Two agreements between the B.C. government and Tahltan Nation will support the B.C. Jobs Plan in the Northwest while giving the Tahltan a stronger voice in the management of natural resources.
A shared decision-making agreement allows B.C. and the Tahltan to collaborate on land and resource issues as a step toward longer-term reconciliation, while a revenue-sharing agreement will see Tahltan benefit from the Forrest Kerr hydroelectric project.
Through the revenue-sharing agreement, the Tahltan will receive a portion of water rentals and land rents charged by the Province for the Forrest Kerr hydroelectric project. Once the project is fully operational, the revenue to Tahltan is forecast to be approximately $2.5 million per year over the life of the project.
The revenue-sharing agreement is enabled by B.C.'s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (as provided under the Clean Energy Act), which aims to promote increased First Nations participation in the clean-energy sector. The Forrest Kerr agreement is the first revenue-sharing agreement to be signed under the fund.
The shared decision-making agreement will continue to foster a positive relationship between the Tahltan Nation and the Province through several key steps:
- Creating a government-to-government forum that provides a "one-window" approach to natural resource management topics.
- Facilitating economic development initiatives, including the Northwest Transmission Line and its planned extension, major mines and clean energy projects by enabling future revenue-sharing agreements.
- Focusing on strategic issues of importance to the Tahltan, such as mineral exploration and fish and wildlife.
- Providing consultation process certainty to ensure more efficient and effective engagement regarding potential future natural resource developments.
B.C. will provide the Tahltan Nation with $1.2 million over three years to implement the shared decision-making agreement.
Today's announcement is another step forward in realizing a new relationship between the Province and the Tahltan Nation as outlined in the Northwest Transmission Line Government-to-Government Framework Agreement. This also builds on the recent announcement by B.C., Shell and the Tahltan of an agreement to resolve the status of natural-gas tenure in the Klappan area of northwest B.C.
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Ida Chong -
"These agreements allow for a more collaborative approach to natural resource management and will enable the Tahltan to see earlier benefits from resource activity within their traditional territory. Under the BC Jobs Plan, our government is committed to achieving innovative non-treaty agreements that strengthen our relationships with First Nations communities and create certainty for industry and economic opportunities for all British Columbians."
Annita McPhee, president of the Tahltan Central Council -
"These agreements represent another positive step towards realizing the vision of a long-term partnership between the Tahltan and B.C. around the future of the land and the economy within Tahltan territory. This vision was agreed in the Northwest Transmission Line Government-to-Government Framework Agreement, and the Tahltan are pleased that continues to materialize in a positive manner."
Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman -
"Our government has successfully reached revenue-sharing agreements with First Nations, resulting in financial gains and bringing increased co-operation and understanding. I am pleased that the Tahltan Nation will now benefit as well."
- The signing of these two agreements means that B.C. has reached a total of 12 non-treaty agreements since the BC Jobs Plan was launched in 2011; the Province had committed to signing 10 such agreements by 2015.
- The Forrest Kerr hydroelectric project is a 195-MW, run-of-river project located on the Iskut River 140 kilometres southwest of Iskut, B.C.
- Power generated by the Forrest Kerr project will be interconnected to the BC Hydro grid at the Bob Quinn Lake substation through the proposed 287-kilovolt Northwest Transmission Line operated by British Columbia Transmission Corporation. Construction started in July 2010, and the project is expected to be completed and operational in 2014.
- The Northwest Transmission Line, major mines such as the New Afton and Mt. Milligan projects, and the John Hart Generating Station Replacement project are all enabling revenue-sharing agreements with First Nations.
More information about the Tahltan Central Council can be found at: www.tahltan.org/
For more information about the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund and how to apply, call 1 800 880-1022 toll-free or visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/economic/fncebf.html
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
250 213-6451 (cell)