REGINA, Saskatchewan, Nov. 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kahkewistahaw First Nation Chief Evan Taypotat will hold a press conference today to discuss Florida-based potash miner Mosaic Company’s abject failure to meaningfully engage with the nation while extracting substantive wealth from their traditional territory.
The Mosaic Company (“Mosaic”) is a multinational company based in Tampa, Florida, which has mined billions of dollars worth of potash from the Kahkewistahaw First Nation’s (“Kahkewistahaw”) traditional territory over many years without meaningful benefit to the nation. Mining continues today. The Kahkewistahaw are located approximately 175 KMs Northeast of Regina.
Malcolm Macpherson, a partner with Clark Wilson LLP who represents Kahkewistahaw, stated that in his client’s experience, Mosaic pays lip service to Indigenous engagement and rights. In reality, he says, the company has refused to meaningfully engage with the Kahkewistahaw First Nation. Potash extraction by Mosaic at the expense of Kahkewistahaw is all done under the watch of Premier Scott Moe’s government, which is poised to introduce The Saskatchewan First Act. Premier Moe’s government says the legislation is designed “to clearly define that Saskatchewan — and Saskatchewan alone — has the exclusive jurisdiction over its natural resources and economic future.”
Kahkewistahaw First Nation Chief Evan Taypotat states: “Mosaic is failing to live up to very basic ESG and Indigenous rights engagement, let alone grasping UNDRIP and the concept of Free Prior and Informed Consent. We have repeatedly reached out to Mosaic and bid on fabrication work with the company, even meeting with their executive in Florida and giving their leadership a tour of the manufacturing facility we own. Our facility is more than capable of doing much of the metal fabrication work required for their mines, which would create good jobs for many of our members. Mosaic assured us they were interested in working with us and that we were in the running for the bid. In the end, Mosaic did what they always do and awarded all fabrication work to their crony business network. They continue to mine on our territories while offering no benefit to our nation. By law we are co-owners of this resource, and Mosaic has a moral and legal responsibility to share the benefits of extracting resources from our territory. You’d think Mosaic’s shareholders and executive team would be concerned about this. Instead, they passively support such conduct while Mosaic continues to virtue signal to the global community that they properly engage with Indigenous rightsholders and are good corporate citizens.”
Saskatoon Centre MLA Betty Nippi-Albright, opposition critic for First Nations and Métis Relations, Truth and Reconciliation, Environment, Innovation & Saskatchewan Research Council, states: “Premier Moe’s government pays lip service to Indigenous rights recognition, plain and simple. If you listen to the Moe government’s recent statements and policies, they continue to permit the breach of treaties in this Province.”
Macpherson states: “This is 2022, yet my client informs me the Province of Saskatchewan and large corporations are still acting like it’s 1492. The Supreme Court of Canada confirmed in Delgamuuk that Aboriginal title is an encumbrance on the Crown’s title that contains an inescapable economic component. As we speak, Premier Moe’s government is poised to introduce The Saskatchewan First Act, which in his government’s words is designed ‘to clearly define that Saskatchewan — and Saskatchewan alone — has the exclusive jurisdiction over its natural resources and economic future.’ Such antiquated and divisive statements have no place in the context of modern-day Indigenous reconciliation. It is illogical and concerning for Premier Moe’s government to claim exclusive jurisdiction over natural resources that everyone knows are in effect co-owned by Kahkewistahaw and other nations by virtue of their Section 35 protected Aboriginal and treaty rights. Constitutionally protected Indigenous rights are by their very nature inextricably connected to natural resources.”
Kahkewistahaw First Nation Chief Evan Taypotat will hold a press conference today to discuss Florida-based potash miner Mosaic Company’s abject failure to meaningfully engage with the nation while extracting substantive wealth from their traditional territory.
- When: 10:00 a.m. CST Thursday, November 17
- Where: In front of Mosaic Stadium, 1700 Elphinstone St, Regina
- Kahkewistahaw First Nation Chief Evan Taypotat — former officer in the Canadian armed forces, veteran of the War in Afghanistan;
- Saskatoon Centre MLA Betty Nippi-Albright — opposition critic for First Nations and Métis Relations, Truth and Reconciliation, Environment, Innovation & Saskatchewan Research Council;
- Malcolm Macpherson – partner with Clark Wilson LLP, representing Kahkewistahaw First Nation.
The press conference will be webcast live via Facebook for those who cannot attend in person: https://www.facebook.com/kahkewistahaw.3914
Speakers will be available for interviews following their comments.