Tahltan Heritage Trust Trustees Bill Adsit and Garry Merkel were pleased to present to Tahltans during the 2022 Tahltan Annual General Assembly (AGA) on July 4th in Dease Lake. The first in-person gathering in three years due to pandemic restrictions, the Trustees were thrilled to connect with members, providing an update on Trust business and answering questions.
Bill opened the presentation, providing an overview of the Trust and a summary of the 2022 financial statements. He also provided a highlight of the investment portfolio, including a breakdown of income and its growth in value since 2015 (now valued at more than $47 million).
Garry explained the distribution policy formula and confirmed the 2022 funds available for distribution was $905,311. In recapping the Distribution History, Garry explained the intention for future distributions is to create a Community Foundation that would work with the community to identify priorities to allocate funds from the Trust.
Garry then introduced the new Trust. He provided background on the original Trust, explained the rationale for creation of a new Trust, walked through the changes and advised the status. In recapping the intentions of the new Trust, Garry said distributions are expected to flow through the Tahltan Community Foundation, and Trustees would focus on wealth preservation and investment.
Regarding the status of the Community Foundation, Garry advised two rounds of community outreach had taken place, and future community meetings would be held to finalize the model. In the interim, the Trust will begin doing the work of the foundation by working with membership to identify priorities in a strategic plan, work with others to deliver on those priorities and report back to membership on progress. Trust articles would be amended to incorporate the Foundation, once there is agreement of the Tahltan Governments.
The Trustees then introduced membership to the new Tahltan Heritage Trust website, which was created to serve as a resource for news and information. Members were invited to join the Trust’s email list to hear news and developments.
A question and answer session followed the presentation. Questions focussed on financial clarifications and the Community Foundation, including potential models, distributions and Tahltan engagement.