Deer Horn Partner Cheona Metals Stakes Mineral Claims with Consent of Indigenous Nation in Northern British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada, February 17, 2021 – Deer Horn Capital Inc. (CSE: DHC) (the “Company” or “Deer Horn Capital”), announces that its 51% Indigenous partner Cheona Metals Inc. (“Cheona”) has staked two mineral claims on the ancestral lands of the Dease River First Nation, a Kaska Nation community at Good Hope Lake in northern British Columbia. The claims total 2,403 hectares.
“In conformance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the claim staking process was performed in two steps,” said Allen Edzerza, Cheona’s founder and Indigenous majority shareholder and an elder of the Tahltan Nation. “The first step was to obtain consent of the Dease River First Nation to access their ancestral lands to carry out a prospecting program. After prospecting, the second step was to again obtain consent of the Dease River First Nation to stake two mineral claims named Dena Ah’tsa and Yeda.” Dena Ah’tse in the Kaska language means “Old Peoples Mountain” and Yeda means “Morning Star.”
“I am pleased that Cheona has carried out its prospecting and exploration in manner that is true to UNDRIP” said Allen Edzerza. “Too many companies have come into Indigenous territories with no notice and no communication. Cheona is doing exploration and mineral staking the way it should be done on Kaska ancestral lands. We see exploration companies pushing the boundaries of the “Golden Triangle” further to the east and to the south. When they come to Kaska Nation territory, they must obtain consent exactly in the manner that Cheona has done.”
The prospecting program and claim staking was led by Dr. Lee Groat, professor of geological sciences and mineralogist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The University of British Columbia is Canada’s premier mineral exploration and mining post-secondary institution and a national leader in recruitment of Indigenous students in the sciences and engineering.
The prospecting program was the first of its kind combining Indigenous knowledge and Western science in a 21st century mineral prospecting and exploration program. Mr. Edzerza and Mr. Peter Stone, an elder of the Kaska Nation, identified the lands for staking for Cheona by providing Indigenous knowledge and perspectives. Between the two elders, Mr. Edzerza and Mr. Stone have more than 120 years of experience traversing the region of the two mineral claims. This unique combination of Indigenous knowledge and Western science perspectives formed the foundation of Cheona’s prospecting and staking strategy.
Cheona is reviewing information, including assays from soil and rock samples collected in 2020 from the claims, as it prepares plans for the 2021 field season. Cheona will seek the consent of the Dease River First Nation prior to applying for a BC Mines Act permit to carry out mechanized activity. COVID-19 is an enormous concern for Indigenous communities. Until northern communities are fully vaccinated, Cheona will limit its exploration work in 2021 to non-mechanized activities, or if requested by the Dease River First Nation due to health concerns, to none at all.
“Cheona Metals is a modern example of how mineral exploration on First Nations ancestral lands should, and must, be done in British Columbia and Canada” said Deer Horn Capital President and CEO Tyrone Docherty. “Responsible, sustainable mineral exploration can only be described as such when consent—and I mean free, prior and informed consent—is obtained from Indigenous peoples who have Aboriginal or Inherent rights and title. This is exactly why Deer Horn is a member of the Initiative for Mining Assurance, or IRMA.” (See: https://responsiblemining.net).
“IRMA is the world’s leading mineral exploration and mining standard” said Deer Horn Capital board chairperson, Tony Fogarassy. “The IRMA standard represents the highest protections for Indigenous peoples, bar none. IRMA members include forward thinking purchasers and end-users of base, precious and so-called “critical” metals. They include Microsoft, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council and also mining giants such as Anglo American and AccelorMittal. These global organizations lead by example in their sectors. And I am pleased to say so do Deer Horn Capital and Cheona Metals in the pursuit of truly responsible and truly sustainable mineral exploration.”
Cheona Metals is also currently working with RESOLVE, Inc. to restore salmon habitat impacted by mining in British Columbia and Yukon Territory under the Salmon GoldTM label. RESOLVE’s partners include Apple and Tiffany & Co. You can learn more about the Salmon Gold initiative here, and also in RESOLVE’s News Release from August, 2019.
About Deer Horn Capital
Deer Horn Capital’s unique business model is based on leveraging diverse partnerships to generate revenue and value. Working with Indigenous peoples, NGOs, governments and industry, Deer Horn Capital explores for metals in British Columbia and helps indigenous communities grow and thrive through various industrial, social and environmental ventures.
Deer Horn Capital proudly adheres to and supports the principles and rights set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in particular the fundamental proposition of free, prior and informed consent. Deer Horn Capital has been a vocal advocate of the BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act since its introduction and passage in the British Columbia legislature in November 2019. Deer Horn Capital also supports federal Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
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