NEWS RELEASE · 24th August 2010
M. of Energy, Mines & Petrol
A historic mining revenue sharing agreement between the Province of British Columbia and the Stk'emlupsemc of the Secwepemc Nation (SSN) was signed today by the SSN Chiefs and the B.C. government announced Randy Hawes, Minister of State for Mining.
"I would like to commend Chief Shane Gottfriedson of the Tk'emlups First Nation and Chief Rick Deneault of the Skeetchestn First Nation and their councils for their diligence and foresight in the successful negotiation of a revenue-sharing agreement on the mineral tax royalties from the New Afton Mine with the Province," said Hawes. "This historic agreement will provide direct benefit to the Stk'emlupsemc of the Secwepemc Nation and all citizens of British Columbia and sends a signal to the mining industry that B.C. is a stable and progressive place to invest."
The Economic and Community Development Agreement (ECDA) is to share mineral tax revenue generated by the New Afton mine project currently under construction ten kilometres outside Kamloops. The agreement places a strong focus on community development to assist First Nations in achieving their social and economic goals.
"Since 2003 we've been sharing forestry revenues with First Nations, and with today's agreement we're expanding revenue-sharing to other resource sectors," said Minister Responsible for the Integrated Land Management Bureau, Pat Bell. "The SSN will be able to share in the direct economic benefits of the New Afton mine."
The agreement signed today is part of the Province's commitment to work with First Nations to implement the goals of both the New Relationship and the Transformative Change Accord by providing financial resources to help the First Nations achieve the objectives identified for their communities.
"We are aware of and understand that development must be sustainable and that our lands and resources must be accessed in a respectful way and that we continue to cherish the cultural and traditional bonds that First Nations people have with their land. We also need to ensure that our people benefit from the opportunities gained by developing our lands and resources - and that they share in the prosperity that our resources generate," said Chief Shane Gottfriedson of the Tk'emlups First Nation. "With this agreement we are building and strengthening our government-to- government relationships on ventures that benefit us all. We look forward to seeing the results of this work in the near future."
"As Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation dealing on a government-to- government basis, this agreement will bring other economic opportunities and employment for our communities and stability for future generations," said Chief Rick Deneault of the Skeetchestn First Nation.
In October 2008, the Province authorized its provincial negotiators to include revenue sharing with First Nations on new mining projects. Future agreements will ensure development of a thriving, competitive, safe and environmentally responsible mineral resource sector, and will increase the contribution to the local and provincial economy for the benefit of all British Columbians.