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’ve had many projects in Tahltan territory through our Rescan Tahltan Environmental Consultants (RTEC) partnership, and the experience has been excellent. TNDC’s management team has been an honorable and knowledgeable group to work with. They always look at ways to make things work, and we have developed lasting friendships. It’s been an honour to work together.
    Clem Pelletier
    former CEO, Rescan Group
  • Sodexo Canada has been a partner with TNDC since 2002, providing complete camp management through Spatsizi Remote Services. During this time we have worked on many projects, and employed many Tahltan members. It’s been very positive, and the business relationships have formed long lasting personal and business friendships.
    Ivor MacGregor
    Vice President, Operations, Sodexo Canada Ltd.
  • 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
  • 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
  • We’ve completed a number of projects though our FrontierMEDEX Tahltan Ltd. partnership since we became a partner back in 2007. It’s been extremely positive. TNDC has been terrific to work with and we’re looking forward to continuing to build the business partnership.
    Ryan Steil
    Past General Manger, Canada, FrontierMEDEX Canada Ltd.
  • 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.