Our territory of Gespe’gewa’gi covers over 53,000 square kilometres, of which 71% is Crown land. It is home to some of the richest natural resources in the country, including a variety of mineral deposits.
When we think of the term "mining" we often think of deep underground mines where minerals are brought to the surface. In fact, mining covers many other activities. It includes operations such as gravel and sand pits, quarries, mineral, stone and peat moss extraction. Many of these operations are carried out within our land.
Here are some facts about mining in Québec:
- Premier CDN is the largest peat moss producer in all of North America. The company’s operations are located within Gespe’gewa’gi. They employ over 400 non-Native people. Premier has revenues of over $28 million per year,
- sand and gravel is a big business in our territory. For every truckload of sand or gravel coming off private property, not only does the Québec government tax the load, but they also charge royalty fees for the aggregate itself,
- for every truckload of sand or gravel being loaded on Crown land, the Québec government gets taxes, royalty fees and rental fees or leases for the land being used,
- we Mi’gmaq have occupied and lived in Gespe’gewa’gi since time immemorial. However, our communities are only given 15 days of notice prior to Québec’s handing out permits for sand and gravel removal from our lands. And, we never see any royalties or payments from from these projects,
- removal of numerous other kinds of minerals from quarries all around our terrritory is continuously happening. No royalties for these projects are being paid to our people for the resources we are losing.
We require consultation with Québec so that more of our people can share in the resources of our territory in an equal way. We seek to be accommodated in a fair way for the many mining development projects in our traditional territory.