Cheslatta Carrier Nation, An Economic Force
Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto experienced generations of conflict before both parties realized it would be more productive to work together. Since 2000, Cheslatta and Rio Tinto have been collaborating business-to-business through a series of Cheslatta and Rio Tinto initiatives ranging from land and forest management, competitive contracting, barge and marine services, and reservoir stewardship projects. Cheslatta now has a Master Service Agreement with the mineral producer which means they are prequalified for Rio Tinto projects – a major achievement given the scale of Rio Tinto’s operations.
Rio Tinto benefits from Cheslatta’s logistical resources, readiness, and knowledge of the land and water. Cheslatta benefits from employment and revenue sustainability as well as enhancing their technical and professional capacity. In 2017, with Rio Tinto as a major sponsor, Cheslatta opened the Remote Industry Training Centre to build a workforce that can meet the demands of working on the substantial projects flowing from a growing number of industry partnerships.
Resolving to work together marked a social and economic turning point for Cheslatta. The Nation has been able to expand their scope of operations and readiness to other sectors, including linear developments, hydro-electric upgrades and community infrastructure, resulting in Cheslatta being a substantial employer in the central interior of British Columbia.
A primary element of Cheslatta’s success can be attributed to strong, innovative and progressive leadership supported by a dedicated team of long-term employees all working on behalf of the members of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation.