Rio Tinto Alcan Returns Native Traditional Land

Posted on February 2, 2012 8:50 am

Six decades after the fact, Rio Tinto Alcan has returned 11,000 acres of land expropriated from the Cheslatta Carrier Nation in northern B.C. in the early 1950s.

The mining company announced on Monday that it has officially completed the transfer of 63 district lots totalling just over 11,000 acres of land to the Cheslatta.

“Today we get back what we lost 60 years ago,” Cheslatta Chief Richard Peters said in a press release.

“Land is the backbone of any community and this land is truly the foundation for our future. We are most grateful for the hard work and dedication of former Cheslatta leaders and we also thank Rio Tinto Alcan for being a modern and progressive corporation that understands the significance of the land to the Cheslatta people.”

The Department of Indian Affairs expropriated the land in 1952 and the Cheslatta Carrier people were relocated. Alcan used the Netchako River to create the Kenney Dam as part of a huge hydroelectric project to power the Kitimat Aluminum Smelter.

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