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Fundraiser supports Tsilhqot’in legal challenge vs. open-pit copper and gold mine

Joan Phillip and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip at last night’s fundraiser for the Tsilhqot’in legal challenge vs Taseko Mines Ltd. Photo by Starleigh Grass.

The Council of Canadians is opposed to Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Ltd.’s continued efforts to build an open-pit copper and gold mine on Tsilhqot’in Nation territory in northern British Columbia.

The online news magazine DeSmog Canada reports, “Taseko Mines Ltd. is appearing in Federal Court in Vancouver this week to launch a constitutional challenge to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and ask for a judicial review of the federal government’s decision to reject the proposed $1.5-billion New Prosperity Mine, 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake. Despite the project gaining provincial approval in 2010, the federal government turned down the proposal in 2010 and 2014, saying there would be severe environmental damage and immitigable adverse effects on Tsilhqot’in culture, heritage and aboriginal rights.”

The article highlights, “[In 2014], the Supreme Court of Canada, for the first time in Canadian history, recognized aboriginal title on about 1,750 square kilometers of Tsilhqot’in Nation land — a decision that reframed the way resource companies and governments dealt with First Nations. The mine is outside the title territory, but in an area of proven aboriginal rights, according to the Tsilhqot’in. It is part of the Dasiqox Tribal Park, created in 2014. In an additional wrinkle, which will again draw the provincial government into the fray, despite a 2016 agreement to work on reconciliation, Taseko has applied to the province for a permit to start exploratory drilling.”

Yesterday, the Council of Canadians co-hosted a fundraiser for the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s legal defence against Taseko Mines.

Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui made three pairs of beautiful blue agate water drop earrings for the silent auction at the fundraiser.

The event was co-hosted with Tsilhqot’in National Government, UBCIC, Wilderness Committee, The Council of Canadians, Amnesty International Vancouver and Friends of the Nemaiah Valley. It took place at The Wise Hall & Lounge in Vancouver which is on the unceded, traditional and ancestral territories of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

The Council of Canadians first began organizing in solidarity with the Tsilhqot’in Nation against the mine and in defence of Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) in 2008.

Further reading
The Council of Canadians in solidarity with the Tsilhqot’in Nation vs. Taseko Mines Limited (January 19, 2017)