North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Tahltan Nation demands end to Jade Fever

Calls on Discovery to stop show, BC to handle bigger issue North of 60 Mining News – May 21, 2021


Last updated 5/27/2021 at 3:41pm

Tahltan Nation Discovery Chanel Jade Fever British Columbia Canada

Creative Commons

A jade specimen on display at Jade City, a store along the Stewart-Cassiar Highway about 116 kilometers (72 miles) north of the community of Dease Lake, British Columbia.

Fed up with the Discovery Channel show "Jade Fever" glorifying what it considers irresponsible and disrespectful mining practices in the territory of the Tahltan First Nation people it represents, Tahltan Central Government is demanding that the producer suspend airing the "reality show."

Having recently launched its seventh season on Discovery Channel Canada, Jade Fever follows a family-run mining operation that extracts jade from placer and hard rock deposits in the Cassiar Mountains and Turnagain River basin of northwestern British Columbia.

TGC, which says Jade Fever fails to demonstrate any consideration of the mining's impacts to Tahltan rights and title or depict responsible environmental stewardship, has demanded that Bell Media, the Discovery Channel, and Omnifilm Entertainment stop airing the series.

Jade Fever is representative of a bigger issue for the Tahltan Nation, the way jade and placer gold mining is currently carried out in its territory.

"The jade and placer industry in its current form has no place in Tahltan Territory or British Columbia," said Tahltan Central Government President Chad Day. "The ongoing degradation of our wildlife, fisheries, and wilderness in exchange for minimal benefits flowing back to the Province or the Tahltan Nation is illegal, disrespectful, and shameful on so many levels, to both Tahltans and British Columbians."

The Tahltan Nation's 95,933-square-kilometer (37,040 square miles) territory covers 70% of BC's Golden Triangle, which has been an active placer gold-producing region for more than 150 years, and the nephrite jade deposits in the area are considered some of the highest quality in the world.

TGC says the environmental and cultural repercussions of the gold and jade mining outweigh any benefits to the Tahltan Nation.

"These jade and placer gold operations have unacceptable impacts on the Tahltan Nation. Our community members and staff have camera footage and several eye-witness accounts of illegal poaching of our wildlife and other serious environmental infractions, such as taking equipment through salmon-bearing waters, by these operators. Abandoned equipment and garbage has been piling up from these operators for decades," said Day. "Jade is also an important resource to Tahltan culture, and yet the Province allows others to come into our territory without our consent to extract millions of dollars worth of jade each year, with zero compensation and a huge environmental mess that hurts us all as British Columbians."

Last year, Day sent a letter to BC officials demanding the provincial government take immediate steps to shut down the jade and placer mining activities in the Tahltan territory.

Chad Day Cassiar Mountains Bell Media Omnifilm Entertainment Turnagain River

Chad Day

Though the BC government has implemented a two-year restriction on the issuance of permits for placer jade mining, this moratorium does address the already permitted placer jade operations, hard-rock jade mining, or placer gold mining.

Day says this measure does not go far enough and wants to see a complete shutdown of the jade and placer mining in the territory until negotiations with the Tahltan Central Government are settled.

"The Tahltan Nation has been pushing BC to deal with this highly unregulated and unethical industry for years and they have failed to address the concerns in a timely fashion," he said. "We as Tahltans will begin shutting down more activities and may stop supporting industrial projects until our title and rights and the environment are properly respected and protected."

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 13 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (907) 726-1095


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