Tletinqox First Nation working with the community's silviculture program which Chief Joe Alphonse says is putting many of the community members to work.

Tletinqox First Nation working with the community's silviculture program which Chief Joe Alphonse says is putting many of the community members to work.

Tletinqox silviculture program provides training to community

A silviculture program within the traditional caretaker area of the Tletinqox First Nation community is making a difference.

A silviculture program within the traditional caretaker area of the Tletinqox First Nation community is making a difference.

“We line up forestry training courses for all of our community members to make sure they are certified,” Tletinqox Chief Joe Alphonse said. “That way if  things happen, say people get injured or have family situations, then we make sure there are a wide variety of qualified people that can step in.”

Tletinqox has five pack crews that fit into trucks comfortably.

“We design our fleet with dry boxes containing three days of dried food inside them if anything happens, they have a tent and pegs, pit cans, shovels, chainsaws,”

Three of the five crews are trained and qualified to do spacing, dwarf mistletoe management, or when it is hot and dry, help with fire suppression.

Tletinqox is proud to have developed the first First Nation firefighting crew in the area, he added.

“We weren’t as organized eight years ago as we are now and silviculture-related work is the number one employment for people in our community.”

During the last few years, it has turned into year-round work for some, even though it was originally designed to be seasonal work, Alphonse said, noting every year is different and depends on the weather and conditions.

“In the future we would like to expand and go to other areas to do this type of work,” Alphonse said.

Most of the work is through local companies such as Tolko Industries and West Fraser and for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, he added.

“Contractors all have obligations if they log in an area to carry out silviculture, it’s just that everything silviculture related in Tletinqox territory has to be done by Tletinqox.

“If we catch any other crews out there we will ask them to leave because we can do the work.”

When companies come in and log the trees it impacts the First Nations’ resources, he said, noting it is up to the community to hold companies accountable.

“It has to be a win-win situation. If resource extraction companies are willing to work with us, it will work.”

The silviculture crews don’t make a lot of money, but it is about choosing a lifestyle that makes community members feel like they are giving back to the environment.

And with technology, what used to take a 200-man crew is done by five guys making the cost of every log less and less so it is very competitive.

“Those logging machines cost half a million dollars so supplying crews and our trucks is more feasible and employs more people.”

This year, in partnership with West Fraser, two rookie crews with 20 people were established to give more individuals a chance and Alphonse half expected many of the people would drop out.

However, the work ethic and commitment of the rookies pleasantly surprised him.

“The work they’ve done has been excellent and we have had more and more work lined up for them and they have built up their confidence and industry has stepped up and provided more work for them.”

During the Williams Lake Stampede, a 30-year-old rookie crew member was very proud to tell people he was working.

“In his past he has spent time in rehab centers and institutions and getting himself into lots of trouble and said it was the first job he’d had since he went to high school and worked as a summer student for the band,” Alphonse said.

“As it turns out he’s one of the best workers we have and it’s encouraging to see. Those are moments that make me glad we are pushing for these types of things to happen.”

Tletinqox doesn’t engage in tree planting because there are established companies out there doing it that are pretty hard to compete with, Alphonse said.

“If there were opportunities to go into partnership some time in the future with a tree planting company then we might be able to do that.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Williams Lake Fire Chief Erick Peterson said his department along with other fire departments in the region will be doing some wildfire urban interface training on Sunday, May 9 in the Williams Lake area. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Wildfire urban interface training slated for Williams Lake area Sunday, May 9

Williams Lake, Quesnel, Miocene and 150 Mile House fire departments participating

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read