Understanding THREAT

Jun. 27/12

The Tahltan Heritage Resources Environmental Assessment Team (THREAT) works on behalf of the Tahltan Central Council, Iskut Band Council and the Tahltan Band to review proposed development projects and provide advice to the Tahltan leadership regarding impacts to Tahltan interests in Tahltan territory.

“THREAT was created in 2005 by the Tahltan leadership in response to the number of resource development projects being proposed in Tahltan territory. They saw a need to create a technical working group that could participate in the technical reviews of projects, assessing them from not only a scientific perspective, but from a Tahltan knowledge perspective as well,“ says Nalaine Morin, THREAT Project Manager. THREAT is a unique working group recognized across Canada for its focus on local knowledge.

It brings together Tahltan elders, community members, biologists, engineers and geologists. The team has developed important guidelines that have changed the way environmental baseline work is being done in Tahltan territory.

“THREAT has developed archaeological standards and a Tahltan Chance Find procedure, based on our ancestral knowledge, that have become part of the tools used to undertake archaeological study in Tahltan territory. Our standards are becoming well known and we thank our heritage team and Vera Asp for their efforts in changing the way archaeology is done in Tahltan country,” she explains.

Tahltan territory is a hot spot for resource development activity. Tahltan leadership and THREAT have been working hard to identify impacts and concerns from the Nation, and communicating these concerns to government and industry. For instance, there are 30-40 active exploration projects in Tahltan territory and THREAT is reviewing each these projects to identify impacts to wildlife, fish, water, heritage, Tahltan land use and culture.

THREAT is currently participating in the technical working groups and providing assessment reports of potential impacts to Tahltan interests for several projects currently in the environmental assessment process, including: Kerr Sulpherets Mitchell, Kutcho Creek, McLymont, NTL power line extension and Schaft Creek. The team is also reviewing draft permits for the Red Chris project and the NTL power line to ensure there are permit conditions responsive to the concerns raised by Tahltan people.

In addition to Nalaine, Tahltan members include: Bill McPhee, Dwayne Day, Jerry Asp, Lee Marion, Ramona Quock, Rosemary Asp and Vera Asp. Many other Tahltans have made valuable contribution to THREATS’ success, including: Cheri Frocklage, Derek Louie Janice Joseph, Kathleen Louie, Peter Jakesta, Terry Ball and Troy Creyke. THREAT is also supported by technical consultants: Norm McLean, Patrick Hudson, Richard Erhardt and Stan Sladen.

THREAT will be working with Tahltan leadership to develop community workshops about THREAT. If you would like to join or have comments or concerns regarding resource development activity in Tahltan territory, please contact the Tahltan Central Council.