‘Is Extortion An Aboriginal Right?’

“Leaders from the James Smith Cree ‘Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 3,563 people} say they plan to stop a proposed diamond mine near Prince Albert, Sask., unless the mining company provides more benefits to the community.

There will be no mine until our people’s interests are satisfied,
said Chief Wally Burns.

“The Star-Orion Diamond Project, which would cover 9,200 hectares in the Fort à la Corne forest, recently passed an environmental assessment. The Star Diamond company project only needs a few more permits to begin operating.

“The mine would be located near the ‘First Nation’ {‘aboriginal community’}, which is about 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert.

“The province said it has fulfilled its duty to consult but the James Smith Cree ‘Nation’ announced yesterday it plans to fight the project unless the company negotiates a benefit agreement…

“Star Diamond responded with an emailed statement on Friday.

Opportunities for Aboriginal people and other people in the area will be created through direct employment by the project through a representative workforce, and indirectly by creating local contractor and business relationships through the proponent’s local procurement policy”,
said the statement.
As well, employment and business opportunities will be created indirectly as a result of increased economic activity resulting from the project.”

“James Smith Cree ‘Nation’ spokesperson Winston McLean said negotiations with Star Diamond broke down months ago. He said the chiefs want the company to negotiate an impact benefit agreement that can be taken back to the community for its members to vote on.

I think the investors and these companies should take a good hard look at the future of this thing. If we’re not happy, the project becomes questionable,
said McLean.

He would not say how the ‘First Nation’ plans to stop the project if that agreement cannot be negotiated…

“According to a release from the government, the mine will employ 700 people at full operation. The company, which is working with mining giant Rio Tinto on the development, says the project has the potential to generate “billions” in corporate revenue, taxes and royalties.

As part of their responsibilities, the Government of Saskatchewan consulted with local ‘First Nations’ and ‘Métis’ communities and has developed accommodations that will address potential adverse impacts to Treaty rights and traditional uses”,
said the statement from Star Diamond.

“To mitigate the community’s concerns, the province has a list of “accommodations” it has committed to:

–Preparing a fish habitat compensation plan and monitoring the quality of the air, surface water and groundwater for the life of the project.
–Involving James Smith Cree ‘Nation’ in environmental monitoring programs for the project.
–Providing funding to James Smith Cree ‘Nation’ to support community participation in a stewardship committee, a community harvest support program and community cultural programs.
–Providing funding for moose and elk population surveys.
–Entering into an agreement to provide training, jobs and business opportunities for James Smith Cree ‘Nation’ and other local communities.
–Preparing an access management plan for the Fort à la Corne Forest to facilitate use and/or protection of preferred areas for carrying out ‘Treaty and Aboriginal rights’ and traditional uses.
–Setting up a conservation area elsewhere in the Fort á la Corne Forest to provide continued opportunity for the exercise of ‘Treaty and Aboriginal rights’.”

–‘James Smith Cree Nation vows to stop proposed mine unless more benefits provided’,
CBC News, Oct. 26, 2018


James Smith Cree ‘Nation’

History of the community of James Smith Cree ‘Nation’:
“This first nation received its name from the original chief who signed Treaty No. 6 in 1876 At Fort Carlton The population at the time were 134 members or 32 families. The James Smith Cree Nation is located 58 kilometers east of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and is 15,099 hectares in size. This first nation has a present population of 3,412, with the on-reserve population estimated to be at 1,892 members. The original language spoken is Cree. James Smith Cree Nation lands are situated on the south and north side of the Saskatchewan River on the south side there are fertile lands for farming and the north side of the river there are forestry lands for hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering.

“The James Smith reserve was historically known as Fort-a-la-Corne. Situated near the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, Fort-a-la-Corne became a gathering place of many different First Nations. Later this area would become a gateway to the western regions of Canada. Trading posts would eventually become a common place with the Hudson Bay Company, Northwest Trading Co., as both French and English traders competed for the economic benefits of the fur trade. Along with fur trade came the inevitable settlement of the Europeans around the fertile lands we occupied. They founded their homesteads, built an infrastructure including churches, schools and supply centres trading with the surrounding Indian peoples.”

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  1. Time to protest/really go all out in standing up to these people who think they are God’s promised ones and can bully the hell out of Canadians!! Another Oka on the horizon??


    1. Who would want to do business in Canada when you go through the hoops, public hearings, environmental assessments, consulting the various tribes etc., etc., and even if you did everything 100% correct and get approval, some tribe comes along and tries to extort more or get the project delayed for god only knows how long, or do what they can to stop it or maybe not even have their reserve near the project but want it stopped after you invested 10’s or 100’s of millions or a few billion… Word gets around…Canada will get a reputation as a very difficult place to do business.


  2. These people are going to push business and large-scale investment out of Canada. Who would want to invest when these people can put endless roadblocks up? Will we ever see any more big resource developments in this country? Personally, I am shocked they did not find judges to stop site C…but I guess they have to keep trying until they get the same three that stopped two pipelines already…

    Can’t get pipelines going, or diamond mines, they are interfering with fish farms. All these outfits were consulted and in the case of fish farms and pipelines, Aboriginal tribes that were not near it were the ones that caused the problems.

    It is sad in the case of the pipeline that all tribes along route supported it but tribes nowhere near it, stopped it. Judges were shopped over a dozen times until they finally found ones that agreed with them..and cost tax payers 4.5 billion for a pipeline that may never get expanded until we get a PM that has balls…

    Regarding the Diamond mine — this tribe was consulted and the province seems to have made a number of accommodations that they did not have to. (They do not get a veto says SCOC but if they don’t get their way, they will keep going to court until a judge or judges take their side) Now it seems they are trying to blackmail/extort Star Diamond…

    The average person needs to understand the seriousness of these actions from loss of potential jobs both direct and indirect, and taxes for all levels of governments etc. One day, people will have enough of the shenanigans by a certain group if they continue to stop people from working, contributing and supporting their families…


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