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DEASE LAKE – Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement on his trip to Tahltan Territory:
“Over the past two days, I have had the opportunity to meet with leadership from Tahltan Central Government, Iskut Band and the Tahltan Band. I was joined by Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, and Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs and MLA for Stikine.
“Together, we travelled through Tahltan Territory in northwestern B.C., including stops at Dease Lake, Telegraph Creek and Iskut. I am grateful to the Tahltan for hosting me, as the first premier to visit the region in over 30 years.
“We stopped by schools in Dease Lake and Iskut, where I was able to speak with young people about their communities and aspirations for the future. I heard from local leadership and industry about the good work that is being done to bring natural resources to market in a responsible and sustainable way.
“For thousands of years, the Tahltan have mined obsidian for their families and for trade. Today, mining continues to play a significant role in the local economy, providing almost 3,000 direct and indirect jobs and attracting approximately $1.8 billion in international investments from July 2018 to March 2021. The natural abundance of minerals in Tahltan Territory are creating good local jobs, supporting communities and helping to power B.C.’s economy.
“Earlier this week, our government took a historic step forward in partnership with the Tahltan Central Government. We entered into the first consent-based decision-making agreement under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. We recognize the inherent rights of the Tahltan to make decisions on their territory and to serve as stewards, as they have done since time immemorial.
“The Eskay Creek project will be the first of its kind to meet the consent standards set out in Section 7 of the Declaration Act for an environmental assessment. It represents a new chapter in the long and storied history of mining and natural resource development in Tahltan Territory.
“The impact of this agreement extends far beyond northwestern B.C. When investors look to B.C., they will see a jurisdiction where shared decision-making with Indigenous Peoples is vital to predictable and sustainable development.
“The Tahltan Nation is a strong partner. Together, we are demonstrating reconciliation in action with real benefits to the Tahltan Nation and all British Columbians.”
Office of the Premier
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