Science + Culture

Teck Highland Valley Copper Dust and Traditional Plant Study

Engaging Nlaka’pamux communities in the development of a study addressing community concerns about the effects of mine dust on traditional plants in the Highland Valley area of British Columbia.

Soapberry Plant
Mine Pit And Tailings
Berry Picking
Letharia Vulpina
Soapberry Juice
Soapberry Picking
Soil Sampling

People of the Nlaka’pamux Nation have subsisted and thrived on the southern plateau in central-interior British Columbia – including in the Highland Valley area – for centuries. Modern industrial mining in the Highland Valley began in the 1960s, and the Teck Highland Valley Copper Partnership (THVCP) currently operates a large copper and molybdenum mine in the area. Nlaka’pamux communities have raised concerns about dust from mining operations and its potential impact on local ecosystems and traditional foods. In response, THVCP initiated a study in collaboration with these communities, facilitated by IEG, to assess these impacts. Through extensive dialogue both on the land and in workshops, IEG, community representatives, and THVCP co-developed a study to address community concerns.

The project focus includes two parts:

The two study components have been designed and implemented through a participatory approach involving extensive dialogue between IEG, THVCP, and Nlaka’pamux representatives. The purpose of this approach is to bring traditional and scientific knowledge together in a meaningful way that addresses community questions about effects of mining.