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Government’s Declaration Act Action Plan includes modernizing the Mineral Tenure Act

Photo of a Gitanyow Chief in regalia looking out over the territory

April 1, 2022

The BC Mining Law Reform network welcomes the Declaration Act Action Plan, released by the B.C. government this week. Notably, the plan lays out numerous actions on the self-determination and rights of Indigenous Peoples “to own, use, develop and control lands and resources within their territories” and the specific action to “modernize the Mineral Tenure Act in consultation and cooperation with First Nations and First Nations organizations.” Only through real collaboration can B.C. lead mineral exploration ethically and sustainably.

“Reform of the Mineral Tenure Act is long overdue. As one of the province’s first pieces of legislation in 1859, set up to help colonize B.C., it still gives free entry for mineral exploration on First Nations territories without their knowledge or consent,” said Nikki Skuce, Director of the Northern Confluence Initiative and Co-Chair of the BC Mining Law Reform network. “We look forward to seeing a swift and inclusive process to modernize the law in line with the Declaration Act and other land use values.”

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