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)

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

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School in Hazelton is being shut down for a week by the Gitanmaax Band Council following a confirmation of a COVID-19 exposure there on Feb. 26. (Black Press Media File Photo)
COVID-19 exposure notice shuts down Hazelton school

Closure to last for one week and school is to be sanitized

MacCarthy GM staff and customers raised $700 for Pink Shirt Day. (Submitted Photo/Mudit Mehta)
Terrace dealership raises hundreds of dollars for Pink Shirt Day

MacCarthy GM staff and customers raised $700 for anti-bullying initiatives

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read