Common Sense Canadian

Landmark Treaty 8 lawsuit challenges Site C Dam, LNG

PostedMarch 5, 2015 by in BC

A sweeping lawsuit filed this week by the Blueberry River First Nations from northeast BC threatens the province’s resource agenda – including the proposed Site C Dam and shale gas and LNG development.

As a party to Treaty 8, the First Nation was guaranteed the right to continue practicing its traditional way of life on the land, but that promise has been repeatedly broken over the last century, the suit alleges. An time lapse map presented by the nation at a press conference in Vancouver yesterday graphically demonstrates how over 90% of critical watersheds have been heavily industrialized since 1950.

Chief Marvin Yahey calls the action “a last resort”, after countless failed attempts to engage with the province in meaningful consultation. Now, with BC Hydro planning to start construction on the 80 km-long Site C Dam and reservoir this summer – and a massive increase in fracking activities on the horizon to supply LNG pipelines and terminals – his nation was left with no other choice but to sue the government based on treaty rights violations.

Lead Counsel John Rich acknowledged that injunctions against projects like Site C could be sought by the nation through the lawsuit and related legal challenges.

CORRECTION: Steve DeRoy is misidentified in the video as representing Firelake Group – which should be The Firelight Group.


About the Author

Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.


    pam nosworthy

    I know that if we all stand strong with our First Nations people we can stop these oil companies from moving in to destroy our water and land.This land is for our future generation not oil companies to make money.I’m sick and tired of how oil is taking over globally.We must stop it now!

    Deb Bledsoe

    I hope that all of my white brothers and sisters are as proud of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters as I am. ALL of Canada’s children will be thanking you in future generations. Because of you and what you are doing right across this Province, all of our future generations will have something left to be thankful for. Thank you.


    Well Done Blueberry First Nation. It is sad that the future of our Province , our country and possibly the world has to rely on the First nation people to assert their rights. Very well spoken. I will be showing this clip to my class tomorrow of mostly First nations students and show that they have mentors and strong leadership in this province.


    Please do not allow any more wells drilled for LNG development in Northeast BC. I do not want to see 18 LNG terminals on the BC coast. This is total lunacy!


    Its about time some action happened rather than see all the facebook warriors post stuff. This is awespme to see this insanity stop and quit killing our earth and our future generations.
    Thank you Blueberry River First Nations!!


    Give Them heck Norman ! The First Nations is the only voice the Gov’t of B.C seems to partially hear!! I was once asked if I thought Site C could be stopped ! My response was The only one’s that could stop them was First Nations! I am” and a lot of people who live in the Peace are depending on The First Nations to carry this through and stop their stupidity of destroying our valley! Please don’t give in to them buying off the First Nations as a lot think that may happen! Dollars don’t last Rivers, Hills, Water. Wildlife , and Fish are Forever! They come they build it they go to their mansions –pockets full of money -and were left with a massive body of water –fog covered city having to build new roads and bridges, no Valley thousands of dead and dislocated birds and animals dead fish –people ill from dust and crap in the air ! The old Fort site gone!! Yes they will come and build it and when it’s done –We’ve been Raped again==What else is New!! Hang in there First Nations!! PLEASE!!!!!


    Just FYI, it’s Steve Deroy of the Firelight Group – not Firelake Group. Not sure if CSC did the filming for this, but if so, you might want to make the correction. Cheers!

      Damien Gillis

      Thank you, Amber. Unfortunately too late to change video but will insert a correction in the story.

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