Teck Coal, Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it First Nation sign stewardship agreement for Elk Valley

Left to right: Councillor Kyle Shottanana, Councillor Garrett Gravelle, Robin Sheremeta – President, Teck Coal, Nasukin Heidi Gravelle, Councillor Avery Gravelle, Sheila Risbud – VP of sustainable development, Teck Coal.

TheYaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it First Nation and Teck Coal Limited on Tuesday announced the signing of a relationship charter which formalizes the commitment of both parties to develop and sustain a strong working relationship.

The parties have also signed a stewardship agreement which outlines collaboration on environmental and cultural stewardship projects.

The relationship charter establishes a path forward to collaboratively advance responsible mining and land stewardship within qukin ʔamakis (the Elk Valley in British Columbia).

The stewardship agreement sets out commitments for both parties in areas including building Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it capacity to collaborate on stewardship projects benefitting the territory; advancing governance and reconciliation initiatives to benefit the well-being of all ʔakanuxunik; and ongoing engagement and relationship-building that supports the region’s economic well-being and ensures the environment is safeguarded.

Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it and Teck have committed to continued collaboration and engagement based on the principles of trust, respect, transparency, and meaningfulness, the Canadian miner said in a news release.

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

“This means changing the way 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,” Gravelle added.

“These agreements reflect what we have learned from Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ’it and their Nation’s vision for the future,” said Robin Sheremeta, president of Teck’s coal business unit.

“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.”