MW NR – Mines Ministers Meeting Falls Short of Meaningful Progress on Environment and Indigenous Rights

Indigenous communities and advocacy groups are disappointed and concerned about the outcomes of Canada’s 2017 Energy & Mines Ministers Conference, which ended last week in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

  “None of the 200 pages of documents and 11 priority action points coming out of this conference even include the words ‘Indigenous rights,’ ‘consent,’ ‘mining wastes,’ ‘tailings,’ risks of ‘spills,’ or ‘failures.’ Frankly, this is troubling and disconcerting given the are serious concerns many of our communities have,” states Jacinda Mack, coordinator of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM). “We expect governments to take meaningful actions to address issues squarely.” Mack’s community was devastated by the Mount Polley disaster in British Columbia in 2014—the biggest mining spill in Canada. 

Grand Chief Ron Tremblay of the Traditional Wolastoq Grand Council in New Brunswick: “The outcome of the meeting is even more disturbing for our people given that the Trudeau government committed to work towards reconciliation and to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the right to free, prior and informed consent.”

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