Neskonlith Indian Band serves Imperial Metals with eviction notice over Ruddock Creek mine
Vancouver-based Imperial Metals Corporation owns 50 percent of the Ruddock Creek zinc and lead mine, east of Clearwater, B.C. The other owners of the joint venture are Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. and Itochu Corporation.
Today (August 14), the Neskonlith distributed the text of the eviction notice:
TO: RUDDOCK CREEK MINING OPERATION, Imperial Metals (50%), Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. (30%) and Itochu Corporation (20%) and all other investors and their shareholders
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT THE RUDDOCK CREEK MINING OPERATION IS HEREBY EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY EVICTED from Secwepemc Territory and specifically the area set out in the Ruddock Regional Claim map (dated May 12, 2014) which spans over a large area from the North Thompson River Watershed, to the Adams River Watershed and the Sacred headwaters flowing into the Shuswap Lake Watershed, to the Columbia River Watershed. This claim area is located in the core of Secwepemc territory (Secwepemculecw), which is subject to Secwepemc Aboriginal Title. The Ruddock Creek Mining Operation is trespassing on Secwepemc Territory. It threatens some of the most important watersheds and salmon runs in Secwepemc territory, including the Adams River run, the world's largest remaining sockeye salmon, which the Secwepemc People and Indigenous Peoples in the larger Fraser River watershed depend on for their livelihoods and economies. The exploration activities and water discharges from the Ruddock Creek Mining operation have already violated Secwepemc Law and Aboriginal Title and Rights and have proceeded without the consent of the Secwepemc people. Following the Tsilhqot'in Decision which makes it clear that we can establish Title on a territorial basis, it is no longer acceptable for corporations foreign to Secwepemc territory, to seek to access our lands and resources and benefit off them without the prior informed consent of the Sewepemc people and without full remuneration.
Imperial Metals has failed to properly protect Secwepemc land and waters and our traditional and current uses in Secwepemculecw. The Mount Polley Tailings Pond breach on August 4, 2014 could have been prevented if Imperial Metal had respected and implemented Secwepemc law and environmental regulations. Instead no actions were taken, the tailings pond was over capacity and toxic substances continued to be discharged, resulting in a catastrophic breach. To date the flow out of the breach has still not been stopped. The result are long-term impacts on our Secwepemc lands, waters, and the health of our people. Imperial Metals has significantly impacted the Secwepemc land uses throughout Secwepemculecw and significantly contributed to the cumulative impact load for all Secwepemc people. Imperial Metals cannot be allowed to cause any further impacts in Secwepemculecw.
As the Yecwiminte r Tmicw, the caretakes of our land and waters, Neskonlith, who is part of the Lake Secwepemc People, has an obligation to protect our land for our future generations. Neskonlith Indian Band cannot permit the Ruddock Creek mining development especially in our Sacred Head Waters that threatens our water and salmon habitat. Our Elders stated they do not want anything that poisons our water or salmon. Our People made a declaration opposing the Ruddock Creek mine and held water ceremonies to protect our water and salmon. Our Council stands with our Elders and People, we oppose the proposed Ruddock Creek mine by Imperial Metals and hereby evict Imperial Metals from our territory.
Neskonlith has not signed any agreements with the province or Imperial Metals, we have not provided our consent to the proposed mining development. We assert Secwepemc inherent jurisdiction and Aboriginal Title. Notice is hereby issued to Imperial Metals owners, employees, insurers, and investors that Neskonlith will not provide access to our lands for the Ruddock Creek mining development.
THIS EVICTION NOTICE WILL BE ENFORCED BASED ON SECWEPEMC LAW, JURISDICTION AND TITLE.
DATED: August 14, 2014