We were excited to be fully involved in the review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment legislation and process both giving oral testimony together for SSN and as an advisor to the Expert Panel.
Sunny was honoured to lead the Stkemlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation's Indigenous Impact assessment for the proposed KGHM Ajax Mine near Kamloops BC. Given the inadequacies of the Canadian and BC Environmental Assessment processes, SSN was required to develop its own assessment whose objective was to facilitate informed decision making by the SSN communities in a manner consistent with Secwepemc laws, traditions, and customs.
Westsyde Secondary held an honouring ceremony on the Day of Sucwentwecw which featured Whispering Pines Indian Band guest Sunny Lebourdais (being presented with her thank you gift), student Madison Glanzer, sang the Metis Anthem, and an impressive presentation by Sage Hills Drummers, and Sage Hills Dancers took place.
First-year law students who have been studying Aboriginal Rights and Title and Indigenous Law heard from several guest speakers during a field trip to the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc reserve (TteS) last Friday. The annual field trip for TRU Law courses in Constitutional Law and Legal Perspectives took the group to Chief Louis Centre (formerly the Kamloops Indian Residential School) and was an opportunity for students to learn beyond the classroom, about Aboriginal law issues from local Indigenous perspectives. Topics covered included Aboriginal rights and Indigenous law with respect to land and resources and the residential school experience. Sunny LeBourdais, KGHM Project Specialist for the Stk’emlupsemc Te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) and a member of the Pellt’iqt te Secwepemc Nation (Whispering Pines), spoke to the students about the implementation of the SSN’s Ajax Mine project assessment process.
The provincial government is reviewing British Columbia’s environmental assessment process to ensure the legal rights of First Nations are respected and the public’s expectation of a strong, transparent process is met, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman announced today.
The newly formed Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee will review and make recommendations on the environmental assessment process. Revitalization of the environmental assessment process will focus on three key outcomes:
“We are working to ensure First Nations, local governments and the general public can meaningfully participate in all stages of a revitalized environmental assessment process,” said Heyman. “Our government wants to ensure we have a process that’s transparent, science-based, timely and provides early indications of the likelihood of success. This work will also contribute to our government’s commitment to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We’ll be working with Indigenous groups at every step of the revitalization process.”
The talented Racelle Kooy's recently published article in the Indigenous Atlas of Canada beautifully depicts the role of salmon in Indigenous cultures. She also honours and identified both Sunny Lebourdais and the People of the White Earth's iBook entitled "Our Fishing Journey".
The People of the White Earth are Yucwminmen te Secwepemcúlecw and are responsible for care-taking and stewardship of our area for the benefit of the Secwepemc Nation. We are responsible for sharing our knowledge and history in a way that strengthens this role and fulfills our responsibility. This book has been developed to educate and increase awareness about our contemporary fishing activities. “The Fishing Journey” book was led by Project Coordinator Sunny LeBourdais under the careful watch of People of the White Earth Elders/knowledge keepers: Violet LeBourdais, Joseph LeBourdais, Mary Hewitt, Norah LeBourdais and Grand Chief Richard LeBourdais.