The site is home to the former Eskay Creek Mine, which produced 3.3 million ounces of gold and 160 million ounces of gold. The Process Charter is a collaboration between Skeena, Tahltan Central Government (TCG) and the Government of British Columbia.
The project is supported by the Tahltan Nation, but the Southeast Alaska Native Transboundary Commission (SEITC) on Tuesday sought approval from the British Columbia and Canadian governments to protect the Unuk River watershed from damage caused by the Eskei Creek mine. It was announced that
Eskay Creek is one of at least six planned and operating mines located on the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk rivers upstream of the U.S.-Canada border.
A coalition of Alaska-based Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribal governments asked Canadian environmental regulators this week to acknowledge the historic presence along the Unuk River, which is threatened by rapidly expanding transboundary mining. I applied to receive it.
SEITC said the proposed mine project violates its obligation to protect traditional lands for future generations.
These rivers are some of the world’s last remaining wild salmon habitats and have significant cultural significance to the tribes of southeast Alaska. The tribe said “reckless and underregulated gold mining” in northwestern British Columbia threatens to destroy fragile watersheds and leach copper, selenium and other toxins. Cross the border and go downstream.
“We are talking about polluting rivers to increase profits for mining companies,” SEITC Vice Chairman Rob Sanderson Jr. said in a press release. “We have relied on and managed these rivers for thousands of years. Canada has no right to jeopardize our way of life.”
In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that non-resident Indigenous people have constitutional rights in Canada if they are the modern successors of past residents.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recently found that Canada’s refusal to consult with Alaska Native tribes regarding large-scale mining development along transboundary watersheds may violate international human rights. The lawsuit, filed by Earthjustice on behalf of SEITC, will move to trial in February.
If SEITC is successful, it will be the first time in history that a U.S.-based tribe has been granted Participating Indian Nation status in Canada.