NEWS RELEASE · 11th September 2013
Tahltan Central Council
Certainty for the future of the Klappan took an important step forward today, with the announcement of a shared approach between the Province and the Tahltan on future decisions about conservation and protection in the area.
The Klappan Strategic Initiative builds on previous commitments made by the Tahltan and the Province in 2012 to take a ‘government-to-government’ approach toward development in Tahltan territory. The Klappan is an area of significant cultural, traditional, spiritual and environmental value to the Tahltan, and the strategic initiative lays the groundwork for long-term planning.
The first step is a new working group, which will look at options for the future of the Klappan and address the economic interests and values important to both the Tahltan and the Province.
The Klappan Strategic Initiative was developed collaboratively with the Tahltan Central Council leadership and senior representatives from multiple ministries, including Environment, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations; Energy and Mines; Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation; and Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
Under the terms of the Klappan Strategic Initiative:
•The parties have established a technical working group, with equal representation from the Tahltan and the Province, to develop options for a long-term plan for the Klappan.
•This technical working group is expected to complete its work within four months and will then go to senior Tahltan and provincial representatives for further refinement. The Tahltan will consult with the Tahltan Nation, and the Province will consult with stakeholders as part of this process.
•The parties intend to have recommendations for their respective decision-makers by March 2014.
The initiative reaffirms the commitment of both the Province and the Tahltan Central Council to continue to foster an effective, respectful and enduring relationship, with a collaborative approach to land and resource issues.
The Klappan is approximately 150 kilometres south-east of Dease Lake. The area includes the headwaters of the Nass, Stikine and Skeena rivers and is commonly referred to as the Sacred Headwaters by the Tahltan.
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment –
“This is a major step forward in the long-term planning of the Klappan. The Province is committed to continue working with the Tahltan on this process, finding solutions that recognize and honour the places that are important to First Nations, respect the interests of third parties, and provide economic benefits to all British Columbians within a sound environmental framework.”
Annita McPhee, President, Tahltan Central Council –
“This is a vital step towards protecting an area which is vital for all Tahltan people and all British Columbians.”
“Tahltan have been at the forefront of Northwest B.C.’s economic boom, but for years we have opposed developments on Mount Klappan. The area is simply too important. It has been vital for hunting for thousands of years, supports three major salmon-bearing rivers and is essential to Tahltan culture. This agreement starts to put in place the plans that protect our land and culture for good.”
Comment by kwilhye on 12th September 2013
Tahltan and other First Nation as well as all British Columbians and Albertians should ask the provinces' of BC and Alberta and the companies as well as the environmental departments of each of these offices to show real in the moment pictures of the environment areas pre and post of their project development in Alberta and what their footprint is today in Alberta. And to add what socio impact these mega projects had or have on the First Nation lands/territory.
What are the affects and effects of these mega projects on the First Nation Albertians, farmers, ranchers and home stead Albertians not the transient workers in on turn arounds.
And why don't these companies and the governments offer to build a decent safe road into Telegraph Creek or offer new medical buildings and schools for the life of the projects in these areas; there is a mosaic of peoples who will benefit of these services, they must be using these roads and services now?