Blue Gold: The Tsilhqot'in Fight for Teztan Biny (Fish Lake)| 40mins
Director: Susan Smitten | Producer: Susan Smitten
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: Canada
"Blue Gold" expresses the Tsilhqot'in peoples' unanimous rejection of Taseko Mines Ltd.'s proposal to drain Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) in order to stockpile mining waste. The Tsilhqot'in Nation holds proven Aboriginal hunting and trapping rights in the area where Taseko wants to build its mine. Taseko's plan requires completely draining Fish Lake (which sits at the headwaters of the Taseko River, and ultimately the Fraser River, 600 km north of Vancouver, British Colombia) and filling it with waste rock. The company intends to create a reservoir to hold the 80,000+ trout. Much of the watershed to the south including Nabas (Little Fish Lake) would be used as a tailings storage facility. This is all in an area held as sacred by the Tsilhqot'in. In the place of gorgeous, fish-bearing lakes in a pristine sub-alpine ecosystem, Taseko will leave behind an estimated 700,000,000 tons of tailings and waste materials, including arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium and other toxic metals. These toxic creations will permanently scar the area, destroy habitat for major species like grizzlies, moose and deer, and potentially contaminate the largest wild salmon run in North America (the Fraser River).