Site C Highway Route Will Desecrate Graves


First Nations Chiefs Say Site C Highway Route Will Desecrate Graves, BC Hydro Disagrees

By Sarah Cox | Thursday, November 24, 2016

The route chosen by BC Hydro for a Site C dam highway relocation will “desecrate” a First Nations burial ground and destroy a culturally significant site used by the Dunne-za people for millennia, says West Moberly First Nations Chief Roland Willson.

“This is a very serious matter,” Willson wrote in a letter to B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone, co-signed by Prophet River First Nation Chief Lynette Tsakoza. “Digging up graves is not acceptable in our custom.”

Willson told DeSmog that the graves are in an area of the Peace River valley known locally as Bear Flats/Cache Creek, which BC Hydro plans to clear cut this winter for the first phase of a $530 million project to move 30 kilometres of a provincial highway out of the Site C dam flood zone.

Called as tluuge by the Dunne-za, or Beaver people, an ethno-linguistic grouping within the Treaty 8 Tribal Association, the area slated for the first part of the highway realignment contains known B.C. archaeological sites, a natural spring, a sweat lodge, and a campground used by First Nations for elder and youth gatherings.

“The Dunne-Za people have been using Bear Flats for thousands of years and we’re still using it today,” Willson said in an interview.

“The desecration of burial sites is a very serious matter. There’s absolutely no reason for them to disrupt those graves. They can move the highway over.”

According to BC Hydro itself, the Bear Flats/Cache Creek area is classified as an “archeological site complex,” an area noted for its high density of archeological sites.

Eighteen archeological sites at the Bear Flats/Cache complex will be affected by the $8.8 billion Site C project, including four Class 1 sites and 10 Class 11 sites.

In July 2015, BC Hydro received an eight-year permit from the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) to “alter” 163 archeological sites for Site C, including for the construction of permanent roads, clearing, surface stripping, excavations and inundation from the reservoir. The permit says all work must cease if human remains are found and the Archaeology Branch must be contacted for further direction.

In a statement e-mailed to DeSmog, BC Hydro said it has undertaken “extensive archeological fieldwork including extensive subsurface shovel testing” and has not found  “any specific burial locations that would be directly affected by the Highway 29 alignment” at Bear Flats/Cache Creek….

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Learn more about “Site Alteration Permits” and the systematic destruction/dismantling of Indigenous heritage landscapes in British Columbia:


CFP: Critical Heritage Studies in Canada: What Does Heritage Do?

Critical Heritage Studies in Canada: What Does Heritage Do?
Deadline to Submit: December 22, 2016

Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue d’études canadiennes

Drawing on the debates of the June 2016 Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) Conference in Montreal, this theme issue seeks contributions (articles and review essays) that reflect on the state(s) of heritage in Canada – both tangible and intangible – from critical perspectives. Contributions to this special issue will focus critically on ‘What Does Heritage Do?’ in Canada. What have been its limitations and what might be its possibilities? This special issue of JCS/REC seeks to reflect upon, analyze, expand and critique heritage perspectives in Canada. We call on academics, cultural producers and heritage practitioners to contribute to critical heritage discussions in Canada through this special issue.

Authors must submit a 500-word abstract and 50-word bio to Susan Ashley at in English or French by December 22, 2016. Key for us will be how you conceptualize the word heritage in your proposals.

To read the full Call for Papers, please visit For further information, please contact JCS/REC Guest Editors, Susan Ashley ( or Andrea Terry (

Appel D’Articles
Études critiques du patrimoine au Canada : un patrimoine, ça fait quoi?
Date limite de soumission : le 22 décembre 2016

Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue d’études canadiennes

Ce sujet s’inspire des débats qui ont marqué le troisième congrès bisannuel de l’Association of Critical Heritage Studies, organisé en juin 2016 à Montréal. Pour ce numéro thématique, nous sommes à la recherche de contributions (articles et revues de littérature) qui réfléchissent sur l’état ou les différents états du patrimoine canadien – aussi bien tangible qu’intangible – d’un point de vue critique. Les contributions à ce numéro spécial tâcheront de répondre de façon critique aux questions suivantes : « Le patrimoine, ça fait quoi? Quelles ont été ses limites et quelles pourraient être ses possibilités? » Ce numéro spécial de la RÉC/JCS souhaite repenser, analyser, élargir et critiquer les perspectives de la critique dans le champ patrimonial au Canada, en demandant ce que la notion de patrimoine accomplit effectivement au Canada, et ce qu’elle pourrait accomplir. Nous invitons les universitaires, les créateurs du milieu culturel et les intervenants actifs dans le domaine du patrimoine à apporter leur contribution aux échanges critiques sur le sujet en participant à ce numéro spécial de la Revue.

Les auteurs doivent fournir un résumé de 500 mots accompagné d’une notice biographique de 50 mots, en français ou en anglais, à Susan Ashley,, au plus tard le 22 décembre 2016. Nous accorderons une attention particulière à la façon dont le mot patrimoine sera conceptualisé dans les propositions.

Pour lire l’Appel d’articles complet, veuillez consulter Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez contacter les directrices invitées de la JCS/REC, Susan Ashley ( ou Andrea Terry (