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UN meeting to discuss unauthorized development in Tahltan territory

October 10, 2013

Dease Lake and Vancouver, B.C. – Tahltan will state that Fortune Minerals’ development of an open-pit coal mine on Mount Klappan would be contrary to the United Nations (UN) Declaration on Rights of Indigenous People at a meeting with the UN today (October 10).

Tahltan Central Council president Annita McPhee is meeting with James Anaya, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights of aboriginal peoples as part of his trip to Canada to look at the treatment of First Nations.

Speaking before the meeting, Annita McPhee said: “We are united in opposing Fortune Minerals’ proposal to build an open-pit coal mine on Mount Klappan. They have stopped work for now, but we know that they still intend to build a mine on Mount Klappan.

“Our people have supported some projects when certain conditions are met, and at the same time have made their voice heard round the world that the entire sacred Klappan area must be protected, and the proposed Fortune Minerals project stopped.”

She added: “To have the opportunity to share our experience with someone as influential and respected as Dr Anaya is a real privilege for us. We will be illustrating to him how proposed development in the Klappan is not meeting established International legal standards, and asking him to shine a spotlight on this challenge.”

The meeting will also discuss the influx of proposed mines and energy projects in Tahltan territory. Much of this has occurred without Tahltan consent, or even knowledge. This is despite the fact that 33% of British Columbia’s mine development projects and 18% of the new large mine proposals in the Province’s Environmental Assessment Process are in Tahltan Territory.

The meeting is part of a series of discussions with First Nations taking place at the Musqueam Community Centre Gymnasium in Vancouver on Thursday.

At the meeting, a paper on Tahltan history and development is being submitted. This will be available to download from after the meeting.

For interviews or background information contact Richard Truman at 778 929 1662; / Annita McPhee, President, Tahltan Central Council: 604-754-9974

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