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Oct 18, 2023
Today, October 18th, is an important and historical day for the Tahltan Nation. Tahltan Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1910 Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe and celebrates Tahltan culture, tradition, language, resiliency and independence. This year marks the 113th anniversary.
As the business arm of the Tahltan Nation, with a large percentage of Tahltan employees, Tahltan Day holds special significance for TNDC. We recognize Tahltan Day as a statutory holiday. It is also recognized as a statutory holiday on many of the worksites of Tahltan industry partners as part of their Impact Benefit Agreements.
We take the occasion of this important day to remind our clients, partners and employees about TNDC’s relationship with the Tahltan Nation, and share background on Tahltan Day, people and culture. We invite our clients, partners, suppliers and employees to join TNDC and the Tahltan Nation in commemorating Tahltan Day.
TNDC GUIDING PRINCIPLES
TNDC operations are guided by two important decrees that affirm Tahltan title and rights, ownership and sovereignty over Tahltan Territory and establish guiding principles that resource developers must adhere to when operating within Tahltan territory.
Tahltan culture is intricately woven into all aspects of language, art, governance, law and everyday life.
Our stories and legends preserve our history, and guide our way of relating to all living things. As an example, our stories provide inspiration to talented Tahltan artists, who enshrine our stories into beautiful moccasins, drums, blankets and other valuables. These are just some of the ways in which Tahltan culture is preserved and shared with the world.
Our culture is organized through a matrilinear clan system. This means that crests and inheritance are passed down through the mother. Since time immemorial, this system has provided the basis of Tahltan law and governance. Despite the imposition of a settler society form of government (through the Indian Act), the matrilineal system remains the foundational governing structure of the Tahltan people.
The Tahltan Nation is divided into two clans, the Crow (or Tsesk’iya) and the Wolf (or Ch’ioyone). Each clan is further divided into several family groups. Legends about the Crow and Raven continue to guide the Tahltan people about the best way of living, for example, by the principles of determination, generosity and resourcefulness among others.
Tahltan Territory is 95,933 km² or the equivalent of 11% of British Columbia. If the Tahltan Nation were its own country, we would be bigger than Portugal and slightly smaller than South Korea. The territory is rich in natural resources and continues to garner international attention for its mineral potential and abundant wildlife.
The north/western border runs parallel to the Alaskan/Canadian border, and includes part of the Yukon Territory. The south/eastern border includes the upper Nass tributaries and western half of the Stikine plateau, including the sacred headwaters of the Stikine, Nass and Skeena rivers.
Of the approximately 4,500 Tahltan members, 20% reside in Territory and make up over half of the residents in Tahltan Territory, dispersed between three main communities: Dease Lake, Iskut and Telegraph Creek.
A map of Tahltan Territory shows its vast size and location within British Columbia. Image courtesy of the Tahltan Central Government.
You can learn more about the Tahltan Nation, people and territory, including links to the websites of our three Shareholders – Tahltan Band, Iskut Band and Tahltan Central Government). Please visit: About the Tahltan Nation