Written Submission to Federal Review Panel for New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project

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1 August 20, 2012 Livain Michaud Panel Manager New Prosperity Review Panel Secretariat Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency 160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor Ottawa ON K1A 0H3 Jason Patchell, M.Env, P.Ag, Environmental Assessment Officer New Prosperity Review Panel Secretariat Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency 160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor Ottawa ON K1A 0H3 Written Submission to Federal Review Panel for New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project Métis Nation BC (MNBC) is a self-governing Aboriginal nation representing Métis Citizens in British Columbia. MNBC is the only governing body recognized by the Federal government, Provincial government, and by the Métis National Council. MNBC would like to thank the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) for inviting submissions to the Federal Review Panel responsible for assessing the New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project. Please accept the following written submission on behalf of MNBC. Introduction MNBC currently represents over 8300 Powley compliant Citizens (1000+ more/year) in British Columbia, with a number residing in the Central region of the province. There are over 1400 MNBC citizens in the North Central Region and over 1700 in the Thompson Okanagan Region, surrounding the proposed project area. Métis Chartered Communities within these regions, such as Williams Lake, Quesnel, and Kamloops, may be impacted by the construction, operation, and closure of the proposed Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project. As an Aboriginal rights holding group identified by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), and therefore the federal crown, and affirmed by s. 35 (2) of The Constitution Act 1982, MNBC would like to bring forth the following written submission to the Review Panel.

2 Aboriginal Consultation The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 2011, Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation Guidelines speaks of geographical considerations: [d]ifferences in history, geography, demographics, governance, relationships and other circumstances of Aboriginal communities and organizations in Canada are relevant when considering how to address any consultation obligations that may arise. Geography needs to be considered in regards to MNBC. Métis in BC do not share the same geographic concerns as First Nations groups. The geographic situation for MNBC, operating in a Province that does not recognize Métis rights, needs to be acknowledged. Geography presents unique challenges with the Métis population spread though out such a large province. The geography of having a community of people spread throughout the province presents challenges with communication and consultation. Additionally, not having a specific land base means that many Métis are forced to travel significant distances to exercise their aboriginal rights and traditions. A widely dispersed people poses risks to industry and government that engage with the wrong groups or with persons who do not have authority to speak on behalf of the relevant Aboriginal group or community. Government and industry can help avoid many of these problems if they meaningfully engage with the recognized organization at the outset. MNBC Consultation MNBC interests in this environmental assessment are to protect the sustenance and cultural needs of Métis citizens and ensure adequate consultation has been undertaken. Further, that Métis Rights and Traditional Land Uses are taken into consideration, that where possible the impacts to these rights and uses are minimized and where not possible, mitigation measures are employed. The MNBC Ministry of Natural Resources is directed by the Natural Resources Act (attached) in regards to consultation. The purpose of this act is to promote the adherence of government, proponent and regulatory agencies to the implementation of Aboriginal consultation in a manner that respects and addresses the unique culture and heritage of Métis people in British Columbia. MNBC s Natural Resource Act directs the use and development of MNBC Consultation Guidelines (see Appendix B). MNBC Consultation Guidelines represent and advocate for consultation of Métis Citizens with government and regulators to guide parties in fulfilling their consultation duties and objectives. The objective of the guidelines is to produce better communication, stronger relationships and a Métis specific approach for government, industry and MNBC relations. MNBC has also developed a Métis Traditional Knowledge Policy that provides clarity and direction on how to use, collect and develop the traditional knowledge of the Métis people of British Columbia.

3 The MNBC Consultation Guidelines suggest two types of consultation, general and project-specific. MNBC would like to engage in both with Taseko Mining Ltd. General consultation is not related to any specific development but is aimed at relationship building. Project-specific consultation, such as the New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project, expects the proponent to consult with MNBC in accordance with their Consultation Guidelines. Project-specific consultation contains a compliance-monitoring program that will ensure the intent of the Guidelines are met. An assessment of the project will then be carried out by MNBC to determine if factors such as traditional land-use would be potentially impacted. MNBC expects industry to engage in consultation based on respect, open communication, and co-operation. Those who propose developments are expected to consult with, and consider the views of, Métis who could be impacted by their developments. The proponent should incorporate traditional land-use data when planning operations. MNBC expects the project proponent to avoid or mitigate infringement of Métis rights and traditional land-uses. MNBC s expectations of the project proponent are as follows: 1. Provide early notification to MNBC Ministry of Natural Resources and by extension the affected chartered communities before the development is authorized to proceed. Ensuring that Citizens are informed about the project proponent s proposed activities. 2. Participate in the Métis Consulting Project Team (MCPT), if such a team is formed by the MNBC Ministry of Natural Resources to address the consultation. 3. Record and address issues or concerns identified by MNBC, and identify how infringements will be avoided or mitigated. 4. Upon request, make available to MNBC, its documentation and information related to consultation. 5. Consider the circumstances of the project and avoid infringement of Métis rights and traditional land-uses. Where avoidance is not possible, the project proponent is expected to make reasonable efforts to mitigate the infringement. 6. Enter into dialogue with MNBC regarding opportunities specific to the project toward achievement of a positive, sustainable outcome. BCMANR MNBC Ministry of Natural Resources receives direction through a non-political organization called British Columbia Métis Assembly of Natural Resources (BCMANR). BCMANR represents MNBC Citizens who are resource harvesters. BCMANR is made up of eight regional appointed representatives referred to as Captains of the Hunt. The Captains Assembly provides advice directly to the Minister and is responsible for the development of guidelines and regulations. The concept of Captains is based on traditional Métis buffalo hunts where Captains of the Hunt lead through consensus. These voting captains volunteer to promote Métis harvesting rights and make recommendations on engagement with industry and government as well as community engagement within their region. The implementation of the BCMANR is, in principle, based on the success of the Métis people in the s. The Buffalo

4 Assembly and the Laws of the Prairies were established by the community way of life. These communal commitments ensured the survival of the Métis people during tough times. These basic principles were the foundation of the historic Métis culture; and therefore the present day infrastructure. Consultation To Date MNBC initially consults with BCMANR via conference calls and meetings, to inform and seek direction. BCMANR and MNBC jointly produce a newsletter titled Within our Sights. This newsletter provides updates on consultation and industry engagement, as well as articles and stories related to natural resource use in BC. MNBC communicated the New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project to its Citizens through the MNBC website, yearly regional sessions, community meetings, Annual General Assembly and governing assemblies. The University of British Columbia and MNBC developed a Traditional Land Use database in Since that time, MNBC has continued to maintain and expand its Harvester Database and conduct a yearly Harvest Survey Calendar. This database validates that there is Métis resource use that would be affected by the Project. MNBC mailed out an information letter with an attached survey requesting feedback on the New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project to MNBC citizens living in the proposed project area. The information letter briefly summarized the scope of the project. The survey collected community feedback from Citizens in Williams Lake and the surrounding area. The survey revealed a 60/40 split between employment opportunities and concern for the environment as respondents top interest. Traditional Use Studies (TUS) are the most meaningful studies conducted to fully understand possible impacts. MNBC would be interested in engaging in discussion on the possibility of completing a Métis TUS in the proposed project area. Without a detailed study of this nature, carried out using the best practices within the discipline, MNBC is not fully able to comment on the effects of the project to Métis harvesters and land users. Cumulative Effects The 1994 Reference Guide for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Addressing Cumulative Environmental Effects defines cumulative effects as: The effect on the environment which results from effects of a project when combined with those of other past, existing and imminent projects and activities. These may occur over a certain period of time and distance.

5 MNBC is currently involved in EA s for at least five gold mines in the Fraser River watershed along with other mega-projects across the province. BCMANR has expressed concern over the water quality and declining fish stocks. Though the recent Cohen Commission reported that the decline in Fraser River Sockeye due to contaminates was determined to be unlikely there was evidence of knowledge and data gaps in this area. MNBC would like to express concern over the number of proposed projects that flow into the Fraser River and believes that the uncertainty principle applies to cumulative effects as well. MNBC feels that MTK, and the traditional knowledge of others, would contribute to filling data gaps and reducing the lack of knowledge in this area. Managing the effects on the Fraser River may be beyond the scope of this project; however, the CEAA Operational Policy Statement Addressing Cumulative Environmental Effects suggests recognizing the use of regional studies as an important tool for the consideration of cumulative environmental effects. MNBC feels that a regional study of the effects from the large number of proposed projects in the Fraser River Watershed should be considered. The regional study should also assess the effects of such changes on health and socio-economic conditions, as well as physical and cultural heritage. MNBC hopes that CEAA will propose an inclusive regional study before the large number of mega-projects proposed for the Fraser River watershed are approved. Conclusion MNBC and BCMANR will work cooperatively to ensure that its Métis Citizen s Aboriginal rights are respected and appropriately addressed. MNBC will work diligently and in good faith to protect all the natural resources that Métis people have and continue to rely on as a way of life and cultural connection. MNBC s vision is to build a proud, self-governing, sustainable Nation in recognition of the inherent Rights of our Métis Citizens. MNBC s mandate is to develop and enhance opportunities for our Métis communities by implementing culturally relevant social and economic programs and services through Teamwork, Respect, Dedication, Accountability, Integrity and Professionalism. Christopher Gall <original signed by> Acting Director of Natural Resources Métis Nation British Columbia <contact information removed>

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