Tsilhqot’in Nation clarifies elder comments

Former Alexis Creek First Nation Chief and Tsilhqot'in Nation elder Ervin Charleyboy, is speaking out in support of the New Prosperity mine

As the federal environmental assessment process for New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine project moves forward, various community members continue to wrangle within the shroud of controversy surrounding this proposal.

Former Alexis Creek First Nation Chief and Tsilhqot’in Nation elder Ervin Charleyboy, is speaking out in support of Taseko Mines Ltd.’s New Prosperity mine project.

However, he doesn’t have the backing of the Alexis Creek First Nation, according to its current Chief Percy Guichon, nor the Tsilhqot’in Nation, says its tribal chair Chief Joe Alphonse, both of whom remain opposed to the mine.

Charleyboy says the water management plan contained in Taseko’s environmental impact statement shows sufficient “environmental mitigation” measures are now in place.

While he didn’t support the previous project when the plan was to eliminate Fish Lake, Charleyboy explains the new mine plan resolves that problem.

“I have been able to see Taseko’s plans for the mine as it relates to Fish Lake – the scientific plans that the government has now – and it is clear to me that this company has come up with a solid solution.”

Alphonse notes that while Charleyboy is free to speak his mind and is entitled to his opinion, he is not, and should not be confused as, a spokesperson for these Tsilhqot’in communities.

“The Tsilhqot’in people have spoken loud and clear. They do not want a project of this size, with such environmental risk and in an area as important as Fish Lake.

“We welcome other opportunities to develop mining projects in less sensitive areas, but the Tsilhqot’in Nation is fully opposed to this project.”