'We have nowhere': B.C. First Nations, rural residents say storm permanently changed the land

Topic(s): Climate Change, Climate Emergency, Health & Wellness, Housing, Reconciliation

"For our grandchildren and their children, now the devastation has left them nothing": Shackan First Nation Chief Arnold Lampreau.


Chief Arnold Lampreau expects his house is a total loss, but the devastation goes far beyond that, extending hundreds of years into the future.

Last week’s storm didn’t just flood the Shackan First Nation’s reserve in B.C.’s Nicola Valley, Lampreau said, it changed the landscape.

“It moved rivers and moved hills and filled valleys and then created new valleys … That’s the magnitude of that storm,” said the elected chief of the Shackan First Nation. “The land that our ancestors had worked for thousands of years and ensured that we had a place to grow … productive crops, those lands are no longer there. They’re just rocks.”

Roads and bridges connecting the Shackan reserve to the rest of the province have been washed away completely, and Lampreau predicts it could be years before infrastructure is rebuilt to let reserve residents to return. And once they can go back home, they fear they will be returning to a different place.

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