Tahltan Nation Introduces Predator Management Policy
Dease Lake, BC, September 15, 2020 – In response to dwindling wildlife populations and increased conflict between community members and predatory species, the Tahltan Central Government has introduced the Tahltan Predator Management Policy. The robust policy encourages and incentivizes Tahltan members to exercise their constitutionally protected Aboriginal hunting rights to harvest predatory species, including black bears, grizzly bears, and wolves.
The policy will require Tahltan members to harvest predatory species in compliance with Tahltan cultural practices and provincial regulations, to the extent that the regulations do not contradict Tahltan law or rights. Members are required to utilize each species to the extent possible for cultural purposes such as food, clothing, regalia, tools, medicine, and/or ceremony.
Chad Norman Day, the President of the Tahltan Central Government, highlighted the need for the
Tahltan Nation to act:
“Historical and more recent wildlife counts completed by the Province in Tahltan Territory, confirm what our Tahltan people and locals have been witnessing: a steady decline in ungulates and a growing imbalance of wildlife populations.
Predatory species are proliferating and threatening our safety and access to our primary food sources, such as moose, caribou, and salmon. After years of failed attempts to work collaboratively with the Province to establish a science-based and holistic co-management framework that respects the jurisdiction and knowledge of the Tahltan Nation, we are taking matters into our own hands. We must protect our communities, hunting rights and culture for future generations.”
President Day and the TCG understand that the Nation’s policy may not be understood by the broader public and encourage people to inform themselves about the importance of science-based and indigenous approaches to predator management.
“In order to maintain balanced ecosystems and to ensure our communities could survive and flourish, Tahltans have harvested predatory species since time immemorial. As our Territory continues to experience influxes from industrial development, resident and Tahltan hunters, and guide outfitters, it is more important than ever that wildlife is managed responsibly. The Tahltan Nation maintains a deep respect and admiration for all predatory species. However, we must find a more balanced approach. I hope the Province and the public understand the urgency of this issue and work alongside the Tahltan Nation as we continue to exercise our rights and jurisdiction over Tahltan Territory.”
The TCG Wildlife Department will be responsible for implementing the Tahltan Predator Management Policy and will record harvest numbers from the Tahltan people. The TCG initiative will help stabilize wildlife populations, protect local communities, encourage culturally important Tahltan practices, and aims to set a strong foundation for future wildlife management practices and initiatives.
About the Tahltan Nation
The Tahltan Central Government (TCG) is the administrative governing body of the Tahltan Nation. The Iskut Band and the Tahltan Band continue to govern Tahltan interests with respect to the Indian Act in the communities of Iskut, Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek. The TCG is the representative government of the Tahltan Nation with respect to the inherent and collective Aboriginal title and rights shared by all Tahltan people.
The Tahltan Nation’s Territory spans 95,933 square km of Northwest British Columbia or the equivalent of 11 per cent of the province. Tahltan Territory includes 70 per cent of BC’s Golden Triangle – a world-class mining jurisdiction with a thriving mineral exploration sector. For more information, visit: www.tahltan.org.
For further information, please contact:
Tahltan Central Government