My Peace River: Canada’s most endangered river
The Peace is British Columbia’s most endangered river due to the threat of the Site C dam, an $8.8 billion dollar project approved to flood 57,000 acres of First Nations and heritage agricultural land. I grew up on the banks of the Peace River, my family has homesteaded and farmed in this valley. We have gardened, hunted and lived on this land for generations. First Nations people have done the same for a lot longer. It is my hope that this valley will continue to provide habitat for the countless species who live here, that this class one agricultural land will continue to grow food, and that the families who work this land will not be displaced due to flooding. If the Site C dam goes ahead, all this culture, history and potential will be lost forever.
The Peace River Valley is a long way from any city, it’s a long way from where the decisions for this province are made and it’s a far cry from the lively and hip streets of Vancouver where I now live. The local opposition to the mega dam is hard to hear from so far away. Awareness of the area and its people is frustratingly low, and that is the reason why #MyPeaceRiver, an artistic collaboration between photographer Jodie Ponto and myself, was created.
My Peace River is a snapshot of the people, stories, and life in the Peace Valley of northeastern British Columbia, Canada.
This project is focused on people, stories, and community. It is a celebration of life in the Peace River Valley documented through photographs and music in an interactive show and tell using the hash tag #MyPeaceRiver. Everyone is welcome to show what their unique Peace River looks like by tagging photos on social media with #MyPeaceRiver. We aim to create awareness of the Peace River as the lifeblood of this valley and the many different lives that are sustained by it.
This is #MyPeaceRiver and a glimpse of how it runs through my life. My hope is that it will continue to do so.
My grandmother as a child on the Peace River homestead. #MyPeaceRiver
The rich topsoil of the Peace Valley can grow almost anything. Here’s my 4-year-old self raiding the corn crop. #MyPeaceRiver
Swimming in the backchannels of the Peace River sometime in the mid 80s wearing the latest in swimwear fashion. #MyPeaceRiver
Speaking of fashion, check out my mid 90s cowgirl style. So hot it made it into the local travel brochure. #MyPeaceRiver
Here I am with the same horse almost twenty years later. #MyPeaceRiver
Winter in the Peace Valley is cold, frozen and the days are short. #MyPeaceRiver
Here’s what my summer home looks like in the winter. #MyPeaceRiver
Here’s what my summer homes look like in the summer. There’s no place like a cabin on the banks of the Peace River. #MyPeaceRiver
Inside my cabin. I recorded my first album here, and come here to write songs whenever I can. #MyPeaceRiver
Here’s my band relaxing farm style on a break from touring. I love bringing people home to explore the Peace Valley. #MyPeaceRiver
From rock n’ roll to rural, another shot of my band playing on the Peace. #MyPeaceRiver
It’s a tradition in my family to go for a walk along the river every evening rain or shine. These days it feels even more important to spend time on the endangered Peace River. Here are my parents enjoying the land they love beside the river that created this valley. #MyPeaceRiver
There are many resources available to learn more about the Site C Dam. Get yourself informed at www.peacevalley.ca. To help protect the Peace Valley, join the circle by supporting Treaty 8 Nations in their fundraising campaign to take legal action to stop the Site C Dam. www.nosite-c.com
Feature and photography by Miss Quincy, other photos by Jodie Ponto, scenery shots in slideshow by Don Hoffman.
Miss Quincy performs with her all-girl rock n’ roll band the Showdown throughout North America. They are rumoured to sound like Joan Jett and the early Stones spending the night together in a Tarantino movie.