About the Tahltan People

The Tahltan people have occupied their territories around the upper reaches of the Stikine River in what is now northwestern British Columbia since time immemorial. The relationship between the people and the land, as with many indigenous peoples, is one marked by a deep respect for the land as provider and a strongly held belief that the people are keepers of the land.

The Tahltan belong to the land. This prevailing attitude has led to a symbiotic relationship in which the Tahltan people look to the land for sustenance, guidance and healing.


Governance

Traditional Tahltan governance was organized around the family/clan system. All decisions affecting Tahltans were made through meetings and councils, and every Tahltan was allowed to express their views and concerns.

Commercialism

Primarily a hunting and trapping people, the Tahltan fostered inter-tribal trade with neighbouring tribes exchanging items such as fish, furs and obsidian, useful for making tools and weapons. The Tahltan people held a significant position in as middlemen in the pre and post-contact trading industry of northern BC. The Stikine River supported trade that took place between coastal nations and interior nations. The first contact with Europeans came in 1838 when Robert Campbell of the Hudson’s Bay Company arrived with intentions on setting up operations in the territory.

History

In the early 1900s, the population of the Tahltan Nation was devastated by smallpox, measles, influenza and tuberculosis; diseases introduced by European explorers to which the Tahltan people had no natural immunity. At its lowest point, the Tahltan population numbered under 300 people. This extreme population decrease, coupled with the new enforcement of governmental policies, forced the Tahltan people to leave their established villages sites for a more central location along the Stikine River. The discovery of gold in the Yukon supported the creation of a larger village site along the banks of the Stikine River. At the beginning of the 20th century the Tahltan Nation played host to over 5,000 potential prospectors, as their village became an official stopping point on the river way towards the Yukon Klondike.

  • We formed our Tahltan Aeronigma Geodis Wilson partnership in 2011. It’s been an honour to partner with TNDC for the opportunity to provide our wide-range of global logistical services and be a part of a world class organization built on mutual cooperation, trust and respect. They’re a terrific group of educated, business friendly people eager to learn and work with us.
    Adam J. Wickstead
    President, Aeronigma Solutions Inc.
  • TNDC is successful because of the dedicated staff and skilled workers. The support of the Tahltan leaders and the TNDC board is crucial to the success of the company. Being President of TNDC has been the most rewarding job in my career. I look forward to my continuing involvement with all of the staff.
    Bill Adsit
    Past President, TNDC
  • We established the Tahltan Macro Industries Joint Venture with TNDC in 2009. Macro is very satisfied with the relationship we have with TNDC. The company has a reputation of being a solid and reputable business corporation, that emphasizes value added partnerships and business developments. We look forward to working with TNDC in future opportunities.
    Darcy Friesen
    Manager of Business Development & Special Projects, Macro Industries
  • We worked with TNDC on the Galore Creek mining project and the Northwest Transmission Line, providing heavy lift helicopter services. It made good business sense to get involved with the Nation, so we formed Tahltan Helifor Joint Venture in 2011. After meeting Bill Adsit, I knew we had made the right decision. We have had only positive experiences and look forward to continued collaboration.
    Gary Laidlaw
    President & General Manager, Helifor Canada Corp.
  • Ledcor recognized the benefits offered through the Tahltan’s local expertise and experience, and welcomed the opportunity to involve community members in projects. We established Tahltan-Ledcor Joint Venture back in 1991 when we managed construction on the Eskay Creek mine. We value the partnership with TNDC and look forward to the opportunities ahead within Tahltan traditional territory.
    Rodger McLean
    Past Business Development & Aboriginal Relations Manager, Ledcor
  • I’ve worked in several areas during my 11+ years with TNDC, and it’s been a great company to work for. It is well run, well respected, and has played a vital role in the growth and stability of the Nation. It’s a great source of pride and resource for the Tahltan people, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
    Carol Danielson
    Accounts Manager, TNDC