The Stikine Region located in northwestern B.C. is the only area of the province that is not incorporated as part of a regional district or municipality. When the regional district system was established in the late 1960s, the region did not have sufficient population or property assessment value to support being established as a regional district.
Economic activity in the Stikine Region includes metal mining, wilderness tourism, trapping, commercial fishing and construction work associated with large development projects. At times, when metal prices have been high, the region has experienced higher resource development related activity. These periods have typically been followed by decline when prices have fallen.
Location & Population
With a total area of 116,143 square kilometres, the Stikine Region is situated in the far northwest corner of B.C. bordering the Yukon Territory and Alaska. The region shares the rest of its border with the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, and the Kitimat-Stikine, Peace River and Bulkley-Nechako regional districts.
The Stikine Region is the traditional territory of several First Nations - Taku River Tlingit, Kaska Dene, Tahltan, Gitxsan and Takla Lake - which all have communities in the region.
The total population of the region is approximately 740 with most residents centred in the community of Atlin (population 547) which includes two Taku River Tlingit reserves. The rest of the population is dispursed between the communities of Lower Post, Good Hope Lake, Jade City and Laird River. With its small dispersed population, and low total property assessment value, the region cannot support becoming a municipality or regional district.
Local Governance & Planning
Within the Stikine Region, the one local authority is the Atlin Community Improvement District which provides basic services including drainage, fire protection, sidewalks, solid waste disposal, street lighting and waterworks to the residents of Atlin. The improvement district also has a planning advisory role with authority to represent the community's interests in communications with provincial agencies on land use matters.
In the absence of any municipalities or a regional district, the region relies on the provincial government for basic governance. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has general oversight over the region and responsibility for governance change and planning reviews. Other provincial agencies such as the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Northern Health also provide services to support communities in the region.
Over the years, the boundary of the Stikine region has been reviewed to see if areas can be added to adjoining regional districts to give communities some local control. The last major adjustment was in 2007 when the boundaries of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine were expanded into the Stikine Region to take in the community of Dease Lake to provide a fire protection service.