No land claim means we’re ignored in Yukon mine assessment, First Nation says (CBC News North – May 2, 2018)

The White River First Nation says it wants more input into the review of Goldcorp’s Coffee project

Yukon’s White River First Nation is pushing for a stronger review of a proposed mining project, saying the current environmental assessment process is “unfair,” and excludes the First Nation’s input.

Mining giant Goldcorp has applied to the Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Board (YESAB) to build a gold mine near Coffee Creek, about 130 kilometres south of Dawson City.

“This area is important to WRFN [White River First Nation] history, culture and way of life,” said the First Nation’s chief, Angela Demit, in a statement. “We don’t want another repeat of the Faro mine where the First Nations were not adequately consulted… and now look at the mess all Canadians are paying to clean up.”

White River is one of three Yukon First Nations to never sign a land claim agreement with the federal and territorial governments. That means the First Nation’s interests and concerns can be effectively ignored during a YESAB assessment, Demit argues.

“Ours is an oral history and culture which comprises our Traditional Knowledge; passing papers back and forth will not allow us to convey our issues and concerns through our oral history,” the statement says.

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