VICTORIA – The Province is investing $555,000 to support the operation and activities of the Tahltan Socio-Cultural Working Group (TSCWG), an award-winning government-to-government forum that aims to address social and cultural challenges that can accompany economic development in remote communities.
The working group was established in May 2011 under the Northwest Transmission Line Negotiation Framework Agreement and links the socio-cultural needs of the Tahltan people with the potential for progress on resource development in northwest B.C.
This collaboration recently won the Premier’s Award in the Partnership category.
In 2011, the Tahltan Nation, BC Hydro and the Province signed the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL) Negotiation Framework Agreement, opening the region and the Tahltan traditional territory to increased economic development. It is estimated that electrification of the Northwest from the completion of the NTL will support up to $20 billion in resource development by 2025.
The establishment of the TSCWG fulfils the Province’s commitment under the NTL Negotiation Framework Agreement to develo
p a government-to-government forum to address social and cultural issues.
Members of the group consist of Tahltan and B.C. co-chairs, representatives from the three Tahltan governments and provincial representatives from the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. The group’s priority is to address matters that are reasonably linked to NTL impacts.
Under the group’s mandate, socio-cultural matters include training and employment, health, language and culture revitalization, education, and family and community development.
This unique and groundbreaking partnership is shaping development in British Columbia’s northwest by ensuring Tahltan Nation participation in the growth of the regional economy.
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad –
“The creation of the Tahltan Socio-Cultural Working Group is a significant step forward towards successful economic development in the Northwest. I would like to acknowledge how truly visionary the Tahltan people are when it comes to finding solutions that address socio-cultural gaps while fostering strong, vibrant communities. Most importantly, this partnership also highlights our mutual, constructive relationship.”
Annita McPhee, president of the Tahltan Central Council –
“The socio-cultural working group is a unique, Tahltan-driven initiative to responsibly manage the social and cultural impacts of development in our territory. When the Province came to us in 2005 with plans to build the Northwest Transmission Line into our territory, we knew we needed to plan for all the changes it would bring to our communities.”
“We are pleased that the Province has renewed its support for this important work, and we are committed to ensuring that development in our territory is managed responsibly in a way that protects our land, culture and communities.”