Taryn Cutler, a local Tahltan woman, is the recipient of Women in Mining Canada’s (WMC) 2021 Indigenous Student Trailblazer Award.
“The Indigenous Student Trailblazer Award is awarded to young Indigenous women in post-secondary studies, college, vocational training and university who are successfully integrating into the minerals and metals industry,” the WMC website states. “The women considered for this award are establishing a path in mining and inspiring other young Indigenous women to join the industry’s ranks while retaining their connection to their culture and traditions.”
That definitely describes Cutler, who, in addition to completing the third-year of a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a minor in management and human resources at Thompson Rivers University, is raising a young family, running an Indigenous company on Tahltan territory with her husband and is the full-time community liaison and office manager for Seabridge Gold in Smithers.
“It’s very humbling and I appreciate the recognition, but I look at it as a great opportunity to promote awareness of women in mining and to promote students looking for careers in the mining industry,” she said. “I think there’s endless possibilities within the mining forum and if it encourages more students, then I’m happy to do so.
“You’re never too old to start your education. I am a mature student and raising a family and there have been many obstacles along the way, but it’s worth it, the hard work and determinaton, so I’m honoured to be recognized and appreciate the platform it puts women on.”
The company is proud of her.
“Ms. Cutler belongs to the Wolf Clan of the Tahltan Nation and she is an active participant in the life of her community,” Seabridge said in a press release. “Her commitment to life-long learning, her willingness to work tirelessly and her insights into NW BC communities have greatly helped Seabridge develop and maintain its social licence to operate at KSM and its other BC and Yukon projects. She is a role model for young women looking to enter the mining industry.”
In addition to being her company’s liaison to the many communities affected by their operations, she has also overseen Seabridge’s bursary program, which, she said, has given out $900,000 to students in northwest B.C. since they started it six years ago.
“We find value in building the workforce,” she said. “We know when our projects get started, that we need a local workforce and we’d like to have them prepared, so we’ve invested in education and training.
“It’s important for me to finish my education and I’m always happy to promote that to other students and other Indigenous people as well.”
Cutler also manages the company’s donation program, which supports local sports, recreation, cultural and health initiatives.