Media Advisory - Tahltan leader to speak at Rivers That Feed Us event

First Nations leaders will join National Geographic Society "Explorer for the Millennium" Wade Davis to share the story of saving the Sacred Headwaters

Who:          

Annita McPhee, President of Tahltan Central Council

What:         

An Evening with National Geographic Society "Explorer for the Millennium" Wade Davis

Where:       

Juneau Arts & Culture Center, Juneau, Alaska

When:         

Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 7 p.m.



NORTHWEST, BC, May 13, 2014 /CNW/ - On Wednesday evening, Aboriginal leader Annita McPhee will join other First Nations leaders in a panel discussion after hearing National Geographic Society "Explorer for the Millennium" Wade Davis' story of the campaign to save northern BC's Sacred Headwaters from unacceptable industrial development.

The Sacred Headwaters is an area of pristine wilderness from which three of BC and Alaska's important and salmon-rich rivers flow – the Stikine, Skeena and Nass. Part of the Klappan area, this has significant cultural, spiritual and social values for the Tahltan Nation.

"Our Nation takes saving the Klappan very seriously," said McPhee. "Our people are united in our desire to protect our Sacred Headwaters from any projects that could cause its destruction."

The Tahltan Nation has long opposed a series of developments in the Sacred Headwaters. In 2012, Shell relinquished its tenures there following years of protests from the Tahltan Nation. In the fall of 2013, Fortune Minerals paused exploratory work for an open-put coal mine there yet has continued to promote its proposed project.

Tahltan territory is rich in mineral and energy resources, which has led to success as well as conflict with organizations trying to exploit the area's natural resources.

The Tahltan approach to development has been a balance between achieving First Nations prosperity, while conserving lands and waterways sacred to Aboriginal people.

Both industry and environmental groups have recognized McPhee's work. She sits as the only Aboriginal woman on the board of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, and in 2013 she received a national Tides Canada "Top 10" eco-award.

Media information:
To see more information about the "Rivers That Feed Us" event, or to register to attend, please visit http://www.uas.alaska.edu/arts_sciences/naturalsciences/envs/weblog.html

Facts:

  • Tahltan Central Council is the governing body for Title and Rights matters affecting the 3,000+ Tahltan people of Northwest B.C.
  • Tahltan Central Council (TCC) is vehemently opposed to developments in the Sacred Headwaters – the source of three wild-salmon rivers, and a place of profound cultural importance to the Tahltan
  • London, ON based Fortune Minerals is proposing an open-pit coal mine for Mount Klappan in the Sacred Headwaters. In September 2013, it withdrew its exploratory drilling operation following six weeks of protests by Tahltan elders. The company continues to pursue its plans.
  • The B.C. government and TCC are pursuing a "Klappan Strategic Initiative" to explore technical options for protecting the cultural and environmental values of the Klappan.
  • You can find about more about the Tahltan Central Council at www.tahltan.org.

SOURCE Tahltan Central Council

For further information: If you have questions, would like more information or would like to arrange an interview with Annita McPhee, please contact Richard Truman at CopperMoon Communications: 1-877-475-0754 / richard@coppermoon.ca