Home > Featured > Tla’amin Cultural Property unearthed at tiskʷat will be protected by new Protocol with B.C.

Tla’amin Cultural Property unearthed at tiskʷat will be protected by new Protocol with B.C.

At the left on the foreshore, a Tla’amin home at the mouth of the river at tiskʷat

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2024

On June 28th the Province of B.C. and Tla’amin Nation signed qat̓ᶿ xʷɛʔɛθot tiskʷat (planning together for tiskʷat) protocol which describes how the parties will work together to protect Tla’amin Cultural Property unearthed at the tiskwat mill site earlier this year.

The protocol was created for the mill site during provincially regulated environmental investigation processes conducted by Catalyst-Paper Excellence, the current site owner. 

“It is powerful to see and to hold these thousands year old cultural treasures,” said Hegus John Hackett. “The recent discoveries at tiskʷat reaffirm and confirm what our ancestors have always said – tiskʷat was our home until very recently.”

The Catalyst tiskʷat mill site is currently subject to the site closure process in accordance with the Environmental Management Act. The environmental investigation process was triggered by the submission of the Site disclosure statement, a requirement for Catalyst-Paper Excellence’s sale of the property.

Foundations of the pulpmill at tiskʷat in 1910.

qat̓ᶿ xʷɛʔɛθot tiskʷat will help Tla’amin protect its cultural heritage at the site by ensuring the Nation’s voice in archaeological processes and cultural asset management decisions affecting Tla’amin artifacts.  

Specifically, B.C. commits to a stronger stewardship role for Tla’amin Nation including a joint review process with the Tla’amin Nation environmental and archeological permits; encouraging the employment of Tla’amin cultural and heritage and environmental technicians; and encouraging the inclusion of Tla’amin ethnographic, ethnohistorical and traditional land use and stewardship knowledge in all permit and process reviews.

The qat̓ᶿ xʷɛʔɛθot tiskʷat Protocol builds on and breathes life into the yiχmɛtštəm tiskʷat (we are going to take care of tiskwat) MOU. B.C. and Tla’amin Nation developed the tiskwat MOU to support Tla’amin Nation’s environmental stewardship objectives at the tiskʷat mill site. 

Download the Protocol Agreement [pdf]

Download the news release [pdf]

 Media
Tla’amin Nation
media@tn-bc.ca
778-834-7934

Background

The tiskʷat mill site forms part of Tla’amin Nation’s former tiskʷat settlement. The Tla’amin were forcibly removed from the site in the late 1800s to make way for the pulp mill and hydroelectric dam.

The dam eradicated one of the richest salmon runs on the south coast of B.C., upon which the Tla’amin people relied.

The site is subject to a land claim negotiation with the federal government, and it holds high archaeological and cultural value to the Nation. 

The yiχmɛtštəm tiskʷat (we are going to take care of tiskwat) memorandum of understanding was signed on October 27th, 2023, to chart a path for responsible site stewardship, intergovernmental cooperation and economic reconciliation, and to safeguard the future of tiskwat and prevent abandonment of the property.

The qat̓ᶿ xʷɛʔɛθot tiskʷat (planning together for tiskʷatt) protocol builds upon this MOU to care for recent archaeological discoveries at the mill site. The Protocol details how the two governments will collaborate on environmental and heritage protection processes and decision-making at the tiskʷat mill site.