Thursday, June 10, 2021

Thaltan and BC Governments take steps towards shared prosperity

The British Columbia government and a number of representatives in the Tahltan Territory have entered into a shared prosperity agreement today, a document that all are looking towards charing their course ahed towards reconciliation and land use predictability.

The agreement announced today will see the Provincial government direct 20 million dollars to the Tahltan Central government to support economic growth and reconciliation to implement the measures.

“Reconciliation is about working together to lift people up, developing strong partnerships and creating opportunities for collaboration in every part of the province. Together as partners, we’re taking an important step forward to build a brighter future for Tahltan members and all British Columbians.” -- Premier John Horgan

The SPA initiative will commit both governments to accelerate negotiation of an economic-oriented comprehensive reconciliation agreement and to seek federal participation in those negotiations. As well, both governments have agreed to co-develop a land-use plan, complete the first phase of that plan by 2023 and to test new processes related to mineral permitting, placer mining and land use.  

“The Tahltan Nation is working to modernize our relationship with the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada to achieve effective shared decision-making and collaborative stewardship for Tahltan Territory. The SPA is a part of the important work of the Tahltan Stewardship Initiative, which will transform how things are done for the better, ensure our culture survives and thrives for future generations, and will provide certainty for Tahltans, the Province, industry and other stakeholders. At the core of any future government-to-government relationships must be respect and recognition of Tahltan title and rights.” -- Chad Norman Day, president, Tahltan Central Government

Some of the elements related to the initiatives include economic self-determination, development of a land use plan and measures to build on the relationship between the province and residents of all of the communities to the Tahltan Territory. 

In addition to the Tahltan Central Government, today's announcement also includes the Iskut Band and Tahltan Band which govern Tahltan interests in Iskut,  Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek.

Nathan Cullen, Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations and MLA for Stikine made note of the historic nature of today's announcement and the opportunities it provides for the future.

“This historic government-to-government agreement is important for the Tahltan and for the economic future of our region. The collaborative decision-making that will come from this will lead to greater land use predictability within Tahltan territory and support prosperity for future generations of Tahltans.”

Further items of note from the Legislature can be reviewed here.

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