ATLIN, BRITISH COLUMBIA - The Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN), faced with significant concerns about the state of Chieftain Metals' proposal and negotiations, held a Joint Clan meeting on November 18, 2012 where the Joint Clan Forum rejected the proposed Tulsequah Chief Project.
The Joint Clan Mandate instructs TRTFN Leadership to "take all steps necessary to ensure that the Tulsequah Chief project, as currently proposed, is not developed on Taku River Tlingit Territory."The consensus decision was made based on numerous shortcomings, including Chieftain's failure to maintain a water treatment plant to manage pollution from the original mine site, and its failure to provide a workable feasibility study.
Frustration at the Joint Clan meeting was high while citizens questioned how they could possibly consider approving the proposed project in the face of so little certainty on the requirements of responsible development on Taku River Tlingit Territory.
The Joint Clan Forum has no confidence, based on the steps taken to date, that the mine could be built or operated in an acceptable manner, and believes there is a serious risk of the project collapsing part way though, leaving an even more damaging legacy for TRTFN lands and waters than is already being perpetuated by the original abandoned mine.
Other concerns include the manner in which Chieftain's proposed project has been approved by the BC government without the full and informed participation of the TRTFN, and in the absence of full plans on which to base their decisions.
As a responsible government, and as land owners, the TRTFN must ensure its time and resources are directed to financially viable and environmentally responsible projects. The currently proposed Tulsequah Chief Project does not meet these minimum requirements.
For more detailed information and to view a copy of the Joint Clan Forum Mandate, please visit the "Tulsequah Chief Project" section of the TRTFN website under "Joint Clan Mandate."
Taku River Tlingit First Nation
John D. Ward