June 18, 2015 - 9:20 AM
KAMLOOPS - The Jacko Lake and surrounding area has significant spiritual and historical importance to the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation, and as a result, the nation has declared title over the property.
The property, located within the First Nations territory and part of the site of the proposed Ajax Mine, is a ‘cultural keystone area’ known as Pípsell and as a result two local bands have declared aboriginal title on the area, according a media release.
“SSN will no longer stand by and watch the Governments invade SSN territory and destroy a culturally keystone area where SSN continue to carry out traditional and cultural practises including an Aboriginal Trout Fishery on Jacko Lake,” Sunny LeBourdais, the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation KGHM Project Coordinator, says in the release. “The first and now abandoned Ajax Mine in this area destroyed the land without SSN’s permission and left the old Afton Tailings Pond that continues to put SSN members and local residents at risk.”
KGHM is preparing to submit an environmental application for its proposed Ajax Mine. If approved the open-pit copper-gold mine will operate for more than 20 years just southwest of Kamloops, including the Jacko Lake area.
Members of Tk’emlúps and Skeetchestn bands will officially be making the declaration of title at a ceremony on Sunday, June 21, at 9 a.m. at the Jacko Lake boat launch.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015