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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde says that the Site C project and the federal government’s approach, is not in keeping with Canada’s constitution or UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In an article posted in the Vancouver Sun, Bellegarde says: “Why don’t they respect and follow their own constitution? Section 35. Existing aboriginal treaty rights.”
Bellegarde made the comments to the Canadian Press.
He also says it goes completely against Justin Trudeau’s promise to have a better relationship with First Nations. He says the project would involve flooding a valley where indigenous people have lived, hunted, trapped, fished and gathered medicines.
He says that the relationship needs to be healthy and respectful but that is not the case with the Site C dam.
“There’s indigenous peoples buried throughout that valley so you’re disrespecting inherent rights, you’re disrespecting treaty rights.”
Justin Trudeau’s office did not respond to Bellegarde’s remarks. The comments come at a time where the Site C dam is being heard about across the country, as the court case involving Treaty 8 happens in Montreal today.
Story Credit: The Canadian Press and Vancouver Sun
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