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Skeetchestn Put Aside Protest Plans as Companies Agree to Meet

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The Skeetchestn Indian Band on Kamloops Lake has called off a "peaceful service disruption" that it had scheduled to target large resource companies, the community-newspaper chain reported on March 6.

The band will instead work to negotiate resource-sharing agreements with public and private companies, the newspaper said.

West Fraser Mills, International Forest Products, Teck Resources, BC Hydro, CN Rail, CP Rail, Pembina Pipeline Corp. and Spectra Energy are all in the Skeetchestn's line of fire because of logging and other resource activity on its territory in and near Savona, the newspaper said. The Skeetchestn council had called on support from fellow aboriginal bands all over British Columbia.

Skeetchestn Chief Rick Deneault told the newspaper on March 7 that he will meet with seven of the eight companies and that his council will not take any action before May 13. Teck, which operates the Highland Valley copper mine in the region, had not responded to Deneault's request for a meeting as of early this week, he told

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"The Skeetchestn should receive some financial benefit from those who use our lands, and we should be able to co-manage some of the activities on our lands," Deneault said. "Companies and governments and their agencies should demonstrate a respect for our opinions about our lands."