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First Nations to receive $7-million from Highland mine in tax deal

The Highland Valley Copper mine, owned by Teck, lies within the traditional territory of the Nlaka’pamux bands.

JAMES BRYLOWSK

Eight aboriginal bands will get more than $7-million in tax money from a copper mine near Kamloops, B.C., as part of a revenue-sharing partnership with the provincial government.

The Highland Valley Copper mine, owned by Teck, lies within the traditional territory of the Nlaka'pamux bands, which signed the agreement in March – one of 10 agreements that have been inked by First Nations since 2010 involving new and expanded mines.

The Aboriginal Ministry says the deal also spells out how B.C. will meet its legal obligations to consult and accommodate the bands about the ongoing operations of the largest metal mine in the province.

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The agreement includes the Ashcroft Indian Band, the Boston Bar First Nation, Coldwater Indian Band, Cook's Ferry Indian Band, Nicomen Indian Band, Nooaitch Indian Band, Shackan Indian Band and the Siska Indian Band.

There are a total of 14 Nlaka'pamux bands, which signed three separate tax-sharing deals with the B.C. government involving the Highland Valley mine, located 60 kilometres southwest of Kamloops at Logan Lake.

Cook's Ferry Indian Band Chief David Walkem says the tax-sharing agreement is a positive step toward recognizing the impact from mining in the valley since 1962.

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