Ecojustice Blog – Nature Posted on June 9, 2017 (updated: July 15, 2020)

Victory! Mitchikanibikok Inik First Nation: 1, Copper One: 0

Devon PageLawyer
La Verendrye wildlife reserve
Photo by P199

As you might remember, a little more than a month ago, Ecojustice, along with our friends from CQDE, helped the Mitchikanibikok Inik First Nation take legal action and stand up to a mining company that wants to deforest their ancestral land to make way for mining exploration, and eventually a giant copper mine in the middle of a wildlife reserve and the headwaters of the Ottawa River.

We’re happy to report that we did not have to wait long for progress.

This week the Quebec government outright rejected Copper One’s deforestation permits — and our intervention played a major role in this victory.

While this permit refusal is an important step towards seeing our clients’ constitutional rights to accommodation and consultation respected, we know that the fight likely isn’t over. We anticipate that Copper One will attempt to challenge the Quebec government’s decision to refuse its permit.

If they do, we will be ready.

The Mitchikanibikok Inik people have said repeatedly that mining activity would degrade their traditional territory and put their health and way of life at risk.

We are prepared to continue standing alongside our clients in their fight to defend their traditional territory.  They’ve said ‘no’ to mining. And it’s our job to ensure that ‘no’ is respected.

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