The richness of this land and its rivers provides the very foundation of Taku River Tlingit kustiyixh, or ‘way of life’

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The Taku Conservation Area

TRTFN Land Planning

The TRTFN have been gathering information about their traditional land use and occupancy for many decades, and have compiled numerous mapping products and studies related to land and resources in their territory.

Building on these efforts, in 1998, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) partnered with Round River Conservation Studies to prepare for engagement in strategic land planning for their territory, including comprehensive mapping and spatial analysis, field research, extensive interviews with Tlingit hunters and other members, and systematic community engagement.

Some of the highlights of this work include:

  • TRT Conservation Areas Design: In 2000, work began to complete a regional territory-wide assessment of ecological values. Building on data sets obtained from Tlingit traditional knowledge and the Taku River Tlingit Fisheries Department, the British Columbia, Alaska, and Canada governments, and from Round River’s field research program, the resulting Taku River Tlingit Territory Conservation Area Design (CAD) identified the wildlife and fisheries habitat of the greatest value, and other habitat areas needed to ensure landscape connectivity. The peer reviewed CAD, released at an international workshop on regional scale ecological assessment in the fall of 2003, was a first of a kind recognizing and incorporating both traditional knowledge and western science into a conservation plan.
  • TRT Vision and Management Direction Document: At the same time, the Nation initiated a comprehensive, community-based planning process that involved several years of interviews, community workshops, clan, and family meetings. The resulting product, Hà t_átgi hà khustìyxh sìti: The Land is Our Future, Vision and Management Direction Document articulates Taku Tlingit people’s vision for both resource use and conservation. Hà t_átgi hà khustìyxh sìti was approved through a Joint Clan Meeting on May 24, 2003.
  • Tlatsini Map: More recently, using analytical tools and modeling approaches, ecological and cultural data sets were integrated to bring together the CAD, Hà t_átgi hà khustìyxh sìti and information on cultural and traditional use to identify lands that must be protected. In 2009, the Nation released the Taku River Tlingit Tlatsini or ‘The Lands That Keep Us Strong.’

Few other First Nations in Canada have been able to prepare themselves for engaging in a joint planning process by bringing together the range of quality of products that has been compiled by the Taku River Tlingit.