- Open communication and engagement regarding development approaches and challenges
- Efforts to define heritage or archaeological values during exploration work
- Site tours and meetings with representatives of First Nations leadership and staff to learn about First Nation concerns, history, land use, and interests
- Regular contact regarding current and future employment and business opportunities, and presentation of project updates
- Development of cooperation and engagement agreements, including:
- Cheslatta Carrier Nation Letter of Understanding (2010, as amended in 2013) and Letter of Support (2013, reiterated in 2015)
- Office of the Wet’suwet’en Communications and Engagement Agreement (2013)
- Skin Tyee Nation Cooperation Protocol Agreement (2014)
The Ootsa Project has received Strong First Nation Support and involvement, and the Company’s exploration programs and work force have benefited immensely from First Nation support and participation. In 2010 the Company entered into a Letter of Understanding with the Cheslatta Carrier Nation. The agreement outlined the terms for information exchange, consultation, and involvement between the two groups. In 2013 an Amended Letter of Understanding was signed with the Cheslatta Carrier Nation.
In 2013 the Company entered into a Communications & Engagement Agreement (“CEA”) with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en (“OW”). The CEA sets forth the respective Party’s commitment to communicate and engage with each other to develop a respectful, mutually beneficial working relationship with respect to the exploration and development of the Ootsa Project.
In 2014 the Company entered into a Cooperation Protocol Agreement with the Skin Tyee Nation.
Surge Copper has recently initiated an effort to enter into an advanced exploration to development stage agreement with multiple First Nation groups that have interests over the Ootsa Project and surrounding area. The initiative is currently underway and ongoing.
Left: July 2013 Ootsa site visit by Wet’suwet’en members. Right: Ootsa Project Cheslatta Carrier Nation first aid and kitchen workers
Sept 2013 Quote from Chief Richard Peters Cheslatta Carrier Nation: “We look forward to building on our existing relationship and working collaboratively with Gold Reach Resources, its shareholders and operations staff in seeing this project move through the exploration, regulatory, construction and eventual operation phases. This project, developed in an environmentally sustainable manner, holds tremendous promise in generating wealth, employment, business and training opportunities for the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Gold Reach, the Region, and for the Province of British Columbia”.
February 2014 Quote from David G. Belford, Natural Resources Office of the Wet'suwet'en: “The Wet’suwet’en hereditary clan leaders are very pleased to have Gold Reach Resources Ltd. meet their requirements for mineral exploration and mining projects on Gilseyhyu territories. In particular, Gilseyhyu (Yextsowit’en) members attending the July 2013 site visit were impressed with the Company’s respect for cultural heritage, environmental sensitivity, and willingness to involve Wet’suwet’en members in the Ootsa Project. We wish you every success in bringing this valuable prospect into production”.
Surge is committed to ongoing engagement and consultation with First Nations communities