This year’s high spring run off has put many communities along the region’s rivers on high alert, but it’s hitting the Cheslatta Carrier Nation particularly hard.
Flooding along the Nechako River has inundated two of the community’s cemeteries, with grim results.
Mike Robertson is the Cheslatta Carrier Nation’s Senior Policy Advisor, and he says humans remains are washing ashore.
He expects the cemeteries to remain flooded for a few more weeks, but it’s when the waters recede, that’s when the real work begins in checking the flood damage.
The Cheslatta Carrier Nation are in talks with officials at Rio Tinto Alcan, which controls water levels for the Nechako Resevoir, and with the the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.
He couldn’t give any specifics on the talks or what might come from them, but did say there may be new developments in the coming months.
While Robertson says he believes that Rio Tinto Alcan and the province appreciate the urgency of the matter, they’re not satisfied with progress so far.
Water levels on the Nautley and Stellako Rivers, and Francois Lake are not expected to increase as the snowpack melt has begun to recede.
Flow on the Nechako River is expected to increase into next week, but remains dependent on rainfall and how much water is released from the Skins Lake Spillway.
Currently the BC River Forecast Centre has the Nautley River near Fort Fraser, and the Nechako River at Vanderhoof and Isle Pierre and downstream to the confluence with the Fraser River under a Flood Watch.