24th July 2015

The UN Shames Canada — Again — About the Same Human Rights Issues – by Rachel Browne (Vice.com – July 24, 2015)

https://news.vice.com/

The UN Human Rights Committee is shaming Canada for its human rights record, which hasn’t improved much in the last decade.

On Thursday, the committee released its first review of Canada in 10 years — and the first ever under Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The findings claim that the government has failed on a host of issues ranging from missing and murdered Aboriginal women, its treatment of refugees, to its overly broad anti-terror legislation, Bill C-51.

The seven-page report comes after more than 26 human rights organizations submitted their concerns about Canada and provided testimony in front of the 18-person committee in Geneva earlier this month. The committee calls on the federal government to launch a national inquiry into the missing and murdered women, while making note of “persisting inequalities between men and women” in Canada, and asking the government to consider overturning Bill C-51.

The report is quick to point out that Canada has failed to create a way for its recommendations to be carried out at all. “The Committee regrets the lack of an appropriate mechanism in the State party to implement views of the committee,” it says. Read the rest of this entry »

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24th July 2015

Nishnawbe Aski Nation insists on separate talks with Ontario on energy issues (CBC News Thunder Bay – July 23, 2015)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay

Not everyone is happy about a recently announced pan-Canadian task force on diesel fuels in remote communities.

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation says it’s been trying to deal with electricity issues in its communities for years, and wants separate negotiations with the Ontario government.

In a statement, NAN said some of its member First Nations want to accelerate their energy developments and can’t wait for the new process to get going. “It is NAN’s position … that the unique nature of our territory, demography and remoteness justify a separate negotiations table within the Ontario round-table or [pan-Canadian] task force as NAN First Nations,” the statement said.

“[The First Nations’] energy groups’ progress cannot be impeded by an all-Ontario or [pan-Canadian] approach.”

Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories and Yukon established the task force, which will prepare a report that examines efforts that have been, or are currently, underway to reduce diesel use in remote communities, among other things. Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd July 2015

Mining and construction driving Nunavut’s economy: economic report – by David Murphy and Lisa Gregoire (Nunatsiaq News – July 22, 2015)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

Premier supports resource development for job creation

The Conference Board of Canada says Nunavut’s economy is in decent shape this year, and you can thank mining development and construction for that. The not-for-profit board projects Nunavut’s gross domestic product will grow 3.8 per cent in 2015.

That’s the highest rate of GDP growth amongst all territories and provinces, the Conference Board’s Summer 2015 Territorial Outlook said.

In comparison, the Northwest Territories GDP for 2015 is expected to decline by two per cent, and the Yukon’s GDP is expected to decline by 3.4 per cent.

“Led by the construction industry, Nunavut’s outlook is decidedly more promising this year than that of its two territorial counterparts,” the report said.

The independent board, which conducts evidence-based research on behalf of governments and the private sector, twice annually examines the economic and fiscal outlook for the three Canadian territories. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | 0 Comments

21st July 2015

In dispute over coal mine project, two ways of life hang in the balance – by William Yardley (Los Angeles Times – July 21, 2015)

http://www.latimes.com/

Crow Agency, Montana – Neither tribe created the modern energy economy. They did not build the railroads or the power plants or the giant freighters that cross the ocean.

But the Crow Tribe, on a vast and remote reservation here in the grasslands of the northern Plains, and the Lummi Nation, nearly a thousand miles to the west on a sliver of shoreline along the Salish Sea in Washington state, have both become unlikely pieces of the machinery that serves the global demand for electricity — and that connection has put them in bitter conflict.

The Crow, whose 2.2 million-acre reservation is one of the largest in the country, have signed an agreement to mine 1.4 billion tons of coal on their land — enough to provide more than a year’s worth of the nation’s coal consumption.

The Lummi, on a 13,000-acre peninsula north of Seattle, are leading dozens of other tribes in a campaign that could block the project. They say it threatens not only the earth’s future climate, but also native lands, sacred sites and a fragile fishery the Lummi and others have depended on for thousands of years.

For the Crow, the project is a matter of survival. Traffic at the Crow’s remote and modest casino provides no meaningful revenue, there are no reservation hotels and unemployment here is well into the double digits. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Coal, United States Mining | 0 Comments

21st July 2015

Quebec isn’t ready for uranium development: report – by Sarah Rogers (Nunatsiaq News – July 20, 2015)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

Province-wide commission finds lack of reliable information, lack of social acceptability

A new report says it would be “premature” to allow the uranium sector to develop in Quebec, given the lack of both information and social acceptance on the issue.

The Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), Quebec’s environmental impact review board, released its report on the future of the uranium industry July 17, following a year-long, province-wide commission.

And while the commission found the uranium mining sector has seen major progress in technology and waste management, it found that there are too many unanswered questions about the industry.

The 600-page report also noted significant gaps in scientific knowledge about the impacts of uranium mining on the environment and public health. “Given this situation, the participants at the hearings were almost unanimous in their rejection of uranium sector development,” the French-language report said. Read the rest of this entry »

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20th July 2015

Flexibility is key if First Nations and companies want to reach a deal – by Mark Hume (Globe and Mail – July 19, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

VANCOUVER: Chad Day was just five weeks into his new job as President of Tahltan Central Council when he learned of the tailings pond breach at the Mount Polley mine – and got a crash course in crisis management.

The mine, near Williams Lake, is more than 1,000 kilometres by road southeast of Tahltan territory. But the accident raised alarms in Mr. Day’s communities because the company that runs Mt. Polley, Imperial Metals, is building an even bigger tailings pond at the Red Chris mine near the Tahltan village of Iskut.

In promoting the Red Chris project, Imperial assured the Tahltan of the project’s safety by referring to the great track record the company had at Mt. Polley. Then suddenly, last August, 24 million cubic metres of tainted water and sediment were spilled into Quesnel Lake, raising the spectre of a similar accident at Red Chris, on the headwaters of the Iskut and Stikine Rivers.

Tahltan members reacted by blockading the Red Chris mine site, and a cry went up demanding Mr. Day take action. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th July 2015

Progress on Ring of Fire development: slow and fraught with complications – by Jax Jacobsen (SNL.com – July 14, 2015)

https://www.snl.com/

When Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. suspended development on its chromite project in Ontario’s remote Ring of Fire in November 2013, many saw it as an opportunity for the province to get serious about addressing critical infrastructure and Aboriginal issues.

The Ring of Fire region, located in northwestern Ontario near the Manitoba border, is believed to possess between C$30 billion and C$50 billion in mineral resources, with Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines estimating its value as high as C$60 billion. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce argued that development will generate as much as C$9.4 billion in GDP and create up to 5,500 jobs on an annual basis, all within the first 10 years of development.

This would be a substantial boon for the region, which is home to numerous First Nations communities but with very little business development or opportunity, due to its lack of transportation infrastructure connecting it to the rest of the province.

In May 2014, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne pledged C$1 billion for infrastructure spending to encourage mineral development in the region if she were re-elected. Wynne also pledged to create a development corporation to encourage and oversee development there. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th July 2015

Hampton wants better relationship between feds and First Nations – by Amber McGuckin (Kenora Daily Miner and News – July 16, 2015)

http://www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/

The Harper Conservatives are failing to work with Treaty 3 and Nishnawbe Aski Nation First Nations, causing an economic delay in creating good jobs and a better economy in Northwestern Ontario, according to Howard Hampton, federal NDP candidate in the Kenora riding.

“The Harper Conservatives’ refusal to cooperate with First Nations is delaying vital development projects for the Northwest,” said Hampton. “The Ring of Fire, four-laning the Trans-Canada from Manitoba to Kenora, and building a hydro transmission line to the Far North could all be a reality if the Conservatives would stop ignoring the First Nations in the region.”

Hampton noted that many mining, forestry and pipeline companies understand the importance of working in partnership with First Nations to move their projects forward.

“There is a clear connection between working in partnership with Shoal Lake 40 First Nation to build the ‘Freedom Road’ and a water treatment facility and moving forward with the four-laning of the Trans-Canada Highway from Manitoba to Kenora,” said Hampton. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Northern Ontario Politics, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

15th July 2015

Inuit org, Agnico Eagle Mines sign benefits deal for Nunavut’s Meliadine gold project – by Sarah Rogers (Nunatsiaq News – July 14, 2015)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

“This is another step for a brighter future for Inuit”

It took more than three years of talks — which broke down at least once — but the Kivalliq Inuit Association and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. have finally completed and signed an Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement July 13 for the Meliadine gold project.

Officials from both the KIA and AEM signed the agreement in Rankin Inlet, just 24 kilometres away from what would be Nunavut’s third operating mine, and second gold mine, after Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank gold mine outside of Baker Lake.

While complete details of the IIBA are yet to be made public, signatories, in a July 13 news release, said it addresses the protection of Inuit values, culture and language as well as the natural environment. Agnico Eagle told Nunatsiaq News the terms of the agreement will be made public once it translated into Inuktitut.

With the signing of the IIBA, Agnico Eagle says it’s made its first payment of $1.5 million to the KIA. The release also commits the company to working toward a minimum rate of 50 per cent Inuit employment at the mine.

“KIA has strived to balance the need to protect wildlife and the environment,” said president David Ningeongan in the same release. “This will lead to future sustainable development and benefits for Inuit in the Kivalliq region. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Gold and Silver, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | 0 Comments

14th July 2015

To talk transboundary mining, Taku Tlingit put folks in the same boat – by Katie Moritz (Juneau Empire – July 13, 2015)

http://juneauempire.com/

Taku Tlingit reinforce cultural ties to land in discussion on transboundary mines

Lillian Petershoare’s family fishes the Taku River and has done so for decades. A new generation is now learning the tradition. John Morris “grew up on the Taku until I was 15 years old; I knew no other place.”

Barbara Cadiente-Nelson read a passage by Elizabeth Nyman: “This river, this watershed … know who you are and, if you permit it, it will tell you.”

Tlingit men and women whose lineage can be traced to the Taku River area spoke on their connection to the water and the land during a daylong boat trip down the Taku River on Sunday. The cruise was organized by the Douglas Indian Association.

The trip was meant to “put us on the same boat” — drawing a link between Tlingit connection to the land and the need for mainstream awareness and protection of its resources, said the DIA’s Morris, addressing the diverse group of passengers on the catamaran. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Alaska Mining, British Columbia Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, Mining Environmental Accidents and Pollution | 0 Comments

13th July 2015

Ring of Fire: Bring on the mining Marshall Plan (Part 2 of 2) – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – July 13, 2015)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part story.

Roads, the best way to find new deposits

One of the first priorities is road transportation. Last March at the PDAC mining convention, the federal and provincial governments jointly announced roughly $800,000 in funding for four of the five isolated First Nations – Webequie, Nibinamik, Neskantaga and Eabametoong – to begin consultations on an east-west road that will connect their communities and the Ring of Fire camp to the provincial highway system. A small baby step of progress.

However, Marten Falls is currently not part of this initiative. While this community is the smallest populated of the Matawa Tribal Council, it probably has the most clout as its traditional territory encompasses the Ring of Fire. Although Webequie is considerably closer to the mining camp, it didn’t receive full-reserve status until 2001. Hence it is critical that Martin Falls be strongly encouraged to join the consortium discussing the road connection.

Manitoba is currently undertaking a visionary initiative to build all-season roads on the east side of Lake Winnipeg (which has similar Canadian Shield geography as in Northwestern Ontario) to connect isolated First Nations communities. The primary reason for the establishment of the East Side Transportation Initiative is to lower travel costs for essential supplies to 13 Aboriginal communities. In addition, winter roads are becoming less dependable due to climate change. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances | 0 Comments

13th July 2015

Accent: Bring on the mining Marshall Plan (Part 1 of 2) – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – July 11, 2015)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Editor’s Note: This is first installment of a two-part story. The second will appear in the Monday edition of The Star.

There has been much commentary about healing and rapprochement with Canada’s First Nations due to the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission report on the horrific abuse Aboriginal children experienced at residential schools during the last century.

However, if Ontario, which has the largest population of First Nations people in the country, truly wants to make amends for the sins of the past, then we need to look at “economic and social reconciliation” as our primary vehicle for restitution.

Until every First Nation community in the province has the same level of infrastructure and social services as non-Aboriginal towns and cities, most of the remorseful speeches by guilty white politicians are nothing more than hot air.

Without a doubt, some of the most destitute and impoverished First Nations communities are located in Ontario’s mineral-rich but isolated northwest, near the Ring of Fire – the most significant Canadian mineral discovery in almost a century – and in the regions to the west. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances | 0 Comments

13th July 2015

Confusion reigns on aboriginal rights when court rulings meet reality – by Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail – July 11, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

VANCOUVER — A year and a bit later, people with good intentions and big brains in British Columbia are still trying to figure out the impact of the latest Supreme Court aboriginal-rights decision.

Learned law articles have been penned. Certain aboriginal spokesmen have told the provincial government, as a consequence of the decision, to recognize aboriginal title everywhere and get on with it. Resource companies and other private-sector enterprises don’t quite know what to make of the Tsilhqot’in decision.

Tsilhqot’in essentially recognized aboriginal title over a swath of territory for a previously nomadic aboriginal group. In this territory, with a few restrictions, the group now has de jure sovereignty, a precedent that, if extended over time, would leave B.C. pockmarked with little self-governing, largely sovereign aboriginal territories over which the Crown’s writ would barely run.

What’s clear about the Tsilhqot’in decision – and the long trail of previous aboriginal-rights cases – is that it makes for steady and remunerative work for lawyers. Essentially, the courts, and especially the Supreme Court of Canada, are making laws in this field. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th July 2015

Canada faces questions from UN rights committee on mining industry – by Mike Blanchfield (Canadian Press/CTV News – July 7, 2015)

http://www.ctvnews.ca/

OTTAWA — The federal government is sidestepping a UN panel’s request to explain how Canadian mining and resource companies deal with human rights complaints.

Tuesday was the Canadian government’s first opportunity to address the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, which is conducting the first review in 10 years of Canada’s compliance to a major international treaty.

The committee, comprised of 18 experts, heard repeated concerns about Canada’s extractives industry, the treatment of aboriginals and anti-terrorism measures from two dozen groups, including the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International.

The committee asked Canada to provide answers to 24 separate questions about how it implements the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights — including how it monitors the human rights conduct of Canadian resource companies operating abroad, some of which face lawsuits alleging abuses.

“Please inform the committee of any measures taken or envisaged to monitor the human rights conduct of Canadian oil, mining and gas companies operating abroad,” said the list of issues given by the committee to Canada last fall in preparation for Tuesday’s testimony. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th July 2015

Native Americans protest proposed Arizona copper mine – by David Schwartz (Reuters U.S. – July 6, 2015)

http://www.reuters.com/

PHOENIX – Members of a Native American tribe in Arizona took to the roadways on Monday to protest against a proposal for a massive copper mine at a small town east of Phoenix, vowing to protect sacred lands.

A small group from the San Carlos Apache tribe began a scheduled cross-country caravan to Washington, D.C., to try to persuade the U.S. Congress to save an area known as the Oak Flat campground near Superior, Arizona.

The several dozen protesters hope to garner wide public support and get lawmakers to repeal a land exchange signed last year that paves the way for a $6 billion project by Resolution Copper Mining, a company jointly owned by Britain’s Rio Tinto and Australia’s BHP Billiton Ltd.

“This is sacred land to us and what they are doing is a betrayal,” tribal elder Sandra Rambler said in a telephone interview from the caravan. “It’s like someone ripping the guts out of you right when you’re standing there. We will not sit still and allow this to happen.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Copper, United States Mining | 0 Comments

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