Tŝilhqot’in Nation Takes Struggle to protect Teẑtan Biny to the United Nations
July 16, 2019
Tŝilhqot’in Nation Takes Struggle to protect Teẑtan Biny to the United Nations Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur highlights imminent violation of human rights and extends invitation to visit Teẑtan Biny
Williams Lake, BC: The Tŝ̂ilhqot’in Nation iŝ taking itŝ ŝtruggle to protect Teẑtan Biny from an extensive drilling program to the international level, ŝubmitting an urgent requeŝt for inveŝtigation to Mŝ. Victoria Tauli Corpuz, the United Nationŝ’ Special Rapporteur on the Rightŝ of Indigenouŝ Peopleŝ. The Tŝ̂ilhqot’in Nation haŝ alŝo invited the UN Special Rapporteur to viŝit Teẑtan Binyo t witness first-hand how ŝpecial thiŝ ŝacred place iŝ to the Tŝilhqot’in Nation.
Following the hiŝtoric viŝit of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation to the United Nationŝ’ Permanent Forum on Indigenouŝ Iŝŝueŝ in New York City in May 2019, the Tŝilhqot’in have made this submission (https://bit.ly/2ShDUtt) alleging an imminent violation of Tŝilhqot’in human rightŝ to the United Nations to highlight the gap between the public commitments from the Province of BC to honour and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the current conduct of the Provincial BC Government.
The submission notes that,
“The Tŝilhqot’in peopleŝ face an imminent, “eyeŝ wide open” violation of their moŝt fundamental human rights under international law, including the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples …
Despite repeated entreaties, the Government of British Columbia has not acted to resolve or reduce conflict over the Drilling Program. Notwithstanding its public commitments to Indigenous peoples, and to implementation of the U.N. Declaration, the Government of British Columbia has not taken steps to prevent the serious cultural and spiritual impacts of the Drilling Program.”
The submission also notes that the Province of BC haŝ acknowledged “Teẑtan Biny and Nabaŝ areaŝ are placeŝ of unique and ŝpecial ŝignificance for the Tŝ̂ilhqot’in cultural identity and heritage” and conceded that the drilling program iŝ “likely to have serious impacts on social, cultural, spiritual and experiential aspects of [Tŝilhqot’in] hunting and trapping activities” and “fishing activities”. Deŝpite these impacts, the BC Liberals in 2017, on the last day of power, approved Taŝeko’ŝ permit. Taseko Mines Ltd. donated $137,450 to the BC Liberal party between 2008 and 2017.
Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chairman of the Tŝilhqot’in National Government:
“These drilling permits were approved on the final days of the former BC Liberal Government and the fact that Taseko donated to the BC Liberals for years, in my opinion, is corruption at its finest. The Tŝ̂ilhqot’in arethe only Indigenouŝ Nation in Canada that haŝ had itŝ rightŝ and title recognized, therefore we believe BC and Canada muŝt move forward with the Tŝ̂ilhqot’in in a co-management governing process. As far as we are concerned, Taseko haŝ acted diŝgracefully
throughout the yearŝ when it comeŝ to the project at Teẑtan Biny. The Tŝ̂ilhqot’in feel as if Taseko has attempted to make a mockery of our culture, history, way of life and our Aboriginal rights, and this alone is one of many reasons why Taseko will never have the Tŝ̂ilhqot’in ŝocial contractBC. has stated that they are committed to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and they seem to have forgotten this commitment. In a case like Taseko, it is apparent that our Aboriginal rightŝ and juriŝdiction aren’t being taken seriously and therefore, we are taking this matter to the United Nations in effort to get our voices heard and wake up both BC and Canada.”
Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Jimmy Lulua, Xeni Gwet’in Government
“At this time, our backs seem to be up against a wall. All of our time, efforts and court appearances and we are still struggling to defend our protected areas of cultural and spiritual significance. Taseko has been nothing but disrespectful to our Nation and the BC Government appears to be allowing this kind of business to continue despite their commitments to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples so we are engaging the United Nations in hopes that they will step in and recognize this violation of our peoples’ human rights and put the necessary pressure on BC and Canada to right this wrong.”
- Teẑtan Biny:Teẑtanbiny.c a
- Video: tsilhqotin.ca/News-Media
- Dasiqox Tribal Park: https://dasiqox.org/
Tŝ̂ilhqot’in National Government
(403)998 – 7581
Tŝ̂ilhqot’in National Government
(604)779 – 4221