A BC First Nations leader has been recognized with an international award for her efforts to stop an open pit gold and copper mine in the Chilcotin.
Xeni Gwet’in councilor and former chief Marilyn Baptiste is the winner of the 2015 Goldman Prize, the world’s largest international award for grassroots environmental activism.
The Goldman Environmental Foundation says Baptiste was chosen for work leading the fight against Taseko’s Prosperity Mine which would have turned Fish Lake, a source of spiritual identity for the Tsilhqot’in Nation, into a tailings dump.
“Marilyn worked tirelessly with community and other Tsilhqot’in Chiefs to protect Tsilhqot’in lands from the Prosperity/New Prosperity projects and this prestigious award is a great encouragement to all of us,” said Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William, who was the named plaintiff in the historic Supreme Court of Canada decision last summer on Aboriginal Title, declaring the right of the Tsilhqot’in to full ownership, benefit and control of our land, culture and way of life.
“This is a great honor to have one of our community members and leaders acknowledged for their work. We are proud of Marilyn and we celebrate with her success,” said Chief William.
Baptiste and the 5 other recipients-one from each inhabited continent- will formally receive her $175,000 prize in San Francisco tonight.