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Tahltan Declaration is 100 Years Old

The Tahltan people of northwestern British Columbia are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe. The Declaration was signed on October 18, 1910. It asserts Tahltan sovereignty over traditional lands. The Declaration calls for the settling of treaties, adequate compensation for relinquishing title, and a formalizing of relations between Tahltans and the provincial and federal governments. The document followed closely on the heels of the Declaration by Lillooet Tribes, earlier in 1910.

Congratulations and best wishes to the Tahltan people on their important anniversary.

Also: Tahltan celebrate 100th anniversay of declaration (Terrace Standard)
Tahltan People Celebrate 100th Anniversary Signing of 1910 Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe (Tahltan Central Council Press Release)

Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe (1910)

We, the undersigned members of the Tahltan tribe, speaking for ourselves, and our entire tribe, hereby make known to all whom it may concern, that we have heard of the Indian Rights movement among the Indian tribes of the Coast, and of the southern interior of B.C. Also we have read the declaration make by the chiefs of of the southern interior tribes at Spences Bridge of the 16th July last, and we hereby declare our complete agreement with the demands of the same, and wit the position taken by the said chiefs, and their people on all the questions stated in the said Declaration, and we furthermore make known that it is our desire and intention to join with them in the fight for our mutual rights, and that we will assist in the furtherance of this object in every way we can, until such time as all these matters of moment to us are finally unsettled. We further declare as follow:

Firstly – We claim the sovereign right to all the country of our tribe – this country of ours which we have held intact from the encroachments of other tribes, from time immemorial, at the cost of our own blood. We have done this because our lives depended on our country. To lose it meant we would lose our means of living, and therefore our lives. We are still as heretofore, dependant for our living on our country, and we do not intend to give away the title to any part of same without adequate compensation. We deny the B.C. government has any title or right of ownership in our country. We have never treated with them nor given them any such title. (We have only lately learned the B.C. government make this claim, and that it has for long considered as it property all the territories of the Indian tribes of B.C.)

Secondly – We desire that a part of our country, consisting of one or more large areas (to be selected by us), be retained by us for our own use, said lands, and all thereon to be acknowledged by the government as our absolute property. The rest of our tribal land we are willing to relinquish to the B.C. government for adequate compensation.

Thirdly – We wish it known that a small portion of our lands at the mouth of the Tahltan River, was set apart a few years ago by Mr. Vowell as an Indian reservation. These few acres are the only reservation made for our tribe. We may state we never applied for the reservation of this piece of land, and we had no knowledge why the government set it apart for us, nor do we know exactly yet.

Fourthly – We desire that all questions regarding our lands, hunting, fishing etc., and every matter concerning our welfare, be settled by treaty between us and the Dominion and B.C. government.

Fifthly – We are of the opinion it will be better for ourselves, also better for the governments and all concerned, if these treaties are made with us at a very early date, so all friction, and misunderstanding between us and the whites may be avoided, for we hear lately much talk of white settlement in this region, and the building of railways, etc., in the near future.
Signed at Telegraph Creek, B.C., this eighteenth day of October, Nineteen hundred and ten, by

NANOK, Chief of the Tahltans,
NASTULTA, alias Little Jackson,
And eighty other members of the tribe.

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