YELLOWKNIFE: Rights debate sparked over mineral claims
- Rights debate sparked over mineral claims
WebPosted Nov 18 2003 02:51 PM CST
YELLOWKNIFE - Some mineral claims staked along the proposed MacKenzie Valley Pipeline route, back in 1998, have provoked a debate about rights.
The question is where rights defined by the Canada Mining Regulations end, and where the rights of First Nations begin.
Trevor Teed is a NWT prospector who is concerned about a Deh Cho First Nation call to offer money to people pulling claim stakes on 12 mineral claims. The First Nation has offered a bounty of $100 to people for pulling the stakes from the claims of Maureen Bernier. She staked the claims in 1998, on land later identified as the route for the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline.
FROM Nov 13, 2003 : Chiefs offer reward for controversial mine claims
When Teed heard of the Deh Cho plan, a flag went up.
He wrote to the mining recorder, demanding she enforce the Canada Mining Regulations, especially when it comes to protecting claim posts.
"I have certain rights that are identified under the Canada Mining Regulations," he said. "And there's nothing in those regulations that says First Nations will overrule those regulations and make decisions that are contrary to them."
The Deh Cho sees the matter from the opposite point of view. Its not the first time the question has been raised in court, and might not be the last.
The whole question could end up in court again, if the Deh Cho makes good its threat to pull Bernier's stakes.
By doing so, they face a $2,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
Jonas Antoine was sub-chief of Liidli Kue First Nation in Fort Simpson when the same dispute arose in 1998.
Liidli Kue challenged Indian Affairs' right to issue a land use permit to Bernier to work her mineral claims.
At that time Liidli Kue argued the constitution superseded the mining act.
"Section 35 guarantees us the right to self government. Self-government means land," he said. "It's chipping away at our base."
Three years ago, the judge disagreed with that argument saying the amount of land staked and the work proposed was insignificant.
He also said Liidli Kue didn't have to consent either, but they did have to be consulted.
FROM Nov 6, 2003 : Terms set for pipeline conflict investigation
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