West Moberly First Nations

November 18, 2011 18:55 ET

Premier Clark's Colonial Attitude Clashes With First Nation's View of Sustainable Development

MOBERLY LAKE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 18, 2011) - Premier Christy Clark's announcement that the Gething Coal Mine Project has her political support regardless of the fact that it is within the spiritual heartland of West Moberly's Traditional Territory is viewed as an attack on the community.

In 2006 approximately, Canadian Dehua informed the First Nation that it would not proceed with the Gething Mine without the community's blessing due to the significant adverse affects to their culture from the proposed mine. Since then, the First Nation has worked hard with Canadian Kailuan Dehua to identify 3 other locations outside of ecologically and culturally sensitive areas, which would allow the parties to explore the possibility of developing mines sustainably. "But in one fell swoop, Premier Clark destroyed all of our hard work. She has no right dismissing our culture in that way," says Chief Roland Willson.

Chief Willson was quick to point out that his community is not antidevelopment, provided that it is done sustainably. "Right now, however, the burdens are greatly outweighing the benefits. We are currently forced to live with approximately 6 mines, 100,000 kms of pipelines, 60,000 kms of roads, 6,000 cut blocks, 10,000 facilities, 18,000 oil & gas well sites, and 2 larges dams, in addition to another 28 proposed large-scale industrial projects, including 8 other mines, BC Hydro's Site C Dam and Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline. We're surrounded!"

"Developing this mine means the displacement of our people and the loss of our culture. Premier Clark is deliberately sacrificing our families, our children, and our promised way of life all for short term political gain and to bail out the Liberal Party. Stepping on us to look like a hero is morally reprehensible," stated Chief Willson.

First it's discrimination by the former-Minister of State for Mining against Takla First Nation, then it's the proposed Prosperity Mine debauchery, and now it's the Gething Mine. Premier Clark seems intent on steamrolling over First Nation rights across the province. What ever happened to the so-called "New Relationship" BC claimed to have with First Nations?

"Last week, we even heard Premier Charest of Quebec explain how Quebec's north would be jointly managed by the Province and First Nations. Premier Clarke's announcement signals joint management of North-eastern BC by her Government and China."

"I re-invite Premier Clark to come to our homeland and learn about the issues firsthand."

Contact Information

  • West Moberly First Nations
    Chief Roland Willson
    (250) 783-0733