Transparency in Tahltan Country?

Attempts by the TahltanCentral Council (TCC) to force through a participation agreement with Nova Goldare facing stiff opposition.

In the past few weeks, the TCC, aprovincially registered society that continues to claim it represents theTahltan Nation, have once again demonstrated an inabilityto engage in transparent accountable discussions with key groups within theTahltan community.

Previous Bulletinshave described, the efforts of two TCC directors to ask the BC Registrar ofSocieties to investigate their flagrant violation of their own bylaws. Thes violations include: the  appointment, rather than election, of directors; the failure to holdelections when required; having 13 directors instead of 10 as allowed in the bylaws; and,  the failure topost notice of meetings or provide members access to TCC records.

The TCC continuesto say it speaks for the Iskut Band and Tahltan Elders in discussions withcompanies like Shell, Fortune Minerals and Nova Gold, even though both groups haverepeatedly informed the TCC they do not have that authority.

The latest shenanigansinvolve the ongoing refusal of the TCC to let anyone review the actual wording in the proposed agreement between Nova Gold and the TCC.

At the end of lastweek, the TCC was to allow the newly-elected Chief of the Iskut Band, MarieQuock (and her lawyer) access to the draft agreement to review its terms. But when the time cameto provide a copy of the document,the TCC representatives refused. This is just thelatest ploy by TCC representatives to keep the secret deal secret.

Around the same time, alawyer apparently acting for the TCC sent Dogwood Initiative a threateningletter demanding that the link to a document describing the deal that had been sent to Tahltan be removed from our website.

The letter claimed, “…you are prejudicing theconfidential nature of negotiations between the Tahltan Nation and Nova Gold…Yourfailure to [remove the link] in a timely manner will be dealt with by the TahltanNation accordingly“.

The letter once again claims that the TCC is the  representative of the “Tahltan Nation.” Many Tahlatn dispute this claim.

Dogwood Initiative has beeninstructed by a TCC director and the President of the Tahltan Elders Society toignore the threat and continue to post the document.

Some Tahltan just wantto ensure that all Tahltan and others have access to as much information aspossible before voting on the deal. Unfortunately, the TCC is not among those that believein transparency.

As it stands, the secretdocument remains secret and there appears to be no plan to allow anyone to seeit before the proposed November 30th ratification vote.

Some Tahltan aretrying to spread the word about their concerns about the TCC and the proposedNova Gold agreement.

Click here for the textof a statement against the deal being circulated by Coscuya-Annita McPhee,a former director and Vice-Chairman of the TCC society.

Apparently Ms. McPhee’s note is creating quite a stir. It has been posted throughout the communities of Dease Lake, Telegraph Creek and Iskut.

Please remember that on November 23rd Mr. Justice Bauman will release his decsion on Fortune Minerals’ motion to extend the injunction for a year.

We’ll keep you posted as events unfold.

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