Westerly News – Mt. Polley mining disaster remembered. “We do not want Imperial Metals in Tla-o-qui-aht territory.”
Tofino’s environmental front-runners participated in a water ceremony on Friday, Aug. 4 to commemorate the third anniversary of the Mount Polley mine disaster. On August 4, 2014, the Imperial Metals’ mine suffered a dam breach, which flooded nearby lakes and waterways with toxic water and sludge.
A local state of emergency was declared for the Cariboo region over drinking water contamination a few days following the spill. Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations elder Levi Martin led representatives from Clayoquot Action, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, and Surfrider Pacific Rim Foundation in the ceremony.
Participants were asked to stand in a circle and share their thoughts on the importance of water. “Water is one of the four sacred elements; without good clean healthy water, nothing survives in this world,” said Martin. “We do not want Imperial Metals in Tla-o-qui-aht territory, because all the land, the water and the resources belong to our children, and great-great-grandchildren.”