Tŝilhqot’in Leaders and Communities Fully Opposed to “New” Prosperity Mine
Ervin Charleyboy does not speak for the Tŝilhqot’in Nation
(Alexis Creek, BC) Today the elected Chief and Council of the Alexis Creek First Nation (Tsi Del Del), one of the six Tŝilhqot’in communities, called on Taseko Mines Ltd. to halt its desperate tactics that are being employed to promote its third attempt to obtain federal approval for its proposed copper and gold mine at Teztan Biny (Fish Lake).
In recent interviews and news releases, Taseko Mines and the former Alexis Creek Chief Ervin Charleyboy have emphasized Charleyboy’s support for the “new” Prosperity Mine proposal. The news releases show that Taseko Mines has close ties with Charleyboy; in fact, in a press release issued by Charleyboy he praises Taseko Mine’s water management plans – plans that had yet to be publicly released or even provided to the Tŝilhqot’in Chiefs.
“With all due respect to the long years of service from Ervin Charleyboy, he is neither a spokesperson nor an elected representative of the Alexis Creek First Nation or the Tŝilhqot’in Nation. The Alexis Creek First Nation is opposed to the mine, and takes exception to Ervin’s attempts to portray young band members working on a fish habitat project for Ervin as a “youth committee” and an endorsement of the company’s mine proposal,” said Alexis Creek Chief Percy Guichon.
“The Tŝilhqot’in people have spoken loud and clear: they do not want a project of this size, with such environmental risk and in an area as important as Fish Lake. We welcome other opportunities to develop mining projects in less sensitive areas, but the Tŝilhqot’in Nation is fully opposed to this project,” said Tŝilhqot’in Nation Tribal Chair Chief Joe Alphonse.
Chief Alphonse: “Ervin is free to speak his mind. He is entitled to his opinion. But he should not be confused as a spokesperson for our communities. He is not. There is overwhelming opposition in our communities to this mine, and it is shameful that the company is stooping to quoting one individual’s support in its press releases.”
Chief Guichon: “The Tŝilhqot’in are participating in good faith in the federal environmental panel review. We are confident that this new Panel will see through the company’s desperate tactics and its version of the mine already deemed worse for the environment. What is clear to us from all of this is that Taseko Mines Ltd. lacks a social licence to operate, and is desperate enough to seize on individuals acting alone to advance an illusion of community support.”
Chief Percy Guichon: 250-267-2507; (cell) 250-481-3335
Chief Joe Alphonse: 250-305-8282; (cell) 250-392-3918