MAC: Mines and Communities

Canada - Tsilhqot'in Nation announces release of draft Mining Policy

Published by MAC on 2014-08-04
Source: Statement,

Not long after their Canadian Supreme Court victory (see: Canadian First Nation wins aboriginal title claim in Supreme Court ruling),  the British Colombia's Tsilhqot'in Nation have released a draft mining policy to open "doors to more respectful relationships with industry".

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Tsilhqot'in Nation announces release of draft Mining Policy

Williams Lake News

31 July 2014

Today the Tsilhqot'in Chiefs announced the release of the Tsilhqot'in National Government's (TNG) draft Mining Policy for public, government and industry consultation. The TNG will be gathering feedback over the next several months prior to finalizing the Mining Policy.

"We are extremely pleased to be releasing our own Mining Policy," said Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair of the Tsilhqot'in National Government. "The Tsilhqot'in are moving forward to develop more positive relationships. We are not against mining if companies build a respectful relationship right from the start, and demonstrate that they can satisfy our cultural and environmental concerns. The Tsilhqot'in Nation recognizes the need to clarify how industry should be engaging with us as another level of government."

"While this policy opens our doors to more respectful relationships with industry, we also expect respect from industry for our sacred places like Teztan Biny. The mining industry and the provincial government should have recognized long ago that the proposed Prosperity mine was a highly sensitive cultural and environmental area. This recognition would have saved everyone decades of grief and wasted investments in money and time from shareholders and community stakeholders."

"There are dozens of mineral exploration projects in our territory and this policy will clarify for those proponents, government officials, and anyone else thinking of staking claims, that Tsilhqot'in laws remain in force in our territory, as they have since time immemorial. With our recent victory at the Supreme Court for Title, we will continue to enforce Tsilhqot'in law throughout our territory."

"We look forward to proactively engaging with socially responsible companies with interests in our territory. Our doors are open and the earlier you engage; the more effective it will be for everyone."

"The rejection of the Prosperity mine should be a lesson to all other industry: to attempt to run roughshod over First Nations is not a viable strategy. The Tsilhqot'in Mining Policy presents a reasonable alternative, beginning with meaningful engagement from the very beginning."

The TNG's Mining Policy will undergo public, industry and government consultation for a number of weeks. Comments on the policy can be submitted to until September 30, 2014.

The draft Mining Policy can be downloaded here:

The Mining Policy Map, reflecting Tsilhqot'in Stewardship Agreement (TSA) boundaries, can be downloaded here

Canada - Tsilhqot'in Nation announces release of draft Mining Policy

Michael Allan McCrae

31 July 2014

A 19-page draft mining policy was released by Tsilhqot'in Nation today requiring resource companies to share revenue and create ". . . meaningful jobs, training, procurement and contracts with mining and exploration companies."

The authors say the policy will provide greater certainty, as well as ensuring the First Nation's values are shared.

"The Tsilhqot'in Nation will consider culturally and ecologically conscious development of mineral resources in the Tsilhqot'in traditional territory, provided the ecological and cultural values of the Tsilhqot'in are respected and there are significant long-term social and economic benefits for Tsilhqot'in communities," writes the authors in the guiding principles.

Tsilhqot'in Nation also released a territory map.

Last month the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Tsilhqot'in First Nation has full rights over 1,750 square kilometres of land in south central British Columbia. It was the first time the country's high court acknowledges an aboriginal's title to a specific tract of land.

Tsilhqot'in First Nation tells junior miner to stop drilling

Business in Vancouver, c/o

5 August 2014

Another mining company has run up against the Tsilhqot'in First Nation, whose aboriginal title to land in its traditional territory were recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Tsilhqot'in have sent cease and desist letters to the B.C. government and Amarc Resources Ltd. over drilling that was to take place within what the Tsilhqot'in say is unceded Tsilhqot'in land.

Exploratory drilling was to take place by Amarc in the Upper Taseko region. Amarc is a junior exploration and development company focused on gold, copper and silver.

In a press release, Chief Roger William of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nations Government, said both the province and Amarc had failed to properly consult with the Tsilhqot'in.

"Amarc Resources committed in writing to consult early with our communities if they planned any activities," William said. "Instead we received a letter that arrived the same day the drills were being deployed. This is not consultation.

"Had Amarc Resources bothered to knock on our doors before beginning, they would have learned that this area is considered highly sensitive to our communities," William said.

"This is close to Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) and only a few kilometres outside of the original court claim area and our declaration of proven aboriginal rights. We have serious concerns about mineral exploration in this area, so Amarc may be wasting its money and its investor's money by pursuing this exploration program."

Fish Lake is the same lake that Taseko Mines Ltd. wants to use for tailings for the New Prosperity mine.

Taseko's mine proposal has been rejected twice by the federal minister of Environment, although Taseko has asked for a judicial review of the decisions.

Meanwhile, in a recent landmark ruling, the Tsilhqot'in became the first aboriginal group in Canada to have its title to traditional land confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Both Taseko's and Amarc's mine projects lie outside the area to which the court said the Tsilhqot'in had proven title. However, both are within the area to which the First Nations has rights to hunt and trap.

Amarc Resources could not be reached for comment.

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