Forum encourages conversation and curiosity

The Iliamna Development Corporation held a two-day meeting at the end of 2010 where people from Native villages Igiugig, Iliamna, Kokhanok, Newhalen and Nondalton assembled to discuss the particularly divisive Pebble mine project.

The prevailing them of the meeting turned out to be educational, as community members spent their time asking questions of the government agencies, Native corporations, and industry consultants in attendance, according to a November 18 Bristol Bay Times article that covered the gathering. Subjects discussed included information about permitting mines, how communities and other Native corporations are working with mining companies, and how citizens should use the permitting period to voice their comments and concerns.

“We are pleased to see this level of interest, which means the kind of discussion that needs to go on is happening,” said Tiel Smith, Land and Resource Manager at BBNC, who attended the meeting.

While not a substitute for the voice of the board, Pebble Watch is BBNC’s outreach to the community on the Pebble development. This resource was created to be an objective sharing of information, providing a clear, fact-based focus. We commend the community leaders for arranging this high-quality event and will be looking forward for another opportunity for more complete interaction with community members. Plans are underway to bring Pebble Watch to even more communities, as promised at the meeting.