VANCOUVER, May 28 /CNW/ - Today, the Tahltan Nation announced it has signed a landmark impact benefit agreement (IBA) with Coast Mountain Hydro LP, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of AltaGas Income Trust (AltaGas) for the Forrest Kerr run-of-river hydroelectric project, sited in Tahltan Traditional Territory in northwest BC. The agreement comprises a combination of environmental protections, cultural resource protections and economic participation for the Tahltan Nation.
"The Tahltan Nation is proud of this Impact Benefit Agreement with Coast Mountain Hydro Corp. and the increased economic security that it will provide for generations to come," says Annita McPhee, Chair of the Tahltan Central Council. "This agreement establishes ownership, management of our resources and profit sharing while taking into consideration the protection of our environment as a renewable energy project. This IBA will set the bar for resource development projects and demonstrates the results of a successful relationship with a company in Tahltan Territory that respects our Aboriginal title and rights."
"Any land and resource decisions affecting Tahltan Traditional Territory must respect the environment, the Tahltan way of life and the Tahltan people," said Annita McPhee earlier today. "The agreement reflects the significant input we've gathered from consultation with community members and, while protecting our territory and our way of life, provides our Nation with long-term economic security."
The Forrest Kerr Project will provide business opportunities for members of the Tahltan Nation to participate in the construction, operation and maintenance of the project, and Tahltan university graduates will have opportunities to enroll in training programs with AltaGas. The agreement also provides economic benefits to the Tahltan Nation, including shared ownership and royalties.
"The Forrest Kerr Project represents an exciting partnership for AltaGas with the Tahltan Nation and with the Government of British Columbia," said David Cornhill, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AltaGas. "The project is an important evolution in AltaGas' power business as we continue to build long-term, contracted, generation assets. The Forrest Kerr Project will provide the people of British Columbia with clean and reliable power from a significant water resource. We are very pleased to be building this project with the people of the Tahltan Nation."
Working with companies that meet high environmental standards is critical to the Tahltan Nation's protection of its Aboriginal title and rights. The IBA secures commitment from AltaGas to construct, operate and maintain the Forrest Kerr Project in keeping with high environmental standards that meet and, in some cases, beat provincial environmental standards. The agreement also includes provisions to allow for Tahltan participation in ongoing environmental review, reporting and recommendation procedures for the project.
About the Tahltan Central Council
The Tahltan Central Council exists to define and protect Tahltan inherent Aboriginal rights and title, to protect the eco-systems and natural resources of Tahltan traditional territory through pursuing sustainable economic development, and to strengthen the cultural wellness of the Tahltan Community by promoting traditional values based on the concepts of caring, sharing, cooperation, truth, honour, fairness and above all, respect.
For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Chantelle Krish, Ckrish@prassociates.ca, (778) 990-9544