Band seeks mine agreement

?Esdilagh (Alexandria) Indian Band said it needs an economic benefit agreement with Taseko Mines Ltd.’s Gibraltar Mine.

?Esdilagh (Alexandria) Indian Band needs an economic benefit agreement with Taseko Mines Ltd.’s Gibraltar Mine, Tsilhqot’in National Government tribal chair Chief Joe Alphonse said.

“We are trying to put pressure on and would strongly recommend that the province of B.C. intervene and get this company to sign an agreement,” Alphonse told the Tribune.

First Nations communities are experiencing government cutbacks and have to tap into the resources on their traditional territories to ensure adequate funding for their government structures, Alphonse said.

“If we have to we are going to push to get Taseko out and another company in that will work with First Nations people,” Alphonse warned.

Taseko Mines, however, said it has agreements with the Williams Lake and Soda Creek Indian Bands, and in 2011, the ?Esdilagh band drafted a memorandum of understanding for the company’s consideration.

“They brought it to us for our consideration and our CEO signed it,” Taseko’s vice-president of corporate affairs Brian Battison told the Tribune. “Then Esdilagh subsequently did not sign it.”

During the last five years, Gibraltar has hired ?Esdilagh members, contracted services with the band, provided education and training opportunities, Battison said.

The agreement wasn’t anywhere near industry standards, which is why ?Esdilagh didn’t sign it, Alphonse said.

Battison argued it is jobs and business development that will make a difference for individual First Nations people, not necessarily an agreement.

“From a job comes a sense of purpose, self confidence and a sense of making your own way,” Battison said.

It’s not about jobs, it’s about meeting a standard that has been set across Canada, Alphonse responded.

Since becoming ?Esdilagh’s chief in 2008, Bernie Mack has been meeting regularly with Gibraltar and said Friday some progress had been made in developing a relationship between his band and the mine, although he described the relationship as “lukewarm.”

He said an Esdilagh Gibraltar Working Group, established for environmental and business development, meets regularly, even if both sides don’t agree.

During the mine’s recent expansion, the band received a truck load of trees for firewood and building camps for some housing structures, and last Friday the band began a tree planting contract with the Gibraltar.

“I acknowledge that we’ve made some progress, but it’s far from an impact benefit agreement which is both revenue sharing and contracts,” Mack said, adding Esdilagh is fairly remote, with limited capacity and limited dollars.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
High-visibility arrest in Williams Lake nets BB gun, mistaken for assault rifle

RCMP thought the man was carrying an M16 assault-style rifle

LETTER: Improvements needed at Scout Island

The City can do better managing their responsibilities

More than 14,800 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered at clinics in Williams Lake, Alexis Creek, Big Lake, Horsefly, West Chilcotin, 100 Mile House and Clinton as of Friday, May 7. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
6,000-plus people vaccinated for COVID-19 in Williams Lake, and in 100 Mile House

Interior Health Authority provide the numbers up to May 7, 2021

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Reasonable decision making can go a long way

We’re all at fault, but today I’ll pick on politicians

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Be thankful for volunteers

It amazes me just how much people do to make the Cariboo Chilcotin region a better place for all

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Most Read