Stellat’en First Nations chief Archie Patrick speaking at the Rally for the River. Behind him is councillor Jasmine Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation. (Kevin Brown photo)

Stellat’en First Nations chief Archie Patrick speaking at the Rally for the River. Behind him is councillor Jasmine Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation. (Kevin Brown photo)

Northern B.C. First Nation communities hold “Rally for the river” in Prince George

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nation have taken Rio Tinto BC Works to court over their operation and construction of the Kenney Dam

A court case against Rio Tinto BC Works by Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations has moved to Prince George for hearing this past week.

The 200-day trail began in Vancouver last month and continued in Prince George with five-days of testimony, stated a Nov. 18 media release.

READ MORE: Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations court battle against RioTinto Alcan to start next week

The two first nations communities have launched legal action against Rio Tinto and the federal government, “to save the Nechako River and its Fisheries.”

Saik’uz alleges that the impacts of construction and operation of the Kenney Dam on the Nechako river, have affected its fisheries and the first nations protected aboriginal rights.

Chief Priscilla Mueller said it is important that part of the trial be heard in Prince George so that Elders and members of both communities can attend and observe the legal proceedings.

“The Nechako river sustained our communities and many others for thousands of years,” Mueller said.

“Very few British Columbians know how construction of the Kenney Dam devastated the Nechako rivers, its fisheries and our way of life.”

Rio Tinto diverts approximately 70 percent of water out of the Nechako every year to generate power in Kemano, B.C. for Rio Tinto’s aluminum smelter in Kitimat and for the sale of hydro power to BC Hydro.

“Since 1952, the project has resulted in enormous devastating downstream effects in the Nechako river, particularly the chinook salmon, sockeye and Nechako white sturgeon,” stated the news release.

The two First Nations communities held a “Rally for the River” at the Prince George courthouse on Monday morning.

Stellat’en Chief Archie Patrick said the rally provides opportunity for people to show their support for the court case.

“It’s heartening to know that we are not alone in holding Rio Tinto, BC and Canada to account for the devastation to the Nechako river,” he said.

Mayor of Vanderhoof Gerry Thiessen said the district were not actively participating in the court case.

“They are our neighbours and we are on their traditional territory and secondly we are looking for anything that will make the river a healthier river with a more natural river flow. We have not been involved with the case, but those two things are where our position is as a municipality.”

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Councillor Jasmine Thomas addresses the crowd infront of the Prince George courthouse. (Kevin Brown photo)

Councillor Jasmine Thomas addresses the crowd infront of the Prince George courthouse. (Kevin Brown photo)

(Kevin Brown photo)

(Kevin Brown photo)

Just Posted

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Most Read