Beneath the Surface: Aboriginal Rights and Mining Law in British Columbia

Jamie Kneen

National Program Co-Lead

Published by EAGLE (Environmental-Aboriginal Guardianship through Law and Education) and the Environmental Mining Council of BC. Available here as a PDF (1.7 MB - 299 pages).

From the Introduction:

These materials have been prepared by EAGLE for use at EAGLE’s Education Program workshops, and for use as a general reference tool for First Nations in British Columbia. The goal of these materials is to assist aboriginal peoples in their efforts to protect their territories and rights when faced with mining developments in their territories.

This publication provides an overview of:

  • aboriginal rights law in Canada,
  • the laws that govern mining in British Columbia, and
  • provincial policies relating to mining and First Nations.

It also explains mining processes, and discusses some of the potential impacts of mining activities on land and water. Knowledge of some of these risks, it is hoped, will assist First Nations to make informed decisions regarding proposed mineral exploration and development in their territories. An awareness and understanding of the law that governs mining in British Columbia, and of the constitutional protection of aboriginal rights, should assist First Nations in developing strategies to address mineral exploration and mining developments in their territories. The materials also include cases studies and discuss some of the approaches First Nations have used to work with industry and government when mine developments occur in, or are proposed for, their territories.