It goes without saying that the recent decision by the Federal Government of Canada to halt development of the Prosperity Mine in BC's Chilcotin has raised the spirits of the Tsilhqot'in peoples. The plans to use Fish Lake as a tailings pond was too much for most to bear and had environmental disaster writ large upon it. It proves common sense and clean water can still prevail even in the face of profits, jobs, industrial development and extremely high gold prices. Not ALL the locals are pleased with this outcome, however, as nearby Williams Lake has been hit hard by both low demands for lumber AND the devastation of their forest by the pine beetle. Many were looking forward to the promise of jobs that Prosperity seemed to offer.
A recent e-mail from Pat Swift (Friends of the Nemaiah Valley) informed me of a wonderful series of films on the area that will be aired starting this November 23 & 30th on APTN (Aboriginal People's Television Network). Film-makerHaig-Brown has woven together a masterful series for "SAMAQAN -The Water Stories" that explores the implications to local resources and culture should Fish Lake have been destroyed. I have included a brief excerpt from Parts 1 & 2 "The Disappearance of Fishing Lake" that shows the importance of both fish AND clean waters for those who live in the Chilcotin outback. It is well worth a look to see in simple terms what has been saved....for ALL future generations.
Below you can find some additional information should you want to catch this series later on this month on APTN;
Film maker Helen Haig-Brown has made a film for the "Water Series" on APTN: "See a new beautiful sneak peak of the SAMAQAN episodes on Fish Lake and the Tsilhqot'inthat I was lucky enough to direct. Check out Baptiste, Joe Alphonse, James Lulua Jr. and Sr. and a few other familiar faces. Thank you to Mike Bourquin for such beautiful camera work and editing. It will be airing on APTN very soon!"
Here's an excerpt from SAMAQAN Water Stories - Episode 12-13 - Fish Lake Pt 1&2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaatxItW4
Episode 1 first airs on November 23, 2010 and Episode 2 on November 30, 2010 with other dates as noted.
Tetzan Biny: The Disappearance of Fishing Lake (Part 1)
Tetzan Biny: The Disappearance of Fishing Lake visits one of the last great water systems of the Tsilhqot'in plateau. The area is now threatened by gold and copper......mining operations that can destroy the fish population of a vast region. We visit a spectacular wilderness while the waters are still in a pristine condition.
Tetzan Biny: The Disappearance of Fishing Lake (Part 2)
Tetzan Biny: The Disappearance of Fishing Lake is home to the Tsilhqot'in nation. Chief Joe Alphonse paints a picture for us about what's at stake in the proposal to destroy his people's traditional territory. We see traditional and modern methods of fishery in areas only visited by the Tsilhqot'in.
It looks like we will be treated to some stunning footage of pristine lakes and rivers rich with salmon...and history.