Mining Issues Within our Traditional Territory
The DIA has identified addressing environmental concerns associated with past, current and future mining throughout the Douglas and Auk territories as a high priority. Primary mines of concern include the Tulsequah Chief Mine on the Taku River, AJ Mine in downtown Juneau, Treadwell Mine in South Douglas, Greens Creek Mine on Admiralty Island and Kensington Mine near Berners Bay.
More recently, the DIA has become increasingly involved in investigating the contamination associated with historic mining efforts. The Tribe was awarded an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields grant to begin inventorying and assessing sites for the inclusion in a Brownfields program, which assists in prioritizing clean-up needs and efforts. The DIA has been involved in sampling water quality on the Taku River and sampling tailings at Sandy Beach, in association with the Treadwell and AJ mines.
Heavy metal contamination is the primary source of concern arsenic, mercury, lead, and copper are especially harmful and recent studies have focused on methyl mercury levels in fish tissue.