First Nations opposition to the proposed Ajax open-pit copper mine is building, as a number of First Nations “allies” will add their support to the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN) on Saturday.
In a media advisory today, the SSN said regional and national organizations will be at TRU’s Irving K. Barber Centre in support of the SSN’s decision to oppose Ajax.
The SSN came out in formal opposition to Ajax on March 4 based on concerns about the Jacko Lake area traditionally known as Pipsell.
Kamloops resident John McNamer earlier announced that “many other Kamloopsians” would be in attendance Saturday morning to sign a declaration supporting SSN.
Today’s media release says “organizations from across British Columbia and Canada will convene to Kamloops to announce their support to the “Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation’s (SSN) decision to withhold free, prior, and informed consent to KHGM’s Ajax copper-gold mine project.”
Media are being invited to attend the ceremony from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.
“The SSN has taken a historic step in self-determination through conducting its own independent assessment of the Ajax open pit project in accordance with SSN laws, traditions, customs and governance system,” said the media advisory.
“If approved, the mine would destroy part of Jacko Lake and irremediably affect ‘Pípsell,’ an area described as a ‘cultural keystone’ with significant spiritual and historical importance to our Nation.
“The SSN wants to preserve the use of Pípsell area for all Canadians in accordance with Secwepemc law.”