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Media Advisory – Tahltan leader to give U of T lecture on ‘Responsible Development’

How First Nations can unlock billions in resources in Canada’s North, without destroying sacred spaces

Who: Annita McPhee, President of Tahltan Central Council
What: Free public lecture, University of Toronto
Where: Ramsay Wright Building, 25 Harbord St., Room 110
When: Monday, 6pm – 7pm est

TORONTO, Nov. 11, 2013 – On Monday night, maverick Aboriginal leader Annita McPhee will present a public lecture on the “Tahltan way” for achieving First Nations prosperity, while conserving lands and waterways sacred to Aboriginal people.

It’s an approach that has, on the one hand, removed Shell Oil and London-Ontario-based Fortune Minerals, out of the Sacred Headwaters of Northwest B.C. in recent times.

But on the other hand, it’s a model that has ushered in billions of dollars in resource developments in other parts of her people’s territory.

“It’s about balance, being a tough negotiator, and remembering our children’s future,” said McPhee.

She understands the challenges that Ontario’s Ring of Fire Aboriginal communities are under, and believes they can be successful at dealing with outside companies and governments too.

Since 2011, the Tahltans have started construction on $2 billion in resource projects, and $11 billion more are being considered.  Tahltans also now have nearly 100% employment, and millions of dollars in new annual funding for healthcare, language and cultural programs will soon start flowing.

“It was important that our people see real benefits from the developments,” said McPhee.

Both industry and environmental groups have recognized McPhee’s work.  She sits as the only Aboriginal woman on the board of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, and she recently received a national Tides Canada “Top 10″ eco-award.

Photo of Annita McPhee:https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/86035149/Annita%20McPhee%20photo%20outside.jpg

Photos of Sacred Headwaters Can be made available on request to: [email protected]

Facts:

  • Tahltan Central Council is the governing body for Title and Rights matters affecting the 3,000+ Tahltan people of Northwest B.C. (It is not a First Nations reserve.)
  • Tahltan have inked $2 billion in hydro projects since 2011
  • Tahltan are now considering +$11 billion in proposed mining projects
  • Tahltan Central Council (TCC) is vehemently opposed to developments in the Sacred Headwaters – the source of three wild-salmon rivers, and a place of profound cultural importance to the Tahltan
  • London, ON based Fortune Minerals is proposing an open-pit coal mine for Mount Klappan in the Sacred Headwaters.  In September, it withdrew its exploratory drilling operation following 6 weeks of protests by Tahltan elders.  The company continues to pursue its plans.
  • The B.C. government and TCC are pursuing a “Klappan Strategic Initiative” to explore technical options for permanently protecting the Sacred Headwaters.

Media interviews – contact:
Annita McPhee, President of Tahltan Central Council (TCC)
Cell: (604) 754-9974
[email protected]
http://tahltan.org

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