Deal reached to temporarily protect historic Taku River Tlingit First Nation village

    A picture of the Taku River in the traditional territory of the First Nation.

    Atlin, BC (KINY) - The Yukon Government and the Taku River Tlingit First Nation in Atlin, BC have reached a deal to withdraw land dispositions and mineral staking around a historic village site until an agreement is reached between the two parties regarding how land development might occur on their traditional territory.

    According to CHON-FM, the Yukon Government and the Taku River Tlingit First Nation in Atlin, BC have reached a deal to withdraw land dispositions and mineral staking until an agreement is reached between the two parties regarding how land development might occur on their traditional territory.

    The First Nation asserts traditional territorial rights in both British Columbia and Southern Yukon, and the court declaration means an 11-square kilometer area around a historic village site on the north end of the Atlin Lake will be protected until the end of next March.

    Taku River Tlingit First Nation spokesperson John Ward says while he ultimately wants the lands given back to the First Nation, it could take some time to settle the issue.

    "We want the lands returned to the Taku River Tlingit First Nation ... It depends how well the principles act upon it. It (final agreements) could take a few months to a couple years."

    Ward says the site he wants permanently protected is historically significant for the First Nation.

    "A cu (the village) is located at the end of the lake. Along the northern end of the lake were various fish camps where people fished and processed their fish."

    The First Nation filed a court case against the Yukon Government in 2014 asking for consultation around mineral staking and explorations as well as the request for hunting licenses and seals to be issued on their territory.

    The Taku River Tlingit First Nation has over 40,000 square kilometers of asserted territory in parts of BC, Yukon and Alaska.

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