(Secwe̓pemc Territory/Kamloops, BC –March 6, 2016) On Saturday, March 4, 2017 the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc (SSN) Joint Council announced that they would not give their free, prior, and informed consent to the development of the lands known as Pipsell, for the KGHM Ajax Mine. The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) fully supports the SSN in their decision and applauds their thorough and inclusive efforts to comprehensively assess the project since it began in 2015. The protection and defense of Secwe̓pemc Title and Rights is paramount, and BCAFN would also like to acknowledge the communities, youth, elders, and leaders who participated in this process.

The 46-member SSN Joint Council and Project Assessment Panel was selected to represent the communities of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and Skeetchestn Indian Band. The decision was made after the conclusion of a number of public hearings and deliberations which examined a series of concerns related to fish, wildlife and grasslands, traditional plants and medicines, and the proximity to the city of Kamloops and the South and North Thompson rivers.

BCAFN will stand with SSN, the title holders and stewards of the land, as provincial and federal processes continue.