First Nations News

Hupacasath Update
With the help of fundraising efforts across Canada, the Hupacasath First Nation will launch an appeal after their first court challenge to the Canada-China investment treaty known as FIPA was dismissed in August.

Those opposed to the treaty are wary of the powers it could give to Chinese business and the secrecy of private arbitration hearings. Since treaty making is a royal prerogative and parliamentary debate is not required, the Hupacasath and other critics are calling it undemocratic.

The 300 member band from Vancouver Island are speaking out on behalf of Canadians. To contribute to campaign go HERE or call LeadNow (1‑855‑532‑3609), ext 2.

—Hupacasath Nation, October 12, 2013

Elsipogtog Go To Court
Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Aaron Sock says his community will go to court to try to take control of Crown lands in New Brunswick.
Some members of Elsipogtog were arrested in October when the RCMP enforced a court-ordered injunction at the site of a protest outside a compound where SWN Resources Canada stored exploration equipment and vehicles. SWN are seeking to conduct shale gas development.
Sock explains, “Once we can distinguish who actually is the rightful owner, then we can start talking about extracting natural resources.” He says “the people of Elsipogtog, like indigenous nations across Canada, have the right to free, prior and informed consent over all aspects of their lives, including issues of resource development.”

—cbc.ca, October 24, 2013

Tsilhqot’in In Ottawa
BC’s Tsilhqot’in Nation is calling on the Harper government to listen to its own scientists and ignore the political lobbying by Taseko Mines Ltd. (TML) and the mining industry that could undermine the Environmental Assessment process in the case of the latest bid to create a massive, but very low-grade ore mine at Teztan Biny (Fish Lake).
TML has boasted of its lobbying success with federal Ministers, reporting that it believes the government is on side after meeting with Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, and has run a media campaign to discredit “misinformation” concerns about its new proposal.
Tsilhqot’in Chiefs went to Ottawa in October to highlight that the environmental and Aboriginal rights and title issues have not been solved by the new mine proposal.
The Tsilhqot’in have already won recognition of their land claims and their Title and Rights case will be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in November.

— Tsilhqot’in National Government,  October 8, 2013

Fortune Minerals Leave
Fortune Minerals has withdrawn for the winter and have shut down their camp but said they’ll be back. Fortune have been issued exploratory permits to pursue an open pit coal mine in an area known as the Sacred Headwaters in northern BC. In September, about 40 members of the Tahltan First Nation moved into Fortune’s camp site at Mount Klappan and asked workers to leave. The Tahltan First Nation continue to work towards permanent protection for the Sacred Headwaters.

www.skeenawatershed.com, October 23, 2013

Reconciliation Walk
Thousands of people braved the rain in Vancouver on September 22  to take part in the Walk for Reconciliation, marking the history of residential schools in Canada.
Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was the keynote speaker. The week long event aimed to promote reconciliation, by engaging Canadians in dialogue that revitalizes the relationships between Aboriginal peoples and Canadians.

—Reconciliation Canada, September 24, 2013

Mining in Clayoquot
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations in Clayoquot Sound, have received notice that expanded mineral exploration has been approved for the Tranquil Creek watershed. The Tla-o-qui-aht have been working with industry and government to find alternatives to mining on their land. In response to the ministry’s disregard for their desires, the band are asking the public to sign a www.change.org petition: Call for moratorium on all mining activities in Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations.

— Friends of Clayoquot Sound, September 4, 2013

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