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Tahltan woman wins Indigenous Trailblazer award

Freda Campbell has worked with communities directly affected by mining for over 15 years

Tahltan woman Freda Campbell has won the 2023 Indigenous Trailblazer Award presented by Women in Mining Canada.

Campbell lives in Dease Lake, B.C. and is a member of the Tahltan Nation, Crow Clan, and Dekama Family. She has lived in Tahltan territory and in communities directly affected by mining for over 15 years.

“The United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples has put an exclamation mark on what some of us have been working towards for a very long time,” she said. “I am honoured and humbled.”

Campbell works as a community relations director for Skeena Resources Ltd. and has worked in the mining industry for over 25 years. In that time, she has represented both industry and Indigenous peoples.

“We are very pleased that Freda is being recognized for the significant contribution she has made to communities and our industry over her career,” said Justin Himmelright, the company’s senior vice president of external affairs and sustainability.

“Freda’s work in training and education for Indigenous people in mining has created positive outcomes for many individuals during the last 25 years. She is truly a trailblazer in our industry and very deserving of this award.”

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Campbell developed OnTrack: Tahltan Essential Skills Database, which lets Tahltan people access job opportunities in Tahltan Territory and apply with a click. The service changed how industry views applicant eligibility for jobs in the mining industry.

She also pioneered the Tahltan Mentorship Program, which prepares Tahltan mentees for management roles in the mining industry and connects them with Tahltan territory, culture, and community.

This program provides opportunities for the Tahltan mentees to go home to Tahltan territory, many for the first time, to connect with their families and participate in Tahltan cultural activities.

“Meaningful engagement with the Indigenous Nations on whose land projects are located is critical to the reconciliation we are all working towards,” Campbell said.


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