First Nations in Victoria court to stop mining permit – by Sarah Petrescu (Victoria Times Colonist – August 1, 2017)

First Nations leaders, elders and community groups gathered on the Victoria courthouse steps Monday morning in support of Tsilhqot’in First Nations chiefs hoping to overturn a drilling permit issued to Taseko Mines in the last days of the B.C. Liberal government.

“We’re here to stop this permit and I think we will,” said Chief Russell Myers Ross from the Yunesit’in First Nation, who was joined by Chief Roger William from the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation.

The Tsilhqot’in are petitioning the Supreme Court for an interlocutory injunction to stop exploratory drilling around Teztan Biny (Fish) Lake, a traditional hunting, fishing, medicine gathering and spiritual region.

he region is just outside the 1,700 square kilometres granted Aboriginal title by the Supreme Court in 2014, but was recognized as traditional-use territory by the courts. There are plans to establish a protected tribal park in the area.

“The drilling affects both our communities and we are the caretakers for that land,” Ross said, adding this is the latest chapter in the battle to protect the region from a massive open-pit mining project. The chiefs came on behalf of the six Tsilhqot’in nations in the province’s central interior, many of whom are evacuated from their communities because of the wildfires.

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