First Nations occupy mining equipment in Sacred Headwaters
Watch this video from Beyond Boarding – a group of adventure filmmakers who have been following Tahltan Nation opposition to a proposed open pit coal mine in their territory, referred to as the Sacred Headwaters.
The Common Sense Canadian has been reporting on the growing standoff between Tahltan members and Fortune Minerals, over the company’s mining exploration activities, some 400 km northeast of Prince Rupert.
At issue is Fortune’s plan to blow the top off of Mt. Klappan – a sacred place for Tahltans – for mining anthracite coal. On August 14, a group of elders and their supporters issued the company an eviction notice, ordering it to cease its exploratory drilling operations. They proceeded to set up a resistance camp near the proposed mine site.
An emergency meeting a few days later, with Fortune Minerals CEO Robin Goad, only appears to have inflamed the situation.
On September 10, a group of a dozen or so Tahltans occupied the vicinity of Fortune’s drill rig with a peaceful picnic.
The above video includes a fascinating interchange between Tahltan language scholar Oscar Dennis and the RCMP officers who flew into the Sacred Headwaters to ask the Tahltan to abandon the drill. Dennis challenges the RCMP’s assumptions and basis for confronting the traditional title holders to the land:
At the video’s conclusion, the voice of an RCMP officer can be heard saying, “We’ll maybe we’ll join you picnic.” Replies Dennis, “Join in.”