Think B.C.’s mineral tenure system is a joke? So do we.
Under B.C.’s Mineral Tenure system, miners can get rights to just about any land in the province.
Allowing just anyone to roll up on Indigenous land and start building roads, clearing trees & digging is ludicrous in an era when governments have pledged, in word and in law, to uphold Indigenous People’s Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. We made this cartoon to point out the absurdities of this flagrantly unjust system.
For a $25 fee, you can start prospecting all over B.C: even in ecologically sensitive areas, on private land, or on land considered sacred to Indigenous Peoples.
Gitxaala is taking on the province, Canada, and several free miners, challenging that the Mineral Tenure Act is inconsistent with B.C.’s own Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIPA) because it results in Indigenous peoples being dispossessed of their title and rights to land.
While publicly the government is touting its DRIPA action plan, privately B.C. has been aggressively opposing Gitxaała on every legal argument they have brought forward.
With experience, deep knowledge of their territory and people power on their side, Gitxaala are poised for another win.
Stand with Gitxaala Nation, whose bold legal challenge is going to change the game in B.C. This case affects not just one mining claim, but all of them, across the province.
This strategy is going to backfire. Gitxaala have a powerful track record in court: the decision that ended Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project bears the Nation’s name. Plus the new standard to obtain Free, Prior and Informed consent — upheld by DRIPA — is a much higher bar than the constitutional duty to consult First Nations. The Mineral Tenure Act is clearly unjust: this case affects not just one mining claim, but all of them, across the province.