Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 30, 2014

Day 56: Secwepemc Blockade Imperial Metals Mine

Day 56: Secwepemc Blockade Imperial Metals Mine

By Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe Camp
Censored News

On Day 56 of the disaster we are burning. The sacred fire lit by the Secwepemc women on August 18th 2014 at the Imperial Metals Mount Polley Mine site has spread, is spreading. 

We spend the morning at the Klabona Keepers hunting blockade finalizing plans and then acting them out. It's time. After our presentation and meeting on Imperial Metals Mount Polley mine, the Klabona Keepers, the Tahltan elders come to a consensus decision. Now is the time to mobilize.

So we pack up our beds and we pack up our bags and we head up the road, we head to the mine. Over 10 cars and trucks with wood and supplies go up the Imperial Metals Red Chris road and early in the afternoon, light a sacred fire and block the road. There are grandmothers and children, Elders and mothers, young men and young women. It is a joyous occasion. The community standing strong and in unison.

Tim Fisch, former Imperial Metals Mount Polley mine general manager, now managing Imperial Metals Red Chris mine pays us a visit. He refuses to answer simple questions. Next, the Dease Lake RCMP visit. The last time they visited, Klabona Keepers had RCMP snipers trained on them.

It's colder up here and it's raining, the wall tents are up and the bus is heating. The Elders are joyful and the children are happy. We are standing up, standing strong, we are stopping the destroying.

We call on our friends and allies in every community across this so called nation for an EMERGENCY DAY OF ACTION. On Wednesday, we all act. So occupy an office, set up a meeting, march on Imperial Metals headquarters in Vancouver 580 Hornby Street. Show up at your legislature, at your parliament if you're East. Make it known you are standing with us. Make it known we are standing. 

On August 4th, 2014, Imperial Metals Mount Polley mine unleashed billions of gallons of toxic wastewater into the deepest glacier fed lake in the world and into the river host to second largest salmon run in the world. It is common knowledge that sudden and catastrophic failure is a consistent and major risk of all large tailings storage facilities using earthen dams. The bigger the dam, the higher the risk. The Imperial Metals Red Chris mine's storage facility in Tahltan territory is much larger and uses the same structure and technology as the Mount Polley Mine and so it is not a question of if, but when the storage facility would breach and destroy yet another integral salmon-bearing watershed, the Stikine River of the Tahltan territory.

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