VANCOUVER—The Supreme Court of British Columbia has granted an Indigenous nation a temporary respite from the threat of extensive mine exploration on its traditional lands.
Justice Sharon Matthews issued an injunction order Friday to prevent Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Limited from doing any work until the court rules whether the provincial permit for a drilling program infringes on Tsilhqot’in Indigenous rights.
“At the end of the day, this was our last hope,” said Jimmy Lulua, chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations, one of the six Tsilhqot’in Nation communities.
“If we lost there was no other legal system that would have protected us. It would have put us in a pretty hairy situation,” he said in an interview.
In a statement earlier that day, Lulua said: “Today we see promise that the B.C. courts can deliver justice, but we have to remain vigilant, because our people have been here before.”