UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Blackwater Mine and the collaborative moose health monitoring program Lis, Doron


In response to the rapid rate of multiple natural resource developments in British Columbia (BC) First Nations across the province are raising concern about the health and safety of traditional food or ‘country food’ sources. This concern has led to a large number of requests by BC First Nations to monitor country foods. Furthermore, a progressive approach to environmental assessment of mines in BC includes the implementation of a program to assess and monitor country foods especially when mine developments occur on or near First Nations traditional food gathering lands. Such monitoring programs can also be incorporated into Impact Benefit Agreements, which have become a key social tool for mining companies working on or near Aboriginal lands. The mining industry in BC has only recently begun to specifically assess the potential impacts of mining on country foods. However, this assessment has lacked both depth and guidance. New Gold, a mid-tier mining company, has implemented a ‘Country Food Monitoring Plan’ as part of an application for an environmental impact assessment of the proposed Blackwater Mine in central BC. In particular, moose were identified by local First Nations as a country food of primary concern. This report describes a unique collaboration between New Gold and the Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation and hunting guide outfitters, with support from wildlife veterinarians to develop and pilot the implementation of a moose health monitoring program. The goal is to establish a community-based monitoring program to provide information to First Nations and others on moose health and any potential threats via ingestion of country foods to humans throughout all stages, including construction, operation and post-closure, of the Blackwater Mine. This research can be used by industry, government, First Nations, and other stakeholders to provide a framework and model to approach the assessment and monitoring of the health and safety of country foods near mining development and other natural resource extractive activities.

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Attribution 4.0 International