May 18, 2018
Local, provincial and national groups are coming together in Williams Lake for the launch of ‘Stand for Water’ tour spearheaded by First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining in British Columbia.
Stand for Water is a movement to raise awareness of the threats mining operations pose to waterways throughout BC and across borders, and to incorporate free, prior, and informed consent principles under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in all phases of mining.
The movement builds on the Tulalip Declaration for Water Protection signed recently by over 20 Indigenous communities and regional associations in B.C, Yukon and Alaska with the aim to protect transboundary water ecosystems.
“Mining is a fact of life in B.C., but current practices are threatening clean water necessary for sustaining life,” says Jacinda Mack of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining. “Stand for Water is about changing outdated mining practices that harm the environment, while respecting Indigenous and impacted communities.”
The tour, which incorporates a new 35-minute documentary film Uprivers by filmmaker Jackson Matthew, will be visiting a dozen communities in BC and neighbouring States over the coming weeks and months, including Williams Lake (May 17), Smithers (May 29), Hazelton (May 30), Terrace (May 31), Tofino (June), Nelson (June); and in the Fall at these locations: Kamloops, Seattle, Wash., and Washington D.C.
“We welcome this tour which we hope will help raise broader public awareness about the need to stop ongoing water pollution from mining in B.C. and bring communities together to require fundamental changes to outdated mining practices and laws in B.C.,” says Ugo Lapointe of MiningWatch Canada.
The groups on hand for the launch of FNWARM’s ‘Stand for Water’ campaign in Williams Lake include Amnesty International Canada, BC Environmental Network, Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake, Forest Protection Allies, MiningWatch Canada, Northern Confluence, Salmon Beyond Borders, Quesnel River Watershed Alliance.