On August 30, 2022, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN), the Douglas Indian Association, and the Southeast Indigenous Transboundary Commission put out a joint press release. It’s noteworthy for two reasons.
First, it’s a response to news that the receivership status of the Taku watershed’s long abandoned and polluting Tulsequah Chief mine has been terminated. This is very encouraging, as it now frees British Columbia government to take more assertive measures toward closure and cleanup of the infamous Tulsequah Chief.
Second, this is the first time that the First Nation has spoken in unison with the Douglas Indian Association (DIA) about the issue. Tulsequah Chief is in the traditional territory of the TRTFN, and the U.S. Tribe is closely tied to the downstream Alaska side of the Taku. In addition, the Southeast Indigenous Transboundary Commission, representing fourteen more Alaska Tribes, is also part of the release.
These indigenous entities deserve tremendous credit for caring about the Taku watershed and its future and for confronting its environmental issue. Both TRTFN and DIA have been doing this for years, but until now, separately. We believe there is important symbolism as well as power in this approach. With a transition beyond Tulsequah Chief nearing, this sort of unified watershed based advocacy will be critical toward advancing the Taku’s conservation future...
Read the full press release here.