Save Belcourt Lake

SAVE THE BELCOURT LAKE AREA: SPIRITUAL SENSITIVE USE AREA

‘I’m hesitant to put lines on a map delineating a spiritual area. Once we do, everyone will know about it, and then people will continue to go there to recreationally use the area, find out where these culturally significant areas are, take photographs, take things that should not be touched. And if we put a line around that area, what about all of our other spiritual sites? We’ve got more than one.’ The values placed on the landscape are not specific to spots within the Belcourt; it is the cultural landscape itself that is sacred. This area has been utilized by our ancestors forever, we continue to utilize it today, we don't want industry ruining the last pristine and culturally important area to our families" Chief Cliff Calliou advised Talisman Energy development last week.

Under the Government Regulation Action Order and the Lieutenant Governor in Council, by regulation, may specify an area of Crown land as a designated area if the Lieutenant Governor in Council believes it is in the public interest to do so. Also relevant to this discussion is the matter of Government Action Regulations. With respect to making a determination on the designation of an area, such as the Belcourt Spiritually Designated Area, this legislation notes that 4 tests have to be adhered to:

Test 1: Is special management required?

Test 2: Is the proposed action consistent with established objectives?

Test 3: Would the proposed action unduly reduce the supply of timber and other resources important to BC's economy?

Test 4: Do public benefits from the action outweigh any material adverse impact on delivered resource costs in B.C.?

Kelly Lake Cree Nation has called on the government to take these considerations into action and if development is further approved for new roads, forestry, mining and oil and gas development in the area. Legal action is planned. The Oil and Gas Commission has agreed to meet with KLCN. The Attorney Generals of British Columbia (AG's) were notified last week and have been given notice of KLCN's title rights in this area. The AG's have notice of KLCN's Federal Claim, which covers over 40,000 square kilometres of unceded territory of the As'in'i'wa'chi Ni'yaw people.

— at Belcourt Lake, B.C.