The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal brought by the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations that argues the federal government failed to consider their constitutionally protected treaty rights when approving the $9 billion Site C dam in northeast B.C.
The rejection by Canada’s highest court has members of Treaty 8 First Nations wondering who bears the responsibility for determining whether or not a major project like Site C infringes on their rights as a treaty nation.
“This is very sad news,” Roland Willson, Chief of the West Moberly, told Desmog Canada.
“We have a treaty that is a part of the Constitution of Canada and there is no legal mechanism to protect the constitution, that piece of the constitution,” he said.
“Every other part of the Constitution they won’t tread on except the part that’s got to do with Indians — they’ll walk all over that.”