A new video and information campaign has been launched by the Blueberry River First Nation.
At the centre of the discussion – a 2021 ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court in the case of Yahey v. British Columbia.
In it, Justice Emily Burke found the Province had violated treaty obligations by allowing extensive industrial development in the territory without considering the impacts to BRFN members.
Chief Judy Desjarlais said Where Happiness Dwells provides facts about what Treaty 8 means and what honouring Treaty 8 promises looks like.
“It’s the place where our people are most happy, on the land. They make their living off the land. They hunt, they fish, they trap. It’s where they can recharge. Find their peace.”
The Supreme Court decision was an important stride for the Blueberry after years of not being heard, said the chief.
“Nobody was listening. It took the court decision in order for somebody to hear us – that we couldn’t make a living, that we couldn’t go and hunt moose there anymore because there is so much impact from development,” Desjarlais continued.
“This ruling was very important for our people to be able to try and save what’s left of the land. Where we can bring back the wildlife. How we can continue to practice our way to life.”
“It never will be where it once was but we can start by reclaiming some of the areas and hopefully the wildlife will come back.”
Where Happiness Dwells is project by the Blueberry River First Nations and will include newspaper, radio, television, social and digital ads in the coming months.
The produced video can been seen here.
The Blueberry River First Nation represents over 500 members.
Its territory covers an area of 38,000 square kilometres.