[Marxism] (no subject)

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Tue Oct 11 14:35:07 MDT 2005


Environmentalists groups are not out to convert Indians, just like the
Tahltan Elders are not out to stop economic prosperity. But both want
sustainability for future generations. These groups evolve from
concerned individuals that work together to hold governments and
industries accountable for their discretion and developmental impact on
human health, and the natural environment.  The Tahltan Elders have had
this role since time immemorial.

Mr. Lovin reports that: In northwestern B.C., the Tahltan Nation has
enjoyed prosperity through its association with the mining industry.
Through Barrick's Eskay Creek gold and silver mine, opened in 1995, 117
Tahltan (30 per cent of the workforce) are employed through the Tahltan
Nation Development Corp. Unemployment in Iskut, Dease Lake and Telegraph
Creek has dropped from 85 per cent to six per cent, below the national
average. It begs to question, why would we need five more mines
operating within Tahltan territories?  If we have less than a 6 %
unemployment rate already?

What about the rest of our people who are living off the land; fishing,
hunting and trapping? What about the water? The West Coast Environmental
Law Centre reported that where there are mines, there is certainty that
there will be “an increase in drilling rigs and related equipment that
will be transported onto the land; an increase in the amount of toxic
waste that will need to be disposed of; and an increase in the dangerous
air emissions that could have an impact on people who live near these
activities.” Where do you live Mr. Loverin?

You speak of Canadian case law that demands industry and government to
consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples. Yes that is true, but with
this power comes responsibilities to act as the protectors of that which
we are responsible for: our traditional territories. Additionally, how
do we meet the legal tests of continuity and proof of title when
industries continue to alter the landscape? Most of our evidence lies in
the oral testimony of our Elders? How do the Elders identify place names
and practices when those places are gone because of road building? Where
will the evidence be to prove our title and rights? Flushed down the
rivers or sitting below the mines holding wells!

Why would we want to negotiate our rights and title away? So
multinational corporations can come in and exploit the land and then
walk away so our Elders and residents of Telegraph, Dease and Iskut can
be left behind with cleaning up, and live in the toxic environment?
Sierra Legal Defence reported that government regulations stipulate that
mines that have identified a spill, apply their own discretion in
determining whether the spill is too small or big enough to report.  In
April of this year, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada
forecast record drilling activity – they anticipate a total of 18,300
wells in Canada, many of which are being drilled in BC. So how many
holding wells will be created to capture the toxic run off produced by
all these mining projects? Our responsibilities include the protection
of future generations. And this does not include dooming our children
and grandchildren to the long term effects of exposure to the cumulative
toxic mining materials produced through the mining process.

A concerned Tahltan Band Member
Beverly Slater

Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope.

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