Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad, the B.C. minister responsible for aboriginal relations, is doing his best Cool Hand Luke impersonation these days. Any flare up of anger or frustration from B.C. First Nations directed towards the provincial government is greeted with the classic line from the movie: "what we have here is a failure to communicate."
Rustad's efforts to engage First Nations across B.C. are commendable and a vast improvement over the treatment the aboriginal community received from previous provincial governments on both sides of the political fence. If language and words hold any value, Rustad has taken some giant strides forward and taken his cabinet colleagues along with him.
The "Premiers Natural Resources" forum this week provides an important opportunity for First Nations and the provincial government to re-focus and develop a new way to address government to government engagement. The present approach by the Crown in addressing land, resource development decision-making and environmental, social and other significant impacts raised by First Nations has not been successful. The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on June 26, 2014 provides clear guidance to governments and industry proponents when it said: "Governments and individuals proposing to use or exploit land, whether before or after a declaration of Aboriginal title, can avoid a charge of infringement or failure to adequately consult by obtaining the consent of the interested Aboriginal group".
The "Premiers Natural Resources" forum this week provides an important opportunity for First Nations and the provincial government to re-focus and develop a new way to address government to government engagement.
Lheidli T’enneh Territory/Prince George BC - The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is supporting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) report entitled: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in British Columbia, Canada (Dec. 21/14). The report took several years to prepare and included engagement with First Nations across British Columbia (BC) and Canada, including the Carrier Sekani leadership and membership. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), initiated the IACHR submissions which led to the report.
Tribal Chief Teegee stated, “We are pleased with the IACHR report on missing and murdered women. This is the greatest challenge we all have before us: how to protect our women and girls in Canada. We continue to struggle to improve the root cause of poverty in our communities, and the IACHR provides some more solutions.” He continued, “We are grateful to the IACHR and all their staff and leaders. Once again an international organization shines the light on Canada and British Columbia’s dark history and present reality. How can we talk about ‘first world’ Canada and yet there is still so much marginalization and racism of First Nations women in BC?”
Dakelh Territory, Prince George. Today, Nadleh Whut’en and Nak’azdli First Nations, both of which are members of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, filed for judicial review of B.C.’s decision to issue an Environmental Assessment Certificate for TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project. The decision to litigate was only arrived at by the Nations after they exhausted all other possible options to work with B.C. to ensure that their concerns about the Project’s impacts to their respective territories would be addressed.
Dakelh Territory, Prince George. On Friday, October 24, the BC Environmental Assessment Office issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate for TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project. This is an important milestone for the natural gas industry and the BC government. However, BC has stated publicly that this Project (and other proposed natural gas pipelines) will not go ahead without First Nation support. That support is not currently in place. CSTC and its member First Nations have outstanding concerns about the environmental impacts of the Project that have not been addressed. BC and TransCanada will need to address our concerns before CSTC and its member First Nations will be in a position to provide our required consent for this Project.
Dakelh Territory, Prince George. Last week the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) released reports to the BC Environmental Assessment Office and Minister Rich Coleman (Minister of Natural Gas Development) regarding the Coastal Gas Link Pipeline (a subsidiary company of TransCanada Pipelines). These reports form part of the CSTC’s efforts to understand the impacts from 5 different proposed natural gas pipelines that could cross unceded Carrier Sekani First Nations territories. While the Carrier Sekani are not against development, all parties must make informed decisions about how to ensure that development does not compromise current and future generations requirements for a healthy environment and meaningful cultural practices.
August 22, 2014-Early Edition-The Long Haul
The First Nations Fisheries Council of British Columbia (FNFC) expresses its deepest concern for the people of the Upper Fraser River watershed, whose pristine salmon habitat has been affected by the recent Mount Polley mine tailings pond breach near Likely, BC. On August 4th, the dam containing millions of cubic meters of tailings failed, spewing toxic sludge into Hazeltine Creek, Cariboo Creek, and Quesnel Lake. The wastewater and silt contain unknown levels of arsenic, mercury, lead, copper and cadmium, along with other toxins and heavy metals.
FNHA Updates on Mount Polley Tailings Pond Breach
Quesnel Lake Water Quality tests:
August 08, 2014-Afternoon Edition-Fraser River Sampling
WILLIAMS LAKE – Testing continues on samples taken from Polley and Quesnel lakes.
Several fish have been tested and deep water-quality testing has occurred. The following
results are to be expected, given the location and pose no human health risk.
Mount Polley Mine Tailings Pond Breach– Fish Consumption Deemed Safe –
Following consultation and discussion with a number of agencies regarding the impacts of the Mount Polley Mine's tailings pond breach on the human health risks associated with eating fish, Interior Health’s Medical Health Officer (MHO) has deemed all fish outside of the revised August 12 “Do Not Use” water advisory as safe for human consumption. Individuals should refrain from consuming fish from the remaining impact zone, which includes Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, and a small portion of Quesnel Lake that has a visible sediment plume.
The 2014 Dene Language Conference is scheduled to take place in Prince George, BC at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) on June 18-20, 2014 from 8am-4pm.
TransCanada Natural Gas Pipelines &
BC Government Negotiations
The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is hosting meetings for on- and off-reserve members regarding:
• High level government-to-government negotiations between CSTC member First Nations and the BC Government. Learn about upcoming negotiations.
• TransCanada Open House information sessions for Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project. Informal drop-in sessions offer an opportunity to meet with the project team members, ask questions and engage in discussions
There are several natural gas pipelnes being proposed that will cross the CSTC member First Nations territories. We are working to understand the impacts to our communities, the land and resources.
CSTC, Finesse Films and Other Partners Announcement: Premiere of “Highway of Tears” (2014) Documenta
Lheidli T’enneh Territory/Prince George BC - The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is pleased to Announce the world premiere of the documentary film “Highway of Tears” (2014) at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, a festival that showcases human rights cases from around world and is co-produced by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and Human Rights Watch Canada. The film will debut on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 6:30 at the TIFF Bell Light box in Toronto.
CSTC Congratulates Tsilhqot’in Nation for Saving Teztan Biny: Taseko Mines proposal to kill fresh water lake denied federal approval
Some First Nations in B.C. are alarmed that they haven’t been involved in provincial government discussions around LNG tax levels, as Victoria lays the groundwork for the nascent LNG industry.
The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council says First Nations should receive a share of a new tax on liquefied natural gas the province expects to help feed a $100-billion prosperity fund.
The first details of the tax for the nascent industry were unveiled by Premier Christy Clark’s government last week.
Yesterday the National Energy Board (NEB) Joint Review Panel (JRP) released their recommendations to approve the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project.
Saik'uz First Nation Chief Stan Thomas is among the leaders who expressed concerns at Thursday’s news conference. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)
Doug Eyford releases much anticipated report.
The Highway of Tears is along Highway 16 where many of our people have gone missing and murdered.
The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council hosted a First Nations Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Summit on October 9-10, 2013 in Prince George at the PG Civic Centre.
OTTAWA — A Vancouver-based environmental group is challenging the federal government’s limits on participation in hearings for projects such as Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline to ship bitumen crude from Alberta to British Columbia. ForestEthics Advocacy, represented by prominent lawyer Clayton Ruby, filed an action in the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto on Tuesday seeking to have 2012 legislation limiting who can participate in hearings struck down as unconstitutional.
NSTC - Wednesday, July 21, 2013 - The Northern Shuswap Tribal Council through Fisheries Department Manager, Gord Sterritt, made arrangements for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans personnel from Lillooet and Prince George to transfer approximately 200 Early Stuart sockeye that were seized in St’at’imc (Lillooet) and Nlka’pamux (Thompson in the Lytton area) traditional fishing area.
Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia. Canada. It’s time that Premier Christy Clark meet with the CSTC Chiefs to discuss natural gas pipeline proposals impacting CSTC member First Nations territories. The CSTC First Nations are unified and adamant that these natural gas pipeline projects will have a challenges ahead without our free, prior and informed consent.
Today, May 8, the Enbridge board of directors is meeting with shareholders in Calgary for the Enbridge annual general meeting. In the past, we, the chiefs of the Yinka Dene Alliance, have personally attended this meeting to explain to Enbridge senior management and shareholders why our communities have rejected the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project. We have decided not to be with you this time, but our message today, as always, is that this and any other oil pipeline will not cross our homelands in British Columbia.
Background: The 89-page report documents both ongoing police failures to protect indigenous women and girls in the north from violence and violent behavior by police officers against women and girls. Police failures and abuses add to longstanding tensions between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and indigenous communities in the region, Human Rights Watch said. The Canadian government should establish a national commission of inquiry into the murders and disappearances of indigenous women and girls, including the impact of police mistreatment on their vulnerability to violence in communities along Highway 16, which has come to be called northern British Columbia’s “Highway of Tears.”
Dakelh Territory, Prince George, BC, Canada - Over the past two months the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) has been supporting the Idle No More cause. The origin of this cause comes from four aboriginal women in Saskatchewan who embodied the frustrations felt by many First Nations communities across this country. More importantly, the reason why this cause gained so much traction was that it was led by the grassroots people who said "enough is enough". Rightfully so it should be, because the momentum that carries and maintains the movement can only succeed if it is led by the grassroots people.
The Wet'suwet'en First Nation is extremely concerned that the owners of Huckleberry Mines Ltd. (HML) are jeopardizing the rights and title of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation (WFN) because they have not signed any new agreement allowing them to pass through WFN lands. HML has breached a 1997 agreement that it had with the Wet'suwet'en First Nation, and HML is not negotiating in good faith with WFN, which threatens the Huckleberry Mine project.
Opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project continued to gain momentum today as the Tahltan Central Council, the Tahltan Band Council and the BC Metis Federation signed the Save the Fraser Declaration, an indigenous law declaration banning tar sands pipelines and tankers from crossing British Columbia, signed by over 130 First Nations.
Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia. Canada. Today Justice Bruce Cohen released the much anticipated report from the Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River (also known as the Cohen Commission). Over the last three years the Cohen Commission heard from 179 witnesses, including First Nations from Carrier Sekani territories regarding the cumulative impacts affecting the decline of the Fraser River Sockeye (Dakelh name: Talo).
In 2007 the CSTC became a certified institution to deliver the BEAHR ECO Canada training programs. BEAHR Training Programs are nationally-recognized training programs that are locally-relevant. They are delivered in the community, and offer a unique learning environment that incorporates practical, hands-on instruction with fieldwork, exercises, and group activities. They blend both traditional and scientific knowledge, with formal and informal methods of learning. The participation of local knowledge holders is required and industry participation is highly encouraged. BEAHR Training Programs are adaptable to suit community needs and can be arranged to accommodate a variety of requirements, including delivery location, instructor preference, number of students, and the length of time to complete the required modules.
The CSTC has released an online atlas to show changes over time to the CSTC territory. It is for educational purposes only. If you have any content (i.e. videos, audio, photos, etc.) that you think mignt be useful for the atlas, please contact our office.
From 2006-2008, the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) worked in partnership with the National Centre for First Nation Governance (NCFNG) to research and document examples of successful environmental governance and how they are being implemented by the First Nations of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC). Together, we learned that First Nations with successful environmental governance shared seven essential elements.
This section contains information that may not be suitable for everyone. It is meant to raise awareness about missing and murdered women in northern BC, and throughout Canada. Many of these women are First Nations, some of whom come from CSTC communities; all of them deserve justice.