Tsilhqotin land under threat TODAY!

Tsilhqot’in land under threat TODAY! r1 ...

Dear PAOV

As we write this, an army of excavators, drilling rigs and other heavy machinery is about to swarm over cultural and sacred sites at Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) and Nabas in Tsilhqot’in territory, all without the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s consent.

Taseko Mines wants to build or modify 76 km of roads, dig 367 test pits and construct a 50-man camp — all for a mine that cannot legally be built under Canadian and Tsilhqot’in law.

Shockingly, under B.C. law this is perfectly acceptable: 'exploratory' mining activities can be carried out before an approval is given to an actual mine. Nobody could imagine such drilling in a church yard or a community park, yet the sacred Teztan Biny is being encroached upon for a mine that has been twice rejected by the Federal government.

Despite all of this, in 2017, in contempt of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the outgoing Christy Clark government permitted drilling to advance the New Prosperity mine project.

After exhausting all legal avenues to quash the BC permits, the Tsilhqot’in are now in a position that no community should ever have to face: a direct threat to their most spiritual and sacred places, their most fundamental values, and their way of life.

“Nowhere else has a Nation been subjected to not one but two federal environmental reviews, both confirming the cultural and spiritual importance of this place to our people, and which led to two federal rejections of the mine. We are looking for the same kind of leadership in Premier John Horgan now. The Province of BC has the tools they need to intervene, but until now appeared unwilling to show leadership and resolve this conflict once and for all. Now is the time to finally act.” - Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Jimmy Lulua, Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government

While the immediate issue of Taseko’s drilling program is no longer before the courts, the Tsilhqot’in are still having to oppose Taseko’s ongoing appeals in federal court. These court actions, which RAVEN is supporting, are the only legal avenue left to permanently cement the federal rejection of New Prosperity mine.

As the Tsilhqot’in gather to peacefully oppose Taseko’s incursion into their territory and violation of their Aboriginal rights, they should not have to worry about the costs of fighting this zombie mine in court. Let's stand with them.

For Teztan Biny,

Ana, Andrea, and the whole RAVEN team



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