For those of us living in the Lower Mainland, a lot of the resource extraction in BC has been ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Our hope is that this atlas will help people better understand the true scale of changes to our province’s landscapes, and their impacts on rural communities and First Nations like Blueberry River.
The 2016 Atlas shows that the Province of BC has not only continued industrial development in the area, but has done so at an accelerated rate, despite its knowledge of the worsening cumulative effects on BRFN traditional territory. Our goal in helping to put it together was to help the Blueberry River First Nation convey the sense of urgency they feel about protecting their treaty rights, which are currently under threat from exploration and exploitation in their traditional territory.
The Atlas was commissioned by Blueberry River First Nations and David Suzuki Foundation and authored by Ecotrust Canada.
Selected Key Findings:
The 2016 Atlas builds upon a previous 2012 study of cumulative effects in the Peace Region which revealed a stark picture of the scale and rate of industrial impacts on the natural landscape of the area. The province has been made aware of these disturbances many times over the last few years, including through the filing of a court case by BRFN against the Province of BC which cites the continued destruction of BRFN lands.
This legal battle is one example among many of the lingering disconnect between government and First Nations. Our hope is that by making information more transparent and accessible, First Nations can better pursue their treaty rights and decision-makers can reach more equitable solutions for all.