xeny

“We are born into this”: Meet the First Nations leader who defeated a mining behemoth

Marilyn Baptiste on the fight to defeat one of British Columbia’s biggest, and destructive, mines

Even in a region known for massive, potentially havoc-wreaking open-pit mines, Prosperity Mine, one of the largest ever proposed in British Columbia, stood out. In order to build the gold and copper mine, Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Limited planned to drain nearby Fish Lake, home to the Xeni Gwet’in, or Nemiah Valley Indian Band, one of the six communities that form the Tsilhqot’in Nation.

That the mine was never built is thanks in large part to the efforts of Marilyn Baptiste, the tribe’s elected councillor and former chief, who led efforts to convince the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) of the spiritual, environmental and economic importance of the Nemiah Valley. It was an ugly, years-long battle, but TML’s efforts to exploit the land were eventually blocked not once, but twice, by the federal government.

Baptiste hardly sees herself as an activist. ”As most indigenous peoples around the world, since contact we’ve had to protect our land, our people, our way of life and our future generations,” she told Salon. “This is part of our everyday life, this is what we live and we breathe.”

This past April, Baptiste was nonetheless awarded the Goldman Prize, the world’s largest environmental prize, for her work organizing her community in opposition to the mine and, when it came down to it, acting as a one-woman blockade against construction crews.

Read the interview and watch the video here

GO MARILYN!!!

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Even in a region known for massive, potentially havoc-wreaking open-pit mines, Prosperity Mine, one of the largest ever proposed in British Columbia, stood out. In order to build the gold and copper mine, Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Limited planned to drain nearby Fish Lake, home to the Xeni Gwet’in, or Nemiah Valley Indian Band, one of the six communities that form the Tsilhqot’in Nation. That the mine was never built is thanks in large part to the efforts of Marilyn Baptiste, the tribe’s elected councillor and former chief, who led efforts to convince the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) of the spiritual, environmental and economic importance of the Nemiah Valley.

Marilyn Baptiste on the fight to defeat one of British Columbia’s biggest, and destructive, mines

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H A W T H O N N

Limited digital edition, 72 copies.

Listen/download: https://xetb.bandcamp.com/

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Download includes the Hawthonn album, plus:

* Four additional ‘holophone’ tracks: more than an hour of extra musick

* 32-page Hawthonn journal* Full size cover artwork

* Personalised, numbered certificate (emailed separately within three working days)

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Written and performed by Phil & Layla Legard (electronics, accordion, fox-skull, harmonium, field recordings, spiricom, vocals).

Also featuring Simon Bradley (cello, Aura) and Lovernios Legard (vocalisations, Thanatopsis). Mastered by Benny Reibel. Moving images courtesy of Ætheric Anomalies.

Our most profound thanks to Ian Johnstone for his thoughtful and touching memorial to Jhonn Balance,which provided the impetus for this project. Thanks also to those that we have met as a consequence of this project that knew or corresponded with Coil. Their memories of the duo’s generosity in particular will stay with us.

The music above represents the work of the first Hawthonn project, which ran between Summer Solstice and 13th November 2014.

For Jhonn.