St. Mary’s, Tobique, Kingsclear, Oromocto, Madawaska chiefs respond to environmental assessment
The chiefs of five Maliseet First Nations in New Brunswick are calling for the proposed Sisson mine project to be rejected because of its impact on Maliseet people.
The chiefs of Kingsclear, Madawaska, Oromocto, St. Mary’s and Tobique First Nations issued a statement on Thursday in reaction to a federal study that said the proposed mine would have a “significant” impact on several communities.
The proposed mine would impact 1,253 hectares of land about 60 kilometres northwest of Fredericton that have been traditionally used for hunting, fishing and resource-gathering by the Tobique, Kingsclear, Woodstock and St. Mary’s communities.
“This open pit mine would destroy one of our last remaining areas to harvest and practise our culture,” said Tobique Chief Ross Perley in a statement by the chiefs. “It creates a long-term risk of contamination for our territory and resources.
“This is not an appropriate project for Maliseet territory and we urge Canada to reject it in light of the conclusions for the comprehensive study report.”
The report was released Friday by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to initiate a 30-day period of public response.
“St. Mary’s First Nation appreciates Canada’s acknowledgement of the heavy toll this mine would take on our rights,” said St. Mary’s Chief Candice Paul. “We call on Canada to honour its peace and friendship treaties with us and reject the mine on the basis of this finding of significant adverse effects.”
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