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Offensive Comments in Wake of Kemess North’s Demise

I am sometimes asked for evidence to support the idea that aboriginal people in BC continue to face ignorance because they assert traditions based on hunting. It appears that there is a lot of evidence of this fact coming from Northgate officials in the wake of the failure of Kemess North mine to gain environmental approval. The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and Canadian Press both report that the CEO of Northgate Minerals Corp, Ken Stowe, commented publicly:

There’s things in there that went on the [environmental review] panel like people talking about speaking to bears. So it’s pretty hard to talk science.

The CP article continues:

When asked about an apology, Stowe said the request was “completely out of the blue … Anybody who has taken offence, I was trying to be very factual.

Moreover, an editorial in the Northern Miner titled ‘Northgate in Limbo’ (October 1, 2007) offers similar sentiments in its response to the Kemess mine failure:

Why exactly a government-funded environmental panel comprised of university educated professionals should blithely accept that stone-age-inducing, shamanistic values such as “water is sacred” should automatically trump the values of Western civilization and modern science, is unstated. Pity.


The Press Release from the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council
has all of the details including links to the original news stories and an audio recording of Ken Stowe’s speech. (The press release is available in pdf format via the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.)

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One Comment

  1. Moe wrote:

    I agree with Ken!

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 6:51 pm | Permalink