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The HVC 2040 Community Working Group initially started in November 2020, providing a place for open and transparent discussions between nłeʔképmx community members in the eight participating bands and CNA technical staff to support meaningful engagement on the HVC 2040 Project. The HVC 2040 Project is a proposed expansion and extension of the current Highland Valley Copper mine. 

There are many benefits from the Working Group, such as the opportunity to take a deeper dive into the HVC 2040 Project than what can be covered during other community events, and ensuring that nłeʔképmx Rights, Title, Values and Interests are properly captured  and protected. The HVC 2040 Community Working Group discusses all topics regarding HVC 2040 and its impacts to the eight communities.  

The meetings take place on the last Monday of every month, lasting 3 hours per session. We have been fortunate to have at least two community members from each band attend. Once every quarter, staff from HVC joins the meeting to answer questions regarding HVC 2040. When HVC comes to the meetings, there is an opportunity for more community members to listen in. Many of the members from the working group have attended regularly for over two years.  

We have the meeting in-person in Logan Lake or Merritt, and there is an option to join virtually. The Working Group has also had opportunities to take site tours of the mine, allowing for a more in-depth tour than what is typically offered.  

The Working Group helped develop Community-Based Indicators, which are measurable indicators that have been included into the HVC 2040 Environmental Application. These measurable indicators capture nłeʔképmx voices of past, present and for future generation, allowing for the CNA to assess how HVC has impacted these indicators using our nłeʔképmx Impact Assessment Framework. 

The next steps for the HVC 2040 Working Group are to continue the monthly meetings, discussing important questions identified in the CNA nłeʔképmx Impact Assessment Framework and work on the nłeʔképmx Impact Assessment Report, which will assist leadership with decision-making for the HVC 2040 Project.