From Intercontinental Cry:
On Wednesday, May 29, citizens of the Secwepemc, Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht Nations were joined by members of the Wilderness Committee, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Clayoquot Action and others to confront Imperial Metals at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.
Imperial Metals has a thing for ransacking indigenous lands. At the moment, they’re exploring options for two controversial mining projects in the territories of the Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht Peoples within the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Both projects–known as the Catface and Fandora mines, respectively–could have devastating impacts on water quality, ecology, and human health in the region.
The proposed Catface project, on one hand, is an open pit copper-molybdenum mine that would burrow into Catface Mountain–also known as “Chitaapi” in the Nuu-chah-nulth language– three kilometers from the village of Ahousaht. If the open pit mine is approved, Imperial Metals would quite literally skin the mountain alive. After digging in their heels, the company would use massive amounts of water and massive amounts of toxic chemicals that would remain on site long after the company leaves with their new-found riches. For comparison, have a look at the Berkley pit in Butte, Montana one of the largest “Superfund” sites in all of the United States.
The Fandora project on the other hand, is gold mine that would sit at the head of Tranquil Valley within the ha’houlthee (territories) of the Tla-o-qui-aht hawiih (hereditary chiefs). The traditional place name of the area is Eelseuklis/Onadsiilth. Little information is available on the Fandora mine, however, the Tla-o-qui-aht explain that Eelseuklis/Onadsiilth holds great cultural and spiritual importance to them. Any mining in the region would jeopardize not only their culture and way of life; it would also endanger fish habitat stocks which the Tla-o-qui-aht are working tirelessly to rebuild.