Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver – First Nations Summit (FNS) leaders are supporting the Cheslatta Carrier Nation’s water license application submitted to the Provincial government this morning. The application is a necessary step in their $280 million Nechako Rivers Legacy Project which details a plan to construct a water release facility at Kenney Dam in an effort to restore water flows on the Nechako River and cease the destructive flooding that occurs annually on Cheslatta Lake.
“The construction of the Kenney Dam in 1952 and the subsequent diversion of the Nechako River had devastating consequences for the Cheslatta people, both above and below Kenney dam”’ said Grand Chief Edward John of the FNS political executive.
Kenney Dam, located close to Vanderhoof, BC, diverts the water from the Nechako River into the Nechako Reservoir. The lack of a water release facility at Kenney Dam has resulted in an annual high water level domino effect where the Nechako Reservoir reaches its capacity and backs up into Cheslatta Lake. This has resulted in the flooding of Cheslatta village sites the disturbance of many Cheslatta grave sites, and the destruction of spawning grounds. The proposed Nechako Rivers Legacy Project would see the construction of a much needed water release facility and hydro generator at Kenney Dam, diverting water back to a portion of the Nechako River that has been dry since 1952.