Tāłtān Nation Signs Decision-Making Agreement with BC Government

On November 1, 2023, Tāłtān Nation signed a consent-based decision-making agreement for the Red Chris mine in Tāłtān territory. Tāłtān consent will now be required before any significant changes can be made at this large copper and gold mine.

Chad Norman Day, center, signs the decision-making agreement with BC.

Chad Norman Day, center, signs the decision-making agreement with BC.
Photo credit: Virginia Mathers

The agreement makes all substantial changes to the Red Chris mine subject to Tāłtān consent and is the second consent-based agreement under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in BC (DRIPA) — the first being Tāłtān’s agreement for the Eskay Creek mine.

The negotiations for this agreement were complex. Unlike the Eskay Creek where the company was seeking a new approval, the company in this case is looking for an amendment to an existing approval. There is not currently a clear path under BC law to make amendments subject to consent, so Tāłtān had to push BC to find creative solution. Tāłtān was successful in these efforts, and also in having this agreement apply not only to the current amendment being sought for Red Chris, but also for all future substantial changes to the mine.

The Red Chris mine is close to Tāłtān’s community of Iskut, so having their jurisdiction over the mine and its future recognized was a very important step for Tāłtān.

Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government, calls the agreement a “significant milestone on our path toward reconciliation.”

“It is a long-overdue step forward in our evolving co-governance relationship,” says Day. “It sets a precedent and signifies the importance of real consent in project amendments. Reconciliation and economic development can indeed coexist, guided by strong environmental, social and governance standards, as envisioned by the Tahltan people.”

Chief Marie Quock, elected Chief Councillor of the Iskut Band comments:

As Chief of the Iskut Band and a strong advocate for environmental standards and the well-being of the Iskut community, today’s agreement holds special significance for our community. Red Chris is built in our backyard, and I have witnessed first-hand the impact it has on our land and our people. This consent-based decision-making agreement is a crucial step toward creating a world-class mining jurisdiction that prioritizes the environment and the wellness of our Tahltan people above all else. It reflects our shared commitment to responsible resource development. I want to express my gratitude to all those who have worked tirelessly to make this agreement a reality, including TCG lands director Connor Pritty, who led the charge in advocating for our rights and environmental stewardship. This is a testament to what we can achieve when we come together to protect our homeland and build a brighter future for our people.

Mandell Pinder LLP is proud to have assisted Tāłtān achieve this historic agreement.

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