Canadian Mine Waste Is Crossing Borders and Facing International Backlash – by Stephen Robert Miller (Discovery Magazine – February 5, 2022)

For decades, Canadian waterways have carried toxic mine waste through natural ecosystems, into tribal lands and across the U.S. border. A coalition of indigenous leaders and scientists are now calling for international protection.

In the bitter cold winter of 2017, British Columbia’s minister of energy and mines discovered that someone had staked a mining claim in his actual backyard. The request had come without notice or warning.

If approved, it would allow the people behind it to pan for precious minerals in streambeds on his Cranbrook, B.C., property, less than 50 miles north of the U.S. border.

“The claim is not going to pay off for them,” then-Minister Bill Bennet told The Province at the time; his home sits high and dry on a forested hill with no streams to explore. But the people behind the permit weren’t looking to strike a claim.

They were a group of First Nations women led by Bev Sellars, a former chief of the Xat’sull First Nation, who had purchased the mining claim from the comfort of her home hundreds of miles away, for $129.89 Canadian ($105 USD).

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