In the Network: Media Co-op Dominion   Locals: HalifaxMontrealTorontoVancouver

Treaty 8 Elders Visit Site-C Hunger Striker

by murray bush - flux photo

Chief Roland Willson presents gifts to hunger striker Kristin Henry
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Treaty 8 Elders Visit Site-C Hunger Striker
Treaty 8 Elders Visit Site-C Hunger Striker
Kristin Henry
Treaty 8 Elders Visit Site-C Hunger Striker
Treaty 8 Elders Visit Site-C Hunger Striker
Treaty 8 Elders Visit Site-C Hunger Striker
Kristin Henry
Kristin Henry and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and tireless activist Shirly Samples
Treaty 8 Elders Visit Site-C Hunger Striker

COAST SALISH TERRITORY: A delegation of chiefs and elders from Treay 8 paid a visit today to the protest camp outside BC Hydro headquarters in Vancouver.

The delegation brought gifts of appreciation to anti-Site-C hunger striker Kristin Henry. She was recently admitted to St Paul's hospital after 20 days on a liquid-only diet camped outside BC Hydro. She was forced to stop after serious medical concerns over her deteriorating physical condition.

Just released from hospital, Henry addressed the crowd thanking her supporters and saying: "I still have quite a bit of healing to do. My heart and kidneys are tired, as is my mind. The next couple of weeks will require lots of rest, quiet, solitude & reflection." She added, "I meant it when I said Christy Clark, BC Hydro and Trudeau will have blood on their hands if this project goes through. My hunger strike may have ended, but I have no intention of living in a world with Site-C and LNG."

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the BC Union of Indian Chiefs was also on hand to deride the provincial government for even considering the massive hydroelectric dam project in the Peace River Valley.

West Moberley First Nations Chief Roland Willson thanked Henry for her courage and personal sacrifice.  "Our elders continue to remind us that we must protect the land, and exercise our Indigenous rights and Treaty rights," Willson said, adding "Every week we learn of a new reason why Site-C should not proceed, from increases that ratepayers face to the severley detrimental impacts the project will have on life sustaining trout in the Peace River, and as the public voice of opposition grows louder, we know the Christy Clark government will be forced to listen."

Despite widespread opposition to the project, preliminery destruction started last summer, and is expected to continue in preparation for the dam construction.

Meanwhile in Fort St John, supporters of the Peace Valley Landowners Association gathered outside the Provincial Courthouse. The association is in the BC Supreme Court of Appeal this week trying to stop the dam. Spokespeople say they expect more demonstrations in Terrace, Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii.




Catch the news as it breaks: follow the VMC on Twitter.
Join the Vancouver Media Co-op today. Click here to learn about the benefits of membership.


It's not over (petition to the CBC)

  While Kristin's hunger strike is over, the hunger strike and the situation that led her to it are not.

  Even though she was in front of the BC Hydro office for 20 days and the Hunger Strike camp remains to carry forward the message she was trying to spread about the reality of what is still an ongoing travesty on multiple levels as the early development of the site C dam continues despite it's dubious legality and definite destructiveness, few people outside of those directly involved or who have a vested interest as either supporters or opposition to it have more than the vaguest idea of what it is all about.

  As with the other land defense efforts against resource development projects in BC that are ill advised and in violation of First Nations land title rights, the mainstream media is still functionally in almost a black out mode, barely reporting on the issues and when it does report on them giving only the briefest of mention to the motivations of the defenders while listing the supposed benefits of the projects.

  Without breaking through that wall of silence, site C and the other projects will go on past the point of no return, the province has already (illegally) spent or committed to spending much of the taxpayer's burden for the intitial construction of the dam, and will soon reach the point where stopping the process will be virtually impossible and the permanent damage will be done.

  While the mainstream media networks are not likely to alter what appear to be their policies of silence that have been mandated from levels as high or higher than their ownership, the CBC is technically still a publicly owned network with a mandate that insists on non-partisanship.

  The Harper Government appointed the current president and entire board of directors of the CBC, and from all reports their personal views match up closely with that government's focus on resource development at all costs, but there are still within the organization people with jounalistic integrity who would likely have been covering the site C story as well as others before now if they were not constrained by administrative policy.

  This petition is aimed directly at giving those journalists and news teams both a mandate to report on what is of concern to all Canadians in the larger perspective, and the protection of public scrutiny against recriminations for the honest telling of the story that led Kristin to the BC Hydro offices and eventually into the hospital.

  That could be a "game changer" in several ways that count.

  In three days it has garnered 700 signatures, but will need many more to have it's desired effect (although even in failure it carries with it a summary of the primary issues that the media is ignoring), and at this point every day the land in the Peace River Valley suffers more damage.

  Anyone is welcome to read, and hopefully choose to sign and/or spread it to any place where someone who would be interested in it might find it.


Creative Commons license icon Creative Commons license icon Creative Commons license icon

The site for the Vancouver local of The Media Co-op has been archived and will no longer be updated. Please visit the main Media Co-op website to learn more about the organization.