Indigenous Peoples

Sarah Berman

After a man-made lake full of mining waste spilled in the central interior of British Columbia, security guards have been blocking entry to the subsequently contaminated lake and creek. Residents hoping to see first-hand what millions of cubic metres of tailings sludge might have done to Polley Lake or Hazeltine Creek are met with gates, guards, and blocked off roads.

Alexandra Morton
Today I went to see the Mt Polley mining disaster for myself.  First Nations that I have worked with sampling for European farm salmon viruses called me.  I don't know anything about the mine tailings that exploded out of the Mt Polley tailings pond on August 4th, but I know evasive government behaviour when I see it.  Frankly, I don't believe that this massive injection of mine tailings into pristine Quesnel Lake is not dangerous to life.
David Camfield

It's good news that in a number of cities people "are meeting together in growing numbers to explore what it means - and doesn't mean - to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples within Canada," as journalist Meg Mittelstedt wrote recently.

Brad Hornick

Twelve hours into a motorcycle ride from Vancouver to the Unist'ot'en camp, and after short dips in a couple of the hundreds of small lakes in 40 degree weather, the glow of the northern British Columbia evening sky turns thick and otherworldly with smoke from nearby forest fires. Seeking a place to sleep, I skip the first small town whose cheap motels were filled with some of the hundreds of firefighters and evacuees from local oil and gas camps. The fires rage as a result of pine-beetle ravaged forests and a hot, dry B.C.

Tsilhqot’in National Government

Williams Lake, BC (August 6, 2014):  The Tsilhqot’in Nation is overwhelmed and disappointed by the Mount Polley Mine (owned by Imperial Metals) environmental disaster. The tailings pond that has been breached is the same model that Taseko Mines Limited (TML) has indicated repeatedly that they would use for the New Prosperity project. Of which, TML vice-president, Brian Battison and B.C. Energy and Mines Minister, Bill Bennett, held up as exemplary. This is proof of the faults and extreme risks within this model of tailings storage facility.

Jenny Uechi

The chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band south of Kamloops, B.C., whose territory is crucial to the $5.4-billion Kinder Morgan expansion project, wrote a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister today about his "serious reservations" about the project.  

Mychaylo Prystupa

Enbridge is facing a startling number of new First Nations lawsuits, challenging the constitutionality of the Harper’s government decision in June to approve the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline.  

Eight First Nations -- from Haida Gwaii to Yinka Dene territory west of Prince George – have launched legal challenges, since Friday.  Nine more, were launched earlier this year, said the West Coast Environmental Law organization.

Mark Hume

The B.C. government has written directly to about 60 hereditary chiefs of the Gitxsan First Nation, outlining a multimillion-dollar gas-pipeline benefits deal.

In the letter, the government offers the Gitxsan about $12-million, plus a signing bonus of over $2-million, if it will allow two pipelines to cross territorial lands.

Brad Hornick

A healthy majority of First Nations in British Columbia have joined the opposition to federal government approval of the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline, arguing that it fails to respect the human rights of Indigenous peoples and violates Canada's legal obligations under both federal and international law. In particular, the "right to exclusive use and occupation of land" and the "right to choose to what uses land can be put" -- is specifically excluded from Joint Review Panel's mandate.

Stephan Ewart

A new study suggests the Supreme Court of Canada ruling to extend Aboriginal territorial rights will mean a more active role for government to ensure oil and gas development.

It's hard to believe the current federal government could do more to actively promote Prime Minister Stephen Harper's longstated ambition for Canada to be a "global energy superpower" but that's what the Fraser Institute predicted in a report Thursday.


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