A mining company being blockaded by a group of Tahltan has taken its next step in the conflict, according to protestors blockading the Red Chris Mine.
On October 3, 2014, Imperial Metals requested an injunction notice to remove the Klabona Keepers elders and supporters from blockading the road to the Red Chris mine in Tahltan territory, said a press release from the Keepers the evening of Oct. 3.
Once the court injunction is served, the elders and supporters will have 24 hours to leave the area or they will face arrest, continued the release.
Red Chris Mine is located on Mt. Todagin, where the Klabona Keepers carry on their ancestor’s wishes to protect the land through the guidance of their elders, it continued.
After hearing from Secwepemc people affected by the Mount Polley tailings pond spill – the Mount Polley mine is also run by Imperial Metals – Klabona Keepers said they will not give their consent to what they believe will be the destruction of their traditional territory, the decimation of their salmon and moose, and pollution of pristine water, said the release.
They have set up a sacred fire called Estsu Kun’desk’āke (grandmothers fireplace) at the entrance of Imperial Metal’s Red Chris Mine.
Their continued defense of the territory and opposition to the mine has weight after the Tshilquotin court decision affirmed the collective title and jurisdiction of unceded and unsurrendered Indigenous Nations and territories, said the release.
In 2006, when Red Chris was owned by BC Metals, the Klabona Keepers first began blockading to protect their territory and asserting their jurisdiction to regulate industry in their own territories.
“We can not be blinded by money. The land and water is the lifeblood of our nation and we will not compromise. We are doing this for our future generations.” said elder Mary Quock.
The Imperial Metals website does makes no mention of a court injunction.