Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia. Canada. The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council is astounded that the BC government is proposing unilateral changes to the Mining Act without any consultation and accommodation of First Nations title and rights. It appears that the Clark Liberal government has done away with any relationship with First Nations. Now the only way to become informed about legislation that will impact our territories is to read it in the media.
CSTC Vice Tribal Chief Terry Teegee stated, “The ghost of the old colonial relationship is re-emerging causing unrest among our people. Mining investors should be advised that the land question in British Columbia is unresolved and that only First Nations can bring the certainty needed for projects to proceed.” Investors should look around and see the conflicts with the proposed Prosperity Mine, Mt. Klappan, Gething Coal, Enbridge Gateway, etc. and see that projects cannot proceed without the free, prior and informed consent of First Nations.
Tribal Chief David Luggi noted, “The combined territories of our member First Nations accounts for 7.8 million hectares, about 8.3% of BC and twice the size of Vancouver Island, most of which is seeing an increase in mining exploration.” The CSTC has several active, proposed and abandoned mines including Endako (molybdenum/active), Pinche Lake (mercury/closed), Kemess South and North (gold, active/proposed), Mt. Milligan (gold/copper-active/proposed) and Bralorne (gold/abandoned).
“The CSTC First Nations are actively working with resource extraction projects that demonstrate sustainable and equitable benefits, without compromising our rights and those of our future generations”, stated Tribal Chief Luggi. “Companies need to talk with us before they submit any applications to the BC and federal government. The Crown needs to talk with us about how we can share the wealth from our territories, otherwise no one will benefit.”
The recent BC Jobs Plan: Canada Starts Here announced by the Premier in September calls for 8 new mines and 9 expansions by 2015. The way the BC government is going about by announcing projects without working in partnership with the impacted First Nations will result in litigation and further conflict. Tribal Chief Luggi further stated, “We are calling upon the Premier to convene a First Nations government to government table to discuss the development agenda on our homelands. Without such engagement most of the proposed mines will be mired in legal conflict for many years.”
For more information please contact:
Tribal Chief David Luggi: Office (250) 562-6279 e.222. Cell: (250) 640-6622
Vice Tribal Chief Terry Teegee: Office (250) 562-6279 e.223. Cell: (250) 640-3256