Breach of Trust: Indigenous Rights
and the Future of the Site C Dam
A thought-provoking evening with Amnesty International Canada‘s Craig Benjamin, Julian Napoleon from Saulteau First Nations, and Sarah Cox, author of Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley’s Stand Against Big Hydro (UBC Press).
A timely follow up to our Sooke Justice for the Peace evening with the Peace Valley Environment Association‘s Ken Boon in the spring that we co-presented with Rolling Justice Bus. Special thanks to newly arrived Sooke resident Lily Mah-Sen for making the evening possible.
Admission free or by small donation to cover modest event costs.
About the speakers:
* Sarah Cox is an award-winning journalist who specializes in energy and environmental issues. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, online publications, and provincial and national newspapers. Breaching the Peace is Sarah’s first book and tells the inspiring and astonishing story of the farmers and First Nations who fought the most expensive megaproject in BC history and the government-sanctioned bullying that propelled it forward. She lives in Victoria.
* Julian Napoleon is Dane-zaa/Cree from the Saulteau First Nations in Treaty 8. He recently moved back home to Moberly Lake after completing a Biology degree at UBC. He is dedicated to his role as a community hunter and fisher-person. As an uncle to many youth and children in his community, Napoleon carries the responsibility of passing on the traditional subsistence practices and cultural protocols of his people. He is also working closely with his nation on various food sovereignty initiatives.
* Craig Benjamin is an Amnesty International Canada campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) in Canada. A non-Indigenous person currently living in Mi’kmaw territory in Nova Scotia, Craig is honoured to have had the opportunity to work alongside Indigenous activists from across Canada and around the world.
About Breaching the Peace (UBC Press)
“In the pages of this book, we read of the shameful litany of excuses offered up for government failures to uphold Treaty 8, respect human rights, and protect the environment. Federal officials pretend it is out of their hands and up to the province. The Horgan government now asserts it is hamstrung by the money already invested by its predecessors. Indeed, the overarching calculus comes down to money. Too expensive to turn back, says Premier Horgan. But the truth really is that he and all other political leaders before him have been unwilling and unable to accept their responsibility to treat the Peace River Valley and its people as something more than a resource to be exploited for the benefit of the rest of the province.
And as goes Site C and the Peace River Valley, so goes the rest of the country. Too expensive. Too entrenched. Too cowardly. Too short-sighted. Sarah Cox tells us a story that points to a history that defines more than 150 years of failure to respect the rights of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in Canada. She shows us how failing once again to commit to reconciliation is also inextricably tied up with disregard for the rights of non-Indigenous families and communities and the prospect of devastating environmental destruction.” ~ Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada from the foreword.
“This is a necessary book, truly a parable for our time.” ~ John Vaillant, author of The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness
“Sarah Cox has written a great book. Not only does she provide searing insight into how Site C developed, she does so through the eyes of the people most affected by it…a must read.” ~ Marc Eliesen, former president and CEO of BC Hydro, former chair and CEO of Ontario Hydro, and former chair of Manitoba Hydro
“Economic logic fails, a valley is inundated, and treaty rights are set aside in pursuit of political power: that’s the story of Site C.” ~ Harry Swain, former chair of the Site C federal-provincial review panel