New ‘Stand for Water’ Tour Kicks Off Today in British Columbia: First Nations, Citizens, Environmental Groups Join in Williams Lake
(Williams Lake) Local, provincial, and national groups join tonight in Williams Lake for the launch of ‘Stand for Water’ tour spearheaded by First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM) 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.
In the words of Jacinda Mack of FNWARM, “Mining is a fact of life in B.C., but current practices are threatening clean water necessary for sustaining life. Stand for Water is about changing outdated mining practices that harm the environment, while respecting Indigenous and impacted communities.”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-min documentary film Uprivers by filmmaker Jackson Matthew, will be visiting a dozen communities in B.C. 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), Kamloops (Fall), Vancouver (Fall), Victoria (Fall), Seattle WA (Fall), Washington D.C. (Fall).
Ugo Lapointe, of MiningWatch Canada, said, “We welcome this tour which we hope will help raise broader public awareness about the need to stop ongoing water pollution from mining in BC and bring communities together to require fundamental changes to outdated mining practices and laws in B.C.”
The groups present tonight for the launch of FNWARM’s ‘Stand for Water’ campaign in Williams Lake include Amnesty International Canada, B.C. Environmental Network, Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake, Forest Protection Allies, MiningWatch Canada, Northern Confluence, Salmon Beyond Borders, and Quesnel River Watershed Alliance.
- Jenn Wesanko, Stand For Water (http://standforwater.org/), 604-347-5988
- Doug Watt, Concerned Citizens for Quesnel Lake (https://www.ccql.ca/), 250-790-2446
- Chris Blake, Quesnel River Watershed Alliance, 250-296-4358
- Tara Scurr, Amnesty International Canada, 250-703-1141
- Ugo Lapointe, MiningWatch Canada, 514-708-0134