Update on IR 13: September 22, 2015
We are no longer calling this project “Parcel A” — moving forward the community is being referred to as “IR 13” until a more culturally appropriate name is determined by our community. Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey — we have taken your feedback and incorporated it into our latest draft plan for a new Tahltan village. We want to continue to get your feedback — so please join us at the next community update meetings on October 7th (Dease Lake) and October 8th (Telegraph Creek). We will want to show you where we’re currently at, share a meal, and after the meeting have some fun playing Indian Bingo. See you there!
Update on IR 13: October 30, 2014
Our trip up to Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek on October 15-17 was a great success. Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in the open houses. We received a lot of feedback and ideas that will help to define the preliminary land use plans for IR 13 as we move into design.
If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to fill out the IR 13 survey and give us your thoughts on what you would like to see in your new community. The survey can be filled out online at tahltanvillage.ca. As a thanks for your contribution, you will be entered to win an iPad Mini along with a new pair of winter boots! (NOTE: THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED)
We have received 25 entries to date on our survey, but would definitely like to see this number go way up! Your voice is very important, and this community will be for you, shaped by you. Results on what we have heard so far can be viewed live at http://bit.ly/1wFQW27.
Our next step will be to come back to the community with a couple of possible preliminary land plan options, based on the feedback we have received from you. This trip will be scheduled for either end-November or early-January (dates have not been finalized yet).
We look forward to continuing on this journey with you and helping your vision for IR 13 come to life. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
In the early-1980’s, the Tahltan Band was facing a housing shortage. In response, Council started looking for reserve lands where more houses could be built. Council chose to build on Tahltan Band’s reserve land called I.R. 9, located 5 km north of the town of Dease Lake. And while the land was not ideal for housing development, given its silty soils, steep slopes, and high groundwater, development proceeded because of a lack of good alternative sites. Progress was slow, but in 1991, 23 building lots were constructed with another 69 planned for the future. These additional 69 lots, however, were never constructed due to a lack of funding from the Dept. of Indian Affairs. At the same time the B.C. government began entertaining proposals from First Nations to expand reserves. For the Tahltan Band, this meant more suitable lands could be obtained.
Throughout the early-1990’s the Tahltan Band Council continued to look for new lands that could be used for a housing development. In 1994, a company called Turje & Associates was engaged to prepare a report on Tahltan’s housing demands, and identify suitable sites in the area for potential housing development. IR 13 was selected as the top candidate because of its proximity to Dease Lake and because it represented good quality land for housing development. In 1998, Turje helped Tahltan Band Council develop a subdivision layout and construction costs. Project planning and design was not advanced again until 2011 when Neegan Burnside prepared a Capital Planning Study for the Tahltan First Nation. This report included Parcel A references as well as community survey information (only 11 surveys collected) gathered as part of a re-started Parcel A implementation effort. The subdivision layout prepared by Turje was incorporated into the Neegan Burnside report. The plan for Parcel A did not receive broad community input or exposure. The process of adding land to the reserve was begun in 1995 and completed in 2012. The process took far longer than expected, further delaying development.
Present & Future Development Work
Starting in 2012, the Tahltan Band Council began working with Castlemain to develop a work plan for IR 13 that would involve more active participation of the community and reexamine the plan components, layout, and financial viability. After an initial high-level plan was produced in 2013, a more detailed work plan was submitted in May to AANDC as part of a funding proposal for the active planning of the land. The proposal was accepted in June and the initial community engagement and planning is scheduled to be complete by early-2015.
There are three scheduled trips to the community focused on the engagement and planning of IR 13 . The initial visit was in August where Castlemain met with the recently elected Tahltan leadership and a wide range of community members to learn more about the history of the area, hear peoples’ visions for the site and study the characteristics of the land itself. Based on this initial information gathering and research, we gained confidence in moving forward with the initial land planning and site design.
There are two more community visits planned this fall: one each in October and November. The October visit includes two community open house events involving discussions with Elders and youth. At these events, community members will be asked to provide additional input to help shape a plan for the new village being created on IR 13 . Information gathered from the August trip has been used to prepare very rough land use plan options that explore different ways to accommodate community needs. For our October visit, we are looking for feedback from the communities on these initial plans and overall plan direction.
Based on the input gathered from the October open houses, we will prepare a land use plan that the community will once again be asked to comment on during our third visit in November. This plan will be further refined with community feedback received at the final open house events. The preliminary draft plan report will also be presented to Chief and Council during trip three for their input. A final plan and report will then be prepared based on feedback from the communities and submitted to Tahltan Band Council early in January 2015.
The approval of a land use plan for the site by Chief and Council will mark the conclusion of Phase 1. Based on this approved plan, further phases will include technical planning and design, land development, and eventually construction.