LETTER: Strong leadership needed to grasp mine opportunity

Time to grasp an opportunity that may be once in a lifetime

Editor:

The Tsilhqot’in are a proud people. We have been leaders not only for our own people, but for other aboriginal nations here in B.C. and across the country.

We were the first people in Canada to have ever proven aboriginal title. It took years of effort and perseverance but we did it. And our title victory has been a victory for First Nations everywhere.

Never before in our long history have the Tsilhqot’in people ever been more in charge of their destiny than they are now.

But what choices will we make to shape that destiny?

Read More: Tsilhqot’in Nation appeals to U.N. to support its fight against Taseko Mines drilling program

One of our choices should be to end the dispute between the Tsilhqot’in and Taseko Mines. Let’s end it, but let’s end it on our terms.

I believe that the gold and copper at Fish Lake belongs to us, belong to the Tsilhqot’in Nation. So let’s use it. Let’s use those minerals to shape our destiny in a way that makes the most sense to us.

Leadership is about improving the lives of our people and the children still to come. And it’s about finding a way forward on our terms, consistent with our values and traditions.

Leadership is about making our community self-sufficient not relying on government hand outs. Time to walk away from the Indian Act which determines our destiny.

Read More: Tsilhqot’in Nation urges Taseko Mines to stop drilling plans before conflict grows

Time to grasp an opportunity that may be once in a lifetime.

Independence, healthy environments and communities only happen with a strong economy created by strong leadership with open public input from all community members.

Working together with our neighbours makes us all united and shows our human side caring for all.

Ervin Charleyboy

A Proud Past Chief of the Red Stone Band (22 years)

Tribal Chair of Tsilhqot’in National Government (18 years)


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