Late yesterday — in partnership with the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement — Ecojustice launched a constitutional challenge on behalf of the Mitchikanibikok Inik First Nation.
For years, the Quebec government has relied on a legislative loophole in the province’s archaic Mining Act to ignore its constitutional duty to consult the Mitchikanibikok Inik about mining on their ancestral lands. Adding insult to injury, mining claims in their territories continue to be renewed without their input.
This, our case argues, is a clear violation of their constitutional rights.
Governments in Canada have a constitutional duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous communities in decisions — including mineral claims — that impact them, their lands and their cultures.
This isn’t the first time we’ve helped the Mitchikanibikok Inik’s defend their rights. And until the province updates its mining law and implements it in a way that respects the rights and self-determination of Indigenous communities, this likely won’t be the last.
The social and environmental scars mining activity can leave on a community and the land last for generations. The Mitchikanibikok Inik say they are unwilling to endure those harms — certainly not when they are cut out of the decision-making process for what happens within their own territories.
With your support, Ecojustice will be backing the Mitchikanibikok Inik every step of the way in their legal battle.