April 09, 2013 - 11:30 AM
Some of Copper Mountain Mine's riches will benefit two Similkameen First Nations.
A revenue-sharing agreement has been set up between the mine's developers and the Upper and Lower Similkameen Indian Bands.
The two First Nations will get a share of mineral tax revenues collected by the province from Copper Mountain. There is also a consultation process baked into the revenue agreement.
This is the fifth agreement the province has reached to help First Nations benefit from mining activity.
"Our Smelqmix and Syilx chiefs and councils have been petitioning the province to share the wealth of the resources in our territories for a long time," Charlotte Mitchell said. She's the chief of the Upper Similkameen Indian Band.
"We see this agreement as a small step in the right direction; it will be very beneficial to our elders and children and our future generations."
Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Robert Edward said it's now the "cost of doing business."
"Proponents will be expected to fulfil their obligation to contribute to indigenous peoples for the resources being extracted from portions of traditional territory in which they operate."
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at email@example.com or call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013