It’s time to listen, First Nation tells miners

Consult or else. That’s the message the Liard First Nation is delivering at a prominent mining conference.

Consult or else.

That’s the message the Liard First Nation is delivering at a prominent mining conference.

“Many companies are doing business on our lands,” Chief Liard McMillan said in a news release on Thursday.

“But few are taking the appropriate time to consult with us properly in advance of exploration and development activities.”

McMillan will deliver the message in person at the 25th annual Mineral Exploration Roundup.

Other members of the Liard First Nation Council and directors of the Liard First Nation Development Corporation will join him.

“We have the water, the game and the land to protect for future generations,” said McMillan.

“(Liard First Nation) has not signed a land claim and we have unsurrendered rights and title to our lands.”

“The traditional territory of the Liard First Nation/Kaska people extends well into the Yukon and BC,” he added.

The First Nation will meet with mining companies and the Yukon government to discuss the Faro mine reclamation plan.

The First Nation has also requested meetings with Teckcominco, Western Celtic and Yukon Nevada Gold.

The roundup is the world’s largest technical mineral exploration conference and draws more than 5,000 mining representatives.

Department of Energy, Mines and Resources officials attend the conference to promote the Yukon.

This includes industry support, proximity to Asian markets and increased regulatory clarity and certainty.

Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Archie Lang will attend.

“This is an opportunity for Yukon to showcase its excellent mineral potential, and the advantages we have to offer mining and mineral exploration companies,” said Lang.

“There are at least two companies we met with at Roundup last year who are now working and investing in Yukon.”

The Yukon Geological Survey will also promote the Yukon’s mineral potential and present the results of its 2007 research and fieldwork.

But, in the traditional territory of the Liard First Nation, miners will have to undertake the proper consultation.

 “We intend to make them fully aware of our view on this directly,” said McMillan.

“And should changes to these practices not occur quickly, we will take prompt action to be more forceful with our message.”