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B.C. First Nation brings constitutional challenge to province’s Gold Rush-era mineral tenure law – The Lawyer’s Daily

by ahnationtalk on November 5, 2021119 Views

A British Columbia First Nation has filed a constitutional challenge of the province’s system of staking mineral claims, saying the legislation leads to Indigenous people being dispossessed of their title and rights.

Under the Mineral Tenure Act, there is an automatic registration system where a person known as a “free miner” can acquire a mineral claim on the Internet, select cells on a map and pay a fee of $1.75 per hectare to obtain a claim, with no notice required to the people whose land the miner stakes. Once that claim is obtained, the miner is legally entitled to enter the land and do some preliminary mining such as trenching or digging holes, as well as taking bulk samples of no more than 1,000 tonnes. The use of large-scale mining equipment requires permitting from the province.

But the Gitxaala Nation is claiming the automatic registry system is inconsistent with the honour of the Crown, the constitutional principle which gives rise to the duty to consult and accommodate. They also say the system results in Indigenous peoples being automatically dispossessed of their title and rights to resources without consultation or notice, which is inconsistent with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which was recently enshrined in law in British Columbia through the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).

Read More: https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/articles/31052/b-c-first-nation-brings-constitutional-challenge-to-province-s-gold-rush-era-mineral-tenure-law

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