Tahltan Central Government

  • Branding
Tahltan culture is intricately woven into all aspects of life from art, language, governance, and law with values that are heavily based in harmony between mind, body, and spirit.

The Tahltan Central Government brand is a bridge for communications between internal
and external stakeholders, giving voice to support the well-being of economy, society, culture, language, health and education.

Tahltan Central Government logo on white background

Background

The Tahltan territory encompasses 93,500 square kilometres, extending from the Alaskan/Canadian border to the upper Nass tributaries, and from the western half of the Stikine Plateau to parts of the Yukon Territory.

Primarily a hunting and trapping people, the Tahltan fostered inter-tribal trade with neighbouring tribes exchanging items such as fish, furs and obsidian, useful for making tools and weapons. In the early 1900s, the population of the Tahltan Nation was devastated by smallpox, measles, influenza and tuberculosis; diseases introduced by European explorers, to which the Tahltan people had no natural immunity. At its lowest point, the Tahltan population numbered under 300 people.

Today, the Tahltan Nation has a population of approximately 4,000 people with some 800 residing in their communities. Half of the residents in the Tahltan territory are of the Tahltan Band dispersed between Telegraph Creek, Dease Lake, and Iskut communities. Both the Iskut and the Tahltan First Nation Bands are governed by the TCG.

Traditional Tahltan Dance Shirt

Source: Glenbow Museum 

Stikine River
Tahltan Territory shape

The Tahltan Purpose

Our purpose is to define and protect Tahltan inherent aboriginal rights and title. We are responsible for the ecosystem and natural resources of Tahltan Territory, for managing sustainable economic development, and for strengthening the cultural wellness of the Nation. We defend, assert, and promote the title and rights of Tahltans.

Strategy

Progressing through two TCG boards, the new brand and identity is the result of countless hours of research, strategy development and cocreation, with the participation and collaboration of Tahltan cultural and language advisors.

The outcome is a brand strategy and visual identity that responds to the goal of becoming a bridge for communications between internal and external stakeholders, giving voice to support the well-being of the territory, economy, society, culture, language, health and education.

This brand is about a commitment to positive change, promoting sustainability and skills growth. Fundamental to the cultural past and future of Tahltans the new brand celebrates language and culture. It’s a clear and timeless symbol of the power of communication, and serves as a beacon to future generations.

Tahltan Central Government logo infographic with images that helped influence the brand

Solution

This project is the result of hours of research, strategy development and co-creation, with the participation and collaboration of Tahltan cultural and language advisors.

The outcome is a brand strategy and visual identity that responds to this goal: that the Tahltan Central Government brand becomes a bridge for communications between internal and external stakeholders, giving voice to support the well-being of our territory, economy, society, culture, language, health and education.

Fundamental to the cultural past and future of Tahltans – and indisputably unique – is the Tāłtān language and alphabet. Standing alone, it is a clear symbol of the power of communication, standing the test of time, and serving as a beacon to future generations. While the stylistic and artistic interpretation of logos and symbols may come and go, and sometimes even alienate, a language will unify and leave its indelible mark.

The new TCG wordmark is set using the Tāłtān alphabet, paired with the full Tahltan Central Government name. The Tāłtān name is set in a customized bold face that has been influenced by historical artifacts and sacred places. Extended and slightly curved, the T references daggers and arrowheads carved from obsidian. The diacritic macrons above the A resemble snow capped mountains. The typeface was constructed  to create a solid and proud mark representing Tahltan people and their bold history.

The brand colours were chosen through referencing traditional Tahltan artwork and textiles, creating a palette that is authentic to Tahltan culture that is versatile for governmental and public use.

Brand elements were illustrated by Tahltan artists, referencing the traditional shapes found in Tahltan beadwork. They are stylized using a dotted line to reference this beading. When paired with colour, imagery and used as patterns, they create an authentic visual language.

Tāłtān/Tahltan Alphabet
Tahltan Central Government Colours

Source: MOA Tahltan Collection 1 | 2

Tahltan Shapes

The Results

“I am excited that the resilience of our language and the creativity of our ancestors is now the essence of our brand.”

–Sandra Marion – Thud ga, Family Representative

 

“Our brand is bold and will stand out because the design principles are based on the history of our culture and language.”

–Jodi Payne – Cawtoonma, Family Representative

 

“I love that our new brand is incorporating designs from our ancestors and that we are using the proper pronunciation of Tahltan.”

–Carmen McPhee – Good-za-ma, Family representative

 

“Incorporating our culture into the TCG’s brand will not only help define us culturally but also as a Nation.”

–Ann M. Ball – Etzenlee, Family representative

 

“The use of our shapes is really powerful because they have so many different meanings to our people. It defines Tahltan without saying any words.”

–Kimberley Marion – Simgaldtada (Ts’imgalteda), Family representative

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