December 21, 2009 19:26 ET

Nlaka'pamux Challenges Approval of Cache Creek Landfill

Nlaka’pamux Nation Files Legal Challenge Over Approval of Cache Creek Landfill Annex

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor CACHE CREEK, BC, PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2009) - Chief Robert Pasco, chair of the Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council ("NNTC"), announced that a legal challenge on behalf of the Nlaka'pamux Nation ("Nation") is being filed today in respect of the approval by the B.C. Ministry of Environment on August 31, 2009 of an annex to the Cache Creek Landfill ("Annex").

The Cache Creek Landfill is located southwest of the Village of Cache Creek, approximately 5 kilometres northwest of the Town of Ashcroft, and 330 kilometres northeast of Greater Vancouver, in an area critical to the interests of the Nation. The landfill receives up to 500,000 tonnes of municipal waste per year from Metro Vancouver, and is scheduled to reach capacity in 2010. The Annex would extend the life of the landfill into 2012.

Chief Pasco stated that the members of the Nation are deeply disappointed by the provincial government's continued failure to properly consult with the Nation regarding the Cache Creek landfill:
"The Cache Creek landfill was constructed over 20 years ago without any consultation with, or input from, the Nation. The Province approved the construction of the Annex after having but one meeting with us, during which they refused to discuss the impact of the existing landfill, and provided us with an internal report claiming that the landfill was not historically within our traditional territory. We were not provided with any funding to respond to that report, leaving us to commission our own report from respected historical geographer Dr. Ken Brealey of the University of the Fraser Valley, who has concluded that the landfill falls within territory used and occupied by the Nlaka'pamux and Sewempemc (Shushwap) Nations from the prehistoric period through to the present day. We do not believe that the Province's conduct in approving the Annex is consistent with the honour of the Crown and we will not sit idly by while decisions are made on our territory without proper consultation.

Chief Pasco added that the Nation is perplexed by the Province's refusal to sit down and talk about solutions to Metro Vancouver's garbage problem:
"The Nlaka'pamux Nation has a long history of seeking real, long-term solutions to Metro Vancouver's waste problems. Yet, as recently as last week, the Province continues to reject our offers to sit down and talk about solutions, preferring, it appears, to force First Nations to get a Court order before they will talk to us. We do not think that this is consistent with the New Relationship, and we intend to do whatever it takes to secure a fair and respectful outcome, including bringing the issue of Vancouver's garbage to the world's attention during the upcoming Olympic Winter Games."

Until the Province and Metro Vancouver acknowledge and address the historic infringement of the Nation's rights and title by the existing landfill, and engage with the Nation in a meaningful and respectful way, Chief Pasco expects protracted conflict over Metro Vancouver's garbage into the foreseeable future. IN: ENVIRONMENT, POLITICS, TRANSPORT, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Chief Robert Pasco, Chair, Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council
    Primary Phone: 250-371-0775