‘We dare Fortune to get us arrested’ says First Nations group
The Tahltan Elder-led First Nations group that is blockading Fortune Minerals project is “daring” officials to take action against their blockade.
“We dare Fortune to get us arrested! We have cameras here. We will make sure the world knows what’s going on,” said the group’s spokesperson, Rhoda Quock, in a news release.
The First Nations group says it has blockaded roads to the the camp, as well as access to Fortune drilling equipment for about a month.
The group is protesting a proposed open-pit coal mine in northwestern British Columbia, about 330 km northeast of the Pacific Ocean Port of Prince Rupert.
The Arctos Anthracite project is a joint venture between Vancouver-based Fortune Minerals (80%) and Posco Canada Ltd. (20%), a subsidiary of Korea’s POSCO that is one of the world’s largest steel producers.
The First Nation Group says the area is of “. . . profound ecological and cultural importance to the Tahltan people who have lived there for thousands of years.”
“This is not just about the land and environment, it is about our people, our people’s right to use and occupy the land as they have done since time immemorial,” said Chief Quock.
The First Nation group expects a meeting with B.C. Mining Minister Bill Bennett this weekend.
In mid-August Tahltan elders served the company ‘eviction notice’ and posted pictures showing them marching to the camp.