Blueberry Reserve Rd, Buick, BC V0C 2R0
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  Blueberry River First Nations will be in the BC Supreme Court on Monday October 31 seeking an injunction to protect critical areas from further permitting by BC until a plan can be worked out to manage development in a way that respects Blueberry’s rights under Treaty 8.  Lawyers Maegen Giltrow and Greg McDade Q.C. from Ratcliff & Co. will show the court evidence from Blueberry Elders, land users, and scientific experts, that describes the cumulative impacts of multiple layers of development, including oil and gas, forestry, agriculture, and road construction. Blueberry expects to has Elders, leadership and youth in attendance.  The injunction hearing is set for 5 days.  The injunction is part of a lawsuit against BC started in March of 2015 which seeks to protect Blueberry lands and waters for future generations. BRFN Elders and Youth will be attending the court proceedings until Wednesday, they will then visit the First Nation communities of Westbank and Penticton as invited by the mediators Elaine Alec and Chris Derickson. 2016-08-08-notice-of-application-filed-01241394 Injunction Map - Additions made for in Court use - October 27, 2016 (012....png
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BRFN Summary Dec 2015.jpg DECEMBER 2015 SUMARY
Chief & Council Update to Members – November 201 Since being elected in 2013, Chief and Council has been working hard to protect Blueberry’s treaty rights and to reverse the unplanned approach to development that has resulted in serious cumulative impacts to our treaty rights. Proper environmental protection measures and a fair share of economic benefits are also sought through negotiations with the Crown and with companies operating in our territory. This memo provides a general update on the key steps Chief and Council has undertaken since January 2015 to stand up for the interests of our members. Highlights of Council Activities achieved important win before Canada’s Specific Claims Tribunal in Blueberry’s mineral rights claim resulting in a finding that Canada breached its fiduciary duty; • filed and pursuing groundbreaking breach of treaty rights case before the BC Supreme Court; court recognition that there is a serious and growing problem of cumulative impacts in Blueberry’s territory and on Blueberry’s treaty rights; ensured that 138 proposed petroleum and natural gas parcel sales by the Province in Blueberry’s territory were deferred; full participation including making significant submissions about impacts to Blueberry’s treaty rights in BC environmental assessment processes for proposed pipelines in Blueberry’s territory; negotiated significant long-term impacts and benefits agreement with TransCanada regarding pipelines in Blueberry’s territory; conducting numerous ongoing discussions with the Province and various oil and gas and forestry companies to negotiate protection of Blueberry’s territory and treaty rights and benefits for Blueberry’s members. Specific Claim Mineral Rights Specific Claims Tribunal Win: In May, the Specific Claims Tribunal heard the first of two stages of Blueberry and Doigs mineral rights claim. Blueberry argued that Canada breached its fiduciary duty when it failed to secure mineral rights in the current reserves, after the Fort St. John Beaver Band surrendered Montney IR 172. On November 5,2015, the Tribunal released its decision, finding that Canada breached its duty to the Band. The Tribunal found that Canada was in breach of its fiduciary duty when it failed to investigate the title of the land it was acquiring on behalf of the Band for the replacement reserves, and realize that the subsurface rights had been reserved to Be. The Tribunal further found that there was a breach of duty when Canada failed to inform the Band about the mistake, to explain the practical consequences of the province holding the mineral rights and to consult the Band on its wishes. Finally, the Tribunal found Canada breached its duty when it found out about its mistake and did nothing about it. We will now be moving on to the second stage of the claim that will decide how much Blueberry and Doig are owed. TLE and other Specific Claims with Canada: Chief and Council continues to negotiate the Treaty Land Entitlement Claim with Canada. Blueberry took the proactive step of meeting with the new Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett before she became the Minister this past March and has already contacted the Minister’s office to arrange discussions on the resolution ofTLE and other outstanding claims. The two other specific claims are about Blueberry’s entitlement to agricultural benefits under Treaty 8 (the “Agricultural Benefits Claim”) and Blueberry’s entitlement to compensation for the loss of its historical traplines and trapping income (the “Trapping Claim’) For the Agricultural Benefits Claim and the TLE claim, many of the critical details have already been agreed upon and Blueberry continues to push Canada to make an offer. For the Trapping Claim, we are updating historical research looking at the value of the loss of traditional trapping territory as a consequence of BC’s registration system. Court Action  Blueberry Treaty Rights Litigation & Injunction: In March 2015, Blueberry filed a groundbreaking lawsuit in BC Supreme Court, suing the Province for breach of Treaty 8 based on the cumulative impact of development on our way of life. As members know, we are no longer able to practice the treaty rights promised to our ancestors due to the widespread development in our territory that has negatively impacted our traditional way of life. In early July 2015, we applied for an injunction to prevent the Province from selling timber sale licences that would authorize clear cutting 1,700 hectares of forest in Blueberry territory. The Crown argued against our application, stating that the Treaty does not protect us from cumulative impacts of industrial development and that we had not raised a serious question to be tried. On July 27, the court issued its decision saying that it had no hesitation in finding that we had raised a serious issue for trial about the harm from cumulative impacts to our treaty rights, but denying our application for an injunction because it would protect too little of the land that is under industrial development. The court recognized the serious and growing problem of cumulative impacts to our territory and to our treaty rights. The court also recognized that a broader hold on industrial activity may be required in our territory. We have advised the Crown that based on this recognition from the court, we will be seeking a broader injunction against industrial development in our territory. We are currently working to identify projects and activities that will be part of this broader injunction application. We also successfully obtained leave from the British Columbia Court of Appeal to appeal the denial of our timber sale licences injunction. In granting us leave to appeal, the Court of Appeal recognized the importance of the principle at stake for our civil claim, and also for aboriginal treaty law generally. The Court agreed that there is an important principle to be looked at in this case: if our territory is being damaged project by project, then we should not be prevented from getting protection against certain projects just because that doesn’t solve the whole of the large scale problem in our territory. Blueberry will be in BC Supreme Court November 25th to get a trial judge assigned to our case. This will be the judge who manages the case, sets the schedule leading up to trial, and hears our broader scale injunction application in the coming months. Blueberry continues to push ahead with the treaty rights litigation. As a result ofthe treaty rights litigation, Provincial representatives have been meeting with Blueberry to discuss the protection of Blueberry’s territory and treaty rights in the face of unprecedented Liquefied Natural Gas development. North Montney Litigation: In June, the federal government approved the North Montney pipeline, which runs through the core of our territory and will result in significant oil and gas activities in important areas to us, including around Pink Mountain and Lily Lake. Blueberry applied to the Federal Court of Appeal, seeking leave to file an application for judicial review which would determine if the Crown fulfilled its duty to consult Blueberry before approving the pipeline. To our great disappointment leave to appeal was denied by the court. Blueberry has applied to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to reverse this decision and expects a decision from the Court in 2016. Challenging the Long Term Royalty Agreement: In June 2015, Chiefand Council decided to challenge the Province’s decision to enter into a Long Term Royalty Agreement with Progress Energy. That agreement requires Progress to spend billions of dollars on a massive gas extraction program in the core of our territory, which will seriously harm our treaty rights. BC failed to consult or accommodate Blueberry on this momentous strategic decision, which will affect Blueberry for decades. After collecting our evidence and preparing our petition, we filed that legal challenge on November 20,2015. Crown Referral Oil and Gas Commission (OGC): Blueberry continues to raise serious concerns with the OGC’s approach to consulting Blueberry on individual referrals without considering cumulative impacts on Blueberry’s treaty rights, and the OGC’s refusal to provide Blueberry with capacity funding. Blueberry is taking a similar approach with other provincial referrals, including those received from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Chief and Council and our Lands Department have focused on protecting our fresh water and important animal habitat, especially in critical areas like Pink Mountain and Lily Lake. Ministry of Natural Gas and Development – PNG Parcels: Since June of2014, BRFN has successfully deferred approximately 138 petroleum and natural gas (“PNG”) parcel sales in BRFN’s consultation area from being sold. Proponents bid on P G parcels through the Ministry of Natural Gas and Development (“MNGD”)in order to gain subsurface rights to the parcel for the exclusive right to explore for PNG. BRFN leadership and MNGD are continuing to work on the application of provincial regulatory tools to stop or delay further PNG parcels sales and subsequent PNG development in defined parts of our territory. Provincial Pipelines: Recently, Blueberry has put pressure on the Province to ensure the proposed Northeast Expansion Project, which runs past Charlie Lake, is subject to an environmental assessment process, and that impacts on Blueberry’s treaty rights are assessed and accommodated. BC Hydro Transmission Line: Blueberry recently negotiated a consultation agreement with BC Hydro with respect to the proposed Peace Region Electricity Supply transmission line project. That agreement establishes a process and funding for Blueberry to engage with BC Hydro during the route identification stage, an environmental review, and the permitting phase of that project. Site C: Blueberry continues to work with British Columbia and Canada to establish a meaningful consultation process for and to otherwise address the permits associated with the Dam that will address, among other things, cumulative impacts on our territory and treaty rights. Companies Business Agreements: Blueberry has entered into business agreements with some of the area’s reputable service providers to the oil & gas industry, and is negotiating with others. These agreements will improve Blueberry’S ability to enter into significant contracts for work on various pipelines and other development in our territory, ensuring employment for our members and other benefits. As examples, agreements with ATCO and Wellpoint/SHAP are in their final form ready for Council’s approval. TransCanada Impact Benefit Agreements: Blueberry has successfully negotiated project agreements with TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. for their Coastal GasLink and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline projects. Blueberry was able to negotiate significant increases in the benefits on offer from TransCanada. These agreements provide for initial and annual payments throughout the operating life of the pipelines to Blueberry. These payments in turn will enable Council to deliver important benefits to the community each year (e.g., additional housing). The agreements also provide for significant contracting opportunities for Blueberry businesses, and employment opportunities for members. The agreements also provide for Blueberry and TransCanada to work together to minimize the impacts of the pipelines on our treaty rights. Negotiation Protocols: Blueberry is negotiating protocols with several companies operating in our territory. These protocols address the types of benefits that should flow to Blueberry as a result of development in our territory such as jobs, training, contracts and annual payments. They also address how Blueberry and company representatives will engage to discuss the companies’ planned activities in our territory and how the impacts of these activities on our treaty rights can be avoided and lor mitigated. An example, discussions are underway with Progress Energy and AltaGas at this time. We expect to conclude further project impact and benefits agreements as a result of these discussions in 2016. Canfor: Blueberry has been negotiating with Canfor and Louisiana Pacific with respect to forestry operations in Blueberry territory. Blueberry has an interest in both making sure forestry is conducted in a way that will not further degrade treaty rights as well as an interest in economic benefits, training and employment associated with forestry. 2015-11-13 Blueberry Notice re LH Facebook Post.jpg 2015-11-13 Blueberry Notice re LH Facebook Post2.jpg Notice of Nomination Meeting Referendum Vote Oct 2015 BRFN 01BRFN 02 BRFN – Review of Financial Results Referendum Notice and Memo 2Referendum Notice and Memo Audit Information 2015-09-10 Summary Sheet for BRFN 2015-09-10 Summary Sheet for BRFN2 2019-11-01 Phase 3 Poster-page-0012019-11-01 Phase 3 Poster-page-0012019-11-01 Phase 3 Poster-page-0012019-11-01 Phase 3 Poster-page-0012019-11-01 Phase 3 Poster-page-0012019-11-01 Phase 3 Poster-page-0012019-11-01 Phase 3 Poster-page-001