DFN Leader Protests Prairie Creek Mine – MOU
FORT SIMPSON – August 7 — The Dehcho First Nations has expressed its displeasure with the signing of a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) on July 31 between Parks Canada and Canadian Zinc Corporation. Canadian Zinc owns the proposed Prairie Creek property in the South Nahanni River
“The MOU was signed without approval from DFN,” Grand Chief Gerald Antoine said here today. Its existence only became public when the company using some sections of the MOU issued a press release.
“It appears the MOU was signed in order for Parks Canada to be assured the Prairie Creek people would not oppose the Park Reserve expansion and at the same time for the mining company to reassure its stockholders that the expansion will not infringe on the company’s property.”
Nonetheless, the Grand Chief said the DFN should have been involved in the development of the MOU and consulted by Parks Canada before it was signed off.
“The Dehcho First Nations have since the signing of the Treaties attempted to build trust and work Canada, but Canada continues to make agreements with us then fails to honour them”, said Antoine.. “We have never relinquished our rights to the area of the Park reserve and our people continue to occupy and use these lands as our Traditional lands.”
Signing and releasing this information sets a bad precedent for true co-management and sends the wrong signals when the DFN has been open and transparent in all its dealing regarding the park expansion,” Antoine said.