MMF calls for consultation and sound environmental stewardship principles in proposed expansion of Tanco Mine activity

July 8, 2023

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, is calling for the application of sound environmental stewardship principles in the proposed expansion of activity at Tanco Mine. Of particular concern is the fact that one of the proposed expansion methods involves draining Bernic Lake to allow surface access to cesium, a very rare mineral located in few places outside of Manitoba.

"Our people are economically minded, and we do not stand in the way of appropriate and environmentally sound development in our Homeland," said David Chartrand, President of the MMF. "However, we are already hearing concerns that the water of Bernic Lake contains tailings from the mining operation, so any proposal to drain it into other waterways creates serious concerns for our Red River Métis government and our Citizens, as it should for all Manitobans."

Tanco Mine is located near Nopiming Provincial Park, which is part of an expanded Recognized Métis Harvesting Area (RMHA).

"As long-standing stewards of the environment in our Homeland, we are very concerned with how minerals are taken out of the land," said Mark Vincent Parenteau, Minister of Mining for the MMF. "We want to avoid negative environmental impacts as a result of mining, which harm ecosystems and can also mean our Citizens lose access to our traditional economies and subsistence harvesting, which many still rely on to feed their families."

To date, the Red River Métis remain excluded from the engagement and consultation process on resource development projects in Manitoba. Neither Manitoba nor Sinomine - the owner of Tanco Mine - have consulted the Red River Métis on proposed plans, nor does there appear to have been a consideration for how this project could impact the claims, interests and exercise of Red River Métis section 35 rights.

"Unfortunately, being forced to live with the aftermath of reckless mining practices is not new to the Red River Métis," said President Chartrand. "When the consultation process is lacking, we see situations like the pollution of Camp and Kississing Lakes near Sherridon in the north. If we are not consulted, we cannot share our knowledge of the land and water. It's far wiser to work together to create sound plans today, rather than pushing the consequences into the future for the next generation to deal with."


Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis, the origin and core of the historic Métis Nation. The Red River Métis is a distinct Indigenous People and Canada's Negotiating Partner in Confederation and the Founder of the Province of Manitoba.

For more information, media may contact:
Kat Patenaude
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation


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