Every aspect of mining that involves First Nations has the potential to infringe upon their rights and title, according to the Fair Mining Collaborative (FMC).
The B.C.-based non-profit is working to make sure Indigenous communities have the skills and tools to ensure mining deals are done right, especially as Canada pursues truth and reconciliation. “The history of mining in B.C. is paired with the history of colonization in the province, legally and socially,” said Glenn Grande, the collaborative’s senior researcher and writer.
Grande is of Cree ancestry and a former teacher who taught at all grade levels in First Nations communities throughout B.C. He graduated with a juris doctorate from the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law in 2014.
“I was born and raised in Edmonton and grew up around the coal mines there. I had no interest in working in the mines or anything to do with them,” said Grande. “Law school really opened my eyes to the true nature of Aboriginal and Indigenous rights as both a human rights issue and an internal law issue. It put colonization into a different lens for me.”
Land use decisions are made through a complex process involving First Nations, governments, and mining companies, and often involve unresolved land claims, sensitive ecosystems and mistrust between communities and the resource development industry.
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