Economic success stories bust myths about mining and First Nations in B.C. – by Nelson Bennett (Business Investment Vancouver – January 28, 2020)

When it comes to international capital markets and mineral exploration, British Columbia has a perception problem – that the province is a risky place to invest because 110% of its land base is claimed by First Nations.

That’s a perception Corinne McKay, secretary-treasurer of Nisga’a Lisims Government, said she encountered when she attended a mining symposium in London in 2018.

Responding to a question about unsettled land claims in B.C., McKay pointed out that when the Nisga’a signed a treaty nearly 20 years ago, her nation got 7% of its claimed territory as title land, not 100%.

But apart from the unsettled land question, international investors also read the newspapers, which have been filled with headlines about First Nations blockading pipelines in B.C.

They seldom read about all the First Nations in B.C. who are eagerly seeking equity positions in those very pipelines, or partnering with mining companies to bring new mines into production. B.C.’s perception problem is one the BC Regional Mining Alliance (BCRMA) – which includes the Nisga’a and Tahltan – has been trying to counter.

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