DRIPA, mining and a glimmer of fool’s gold in British Columbia – by Merle Alexander (Business In Vancouver – June 22, 2023)


Merle Alexander is Heiltsuk-Tsimshian, and principal of the Indigenous law group at Miller Titerle + Co.

With the click of a button, any would-be millionaire takes their chance to strike it rich. The odds of success are extremely low, the wagers are typically made with other people’s credit and, seemingly, the house always wins.

The Crown is the house and greatest beneficiary, as they profit from highly taxed profit margins that ultimately exploit the gamer. The truth is, though, the Crown is dependent on the outcome and has itself become vested in gamers’ losses and successes.

The B.C. mining regime is akin to regulating an illegal activity (under the Criminal Code, gaming houses are illegal unless the Crown authorizes them). The illegal activity is the granting of rights to exploration and mining companies on First Nations title lands without their consent. The entire mining regime is based on the theft of First Nations subsurface minerals.

It is deeply rooted in the racist and colonial doctrine of discovery and terra nullus that we recently witnessed the Pope apologize for and reject.So, what does this analogy have to do with B.C.’s Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) and mineral tenure reform? Well, to be blunt, we need to start this process with Truth if we are to achieve Reconciliation.

For the rest of this article: https://biv.com/article/2023/06/merle-alexander-dripa-mining-and-glimmer-fools-gold-british-columbia