Tahltan Nation COVID-19 Emergency Management Update

Press Release

March 25, 2020

This morning, the Tahltan Nation COVID-19 Emergency Management Team (TNCEMPT) met to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the threat to our Territory.

The TNCEMT would like to again stress, in the strongest terms, that Tahltan Territory is not immune from this pandemic. Everyone must do their part to break the chain of commission, flatten the outbreak curve, and prevent the virus from reaching the Territory. Effective immediately:

  • Tahltans in Territory are required to stay at home, with the exception of essential services and going to our community stores and or medical facilities. Going out on the land with family you are self-isolating with is okay.
  • Tahltans in Territory are required to social distance. Public gatherings of more than 2 people are forbidden.
  • Tahltans in Territory are required to remain in Territory and do their shopping in community stores.
  • Tahltan who are outside of Territory are required to remain where they are and follow all provincial social distancing guidelines.

Tahltan Leadership understands and shares your concerns and is committed to coming together as one to protect our Territory from this virus. We must remain calm, stick together and support each other. We will get through this trying time together.

Tahlan Nation COVID Website

TNCEMPT understand that our members want to be informed, especially during times of crisis. That is why we have set up a Tahltan Nation COVID-19 Emergency Management webpage – https://tahltan.org/covid-19/ – where all of our members can inform themselves about COVID-19 and our response.

Elders Update

Our Elders are the most vulnerable during this crisis and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure their well-being during this very challenging time. TNCEMPT encourages each of you to reach out and protect their mental well-being by maintaining your connections with our Elders, either through the telephone, through the window a safe distance apart, or through other virtual means.

Red Chris

Tahltan Leadership is aware of the differences in opinions that exist when it comes to the Red Chris Mine and have and will continue to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our members, while considering the myriad of other critical factors when making decisions on behalf of the Nation.

On Monday, the TNCEMPT had two leadership to leadership meetings with Newcrest (Red Chris) to discuss what steps Newcrest was taking and what further steps they are willing to take to ensure our communities remain safe. Further communications took place yesterday and TNCEMPT met again this morning and again this afternoon with Newcrest to discuss the robust options available to ensure the safety and well being of our communities. Further information will be available very soon.

3Nations Update

After a process of identifying and interviewing our options, conducted on our behalf by a consultant, the Tech Team is engaging with CCEM – http://www.ccemstrategies.com/

  • to provide us with expert pandemic planning advice and assistance. CCEM already has two COVID-19 pandemic response contracts in place with large private sector firms.

3Nations and CCEM met today to determine how best CCEM can contribute to 3Nations’ pandemic prevention work (including by providing advice and assistance to individual communities), how to strengthen 3Nations COVID-19 Action Plan, and how to most effectively implement it.

Dease Lake Update


President Day, Chief Mclean and Chief Quock wrote the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS) yesterday to inform the Tahltan Nation’s intention to take over the community management of Dease Lake, including IR9, effective immediately.

Leadership received a response from RDKS late today saying, “Tahltan Leadership are being true leaders in caring for your citizens and reaching out to and including the community of Dease Lake.” RDKS also offered TNCEMPT assistance within their role to ensure Dease Lake has the proper community management and COVID-19 precautionary measures in place.

Update 2:

There are some reports that the store and gas station in Dease Lake were to close. This is not true. Please be advised of the following Super A message:

Due to COVID 19 Pandemic Dease Lake Super A is changing procedures and hours of operation.

Hours of operation: 9am-12pm and 3pm-6pm.

Limit of 5 customers at any given time.

No children are allowed in the store.

Only Gas Bar entrance will be open to shoppers.

We are doing our best to help prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus in our community.

Iskut Update

Everyone in Iskut has been asked to remain in the community; put simply, everyone in Iskut has been asked to not go to our other communities, Terrace, Prince George, etc. Iskut has blocked the community and access to our store from any member of the general public. Anyone returning to Iskut from camp is asked to self isolate for 14 days. In addition, Iskut is keeping track of the people coming and going, so the community knows who is required to self-isolate and what day they have completed their isolation.

Telegraph Creek Update

Telegraph Creek’s Emergency Operation Centre was established today and will be fully functioning tomorrow. Several measures to ensure the safety of our community have already been established; for example, there is an electronic sign at the start of HWY 51 in Dease Lake, as well as an Information/Monitoring Gate at the entrance of Telegraph Creek. Further measures are being considered and will be implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of our community.

Employment, Contracting and Tahltan Businesses Update

TNCEMPT understands that many of you will be negatively affected – employment wise – by what is happening. That is why the TCG Director of Contracting and Business and the Director of Employment have been tasked with collating all the services and benefits available to you as a result of this crisis.

Please continue to check the Tahltan Nation COVID-19 Emergency Management webpage regularly – https://tahltan.org/covid-19/ – to inform yourself of the services and benefits that are available to you.


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