Alhgoh ‘uts’ut’en (We all work together): Enlivening Binche Whut’en Traditional Communication in the Shadow of Intergenerational Impacts from Mining

Since 1940, the Pinchi Mine operated across Binche Whut’en Consultative Boundaries, traditional territories (lands and waters) governed by Binche families and clans. The Pinchi Fault is a mercury rich geological deposit that runs directly through Binche Whut’en. Cominco (now Teck Resources) capitalized on this mineral rich area to extract methylmercury used in, firstly, World War II efforts in the 1940s, and ongoingly up until Pinchi Mine’s decommissioning in 2010 (Teck Resources, 2013). At no point during Pinchi Mine’s history did Binche Whut’enne provide free and informed consent to mercury mining activity or enter into any legal process that would relinquish their collective Aboriginal rights and Interests in their territories.

In accordance with B.C. Mines Act, Teck is now seeking to close the file on the painful history of the Pinche mine and associated impacts on Binche Whut’enne and territories. Binche Whut’en is advocating for self-determined reparations due to the legacy of the Pinchi Mine. The Centre for Climate Justice is supporting Binche Whut’en activities to develop a clan runner system to ensure all members of community are kept up to date and that next steps are accountable to and directed by the community, while rooted in Dakelh law and principles.

This initiative has also been supported by the BC Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research and UBC’s Community-University Engagement Support Fund.

Contact: Onyx Sloan Morgan