Central Council In this edition: • Message from TCC President • Tahltan Band News • Iskut Updates • Chief’s Bike Ride • Better health care for Tahltan coming • Job boom hits nation • Socio-Cultural Working Group update • Responsible job growth • Learn our language, save our culture • Sacred Headwaters protection • Altagas hydro update • Historic resource agreements signed • Health plan update • Kutcho update
Sacred Headwaters Celebration Hundreds packed a Terrace hall in February to celebrate our community’s triumph in protecting our Sacred Headwaters. In December, Shell abandoned its plans to develop coal bed methane the Klappan. Tahltan Central Council President Annita McPhee thanked Elders, Tahltan leaders, committed band members, environmentalists and municipal officials that helped in the eight-year fight to protect the source of the Skeena, Nass, and Stikine rivers. Iskut Band Council Chief Marie Quock reminded the audience that the Klappan is still at risk from development, including plans by Fortune Minerals to develop the Arctos Anthracite coal project. Quock says she and McPhee met recently with Fortune officials and told them to abandon plans for the coal project. She says it was a short meeting and the company was not happy. (With files from CFNR Network.)
• TNDC update • Community Engagement Hub • Red Chris community meetings notice • Tribute to Chief Louis Louie • Tahltan film broadcast
Historic Agreements, Tahltan Honours Annita McPhee, President of Tahltan Central Council I am also honoured to share that after the years of hard work stopping Shell from operating in our sacred headwaters of The Klappan, Tahltan Nation earned a Tides Canada "Top 10" national environmental award. A special thank you to our Elders, leaders, committed members and allies who are making the permanent protection of the Klappan a reality. I travelled to Toronto with Chief Marie Quock and Elders Mary Dennis and Nancy McGee to receive this important recognition. The award speaks to our commitment to Responsible Development.
Greetings Tahltan Members, With this newsletter, I am thrilled to share with you the activities of the Tahltan Central Council and the stories of our people's triumphs over the last few months. I am also happy to be back at work after a much needed health break. I have more energy and focus, and I am so excited about what is ahead for our people. We are at a historical time for Tahltan Nation. At the Victoria legislature in March, we signed two historic resource agreements that will provide millions of dollars in annual hydro revenues for 60 years, and ensure Tahltans have a say in major decisions with the province regarding all future resource developments in our territory.
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I have also travelled widely to ensure our people's voices are heard at regional, provincial and national forums. At the "Minerals North" conference in Terrace recently, I delivered a strong message to companies that they must engage Tahltan people long before they develop plans for projects in our territory. Resource development is a major challenge for our communities. We are being inundated with proposed developments and we can not do them all. Our people will not stand for having 15 projects developed in our territory. It's just not sustainable. We want to protect our lands and way of life. Our people will only go for projects where the benefits clearly outweigh the impacts. I was so proud of our Elders for who stood up during a Fortune Metals presentation to protest that companyâ€™s plans for having a coal mine in the Klappan. Fortune Minerals is pursuing the "Arctos Anthracite Project" in our territory.
Meanwhile, we are negotiating hard with Imperial Metals for an Impact and Benefit Agreement (IBA) for the Red Chris mine. We want to be actively involved in mitigating the environmental impacts of this project. Our people and our Elders have told us that if the project is to proceed, then the environmental protections have to be strong. We are providing regular communications on this process to ensure your voice is heard. Managing the impacts of resource development is a key concern of our people and leadership. We have formed a Socio-Cultural Working Group to ensure projects -- such as Forrest Kerr, Red Chris, and NTL -- result in major improvements for our Nation, including healthcare, employment, training, education, language, culture and community infrastructure. Lastly, I am thrilled our people are earning so much praise. Of special note -- three Tahltans each received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee award. Jerry Asp was honoured for his lifetime work for bringing Aboriginal Peoples into the mining industry. Garry Merkel was recognized for his leadership at the Columbia Basin Trust. And our beloved artist Dempsey Bob earned the Queen's nod for his world-renowned northwest coast Indian art. I look forward to seeing you at upcoming meetings and suppers, and having a tea with you around the campfire this summer! Meduh! Annita McPhee
Tahltan Band News An update from Chief Rick McLean Our ambitious Nannock Park will be built next to the band office in 2014, and will include a shelter, fire pit, monument, and Tahltan art posts and markers. A playground will also be built in the months ahead in Dease lake on IR#9. We’ve also opened Tahltan Language and Culture Offices on IR#9 in the basement of RECAN building, and in Telegraph Creek at the band office. The Telegraph sewing centre beside the post office will be getting more machines and supplies, so please come out and enjoy. Greetings Tahltans! Employment is now the strongest it has been in years, due to the construction boom from the Altagas run-of-river hydro projects, the Northwest Transmission Line, and the initial clearing phase of the Red Chris mine. Your Band Council and I are now working hard on an employment and training strategy to ensure that many of these construction jobs become long-term operational jobs for our people and youth for the decades to come. The Rec Centre in Telegraph Creek will get a major renovation this year. The 20year-old facility is the heart of our community, but is showing signs of wear and tear. We've secured more than $250,000 to overhaul the kitchen with hygienic steel counter tops and a commercial grade stove. They'll also be new doors, floor tiling, energy efficient lighting, and a better audio system, sound boards, and a stage for our community gatherings.
Negotiations for a Red Chris Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) are underway. Your voice matters a great deal in this important project, now valued at half a billion dollars. There are important social, economic and environmental considerations. The Tahltan Central Council will be announcing community meetings shortly. My annual Chief’s Fundraiser Bike Ride from Dease Lake to Telegraph Creek kicks off July 5. We’re raising money for the Tahltan Band Special Request Fund, which helps offset medical travel costs for Tahltan members in need. A group of mountain bike enthusiasts, the Sprocket Rockets, from Vancouver Island will join us. They will also help build a bike track in Telegraph for the kids. We are moving forward with energy planning for Telegraph Creek. Our goal is to get our community off of diesel power. Stikine RiverSong will soon be fully operational as a hub for country tourism,
such as biking and hiking. Last summer, Tahltan Band bought this cafe and lodge, and we're still looking to hire a manager. We expect to have RiverSong going strong May through October each year, keeping important economic activity in our community. The Telegraph Creek Nursing Station will soon benefit from the stellar healthcare expertise of Iskut Valley Health Services - one of the only independently run First Nations health authorities in Canada. We're proud to be working closely with Iskut to centralize and improve healthcare across our Tahltan Nation, with more locally hired community and homecare nurses for example. Our Dease Lake hockey arena built two years ago continues to score great memories. Congratulations to our young Tahltan Selects for winning gold in Whitehorse for the Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. Congrats also go to Frost Lake logging, for winning our first men’s hockey tournament. The event brought company teams into our community, and reinforced our growing partnership with industry, and the need for volunteers and support for our recreational programs. Lastly, we would like pay tribute to the passing of three very special Elders in our Nation. First, Doreen Dennis, who lived her life on the land and was the matriarch of the Day family. She took care of our backcountry by guide outfitting for more than 50 years. Second, Wenda Day, who worked tirelessly as Tahltan Band administrator for 30 years. Third, Chief Louis Louie from from the Iskut Band, who was Chief for 30 years, a mentor to many, a founder of TNDC, and a uniter of our Nation. All will be greatly missed, but not forgotten.
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Iskut community update From Chief Marie Quock Clara’s husband Fritz Handel and to recover Clara from the lake.
It has been one year since our community dealt with the tragic loss of one of our Elders Clara Handel, as she and her husband Fritz were crossing the Iskut Lake with their snowmobile and went through the ice. We could have had two losses at that time if it was not for the heroic efforts of some of our employees and other community members, some of whom put their lives on the line to rescue
The Iskut Band thanks and acknowledges all of the people who helped during this emergency.
We are once again having our Baby Welcoming ceremony in May. There were twelve new babies in 2012. Our parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles of the babies are making blankets and drums for the ceremony.
Our arena construction will be complete this year with artificial ice.
Plans are underway to start work on the community garden again for this season.
Plans are underway to upgrade the Headstart playground. This will include putting in a bike path for the little ones and fencing in the green area.
We will be doing our annual community clean up in early May.
The Iskut Band and Tahltan Band are working together on managing the nursing station at Telegraph Creek. The Iskut Valley Health program will be undergoing a full evaluation in preparation for accreditation. The Kluachon Centre renovations are now near completion, just in time for the tourism season. We now have a small café area with more tables and chairs so people can enjoy a cup of coffee, use the Internet, or enjoy microwaveable foods. This summer, a school boiler system will also be replaced.
Tahltan teen dunks 2nd championship Seventeen-year-old Mikaela Jay (pictured in the middle) just won the Manitoba high school girls basketball championship, with her small-town team, the “Hamiota Huskies.” It’s the second year in a row. Her mother Anne Robertson is ecstatic. Ashley’s Tahltan ancestry is through her grandparents Vera and Raymond McPhee. Her sister Ashley Jay, 15, also was accepted on to a Manitoba Summer Games basketball team last summer, although a knee injury delayed her plans.
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We had some of our members participate in the pre-employment training that was done by TNDC, Sodexho, Alta Gas and TRICORP. We also have many members actively participating in the other training programs at Northern Lights College in Dease Lake. Our unemployment numbers are now at an all-time low. Our Comprehensive Community Plan is 50 per cent complete. A big “Thank You” to all of the employees of the Iskut Band for their dedication and perseverance and to the Iskut Band Councillors for their continued support and leadership of our community.
Chief's Ride July 5 event to support families and bike-tourism New youth bike park to be built in Telegraph Tahltan Band Chief Rick McLean's annual fourth charity bike ride is gearing up for family fun in support of families, youth, and recreational tourism. The ride kicks off July 5 from Dease Lake at 9am, and pedals out to Telegraph around 6pm, where a community BBQ will be held. Traditionally, the Chief's ride has raised tens of thousands of dollars to support Tahltan families with sudden medical travel costs. That fundraising effort will remain. But new this year will be the construction of a youth bike park in Telegraph Creek. A group of mountain bike enthusiasts from a charity called Sprockids, mountain bike tourism B.C.,78 Bike Co., and writers from SPOKE magazine and Bike magazine will help build the park. In future years, the hope is, back country bike trails may also be created. The goals are to get more of our Tahltan youth into mountain biking, as well as encourage recreational tourism to our
territory as a means of sustainable economic development. Chief McLean's bike was made in B.C. by "78 Bike Co." and designed by our own Alano Edzerza. 78 Bike Co. will also build several new bikes for use in Tahltan Nation. If you or someone from your company would like to participate in the ride, grab a mountain bike with front and back disc brakes, and join us for the fun. All companies who donate funds will be recognized on our banners, communications, and CFNR radio. Donations can be sent to: Tahltan Band Council PO Box 46, Telegraph Creek V0J2W0 Please reference “bike ride” or “special request fund.”
Hockey all-star crowned
Tahltan teen Wynona Creyke won a trophy for Female Hockey Player of the Year from the Smithers Minor Hockey Association. Way to go Wynona! (Photo credit: Ryan Jensen/Smithers Interior News)
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Tahltan mom flying high
Sandra Carlick is jumping for joy with her classmates. The soon-to-be mom recently completed the 15-month Aircraft Maintenance Engineering course in Dawson Creek, BC. â€œIt was a challenging course, but I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the aviation industry. During the last six months, I discovered I was pregnant with my little bundle of joy. My expected due date is May 19th, 2013. After my baby has grown to the appropriate age, I plan to continue on with either my apprenticeship or further schooling to get my "E" License for avionics. Either way, I will be carrying on with my passion for helicopters!â€?
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Nannock Park Construction is expected to complete in 2014
Tahltan teen sees future in RCMP
Grade 12 Smithers student Andrade Louie was accepted into one of two dozen B.C. spots at the RCMP Youth Academy in March. His mother, Andrea Louie says, “We're all very proud of him. His grandpa has been a big part of his life, and is also very proud.” The program is an introduction to RCMP life, and can lead to formal training and career. Chief Marie Quock says the Iskut band sponsored his journey. “It's great. We don't have many Tahltan RCMP. Young people aren't often interested in this, so it's great this young man is very interested, because we do need our own Tahltan RCMP members," said Quock. Pictured to the left and right of Andrade at a graduation ceremony are his grandparents Penny and “Papa” Andy Louie.
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Strengthening our Nation: Socio-Cultural Working Group It's a great time to be Tahltan. We are creating major opportunities to improve every aspect of our communities: employment, healthcare, language, culture and community infrastructure. New resource projects are making these big changes possible. At the same time, we need to minimize any potential negative impacts of development on our Tahltan lands and way of life. To steer Tahltan Nation through these challenges, a high-level body called the Socio-Cultural Working Group was created. Its job is to enhance our people's economic, social and physical well-being while enhancing our nation’s cultural roots. Now available for your download from the TCC website are these detailed work plans for improving these Tahltan programs, including:
Socio-Cultural Working Group Master Report
• Healthcare • Employment & Training • Language & Culture The plans were developed in deep consultation with Elders, frontline workers and community members, including the 65 people who attended the Tahltan Leadership Forum in March 2012. The plans were guided by the forum's report called Getting Our Voices Back.
Volume One, May 13, 2013
Future work plans will address Community & Family Development, Education and Infrastructure. The efforts are a key part of the Tahltan Nation Development Plan, and are led by Tahltan Central Council President Annita McPhee, Chief Rick McLean and Chief Marie Quock. The group also works closely with the Provincial Government.
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Better healthcare for Tahltan coming Tahltan nurse up for the challenge Telegraph Creek nurse Nancy NorbyQuock is thrilled about returning to her community, amidst major changes that will dramatically improve health care in Telegraph Creek, Iskut and Dease Lake. "I like to work hard and meet the needs of First Nations. I just felt that I should [return home] to do this for my own people," she said. The Tahltan native, daughter of Thelma and Vern Norby, left the community a year ago to seek professional renewal, and gain new training like in advanced cardiac life support. She's returned to Telegraph Creek in April to help bring improved health care services across Tahltan Nation. "My ancestors are from there. I love the people, I truly love the people," said Norby-Quock.
Telegraph Creek nurse Nancy Norby-Quock (right) attending to one of the newest additions to Tahltan Nation.
The Socio-Cultural Working Group â€“ an initiative led by Tahltan and Iskut bands and the Tahltan Central Council, is driving the healthcare changes.
policies that prevented nursing staff from leaving the clinic.
Telegraph's nursing station, for example, will soon be co-managed with Iskut Valley Health - one of the only First Nations band health authorities in the country that is "fully transferred" from Health Canada. "It used to be managed from afar. Now it will be managed closer to home," said Norby-Quock.
Such situations were brought into focus this past winter after the tragic passing of an elder. Community members have spoken clearly they want new approaches. Norby-Quock says, they'll get it. "If there's an accident on the road, or if someone is not able to come into the clinic. We will be able to go to them now. There won't be any policy that says we can't."
Band members in all three communities will also have access to a new medical transport bus for catching a ride to appointments in Terrace or Prince George. "Not everybody has a vehicle. Especially for Elders. It's a long drive." "So having this bus, people will always have a ride," said Norby-Quock.
She says the co-management of the nursing station means band members will soon see more Tahltan staff caring for them, and better home care for the sick and elderly. "They'll get familiar nurses. We're going to be doing the hiring. So we're not going to have a different nurse every week." Emergencies will also be responded to faster without the restraint of past Tahltan Central Council News - June 2013 | 9
Jobs boom hits Tahltan Nation - the economic development arm of Tahltan and Iskut bands. The Tahltan enterprise currently manages more than 20 joint ventures. Much of the recent jobs growth has been from the $1.2 billion Altagas Forest Kerr and micro-hydro cluster projects, the $600 million Northwest Transmission Line, and the initial phase of the $500 million Red Chris copper-gold mine. Should an Impact Benefit Agreement be concluded with Imperial Metals, the Red Chris mine project alone could start employing 400 full-time workers for 30 years, he says. Bill Adsit grins as he talks about the huge spike in employment in Tahltan territory in northwestern British Columbia in recent times. He says band members are landing good paying jobs in the mining, hydro and forestry sectors. "It's changed the standard of living for most people living in the territory." "We're one of the few First Nations in Canada with nearly 100% employment." Adsit is the President and CEO of Tahltan Nation Development Corporation
Current Resource Projects:
A Socio-Cultural Working Group of Tahltan leaders has been set up to figure out how band members can get the education and training they need to take advantage of current and future opportunities.
There are some 15 to 20 proposed mines. The challenge, however, is two fold. "First there’s the question of financing. It's very difficult for junior mining companies to raise money. Few
Possible Resource Projects:
• Northwest Transmission Line: $600 million
• Glore Creek Mining: $5.3 billion
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"Luckily, Tahltan have a workforce of 350."
"When you think of the amount of investment going on, it's just mind boggling."
• Seabridge Gold: $5.5 billion
• NTL North: $85 million
"And if they do go ahead, the hard part is finding the man power."
Further, Adsit believes there are many billions of dollars more in proposed resource developments in the area.
• Altagas micro-hydro: $1.2 billion
• Red Chris: $500 million (if IBA is concluded)
investors want to take the risk on a new mine," says Adsit.
• Copperfox: $500 million • Kutcho Capstone: $187 million • Hard Creek Nickel Turnagain: value not disclosed
Construction jobs in our territory will peak in 2014. Operational jobs at mining and hydro sites will then take over. Tahltan workers need training for this transition.
Tribute to Chief Louis Louie By Chief Marie Quock
He worked in leadership roles for Iskut from 1968 to 2005. He was our Chief at times, and Band Manager at others. He was instrumental in starting the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation and always believed in the unity of our people. He often said, “The fight is out there, not in here.” Louis believed in the economic development, so that our people could one day become financially selfsufficient, so that we wouldn’t have to only live off INAC’s handouts. He also believed very strongly in teamwork. When he heard any of his employees saying “I” he would always remind them, “It’s not I, it’s we.” He also told his employees to always be professional and not take things personally.
Tahltan Central Council Facebook Page Our Nation’s social networking place to connect with each other If you haven’t already, “Like” TCC’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/ tahltancentralcouncil to keep on top of nation news, events, job postings, member birthdays, anniversaries and other accomplishments. We are nearing 500 “Likes” but know we have many more Tahltans out there!
Louis was a visionary, and his leadership really shows in Iskut. We have a very progressive community due to the capacity he built in his own people. He would only bring consultants in to train his people. It was an honor for me to have been mentored by Louis. His legacy lives on in this community and his employees. Our community was blessed to have such a leader. Louis will be greatly missed by all. Tahltan Central Council News - June 2013 | 11
Red Chris Community Meetings Revised Schedule Tahltan Central Council is currently in negotiations for a potential Impact and Benefit Agreement (IBA) for the Red Chris mine project. A number of concerns, opportunities and challenges remain. You are invited to attend a Red Chris Community Meeting to get the latest information, ask questions, and provide feedback about this process. The Red Chris Mine is a proposed copper-gold mine located 18 kilometres (km) south of Iskut and 80 km south of Dease Lake, British Columbia. The mine would be built and operated by the Red Chris Development Company Ltd. (RCDC), a subsidiary of Imperial Metals Corporation. RCDC’s objective is to have the Red Chris project in operation in 2014. The mine would operate for 28 years. The copper-gold concentrate would be trucked to the port of Stewart and shipped overseas for processing. There would be no smelting on-site. Access to the proposed site would be through an existing 17 km temporary access road from Ealue Lake Road that will be upgraded to a permanent 23 km long road connecting to Highway 37. The proposed project will draw power from the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL), adding a line from Bob Quinn to Tatogga and then to the Red Chris mine site.
Terrace, June 5 Best Western Plus Terrace Inn - 5pm dinner meeting, 6pm - 7pm presentation
Smithers, June 6 Hudson Bay Lodge- 5pm dinner meeting, 6pm - 7pm presentation
Dease Lake, June 7 Dease Lake Community Hall - 5pm dinner meeting, 6pm - 7pm presentation
Telegraph Creek, June 8 Tahltan Recreation Center- 5pm dinner meeting, 6pm - 7pm presentation
Iskut, June 9 Iskut Community Hall- 5pm dinner meeting, 6pm - 7pm presentation 12 | Tahltan Central Council News - June 2013
Managing job growth responsibly Tahltan leaders want development to fund community, health and social programs At the same time, the Tahltan and Iskut bands are keeping an eye on some of the problems that can occur when small communities get a sudden influx of high incomes. Iskut Chief Marie Quock says, “We know that with all this development, we’re going to have social impacts.” One of the ongoing challenges is stemming crime and substance abuse. McLean says these problems have been present for a long time. Preventing a rise in sexually transmitted diseases in the work camps is another concern. "It's about creating a new mindset, so we can deter the negatives that are bound to come up,” says McLean. "We're hoping we can create the thought that Tahltan nation is all about family, children and community." McLean, who was once a tradesman in the mining industry, believes the recent mining and hydro projects will make a difference. As far as reserve issues go, Tahltan Chief Rick McLean has what could be described as a "good problem" -- how to manage job growth.
"With these developments, they provide the opportunity to generate revenues to create better community and social programs," says McLean.
"It means people can stay in community, buy the food they need, live their lives, and not have to rely on social assistance dollars.”
Tahltan territory is seeing unprecedented economic development, driven mainly by mining and hydro projects, with many band members earning between $60,000 and $110,000 per year.
The Rec Hall in Telegraph Creek, for instance, will get its first kitchen renovation since the community structure was built 20 years ago.
“Development allows us to do that.”
The resource projects also mean more funding for the band governments to improve healthcare, employment and training, language and culture, education, and community infrastructure.
It will also get new flooring, walls, lighting, and a better microphone and speaker system for use at cultural events and gatherings. The hall is frequently used for weddings, funerals, AGMs, and ceremonies.
McLean and Quock are part of the SocioCultural Working Group that meets with Tahltan Central Council. The Group’s goal is to minimize the potential negative impacts of resource development, ensure the Tahltan way of life is preserved, and help Tahltan workers fully participate in our evolving economy.
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Learn our language, save our culture Tahltan leaders want development to fund community, health and social programs
Band members, young and old, will soon have many opportunities to learn our Tahltan language. The Tahltan and Iskut bands and the Tahltan Central Council are pushing to create a government department in charge of revitalizing the Tahltan language.
Language researcher Dr. Judy Thompson was hired as part of this government effort. She says her late grandpa, 101-year-old Charles Callbreath, was thrilled up until his last days that the community was returning to its language roots.
“Grandpa loved sharing and teaching the Tahltan language to me. He would leave me telephone messages about a TV show I should watch… and he would say it in Tahltan! I could hear my granny laughing in the background," joked Thompson. She believes her grandpa fought to live just long enough in October 2010 to see the 100th anniversary of the Tahltan declaration in his hometown of Telegraph Creek. "Grandpa was the only living Tahltan to be alive for both the actual signing of the declaration in 1910 and for the 100th anniversary.” "He passed away just five days later."
Language researcher Judy Thompson with her late grandparents Julia and Charles Callbreath at the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Tahltan declaration in Telegraph Creek. Her grandpa was excited about Tahltan language revitalization efforts.
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Iskut Band Chief Marie Quock says the loss of elders is big problem for keeping the language alive. “I think we are losing our language really fast. We need to regain it because its part
in the Tahltan language per week carrying out everyday activities. Both earn money for this time. Applications can be made to the First Peoples' Cultural Council at (250) 652-5952 or: www.fpcc.ca Other efforts include the creation of dictionaries, grammar guides, atlases, teacher accreditations, and school curriculums. Thompson recently completed a PhD in Tahltan Language Revitalization, and her efforts to learn the Tahltan language thrilled her grandparents. Like many fluent speakers of Aboriginal languages, they were made to feel ashamed to speak Tahltan, due to colonization and assimilation.
Language research assistant, Sonia Dennis, presenting a flag to 101-year-old Elder Charles Callbreath on October 18, 2010 – the 100th anniversary of the signing of our Nation’s declaration. of our identity. It’s important for our children to learn our language too,” said Quock. Thompson, who was hired by the Tahltan governments, believes there are only 30 speakers left - down from 50 in the last few years. "We need to be working with our fluent speakers now, before they leave us to be with our Ancestors," said Thompson. Her Indigenous language research tells her, the first step to reverse language loss is early childhood education. "Our children need to be learning our language the moment they are born," says Thompson. She wants to start "language nest programs" where children, 6-months to 5-years-old, spend several hours a day with fluent speakers where only Tahltan would be spoken.
"It's like going to grandma's house you just hang out, play, and speak the language," says Thompson. The new government effort will sort out how to deliver this and other language programs from pre-school through K-12, as well as for adults. Casual learners could join "immersion evening" classes that are being organized to take place in our three Tahltan communities, for example. Contact the new Language and Culture office in Dease Lake for more information. (250-771-4000)
"When I first wanted to learn the Tahltan language over 20 years ago, my grandparents started to speak Tahltan with each other for the first time in years. Not even their children learned Tahltan from them." "My mother would say 'Hey - you never taught those words me to speak Tahltan!" And my grandpa would say, 'oh are you jealous?' -- and she would say, 'Yeah I am!'" Language preservation and revitalization is a key effort of the "Socio-Cultural Working Group" -- a Tahltan government initiative to improve culture, health, and job-readiness in advance of resource-developments opened up by the Northwest Transmission Line.
More dedicated learners have the opportunity of getting paid to learn Tahltan part-time. The "Master-Apprentice" program works like this – the learner (“apprentice”) works with a fluent speaker (“master”), and commits to conversing 10-20 hours
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Mystery of Tahltan language “code” revealed Saving our language possible with new research
The coordinator of a language revitalization effort in Tahltan Nation says his team has made an important discovery that will help save our language, before it disappears. After a year of study, Oscar Dennis says he, along with Reginald and Ryan Dennis, have finally cracked the code on Tahltan language’s fundamental patterns.
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"We figured it out, so now we can teach it! This is so fundamental. [It] shortens the learning process significantly.” Elders, who speak the language fluently, learned these Tahltan patterns effortlessly by ear from birth. But Dennis says they could not easily explain them.
"They didn't understand the question, because they learned the language aurally.“ That’s been a problem for classroom learners who often need visual instructions, such as grammar rules on a blackboard. Until now, the patterns weren’t fully known. Many students merely memorized jumbles of phrases without much success.
Our language is encoded with patterns Dennis says the trick was realizing how short Tahltan syllables, are added to words to create new phrases and meanings. “Once you catch on to the patterns, you can quickly learn 80 different ways of talking about walking in the bush.” Take the Tahltan example of "dīn·dā" which means, “you are going.” Add a prefix, to make “ka-dīn·dā" – and it becomes "you are going to get.” Add a suffix, to make "ka-din·da-la" – and it becomes a question: "Are you going to get it?" Dennis says a PhD linguist – named Dr. Gregory Anderson from the Living Tongues Institute – who visited our territory, was so impressed with the team’s work that he said he “couldn’t improve upon it.”
"It was a lot of hard work, but it was very exciting. We realized we were right, and our hard work wasn't futile." Native language codes in Hollywood film Tahltan is a Dene dialect, with the same “encoded” patterns found in Navaho. That’s why Navaho was used as a code system in World War Two – an idea celebrated in the Hollywood film “Wind Talkers” – starring Nicholas Cage and Canadian Aboriginal actor Adam Beach (now of Arctic Air fame). Understanding the Tahltan language system of patterns will help change the way our language classes are developed to teach children and adults. Tahltan meets the iPod Learners can also now use iPods to access our growing digital archive at the Tahltan Language Revitalization Offices in Dease Lake, Iskut and Telegraph Creek.
It’s a massive digital library of Tahltan recordings, including thousands of songs and conversations. The oldest are songs recorded on wax cylinders by James Teit in 1912. There is also a 1991 recording of Angela Dennis and Regina Louie on how to talk about such topics as clothing, going to the store, time of day, animals, colours, and weather. More recent recordings from 2012 include conversations between Oscar Dennis and his father James, and Reginald Dennis and his grandparents Loveman and Sara Nole. These language efforts are part of the Socio-Cultural Working Group initiative – a partnership of Tahltan and Iskut bands and Tahltan Central Council to revitalize our culture in advance of resource developments.
Want to learn Tahltan? • Iskut: (250) 234-3064 • Dease lake: (250) 771-4000 • Telegraph Creek: (250) 235-3151 • Website: didenekeh.com • Facebook: Tahltan Language Collective • Facebook Tahłtan Thomas and Tahltan Family and Kids Language & Culture Lead: Judy Thompson Language Revitalization Coordinator: Oscar Dennis Language Research Assistants: Odelia Dennis, Reginald Dennis, Ryan Dennis, Verna Vance and Sonia Dennis
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Spreading the word Tahltan Language community meeting in Iskut
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Tahltan Trio get the Queen’s nod Three Tahltan won Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Award for lifetime achievements
Garry Merkel, standing next to his wife Kathy, was recognized for his leadership at the Columbia Basin Trust. He continues to guide key Tahltan negotiations.
Tahltan / Tlingit artist Dempsey Bob was honoured for his world renowned northwest coast Indian art. His art is exhibited in Canada, the U.S. and Japan.
Jerry Asp was recognized for his leadership in with Aboriginal resource development, negotiations and the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation
Lennette McLean gets Premier’s Award Lennette McLean (pictured in the center) was recently honoured by the B.C. Premier as one of this year’s recipients of the Community Achievement Award. Lennette has contributed significantly to healthy living in Dease Lake, Telegraph and Iskut. Her initiatives include libraries, a parent advisory council, a “moms and tots” group, and the Rec Centre in Dease Lake. She is married to Tahltan Band Chief Rick McLean.
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The Klappan gets national environod, as coal mining troubles loom Permanent protection of our Sacred Headwaters lauded In March, Tahltan Nation was honoured with a national “Tides Canada Top 10” environmental award for our permanent protection of The Klappan. The award followed a landmark December 2012 announcement to permanently protect The Klappan from natural gas development. Shell Canada agreed to move their petroleum exploration plans to the province’s northeast. Annita McPhee, Marie Quock, and Elders Mary Dennis and Nancy McPhee travelled to Toronto to receive the award, and said it was an emotional victory, because there’s more work to do. "Shell Oil may be gone from our traditional lands, but new coal mining proposals are a major concern too.” McPhee was at a mining conference in Terrace in April, where Tahltan Elders stood up to interrupt a coal mining company’s presentation. McPhee echoed similar concerns in March. "Our concern is, mining companies are proposing to build right in the headwaters. They want to put their tailing ponds right where our people have one of our hunting camps.” "We are not against economic development. We just believe the benefits should far outweigh the impacts."
Top: Annita McPhee and Iskut Chief Marie Quock. Bottom: Elders Mary Dennis and Nancy McGee. Tides Canada Top Ten Awards gala in March in Toronto
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Our Sacred Headwaters Tahltan have the sacred duty to protect The Klappan valley basin -- home to bear, moose, our hunting camps, and three wild salmon rivers: the Skeena, Stikine, and Nass.
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Tsesk'iye woodcarver takes top artist prize Artist discovering her own as an indigenous wood carver Loretta Quock Sort, 38, is being honoured as the top art student from the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art in Terrace, B.C. The mother of four just completed her first year in the program, and will take home $1,000. She already has plans for the money. "I am going to order more tools -- drawing knives, a chain saw, and more carving tools." Over the past year, Quock Sort has carved a mask, paddle, bowl and spoon in traditional northwest coast native styles. She is from the Tsesk'iye clan. The fine arts program is teaching her indigenous art history and techniques, and how to build a website. She went into the program already knowing beading and sewing. But carving and drawing were new experiences. "The best part was just jumping in and doing my best. It turns out, I really enjoy working with wood." "I cut myself quite a few times! In the first two weeks I had band aids on my fingers." TRICORP out of Prince Rupert paid for her tuition, which is $5,000 per year. TRICORP funds First Nations entrepreneurs and economic development. "After I finish the second year, I'd like to open up a business, to sell my carvings and sewing work." Top artists Stan Bevan, Dean Heron, Ken McNeil, and Dempsey Bob were her instructors. Quock Sort was especially impressed by Bob. "It was amazing learning from him. It was like 'wow.' The detail in his [woodcarvings] was so intricate and inspiring. His art comes from what's inside of him. He lives his art." Loretta Quock Sort and her carving called â€œLong Face Willie Campbellâ€?
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Altagas hydro update
Construction of Forrest Kerr The powerhouse is ahead of schedule with mechanical assembly work underway. Work on the massive intake structure continues to advance. Commissioning of the weir and removal of the coffer dam is complete. The power tunnel (shown in photo) has been 100 percent excavated with clean up work ongoing. Once construction is complete at the end of 2013, Forrest Kerr will continue to employ Tahltan from nearby Iskut, Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek. Bridge work continues to be a focus at McLymont Creek while Volcano Creek has been cleared for construction of the powerhouse.
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Historic resource agreements signed
Two major resource agreements were signed at the Victoria legislature with the Province of British Columbia on March 14th, 2013: The Resource Revenue Sharing Agreement provides Tahltan with revenues beginning at $2.5 million for the 60-year life of the Forrest Kerr hydroelectric project. This is the first agreement signed under B.C.'s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, created by the Clean Energy Act. The Shared Decision Making Agreement is an historic government-to-government agreement that will see Tahltan Nation and the B.C. government jointly make decisions about resource developments in Tahltan territories. Over the coming years, the two parties will address issues such as wildlife conservation, mineral exploration, and environmental monitoring.
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First Canadian broadcast of Tahltan film
Filmmaker focused on documenting Tahltan language and culture
Twenty-nine-year old Tahltan filmmaker Michael Bourquin is now writing and directing what will become Canada’s first broadcast TV show voiced entirely in Tahltan language.
The show is called “Dah-Tsiye Kehke -Our Grandfather’s Footsteps.” Bourquin says it is about the passing down of traditional Tahltan knowledge to the next generation.
“I’m pretty excited about that. It will be the first nationally broadcast film 100 per cent in our indigenous mother tongue.”
It stars himself, his brothers Ramsay and David Bourquin, and his cousins Reginald and Ryan Dennis.
The one-hour documentary is scheduled to air coast-to-coast in the spring of 2014 on APTN. The first broadcast will be in English with 15 percent Tahltan and subtitles. A second broadcast will be full Tahltan language with subtitles. Tahltan Elders will do the narration.
The young men will hike for several days on a Tahltan hunting path. Making appearances will be their 81-year-old grandfather Loveman Nole, who is still “active and strong” says Bourque.
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“We follow in the footprints of our grandfather to see what he experienced in his lifetime as a young man.” “I like to think of it as recording living history,” said Bourquin. The crew already shot winter scenes with their grandfather, learning to make snowshoes from scratch. They return to Tahltan territory in July. It’s being produced by Urban Rez Productions. Estini -- My Cousins Bourquin is no stranger to Tahltan language filmmaking.
Last year, he completed “Estini My Cousins” – a 30-minute film that chronicles his cousins Reginald and Ryan Dennis’ journey to learn Tahltan from their grandparents. "Everyone should see it, especially the young people." "[The film] asks some hard questions, like why is the language failing and dying, and who is responsible for ensuring its survival." Bourquin hopes today’s youth will one day become the Elders who pass down the language. "I want them to feel empowered, and can have a say in what happens to our language.” Estini -- My Cousins was screened at indigenous film festivals in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. In April, the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition also showed it in
Hazleton to a high school, and later to an evening crowd at a local cinema. Ryan Dennis was on hand to answer questions. Both he and his brother Reginald are now Tahltan Language Research Assistants working to revitalize Tahltan language.
Bourquin hopes to screen his Tahltan films soon in our communities. He says he also wants to encourage young Tahltan into the film industry. "Maybe we'd make a cool zombie movie in Iskut, just to inspire the kids," laughed Bourquin.
Tahltan Nation Health Plan Update The Tahltan First Nation is examining options for developing a Nation-wide Health and Wellness Strategy, including the development of a Tahltan Nation Health Plan (TNHP), to enhance and centralize holistic health services within Tahltan territory, streamline human resource development, and develop culturally relevant, community directed programs. This plan is to be based on research and consultation with Tahltan members, Tahltan community health delivery staff, Administrators, Chiefs and Councils, and representatives from
Health Canada and First Nations Health Authority. The Plan will support the Vision for Health articulated at the Tahltan Leadership Forum in March 2012. Community input sessions were held from December - March to deliver the draft of Tahltan Nation Health Plan Framework Development for their approval and to identify health priorities for each Community.
• two nurses in Telegraph Creek • one home care nurse for all three communities • one community health nurse for all three communities Elders and community members will start to see more familiar nurses, who understand our culture, and can respond quickly to emergencies wherever help is needed.
A recent success of this strategic effort was a move to create four new nursing positions:
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The Kutcho Project is a proposed underground copper-zinc-gold-silver mine development located 100 kilometres east of Dease Lake. The mine would have an estimated mine of life of 12 years and create more than 200 construction jobs, and 250 operations jobs during its lifetime. The Kutcho Project is 100% owned by Capstone Mining Corp. Community meetings were held in in Iskut, Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake in October 2012. Capstone is preparing an Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) Application for the B.C. government.later this summer. Information about its application can be obtained from Capstone, or the B.C. governmentâ€™s Environmental Assessment Office, at: email@example.com The company says Capstone has it has been working with the Tahltan Heritage Resources Environmental Assessment Team (THREAT) on a Tahltan Use Study for the Kutcho Project area. Capstone says it supports community events such as the Dease Lake Jobs Fair, Dease Lake Recreation Society and the upcoming Tahltan Youth Conference in September.
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Capstone says it welcomes feedback and questions about its proposed Kutcho Project. Visit www.capstonemining.com. Questions or comments can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-684-8894.
Update from TNDC President Bill Adsit
Northern Transmission Line TNDC has completed our portion of the 77 kilometers, except for a few areas where the roads need to be repaired. We have been in negotiations with Valard to provide equipment for the construction work. Construction is scheduled to start mid-May, depending on snow cover. Altagas Altagas have the permits to construct the road and bridges between Forrest Kerr and McClymont/Volcano. Volcano Creek is an earthworks project that would have TNDC realigning the road between kilometer 43 and 46 on the Eskay Creek road and develop the Power House and Penstock areas. Procon will work on the Forrest Kerr project until the end of June. TNDC will be providing about 10 laborers to clean up the underground.
TNDC is providing 6 Rock Trucks, 2 Excavators and 1 packer. We are currently in discussion about adding a D8 at the site. We currently have 10 operators per shift plus two mechanics. On June 3rd, TNDC will be providing an additional 13 operators per shift. An agreement is in place to train 4 triple 7 truck drivers and Lee Louie and Alvin Tashoots are the first. The next two will go to two Tahltan women.
Pretium has offered TNDC work on the road and possibly some earthworks at the site beginning in August. However, this depends on their ability to raise financing.
Weekly discussion is happening about the Power Line. A camp will likely be set up at Rouge Lake. We are hoping that the permits will be issued soon, so work can start July 1. Galore Creek Mining Corporation Galore will do summer work between May 15 and August 31. TNDC and SRS have the contract to provide 3 operators and a small crew for the camp and catering. Tahltan Drilling Services Corporation was the successful bidder for 10,000 meters of drilling. They will hire 18 employees for the work.
Seabridge/Capstone Preliminary plans are ongoing for these projects and it is highly unlikely that there will be any activity other than exploration at both these sites for this summer season. Other Issues Housing – TNDC currently looking to purchase a couple of houses Training – Rhonda, Carol, Chuck and Freeman attended a course in Vancouver on “How to be a Better Manager”. Hank and Terry Ball are both taking an 8 month course through UNBC to obtain certificates in Project Management. Most of our office staff is now trained in contract management.
Atrum Talks between TNDC and the Gitxsan to move this project forward have been positive. Road work could start this year. However, the support of the Tahltan Nation and the Gitxsan Nation have to be obtained.
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Tahltan Health and Social Services Authority Message by Chair Shana Dennis “I would like to introduce the new THSSA board members and share with community Tahltan Health and Social Services Authority’s Vision statement. Thank you to all the previous board members and congratulations to the following family representatives for their appointment to the board. I am confident we are going to be a committed, strong and transparent team for the next two years.” Tahltan Health and Social Services Authority Vision Statement “By working as a team in a healthy and respective manner, we will utilize our rich and vibrant Tahltan Culture to assist individuals, families and communities to achieve their vision of health and wellbeing”
Tahltan Health and Social Services Authority Board of Directors 2013-2015 Quock Family Rep – Shana Dennis/ Chair, Shana.email@example.com
Shoe-Kwak Family Rep – Rick Mclean Rick.Mclean@thssa.ca
Thud-Ga Family Rep – Geraldine Quock/Vice Chair, Geraldine.firstname.lastname@example.org
Carlick Family Rep – Alice Hamlin, Alice.email@example.com
Eetheny Family Rep – Gayleen Day/ Treasurer, Gayleen.firstname.lastname@example.org Cawtooma Family Rep – Jodi Payne/ Secretary , Jodi.Payne@thssa.ca
Good-Za-Ma Family Rep – Ryan Franke Ryan.email@example.com Simgaldata Family Rep – Kim Nole Kim.firstname.lastname@example.org Stikine Claw Family Rep – Vacant
Etzenlee Family Rep – Jeanie Dendys Jeanie.email@example.com
Tahltan shoot and score in Yukon!
Our own “Tahltan Selects” were crowned the Jamboree championships at the Kilrich / Northern Yukon Native Hockey Tournament in March. Congratulations to the team, Iskut Wolverines, Tahltan Bear Dogs, and other players and volunteers who made the journey.
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Tahltan Community Engagement Hub Update Type to enter text
Northern First Nations Health and Wellness Planning Committee A Message from the First Nations Health Council We have been concluding agreements to describe how the historic transfer of First Nations & Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB)B.C. Region to the First Nations Health Authority will take place by October 1, 2013. We have been working to conclude arrangements and partnerships with Regional Health Authorities. We have been engaging with federal and provincial government partners to create transformative change in healthcare. B.C. Chiefs have set aside their fears and doubts, believing that our people can do a better job of providing healthcare for our citizens.
Key Priorities for the Northern Region
First Nations Health Authority Update
• Northern Partnership Accord Approaches for Actions (i.e. communications, population health, information technology)
On July 2, 2013 the First Nations Health Authority will assume the policy, planning and strategic services functions of Health Canada, FNIHB headquarters as well as program and service responsibilities for the pharmacy, medical supplies and equipment and dental programs of the Non-Insured Health Benefits.» Primary Care»» AHIC & Hub communication
• Populating the Northern First Nations Regional Health and Wellness Plan • Information sharing and priority setting • Aboriginal workforce development • Cultural competency • Primary Care • AHIC and Hub communication plan
The “Non Insured Health Benefits Program” will become the “First Nations Health Authority Health Benefits Program” on July 2, 2013. To read the full FNHC/FNHA quarterly report please visit www.fnhc.ca or contact Shana Dennis Tahltan Community Hub Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250 234-3511/250 771 3381
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Tahltan Central Council Newsletter - June 2013 Historic signing ceremony at Victoria legislature, March 14, 2013