More than 40 youth from the Tahltan, Kaska, and Tlingit Nations pose for a photo at the top of the Teck Resources building in Vancouver during the Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference. (Tahltan Central Government photo)

Tahltan, Tlingit, Kaska youth participate in Vancouver mining conference

More than 40 representatives learned and discussed mining exploration and industries over two days

At this year’s Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference in Vancouver, young people from three northwestern First Nations communities got a chance to learn and ask questions about the mining industry directly from key players.

Organized by the Tahltan Central Government (TCG) staff, more than 40 youth from the Tahltan, Kaska, and Tlingit Nations learned about the mineral exploration and mining industries over two days. They met and networked with active mining proponents, and observed various meetings and panel discussions involving their leadership and staff.

“They can learn not just about mining opportunities but about other economic opportunities that are present in the 3Nation territories,” says TCG president Chad Norman Day. The 3Nations initiative between the Tahltan, Kaska and Tlingit Nations won the BC Premier’s Award for Innovation last November.

READ MORE: Northern First Nations partnership reshaping government’s approach to reconciliation

Participants visited the Museum of Anthropology at UBC and received a guided tour, attended receptions with representatives and cabinet ministers from the province, and visited popular attractions like FlyOver Canada, among others. B.C. Premier John Horgan also met with the youth and others during the Tahltan Nation Reception held during Roundup each year.

Day says TCG has worked to increase the involvement of youth in events like AME Roundup to inspire them to pursue job opportunities available within their own territory. In 2018, eleven Tahltan youth attended the AME Roundup, and for the first time, youth from Kaska and Tlingit Nations were brought this year.

“Those opportunities can provide for them long-term jobs and long-term opportunities not only just for themselves, but their children and their grandchildren,” Day says.

The Tahltan territory is home to 70 per cent of B.C.’s resource-rich Golden Triangle, three of the province’s 19 mines, and is the location of 25 per cent of B.C.’s exploration activities. In 2018, exploration expenditures on projects was estimated at over $80 million, with production values for active mines estimated at over $334 million.

“The more that the future generations understand those opportunities, the more capacity that we can create not only within the Tahltan Nation, but throughout Northern British Columbia with our Kaska, Tlingit and Nisga’a neighbours,” said Day.

READ MORE: Tahltan Central Government reacts to $250K donation for wildfire recovery efforts

Tahltan Nation youth representative Kyle Risby, 25, says speaking with corporate organizations responsible for mining exploration and asking them questions directly was a meaningful experience.

One panel hosted a conversation about incorporating traditional First Nations knowledge from the early engagement stages of a project through to the end, creating a more collaborative and informative process to ensure development is safe and respectful with minimal damage to the environment.

“That was one of my biggest takeaways was that panel. Incorporating Western and Indigenous culture in that realm is fairly difficult or overlooked,” Risby says, who is now pursuing a law degree to work on the legal side of the mining industry. “It was refreshing to see the partnership and collaboration where we’re a priority…to see that power balance restored.”

It also gave the group a chance to meet other Tahltan, Kaska and Tlingit youth and share experiences.

“Being born in Whitehorse and living in the Yukon, and having family ties in the Kaska Nation, and I worked with Tlingits in Whitehorse…it shows how deep the histories are and how the colonial borders don’t really match the true width or depth to how our Nations work together,” Risby says.


 


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

City of Terrace’s public consultation budget meeting sees one-person turnout

75 per cent of tax increase earmarked for new city staff

Expect delays on Nisga’a Highway 113

Avalanche control work is planned between Laxgalts’ap and Gingolx

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Most Read