Stop this project immediately

Reference Number

To whom it may concern, 

I am a 30 year old Mi'kmaw man, I was born and raised in central NL. My life happened mostly outdoors, my memories are of encountering wild animals on my travels through the woods. In particular I remember coming across a single caribou about 10 years ago, it was something that profoundly impacted my sense of belonging on this island. Newfoundland has been forcefully colonized by our European ancestors, severely impacting the ability of Indigenous groups to represent themselves in any matter relating to their own livelihood. The Treaty of Utretch violently upended many peoples lives on this island and the effects are being felt today. 

I am concerned that this project is going ahead regardless of what the scientific, wildlife, Indigenous and non-Indigenous advocates say. Job's will come and go, the older people who stand to benefit from this project are a select few, and do not represent the concerns of the majority of the population. This project is supposed to last 12 years, I will be 42 with young children, and they may never get to know what its like to have a caribou offer itself to you, whether as just a beautiful sight, or a meal. 

I am concerned that the Valentine Lake project is simply a means for other junior or corporate mining interests to "partner up" in order to off set the cost of accessing these delicate sites. In fact, I find it very disheartening and outside the spirit of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, that any resource extraction project on the island go ahead with out very specific and transparent agreements between concerned citizens, and our government, who are ultimately responsible for protecting our environmental interests. 

To simply push ahead without acknowledging the concerns put forth is undemocratic and colonialist. The amount of skilled labor necessary to complete such a project, will mean importing workers from outside the province. Indeed, our province has only produced "prospectors" which is a very unregulated and vague industry that allows individuals to claim crown lands for the purpose of selling back for profit. It is greed, it is harmful, it is poor public policy, it is short sighted, it is an attempt to destroy Indigenous resources on the island to further disconnect our people from their land and ancient connections to it. 

There is simply no excuse other than greed that would allow this project to go ahead, and what will that tell the 7 generations to come? That we did not care? That we don't care? Will my grandchildren ask me why I didn't do something? Will I have to explain to my ancestors spirits that there is nothing I can do? Who will explain this to them? Not the companies that will walk away with their profits, no. 

If there is an oversight board or committee for mining activity, whether that is shareholders compiling stocks in the same shares to dominate a project's directives, it is failing. It is failing in real time. We are failing ourselves and we need to learn from this. We need to learn that these economies are illusions and NL'ers are more than whats in the ground, we can change where we are heading, but only with the help from the courts, the government, band leaders, and educated advocates for the environment.

I hope this finds you well.

J. Lawrence

Submitted by
Jordan Michael Lawrence
Public Notice
Comment Tags
Indigenous Consultation Method Migratory Birds Species at Risk Wildlife / Habitat Groundwater Quality Project Alternatives Biodiversity Marine Environment Project Contribution to Sustainability
Date Submitted
2021-03-04 - 8:21 AM
Date modified: