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Chiefs fight to keep sacred lake out of mine proposal
Six chiefs from an Interior B.C. First Nation spend the next several days in Ottawa as they battle a proposal they fear will turn a sacred lake into a waste dump.
The chiefs from the Tsilhqot'in Nation of south-central B.C. plan meetings with MPs and top bureaucrats in hopes of halting a Taseko Mines' proposal to drain Fish Lake.
Tsilhqot'in call the area Teztan Biny and say the two kilometre-wide open pit proposed mine, tailings pond and other developments will destroy the entire ecosystem in the region around Williams Lake, 600 kilometres north of Vancouver.
Chief Marilyn Baptiste say the chiefs unanimously reject the draining of Teztan Biny to stockpile mining waste for Taseko Mines.
MiningWatch and the Council of Canadians helped arranged the Ottawa visit and say a loophole in the Fisheries Act allows for the destruction of freshwater bodies in Canada.
They say Teztan Biny is one of several Canadian lakes affected by the loophole and public hearings on the future of the region begin in Williams Lake on March 22.