“First they took the children from the land, now they take the land from our children."
The Klabona Keepers are a group of indigenous land protectors in northern BC. The community there has an intimate history with residential schools, and a complex relationship with the mining companies that sustain their small economy with jobs but simultaneously destroy their legally held ancestral land. Despite that, this small group of leaders, elders and youth from the Iskut community have successfully prevented two major mining companies - Shell Oil and Fortune Minerals - from exploiting their land, which includes some of the most precious natural resources in Canada. Tl’abane, also known as the Sacred Headwaters, and the surrounding Stikine has been a significant natural area at the centre of Tahltan Nation’s culture for thousands of years. For the past twelve years the Klabona Keepers have blockaded roads, shut down camps, and created such immense public pressure that not one, but both massive companies have pulled their mining operations, with Shell Oil relinquishing its mining tenures, preventing the land from becoming an open pit coal mine dotted with natural gas wells. The Keepers want to share their fight against the powers arrayed against them, show it is possible to prevail... and how.