Community vows to stop Mega Precious Metals from drilling on Ancestral Lands
Red Sucker Lake, MB. – February 12, 2014 Red Sucker Lake First Nation community and Chief and Council will not give its consent to any further mineral exploration on their ancestral lands and traditional territories as of today. On January 16, 2014, Manitoba Mineral Resources sent correspondence asking the Red Sucker Lake First Nation to consider an Application for a Work/General Camp Permit for mineral exploration. On January 27, 2014, Mega Precious Metals also sent a letter to request a meeting with the Red Sucker Lake Chief and Council. Both requests were denied by a vote of the Council. The Council said they will oppose the issuance of any new permits or any extension of the 2013/14 work permits which are due to expire March 31, 2014.
Chief Les Harper said, “the Red Sucker Lake First Nation will oppose mineral exploration and the drilling program in our territory. This is the decision of the Council. We are saying ‘no’ to the Province’s proposal to conduct community consultations because they don’t work. We will also do whatever we can to stop Mega Precious Metals and to go against the court injunction by implementing the eviction notice of July 1, 2013. Also, Minister Chomiak has hired Phil Fontaine as a ‘mediator’. Mr. Fontaine is paid by the Province and he is not independent. The Council has rejected his input.”
During the 2013 Annual General Assembly of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Chiefs in Assembly approved a resolution entitled, “Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Support Red Sucker Lake First Nation ‘No Free Entry’ Declaration”. The intent of the July 9, 2013 AMC resolution is to stop all mineral exploration until First Nation consent has been obtained.
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak said, “There is no doubt the Chiefs support Chief Harper’s continued struggle with the mineral exploration company and the government of Manitoba. I have the mandate from the Chiefs to support Chief Harper, including mobilizing action in defense of ancestral lands and resources.”
Councillor Clifford Harper said, “the Province does a poor job on First Nation consultations and will issue a permit to mining companies anyway even if we have concerns. Red Sucker Lake issued an eviction notice and stop work order on July 1, 2013 and posted them at Mega’s camp and we plan to stick to that agenda. Red Sucker Lake First Nation also terminated the MOU with Mega and the Consultation Protocol with the Province so they have no official relationship with Red Sucker Lake First Nation.”
“From our point of view, it is clear that the protection of our lands, waters and people are the most important. If we consent to any commercial activity it will only be because we are satisfied that the waters are protected and we have benefits for our community members”, concluded Chief Les Harper.
For further comments contact Chief Les Harper at 204-469-5042 or
Wally Mckay, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, at 204-803-9480
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