The Tahltan Central Government and the Province of B.C. have struck a deal to develop a wildlife regime to protect Tahltan wildlife, culture and way of being.
The agreement, known as the Tahltan Central Government – British Columbia Accord on Wildlife Management, will have joint wildlife governance, management and data collection.
Joint wildlife governance is possible under Section 7 of the 2019 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
“The Tahltan Nation’s identity and the essence of who we are as a distinct society is connected to our land. We are the land. We are our wildlife,” said Tahltan president Chad Norman Day.
The project will focus on the restoration of the caribou population and the management of predators, among other things, according to a press release.
On June 6, 2022, Skeena Resources Ltd, through the Province and the Tahltan Central government, reached an agreement on the proposed Eskay Creek gold-silver project, located in Tahltan Territory. It will be the first mining project to have permits authorized by an Indigenous government.
Tahltan Territory is 95,933 square kilometres or the equivalent of 11 per cent of the province of British Columbia.
“Tahltans have reiterated that there will be no world-class mining in our territory without world-class wildlife management and stewardship,” Day said. “We have been standing up for our rights as Tahltan people, demanding respect for our knowledge and values, and fighting for our future generations.”