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Indigenous BC nations must be consulted about mining, court rules

Thanks to a court challenge by a North Island First Nation, all Indigenous nations in BC must now be consulted about mining projects in their territories.

The Ehattesaht First Nation filed the historic challenge along with the Central Coast Gitxaała Nation two years ago. They say the provincial system for handing out mining permits fails to obtain free, prior and informed consent from Indigenous rights and title holders, which is required by law in BC since 2019.

This week BC Supreme Court Justice Alan Ross agreed, handing down a ruling that BC has 18 months to change the mining permit system to make sure Indigenous rights are fully considered.

The challenge was sparked by renewed plans to mine on Banks Island, south of Prince Rupert.

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