Band Wants Answers About Diamond Exploration

Wednesday, October 01, 2003 at 14:39




The chief of the James Smith First Nation says a number of issues remain to be settled before his band signs any major partnership agreements with companies hoping to establish a diamond mine nearby.


Chief Walter Constant says one of his main concerns is how Indian Affairs plans to allocate any of the funds that would be derived from business partnerships among his people.


He notes that a couple of years ago, the James Smith First Nation was split into 3 bands.


Indian Affairs has indicated any revenue should be split into thirds, with each community getting an equal share.


But Constant says a greater number of people belong to his band and feels the band should be given a proportional amount.


Constant has contacted INAC officials about his concerns and says he’d like an answer within a few weeks.


Constant also hopes the lines of communication improve between his people and companies hoping to establish the diamond mine.


He says while representatives of Kensington Resources have told him some general details of what they’re planning – no one has informed him of exactly where they’re drilling.


The current test site is approximately a mile-and-a-half off reserve boundaries and Constant says the amount of details coming his way is scant.