The Kaska Nation

March 15, 2005 17:15 ET

Kaska Nation and TransCanada Sign Protocol: Traditional Knowledge Protocol is First of its Kind in Canada





MARCH 15, 2005 - 17:15 ET

Kaska Nation and TransCanada Sign Protocol:
Traditional Knowledge Protocol is First of its Kind in

WHITEHORSE, YUKON--(CCNMatthews - March 15, 2005) - The Kaska Nation and
TransCanada Corporation's (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) wholly owned subsidiary,
Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd., announced today that they have signed a
Traditional Knowledge Protocol. The Protocol sets out how Kaska
Traditional Knowledge will be integrated into planning, construction and
operations of the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project.

"TransCanada is proud to sign this important agreement with the Kaska,"
said Hal Kvisle, TransCanada's Chief Executive Officer. "Our
relationship with the Kaska spans more than 25 years, this Protocol is
another way for us to demonstrate our commitment to find practical and
definitive solutions that address the needs of communities along the
pipeline route while meeting our corporate objectives."

"We believe this is the most comprehensive agreement of its kind in
Canada," said Kaska Tribal Council Chief Hammond Dick. "TransCanada
engaged in an open consultation process and together, we produced an
agreement that will address needs of both organizations over the long

"This Protocol sets a high watermark both domestically and
internationally with respect to Aboriginal peoples' ownership and
control over their traditional knowledge," says Merle Alexander, who
serves as Kaska legal counsel and regularly co-chairs United Nations'
traditional knowledge-related working group. "The agreement has set a
new standard and may serve as a better practice example for other First

Highlights of the Protocol include:

- Recognition of the role Kaska Elders play in decision-making related
to gathering, use and management of traditional knowledge;

- Affirmation of Kaska ownership rights over their traditional
knowledge, including intellectual property rights;

- Specific provisions addressing the appropriate preservation of Kaska
sacred sites; and

- Acknowledgment that the prior informed consent of the Kaska must be
obtained prior to access to traditional knowledge.

"This agreement offers value, not just for the Kaska but for all First
Nations," said Kaska Dena Council Chief Negotiator Dave Porter. "It
confirms our ownership and control over our traditional knowledge and
enables our Elders to lead our efforts."

The Traditional Knowledge Protocol is a component of the Kaska-Foothills
Agreement in Principle signed in January 2004. It will also be a
component of the Participation Agreement that will supersede the
Agreement in Principle.

The Participation Agreement will specify benefits and opportunities
Kaska communities would receive through the advancement of the Alaska
Highway Pipeline Project.

The Kaska Nation includes five First Nations in the southeast Yukon and
northern British Columbia. Their traditional territory covers about 25
per cent of the Yukon, adjacent areas of Northwest Territories and about
10 per cent of British Columbia. The Kaska land claims are part of the
first comprehensive claim accepted by Canada under its 1973 land claims

Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TransCanada
Corporation. The current Foothills system extends more than 1,000
kilometres across Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Foothills
and its subsidiaries hold the certificates to build the Canadian portion
of the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project. The Alaska Highway Pipeline
Project will bring Prudhoe Bay natural gas from Alaska to markets in
Canada and the United States.


Contact Information

    Kaska Tribal Council
    Celia Sollows
    (780) 903-8577
    Kurt Kadatz / Hejdi Feick
    (403) 920-7859 or (800) 608-7859