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Office of the Chief – Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc

May 26, 2022

On Monday May 23, 2022, Tkemlúps te Secwépemc held a memorial commemorating the anniversary of the confirmation of the finding of Le Estcwicwéy̓ (The Missing) near the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

“For those that may not be aware, it is Secwépemc cultural protocol to observe a one-year mourning period after the loss of family. This is how we see Le Estcwicwéý, as our family; a family that we have a responsibility to care for,” Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir stated.

“It is for that reason, that I was extremely disappointed that attendees of the Memorial were shouting rude remarks and insulting the organizers and guests that had been invited to our community to join us in honouring, upholding, and respecting Le Estcwicwéy̓. Our cultural protocols are sacred and have been in place for thousands of years. These values are based in natural law and cannot be unwritten nor changed by any person or group of people. They dictate that we always hold guests in high regard. In natural law, this is “xyemstwécw”, honouring one another. It is always our intention to create a welcoming and safe environment.”

“The behaviour of a few, disrespected the honour of the day and the Elders, survivors and children that were present. We do not condone the disruptive behaviour. We understand that the day was triggering for some, which is why cultural and mental health supports were available. We also want to thank all of those that followed our cultural protocols and showed their respect”

Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir stated that for future events, all participants will be required to respect our protocols, or they will be asked to leave.

“I would like to say Kukwstép-kucw (on behalf of all of us, we thank you all) for all the people that attended the Memorial of Le Estcwicwéy̓. Your support was greatly appreciated.”

“We also want to acknowledge all those that are working with us to take steps towards healing and reconciliation.”


Media Contact:

Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir (Chief)

Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 250-819-2255


New task force will help end period poverty

May 27, 2022

BURNABY – A new task force backed by $750,000 in provincial funding will support the Province’s goal to end period poverty and remove the stigma associated with menstruation.

“Not being able to access period supplies can negatively affect people’s ability to go about their day-to-day activities,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The new task force will explore the various factors that contribute to period poverty and find solutions that can benefit British Columbians.”

The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction is providing United Way British Columbia with a grant to support the establishment of a multi-sector task force to define long-term goals for ending period poverty in B.C. Period poverty is the lack of access to menstrual products, a basic need for many British Columbians, due to financial barriers.

The new Period Poverty Task Force will be chaired by Nikki Hill. She is a respected community leader with experience working with diverse partners to raise awareness and tackle period poverty in B.C.

“Volunteering as co-chair of United Way’s Period Promise campaign since 2018 has taught me how common period poverty is in our communities and how much of an impact a lack of menstrual products has on people’s lives,” said Hill. “I’m looking forward to taking on this new role with the task force while we build on our work and partnerships to eliminate period poverty and level the playing field for all.”

Remaining task force members will be announced soon. Members will include representatives from business, non-profit organizations or people representing individuals with lived experience of period poverty, Indigenous peoples, and student and youth organizations.

One of the task force’s key goals will be to develop partnerships with governments, Indigenous partners, businesses, communities and non-profit organizations to look at ways to understand and find solutions to period poverty.

This new funding will also support continued delivery of free period products to people who need them, including through United Way British Columbia’s annual Period Promise campaign. The aim of the Period Promise campaign is to make it easier for those who menstruate to access the products they need, when they need them. This year’s campaign runs until June 7 and aims to distribute 700,000 menstrual products.

This new funding will also support continued delivery of free period products and directly supports the ministry’s mandate to make the province a global leader in the fight to end period poverty by developing a long-term, comprehensive strategy.


Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity –

“Having a monthly period is a part of life and we know that many people face barriers to accessing basic hygiene products. Period poverty prevents people from participating in work and recreational activities. No one should have less opportunity or face stigma because they are not able to access the products they need.”

Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits –

“The work of United Way British Columbia to end period poverty and make menstrual products easier to access is another great example of how non-profits help make society better.”

Michael McKnight, president and CEO, United Way British Columbia –

“Period poverty is a problem that we can only solve together. Building the Period Poverty Task Force with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will help us all better understand how to increase access to vital menstrual products and programming provincewide. We are looking forward to diving deeper into the issue and building solutions by bringing experts together from across the province. We are grateful for this additional support and look forward to our partnership with the ministry on helping to end period poverty in B.C.”

Angelene Prakash, menstrual equity activist –

“The establishment of a Period Poverty Task Force has been a long time coming and is paramount in the quest for achieving menstrual equity in British Columbia. Additionally, having people with lived experience on the task force will be critical in ensuring that the voices of those who have felt the impact of this inequity are a meaningful part of the solution.”

Quick Facts:

In 2020, the Province provided $107,000 to the United Way British Columbia to conduct the Period Promise Research Project.
Students in B.C. have had access to free menstrual products in the washroom of all public schools since 2019.
The Province’s poverty-reduction strategy TogetherBC aims to reduce overall poverty in the province by 25% and cut child poverty in half by 2024.

Learn More:

United Way Period Promise Research Project:

United Way’s Period Promise Campaign:

TogetherBC, the Province’s poverty-reduction strategy:


Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Media Relations
250 889-8370


Lax Kw’alaams Band: Court Ruling – Reece v. Canada

Lax Kw’alaams Band: Court Ruling – Reece v. Canada

Read More


The Kanaka Bar Indian Band and Crossing Place Housing Society receive funding to construct new multipurpose community building in Kanaka Bar

From: Pacific Economic Development Canada

Friday, May 27

Government of Canada investment will help communities in Lytton and the surrounding areas build back from last year’s devastating wildfires.

Shared public spaces are the heart of communities across Canada. They bring together people of all ages and abilities, supporting businesses, and stimulating local economies. As Lytton works to revitalize its communities following the tragic 2021 wildfires, these public spaces have never been more important.

Upgrading exisiting infrastructure and building new public assets will be a key step in the restoration process, by strengthening community engagement and boosting economic vitality.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced an investment of $471,000 through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) for the Crossing Place Housing Society. The Crossing Place Housing Society is a non-profit housing operator created by the Kanaka Bar Indian Band.

This funding will allow the Housing Society to construct a new multipurpose building in Kanaka Bar, complete with community kitchen and garden, shared laundry facilities, and meeting rooms.

Project activities will include completing sitework, building the modular structure, and creating an emergency backup power system. The new building will provide an essential gathering area for residents of the Kanaka Bar Indian Band and several neighbouring Indigenous communities – a place to host family and cultural events, in addition to serving as an regional emergency evacuation centre.

The CCRF was launched in June 2021. It is providing $500 million over two years for Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) to invest in projects that build and improve community infrastructure. The Government of Canada is committed to rejuvenating public spaces to make them safer, greener and more accessible. This will stimulate local economies, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.


“Initiatives like the CCRF are facilitating critical upgrades to community infrastructure across Canada, but this is of utmost importance in Lytton, where communities have been devasted by recent wildfires. This investment will greatly assist residents as they work to rebuild a healthy, resilient community and strengthen local economic opportunities.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“Everything changed for Lytton residents last year when fires and other extreme weather events destroyed 90% of our town. This CCRF funding for a new multipurpose community building at Kanaka Bar will benefit an entire region, and we are most grateful for the support we have been extended. With this investment, we are able to explore new options for building and retrofitting safe and resilient spaces for not only local residents, but for all Canadians well into the future.”
– Chief Patrick Michell, Kanaka Bar Indian Band

Quick facts

  • CCRF funding supports two major streams of activity so that communities can:
    • adapt community spaces and assets so that they may be used safely in accordance with local public-health guidelines, and/or
    • build or improve community spaces to encourage Canadians to re-engage in and explore their communities and regions.
  • Eligible recipients include not-for-profit organizations; rural, municipal or regional governments; Indigenous groups and communities; and public sector bodies that provide municipal-type infrastructure.
  • Priority may be given to projects that encourage the participation of underrepresented groups and take into consideration the unique challenges of rural and remote communities.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development
[email protected]

Ben Letts
Communications Manager
Pacific Economic Development Canada
[email protected]


Canada and British Columbia invest in 14 CleanBC infrastructure projects across the province to create cleaner, stronger communities

From: Infrastructure Canada

Whistler, British Columbia, May 27, 2022— Investments in green infrastructure projects help build sustainable, resilient communities. They create adaptive solutions to tackle climate change and mitigate its impacts—such as the wildfires and floods experienced in British Columbia this past year—and they support the shift to a cleaner economy that will help communities prosper.

Yesterday, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Bowinn Ma, British Columbia’s Minister of State for Infrastructure acting for the Honourable George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, announced more than $32.8 million in joint federal-provincial funding for 14 green infrastructure projects in B.C.

Among these projects, the Resort Municipality of Whistler will benefit from an expansion of the Sea-to-Sky Electric Vehicle Charging Network, including the installation of 41 new electric vehicle charging stations and upgrades to the electric grid to support future demand. Thirteen of the new stations will be direct-current fast-charging stations capable of charging a battery from empty to 80% in 30-60 minutes depending on vehicle battery size.

Today’s investment will also help improve housing options for vulnerable seniors with upgrades to the building envelope, ventilation system, space, and water heating for 26 supported housing units in Victoria, in partnership with Pacifica Housing. The project will decarbonize the building and improve comfort in extreme weather events like heat waves and wildfires.

In addition, some of the funding will support the partnership between the Skidegate Band Council, the Old Massett Village Council, and the Council of Haida Nations to construct a new solar energy farm. The solar photovoltaic farm will be built and operated jointly by the partnership members to generate clean energy, which will displace fossil fuel use on Haida Gwaii’s northern isolated grid.

Other CleanBC projects announced today include a hydropower station and the installation of heat recovery systems to produce renewable natural gas.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $18.5 million and the Government of British Columbia is contributing over $14.3 million in these 14 projects through the second intake of the CleanBC Communities Fund, under the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Contributions from municipal, First Nation and not-for-profit recipients total more than $10.9 million


“British Columbians have long been leaders on climate action, and our government is committed to helping them be even more ambitious. Our partnership with province of British Columbia, through the CleanBC Communities Fund, will enable communities to leverage the power of clean energy and successfully transition to a clean economy that works for everyone.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

“We’re working across all levels of governments and with Indigenous peoples to directly address the climate crisis and build a better future for people across the province through CleanBC. The latest round of CleanBC Communities Fund projects will mean improved community resources, reduced local air and carbon pollution, and more job opportunities for people in a cleaner economy.”

The Honourable George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

“Investments into green infrastructure will build healthy, resilient, and sustainable communities today that will allow us to prosper well into the future. All orders of government are working together across BC to ensure communities adopt green technologies that will improve residents’ quality of life, create good paying jobs, and help reach our 2050 net-zero targets. Through a $1.2 million federal investment for an upgraded electrical grid and 41 new EV charging stations, Whistler will continue to make progress on tackling its largest source of emissions.”

Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country

“Thank you to the CleanBC Communities Fund for your support providing 41 new charging stations throughout the Resort Municipality of Whistler and within the Sea to Sky corridor. This infrastructure is an important step towards getting our residents and our many visitors into EVs and reducing GHG emissions in our region.”

Jack Crompton, Mayor of Whistler

Quick facts

  • The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is providing $33.5 billion over 11 years for public infrastructure across Canada. Under this program, provinces and territories prioritize and submit projects to Infrastructure Canada for review. To date, the program has approved more than $20 billion for over 4,500 projects in communities across the country.
  • The CleanBC Communities Fund provides federal and provincial funding for community infrastructure projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a decreased reliance on fossil fuels, focusing on renewable energy, access to clean-energy transportation, improved energy efficiency of buildings, and the generation of clean energy.
  • These new investments build on a recent commitment to provide record provincial and federal funding for the CleanBC Communities Fund, bringing the total joint investment to more than $240 million for local clean infrastructure projects that will benefit people across the province.
  • Since 2018, the federal government has invested $69,429,021 in CleanBC projects.
  • B.C. is currently accepting funding applications for the third intake until May 25, 2022.

Related products

Associated links


Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
[email protected]

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Media Relations

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: [email protected]


First Nations could influence redrawing of B.C.’s electoral map – Alaska Highway News

“Communities of interest” among Electoral Boundary Commission’s considerations, but what that means is still up in the air

Could a significant Indigenous population work to a region’s advantage when it comes to redrawing B.C.’s electoral boundaries map?

The Electoral Boundaries Commission is currently gathering public input in advance of issuing a draft proposal.

Legislation governing its proceedings requires that the EBC largely adhere to meeting an “electoral quotient” that sees the population of most ridings veer no more than 25 per cent away from the average.

That does not bode well several people-starved northern B.C. constituencies, even if the EBC can to add as many as six more ridings to the 87 currently in the legislature.

Read More:

Premier’s statement marking one year since the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc’s residential school findings

May 27, 2022

VICTORIA – Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement marking one year since the announcement of unmarked graves found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School:

“May 27 marks one year since the preliminary findings of unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. For the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, they are known as Le Estcwicwéy̓, or The Missing.

“Finding Le Estcwicwéy̓ began a national awakening, as all of Canada came to terms with the atrocities committed at residential schools, which is a truth that survivors have always known. Since then, more Indigenous communities in B.C. and across the country have announced similar findings. There will be more in the months and years to come as Indigenous communities take on this painful and difficult work.

“On May 23, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc held a community event to honour Le Estcwicwéy̓ and to give strength to survivors, intergenerational survivors and their families. We know that many travelled from all over Canada and the United States to attend and take part in community healing.

“Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir has said that it was Le Estcwicwéy̓, the children, who brought us together, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike. Together, we grapple with the full truth of the immeasurable loss and the shocking violence the Canadian residential school system inflicted on Indigenous Peoples. The consequences of these atrocities are felt by people, families and communities to this day.

“I commend the unwavering leadership and the courage of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people in bringing healing to families and intergenerational survivors. I also commend the many communities and their leaders who have undertaken the heart-wrenching work of finding answers.

“The Missing remind us of our responsibility to uncover the truth of Canada’s colonial history, to face the continued intergenerational trauma caused by residential schools and to take meaningful action toward reconciliation for current and future generations. This means confronting Indigenous-specific racism and narratives that seek to deny or diminish the harms of the residential school system.

“I invite all British Columbians to honour Le Estcwicwéy̓. There is still much work to do, and more difficult days lie ahead. We all have a responsibility to stand as leaders and to help bring respect to where there has been indignity, comfort where there has been pain, and hope where there has been healing.”

Support services are available.

A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former residential school students and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1 866 925-4419.

Within B.C., the KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia. The KUU-US Crisis Line can be reached toll-free at 1 800 588-8717. The Youth Line can be called direct at 250 723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250 723-4050, or online:


Lindsay Byers
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
[email protected]


GoldHaven Issues Letter to Shareholders

Vancouver, British Columbia – (Cision – May 27, 2022) – GoldHaven Resources Corp. (CSE: GOH) (OTCQB: GHVNF) (FSE: 4QS) (“GoldHaven” or the “Company”) shares the following letter to Shareholders from GoldHaven’s recently appointed CEO, Justin Canivet, CFA.

Dear GoldHaven Shareholders,

Good morning. It is my sincere pleasure to be writing this, my first letter to you. I feel somewhat remiss for not having delivered my inaugural shareholder address a little sooner, but I am a “details” guy, and paying close attention to the details takes time.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will

spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

– Abraham Lincoln

I appreciate your patience these past few months, but please know that in the spirit of Mr. Lincoln‘s wise words, I have been diligently sharpening the GoldHaven axe. And as your CEO, I would like to emphasize five of my top strategic priorities:

Prudent Expense Management

I have tightened monthly burn to ensure that the Company’s cash position can facilitate as much groundwork as possible.

Implementing a more “Laser-Focused” Strategy

I have refined work programs so that we allocate capital responsibly to the projects that have shown the most promising early technical indicators.

Company-wide Risk Mitigation

I have taken the steps necessary to minimize risk exposure.

Being Opportunistic

All opportunities that are accretive to GOH shareholders will be considered.

Telling the GoldHaven Story

Over the years I have consulted with many public companies across several different sectors. What I have found to be most effective as a corporate communication strategy is something I have personally coined as my “3M” communication strategy. Messaging. Materials. Marketing. Then wash, rinse, repeat as they say. We will be telling the GoldHaven story to everyone. Note that I have also changed our wire distribution provider to Cision, so our news will reach ALL terminals and news outlets going forward.

The fact of the matter is, external market forces beyond our control have created challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic, global armed conflict, and rising inflation have all had a real economic impact .Nobody is immune. The junior exploration sector has been under pressure. The price of gold has fluctuated, rallying to over $2,000/ounce this past March, but is now hovering in the $1,800-$1,900 range. While price fluctuations will continue, I am confident in a strong long-term trend.

With a project portfolio spanning Northern Chile, British Columbia and Newfoundland, GoldHaven holds claim to some of the most proliferous exploration ground in the western hemisphere. The technical expertise we have is second to none. With proper decision making and responsible allocation of capital, GoldHaven is well-positioned for success.

Smoke Mountain, British Columbia (Canada)

As you know, initial exploration at Smoke Mountain resulted in the identification of a 2.5-kilometre-long Cu-Au-Zn mineralization trend (click here for news release).

Surge Copper’s Berg property adjoins Smoke Mountain to the south and contains multiple newly discovered electromagnetic targets underscoring their view that this, “district hosts a large porphyry cluster with significant exploration potential” (Surge Copper’s News Release, dated April 12, 2022, click here).

Surge Copper’s CEO, Leif Nilsson has confidence that this district has significant untapped exploration potential and could one day be considered as one of the largest copper districts in Canada (click here).

I am thrilled to let you know that Phase II work at Smoke Mountain is scheduled to begin in the coming days and will consist of approximately 30 days of field work. Results from surface sampling are expected in August/September depending on lab turn around. Airborne LiDAR, MAG, Radiometrics and Z-Tipper Axis Electromagnetic (ZTEM) surveying will also be flown over the course of the summer all of which together will enhance our geological understanding of the project, increase confidence in our existing targets and generate new ones.

Depending on what we see from this next campaign, we are presently considering further follow-up fieldwork in the Fall of this year which could potentially yield results that would warrant follow-up ground-based induced polarization surveying followed by prioritization for drill testing targets in 2023.

I have also put the wheels in motion for beginning a dialogue with the local indigenous communities in the area of Smoke Mountain as we recognize the importance of establishing a respectful working relationship.

Pat’s Pond, Newfoundland (Canada)

We are also keen to continue exploration in Newfoundland. Pat’s Pond has shown promising early results from Phase I surface sampling (rocks). Staying true to our laser focus, we have chosen to move away from O’Neill as the early technical indicators there were not very supportive. We will focus on Pat’s Pond going forward.

GoldHaven has also applied for the province’s JEA (Junior Exploration Assistance) program, which will allow for $150,000 of additional exploration capital.

And at long last we have received the requisite exploration permitting for Pat’s Pond, and I am presently negotiating a comprehensive Phase II follow-up campaign, which will include further fieldwork (geology and prospecting), a soil geochemistry survey over the most prospective portion of the property and an airborne magnetic survey over the entire property. These efforts will help us to better define the true resource potential there.


The political situation in Chile remains a risk, and the cost of exploration is high – particularly for junior explorers. I am carefully considering all factors in my evaluation of GoldHaven’s go-forward strategy in Chile.

Measures have already been taken to mitigate risk exposure. GoldHaven’s Chile Advisory Board remains intact, and Chris Benn – a well-known geochemist/geologist who has served as Chief Geochemist for a number of majors in the region – has recently completed a follow-up analysis on the additional sample material that was collected at our Alicia and Roma claims prior to work being shut down there.

Chris’ analysis indicates that further trenching and surface sampling is required to have a proper understanding of the economic geology at Alicia and Roma and to allow for a more systematic ranking of the 12 high priority targets previously identified.

Given all of these factors, I have decided that our best approach in Chile right now is to take the time to responsibly monitor the ongoing political situation and carefully evaluate all possible strategic opportunities to ensure we extract the most value possible from our assets there. This will take a bit of time, and as such, we will be reporting back to you in the coming months with a more concrete decision regarding our go forward approach in Chile.

Unprecedented Times, Focused Measures

Thank you for your continued support and I very much look forward to reporting our progress as we execute on our laser-focused strategy towards unlocking the highest resource potential possible. I appreciate the importance of keeping shareholders informed and I am committed to ensuring regular, timely communication with you as we move forward. Yes, markets have been challenging in recent months, but we rise to the challenge. This is a rebuilding phase for GoldHaven, and I am truly optimistic about our future.

Please come and see us at PDAC next month, Booth #3143. It will be my pleasure to meet you in person and tell you more about the GoldHaven story.


Justin Canivet, CFA

CEO, GoldHaven Resources Corp.

About GoldHaven Resources Corp.

GoldHaven Resources Corp. is a Canadian junior precious metals exploration Company focused on acquiring and exploring highly prospective land packages in both Canada and Chile. GoldHaven maintains a strategic presence in the gold and silver rich Maricunga Gold Belt of Northern Chile which is host to several mining and advanced exploration projects including Salares Norte (Gold Fields), Esperanza (Kingsgate Consolidated), La Coipa (Kinross), Cerro Maricunga (Fenix Gold), Lobo Marte (Kinross), Volcan (Volcan), Refugio (Kinross/Bema), Caspiche (Goldcorp/Barrick), and Cerro Casale (Goldcorp/Barrick). The Company has identified a total of 12 high-priority targets at it’s Alicia and Roma project areas in the Maricunga within a prominent regional NW-SE structural trend along strike from Gold Field’s Salares Norte deposit (5.2 million ounces of Gold1). These targets have been designated “High Priority” due to the extent, pervasive alteration, favourable geology, highly animals rock geochemical results, and their relative proximity to existing deposits. GoldHaven is also making exploration progress at its Smoke Mountain property (Canada) which is strategically located in the Central British Columbia Porphyry-Epithermal Belt in close proximity to Surge Copper’s Berg project, as well as its Pat’s Pond and O’Neill claims in Newfoundland’s Central Newfoundland Gold Belt (Canada). Pat’s Pond is strategically located in close proximity to Marathon Gold’s Valentine Lake gold project and on strike from the Boomerang/Domino VMS deposit. Both project areas in Canada are highly prospective for gold, copper, silver and zinc and all project areas have large scale discovery potential.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors

Justin Canivet, CFA

Chief Executive Officer

For further information, please contact:

Bonn Smith,

Business Development

[email protected]

Office Direct: (604) 638-3073


7 Years On: Reflecting on Indigenous Law since TWN’s TMX Impact Assessment

On May 26, 2015, Tsleil-Waututh Nation launched our independent assessment of the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker expansion (TMX), grounded in Tsleil-Waututh’s unextinguished law and contemporary policy. The assessment consisted of scientific analyses by world-leading experts on issues such as oil spill risk, as well as traditional TWN knowledge about Burrard Inlet, in order to evaluate the impacts the proposed pipeline and tanker expansion would pose to TWN and its lands and waters, including the Nation’s rights, title, and interests.

The Assessment’s Continued Relevancy

Tsleil-Waututh’s Assessment of TMX continues to be celebrated and upheld seven years on. Just last month, former chief Leah George-Wilson was a featured speaker discussing TWN’s assessment at an event organized by Osgoode Law during the International Association of Impact Assessment conference. Why do we continue to celebrate this document that is now 7 years old, for a project that has since been approved by Canada despite TWN’s informed decision to withhold consent?

The assessment continues to be a leading example of how a First Nation can apply its own law in dialogue with Canadian law, how a First Nation such as TWN expresses its jurisdiction, and how Indigenous-led assessments can present robust analyses that help us understand the impacts of a project beyond the limiting scope of traditional provincial or federal environmental assessments.

TWN’s own assessment, rather than simply duplicating work that agencies such as the National Energy Board (NEB) or environmental assessment regimes may carry out, reviewed the project from an inherently different perspective, filling in gaps and asking questions that the province and Canada are simply unable to. While elements of TWN’s assessment may be familiar—overviews of the biophysical impacts within the study area, for example— other sections are inherently unique to Indigenous perspectives, such as the impact the project has on TWN members’ rights to practice their culture, including their ability to conduct ceremony, or safely harvest shellfish. Further, the risk assessments carried out in the assessment are considered through the lens of Tsleil-Waututh law, including the obligation for Tsleil-Waututh to protect its lands, waters, and air so that future generations can thrive.

Tsleil-Waututh means “People of the Inlet.” Burrard Inlet, or səlilwətaɬ, is the location of our creation stories. Tsleil-Waututh’s deep understanding of the lands and waters in and around Burrard Inlet span thousands of years and many generations. Our longstanding management of the ecosystems and resources therein transcend the jurisdictional siloes that often constrain and limit federal and provincial environmental governance today. TWN’s assessment speaks from this perspective: a holistic and thorough overview of Burrard Inlet, including the long history of biodiversity and human occupation, and their significance on the community today. The assessment also evaluates something the Crown still does not: the cumulative effects of development over time in Burrard Inlet, and the critical thresholds that in many instances have been exceeded. Tsleil-Waututh, for example, cannot safely harvest and consume shellfish in Burrard Inlet: this threshold was exceeded in 1972. Tsleil-Waututh therefore requires environmental remediation to address this impact; until TWN can once again harvest healthy shellfish in Burrard Inlet, TWN law has been violated.

TWN’s explicit consideration of cumulative effects in 2015 occurred years before the Province of BC would be admonished by the BC Supreme Court in the groundbreaking Yahey case for failing to consider the significant and devastating role cumulative effects have on infringing Indigenous rights and title. As Crown governments consider how to incorporate these elements into their decision-making, TWN’s Assessment provides one potential blueprint.

Once TWN Council reviewed the assessment of TMX, they concluded that the project presented a risk too great to accept. On this basis, TWN withheld our free prior and informed consent. In the time since, despite two consultation processes, Canada has not adequately addressed the concerns, including oil spill risk, inability to effectively recover spilled oil, and impacts to endangered killer whales, to name a few. These concerns are still outstanding, and TWN therefore continues to withhold our free, prior and informed consent.

TMX aside, TWN’s Assessment continues to be an invaluable resource to understand Burrard Inlet, its ecosystems, its people, and its history, and is a powerful primer on who Tsleil-Waututh are, as well as what Indigenous law is, and what an independent assessment can look like using uniquely Coast Salish indicators. (See our Indigenous Legal Orders section, for example.)

Indigenous Law 7 Years on

In 2015, the National Energy Board was preparing to coordinate with other governments that held jurisdiction relevant to the project and the ability to carry out its own environmental assessment. When the Tsleil-Waututh Nation identified itself as a level of government with relevant jurisdiction over this matter, with the ability to carry out its own environmental assessment, and therefore a government whose decision on the project needed to be taken into account, the NEB didn’t know what to do.

We remember fondly the Spring day in 2015 when we released the assessment at Whey-ah-Wichen (Cates Park), an ancestral village site that continues to be an important place to our people.  In this important place on the shore of Burrard Inlet, with Trans Mountain’s marine terminal in the background, Tsleil-Waututh leadership launched the Assessment, alongside drummers, dancers, invited dignitaries, and legal experts. At the time, our work was lauded as groundbreaking, “an expression of the nation’s inherent jurisdiction and law.”[1] That day, several legal scholars published this piece in the Georgia Straight which situated the assessment in important context:

The inherent jurisdiction and laws which Tsleil-Waututh relied on in completing its Assessment exist independently of, and pre-date the assertion of sovereignty by Canada.  Section 35(1) of the Canadian Constitution recognizes and affirms such existing Aboriginal rights, including Aboriginal title and governance rights.

In the landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, Canada’s highest court affirmed that Aboriginal title encompasses a right to “proactively use and manage the land” including making land use decisions. The Tsleil-Waututh Assessment is a pioneering example of a First Nation acting on this authority to review and decide whether a project should proceed in its territory.

TWN submitted our assessment and our resulting informed decision to reject the project as a distinct order of government. The NEB, unprepared for a First Nation to claim this jurisdictional authority, simply subsumed our assessment under their own evidence for consideration in what they ultimately deemed a Crown decision. This stripped away any recognition of TWN’s governance authority, and misrepresented the assessment. Even so, the assessment did not appear to influence the NEB’s decision.

In the time since 2015, the phrase “Indigenous law” has become more common. Indigenous law has become increasingly recognized as a legitimate legal order in a legally pluralistic Canada. There are now law schools in Canada that offer law degrees in both Canadian and Indigenous law (UVic being a pioneering example; McGill is following suit).

Does this mean that Indigenous law, then, is sufficiently applied, recognized and respected by other orders of government? Sadly, for the most part no. We have a long way to go still. There are other powerful examples of instances in which this has occurred—the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc, for example, conducted a robust and sophisticated impact assessment on the proposed Ajax mine in 2017, which led to the Province of BC rejecting the mine. The Squamish Nation further conducted an assessment on the proposed Woodfibre LNG facility which was ultimately approved by the Squamish Nation.  When the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act was overhauled in 2018, giving way to the Impact Assessment Act, Canada included a new provision for Indigenous-led assessments to be considered. Yet we are still in the early days; it remains to be seen how this works in practice, particularly in the event of a repeat of TWN’s experience of TMX: what happens when Canada approves a project, but a First Nation says no?

While Indigenous law is increasingly recognized in the public sphere as a legitimate, contemporary, and applicable body of law, this recognition remains largely rhetorical. The question remains as to how Indigenous law will be applied and adhered to, respected and upheld by other jurisdictions such as the provincial and federal governments. This work is the project ahead of us, and we continue to walk this path alongside the many other First Nations and legal experts working to strengthen the role of Indigenous law and governance.

As we fall deeper into the climate crisis, we all need to find better ways to make decisions that will consider more than the maximization of profit. The revitalization and application of Indigenous law to contemporary issues will be an important part of this change. These laws have allowed us to live with abundance while ensuring a healthy future for generations to come, and we will never stop living by our laws and upholding our sacred responsibility to the land, water air and everything living within our homelands.


Your Rights When Accessing Medical Transportation Services – FNHA

A message from Dr. Unjali Malhotra, FNHA Office of the Chief Medical Officer; and Paul Clairmont, FNHA Medical Transportation Programs Manager

If you are a First Nations person in BC living on reserve, you may have occasion to travel out of your community for medical care, as some important medical services may not be accessible where you live.

When accessing medical transportation services, you should know that privacy – complete confidentiality regarding your personal health care information – is your right as a patient, and that you should never feel pressured to provide details about the medical appointment or procedure to which you are being transported.

All health centres should have policies regarding privacy and confidentiality that protect your personal health information. These rights apply when using the Medical Transportation (MT) benefit.

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