UBCIC Celebrates International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples with Tsilhqot’in at Teztan Biny
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver – August 8, 2013) Tomorrow, August 9, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs will stand with the Elders, Youth and Leadership of the Tsilhqot’in Nation New Prosperity Federal Review Panel’s site visit to Teztan Biny (Fish Lake).
August 9 is The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People as proclaimed by the United Nations’ General Assembly. The focus of this year’s International Day is “Indigenous Peoples building alliances: Honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.”
Councillor Marilyn Baptiste, Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs stated “First Nations are not opposed to development. But we want a real voice in the determination of priorities and strategies for the use of our lands. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples sets out international standards for the needed relationships between Nations states, companies like Taseko to establish long-lasting agreements or arrangements with Indigenous Peoples built on the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent.”
“First Nations are watching closely,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. “To this point, the testimonies and submissions to the Federal Review Panel cast a troublesome light on Taseko’s significantly deficient New Prosperity proposal. If there is federal government approval of Taseko’s New Prosperity Mine proposal it will signal to Indigenous Peoples across Canada that their values, beliefs, and ways of living will be trampled upon whenever the federal government deems a potential resource development project economically significant.”
Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs concluded, “Taseko’s proposal will effectively kill Teztan Biny and will have detrimental, cumulative and long-lasting impacts on the environment, Xeni Gwet’in and Tsilhqot’in families and communities. We urge the Panel to hold Taseko, the Provincial and Federal governments to the standards set out internationally but also to truly reflect on the evidence of the Tsilhqot’in Nation.”
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip (250) 490-5314
Councillor Marilyn Baptiste (250) 267-1401