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Tahltan Central Government Responds to Recent Moves Regarding Lands Near The Community of Iskut by Ewmont Gold, Skeena Resources and Questex Gold & Copper

Press Release

DEASE LAKE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, April 4, 2022 – Today, the Tahltan Central Government has acknowledged recent operational moves made by Newmont Gold, Skeena Resources and QuestEx

Gold & Copper regarding various lands in Tahltan Territory.

QuestEx Gold & Copper Ltd. announced that it had entered into an agreement for Skeena Resources Limited to acquire the issued shares of QuestEx that it does not currently own. Newmont also entered into an agreement with Skeena Resources to acquire its Castle, Coyote, Heart Peaks, Moat and North ROK properties.

While the Tahltan Central Government recognizes the steps taken by Newmont regarding lands within Tahltan Territory near the community of Iskut may create additional benefits and environmental protections, it does not explicitly endorse these transactions. The Tahltan Central Government celebrates the progress and opportunity these steps create – while strongly asserting that there is much work left to do. The journey is far from over.

“The Tahltan Nation has asserted its rightful and ancestral claims to ownership over our homelands for thousands of years. This is reflected in the 1910 Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe. The Tahltan Central Government is clear to outside governments, industry and the world that working alongside the Tahltan Nation as true partners is a must. No exceptions. All projects within Tahltan Territory must first obtain the consent of Tahltan people otherwise they will not be supported or successful. These are our lands. Visitors must honour our title, rights, and cultural practices as we work together in the best interests of Tahltan people. That is the pathway to certainty for all. Our Nation continues to safeguard our way of life. It is our responsibility to protect what is important to us.” said Chad Norman Day, President of the Tahltan Central Government.

Last year, the Tahltan Central Government announced it was working with the Province of British Columbia to negotiate and reach agreement on strategies to be piloted on an interim basis to address immediate Tahltan land use concerns over the pace and scale of mineral development near the Tahltan community of Iskut and cultural areas of importance to the Tahltan Nation, including Sheslay, Level Mountain and areas adjacent to Mount Edziza. The Tahltan Nation and the Province of British Columbia have been working to develop a strong relationship focused on advancing Tahltan self-determination, shared environmental stewardship, and sustainable economic development.

This work is connected to the Tahltan Stewardship Initiative (TSI). The TSI has been designed to support the Tahltan Nation to assert self-determination and fulfill its inherent stewardship and caretaking responsibilities for Tahltan Territory. By conserving wildlife, managing economic development, protecting the environment and Tahltan relationship with the land, the Nation will advance its role in shared decision-making processes. Through this work, the Tahltan Nation is further asserting jurisdiction over Tahltan Territory.

ABOUT THE TAHLTAN NATION

The Tahltan Central Government (TCG) is the administrative governing body of the Tahltan Nation. The Iskut Band and the Tahltan Band continue to govern Tahltan interests with respect to the Indian Act in the communities of Iskut, Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek. The TCG is the representative government of the Tahltan Nation with respect to the inherent and collective Aboriginal title and rights shared by all Tahltan people.

The Tahltan Nation’s Territory spans 95,933 square km of Northwest British Columbia or the equivalent of 11 per cent of the province. Tahltan Territory includes 70 per cent of BC’s Golden Triangle – a world-class mining jurisdiction with a thriving mineral exploration sector. For more information, visit: www.tahltan.org.

ABOUT THE TAHLTAN STEWARDSHIP INITITATIVE

The Tahltan Stewardship Initiative (TSI) is a forward-thinking approach to Tahltan responsibilities to affirm and progress self-determination. The opportunity to further advance shared decision-making for land, water, wildlife, and natural resource decisions in Tahltan Territory has arisen from the Province of British Columbia’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA). This legislation brought forward in 2019 intends to harmonize provincial laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This means recognition of the Tahltan right of free, prior, and informed consent regarding lands, water and natural resource use, the preservation of Tahltan culture, traditions and ceremonial practices, and the right for Tahltans to participate in decision-making matters which effect their rights will be supported in this framework.

Recognizing the timing of this opportunity and building upon the progress of previous work, the TCG is supporting TSI to advance Tahltan interests. The message from the Nation is clear: Tahltans have never ceded or surrendered our lands and continue to exercise our rights and jurisdiction over Tahltan Territory. The Nation is vested with the sacred responsibility to manage our lands and resources for the benefit of all Tahltans. For more information, visit: tsi.tahltan.org

For further information, please contact:

Ombrielle Neria
Communications & External Relations Director
Tahltan Central Government
604-316-0478
[email protected]

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