At the April 24th 2017 TRU Faculty Association Annual General Meeting a resolution regarding the Site C Dam in the Peace River region of British Columbia was passed almost unanimously. In passing this resolution, TRUFA affirmed its support of the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of the Treaty 8 First Nations, particularly the Indigenous peoples of the Peace River watershed, called for a cessation of any construction related to the Site C project (absent the conclusion of a fully funded decision-making process by Indigenous Peoples regarding the project), and called for an independent review of the Site C dam by the BC Utilities Commission.
For the full wording of the Resolution please see below.
TRUFA RESOLUTION IN OPPOSITION OF THE SITE C DAM
WHERAS BC Hydro is proposing to build the Site C dam in the territory of the Treaty 8 Nations without their prior informed consent.
WHEREAS the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and other international human rights instruments and multilateral environmental agreements that Canada is a signatory to, recognize the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of Indigenous peoples to make decisions regarding access to their lands and resources. The declaration further guarantees the rights of Indigenous peoples to enjoy and practice their cultures and customs, their religions and languages, and to develop and strengthen their economies and their social and political institutions. It also protects their right and responsibility “to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions.” Flooding them off their land would violate their rights and our responsibilities as Canadians who have signed treaties for peaceful coexistence.
WHEREAS the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE), through its work with indigenous, environmental, and community organizations, has passed a resolution (FPSE Human Rights Committee March 16, 2017) calling on the provincial government to avoid a globally-recognized 9 billion dollar human rights violation by constructing Site C dam flooding Indigenous people from their historically or currently used or occupied land in the Peace River Valley. It further calls upon the government to hold independent BC Utility Commission hearings to examine the need for the Site C electricity, the use of other energy sources to fill future needs, and the burden of future BC Hydro debt that will be shouldered by generations of taxpayers.
WHEREAS rather than having the Site C project examined by the BC Utilities Commission so that evidence would be assembled determining the fairness of rates for future generations of BC consumers, the Liberal cabinet under Premier Christy Clark have exempted Site C from this examination. The intergenerational impact on future consumers as well as the impact on government services such as schools, hospitals and more needs to be examined. The absence of such due diligence is irresponsible given the size of expenditure, currently estimated to be 9 billion dollars.
WHEREAS the energy that would be produced by the proposed Site C project, is currently not required by BC consumers and would rather be used to fuel destructive projects like the proposed Ajax mine in Secwepemc territory and potentially tar sands exploitation.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA) recognize and support that the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of the Treaty 8 First Nations, particularly the Indigenous peoples of the Peace River watershed, including the right not to be flooded and thereby partially removed from their territory.
IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that TRUFA call for a cessation of any construction related to the Site C project, absent the conclusion of a fully funded decision-making process by Indigenous Peoples regarding the project.
IT FINALLY BE RESOLVED that TRUFA call for an independent review of the Site C dam by the BC Utilities Commission.