BC Mining Issue:Under Common Law, the Crown owes Indigenous people a duty to consult and a duty to accommodate their interests regarding resource development on their traditional territories. These commitments are not yet reflected in BC law.
Fair Mining Best Practice:Clearly legislate the Crown’s duty to consult and to accommodate First Nation‘s interests regarding resource development on their traditional territories.
Aboriginal rights in BC lag behind legal precedent and international law. Both BC and the federal governments have failed to create a legislative framework define their duty to consult and accommodate; or to protect the rights of First Nations to use their traditional territories and to meaningfully participate in the decisions affecting them.
Considering that mining operations are often carried out with little regard to the rights of First Nation communities, these provincial and federal legislative gaps put the rights of First Nation peoples at great risk.
This section is meant to inform First Nations of their rights when dealing with potential mining operations on their traditional territories and suggests ways in which BC can legally enshrine and protect these rights.
For more detailed information, see Chapter 3: Indigenous Rights, Consultation and Consent. Community and Preparation Background Paper; First Nations’ Resource Policies from Fair Mining Practices: A New Mining Code for British Columbia
The steps to understanding these rights and influencing legislative change are as follows: