Remember treaty rights

The premier is being urged to remember the treaty rights of First Nations battling against the Site C dam project in northeastern B.C.

The Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations have been fighting the dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River because a planned 83-kilometre reservoir would flood farmland and traditional First Nations territory, affecting hunting, fishing and trapping rights.

“We call on Premier Horgan to remember the members of Treaty 8 who are defending their land and way of life against BC Hydro’s destructive Site C project,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).

Phillip's statement comes on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.

“Indigenous Rights are human rights,” said Phillip. “We call on federal, provincial and municipal governments to truly commit to the true spirit and intent of the UN Declaration as a fundamental international human rights instrument to advance human rights for Indigenous peoples as a framework for justice and reconciliation.”

Meanwhile, the federal government has released a report with 25 recommendations for establishing a B.C. human rights commission. 

The report includes a recommendation to “collaborate and consult with Indigenous groups to develop commission policies and practices that honour the principles set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

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