Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

It’s time we stopped using First Nations as anti-development props – by Anthony Furey (Toronto Sun – April 21, 2018)

Last week the Ontario Court of Appeal began hearing a case where a group of Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples are suing Chevron’s Canadian branch in the hopes that a Canadian court will enforce a judgment made by the Ecuadorian government against Chevron’s American parent company.

The case has been dismissed by American courts, been denounced as the “legal fraud of the century” by The Wall Street Journal, and the lawyer behind it was found to have engaged in racketeering.

But it’s no wonder the case has wound its way up to Canada – the original Ecuadorian settlement is $9.5 billion, the largest of its kind. In the unlikely event that they manage to pull it off, that’s quite of lot of cash to go around for the plaintiffs, lawyers and investors who’ve been bankrolling this endeavour. Continue Reading →

‘We assert our title’ says Liard First Nation chief at economic development conference – by Philippe Morin (CBC News North – April 19, 2018)

Mining might well be “the greatest chance of building something,” when it comes to economic development in Kaska territory, says the chief of the Liard First Nation.

However, George Morgan says agreements with mining companies need to significantly change. Morgan was speaking Wednesday at an economic development conference in Watson Lake, in what he called unceded Kaska territory. The conference delegates represent First Nations, municipalities and the territorial government.

“We understand there may be hundreds of billions of dollars of minerals in Kaska traditional territory. There’s enough to keep us all busy for the next 200 years. But only if we work out mutually beneficial agreements,” Morgan told the conference. Continue Reading →

What do First Nations really think about Trans Mountain? – by Tristan Hopper (National Post – April 19, 2018)

Some love it, some hate it, and some want a better deal

Ask Greenpeace, and they’ll tell you First Nations are eco-warriors bravely protecting the ocean from rapacious pipeline-crazed plutocrats. Ask the Fraser Institute, and they’ll say First Nations are enthusiastic, hard-hatted oilmen who are tired of the “environmentalist propaganda” saying otherwise.

The reality is somewhat more complex. The 1,147-km Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would affect more than 100 First Nations, each with their own unique economy, motivations and feelings about bitumen.

Below, some context for the current state of affairs between oil pipelines and Western Canada’s various First Peoples.

The chief who invited Neil Young and Jane Fonda to Fort McMurray? He supports a pipeline Continue Reading →

NDP makes principled promise to give First Nations all mining tax revenue – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – April 18, 2018)

Mining towns and cities have long argued they should get cut of provincial royalties

The Ontario NDP are promising to give First Nations all of the money the province makes from mining tax revenue. Party leader Andrea Horwath says that would amount to about $41 million dollars a year.

She says the NDP has long thought that Indigenous peoples should benefit from the resources taken from their traditional lands. “That’s been a principle that we’ve held for many, many, many years. And we feel that should we form government, we should actually live up to that principle and begin to change the circumstances,” Horwath says.

The loss of revenue has been accounted for in the party platform, Horwath says, and will be largely made up by raising taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations. Continue Reading →

In many Indigenous communities, business is booming (CBC Radio Sunday Edition – April 8, 2018)

Business is on the top of the agenda for many First Nations in Canada. 

In boardrooms in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and in the offices of First Nations, Indigenous communities are quietly signing deals to develop resources.

Some of these projects are worth hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars. They have the potential to generate good jobs, skills training, revenue and royalties for Indigenous communities.

And, increasingly, those communities are demanding an equity stake — actual control over projects on their ancestral lands. Chief Corrina Leween remembers when things were much different. Continue Reading →

Baker Lake, Nunavut woman fulfills goals at Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank mine – by Michele LeTourneau (Nunavut News – April 16, 2018)

Natasha Nagyougalik began work at Meadowbank in 2010 as a young mother to a three-year old son. Now Aidan is 11 and mom has climbed the Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. career ladder to a top rung.

She works as a dispatcher, but has also learned to operate the $2-million RH120 shovel, one of the largest and most sophisticated pieces of equipment in the global mining industry. “In high school, I started off working at the local Northern store,” Nagyougalik said.

Then she saw job openings advertised by Agnico as either a dishwasher or housekeeper. She went for dishwasher. Five months later, she saw a posting for a month of heavy equipment training in Morrisburg, Ont. That was before Agnico brought simulator training to the mine site. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Development of the Labrador Trough – Position of the Innu of the North Shore (April 13, 2018)

UASHAT MAK MANI-UTENAM, QC, April 13, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – In response to yesterday’s announcement of a new partnership between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador with respect to the development of the Labrador Trough, the Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-utenam and the Matimekush-Lac John Council wish to highlight the fact that the Labrador Trough is largely located within the traditional territory (Nitassinan) of the Innu of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and the Innu of Matimekush-Lac John, both of whom assert Aboriginal title and rights to the trough and the minerals found therein.

“Quebec and Newfoundland continue to live in a bygone era, one in which they believe it is still possible to disregard First Nations on their own territories.

Not only was Quebec just recently trying to sideline us from federal environmental assessments, but is now entering into partnership agreements that we are learning about after the fact.” Said Chief Mike McKenzie of the Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-utenam. Continue Reading →

Tribes sue feds over Rosemont Mine, citing ‘irreversible’ damage to sacred sites – by Tony Davis (Arizona Daily Star – April 14, 2018)

The proposed Rosemont Mine will “irreparably sever” three Indian tribes’ connection to the Santa Rita Mountains and devastate a rich cultural tradition dating to 7500 B.C., the tribes say in a new lawsuit.

The lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service says the mine would deprive tribal members of access to ancestral praying grounds, destroy a critical part of their heritage including burial grounds and stop members from engaging in important cultural practices and religious traditions.

The Tohono O’odham, Pascua Yaqui and Hopi tribes filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court, about 10 months after the Forest Service approved the $1.9 billion mine project. Continue Reading →

First Nations deserve to be consulted on Trans Mountain — and they have been – by John Ivison (National Post – April 14, 2018)

It is a grim irony that a Liberal government elected on a promise of renewing relations with First Nations based on “trust, respect and the true spirit of co-operation” is now being accused by some Indigenous chiefs in British Columbia of provoking a new Oka crisis.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, believes Justin Trudeau’s promise to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion ignores the inherent right of Indigenous people to free, prior and informed consent for resource projects.

“If the federal government tries to ram through the pipeline, it could mean going back to one of the darkest times in modern Canadian history: the Oka stand-off with the Mohawk Nation,” he wrote this week in an opinion article in the Globe and Mail, invoking the violent conflict that took place in Quebec in 1990 and that still makes federal politicians break out in cold sweats. Continue Reading →

Noront eager for start of Ring of Fire road construction – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – April 10, 2018)

First Nation community takes partial stake in mining company in share deal

Noront Resources, the largest claim holder in the Ring of Fire, said it’s doing its part to expedite road development into the mineral-rich Far North.

The Toronto mine developer also announced on April 10 that one of its First Nation community partners is now officially a part owner of the company.

Since the province announced last summer that it was starting the design and environmental work before the start of building two access road corridors into the Ring of Fire, Noront said it’s been pitching in to help area First Nation communities better understand what’s coming by making environmental assessment and engineering studies available to residents. The company hopes it will move the permitting process along. Continue Reading →

How to unleash Indigenous entrepreneurial potential – by Joseph Quesnel (Troy Media – April 8, 2018)

Chief Reginald Bellerose of Muskowekwan encourages First Nations to find the correct balance between politics and business

To Chief Reginald Bellerose of Muskowekwan First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, the wave of the future belongs to Indigenous entrepreneurship.

“Our entrepreneurial spirit has been dormant. We must re-ignite that spirit,” said Bellerose, the 13-year chief of the small Anishinaabe community on Treaty 4 territory.

For the 49-year-old, the key is changing laws to unleash Indigenous community potential, as well as changing attitudes within Indigenous communities, in governments and among business investors. Continue Reading →

After Mount Polley: The activists and filmmaker behind the documentary ‘Uprivers’ – by Kevin Gulufsen (Juneau Empire – April 8, 2018)

Indigenous activists Jacinda Mack and Carrie James come from two different countries and opposite ends of rivers their livelihoods depend on. One issue unites them: concerns over under-regulation of Canadian mining projects on the U.S.-Canada border.

Mack, a Canadian from the Indigenous Xat’sull community, hails from Williams Lake, a small town near the headwaters of the Fraser River. She’s experienced environmental disaster before.

In August 2014, a tailings dam failed at Mount Polley mine, sending 847 million cubic feet of mining waste into nearby rivers, places she used to harvest subsistence foods to feed her family. Continue Reading →

Canadian author’s ‘atomic memoir’ links H-bomb to Great Bear Lake – by Soma Basu (The Hindu – April 6, 2018)

Dr.Julie Salverson, is an anti-nuclear activist, scholar and artist, who works as Assistant Professor of Drama at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.

Dr.Julie Salverson’s book Lines of Flight is about a little known aspect of Canada’s connection to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945

All of us are constantly living in the middle of something happening somewhere. As a witness to increasing violent events in the world, how do we live life with courage?

Dr.Julie Salverson’s book Lines of Flight delves into how humanity is inextinguishable no matter what in the light of her accidental discovery of the connection between the small village Deline outside Toronto and the bomb that fell on Hiroshima.

The shock value of the little known information put her on a 10-year radioactive trail from Canada to Japan in 2002. “I arrived in Hiroshima for the first time in the middle of a Christmas party. Overwhelmed I was with the pain and loss of the sufferers but I realised the city was not just about the bomb. Continue Reading →

With C-69, Ottawa muddies the environmental waters – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – March 29, 2018)

There are obvious reasons to be skeptical about the Trudeau government’s promise to speed up the environmental-review process for major resource projects all while broadening its scope.

Tougher environmental standards, no matter how appropriate, will not make it easier or faster to get Canada’s resources to market or attract investment to the oil patch. It is disingenuous on Ottawa’s part to suggest otherwise.

Just what, then, is Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s real goal in remaking the environmental-review process? Continue Reading →

What anti-Adani protestors can learn from the Jabiluka blockade – by Scott Ludlam (The Guardian – April 2, 2018)

Like anti-Adani protesters today, those who stood up at Jabiluka were attacked. It’s good to remember that people can prevail

ne of Australia’s proudest land rights struggles is passing an important anniversary: it is 20 years since the establishment of the blockade camp at Jabiluka in Kakadu national park. This was the moment at which push would come to shove at one of the world’s largest high-grade uranium deposits. The industry would push, and people power would shove right back.

The blockade set up a confrontation between two very different kinds of power: on the one side, the campaign was grounded in the desire for self-determination by the Mirarr traditional Aboriginal owners, particularly the formidable senior traditional owner Yvonne Margarula.

They were supported by a tiny handful of experienced paid staff and backed by an international network of environment advocates, volunteer activists and researchers. Continue Reading →