Simpcw ask for slower pace on Harper Creek development

Close to two-dozen members of Simpcw Frist Nation and supporters held a three-hour

  • Nov. 13, 2012 5:00 p.m.

Members of Simpcw First Nation and supporters hold an information picket at the Highway 5 Vavenby turnoff on Thursday. Close to two-dozen people took part in the demonstration

Close to two-dozen members of Simpcw Frist Nation and supporters held a three-hour information picket at the Highway 5 turnoff to Vavenby on Thursday.

Purpose of the demonstration was to draw public attention to Simpcw concerns about the proposed Harper Creek Mine.

“Once the environmental assessment is submitted there will be only 210 days for the province to approve it,” said Simpcw Chief Rita Matthew. “That isn’t enough time, we feel, to review the plan.”

Yellowhead Mining is predicting a lifespan for its open pit mine of 28 years, she pointe out.

“That’s only one generation, but the impact will be felt for an unknown length of time, certainly three to five generations. Once it is done, it is gone forever,” said the chief.

First Nations have rights and responsibilities regarding developments within their traditional territories, she said.

Matthew said these rights were “given back” in the Canadian Constitution and in the Delgamuukw case.

The Delgamuukw case in particular means Frist Nations should expect to receive benefits from developments within their territory.

There can be no question the site of the proposed Harper Creek mine is within their territory, the chief said.

The area is still used by band members for hunting and berry-picking. They have documented these uses extensively.

An archeological survey has found two rock cairns within the proposed mine site. Although their purpose has not yet been determined, they potentially could be sacred burial sites.

Although several public forums have been held in the Valley to talk about the mine, the Simpcw have not been fully involved until now. The chief noted that the band has protocol agreements with the municipal governments within its traditional territory, from Valemount to Barriere. She said they looked forward to working with others in the Valley to maximize the long-term benefits of the mine.

“We’re not opposed to the mine. We know this is an economically depressed area. We just want to explain our side of the picture,” the chief said.

According to Yellowhead Mining’s website, the company has signed general services agreements with Simpcw First Nation and the Adams Lake Indian Band. The company also is in the process of negotiating a benefit sharing agreement with Simpcw First Nation, and is looking at ways to work with local First Nations on employment and training opportunities associated with the construction and operation of the Harper Creek project.

 

The proposed Harper Creek mine would be a copper-gold-silver open pit located about 10 km southwest of Vavenby.

 

 

Just Posted

High winds could lead to dangerous snowmobiling conditions

Advice for staying safe on the mountains Family Day weekend

Clearwater Library hosting open house

Event takes place Feb. 15 from 2—4 p.m.

Road conditions for Feb. 15

Slippery sections on Highway 5

Man caught in fatal avalanche ID’ed as Alberta man in his 20s

Outdoor guides warn against high winds in the mountains Family Day weekend

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read