First Nation Stewards of Land, joined by local landowners and supporters from across British Columbia have been camped at the historic Rocky Mountain Fort site. The camp stands a short distance from where the Moberly River meets the Peace River, just up-river from the proposed Site C dam site. The dam, if built, would flood 107 kilometres of river valley lands along the Peace River and its tributaries and lead to the permanent loss of numerous First Nation burial grounds and other culturally and historically important sites.
Historically and still today, the Peace River has been the entranceway to vast bountiful lands and waters, as well as being the foothold that has welcomed and provided for many different groups of people and enterprises.
There are two significant events that explain why we are united and with peaceful intent to protect and care for the Peace River Valley. First, along these waters and islands of the Peace River, battling Beaver (also known as the Dane-zaa) and Cree agreed to a truce so that their future generations could co-exist and be sustained by the land and water in perpetuity. Secondly, the signing of the Treaty in the Peace River Valley between First Nations and the Crown promised that we would live a peaceful shared co-existence. Also, First Nations were guaranteed be able to always pursue their usual vocations prior to entering into Treaty and without forced interference.
There are other examples of peaceful relationships with First Nations: explorers were guided into new places, fur traders were taught ways to survive and prospered, gold seekers passed through freely, and pioneer families established farming homesteads.
These longstanding relationships and the solemn promises of Treaty 8 are what guide us and it is in that spirit that we are here today at the Rocky Mountain Fort Camp and its surroundings on the south banks of the Peace River Valley. We, the Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land and our supporters are direct descendants of the people who are the first inhabitants, Treaty signatories, and later settlers of the Peace River Valley.
We are reasonable law abiding citizens. We are mothers, youth, Elders, farmers, bushmen, business owners, teachers and artists. Our support is not only local but nation wide. We are respectful and have no intent to be involved in any occurrences that would be unsafe and harmful to both humans and property.
Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land and Rocky Mountain Fort Campers!
(Photos below taken by people who stand in solidarity)