Mining and Mineral Exploration
The First Nations Energy and Mining Council continues to advocate on behalf of British Columbia’s Indigenous peoples and communities to improve and ensure mineral exploration and mining law and policy align with the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act to best support the human rights of Indigenous peoples through ‘free, informed, and prior consent’.
April 2021 – Yukon Mineral Development Strategy & Recommendations
July 2020 – Mount Polley Disaster: Six Years Later is BC any Safer?
July 2020 – The Case for a Guardian Network Initiative
November, 2019 – Using financial assurance to reduce the risk of mine non-remediation: Considerations British Columbia and Indigenous Governments
August 2019 – Reducing the Risk of Mining Disasters in BC: How financial assurance can help
June 2019 – Mining Risk and Responsibility: How putting a price on risk can help British Columbia reduce it
June 2019 – First Nations Leadership Council Letter to Premier Horgan re Imperial Metals Giant Copper Mine (Donut Hole)
June 2015 – Uncertainty Upstream: Potential Threats from Tailings Facility Failures in Northern British Columbia
Mining and Consent Project
With the generous support of the Law Foundation of British Columbia, FNEMC is undertaking this Implementing Consent for Mining on Indigenous Lands Project to explore ways to implement “free, prior and informed consent” in relation to mining. This principle is integral to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is being implemented in BC through the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
Indigenous nations increasingly rely on the UN Declaration to protect their lands in the face of resource development – this project will help in the development of tools to support protection of cutures and lands.
There are four parts to this project – each part is described and relevant links are included for each.
Part 1: Expert Issue Papers and Expert Webinars
A summary of the issues surveyed by each and links to the papers can be found here:
A. INDIGENOUS CONTEXT:
Doug White Expert Paper Indigenous Legal Framework
1. Who is to decide how a nation self-governs and what are approaches to dealing with internal governance issues that may need to be addressed in the process of determining consent? Expert: Doug White
Roshan Danesh Expert Paper Indigenous Legal Framework
2. Implementation of the UN Declaration will entail nations granting consent for projects on Indigenous lands, regardless of whether title has been proven in a crown legal context. What are options to engage Indigenous approaches to Indigenous land ownership and stewardship? Expert: Roshan Danesh, QC
Sheryl Lightfoot Expert Paper Indigenous Legal Framework
3. Indigenous governance systems have established different mechanisms for inclusivity of community members for expressions of consent. What are mechanisms and opportunities to incorporate and reflect community perspectives such as women and youth? Expert: Professor Sheryl Lightfoot
Paul Joffe Expert Paper Indigenous Legal Framework
4. What is the role of recent natural resource and governance agreements that may inform and support implementation of FPIC in relation to mining? Expert: Paul Joffe
B. INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT
UNDRIP International Legal Framework Dr. Wilton Littlechild Expert Paper
1. Does the principle of free, prior and informed consent have the force of law? How has consent operated in Canada? Expert: Willie Littlechild2
UNDRIP International Legal Framework Expert Paper Jose Cali Tsay Expert Paper on Implementation Of Consent For The Exploration of Mines On Indigenous Lands and Territories
2. How important is it that domestic legislatures take steps to implement the UN Declaration? What other mechanisms, tools or conventions are there at international law that will support the robust implementation of consent in relation to mining? Expert: UN Special Rapporteur Jose Francisco Cali Tzay
UNDRIP International Legal Framework Expert Paper Dr. Dorough
3. What international standards exist for consent right now and how do they operate in practice? Explore international tools and conventions support the development and implementation of consent. Expert: Professor Dalee Sambo Dorough
UNDRIP International Legal Framework Expert Paper Prof.Megan Davis
4. What is the international legal experience with mining and human rights through the lens of the UN Declaration? Expert: Professor Megan Davis
C. BC MINING CONTEXT
Allen Edzerza BC Legal Context Expert Paper
1. What are the practical stages where consent should be secured in the context of mining projects based on the BC legal framework. Expert: Allen Edzerza
BC Legal Contex Expert Paper Jay Nelson and JP Laplante – Mining Sector
2. What principles or standards could contribute to meaningful Indigenous oversight of mining in BC to reflect Indigenous self-determination in the mining sector? Experts: Jay Nelson and JP Laplante
BC Legal Context Expert Paper Dave Joe – Self Determination
3. How might Indigenous nations move to better exercise self-determination under the UN Declaration? What concepts and values can be adduced from self-government agreements, particularly those in the Yukon, that can contribute to BC’s action plan? Expert: Dave Joe
BC Legal Context Expert Paper Harry Laforme
4. As Indigenous nations exercise their inherent rights and sovereignty, and as both Indigenous and BC governments give effect to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, is there a conflict of laws issue? How should prevailing laws concepts be interpreted in light of Article 34 of the UN Declaration? Expert: Justice Harry LaForme
Part 2 Discussion Paper
We will also release the results of jurisdictional scan which will provide an overview of consent developments in other jurisdictions.