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HomeCranbrook NewsYaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it and Teck sign relationship and stewardship agreements

Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it and Teck sign relationship and stewardship agreements

The Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it First Nation (Tobacco Plains Band) and Teck Coal Limited have signed relationship and stewardship agreements to foster collaboration between the community and the company.

Teck officials said the relationship charter formalizes the commitment of both parties in their efforts to create a strong working relationship.

“The relationship charter establishes a path forward to collaboratively advance responsible mining and land stewardship within qukin ʔamakis (the Elk Valley),” said Teck officials.

Meanwhile, the stewardship agreement outlines collaboration on environmental and cultural projects.

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It sets out the following commitments for both parties:

  • Building Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it capacity to collaborate on stewardship projects benefitting Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it territory.
  • Advancing Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it governance and reconciliation initiatives to benefit the well-being of all residents.
  • Ongoing engagement and relationship-building that supports the region’s economic well-being and ensures ʔa·kxam̓is q̓api qapsin (all living things) are safeguarded.

“These agreements are an opportunity for all of us to do better by our land and our people,” said Heidi Gravelle, Nasuʔkin of Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it.

“As the stewards of land on which Teck’s operations reside, we have a responsibility to ensure that the ʔa·kxam̓is q̓api qapsin (all living things) are protected to ensure the longevity of the land for future generations.”

Gravelle said that includes changing how mining is done

“We firmly believe that reconciliation starts with the ability to focus on doing right by our land, and therefore our people. Teck’s commitment to focus on doing right and creating a new future for mining is an opportunity to change the way things are done,” said Gravelle.

“Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it is taking its rightful seat at the table to urgently advance that change; putting the land, water and entire ecosystem at the forefront, as our members expect to see.”

Teck officials said the agreements represent a commitment to collaboration and engagement.

“These agreements reflect what we have learned from Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it and their Nation’s vision for the future. They show our commitment to collaborate on Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it’s socio-economic, stewardship and cultural priorities while supporting responsible resource development in the region for the long-term,” said Robin Sheremeta, President, Coal Business Unit, Teck.

“There is more we can and want to learn from each other, aligned with our shared focus on protecting the environment and creating a vibrant future for people and communities.”

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