Eskay Creek is first mining project to have permits authorised by Indigenous government

7th June 2022

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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Toronto- and New York-listed Skeena Resources has welcomed the historic consent-based decision-making agreement reached by the province of British Columbia and the Tahltan Central Government.

Through this agreement, the revitalisation of the past-producing Eskay Creek gold/silver project, located in Tahltan Territory, will be the first mining project to have permits authorised by an Indigenous government.

Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister Murray Rankin said the agreement was the first consent-based agreement for decision-making ever to be negotiated under the Declaration Act.

“It is a tangible example of the province’s commitment to changing our relationship with Indigenous peoples. Together, the Tahltan Central Government and the province are leading the way toward a new model for advancing free, prior and informed consent.”

The agreement outlines consent-based decision-making related to the environmental assessment of the Eskay Creek revitalisation project. The governments are working together to change British Columbia’s traditional approach to environmental assessments and permit authorisations, by placing Tahltan values and rights at the forefront.

The shared intent is to create a model for sustainable mining and world-class environmental practices and standards.

“As an already developed mine site with existing road access, waste management facilities, nearby access to green power, and robust economics, gaining consent from the Tahltan Nation on whose unceded land Eskay Creek is located, is a crucial step in an efficient approval process for the project. It also provides certainty of the Tahltan Nation’s legal authorisation to revitalise Eskay Creek,” said Skeena senior VP of external affairs and sustainability Justin Himmelright.

Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government, said that the agreement marked an exciting step forward in the evolution of the relationship between the Tahltan Nation and the province.

“Reconciliation is not achieved with just one step. It requires ongoing innovation, collaboration and leaning into discomfort. For the Tahltan people, strengthening and preserving our culture, values and independence is why we keep pushing forward on this journey. The Tahltan Central Government has been clear on behalf of all Tahltan people that there will be no world-class mining jurisdiction in Tahltan Territory without robust Tahltan stewardship which must include world-class wildlife and fisheries management, strong environmental mitigation measures and recognition of our 1910 Declaration.

“The Tahltan Nation and the province have a long journey ahead walking and living on the path to reconciliation and we look forward to building on our relationship together. I thank all of those who have worked on this historic agreement which better recognizes Tahltan jurisdiction over our homelands. It has been generations in the making. Mēduh.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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