First Nations staking claim over mining in B.C. – by Nelson Bennett (Alaska Highway News – January 27, 2022)

When the Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) annual Roundup conference convenes next week, a good deal of oxygen may get be taken up by what First Nations in B.C. are demanding: a complete overhaul of mining and minerals acts to give First Nations more regulatory control over mining.

The First Nations Energy and Mining Council (FNEMC), backed by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and BC Assembly of First Nations, issued a report Thursday with 25 recommendations that, if implemented, would require a complete overhaul of B.C. Mines and Mineral Tenure Act to conform to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and B.C.’s own enabling act, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).

In passing DRIPA, the B.C. government obligated itself to change B.C. land use laws to harmonize them with DRIPA.

“At the time of its passing, we welcomed the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and praised the provincial government for its bold leadership,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “But, more than two years on, no action has been taken to align provincial laws.

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