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Indigenous leaders support Gitxaała’s legal challenge of ‘archaic’ mineral tenure regime – CFN

April 11, 2023

Gitxaała’s landmark legal challenge against BC’s “free entry” mineral tenure regime, which grants mineral claims without First Nations’ consultation or consent, is currently underway in the BC Supreme Court.

Intervenor arguments take place today, April 11, including statements from aligned Indigenous Nations, political organizations, mineral exploration companies, and community groups. Several of these groups, representing a wide array of voices calling for mineral tenure reform, held a press conference Tuesday morning.

The first speaker, Naxginkw (Tara Marsden), who’s supporting the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs in their intervention in the case, thanked the Gitxaała Chiefs for their “tireless efforts to seek justice.” Marsden says their Gitanyow laws, rights and responsibilities guide how her people steward their territories.

“Our ability to do this has been thwarted without free, prior, and informed consent,” Marsden says. “The existence of mineral tenures has created significant barriers and forced us to support legal actions, because we have had no other form of redress to undo these mineral tenures and have meaningful government-to-government land-use planning.”

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