmental group, Mosquito Fleet, Greenpeace US and Sierra Club that organised a rally in the city against Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion.

Tensions are certainly rising. Kinder Morgan has given the Federal government of Canada until the end of the month to resolve outstanding financial and legal issues surrounding the pipeline. Last week, in order to appease the Texan oil company, Trudeau’s Government announced that it will effectively give the Kinder Morgan a “blank cheque” “to indemnify” the pipeline “against any financial loss,” suffered if they build the pipeline.

The move seems to have backfired and emboldened everyone fighting the pipeline. And as the May 31 deadline gets closer, there is a growing awareness not only of the threat that the pipeline poses to the climate, but also to marine life as it would massively increase the tanker traffic up the West Coast of Canada and US.

Indeed, last week the US environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), warned Kinder Morgan that the pipeline project, could be “illegal” under the US Endangered Species Act, which is seen as one of the world’s strongest species protection laws.

“It’s not just about the spills, it’s not just about the orcas,” said Graham Clumpner one of the paddlers with the Mosquito Fleet: “The bigger issue that we are all facing is climate change,” he said. “We are going to not allow Kinder Morgan to finish this pipeline.”

Ben Smith from Greenpeace USA added “It would make climate change worse, it would trample Indigenous rights, it would run over our clean water here, and it would decimate the final 76 remaining orcas, the Southern Resident killer whale in our waters.”

At the rally yesterday, one of the speakers was Cedar George-Parker from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, who have been leading the community opposition to the pipeline in British Columbia. “They want to bring that oil through here, but we say that we will stop Kinder Morgan,” George-Parker said. “It is not happening.”

Not only is the growing resistance from the local community, indigenous rights groups and local and US-based environmental groups to the pipeline, but even the financial community thinks the economics and changing energy market is stacked against it. Wal van Lierop is president and CEO of Chrysalix Venture Capital.

Writing in the Globe and Mailyesterday, Van Lierop pointed out what many people having been saying to Trudeau for months, but what the Canadian Prime Minister has flatly ignored: “There is also growing consensus that the world is going through an energy transition,” he wrote, before likening the current the energy transition to a baseball game, where “we could see the stages of its progression over the past decade.”

In the first inning, argues Van Lierop “coal lost to gas in the competition for power generation in North America and Europe; solar and wind lit up the scoreboard with incredible cost reductions in the second inning; but in the third, shale oil and gas rallied, creating an energy boom in U.S. gas and making that country the international swing player — supplanting OPEC in that position.”

Van Lierop adds: “Now we are entering the fourth inning, with a playing field of abundant cheap energy and midway through the ball game it looks like the players highest on the cost curve will be the ones striking out. Those players will likely include both new projects in Arctic oil and the oil sands, as their business case makes them weak in a game where cost is key.”

He even goes as far as to warn, because the pipeline makes no economic sense due to the expensive tar sands extraction and transportation costs, that “we would have to presume that the Alberta and federal governments hadn’t seen the Kinder Morgan order book before they announced an intention to financially support the company’s pipeline, because that may show a rapidly deteriorating business case.”

He is not the only one who thinks Trudeau is in trouble here. Indeed, as Bloomberg pointed out at the end of last week, “Justin Trudeau’s pipeline nightmare may be only getting started … the prime minister could end up fighting for an asset that hardly anybody wants.”

© 2018 Oil Change International And Common Dreams

Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way Vancouver, Penticton, Toronto, Winnipeg

Cast and Crews
Cast, writers, directors, designers, producers — the whole crew of WROW

Last Thursday night the long-awaited production of Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way, a play co-written by Renae Morrisear\, Rosemary Georgeson and Savannah Walling and directed by Morriseau opened at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre in East Vancouver/Coast Salish Territories to a circle bursting with friends and guests.

The play cum multi-media performances including  storytelling, traditional and personal songs as well as drumming and games–one game in particular Slahal–features some of the finest actors from various parts of British Columbia and across the county.

Stephen Lytton, Sophie Merasty, Jonathan Fisher and Sam Bob join Delhia Nahanee, Latash Maurice Nahanee, Tai Amy Grauman, Tracey Nepinak Vern Bevis and Tania Carter in sharing  life experiences and and the stories of how one Indigenous family’s healing process defines reconciliation.

Its not what some might expect if people are looking at the play to shed light on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s proposals about reconciling between First Nations and Canada.  Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way  (WROW)is deep and its personal. it is more about how one Indigenous family’s healing process defines reconciliation

Morisseau says this about reconciliation “As Indigenous people we have been ‘reconciling’ for a long time within our own communities and in our families. We are living with the impact that Canadian policy and legislation has had on us. It’s generational and continues today.”

And (WROW is funny.  As with many communities, sometimes you just had to be part of it to get the humour but the uproar at various parts of the play hit the heart and the funny bone of every single person in the house.

Sam Bob Slahal

And audiences in every performance since opening night have been raving.

 Here are just a few early responses: 

Amazing, amazing AMAZING.  So SO powerful.
I felt lucky to be in the room.”

Excited to experience indigeneity in this way. Please keep up the amazing work. THIS IS CANADIAN HISTORY.”

Thank you so much for this beautiful, humorous, tragic, hopeful tapestry.

Watching the play, I believed that each story represented the lived experience of each actor. The sharing of the stories, intertwined with other stories, intertwined with past injustices, intertwined with other injustices, give light to the complexities of the process of reconciliation with Indigenous families.

Awesome play. Funny, sad – the actors are great!”

The show continues in Vancouver until May 26 with performances at 7:30 each of May 24 and 25 and one performance at 2:00 pm on May 26.

Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way travels to:

Penticton/Sylix Territory  for a performance on Thursday May 31 at 7:00 pm and a Friday matinee at 12:30 pm at the En’owken Centre

Toronto/Treaty 13 on June 6-9 Wednesday through Friday 7:30 pm and Saturday manatee at 2:00 pm Aki Studio Theatre

Winnipeg/Treaty 1 and Metis Homelands June 13 -16 Wednesday through Friday 7:30 pm and Saturday matinee 2:00 pm Theatre Circle Molière

 

Don’t mss Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way!

Tomorrow i’ll post another piece on Les Filles du Roi  (the King’s Daughters) an extraordinary musical/drama about the 800 women famously sent from France to “populate” the New World between 1663 and 1673.  Staging, music and story extraordinaire.

 

Arrested: Now What? In Burnaby, they are afraid of being on the front line of dying!

Today many people laid down in front of the Kinder Morgan gate in preparation for the “real die in” that could come should any small thing ignite that bomb that is sitting atop of Burnaby Mountain!

They were arrested for dying! Can you imagine.  So along with many others of us, no doubt, they will plead “not guilty” of doing anything wrong but protesting the fire and destruction that could follow.

Mainstream media being what it is, we hear nothing of the KM and other companies oil spills and oil leaks and what have you taking place be it in the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean or wherever,

Remember the 70’s song, “When will we ever learn.  When will we e….ver learn!”  I guess,

 

in 2018…. it seems not quite yet!Mountain bomb!