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Bands claim title on Jacko Lake, 'cultural keystone'

By Mel Rothenburger
June 18, 2015 8:10 A.M.

Jacko Lake is a “culturally keystone” area that must be protected, say the Skeetchestn and Tk’emlups Bands.

Sunday, they will hold a joint ceremony at the lake declaring Aboriginal title to it, warning that the Ajax mine proposal can’t proceed without consent.

The two bands announced Wednesday that the Stk’emlupsemc of the Secwepemc Nation are declaring title at Jacko Lake and the surrounding area — known as Pipsell.

They say the area has significant spiritual and historical importance to the SSN.

“SSN asserts sovereignty and full control over SSN territory. By this political declaration, SSN hereby puts the provincial and federal governments on notice of its Aboriginal Rights and Title in Pípsell and of their responsibility to preserve SSN’s Aboriginal interests.”

The statement doesn’t express outright opposition to Ajax, but says, “The governments should stop their interference with SSN Aboriginal Rights and Title in this area. 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.”

It says the original Ajax mine destroyed land without permission and the old Afton tailings pond puts its members and local residents at risk.

“The new project plans to continue the legacy of wrongs in the SSN’s territory by interfering with SSN’s Title and the right to decide the use and preservation of the land and resources for future generations. SSN’s sovereignty will no longer be ignored.

“All activities and developments on SSN Territory must be consistent with SSN Laws. No Project will proceed except with the informed consent of SSN.”

It said SSN will conduct its own assessment of Ajax.

tony brumell says:
August 26, 2015 05:59pm

It should be noted that KGHM is still working on Pipsell (Jacko
lake area) and is still running the public tours of the minesite.This of course shows a total lac of respect for first nations rights and title declaration which is contrary to the rulings of the supreme court of Canada


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