After being pressured by the Ministry of Energy and Mines to sign a protocol by the end of March, the Bonaparte Indian Band has advised the government it will not accept an inadequate, rushed, and one-sided consultation process about coalbed methane in its territory.
This is significant for those opposed to coalbed methane exploration and extraction in the beautiful Hat Creek Valley. The government is keen to see exploration begin as soon as possible, and has put considerable pressure on the three First Nations in whose territories the valley lies.
The First Nations–the Bonaparte, the Xaxli’p, and the Ts’kw’aylaxw–are opposed to coalbed methane exploration in the region, and are working together to ensure that the government’s consultation process maintains that “no go” is always an option, and that no decisions are made before consultation and accommmodation is completed.
Dogwood Initiative is supporting the First Nations’ efforts.
Given the pressure the government is putting on the First Nations, the coming two months will be interesting indeed for those who care about sustainability and about this valley.
We’ll keep you posted on developments.