JACINDA MACK on The Planetary Cost of Luxury /81

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

On August 4, 2014 the Mount Polley Mine Disaster occured. The indigenous community of Xat’sull, located near Williams Lake, British Columbia, the waterways, salmon, bears and ecosystems will be reaping the devastation of this event for generations to come.  The Imperial Metal owned copper and gold mine dam breached a four square kilometer pond full of toxic copper and gold mining waste, spilling an estimated 25 billion litres of contaminated materials into Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake, a source of drinking water and major spawning grounds for sockeye salmon. According to Mount Polley mine records filed with Environment Canada in 2013, there were 326 tons of nickel, over 400 tons of arsenic, 177 tons of lead and 18,400 tons of copper and its compounds placed in the tailings pond.”

The consequences of this dam failure are catastrophic and heartbreaking, especially considering the Imperial Metal company has not been required to pay any fines to make reparations for this disaster that will severely impact this region for millenia to come. 

Jacinda Mack, leader of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining is a mother, water protector and Indigenous woman striving to promote environmentally sound mining exploration and development processes that respect First Nations rights and grant them full participation.  

What is responsible mining? Is there such a thing? How do we restructure our dominant culture’s view of what is considered valuable?

Jacinda is someone who is wholeheartedly leading the way to ignite the fire in people’s hearts around this critical topic of responsible mining, rooted in seven generations thinking.  Hailing from the Secwepemc and Nuxalk indigenous peoples, raised on the land in her indigenous community. Jacinda has worked with First Nations communities on the central coast and northern interior of B.C. as community organizer, researcher, natural resources manager and self government coordinator on First Nations territory-related issues.

Jacinda holds a Master of Arts degree from York University’s Communication & Culture Program, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria.