Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation Deliberations Continue in Precedent Setting EA Process

May 16, 2016, Kamloops- On the heels of a successful Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN) review panel hearing and in light of the suspension of the BC Environmental Assessment process (at day 107), SSN has chosen to lengthen the time allocated for panel deliberations and recommendations to its joint council as well as the Federal and provincial government. The panel is deliberating on the best decision for the long-term well-being of SSN people and land.

“We have taken precedent setting steps in creating this fully Indigenous environmental review process, all the while at the break neck speed demanded by the BC Environmental Assessment process,” stated Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Fred Seymour. “We have always found the timeline, as currently dictated by the provincial government, to be unreasonable. Yet, we are amazed at the level of commitment and engagement that our panel members have shown throughout the process. They are dedicated to embracing the depth of information that was provided to them, up to and through the SSN Panel Hearing. Our panel members now have further time to deliberate as well as review outstanding information requested from KGHM- Ajax.”

“The landscape of environmental assessment and the duty to consult is transforming. We are leading the way with our process, based on our Secwepemc worldview, laws and traditions,” declared Skeetchestn Chief Ron Ignace. “With the Federal Government now fully embracing the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous People, there has been a seismic shift between the federal government and First Nations that has yet to unfold. We call upon the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, honourable Catherine McKenna to meet with us so that we can share how we are paving the way for a more fulsome review process that is beneficial beyond the boundaries of our territories, evaluating long-term impacts and benefits of proposed resource development. Her meeting with us is an important step in honouring the directive issued by Prime Minister Justin

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