The Gitxaała Nation and Ehattesaht First Nation want the province to change how it gives out mineral titles — and they’re taking their fight to the B.C. Supreme Court
Francesca Fionda, The Narwhal
Imagine finding someone you’ve never met digging through your backyard, looking for gold. You tell them it’s your property, but they don’t leave. Instead, they tell you they’re allowed to be there because they’ve made a mineral claim on your land — and they’re right.
B.C.’s current system, governed by the Mineral Tenure Act, allows almost anyone to make an online mineral claim to explore an area for minerals and have rights over what they find. They don’t have to consult or alert First Nations or private property owners if the claim is on their land.
The Gitxaała Nation and Ehattesaht First Nation are fighting to change that.
The two First Nations start presenting their case against how the province gives out mineral titles on their land Monday at the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. Hearings are scheduled over the next two weeks and a decision will likely be held for a later date.
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