First Nations implement own Assessment Process

Posted by Stop Ajax Mine on September 30th, 2015 10:46am

Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation implement its own Assessment Process for the proposed Ajax Project

Kamloops, BC, September 10, 2015


Stk’emlupsemc of the Secwepemc Nation have approved their Project Assessment Process and Plan for

the proposed KGHM Ajax Copper-Gold Project near Kamloops, BC. On June 21, 2015 following the

Province’s revision to their assessment and conclusions that SSN have high prima facie for both

Title and Rights, SSN declared Title at Pípsell with a landmark document. This document declared,

[Re Stk’emlupsemc w7ec te re Pípsell] The Stk’emlupsemc who are the caretakers of

Jacko Lake & area and our project assessment will respect their Aboriginal Rights and Title

(ownership) to the lands and resources and include decision- making power (jurisdiction) on how the

land is to be used and preserved for future generations.


SSN have moved beyond the strength of claim to the pre-declaration stage identified in the

Tsilhqot’in decision for Title and Rights. SSN have given notice to the government that this

project cannot be assessed using the same consultation based status quo Environmental Assessment

methods and process, and assumptions. The SSN like others have been requesting an Independent

Review Panel process for the assessment of the Ajax Mine Project. This level of review continues to

be denied and has prompted the development of the SSN project assessment process.


The SSN project assessment process will run alongside, and where appropriate, collaboratively with

the Environmental Assessment Process (BCEAO & CEAA). SSN’s process is inclusive rather than

exclusive and assesses the project using SSN laws and governance which includes assessments which

respect SSN cultural perspectives, knowledge & history. SSN’s process is comprised of several

components such as independent expert reviews, community information sessions, the  SSN Review

Panel Hearing and SSN assessments designed to review and assess both tangible and intangible

impacts of the project such as those impacts of a cultural and spiritual nature. The SSN Review

Panel will include Chief and Councils, family appointed representatives, elders, youth and

knowledge keepers who will be involved throughout the process and who will sit for a week to hear

evidence before deliberating and making their decisions regarding the proposed project.


The purpose of the SSN assessment process is to: “Facilitate informed decision making by the SSN

Communities in a manner which is consistent with our laws, traditions, and customs and assesses

project impacts in a way that respects our knowledge and perspectives”. The process will result in

an SSN Decision Package which will be included in the EAO’s package to the Ministers. Recently in a

presentation to Thompson Rivers University Law students at Pípsell Tk’emlups Councilor Ed Jensen

articulated, “we are challenging BC’s current ‘consultation’ assessment model with one based on our

full informed consent.”


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