The B.C. government has significantly accelerated the rate and scale of industrial development in the Blueberry River First Nations’ traditional territory over the past four years despite knowledge of alarming impacts, says a major science report released today.
“Our very life, our way of existence, is being wiped out,” Blueberry River Chief Marvin Yahey told a Vancouver press conference. “It’s devastating. It’s really impacted my people, culturally but socially also. It puts a lot of stress on a community.”
The report, authored by Ecotrust Canada and based on B.C. government data, found that up to 84 per cent of the Blueberry River traditional territory in B.C.’s northeast has been negatively impacted by industrial activity.
Almost 75 per cent of the territory now lies within 250 metres of an industrial disturbance, and more than 80 per cent is within 500 metres.