Earlier this morning I read an article in the Vancouver Sun that contained baseless allegations of extortion by First Nations people in BC made by AME BC. I’m very disappointed that AME BC went public with these allegations without indicating any facts, just the allegations, nor did they indicate what kind of analysis they did to assess the veracity of these claims.
My biggest problem is that anybody can say whatever they want off the record, but in a court of law they would have to back up their allegations with facts, instead, AME BC has gone public with no facts to the court of public opinion.
I’ve been in the mining business for over two decades and have worked in several provinces including BC and never heard anybody being approached in the way that AME BC describes.
I’m pro-mining and consult with mining companies on a wide array of topics including First Nations relationship building. I believe strongly that the mining industry and First Nations need to work together to build opportunities for First Nations youth.
It is a national tragedy what is happening in First Nations communities with their constitutional rights being violated and the heartbreaking ramifications of this happening over the long term and what we are seeing with First Nations youth taking their lives. It has to stop and getting the youth out on the land to work and have opportunities can make a massive difference.
AME BC coming out with baseless allegations, on National Aboriginal Day does nothing to help move things forward for the mining sector in BC or for First Nations that want respect, consultation and inclusion on projects on their traditional land.
I’ve been in contact with the writer of the above article and several media outlets as I think it is important to get my perspective out concerning this issue.
Allan Barry Laboucan