The special assembly brought together Tahltan members from across the province, the Yukon, and as far away as Alberta to the Terrace Best Western Inn from Nov. 22-25. (Brittany Gervais/Terrace Standard)

Tahltan government hosts first special assembly in Terrace

TCG to reach more members through live-streaming, meetings outside territory

For the first time, the Tahltan Central Government (TCG) hosted a special assembly in Terrace from Nov. 22 to 25 for all members living outside the traditional territory.

The special assembly brought together members from across the province, the Yukon, and as far away as Alberta to the local Best Western Inn, where TCG department heads gave updates on current and upcoming projects.

The assembly was also live-streamed for members not in attendance to listen in, a practice TCG President Chad Norman Day says he wants to continue doing in the future.

READ MORE: Hwy 37 cellular dead zone signage not their responsibility, province says

“The primary motivation was all about inclusion because we don’t have the technological infrastructure back home to live-stream these meetings,” Day says.

Eighty-five per cent of the 5,000 Tahltan members live outside the traditional territory, Day says, and the government wanted to start hosting some meetings in other areas to include more people. He estimates the largest concentration of Tahltan members living outside the traditional territory, around 400 people, are in Terrace.

“It’s not just about business, it’s about getting together,” Day says. “Truthfully, we could just live-stream this on the internet in a room with all of our staff but by doing it this way, it gives Tahltans an opportunity to connect with each other.”

One of the biggest items discussed was how to create a process to start spending the interest funds coming out of the Tahltan Heritage Trust, Day says. Money for the trust fund has been gathered from all the economic development in the Tahltan territory over the last 15 years.

“Now that it’s around $40 million, we believe it’s high enough that we can start spending the interest from year to year, never the principal, but the interest,” Day says.

It’s been a significant year for the Tahltan Nation. In July, the nation purchased a five per cent stake in three run-of-the-river projects in Northwest B.C., marking the largest clean energy investment in B.C. history by a First Nation.

Then in August, the federal government approved up to nearly $4 million to help the TCG enact stewardship and land-use planning under its Protected and Conserved Areas project.

That same month, the Tahltan Nation also signed a “milestone” land-use plan with the provincial government aimed at preserving the Klappan Valley’s cultural and environmental assets, and guiding future resource development.

READ MORE: Tahltan, province sign ‘milestone’ land-use plan for Sacred Headwaters

With a large population of Tahltan members living in Terrace, and the city’s close proximity to members living in Prince Rupert and Smithers, Day says staff will now take what they’ve learned from this first installment to host more meetings in the future.

“To be good leaders, you need to adapt and evolve, and have these conversations all the time. We went out on a limb to bring this here,” Day says. “From a title and rights standpoint, it’s important that we include everyone’s opinion, and give more Tahltans the ability to engage and be consulted by the TCG.”

The province is also working to install fibre-optic infrastructure to the communities of Iskut and Dease Lake, Day says, opening up more opportunities to live-stream events in the future.

“Once those are there, we will always live-stream our meetings in those communities. But because we don’t have the technological infrastructure now, coming here is a happy medium.”

with files from Quinn Bender


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School district #54 works on school plan

School district officials and teachers are this week communicating plans to resume… Continue reading

Closures and cancellations in the Bulkley Valley due to COVID-19

Many places and businesses have closed or reduced their hours

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read