August 31, 2010
Chief Donna Gallinger
Nicomen Indian Band
P.O. Box 670, Lytton, BC, V0K 1Z0
By post and facsimile: 1-250-455-2517
Open Letter: Support For Nicomen’s Stand Against Mining On Nicomen River Or The Feeding Streams Of The Water Shed
Dear Chief Gallinger,
We are writing to provide our unwavering support for the Nicomen Indian Band and their band membership in their fight against Fairmont Resources, who have applied to mine within Nicomen traditional territory. We understand that Fairmont Resources wants to dig at the top of the watershed which comes down and supplies the drinking water for the Nicomen IR #1 Reserve, and that the Band Members and Council have stated, “There is to be no Mining on the Nicomen River or in the water shed that feeds the Nicomen River.”
By Resolution 2009-57, the UBCIC Chiefs Council unanimously recognizes and affirms that each First Nation are the original owners and stewards of their respective lands and resources, and posses the authority to determine the uses to which those lands and resources benefit their respective community.
Nicomen Indian Band holds unextinguished Aboriginal Title and Rights to substantial territories and resources. As Fairmont Resources recognizes, their proposed project is within the traditional territory of the Nicomen, and may have the potential to impact the Nicomen, their traditional lands, their way of life, and the environment including the drinking water and the salmon in the Thompson River.
The Nicomen have clearly communicated to the Mining and Minerals Division, FrontCounter BC, and other Bands that the proposed project stands to adversely affect the fresh drinking water system for Nicomen members. The proposed project is located on one of the tributaries that supply the Nicomen River, which flows downhill and supplies the Nicomen’s Pumphouse, which is the source of fresh drinking water to the Nicomen Reserve houses.
We fully support the Nicomen Indian Band position that the proposed project is a completely unwanted threat to the health of the Nicomen and their Land and should not proceed as currently planned. Aboriginal Title and Rights are constitutionally protected, and Fairmount Resources must engage in adequate consultation and accommodation of the Nicomen Indian Band and their band members.
On behalf of the UNION OF BC INDIAN CHIEFS
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Chief William Charlie
Chief Robert Chamberlin
Nicomen Indian Band
First Nations Summit Task Group
Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould, BC Assembly of First Nations
Minister Bill Bennett, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
Minister George Abbott, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation
Minister John Duncan, Indian and Northern Affairs
PDF COPY: http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/files/PDF/UBCICSupportNicomenOppositionMine_083110.pdf
UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.