I just read an article about the Tahltan Nation. This indigenous band lives in north-western British Columbia in an area known as the last frontier. This land is rich for hydroelectric projects. On December 12th, 2014, he BC government released $500,000 in funding for the Tahltan Nation to invest in the AltaGas Volcano Creek renewable energy project.
It was a great day for the Tahltan people as it is the first time they've been able to take a large stake in a new development in their territory. This project is one of three in the Tahltan lands.
I have always felt a connection to native culture and spirituality. This area in BC is where I chose to write my first novel, Winter's Captive, The Georgia Series, Book 1. The native spirit in my story is Tahltan and I chose to weave some Tahltan lore and cultural beliefs into the novel.
Quote from the article:
As well as allowing for investment, the IBAs provide jobs and
training opportunities for our people while also making sure Tahltan people are involved in enviornmental protection and monitoring.
I'm happy to see that the Tahltan people are progressive and business-minded in regards to their land development, but will not abandon their traditional beliefs of protecting mother earth, the creator. The Tahltan's have found a way to help their people, satisfy big business, and protect their lands. I, for one, would hate to see the balance of nature compromised for big money.
In my story, my reference to the Tahltan people is to the old ways of life which are no longer sustainable. I don't want to read future fiction stories like mine, that refer to mother nature as she once was, but no more.
My belief is that the only way to close the gap between indigenous people and big business is to respect their culture, and even if one doesn't agree with their way of thinking, at least understand it from an organic perspective. The Tahltan Band is not the first band to work with business and as time passes, we are seeing more amalgamations between first nations and municipalities, provincial and federal governments, mining companies, hydro projects, and community forests. It's very encouraging for the future of all our youth.
Perhaps all businesses wishing to develop the rich lands of British Columbia should have indigenous people on staff to keep them environmentally accountable, whether on first nations land or not. It has to be about more than just money. We can all take a lesson from indigenous people on that score.
We are all citizens of mother earth, and it is the responsibility of all of us, not just indigenous people, to protect her.
What's your opinion on this controversial issue?
Here's a link to the article if you wish to read it: Click HERE.
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