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What Comes Next

Youth Art Initiative

Calling our youth to join the conversation.

Join us to learn about what the CNA does in terms of mine operations and its impact.

Tell us how you perceive the importance of land use, and reclamation and the role that our Nlaka'pamux voice has in these decisions.

The CNA will be providing art supplies to youth who would like to participate in a creative arts initiative.

If you are interested in participating and learning more contact: Virginia Aspinall or Natalie Ross by calling (250) 378-1864.

We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

The Territorial Stewardship Department (TSD) and Programs team are teaming up to bring this new initiative called the ‘What Comes Next Project’. This project is to incorporate Nlaka’pamux youth into the decisions around reclamation in the Highland Valley.

What to Expect throughout the ‘What Comes Next’ project:

  • Learn more about Highland Valley Copper mine operations
  • Learn how Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly (CNA) and Highland Valley Copper mine work together
  • Learn about reclamation and closure of the mine
  • We would like to showcase our youth’s artwork or creative writing throughout the project and tie the art into discussions and decision-making.
  • Prizes for participants
  • Quarterly meetings to present artwork and learn about the new theme


Currently Highland Valley Copper mine is permitted to run until 2028, with the possibility of extending until the year 2040 or beyond.

The mine is a large operation that is located within the Highland Valley, which includes several open pits. This mine primarily produces Copper ore (click here to learn more) and a secondary substance called Molybdenum (Molybdenum is utilized in wide array of products such as stainless steel pots and pans, mascara and more, here is an article that describes all the various uses of molybdenum found on refractorymetal.org).

The process of mining starts with a blasting pattern strategically set on a bench. After each blast a large hydraulic shovel scoops up all the loosened rock into the haul trucks. The haul trucks travel to the nearest crusher which crushes the rock small enough to be carried over long belts to the mill where the processing is done. Water is used through the refining process; water is recycled wherever possible or sent to the tailings pond if not. Waste rock is separated from the copper ore and stored in waste rock piles. The refined minerals are sent to a storage facility and shipped off site to buyers.

Before the mine existed, the Highland Valley was home to many Nlaka’pamux, and was full of lakes, wetlands, and wildlife. Nlaka’pamux lives were fully supported in the valley before mining began. This image below shows a small snapshot of what the valley looked like before mining began.

Click the following link to learn more about how to get involved:

2023 - What Comes Next Blog.pdf