To Protect or Profit from Natural Resources?


Dasiqox Tribal Park

The beautiful and abounding nature of British Columbia is very important to many Canadians; for some it’s a staple in Canadian identity, for some it’s their home and culture, and for some it is a business opportunity. There are many Aboriginal reserves that are intended to protect the land and the culture of those who live on it. Within these reserves there are natural resources that could make companies astounding profits. This brings about a common conflict of interest between Aboriginal people and businesses seeking to exploit these natural resources. The Aboriginal’s fight to protect their land is an external element of business all company’s who look to encroach on a native reserve must consider.

A recent example of this conflict of interest arises between the Aboriginal people Tsilhqot’in and Taseka Mines Ltd who aims to exploit resources in Chilcotin. The Tsilhqot’in people are declaring a large mass of this area as Dasiqox Tribal Park, a protected reserve. Though the desired area of mining, Fish Lake, legally lies outside of this area the Tsilhqot’in are fighting to protect it. The Tsilhqot’in people argue that Taseka’s mines will have a large negative affect on the environment, and refuse to grant Taseka permission to do so. This issue relates to the ethics of business- what is more important, making a profit or protecting the natural resources this province prides itself on?

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