Save Teztan Biny

Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) has been a sacred place of spiritual renewal for countless generations of the Tŝilhqot'in. This beautiful area is integral to the health of the last major Fraser River salmon run. The territory is also rich in gold and copper —  resources ruthless mining companies aim to exploit. 

Taseko's New Prosperity Mine was dealt a death blow by the Supreme Court of Canada on May 14, 2020 when it upheld the federal rejection of the mine project. However, Taseko is still pursuing a major exploratory drilling program with provincial approval. The extensive drilling would severely damage Teztan Biny and the surrounding area.  

 

The Tŝilhqot'in have launched a civil action against Taseko and B.C. for infringement of  Aboriginal rights. This is the only way Taseko’s exploratory permits can be quashed (voided).

 

Please donate to support the Tŝilhqot'in’s decade-long efforts to protect Teztan Biny.

about this campaign

The Tŝilhqot’in Nation have fought to protect their rights, title and lands for over a decade at great cost. After winning multiple legal battles, they celebrated the final rejection of Taseko’s New Prosperity Mine by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2020. 

Taseko’s back-door strategy

However, even as the Tŝilhqot'in were clocking victory after victory in federal courts, Taseko was at the same time pushing “exploratory drilling” in the Teztan Biny area, for which they had provincial permits issued to them by the out-going government led by Christy Clark in 2017, mere days before leaving office. Even though the federal government had rejected New Prosperity mine – which we’ve now seen confirmed by the Supreme Court – mineral exploration permits such as Taseko holds are issued by the province, and do not require an actual mine proposal. Those permits are not affected by the Supreme Court decision.

Tŝilhqot'in call Taseko’s bluff

In 2019, with Taseko ready to roll with the exploratory drilling, the Tŝilhqot'in filed a civil action against Taseko, British Columbia and certain British Columbia government officials for infringement of proven Aboriginal rights at Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) and the surrounding area, called Nabaŝ. This comprehensive legal action is the only way Taseko’s exploratory permits can be quashed (voided). The action will be heard in 2022, and in the meantime Taseko has been prohibited from drilling under an injunction issued by the B.C. Supreme Court.

RAVEN will continue to support the Tŝilhqot'in through this new legal action whose goal is to protect the Teztan Biny/Nabaŝ area once and for all from any further encroachment by mining. 

““Our collective identity as Nenqayni - people of the Earth – is one that has been defined by Canada through denial of our rightful place. It is time to recognize the Tsilhqot’in as caretakers of the land and the rightful governing body of its peoples."

-CHIEF RUSSEL MYERS ROSS

Tŝilhqot'in vs Taseko:
A Timeline
  • June 2020

    NEW PROSPERITY MINE DEAD

    Supreme Court of Canada denies Taseko final appeal, forever ending New Prosperity. Tŝilhqot'in have filed a civil action in BC Supreme Court to permanently quash drilling permits. 

  • 2019

    APRIL:

    BC Court of Appeal grants Tŝilhqot'in injunction against permits.

    JUNE:

    Supreme Court refuses Tŝilhqot'in appeal of BC's approval.

    JULY:

    Nation asks the UN to investigate B.C.'s failure to uphold UNDRIP.

    AUGUST:

    Federal Government seeks permanent injunction to prohibit Taseko from undertaking work. Federal Court of Appeal dismisses Taseko's 2 appeals.

  • 2018

    TASEKO APPEAL

    Taseko appeals Federal court's 2017 decision. Canada and the Tŝilhqot'in both apply, separately, to the BC Supreme Court to cancel 'exploratory' permits. 

    BC SUPREME COURT + APPEALS COURT UPHOLD DRILLING PERMIT

    Over Tŝilhqot'in objections, the BC Supreme Court upholds permits, later upheld by appeal

  • December 2017

    FEDERAL COURT REJECTION

    Federal Court dismisses both of Taseko's Judicial Reviews, upholds federal governments rejection of the mine.

  • 2017

    Taseko receives exploratory drilling permits days before BC Liberal Government leaves office.

    TNG CIVIL ACTION: BC SUPREME COURT

    TNG files an injunction against drilling. The federal government files its own injunction: Taseko agrees not to proceed with drilling pending court decision. 

  • 2016

    TASEKO FILES TWO JUDICIAL REVIEWS

    Tŝilhqot'in National Government is a respondent in both Judicial Reviews.

  • 2012

    TASEKO REVISES PROPOSAL

    Revised New Prosperity mine proposal reviewed under CEAA: rejected by Federal Government.

  • 2010

    SAVE FISH LAKE

    Taseko submits New Prosperity Mine proposal: RAVEN launches fundraising campaign with Tŝilhqot'in National Government.

    BC approves the mine; Canadian Federal Government rejects it. 

CAMPAIGN NEWS

Stopping open pit mining: Victory for Tsilhqot’in

Tsilhqot’in: Teztan Biny/Fish Lake protected from “New Prosperity” mine  In May 2020, the Supreme Court ended a decade-long push by Taseko Mines Ltd. to build an open pit gold/copper mine. The Supreme Court victory crowns…

VIDEO: Chiefs Lulua and Ross unpack the Tsilhqot’in legal strategy and vision for Nation on webinar

“Tsilhqot’in” means “blue water people”. On June 18, 2020, we were fortunate to get to hear from the stewards of the Chilco River, who caretake the strongest salmon run in the world. We heard from…

New Prosperity mine is dead. Why are the Tŝilhqot’in still in court?

By Ana Simeon / Photo by Nathan Einbinder On May 14, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a final coup de grâce to the moribund “New Prosperity” mine project in Tŝilhqot’in territory. The twice-rejected mine proposal…

The Tŝilhqot'in are an Athabascan-speaking people who have lived in their territory approximately 200 km west and south-west of Williams Lake in central B.C. since time immemorial. The name Tŝilhqot'in carries varied meanings and loosely translates to “people of the river” or “people of the blue water”. 

The Tŝilhqot'in National Government encompasses six communities, of which Xeni Gwet’in and Yunesit’in are directly involved in the litigation to protect Teztan Biny (Fish Lake).

Tŝilhqot'in Nation’s Aboriginal title to almost 1,800 km of their territory was unanimously affirmed by a groundbreaking Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2014. The title land covers the Nemiah Valley and stretches north into the Brittany Triangle, along the Chilko River and part of Chilko Lake. That means the Tŝilhqot'in Nation has the right to exclusive use and control of the land.

 

Chief Roger and Mom

 

A Brief History of a Long Struggle

 

For years, despite having the only proven Aboriginal Title in British Columbia, the Tŝilhqot'in found  themselves embroiled in ongoing court disputes to protect their sacred lands from copper and gold mining. These court battles have been instrumental  in staving off desecration from Taseko’s proposed mine: they have also cost the Nation hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight industry and government in court. RAVEN supporters have been there every step of the way: together, we’ve raised significant  funds for each of the court battles. 




FishLake

 

The mine that just wouldn't die

 

Despite the death of the New Prosperity mine,Taseko was issued a provincial permit to conduct exploratory work in July 2017 under B.C.’s Mines Act and Mineral Tenure Act. The exploration permit gave Taseko the go-ahead to build 76 kilometres of roads and trails, 122 geotechnical drill sites, 367 trench or pit tests, 20 kilometres of seismic lines and a 50-person work camp.




watch videos

Tsilhqot'inParliament

 

A Nation Dreams

 

The Tŝilhqot'in vision for the area is to create Dasiqox Tribal Park, a protected area that would be open for everyone to visit and enjoy. For this vision to come to fruition, all potential mining projects must be stopped in court. This is the dream which has been propelling the Tŝilhqot'in’s legal actions to protect their territory over the course of the past 12 years. 

 

Thank you for taking a stand with Tŝilhqot'in Nation to protect Teztan Biny.