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Dease Lake, October 12, 2010—Next week, the Tahltan people and invited guests will gather in Telegraph Creek to commemorate the centenary of the Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe. On October 18, 1910, Tahltan leaders, in unity with 22 interior British Columbia tribes, signed the Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe, giving notice to the Government that the Tahltan people did not surrender their rights and title.
“The Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe is the pride of our people. Our 100th anniversary celebration will honour our ancestors who had the foresight to defend the rights of Tahltan people immemorial,” says Annita McPhee, Chair of the Tahltan Central Council. “This gathering will reassert the sovereign right to our land and resources and help us to strengthen our resolve to protect the independence of the Tahltan Nation.”The four-day centenary celebration (October 15-18, 2010) will culminate in a ceremony at the Old Tahltan Village on October 18 to commemorate the signing of the 1910 Declaration. Leaders from across the province will be in attendance, including MP Nathan Cullen, Chief Shane Gottfriedson of the Tk’emlups Indian Band, Chief Wayne Christian of the Shuswap Nation, and many dignitaries from First Nations across BC.
“We look forward to welcoming our friends and families to celebrate this historic occasion,” says Chief Marie Quock of the Iskut Indian Band. “The Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe is as relevant today as it was in 1910 and stands to protect the rights and title of our land and precious resources for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
“Through the Declaration we have defined ourselves as a Nation, and will continue to benefit from the resources that our land provides for us,” says Chief Rick Mclean, Chief of the Telegraph Creek Band. “This is a very important time for us to come together as a Nation and celebrate our past, present and future.”
The Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe states:
“We claim the sovereign right to all the country of our tribe – this country of ours which we have held intact from the encroachments of other tribes, from time immemorial, at the cost of our own blood. We have done this because our lives depended on our country. To lose it meant we would lose our means of living, and therefore our lives. We are still as heretofore, dependant for our living on our country, and we do not intend to give away the title to any part of same without adequate compensation. We deny the B.C. government has any title or right of ownership in our country. We have never treated with them nor given them any such title.”
Schedule of Events
October 15 : Talent Contest
October 16 : Youth and Cultural Events, Children’s Activities, Stick Gambling, Tea Boiling, Soapberry Making, Bannock Making. Feast and Family Dance to follow.
October 17 : History of the Declaration, Stick Gambling and Family Dance.
October 18 : Ceremony at Old Tahltan Village, with dancers. Dinner Dance to follow.
For more information about the celebration, contact Linda Edzerza or Riannon Ball at 250-771-3274, or by email riannonb_[at]hotmail.com.
Ms. Annita McPhee, Chair
Tahltan Central Council
778 229 1264
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