Lower Bridge River Spiritual and Cultural Value Monitoring Project The Lower Bridge River Spiritual and Cultural Value Monitoring Project is part of a joint water use planning project by St`t`imc and BC Hydro. Both sides are working to coordinate water use to ensure water quality and to use habitat for land animals and fisheries. Fishing is particularly important because the hydroelectric project has almost exhausted the spring salmon run. The elders, able to understand the voice and spirit of the bridge river, observed that water quality has improved significantly since the beginning of this project. Under the new agreement, a new st`at`imc authority will be formally established with the recognition of British Columbia and not by a “St`at`imc” process. A gag order has already been implemented at the local level: on 6 April 2011, the editor of the St`at`imc Runner was excluded from the office where she has been working for five years. The reason given was that the monthly newspaper of the commune lit a four-page advertisement, paid for by individuals, which encouraged a “no” on April 9. This happened shortly after BC Hydro St`at`imc Nation Hydro provided an “intermediate payment” of US$500,000 after the Chiefs signed the agreement on December 17. These funds have been used to promote and successfully ratify them. Adolph and others promised that they would continue to fight the agreement.
“There`s a group of us and the group is growing,” Adolph said. “This agreement is more than past complaints [about existing hydroelectric projects],” he said. “BC Hydro has received its wish.” “The majority of our people didn`t even know [the agreement],” said Roger Adolph, who was the leader of the Xaxli`p group for 21 years. “It was started by the Chiefs in December 2010, and then they started briefings in January, February and March,” he says. “I want to thank all the communities. As of July 27, 2011, all municipal agents have been appointed. Now that we have reached this decisive milestone, the implementation of the agreement can finally progress.