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Kamloops chapter signs Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation ‘Declaration of Support’ against Ajax mine

Skeetchestn Indian Band Acting Chief Terry Deneault and Tk’emlúps Indian Band Chief Fred Seymour at signing ceremony.

The Council of Canadians Kamloops chapter joined with 30 organizations today to sign a ‘Declaration of Support’ in solidarity with the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation’s (SSN) decision to withhold its free, prior and informed consent for the proposed Ajax copper-gold mine at Pípsell (Jacko Lake and area).

The SSN represents the communities of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and the Skeetchestn Indian Band. The announcement was made at an Allies Meeting and Solidarity Ceremony at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

Among the other organizations signing the Declaration of Support — Union of BC Indians Chiefs, Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible Mining, Indigenous Environment Network, West Coast Environmental Law, David Suzuki Foundation, Sierra Club BC, MiningWatch Canada, Wilderness Committee, Rivers without Borders, and The Council of Canadians.

The SSN notes, “The Ajax Mine Project in its proposed location at Pípsell is in opposition to the SSN land use objective for this profoundly sacred, culturally important, and historically significant keystone site, which significance is fundamental and undiminished. If approved, the mine would destroy part of Jacko Lake and irreversibly affect Pípsell.”

The Council of Canadians supports the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which includes Article 19, the right to free, prior and informed consent.

The mine was first proposed in late 2011 and the Kamloops chapter has been campaigning against it since early 2012. The provincial government’s assessment of the mine was suspended in May 2016. The SSN conducted its own independent assessment in accordance with its laws, traditions, customs and governance system. That assessment led to their decision to reject the mine.

To watch a 7-minute video about today’s ceremony, please click here.

Further reading
Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation rejects Ajax Mine in Kamloops (March 9, 2017)