Yukon First Nation threatens to shutter mining exploration
Kaska Nation says it would blockade access to mining sites on its traditional land
Leaders of the Kaska Nation are threatening to shut down all mining exploration in their traditional territories.
This is a continuation of the fight that has been brewing in the territory over resource exploration against First Nation rights.
Kaska chiefs said the potential moratorium would include a blockade of the North Canol road to mining activity.
The Kaska said this move would be in direct response to planned amendments to the Oil and Gas Act. The planned changes would erase the Kaska's veto rights over developments in the southeast Yukon, a move which has sparked outrage from the Kaska nations.
Now, the Ross River Dena Council and the Liard First Nation said they are also considering blocking any mining activity on their traditional territory.
"That could well include roadblocks and protests as well as legal action," said Liard McMillan, the Liard First Nation’s chief.
McMillan said the Kaska have not extinguished their aboriginal rights to the land. He said the Kaska want to be partners with the mining industry, but he said the "reckless" and "confrontational" approach by the Yukon government is getting in the way.
"I think its despicable how this Yukon government is treating the Yukon First Nations and the people of the Yukon, ignoring the interests of Yukoners to carry out their own warped agenda," said McMillan.
The Kaska leaders are meeting in Vancouver tomorrow.