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Ktunaxa Nation: Teck’s $60-million fine is step to “acknowledging the harm” caused by mining operations

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After Teck was ordered to pay $60-million on Friday for discharging selenium and calcite into local water bodies in 2012, the Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) notes the impacts the company’s mining operations have had.

The Ktunaxa Nation released a full statement on their response to Teck’s two charges under the Fisheries Act, also providing a community impact statement during the court proceedings about the pollution’s impact on the fish-bearing waters.

“It is essential that there is an appropriate and achievable plan in place to ensure that Teck Coal Limited meets water quality limits and addresses impacts to wuʔu and ʔa·kxamis ̓qapi qapsin (All Living Things),” said the KNC on Friday.

PREVIOUS: Teck Resources fined $60-million for selenium and calcite discharge (March 26, 2021)

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Teck’s Greenhills Operations. (Supplied by Teck Resources)

Noting their active engagement for many years with the government and industry, the KNC said they will continue to address the challenges to water quality in the region.

For many years the Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) has been actively engaged in government-to-government and government-to-industry work to hold accountable those responsible, and to contribute to addressing the considerable challenges we face with impacts to water quality.

“This case, the charges laid, and the fines assessed, are steps in acknowledging the harm that has been and continues to be done to ʔamak ȼ wuʔu (the land and water) by development impacts done without Ktunaxa consent.”


The full written statement from the Ktunaxa Nation Council can be found below:

“There have been significant impacts to wuʔu (the water) in Qukin ʔamaʔkis (Elk Valley) due to coal mining, and those impacts continue to grow today with Teck Coal Limited’s operations. It is essential that there is an appropriate and achievable plan in place to ensure that Teck Coal Limited meets water quality limits and addresses impacts to wuʔu and ʔa·kxamis ̓qapi qapsin (All Living Things). For many years the Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) has been actively engaged in government-to-government and government-to-industry work to hold accountable those responsible, and to contribute to addressing the considerable challenges we face with impacts to water quality. The value and significance of wuʔu to the Ktunaxa Nation and in Qukin ʔamaʔkis must not be understated. The Ktunaxa Nation Council will continue to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves – for the sake of wuʔu, our future generations, and for ʔa·kxamis ̓qapi qapsin. It is a critical part of our role and responsibility in Qukin ʔamaʔkis to the Creator.

With respect to the recent Fisheries Act charges against Teck Coal Limited, the KNC provided a community impact statement to the court pursuant to section 722.2 of the Criminal Code. The statement identifies, in a general way, the harms and losses suffered by the Ktunaxa Nation from the deposition by Teck Coal Limited (“Teck”) of selenium and calcite pollution into fish-bearing waters within ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa (Ktunaxa Territory). The intent of the illustration provided in the impact statement is to visually represent Ktunaxa “lifeways” within Qukin ʔamakʔis. This image is a product of Ktunaxa community participatory research drawn by two Ktunaxa artists – Darcy Luke and Marisa Phillips. It is meant to symbolize “Ktunaxa being Ktunaxa on the land” and the tangible and intangible connection between ʔamak ȼ wuʔu (the land and water), and ʔa’kxam̓is q̓api qapsin. This interconnectedness means nothing is in isolation; if wuʔu is impacted – so in turn is everything else.

This case, the charges laid, and the fines assessed, are steps in acknowledging the harm that has been and continues to be done to ʔamak ȼ wuʔu (the land and water) by development impacts done without Ktunaxa consent.”

Image provided by Ktunaxa Nation to the court in their community impact statement from Teck’s 2012 charges from the Fisheries Act. (Supplied by Ktunaxa Nation, Darcy Luke, Marisa Phillips)
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