Nuxalk intervene to uphold Indigenous law, challenge Mineral Tenure Act
Firm: Karim Ramji, Legal Counsel
Outcome: hearing held at BC Supreme Court in December 2022.
The Nuxalk Nation is a coastal First Nation and its Traditional Territory also includes the Great Bear Rain Forest. It has a well documented system of Nuxalk Indigenous Laws that defines the jurisdiction to control the use and access to its Traditional Territory. These factors will allow Nuxalk Nation to bring a unique perspective to this JR.
This is a challenge to the constitutionality of the Mineral Tenure Act (the MTA). Currently, there is mineral exploration activity taking place within the Traditional Territory by Juggernaut Resources. This is being done without the consent of the Nuxalk Nation.
The genesis of this unauthorized exploration stems from the MTA, which allows Non-Nuxalk, simply by a remote desktop application, to stake a mineral resources claim with the Traditional Territory of the Nuxalk Nation without any consultation with the Nuxalk Nation.
The enactment of UNDRIPA by BC means that that the MTA is inconsistent legislation and cannot stand as currently enacted.
This intervention is assisting the relevance of reconciliation through the DRIPA legislation here in BC, because of this it is also helping our Gitxaala and Heiltsuk campaigns. It may also have impacts on Attawapiskat, Neskantaga, and Grassy Narrows due to its relevance in the ON courts.