National, regional and affected local BC First Nations have sent a clear message to the federal government - the proposed Prosperity mine in British Columbia (B.C.) cannot be allowed to proceed.
Taseko Mines Ltd. plans to drain Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) in central B.C. to access gold and copper deposits and make room for a waste rock dump and toxic tailings pond. The proposed Prosperity open-pit mine is on the traditional lands of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation, a member of the Tsilhqot'in National Government.
Tsilhqot'in National Government (TNG) is joined by the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and BC First Nations, in addition to 12 environmental organizations from across Canada, in speaking out against the proposed mine.
"There are no options open to the federal Government - it must respect the findings of significant and irreparable harm to the environment and First Nations rights and culture that were delivered in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's (CEAA) review Panel Report 2010," said Chief Marilyn Baptiste, of Xeni Gwet'in.
The CEAA panel report found that creation of the mine and destruction of Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) would impose irreversible harm to the environment, fish and wildlife and on First Nations rights, lives, culture and spirituality. It also found the proposal does not meet standards required under federal fisheries and navigable waters Act and that the proposed mitigation measures would not address environmental harm caused by the mine.
Under terms of reference for the CEAA panel review, the federal government is to deliver a decision on the mine in September, 2010.
Visit Tsilhqot'in First Nations website
Visit Protect Fish Lake website
View September 2, 2010 Union of BC Indian Chiefs press release
View September 2, 2010 Canadian News Wire article
View September 2, 2010 Sierra Club press release
View September 2, 2010 CBC News article
View September 2, 2010 Globe and Mail article
View September 3, 2010 Indigenous Peoples article
View September 8, 2010 Aboriginal Peoples Television Network article and video
View September 9, 2010 Council of Canadians article
View September 16, 2010 Globe and Mail article
Watch September 16 2010, Video Of Xeni Gwit'in Elder On Protecting Fish Lake
View September 20, 2010 Aboriginal Peoples Television Network article
View October 19, 2010 The Globe and Mail article
View more information on Manitoba Wildlands' Aboriginal Rights page
Source: Indigenous Peoples, CBC, Sierra Club, Globe and Mail