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Mining revenues flow to First Nations following first-ever agreement

For Immediate Release
2013ARR0047-001565
Oct. 17, 2013

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

KAMLOOPS – The Tkemlúps te Secwepemc and Skeetchestn Indian Bands will be better able to pursue activities that enhance governance, and the social, economic and cultural well-being of their members, thanks to the first Economic and Community Development Agreement (ECDA) mine revenue-sharing agreement in British Columbia.

The ECDA was negotiated between the Province of British Columbia with Tkemlúps te Secwepemc and Skeetchestn Indian Band of the Stkemlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) in a joint effort of rekindling the SSN’s historic Campfire.

Thanks to revenue totalling more than $730, 000, Tkemlúps te Secwepemc and Skeetchestn Indian Bands are now receiving the benefits from the hard work of both of their communities.

The agreement provides for a portion of provincial revenues, resulting from production at New Gold’s New Afton Mine, to be shared with the First Nations. The mine has now completed its first year of production, resulting in the first revenue-sharing cheque to be issued under the ECDA program.

The ECDA also provides the framework for a strengthened government-to-government relationship and spells out how B.C. will meet its legal obligations to consult and accommodate SSN regarding the required permitting for the ongoing operation of the mine.

The Province is committed to working with First Nations to create partnerships for resource development that will improve community economic security for Aboriginal peoples in B.C. by increasing economic opportunities that provide direct benefits to local First Nations.

The New Afton Mine is located 10 km west of Kamloops and lies within the traditional territories of the Tkemlúps te Secwepemc and Skeetchestn Indian Bands. The mine is owned by New Gold, Inc., and has a projected life of 12 years.

Since the historic ECDA with SSN for New Afton Mine was signed in 2010, the B.C. government has signed a further nine mine revenue-sharing agreements that cover five additional operating mines.

Quotes:

Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad –

“Our government is committed to sharing revenues with First Nations as a means to create certainty on the land, and to create resource-development partnerships with First Nations. This ECDA symbolizes our partnership with the Stkemlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation, and it embodies the spirit of the New Relationship and our reconciliation efforts.”

Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Resource Bill Bennett –

“It is in the spirit of co-operation and celebration that this first payment is presented today. This agreement, one of the first of its kind in Canada, is one of many with First Nations that has given certainty to resource development and ensures the Tkemlúps te Secwepemc and Skeetchestn Indian Band are able to benefit from B.C.’s growing mining industry.”

Chief of the Tkemlúps te Secwepemc Shane Gottfriedson –

“Today we celebrate a continued relationship with our partners. This is a historical agreement that will benefit our people, and build on mutual respect and trust through business development, employment and tax revenue.”

Chief of the Skeetchestn Indian Band Dr. Ron Ignace –

“Our Mining and Minerals Agreement and Economic Community Development Agreements with the Province and New Gold are a positive step towards self-determination and they lay the foundation of economic self-reliance. To this end I compliment the two entities for their historic leap of faith so that we may work to help each other to be great and good.”

Chief Executive Officer, New Gold Inc. Bob Gallagher –

“New Gold is very pleased to be a part of this historic agreement between the Province of British Columbia and Stkemlúpsemc of the Secwepemc Nation. This groundbreaking agreement between these two parties sets a precedent in B.C. for the sharing of mining-related revenues from our New Afton operation that will provide a stimulus for local economic and community development that will benefit the SSN, the Kamloops area, as well as the thriving local mining industry that New Gold is a proud part of.  We see this agreement as an acknowledgement of the positive benefits that New Afton will provide to our First Nation partners and the Province of British Columbia over the life of the operation.”

Quick Facts:

  • ECDAs are agreements between the Province of British Columbia and First Nations for sharing the direct mineral tax revenue on new mines and major mine expansions.
  • As part of commitments made in the Transformative Change Accord, B.C. committed to seeking ways to address the socio-economic gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal citizens by working in partnership with Aboriginal communities.
  • ECDAs are entered into on a case-by-case basis with the affected First Nations.

Learn More:

To learn more about the Economic and Community Development Agreement, go to:http://www.newrelationship.gov.bc.ca/agreements_and_leg/economic.html.

CONTACT:

Nina Chiarelli
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
250 953-3211

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