Giant Mine is a monster: YKDFN

YKDFN demands apology and compensation from Giant Mine, again.


Edward Sangris, Dettah chief of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation,demands an apology and compensation from Giant Mine. (Mariah Caruso/CKLB)

The Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) demands an apology for the mistreatment and degradation of land caused by Giant Mine over their 70 year-long relationship.

Dozens of residents gathered outside Giant Mine for a feeding fire ceremony, Dene drummers and speeches by Dettah Chief Edward Sangris, Ndilǫ Chief Ernest Betsina and YKDFN members, on Wednesday.

Demonstrators held their signs proudly, calling on Giant Mine to right its wrongs and acknowledge the harm it has done to the land and the overall YKDFN community.

YKDFN extends its demands to the federal government, asking for a resolution — compensation and a meaningful apology from Giant Mine.

“We are calling on Canada to sit at a table with us to determine just, fair and equitable compensation for these historic wrongs,” Sangris says.

YKDFN claims Giant Mine is responsible for a “decades-long toxic legacy of broken promises, displacement and arsenic contamination,” reads a press release.

In response, “We recognize the tremendous work undertaken by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation on this important matter and are committed to continued engagement and work with them in order to find a resolution to their request for apology and compensation,” says Matthew Spence, NWT Regional Director General for the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.

“Our land is spoiled… We are fearful of harvesting anything near Giant Mine. We are fearful of fishing in the Yellowknife Bay and gathering berries close by,” says a YKDFN member during a speech.

The federal government is currently reviewing and assessing the letter and report sent by YKDFN, says Kimberly Walker, manager of communications for the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.

YKDFN also launched a website on the impacts of the relationship between Gaint Mine and YKDFN, along with a petition to the federal government.

CKLB asked Spence how the government plans on remedying the relationship between Giant Mine and YKDFN, he said he will provide a response at a later time.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at mariah.caruso@cklbradio.com