Rio Tinto is proud to support the Indigenous-led archaeological research project

The sites around Taticheck lake are unique and abound in historical significance. Thousands of artefacts, village sites and human remains can help us better understand our past. Supporting this Indigenous-led research project as a partner to the Cheslatta Carrier Nation was something we wanted to be a part of. 

This weekend we had the honor to attend a Cheslatta Carrier Nation campout to announce the partnership and learn more about their heritage. 

At Rio Tinto, we are humbled that we get to play a small role in discovering and learning more about Indigenous culture and traditions that could impact how we understand the history of human migrations in North America.

Rio Tinto BC Works’ Operations Director Andrew Czornohalan attended the campout and shared the importance of the partnership to him with his colleagues (see below).

Here’s a great news piece that talks more in-depth about the partnership https://lnkd.in/gwK_v7rA.

Mussi.

A research site where tools and resources have been found.

Rio Tinto’s Andrew Czornohalan’s message to the BC Works Team

Colleagues,  

The Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto are embarking together on a significant archaeological project to excavate cultural and historical sites, some with an estimated 10,000-year-old history.  

Rio Tinto will contribute CAD $2.8 million dollars to this remarkable Cheslatta led project that will help archeologists collect, preserve and study artifacts found around Tatichek Lake, which sits on the southeast side of the Nechako Reservoir. This will be the first archaeological project of this magnitude that Rio Tinto will be sponsoring in North America and it sits right in our backyard.  

Over the weekend, I had the incrediblyunique opportunity to visit the Tatichek archaeological site. There is something so humbling to stand in a place that has such extraordinary history, where important conversations were held, and memories were made. The sense of humanity and connection, really a window to the past was overwhelming, thinking of those who lived, shared, loved, laughed, lost, struggled and triumphed in this location over countless generations will live with me for my lifetime.  

As we explore and study these unique sites and artifacts, we will gain insights into past lives and establish timelines of occupation, trading networks, and resource gathering. Through archaeology, pieces history can be reconstructed, and we can understand so much more about the way of life, the culture and the traditions of people. It will also enhance our understanding of the Indigenous communities and human migration patterns in North America. It was believed that Tatichek Lake was located on one of three major migration routes that brought humans all the way from Alaska to the southwest of the United States.   

This project aims to preserve and protect unique elements of Cheslatta heritage that we are grateful to be able to recover after the flooding and forest fires that this land has experienced. This project will have a tremendous impact on the reflection and rebuilding we continue to do to strengthen the relationship with the Cheslatta Carrier Nation and the learnings and lessons we take with us into the future.   

We truly appreciate and it is quite humbling reflecting on the trust Cheslatta has in us to be part of this project. We will continue to build upon the New Day agreement and strengthen the relationship between the Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto. This project represents a significant step forward in building a more respectful and inclusive future and we are very proud to be a part of it.  

Andrew Czornohalan

Flow Facts: 29 July to 4 August 2022

  • Reservoir levels continue to decrease from a peak of 2799.91 feet on 15 July. In the past 7 days, reservoir levels have decreased from 2799.55 feet to 2799.25 feet.
  • Skins Lake Spillway discharge is being maintained at ~300 m3/s until the end of 20 August as part of the Summer Temperature Management Program (STMP). Please see image below to learn more about the STMP.
  • Approximately 4 (four) millimetres of precipitation was recorded last week, and 2 (two) millimetre is anticipated over the next 7 days.
  • Real-time and historical information on reservoir activity can be viewed at any time by clicking here. Please see images below for further details regarding current reservoir conditions.
Flow Facts: 22 July to 28 July 2022
  • Reservoir levels continue to decrease from a peak of 2799.91 feet on 15 July. In the past 7 days, reservoir levels have decreasedfrom 2799.70 feet to 2799.55 feet.
  • Skins Lake Spillway discharge is currently ~300 m3/s, and will be maintained as such for the next week.
  • Approximately 2 (two) millimetres of precipitation was recorded last week, and 1 (one) millimetre is anticipated over the next 7 days.
  • Real-time and historical information on reservoir activity can be viewed at any time by clicking here. Please see images below for further details regarding current reservoir conditions.

Additional information regarding current conditions

Overall, since 1 April 2022, we experienced the 3rd highest amount of rain on record for this period due to the late Spring and recent rain events. However, with recent low precipitation forecasted, Nechako River levels are expected to continue to decrease.

Should you have any questions or concerns, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out by reply email, or through one of the methods listed below.

Do you know about Rio Tinto’s partnership with UNBC?

The Tahtsa Ranges Atmospheric Rivers Experiment (TRARE) is part of the natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)/Rio Tinto Industrial Research Chair project. This is a five-year long project that has many different components dedicated to examining the hydrology of the Nechako River Watershed. This experiment is super exciting because it’s the first of its kind in Canada!

Dr. Stephen Dery is the lead on this project and has been researching Pineapple Express Storms. These storms are actually rivers in the sky that originate in the Pacific Ocean and bring LOTS of moisture to the north. Dr. Dery and his team are studying how much and what type of precipitation these storms produce to better understand how they affect the Watershed. With climate change, these storms will occur more frequently which can raise the water levels and cause landslides or washouts and harm the surrounding ecosystems. Knowing how Pineapple Express Storms affect the water, it can be easier to predict high water levels and plan accordingly.

Great work being done by Dr. Dery and his team!

Check out these videos to learn more about the work being done by Dr. Dery and his team.

https://fb.watch/ewbT9IkY3d/

https://fb.watch/exhMWrJErN/

Flow Facts: 15 July to 21 July 2022

With the current high water event, we recognize the community’s increased interest in reservoir conditions and management. Additional information is provided in this Flow Facts and we will continue to provide updates as needed.

  • Reservoir level decreased from 2799.82 feet to 2799.70 feet in the past 7 days. The reservoir reached a peak of 2799.91 feet on 15 July.
  • Skins Lake Spillway discharge is currently ~390 m3/s, and will be decreased to ~300 m3/s on 22 July.
  • Approximately 13 (thirteen) millimetres of precipitation was recorded last week, and up to 5 (five) millimetres is anticipated over the next 7 days.
  • Real-time and historical information on reservoir activity can be viewed at any time by clicking here. Please see images below for further details regarding current reservoir conditions.

Additional information regarding current conditions

Overall, since 1 April 2022, we are experiencing the 3rd highest amount of rain on record for this period due to the late Spring and recent rain events. However, with recent low precipitation forecasted, Nechako River levels are expected to continue to decrease.

Rio Tinto continues to work closely with Indigenous and local communities, stakeholders, as well as the Water Control Board  to uphold reservoir safety and minimize downstream impacts. We will continue to issue information through Flow Facts, Facebook and the Get Involved Nechako website, as well as community meetings as needed. Real-time reservoir activity can be viewed at any time here.

We are looking for a Communities & Communications Advisor to contribute to our Communities team in the Nechako Watershed. You will be part of a cross-disciplinary group of colleagues throughout the province in building collaborative and lasting relationships with community partners. This role is based in Burns Lake or Vanderhoof, BC.

To learn more details and apply, visit: https://bit.ly/3bwMpOZ

Did you know that Rio Tinto maintains a public campsite on the shores of Ootsa Lake?

The campsite is free to users and includes running water to most sites, free firewood, picnic tables, boat launch, a few docks and a large public gazebo with cement barbeque pit and grill. 

The campsite is maintained and managed by Rio Tinto as an offer of appreciation from us to our host communities. We invite visitors to come and enjoy the campsite and take advantage of the beautiful scenery and what the outdoors has to offer.

Most importantly, think ‘safety’ this summer. Wear lifejackets, be cautious around campfires, be aware that we share the outdoors with wildlife and take safety precautions in areas where wildlife may be near.

We wish you a safe and memorable summer.

Every year, Rio Tinto BC Works produces a Sustainability Report. While we know there is always more to be done, it is also important to take a moment to be proud of everything we’ve achieved together in 2021 and thank all our teams for their efforts in accomplishing these results.

Check out our 2021 Sustainability Report and read about the impact of our economic contributions and the implementation of our community and environmental commitments.

It has been a busy winter on the Kemano T2 Project. Since the tunnel boring machine (TBM) broke through last October, it has been dismantled and removed, and the project is on schedule for completion.

In this issue of the Kemano T2 Project newsletter, learn about what’s next on the project and our commitment to the environment as we protect Coastal Tailed Frogs, the only frog species in North America that breed in cold mountain streams.

Flow Facts: 1 April to 7 April 2022

  • Reservoir level is 2793.21 feet, which is unchanged in the past 7 days.
  • Currently, Skins Lake Spillway discharge is ~40 m3/s, where it will be maintained until approximately mid-April, in accordance with the Nechako Fisheries Conservation Program guidelines.
  • Nechako River flow discharge changes in the past 7 days at various locations are as follows: 
    • Flow at Nautley increased from 11 m3/s to 14 m3/s
    • Flow at Cheslatta increased from45 m3/s to 46 m3/s
    • Flow at Vanderhoof increased from 55 m3/s to 75 m3/s
  • Sixteen (16) mm of precipitation was observed last week and ten (10) mm of precipitation is expected next week.
  • Real-time and historical information on reservoir activity, can be viewed at any time by clicking here. Please see images below for further details regarding current reservoir conditions.