2018 Conference

Western Mining Action Network
2018 Biennial Conference

Uniting for Healthier Lands, Waters and Future Generations

With our host the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN)
Kamloops BC, Canada | 27-29 September 2018
Thompson Rivers University

**Register here before June 8th, 2018**
**Late applications will be considered if space is still available**

The Conference
The conference will address issues of concern to leaders, citizens and Indigenous Peoples working to protect the health of the lands, waters and future generations from the impacts of mining in the US and Canada. Lectures, discussions, and workshops led by technical and legal experts, as well as by Indigenous and civil society organizations, will provide the latest information on mining technologies, impacts, regulations, and policies, while special sessions will be held to train community-based organizers, and develop strategies to reform mining practices. Experts and speakers will include those in mining and engineering; hydrology, geochemistry, and water quality; federal, provincial and state regulations and laws; Indigenous laws and treaty rights; US and Canadian politics; grassroots organizing and more.

Themes

Conference themes include: Indigenous Peoples’ rights; health and environmental impacts; gender and social impacts; transboundary pollution issues; water protection; climate change effects; the prevention of mining waste disasters; financial securities; transparency and tax fairness; law and policy development; corporate and government accountability; compliance and enforcement; economic risks and benefits; workers’ protection issues; international trade agreements; tools and communication strategies for more effective engagement; cross-cultural and intergenerational collaborations; etc.

Preliminary Program (subject to change)

Sept.26 – Participants arrive in Kamloops BC, Canada
Sept.27 – Pípsell Cultural/Heritage Site visit with SSN, Mine tour & Indigenous Caucus Dinner
Sept.28 – Conference plenaries & workshops, social dinner
Sept.29 – Conference plenaries & workshops, social dinner with banquet & silent auction
Sept.30 (post-conference) – Mount Polley mine tour (limited space, extra costs, possible overnight in Williams Lake)
Sept.30 or Oct.1st – Participants travel back home

Registration, costs, travel grants, passports

Costs to participate in the conference plenaries, workshops and activities will be about $US50/day/pers. (including lunch & dinner). Lodging will cost about $US50.00/night/pers., based on a double occupation per room ($US100/night for single occupancy). A limited number of scholarships and travel grants will be available, particularly for delegates from Indigenous and/or smaller-size organizations (maximum 1 scholarship per organization). Extra costs may apply for some of the Conference activities. Passports: participants traveling from the US will need a passport valid until at least January 1st, 2019 (3 months past the event – more info here).

Registration

Apply here before June 8th 2018. Late applications will be considered if space is still available.

The Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation & Cross-cultural Collaborations

This year’s conference will be hosted by the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN). As such, the Western Mining Action Network (WMAN) has committed to working together with the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) to develop culturally appropriate protocols for the conference and its parallel events. The SSN will be invited to present on its work to revitalize its culture and laws in relation to mining on its traditional territory, including the recent work by the SSN Review Panel which successfully lead to the rejection of the KHGM’s Ajax gold/copper open pit mine proposal located on the Pípsell Cultural & Heritage Site.

Mine and Site Tours

In addition to SSN’s Pípsell Cultural & Heritage Site visit, the conference participants will be invited to join one or more of the following tours: Highland Valley Copper mine (Teck Resources)—the largest copper mine in Canada; the Mount Polley mine tour (Imperial Metals)—the site of the largest mining spill in Canadian history in 2014; and possibly the Afton mine (New Gold).

Main Plenary Sessions (subject to change)

  1. Opening remarks by Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation & Introduction to the Western Mining Action Network
  2. Winds of Change: Indigenous Leadership & Strategies For Healthier Lands, Waters & Future Generations
  3. From Perpetual Pollution to Mine Waste Spills to Abandoned Mines: How To Prevent Future Disasters?
  4. Mining The Positive: Inspirational Stories, Actions and Strategies Leading to Success

Workshop Sessions (subject to change)

Track 1 – Technical/Legal/Policy
A – Mining Economics & Environment 101
B – Preventing Water Pollution
C – Trends in Environmental Assessments

Track 2 – Skillbuilding & Toolkit
A – Human Rights & Gender Assessments
B – Media & Communication Strategies
C – Getting Started / Organizing Changes

Track 3 – Topical Issues
A – Placer Mining Impacts
B – Roads & Energy Corridors Impacts
C – Uranium No More / In-Situ Mining

Goals for the WMAN Conference and Training Workshops include:

  • Build the capacity of community leaders and advocates (seminars, workshops, etc.)
  • Increase the layperson’s knowledge of mining-related issues (including technical, legal, policy info.)
  • Promote cross-cultural collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and organizations
  • Grow and strengthen the WMAN national and international network & develop tools, action plans, and strategies
  • Engage youth, academics and develop intergenerational collaborations
  • Highlight current and emerging local, regional and Canada/USA mining issues

The WMAN conference is also an occasion for WMAN’s regional and thematic caucuses to meet, and for new participants to join these caucuses, including: US Southwest / Northwest / Great Lakes / Great Plains / South Central / Southeast / Alaska / National; Canada National / Regional; Indigenous Caucus; Uranium; Legal/Technical; Youth.

About WMAN

Founded in 1997, WMAN’s mission is to foster and support a strong network in North America that protects communities, land, water, air, and wildlife by reforming mining practices and by holding government and corporations accountable. More than 300 organizations and individuals from across the USA and Canada participate to WMAN, Indigenous organizations, experts, scientists, lawyers, academics, citizen and grassroot groups. An all-volunteer Steering Committee, with a third of its governing seats held by Indigenous representatives, guides the network and the conferences. WMAN’s last biennial conferences took place in Arizona (2016), Alaska (2014) and Saskatchewan (2011).

For information:

Marvel Karch, WMAN Conference Lead Logistics, marvel@worc.org, 406-252-9672
Jill Yordy, WMAN Conference Assistant Logistics, jillyordy@gmail.com, 907-987-9535
Sayokla Williams, WMAN Indigenous Caucus Coordinator, indigenous.coordinator@gmail.com, 920-461-2832
Amanda Watson, Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) Liaison, amanda@stkemlupsemc.ca, 250-320-6624