Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980
The Tahltan First Nation has wasted no time taking legal action after a historic Supreme Court ruling in favour of Aboriginal land rights.
Tahltan Central Council President Annita McPhee says a land title claim against the province and Fortune Minerals is the only way to stop a proposed open pit coal mine in the Stikine.
McPhee says the landmark Tsilqhot’in land claims ruling makes the issue crystal clear.
“..reaffirming what we have been saying. What they have been saying. That for over 100 years this is our territory we have never surrendered our title. Now Canada and the province will have to respect that title and stop making decisions without our consent. This is what has been happening with Fortune Minerals Projects.”
She says the land in question is culturally important.
“This Arctos coal project is located in a critically important area to Tahltan people. It is at the headwaters of three salmon bearing rivers the Skeena, the Stikine, and the Nass. For us it holds a huge cultural significant value. It is an important sacred area where we do a lot of our hunting.”
McPhee says they have retained lawyer Joe Arvay who helped the Tsilqhot’in First Nation secure its landmark ruling.
The land in dispute is at Mount Klappen in the Stikine.