INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 48 - No. 15—August 12, 2021 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776
Photo by Eric Plummer
RoseAnne Archibald, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, met with Huu-ay-aht, Hupacasath, Ahousaht and Tseshaht in late July, developing relationships in the ﬁrst weeks of her term. Here she is pictured with Leisa Hassall (left) and Eunice Joe during a welcome provided by the Tseshaht First Nation. Story on page 5.
Five nations assert right to half of overall catch A Ha’wiih declaration is overruling DFO allocations on Vancouver Island, talks with sporting groups expected By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Toﬁno, BC - Five Nuu-chah-nulth nations have responded to stalled talks with the federal government with a declaration from their Ha’wiih, authorizing members to discard DFO’s catch allocations and harvest according to their own ﬁshing plans. Eﬀective immediately, the decision announced on Aug. 4 by hereditary leaders from the Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint, Hesquiaht, Mowachaht/Muchalaht and Tla-o-qui-aht provides the nations with half of what is caught in their territorial waters, allowing the remainder to be shared with other sectors, such as commercial and recreational boats. Hasheukumiss (Richard George), a hereditary chief with the Ahousaht First Nation, said the Ha’wiih declaration follows his nation’s inherent right to harvest and sell ﬁsh from his territory. “I have been continually shocked with the various allocations of ﬁsh species that the federal government has deemed appropriate,” he said in a press release. “The DFO and the rest of Canada need to
understand that our traditional territories, and the resources within, are ours to manage. Everything within our waterways is 100 per cent ours, and it is our right to continue our ﬁshery. We are willing to share 50 per cent of our resources with other user groups, but at the end of the day, the resources are ours to manage through our own conservation practices.” This declaration goes far beyond allocations for the ﬁve nations that were set by Fisheries and Oceans Canada this year. In the spring the ﬁve nations were allocated 7,821 chinook salmon out of the 88,000 in total allowable catch oﬀ the west coast of Vancouver Island, while the sports ﬁshery got 40,000. Another 5,000 chinook were set aside for First Nations food, social and ceremonial purposes, while nations in the Maa-nulth treaty got 3,441. The Area G troll ﬂeet was allocated 31,738 chinook, but this was cut this summer as part of the government’s decision to close 60 per cent of commercial salmon ﬁsheries in B.C. in an eﬀort to reverse steep declines in West Coast stocks. After those numbers were issued a ruling came from the B.C. Court of Appeal
Inside this issue... IRS discoveries spark memories................................Page 3 Federal Minister gives and ear to Tseshaht................Page 4 Subsea marine conservation talks stall.......................Page 8 Chim’s Guest House expands...................................Page 11 Woman warns people about diabetes........................Page 17
that stated the ﬁve nations have the right to a ﬁshery “of a moderate commercial scale”. The court decision removed the terms “small scale”, “artisanal” and “local” that were used in a prior judgement to deﬁne the scope of the nation’s ﬁsheries. DFO responded by increasing the nations’ chinook allocation to 13,000, but this fell far short of the 23,000 chinook that the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations believe to be a fair catch in their waters, said Cliﬀ Atleo, Ahousaht’s lead negotiator. “Our ﬁve Nuu-chah-nulth nations demand reconciliation and recognition of their rights as aﬃrmed in the constitution and declared by the courts,” said Kekinusuqs (Judith Sayers), president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “They can not wait any longer for Canada to work with them on ﬁshing plans and will be ﬁshing under the authority of their Ha’wiih and asserting their rights as they have done since time immemorial.” Talks of a reconciliation agreement between the ﬁve nations and DFO that was expected to be completed this summer have brought only “stale space” said Atleo.
“Prior to COVID, the regular meetings with DFO were two full days,” he said. “Since COVID we’ve been an hour and a half here, two hours there. We’re stretching it when we get three hours out of them.” The Ha’wiih declaration is likely to impact the sports ﬁshery’s share of Vancouver Island’s west coast catch, part of an industry that generates $6 million in annual expenditures in British Columbia, according to the Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada. Atleo said that this sector’s considerable share of DFO’s allocations shows where the government’s priorities are. He noted how, unlike the commercial sector, the recreational ﬁshery did not face severe cuts this summer in the interest of conservation. “The government favours them considerably,” said Atleo. “The action they called for with regards to conservation of endangered species on the west coast of Vancouver Island, they excluded them totally.” Future talks with sports ﬁshing groups are expected, said Atleo.
If undeliverable, please return to: Ha-Shilth-Sa P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2
Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa—August 12, 2021
Usma commissions canoes for children in care The ﬁrst of two ﬁbreglass vessels was unveiled on Aug. 5, an initiative to help get children in care on the water By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Dozens of Nuuchah-nulth-aht and Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council staﬀ gathered at Maht Mahs parking lot Aug. 5 to hear an important announcement from Usma Nuu-chahnulth Family & Child Services. A white, ﬁberglass Nuu-chah-nulth-style canoe rested on a trailer. It served as a backdrop as Linus Lucas, with support from his mother Julia, oﬀered up a prayer chant. He announced that Usma had commissioned two canoes that will be used for children and youth in care. The canoes will allow them to participate in canoe journeys in 2022, giving them the opportunity to enrich their lives with Indigenous culture. Lucas told Ha-Shilth-Sa that the white canoe is the ﬁrst one here. They expect the second canoe to be delivered in September. At that time, there will be another ceremony in which the canoes will be named and launched in the Somass River. Elder Julia Lucas performed a prayer chant next to the canoe, asking that the Creator watch over the children that use the canoe, wherever they may go. “These canoes will help people rediscover their roots,” said Linus. Howard Morris performed a song that
Photo by Denise Titian
Usma has commissioned two canoes that will be used for children and youth in care. One of the canoes was presented Aug. 5 outside of Maht Mahs. he composed. Lucas said that Morris gave the children in care permission to use the song as they go paddling. Lucas
said the children will hopefully practice paddling on the Somass River, learning about canoes and their duties to properly
care for the vessels and equipment. The date for the canoe launching ceremony has yet to be announced.
August 12, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
School discoveries spark memories in former students Orange Shirt Day is now a national holiday, but a support worker says the true healing will take generations By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Calgary, AB - The wave of discoveries this summer of unmarked graves at residential schools sparked a distant memory in Bernard Jack. He recalls attending Christie Indian Residential School on Meares Island as a young child, where a gravesite could be seen outside of a church that students were taken to for services. “All I seen was pegs at the end of a grave,” said Jack, who attended Christie from 1968-73. “The other kids that had been there longer than us already [said], ‘Just look away, keep going’,” he continued. “We knew they were there. That’s one of the things that we did not talk about in the school. You would be really, really punished for that.” A member of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, Jack was taken from his home in Yuquot on Nootka Island at the age of six. He thought he was going for short airplane ride, but his ﬁrst trip in the air ended with Christie’s priests and nuns waiting at the dock. “Not being able to speak English, and being strapped for that, that was the start of being punished for speaking your own tongue,” recalled Jack. Over his time at the school a current of terror ran through the air, upheld by the constant abuse and sexual molestation Jack encountered. He remembers the bunk room, where at times children were being strapped at one end for wetting their beds, while at the other end sexual abuse was occurring. “The kids deliberately wet their beds so that they could deal with the strapping [rather] than the molesting,” Jack said. “While they were screaming away, the other kids down the room were being molested. When the priests or nuns ﬁnished they would come up to the other kids that were being strapped. ‘You kids say anything, you guys are going to be next’.” According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, a total of 23 students died while at Christie, which operated from 1900-83. But Jack believes that far more students never returned home from the residential school. For generations the deaths and abuse weren’t acknowledged – even among family members who attended residential schools, recalled Jack. “They don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “It’s like opening up an old wound.” But now this belief is being conﬁrmed, starting with the discovery in late May of the remains of 215 children at the former site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Through ground penetrating radar, similar discoveries followed. In June the Cowessess First Nation in southern Saskatchewan uncovered 751 unmarked graves at a residential school on their land, then a week later the Lower Kootenay Indian Band announced the remains of 182 were found at the St. Eugene’s Mission School site. Most recently in mid July the Penelakut Tribe publicized the uncovering of 160 unmarked graves at the Kuper Island Residential School site east of Vancouver Island. Work is underway in Nuu-chah-nulth territory, with the Tseshaht investigating the grounds of the Alberni Indian Residential School, while the Ahousaht First Nation is looking into former sites on Flores Island and where the Christie school once stood, calling on the provincial and federal governments for
Photo submitted by National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
The Christie Indian Residential school operated from 1900-83. The institution was on Meares Island before moving to Toﬁno in 1971. ing to solve everything,” he said. “It’s an citing a 1996 study from the Nuu-chahongoing thing that’s going to last several nulth Tribal Council that calls for ingenerations down the road.” vestigations into the circumstances of Meanwhile the discoveries of burials at the deaths at AIRS and other residential former residential school sites continue schools. to trigger those who spent their childhood The last few months have been hard for at the institutions, causing them to reresidential school survivors once news experience things they were too young to broke of the unmarked graves. comprehend. The real challenge contin“It’s like they peeled back the scab,” ues to be how to leave such experiences observed Watts. “People were trying to in the past. heal, moving on with their lives. All of a sudden it got torn back again.” “We can hold on to stuﬀ and let it eat us Many outside of First Nations commuup, or we can realise what it is, let it go nities have been left to wonder how such and move on,” explained Watts. a widespread injustice could happen in While contemplating this struggle the Canada. Besides committing $27 million Tseshaht member recounts a story that in federal and $12 million in provincial comes to mind. “There’s two wolves in your stomach. funding to help with the investigations, Sept. 30 has been made a national holiThey’re always ﬁghting. One represents assistance – with hope that the remains of day. Orange Shirt Day is now oﬃcially love, happiness and all those things that some of the lost children might one day Truth and Reconciliation Day in comare good. The other guy: hate, animosbe returned home. ity, anger,” Watts recalled. “Which one is “Stories are shared of children who died memoration of former residential school students. winning? The one you feed the most.” while at these schools and parents were “We have advised provincial public-secAfter his adult battles with heavy not told the reasoning for the death,” tor employers to honour this day and in drinking and drug abuse, Bernard Jack stated the Ahousaht First Nation in press recognition of the obligations in the vast is working on his own healing, currently release. “Other stories share that babies majority of collective agreements,” reads living in a treatment facility in Calgary. were born to children at the school and a joint statement from B.C.’s Minister of “I’ve learned to pray in my own way, the babies were not seen after birth.” not kneel down and call, ‘Our father who Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Richard Watts, a resolution health art in heaven’,” he said, thinking of those Murray Rankin and Selina Robinson, support worker with Teechuktl Mental minister of Finance. “Many public servic- who have shown him compassion as he Health who assists former residential school and day school students, has heard es will remain open but may be operating works on his health. “It doesn’t always at reduced levels. However, most schools, have to be your uncle, auntie, cousin or of at least two children who were burniece. It can be outside, you don’t have to post-secondary institutions, some health ied in the 1930s under the McCoy Lake push all of that public away.” sector workplaces, and Crown corporabridge, near where the Alberni school “’There are people here that care and tions will be closed.” operated for almost a century. love you, Bernie,’ I started to think,” Amid this government recognition of “The people that buried them are gone continued Jack. “I just have to learn how what former students have known for now,” said Watts. “They were kids that to accept it. I’ve built up so many shells, their whole lives, Watts cautions that were forced to do it.” armour around myself that it’s hard to get healing will take a very long time. For years Watts has heard stories of out now.” “It’s not a one-time cash deal that’s goburial sites around the Alberni school,
“Stories are shared of children who died while at these schools and parents were not told the reasoning for the death”
~ Ahousaht First Nation press release
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Federal minister gives ear to Tseshaht leaders Marc Miller of Indigeous Services Canada had a visit that included a tour of the former residential school site By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - As the Tseshaht work to determine the future of a former residential school site, the First Nation’s representatives and other Nuu-chah-nulth leaders received a visit from Canada’s Indigenous Services minister on July 28. Marc Miller was welcomed by Tseshaht hereditary chiefs, followed by meeting with the First Nation’s elected leaders. Foremost in this talk was Tseshaht’s plans for the site of the Alberni Indian Residential School, where two of the institution’s buildings still remain: Maht Mahs gym and what was formerly known as Caldwell Hall. Miller ventured to the site to step inside Caldwell Hall, which is currently being used by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “We thought it was important for him to actually set foot in the residential school,” said Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts. “It just has an energy about it. Some really horriﬁc things have happened there.” The federal Minister’s visit comes at a time of reckoning for Canada to settle recent painful discoveries at former residential school sites, which began with locating the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in late May. The Tseshaht plan to employ the same ground penetrating radar that has been used to locate remains at other former institutions. They also aim to formally document all of the schools past students - including those who never returned home. But Watts emphasized that the demolition of Caldwell Hall is a necessity, where the First Nation hopes to replace it with a multipurpose health and wellness building. “It really meant a lot to let him set foot on the grounds,” said Watts of Miller’s visit. “He knows this isn’t just a little area that we have to deal with. It’s pretty large in scope.” The future of Maht Mahs, however, may be diﬀerent. “It’s such a hub still for our membership,” added Watts, noting that although an eventual replacement is inevitable, the First Nation has yet to hold formal discussions on tearing the gym down. “I think we’ve done a good job at doing our best to change the feeling of that facility, we’ve had so many potlatches and amazing events there, but it still is a part of the school.” Other topics discussed include the
Marc Miller receives a gift from Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts in front of the First Nation’s administrative building on July 28. expansion of Haahuupayak elementary force. This concept has gained attention ity to determine access into their territoto include high school grades, and badly over the last year, after the shootings of ries was not respected by the provincial needed on-reserve housing. With no new three Tla-o-qui-aht members in diﬀerent government during the pandemic. homes built in over ﬁve years, Watts said incidents, including the deaths of Chan“We just really felt the lack of jurisdicat least 30 are on a waiting list, although tel Moore in New Brunswick and Julian tion of First Nations in health during COhe expects more people who need homes Jones in Opitsaht. VID,” she added. “It was Bonny Henry haven’t applied to the First Nation. “We wanted him to make sure that he and Adrian Dix, they were making all of “We’re really lacking serviceable lots works with us as First Nations, as we are the decisions and we didn’t have a role.” that are connected to city water and sewar the only people who know what the needs With a federal election on the horizon, like most of our reserve is. There’s not are in our communities,” said Sayers. “It Watts reﬂected on how much things have a lot of space left,” he said, noting that shouldn’t be just high level working with changed since his father, George Watts, some existing homes have concerning AFN [Assembly of First Nations] and was a Nuu-chah-nulth leader. Although utility connections. “They’re all on ailing other organizations.” more work is needed to recognize Indigseptic tank systems that are failing as we Watts said his nation’s needs go beyond enous rights, Miller’s visit highlighted speak that could be potential health and just money from Ottawa, but the recogni- improvements over the last 16 years since safety and safety hazards.” tion of the United Nations Declaration on his father’s passing. The shortage of housing is a widespread the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “They’ve done some signiﬁcant contriissue, across Nuu-chah-nulth territory “It’s not always just about resources, but butions that I think need to be acknowland Canada. A 2016 report from Statistics it’s about jurisdiction, it’s about authority, edged,” said Watts. “To see the amount of Canada found that 18 per cent of Indigit’s about implementation of UNDRIP,” money that’s been invested, he wouldn’t enous people live in crowded homes, and he said. have seen that 16 years ago.” a 2019 study by the United Nations stated Sayers noted that First Nations’ authorthat one in four on-reserve people in the country live in overcrowded conditions. This issue was stressed to Miller when he sat down with NTC leaders on Wednesday. “ISC is now funding First Nations based on the number of people on reserve,” said NTC President Judith Sayers. “For Hesquiaht, they’re getting funding for 68 people, when their membership is 750… You can’t encourage people to go home if you don’t have homes.” Justice concerns were mentioned, with the desire for remote Nuu-chah-nulth communities to have their own police
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Photo by Eric Plummer
Ken Watts and other Tseshaht members performed for Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald when she visited their community on July 24.
AFN national chief Archibald visits Nuu-chah-nulth Meetings with Huu-ay-aht, Hupacasath, Ahousaht and Tseshaht builds relationships in ﬁrst weeks of her term By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - Two weeks into her term as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, RoseAnne Archibald has shown an active interest in Nuu-chahnulth communities with three days of visits July 22-24. Archibald was elected to head the national advocacy organization in July 8, becoming the ﬁrst woman to hold the high-proﬁle role. A member of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation from Ontario, Archibald ﬁrst heard from Nuu-chahnulth leaders as she sought the AFN position. “I was invited by a number of the chiefs during the campaign,” she said, after being treated to a formal cultural welcome by the Tseshaht First Nation on July 24. She also met with the Huu-ay-aht and Hupacasath on Thursday July 22 in Port Alberni, followed by a visit to Ahousaht the following day. “I thought I would try and see as many communities on the Island as possible, so we reached out to Judith Sayers, and she was able to arrange three of the communities.” The national chief was in British Columbia earlier this month for another announcement from the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation on an investigation into the remains of 215 children discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. First publicized on May 28, the remains were located through ground-penetrating radar employed by the First Nation, setting oﬀ a series of similar discoveries at former residential school sites by the Muskowekwan First Nation and the Cowessess First Nation in saskatchewan, with another collection of remains uncovered on B.C.’s Penelekut Island July 13. “Everyone is concerned,” said Ar-
chibald, referring to the many remains yet to be uncovered at other residential schools. “One of the top priorities is to ﬁnd the resources needed.” During her visit to Tseshaht territory Archibald was taken to the former site of the Alberni Indian Residential School, where the First Nation hopes to build a community centre replacing a building that remains from the institution that operated on the land for nearly a century. “We talked about the deconstruction of the former building, when that will happen,” said Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts of his nation’s plans for the future of the site. “In our case it’s a place where we can come together, a multipurpose area to support our health and wellness.” With the possibility of a federal election looming later this year, Archibald believes that securing adequate support to investigate Canada’s other former residential school sites should be a national priority. “These crimes have to be investigated,” she said. “I don’t like to call them schools,” added Archibald, referring to them as “institutions of assimilation and genocide.” Other issues heard by the national chief included the right of ﬁve Nuu-chah-nulth nations to harvest and sell species from their respective territories, the scope of which was recently redeﬁned by the B.C. Court of Appeal in a recent decision. The Huu-ay-aht First Nations stepped out of the Ahousaht et al. case in 2009 to proceed with treaty negotiations, but a clause in the Maa-nulth Final Agreement speciﬁes their commercial right, along with the Uchucklesaht, Toquaht, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ and the Ka:›yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations that are part of the treaty. “Maa-nulth nations could negotiate a ﬁshery comparable to the ﬁve nations’ agreements with DFO, and then move
those licences into the treaty where the ﬁshing licences and rights would be constitutionally protected,” stated a Huuay-aht document on the “me too” clause in the treaty. Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. hopes that the “me too” clause will enable his fellow citizens to convert existing crab licences to allow of commercial sale, as well as other species. “We tabled a letter with her outlining what we wanted to do,” he said. The Huu-ay-aht also looked for support in continuing with its Social Services Project, an initiative that stemmed from a public health emergency declared by the First Nation in 2018, when 21 per cent of its children were in foster care. This percentage has since decreased, but the First Nation plans to continue with its initiatives to help keep children with their families, including Oomiiqsu, a supportive residential facility for mothers and children set to be constructed in Port Alberni. “We’re coming up to a renewal agreement and we wanted to seek her support to help us with Indigenous Services Canada to renew that agreement for another ﬁve years,” noted Dennis. Language revitalization was a priority expressed by the Hupacasath First Nation, who have just three ﬂuent speakers left, said Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Vice-president Mariah Charleson after participating in the Port Alberni meetings. “They see lots of single grants and single-year programs, but they really want it to be lasting,” she said of government funding for such initiatives, noting that better representation at the Port Alberni Port Authority is also needed by the Hupacasath. “They expressed the need to hold a seat at the port authority.” As hundreds of First Nations in Canada
RoseAnne Archibald push to have their issues recognized in Ottawa, Nuu-chah-nulth leaders hope that Archibald’s visit is the beginning of a strong relationship with the AFN. “She wanted to go into community, she wanted to meet elders, she wanted to hear what the needs and concerns are of community,” said Charleson. “Right oﬀ the bat I know many Nuu-chah-nulth were shocked to see such an early visit.” “Now that we’ve had this introduction, it opens the door for us to have a pathway to the national chief to address some of our issues,” added Dennis. “This is a ﬁrst for us, to have the national chief come right to the Huu-ay-aht community and say, ‘What are your concerns?’ So she got oﬀ to a blazing start here coming out and learning what the issues are.” “Hopefully she’ll always remember us,” said Watts, after the Tseshaht welcomed Archibald with songs and dance in front of the First Nation’s administrative building. “I think it was a pretty special moment to do it outside. We haven’t welcomed someone like that in a long time due to COVID.”
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Report aims to uphold women’s roles Upholding our Matriarchal Roles examines the wellness journeys of First Nations By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter A new report is highlighting the importance of restoring a focus on matriarchal roles for the health and strength of First Nations communities. Published by the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and British Columbia’s Oﬃce of the Provincial Health Ofﬁcer, Sacred and Strong: Upholding our Matriarchal Roles examines the health and wellness journeys of First Nations women and girls in British Columbia. It is both a celebration of their strength and resilience, as well as an “urgent” reminder of the need for collective action to eliminate systemic barriers that disproportionately impact First Nations women and girls. Rather than being a technical report ﬁlled with charts and data, it was a way to honour and respect the lived experiences of women by allowing them to highlight their self-determination and the health inequalities they face, said Dr. Shannon McDonald, First Nations Health Authority acting chief medical oﬃcer. “I want Indigenous women to open this report and see themselves in it,” she said. The report is intended to provide a new approach to tackle issues around health and wellness by empowering women to be part of the change. It is the ﬁrst in what McDonald said she hopes will be a series of reports to measure that change over time. “Traditionally, matriarchs taught girls and young women about respecting and caring for their bodies as well as about their nation’s customs with respect to pregnancy, childbirth and mothering,” read the report. The passing of knowledge supported healthy child development within communities, it added. As patriarchal laws were introduced to communities through colonialism, it “undermined and suppressed the active and respected roles of First Nations women,” read the report. “When settlers came to [B.C], they didn’t want to talk to women,” McDonald said. “They came from an extremely patriarchal system, and they placed men above women rather than [as] equal partners or having signiﬁcant roles in the
community. [Women] were really devalued by the settler communities. That’s been reﬂected in the Indian Act rules and regulations. And we’ve seen the negative impacts of that over time.” McDonald said that in First Nations communities, there was a speciﬁc ceremonial, operational and cultural role for matriarchs. The cultural life of the community would centre on the experience, wisdom, and knowledge of the matriarchs, she added. Forced surgical sterilization, the Sixties’ Scoop, the residential school system, and the child welfare system are some of the colonial systems and practices that disrupted teachings surrounding pregnancy, childbirth and mothering, the report suggested. The residential school system “tore children away from their families” and told them it wasn’t okay to be who they are, said Ellen Frood, Alberni Community Women’s Services Society executive director. “Many [children] never saw their parents again, and many died,” she said. “Residential schools are not just a dark chapter in our history, they’re a legacy that continues to plague our Indigenous communities.” In June, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights released a report indicating that until 1973, British Columbia had laws “requiring the forced and coerced sterilization of individuals who were considered ‘mentally defective.’” First Nations, Inuit and Métis people were disproportionately targeted and sterilized, read the report. It was assumed that the practice stopped with the changes to legislation in the 1970s, but the report indicated that cases of forced and coerced sterilization continued to be recorded, some as recently as 2018. “Education is the heart of where we need to be,” said Frood. “The violence against Indigenous women and girls is systemic. It’s a national crisis and it requires urgent, informed and collaborative action.” In First Nations communities, matriarchs are revered as knowledge keepers and storytellers, said Frood. Now, their stories consist of being ripped away from their parents, she said.
COVERAGE: Although we would like to be able to cover all stories and events, we will only do so subject to: - Suﬃcient advance notice addressed speciﬁcally to Ha-Shilth-Sa. - Reporter availability at the time of the event. - Editorial space available in the paper. - Editorial deadlines being adhered to by contributors.
Dr. Shannon McDonald “The knowledge keeping is of huge trauma,” said Frood. Ann Whonnoock is an elder from the Squamish Nation who was interviewed in FNHA’s new report. “My hope for health care is that my family gets taken care of in a good way – that my grandchildren know they can go into a hospital and be given treatment that everyone else in the province gets and not be stereotyped because of who they are and where they come from,” she said in the report. “That they don’t face the troubles and traumas that my daughter faced by going into an emergency ward and being asked, ‘Do you drink? Do you use drugs?’” Looking forward, McDonald said she hopes the women’s personal stories will engender conversation around topics such as how to approach Indigenous midwifery, steps to take in the event of a marriage dissolution and how to support elders who want to stay in community. “It’s not western experts and academics taking the lead on what information is important and how it’s going to be used,” she said. Instead, McDonald said the report prioritizes the stories of First Nations women and girls by allowing them to identify their own needs. “It’s just a really diﬀerent way of telling the story than has been done in the past,” she said. “[It] responds to a really strong statement we hear all the time, and we try to honour – ‘nothing about us without us.’”
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August 12, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
Policy allows for traditional Indigenous names on ID Government-issued ID will not include Nuu-chah-nulth le•ers, due to need to follow international standards By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter The federal government announced in June that traditional Indigenous names can be used on passports and other travel documents. The move comes in response to a Truth and Reconciliation Commission call to action, which appealed to the government to allow residential school survivors and their families to use their Indigenous names on government documents. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) took it further to include travel documents, citizenship certiﬁcates and permanent resident cards, for all Indigenous peoples. While it’s a “step in the right direction,” Mariah Charleson, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council vice-president, said the new policy doesn’t go far enough. The Nuu-chah-nulth language uses special characters and letters to help with the pronunciation of words, she said. “If I just tried to anglicize [the words] and write them in English or French text, it wouldn’t be the same,” said Charleson. “It wouldn’t sound the same.” Charleson said that as First Nations reclaim their identity, many people want to reclaim their name. “A lot of our culture and who we are is enshrined in our language,” she said. “Recognizing the special characters is important.”
Photo by Eric Plummer
Traditional Indigenous names can now be used on Canada’s government issued identiﬁcation, such as passports. Currently, IRCC can only print in the “This makes sure no matter where you travel, your passport or travel document Roman alphabet, with some French acworks across computer systems.” cents. For the next ﬁve years, any Indigenous IRCC’s systems are developed in acperson can apply to reclaim their Indigecordance with the International Civil nous names on travel documents, citizenAviation Organization, which set the requirements to “help ensure all passports ship certiﬁcates and permanent resident cards free of charge. and travel documents are machine-read“Supporting First Nations, Inuit and able,” said Nancy Caron, spokesperson Métis peoples in reclaiming and using for Immigration, Refugees and Citizentheir Indigenous names is an integral part ship Canada. “All systems that handle passenger data, of the shared journey of reconciliation,” said Minister of Immigration, Refugees including personal identity information, and Citizenship Marco E. L. Mendicino. follow the ICAO standards,” she said. “Traditional names are deeply connected to Indigenous languages and cultures, and an individuals’ identity and dignity. This change means that Indigenous peoples can proudly reclaim their name, dismantling the legacy of colonialism and reﬂecting their true identity to the world.” Layla Rorick, who prefers to be called by her traditional Hesquiaht name chuutsqa, said she will not be changing her government documents. The Hesquiaht First Nation language teacher said she worries that if all her travel documents don’t match with corresponding names, she might be denied access to cross borders. “I don’t feel that the border service agents will be educated enough to understand why my passport would have my Photo by Eric Marks
Solar panels have been installed on the Kyuquot school, which serves as a community muster location in the event of a tsunami.
Kyuquot upgrades its tsunami warning system By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Kyuquot, BC – The people of Houpsitas, the home of Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’, can sleep well now that a new tsunami warning system has been installed. According to Elizabeth Jack, the First Nation’s emergency coordinator, Kyuquot did not have a proper tsunami warning system until October 2020. Residents of the low-lying ocean-front community relied on a donated ﬁre siren that was attached to the KCFN administration oﬃce. “But it was pointed outward toward Walter’s Island so people behind it or even next door to it couldn’t hear it,” Jack told Ha-Shilth-Sa. It would be up to those who heard the alarm to go door-to-door to warn people
to get to higher ground. Jack says the new system is very eﬀective. In a test run, everyone in the village heard it along with people living on nearby islands. The system is activated by remote control or handset radios. Jack and the KCFN’s director of community services are the only two people with codes to activate the alarm. Evacuees know to go up the hill to the school, which has been set up as an emergency muster location. There are two large containers with emergency supplies, including blankets and food. In addition, the school itself has 151 newly installed solar panels that are capable of supplying power to the facility in the event of a power failure. This is particularly important for a remote community at the end of a power grid.
traditional name on it,” she said. In order to avoid any possible issues, Caron said the IRCC recommends travellers have other identiﬁcation documents that match their reclaimed names. chuutsqa received her traditional name from the late-Simon Lucas when she got married in 2005. It is short for čuucqiłamuʔuqʷa, which was the name of her great-great-grandmother who lived in the Hesquiaht Harbour, where her parents continue to live today. By using it, chuutsqa said she is helping to normalize the use of traditional names. “It’s important to honour and remember the names that you’re given in your language,” she said. While chuutsqa said she thinks it’s important for First Nations people to use their traditional names every day with their families and in their communities, “using it to cross borders” isn’t a priority for her. “I really appreciate that [the government is] addressing a call to action,” she said. “It’s one more step towards reconciliation … it’s just not something that holds a lot of value for me.” The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s ﬁnal report was published in December 2015. It outlined 94 calls to action to address the legacy of residential schools and to promote reconciliation in Canada. According to IRCC, name change requests were being considered on a caseby-case basis until the formal process was established. “A person’s name is fundamental to who they are,” said IRCC, in a release. “Indigenous names are endowed with deep cultural meaning and speak to Indigenous peoples’ presence on this land since time immemorial. Yet the impact of colonialism means that many Indigenous people’s names have not been recognized.” Although chuutsqa said she doesn’t intend to change her government documents, she will continue to use her traditional name every day. “It’s a way to reconnect to what our ancestors would have called us,” she said. “And to help others feel comfortable in knowing that using our language is safe, it’s fun, it’s part of living a good life.”
Ancestral remains found on beach near Kyuquot By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Ancestral remains were discovered during a beach cleanup led by Rugged Coast and Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nation, in Kyuquot. A newly identiﬁed burial site was reported to the Port McNeill RCMP and BC Coroners Service on July 21, after a Kyuquot First Nations member found a skull and other remains around 30 metres inland from the high tide line, according to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The RCMP is working with the archaeological department at the ministry, the BC Coroner Service and the nation to further investigate, according to Port McNeill Sgt. Curtis Davis. While Davis said there are several missing persons ﬁles from the area dating back to 1973, BC Coroner Service identi-
ﬁcation experts have determined that the remains are “archaeological in nature,” said Ryan Panton, BC Coroners Service communications manager. “We don’t do a coroner’s investigation in those circumstances,” he said. According to the BC Coroners Service’s identiﬁcation expert, the remains are archaeological based on the description of the scene, which is consistent with “ancient Indigenous coastal burial practices,” said Panton. The remains revealed a tooth with wear that is consistent with pre-contact Indigenous remains, he added. “There was no evidence located, such as clothing or artefacts, that would suggest the remains were modern,” said Panton. The remains have been left undisturbed and have been recorded with the province as an archeological site, said the ministry. The RCMP and Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nation will continue to monitor the site.
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Talks around subsea marine conservation area stalled Co-governance with First Nations has been a key issue on a massive DFO proposal in Nuu-chah-nulth territory By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor After months of negotiation, First Nations and DFO remain at loggerheads over co-governance of a proposed marine conservation area oﬀ the Island’s west coast. Talks between Haida, Quatsino, Nuuchah-nulth negotiators and their DFO counterparts have continued for the past two years over the proposed Tang.ɢwanḥačxʷiqak-Tsig̱is Marine Protected Area, or what the federal government refers to as the Oﬀshore Paciﬁc Area of Interest (AOI). The marine conservation area (MCA) — roughly 133,000 square kilometres or more than four times the size of Vancouver Island — would dwarf an existing one created in 2003 to protect the Endeavour hydrothermal vents. While no one disputes the value of conservation, the designation could have profound implications for the rights and interests of coastal First Nations. Over the past year alone, negotiators have met 19 times, focused on drafting a memorandum of understanding that would establish a board and co-governance in managing the conservation area, but that essential goal remains a key sticking point. DFO refuses to budge, said NTC President Judith Sayers. “What we want is a role in management and they just don’t want reconciliation, although they may be moving forward with that,” Sayers said. Sayers said the federal government has expressed a desire to move ahead with the MCA expansion during its current mandate, but she questions the seriousness considering DFO’s rigid negotiating stance. At a June meeting, ministerial staﬀ wanted to publish the new designation in the Canada Gazette, giving it oﬃcial status. “They agreed not to do that because we had four main points,” in negotiation, Sayers said Along with co-governance, First Nations want the management board’s scope of responsibilities to include decisionmaking authority in ﬁshery matters as well as an agreeable dispute resolution mechanism. In July Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said the government is allocating $977 million in its current budget to continue marine conservation eﬀorts and protect 25 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2025. “When we protect our oceans, we protect the coastal communities that rely on them,” Jordan said. “We know that healthy oceans have so much more to give. They feed more families, create more jobs. They help clean the air we
Photo supplied by DFO
An ROV camera is used for seamount exploration in the area of interest west of Vancouver Island. breathe.” MPAs Now, For the Future. The report, forward, but the designation has limitaThe move is consistent with Liberal intended to give ﬁve-year updates on tions as a conservation tool and no means government policy since 2015, when less MPA progress, points to a need to update of accounting for Indigenous knowledge than one percent of Canada’s oceans was policy and guidance to support First Nawithin the existing legal framework, he protected. Currently, the ﬁgure stands at tion participation, Angel noted. said. Plus, there is a greater issue at hand 14 percent. Jordan agreed during the online questhat MPAs do not consider. In an online discussion hosted by the tion-and-answer session that there is a “They’re not really addressing why the conservation group Nature Canada, need to update legislation. oceans are in crisis,” Angel said. Jordan was asked to clarify the gov“We need a new approach for conClimate change was raised during neernment’s commitment to the spirit of solidating agreements like the Oﬀshore gotiations but dismissed by government reconciliation and shared management of Paciﬁc Area,” the minister said, promisnegotiators who maintain it lies beyond marine conservation areas. ing to strengthen community involvethe scope of MPAs. “Is DFO mandated to engage Indigment and foster greater understanding of “It’s conceivable the you could set up an enous communities in this? How will MPAs. MPA that would be completely obliterit work with First Nations in oceans Toward the latter goal, NTC has been a ated by climate change,” Angel said. co-governance,” asked online host Gauri partner with DFO, Council of the Haida Seamounts are still the primary conserSreenivasan of Nature Canada, conveying Nation and Ocean Networks Canada in vation focus of DFO’s Oﬀshore Paciﬁc questions submitted in advance by Uu-ascientiﬁc exploration of seamounts oﬀ the Area of Interest, but they form only a thluk Fisheries Manager Eric Angel. west coast. Two years ago, Joshua Watts small part of a much greater ecosystem, “That is part of the go-forward manof Tseshaht First Nation and Aline Carhe added. date,” Jordan responded. “I look forward rier, Uu-a-thluk capacity building co-or“Hishuk ish tsawalk,” Angel said, citing to working with our First Nation partners dinator, accompanied the annual voyage. the Nuu-chah-nulth world view that evin the development of marine protected Participation since then has been delayed erything is connected, everything is one. areas. We all have a role to play and by pandemic safety considerations. “These ecosystems are worthy of study we’re going to make sure we do every“DFO science has been great to work right up to the surface,” especially with thing to uphold that … our First Nations with,” Angel said, attributing the negotithe unsolved mystery of ocean mortality are the stewards of the ocean space.” ating impasse on bureaucratic resistance among salmon, he noted. “We’re wonderFive of 14 existing MPAs are already to power sharing. ing what happens to these ﬁsh when they managed collaboratively with Indiggo into deeper water.” An expanded MCA would be a step enous governments, including the SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount MPA in Haida waters. However, they fall short of true co-governance since any management decision may be overridden by the minister. Sayers said they have not been advised by DFO if the new funding is intended for the Oﬀshore Paciﬁc AOI. There was no reference to it in Jordan’s July 22 funding announcement, but the government simultaneously released a report, The Current — Managing Oceans Act
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August 12, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Safe seafood harvesting during warm summer months An updated interactive shellﬁsh harvesting map identiﬁes all of the areas that are open and closed this summer By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter As ocean temperatures rise during the summer months, the BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC) is cautioning the public about the higher concentrations of Vibrio bacteria found in warm ocean waters. Ten cases of Vibrio illness were recorded between July 12 and 21. At least six of the reported cases are from self-harvesting seafood, or environmental exposure to the water, said Lorraine McIntyre, BCCDC food safety specialist. Vibrio is a naturally occurring marine organism that multiplies and grows when water temperatures get above 15 degrees Celsius, she said. During this time of year, anyone harvesting shellﬁsh, such as mussels, clams, crabs or oysters, is encouraged to keep it cool. McIntyre said she also recommends that it’s thoroughly cooked before consumption. By bringing all seafood to a boil, McIntyre said that you can get rid of the Vibrio bacteria, which can cause gastrointestinal illness resulting in diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. Harvesting on a receding tide is another way to limit exposure, she added. “Shellﬁsh are ﬁlter feeders,” said McIntyre. “If they’re pumping out the water, they’re pumping out the bacteria that may be multiplying.” The BCCDC has updated their online interactive shellﬁsh harvesting sites status map, which identiﬁes all of the areas that are open and closed to harvesting. Certain regions might be closed due to
A map provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control shows widespread biotoxin closures, which aﬀect shellﬁsh harvesting, that are currently in place throughout Nuu-chah-nulth territory. The map can be seen at https://maps.bccdc.ca/shellﬁsh/. the presence of biotoxins, which can’t be destroyed by cooking and are toxic to human health, said McIntyre. A separate map shows sea surface temperatures using satellite data. By measuring the ocean’s temperature at a depth of around 10 metres below the surface, the BCCDC is able to “assess temperature trends over time to show warming patterns in the ocean that would aﬀect shellﬁsh harvesting.” Data for Kyuquot Sound, Nootka Sound, Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound can be accessed on the BCCDC’s online sea surface temperatures map. Recently, the BCCDC partnered with the First Nations Health Authority on an
Indigenous-led project, We All Take Care of the Harvest (WATCH). Four First Nations communities are involved in the pilot project, including Tseshaht, in Port Alberni. Tseshaht First Nation Fisheries Manager Dave Rolston said the program oﬀered an opportunity for the nation to increase their focus on the stewardship of aquatic resources. “[WATCH is] an attempt to provide capacity to First Nations to take on food security and safety issues that are long outstanding,” said Rolston. First Nations communities are grappling to understand the health eﬀects of seafood and whether it is safe to harvest
and to eat, he said. Regulatory issues and climate change also top the list, Rolston added. Currently in its initial stages, the program focuses on the harmful consequences of algae blooms, said Rolston. By setting the nation up with sampling equipment, including plankton nets, a YSI meter and a microscope, Rolston said WATCH allows Tseshaht to address and anticipate upcoming seafood challenges. “We need to ensure that we’re on top of things,” he said. “And that we’re providing as much support, and a safety net for the members that are going out and harvesting shellﬁsh.”
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Concerns rise over camping on Kennedy Lake road Tla-o-qui-aht member shuts down forest service road, while the First Nation calls for a meeting of local leaders By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Toﬁno, BC - A range of long-term and short-term campers, as well as seasonal workers from Toﬁno and Ucluelet, have been ﬁnding refuge down the Kennedy Lake logging road system for years. Some evenings, the line-up of vehicles along the West Main Forest Service Road runs several kilometres long, as observed by the Ha-Shilth-Sa. “Disheartened” by the amount of pollution being left behind and the disregard of the province-wide campﬁre ban, Tlao-qui-aht First Nation member Timmy Masso said he could no longer sit idly by. “I can’t allow my territory to become a Las Vegas for people,” he said. “We’re just not set up for the amount of tourists that are coming to this area and all the overﬂow is going to the back roads.” On Aug. 10 he organized a road closure of west main to evict campers and block tourists from accessing the area. He hopes that shutting down the road down will bring light to the situation and “get everyone at the same table,” he said. Ucluelet RCMP were present to “make sure that everyone stayed safe and to keep the peace,” said Sgt. Kevin Smith. Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief Moses Martin said he understands Masso’s plight. Concerns about “all the campers and all the garbage and debris they’re leaving behind” are repeatedly brought to the chief and council, said Martin. “It is an issue to deal with,” he said. “It’s going to take some collaborating with the municipality of Toﬁno and
Timothy Masso Ucluelet, as well as neighbouring tribes to get something done about it.” In a statement released on August 10, Martin called for a meeting with regional leaders, First Nations, Tourism Toﬁno, as well as provincial and federal government representatives “to ﬁnd solutions to this critical issue.” Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation President Chuck McCarthy met with Masso on Tuesday in by the east main entrance. The issue is not new to McCarthy. “We’ve seen this in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” he said. “It’s moved from the beaches to the bush.” To address the potential “health hazards” and “ﬁre issues,” McCarthy said that collectively, “we need to come up with some solutions.” Pierre Dupont, who works as a dishwasher at Lil’ Ronnie’s Beachside BBQ in Toﬁno, was one of the campers evicted from west main. He had been living oﬀ the side of the road for two weeks. Priced out of Toﬁno and without any-
where to park his van, he found a home on west main. Because of the amount of van lifers in Toﬁno, Dupont said he understands why people aren’t allowed to park their vans in town. And yet, restaurants need dishwashers, he said. Toﬁno caters to tourists, he said – not to dishwashers. Ucluelet Mayor Mayco Noel said that COVID-19 has exacerbated the backroad lifestyle around Kennedy Lake. “It doesn’t matter if you’re from an Indigenous or non-Indigenous community on the west coast, we all have zero tolerance for the activities going on there because it is our backyard,” he said. The work that Masso is doing to bring the subject to the forefront is “necessary” in order to get the attention of provincial and federal leaders, he said. “The west coast leadership has very much tried to exhaust avenues on their own without much support,” he said. “A lot of the people that are the decision makers don’t reside on the west coast, so they don’t see the magnitude of the issue.” In the Spring of 2021, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) reached out to the province, local government, First Nations, and federal agencies to discuss strategies on how to address the concerns about the “large number of transient campers occupying the west main area in 2020,” according to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. A working committee was subsequently formed with representatives from the ACRD, local First Nations, as well as all
levels of government, according to the ministry. Three meetings were held between February and July 2021 to discuss strategies to manage the issue. “[N]atural resource oﬃcers attended the sites, conducted a thorough inventory [and] inspection along the west main, educated the public on the Land Act and camping rules, and posted signage with information regarding the Land Act and camping,” said the ministry. Nine years ago, Masso’s brother Hjalmer Wenstob attempted to clean the area up by establishing a campground and removing some of the “long-term squatters” during a summer internship with Tribal Parks. When he returned to Redneck Beach after the May long-weekend that year, he said the barricades were torn down and all of the new picnic tables Tribal Parks had built were piled up and lit on ﬁre. The damage resulted in a large forest ﬁre and eight trees were felled into the lake to prevent it from further spreading, Wenstob recounted. He has since avoided the area because “it’s too upsetting.” “There’s a lot of drug activity,” he said. “There’s a lot of violence. There’s a lot of refuse everywhere. I’m not bringing my kids up here. This isn’t a place to go and have fun. This is a place that just really hurts my heart.” Instead, he carved a sign to welcome visitors to Tla-o-qui-aht Ha’houlthee, that was hung along Highway 4. “At least there would be an acknowledgement of our people and an acknowledgement of the territory we’re in,” he said.
August 12, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Chims expands to oﬀer RV sites and cultural centre Four new RV sites have been added to the Nicholson’s property on Tseshaht territory to be•er serve customers By Karly Blats Ha-shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Naomi and Ed Nicholson, owners of Chims Guest House on Tseshaht territory, have expanded their operations to include four new RV sites and an Indigenous Cultural Centre. Chims Guest House, at 6890 Paciﬁc Rim Hwy., will expand from one studio suite and a one-bedroom guest house to now include four serviced RV sites. The suites are currently being rented to longer-term tenants and the RV sites will be available for bookings in September. “We’re going to start with monthly rentals in September and then we’ll have to see how it goes and the kind of people we get in. As April and May come around we may switch over to three-day a week or weekly long rentals,” said Ed Nicholson. “Monthly rental at a reduced daily rate. That’s our way of maintaining our hotel status where we can have people for as long as we want or as little as we want and we don’t have to have a tenancy agreement with them.” Each RV site includes a tent and picnic table with propane options and ﬁrewood available. Each site also has water and a hose. Ed said providing more housing options in the Alberni Valley is important right now with limited rentals available. “There’s such a shortage of housing, we get calls all the time,” he said. Naomi and Ed hosted a grand opening event on Saturday, Aug. 7 to give tours of the new sites and celebrate how far they’ve come. “I’m very proud that I’ve made it this
Photo by Karly Blats
Naomi Nicholson (far left) Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions, Port Alberni City Councillor Debbie Haggard and ACRD Director Penny Cote during the Chims Guest House grand opening on Aug. 7. far and the theme of today is really show- experience when they stay at Chims, casing to you what’s possible, because I which is why they’re currently constructhad no idea that we would even be able ing an Indigenous Cultural Centre on the to do all of this and we did,” Naomi property. said at the grand opening. “Without the Experiences may include how to can Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development ﬁsh, how to cut ﬁsh, drum making, beadCorporation I would not be here whatsoing and other workshops. ever. I took my ﬁrst loan from them at 19 “That’s one of the big things that people and they really like Ed and I right now. are looking for is that Indigenous experiThank you to them for loaning us money ence and Indigenous tourism,” Naomi and the fact that all of the board of direcsaid. “How some of this started was that tors realized that we need this.” I was, and still am, a FirstHost customer Naomi said it’s important to her and Ed service trainer and part of the program to be able to oﬀer guests an Indigenous they say you need to Indigenize your
space..” During the grand opening, Naomi and Ed oﬀered hosted an Indigenous fashion show by the Good family who showcased clothing from Ay-Lelum - The Good House of Design. “This is how I change the world…having people dressed up, promoting their clothes,” Naomi said “Everyone has their calling and I think our calling is hosting. We’re not ﬁshermen, we’re not artists but we’re hosts.” Naomi said it’s important for herself and Ed as Indigenous people to showcase what’s possible to local and First Nation’s governments. “The ACRD (Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District) and Huu-ay-aht have just asked if we can consult and they want to bring the ACRD planner out here so he can see what’s possible. That was one of my goals,” Naomi said. Mariah Charleson, vice-president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC), said Indigenous tourism brings Nuuchah-nulth perspective, worldview and how Indigenous people do things and accept people into their traditional territories. She said having an Indigenous experience ﬁrst-hand is so much more beneﬁcial than reading about it in a book or online. “We would love to see it happening more within our communities, we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, the west coast of Vancouver Island,” Charleson said. “To see an Indigenous focus on who we are as Nuu-chahnulth people, I think that’s where the true value is because you won’t ﬁnd that anywhere else in the world.”
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Ahousaht member to pedal across two provinces Roy Jack, an Ahousaht First Nation member, is hoping to raise $5,000 during his Great Cycle Challenge event By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Nanaimo, BC – Roy Jack has become an inspiration for many in recent years. But in an eﬀort to drum up some support for the ﬁfth year he’s participating in a cycling fundraiser. Jack, 46, is taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge once again. The event sees cyclists set a goal of how far they wish to travel in a month. Canadian cyclists involved in the challenge are pedaling during the month of August. And they’ll be raising funds for childhood cancer research. Jack, an Ahousaht First Nation member who lives in Nanaimo, has set a goal of cycling 2,000 kilometres during the month. He’ll cover more than half of this distance with his planned seven-day ride from Edmonton to Vancouver, a 1,200-kilometre trek, in late August. Jack is also hoping to raise at least $5,000 this year. And as he has the past couple of years, he’ll once again dedicate his month-long challenge to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. “I actually have quite a huge following both on Facebook and TikTok that has made it kind of hard for me to actually make me think of other dedications,” Jack said. “Through the Native community it seems to be an issue that people all over North America seem to agree on that it is a major issue.” Jack is pleased many people he doesn’t know have been among those who have contributed to his cycling fundraisers in past years. “I feel like there’s so many people that look up to me and some of them don’t even know my full story, because over social media it’s one of those things they just know who I am today and not where I came from,” he said. “I feel I try my best to obviously grow every day and to become a better person for those around me.” Jack believes it is also important for others to see and hear what he has overcome. “When I was younger I was lost in addictions,” Jack wrote in his eﬀort to raise awareness for this year’s ride. “They led me down a dark road. I always felt my freedom from my issues was through be-
Roy Jack made a stop at the B.C. legislature in Victoria during one of his rides early this summer in preparation for a trek from Edmonton to Vancouver. ing rebellious. I spent years in and out of commencing on a 500-kilometre ride, ing ride in early July. It took him about jail in my teens and early adulthood. I’ve from Port Hardy to Victoria. He esti26 hours for that trip, which saw him considered committing suicide multiple mated it would take him 36-38 hours to cycle from Victoria to Gold River. times, once to the point of leaning over complete this trek. Donations are already being accepted on the edge of a bridge looking down at the To prepare for all the cycling Jack Jack’s personal page for the Great Cycle rocks on the river’s edge.” planned to do in August, he ventured out Challenge which can be viewed here: Jack, however, did not jump. on a pair of recent lengthy training rides. https://greatcyclechallenge.ca/Riders/ “As I felt the butterﬂies building up, In late June, he cycled 215 kilometres, RoyJack#donation399660 while slowly leaning forward, I gave my- in honour of the remains of 215 children Jack’s aunt Jan Green has also set up a self a second,” he said. “Thoughts came which were found on the grounds of a GoFundMe page this year to help cover to me of so many who lifted me up or former residential school in Kamloops. some of the expenses for Jack and his helped me become a better person went Jack hung 215 orange shirts along the family, especially for the necessities they through my mind.” route of that ride. will need travelling to Alberta and back Jack is much happier with his life these “I placed one about every kilometre or home to B.C. days. so on the highway,” he said. “It was very Jack’s parents Faith and Norman Jacob “I’ve grown a lot with the help of my emotional. I cried. My ﬁnal destination will drive him to Edmonton and serve as community, many books, counselling and was a residential school in Port Alberni his support vehicle during his ride back to treatment centres,” he said. “I now pride by the Tseshaht reserve.” Vancouver. myself on coming from a dark place, News of Jack’s ride, which took 18 The GoFundMe page for Jack can be struggling with inner demons, to become hours to complete because of his various seen here: a person who helps lift our community as stops to hang shirts, spread quickly. https://www.gofundme.com/f/supportit once did for me. Today, I have been al“There was actually a couple hundred roys-cycle-kids-who-have-cancercohol free for over 13 years and free from of people waiting at the ﬁnish line when I 2021?qid=7b3c8c3271091642690c28e55 any substances for almost 11 years.” was done,” he said. e86a2e0 Jack kicked oﬀ his challenge Aug. 1 by Jack also ﬁnished a 356-kilometre train-
Phrase of the week: puukši+@iš%a> c’a%ak +’upaaqaa%a>quu Pronounced ‘Pool shiloh ish alth caa ugk clue plath qaa alt koo’, it means ‘The heat makes the River low when it is very hot.’ Supplied by ciisma.
Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
August 12, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
Song, dance and storytelling help with healing Lifting our Spirits takes place Wednesday evenings at the Maht Mahs parking lot to help with disturbing news By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Nuu-chah-nulth members are invited to come together for a cultural evening of song, dance and storytelling every Wednesday night at Maht Mahs parking lot. Lifting Our Spirits is an event hosted by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s Child and Youth Services to bring people back together after COVID-19 shutdowns. The event began as a response to the 215 children’s remains found at a former Kamloops residential school. “We had this vision to carry on the drumming circles that had started around the residential school topics but to include all of the diﬀerent circumstances our families have faced over the COVID year,” said organizer and manager of NTC Child and Youth Services, Marlo Thomas. “Just to bring the families out and celebrate by drumming and singing and bringing the community together… the quickest way to healing is through culture.” Lifting Our Spirits began on July 14 and Thomas said the ﬁrst night saw around 50 people come out. The next Wednesday grew to about 100 people. “The community is really responding to the invite to come and join us,” Thomas said. “I had attended the ﬁrst night to honour the 215 recovered children and I saw just how the drumming and the singing and having an open ﬂoor created that organic healing, so myself and my staﬀ member Melinda Sinclair had been talking about it and I said it would be nice if
Photo by Karly Blats
Nuu-chah-nulth members sing and drum at the Lifting our Spirits event at Maht Mahs gym on July 28. we could carry this on.” ﬁnd something to uplift them.” people to interact with the teachings and Thomas said in addition to drumming Thomas hopes the event will catch on to spend time together.” and singing, Nuu-chah-nulth knowledge all Nuu-chah-nulth nations. The event also oﬀers an open-mic opkeepers join the event to share teachings “We had the Lifting Our Spirits up in portunity for anyone wishing to share a and wisdom for healing. Kyuquot and on the coast as well, so story, song, dance or teaching. “We’ve invited the (Nuu-chah-nulth) other communities are slowly starting to “Culture is healing and everybody’s mental health team to be present and tag on to the event and hopefully it will welcome to come and join us,” Thomas hopefully we’ll be getting diﬀerent despread across the other nations and on said. partments out from NTC just to reintroVancouver Island as well,” Thomas said. Lifting Our Spirits is held on Wednesduce them to the community,” Thomas “Then we could get all of the nations day evenings from 6 – 9 p.m. A light said. “There’s been a lot of struggling drumming and singing at the same time. snack and refreshments are oﬀered. and grief that all of the nations are going I think that would help create a more hothrough in NTC and we just wanted to listic healing opportunity for Indigenous
Ahousaht college student pens children’s book By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC – An Ahousaht college student is pleased to announce that his ﬁrst children’s book is oﬀ to the publisher and online book sales are taking oﬀ. Ren Louie is about to start his fourth and ﬁnal year in the Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Victoria and he already has a budding career as an author of children’s books. Louie’s ﬁrst book, Drum from the Heart, is oﬀ to the publisher and will be released in February 2022. Medicine Wheel Education is accepting preorders for the book on their website and sales are doing well, according to a relieved Louie. It was 2019 while Ren was working at a school when he ﬁrst thought about writing a book. “I talked to the librarian, and she said she was having trouble ﬁnding books for children that are not rooted in Aboriginal trauma,” he recalled. The subject came up again the following National Aboriginal Day. There are very few books about Indigenous people and culture for children. “I thought I’d write something about how I started singing,” said Louie. He said he wanted his story to inspire aboriginal resurgence and celebrate their brilliance. He went to work, writing four rough drafts before sending a manuscript oﬀ to Medicine Wheel Education publishers. Louie, at ﬁrst, was worried that his writing would come oﬀ stale or predictable, but he was assured by the publisher that they were eager to work with him.
The publisher told him that the types of concerns Louie had are common for new authors. Four more rough drafts were written before the book was deemed ready to send to illustrator, Karlene Harvey. Drum from the Heart is written for seven to 10-year-old children. It tells the story of a boy, proud of his culture and of his love for his mother and grandmother. “When he is gifted a handmade drum by his mother, Ren learns the teachings of the drum that are also passed down to him. He discovers that through this special drum, he is able to connect to his culture and ﬁnd a conﬁdence in his voice to joyfully share in singing the traditional songs of his Nuu-chah-nulth nation,” reads the publisher’s webpage about the book. “This book is intended for children of all cultures,” said Louie, adding that he hopes youngsters will be inspired to learn about their own cultures after reading his book. According to Louie, fewer than 1 per cent of books available to children feature Indigenous content. “We are underrepresented and sometimes misrepresented in the books that are currently available,” said Louie. “I will absolutely write more books.” He hopes other Indigenous people will write stories to grow the number of these types of books for children. Louie has a few manuscripts on the go. “I would love to see books on the bookshelves showcasing our stories,” he added. He says there is a need for authentic representation of Indigenous people in literature.
Ren Louie’s ﬁrst book, Drum from the Heart, is oﬀ to the publisher and will be released in February 2022. And, while stories of trauma are imporLouie believes the price may change tant, it is also important to share uplifting once the book is launched. stories like Drum from the Heart, which “A beautifully told story that shows the speaks to the love he experiences bepower of song and ceremony for our peotween him, his mother and grandmother. ple. As well as the importance of family “My grandma went to residential school, in the passing of traditions and the unconand she knew our songs, but she never ditional love and support each member of sang in public,” said Louie. “But she the family gives. A truly inspiring story passed those songs to me, and I am so for our youth to learn the songs of their grateful.” families and nations.”-Tiﬀany Adams, Louie’s debut book will be released Feb. Nlaka’pamux, Indigenous Educator 1, 2022. https://medicinewheel.education/ The 34-page colorfully illustrated book products/drum-from-the-heart?utm_ is available for preorder on the Medicine content=Facebook_UA&utm_source=fac Wheel Education website at a cost of ebook&variant=40367932375223 $16.99 plus shipping and handling.
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Le•ers to Editor Nuu-chah-nulth partner with Central Island Division of Family Practice, UBC Indigenous Patient Led and Rural Coordination Centre of BC The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council has partnered with Central Island Division of Family practice, an organization that represents local doctors, UBC Indigenous Patient Led Development Project and RCCBC in a collaboration initiative. The project involves indigenous communities interested in working with local physician and nurse practitioner community to develop Nuu-chah-nulth Indigenous led Cultural Safety training to design and develop education that meets the needs of the community and facilitates meaningful engagement. The guiding principles of the project are: Co-developed, Co-facilitated: sharing best practices with rural physicians and health care providers to foster cultural humility, address systemic bias and improve the health of indigenous peoples.
Ha-Shilth-Sa Casual Job Posting Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper is currently looking for casual labellers to help with paper distribution. If you are Interested please send contact information to Editor Eric Plummer at email@example.com
Community-Based and Patient-Led: community and patient voices are central. Strengthening Cultural Safety: Addressing systems of oppression, racism and bias. Building and strengthening relationships between First Nations and physician communities by creating opportunities for self-reﬂection and dialogue. The project started with the ﬁrst session at the end of March. This involved three Nuu-chah-nulth Elders to come together via zoom and share their story and experiences with local physicians and nurse practitioners. Various topics will be covered throughout the project that will go to the end of June. Topics such as: Who are Nuu-chah-nulth, where we come from, eﬀects of trauma from residential school, and experiences receiving health care. Other topics include myths and misconceptions about First Nations and Healthcare issues. To date the project has received a great response from local physicians and Nurse Practitioners. Some initial feedback from physicians has been great: “Thanks again for yesterday – that was (again) awesome. Let me know if there’s steps moving forward I could be part of.”. The plan is also to do a presentation to the staﬀ of West Coast General Hospital. The goal is having local physicians be more respectful, have more compassion, be non-judgemental, and refrain from making assumptions about First Nations.
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August 12, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
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Port Alberni Friendship Centre Volunteers Needed Need work experience? The Port Alberni Friendship Centre is looking for interested applicants for various positions. Hours per week vary. Call 250-723-8281
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Forestry and protestors continue with precautions As of mid July most of Vancouver Island was under a ‘high’ ﬁre danger rating, including at protest blockades By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Renfrew, BC - With nearly all of Vancouver Island under a heightened risk of forest ﬁres, those on both sides of a logging conﬂict in the south are continuing operations, with pledges to take extra precautions. By late July more than a month without rainfall put most of Vancouver Island under a “high” ﬁre danger rating with the B.C. Wildﬁre Service, and a swath of the east and south rated “extreme”. According to the provincial agency, forestry operations are not permitted when the danger is extreme after three straight days, but this industrial activity can continue in areas with a “high” danger rating as long as precautions are taken. “Under ‘high’ you maintain a ﬁre watcher after work for a minimum of two hours,” explained Dorda Jacobson with the Coastal Fire Centre. “After three consecutive days of ‘high’, you cease activity between 1 p.m. and sunset.” The risk of wildﬁre has been highlighted by various sides amid ongoing blockades in the territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation. Since August last year thousands have ﬂocked to the region to join the Rainforest Flying Squad in blocking logging operations within the Fairy Creek watershed near Port Renfrew, a valley of old growth considered one of the few remaining parts of Vancouver Island unaﬀected by forestry operations. On July 16 the Rainforest Flying Squad accused Teal Jones, which holds forestry tenure over the area of Crown land, of falling several hundred metres of trees in the Bugaboo region near Fairy Creek to build a logging road. Teal Jones responded to say that some operations are continuing in the area, but the wildﬁre risk is being managed according to provincial regulations. “With the current ‘high’ ﬁre danger rating in the area Teal Jones has taken appropriate measures such as curtailing activities identiﬁed as being higher risk in B.C.’s wildﬁre regulations, starting
Photo by Melissa Renwick
Police enforce a court injunction near Fairy Creek in May. Since then over 500 arrests have been made in the area near Port Renfrew. work early in the morning and being out “Please be assured that once we receive of the wood by early afternoon, posting notice that Teal Jones has stood down ﬁre watches, having water sources and from active logging and road building ﬁreﬁghting equipment on hand, and train- for the ﬁre season and that the RCMP are ing all our employees in ﬁghting ﬁres if refraining from enforcement procedures necessary,” stated the company. “If the in the area, we too, will reduce our presﬁre rating escalates we will take further ence in Pacheedaht unceded territory,” measures consistent with the regulations, wrote Bill Jones in a statement. “We are potentially including curtailing all our now strategizing to streamline our camps activities in the forest.” and reduce our ground crews to a miniIn late June the Pacheedaht First Nation mal presence, enough to keep watch on asked protestors to immediately leave its both the forest and the camps. We will territory, citing the wildﬁre risk of having maintain this minimal presence until Teal visitors in the remote area during recordJones returns once again to the forests to breaking temperatures. clear cut them at the earliest opportunity.” “The request for protestors to vacate The Flying Squad also said that camps PFN traditional territory is also being near the blockades are following strict made in the context of the constitutional measures, including “24-hour-a-day ﬁreright of First Nations to decide what is watch patrols, banning outdoor smoking, best for our lands, our waters and our [and] prohibiting campﬁres.” resources for the sustainment and well“We’ve consulted with the ﬁre marshal being of present and future generations,” and are acting on those recommendastated the First Nation. tions with ﬁre mitigation policies, as well In response Bill Jones, a Pacheedaht as ﬁre response plans,” states Kathleen elder and supporter of the Rainforest Fly- Code, a Flying Squad member who ing Squad, said that activist group wants helped develop the protocols. “We aren’t to ensure the forest is protected. here to protect these rainforests, only to
see them succumb to a wildﬁre.” Meanwhile, arrests continue in the contested area, with a tally of 556 people as of Aug. 9, a day when 33 were taken away by police before being processed and released in Lake Cowichan. Since early May police have enforced a court injunction against interfering in forestry operations, a B.C. Supreme Court order that spans an area from Port Renfrew to Nitinaht Lake, covering the traditional territories of the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations. On June 7 three Nuu-chah-nulth nations made a formal assertion of their territorial authority with an announcement that quickly caught the province’s attention. The Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ayaht’s Hišuk ma c̕awak declaration stated that the nations would be taking back decision-making responsibilities over their Ḥahahuułi. The declaration was accompanied by a notice to the provincial government for a two-year deferral of all old-growth harvesting on the Fairy Creek and Central Walbran areas, allowing the nations to formulate resource management plans in consultation with their members. The province promptly complied, but the Rainforest Flying Squad has continued to protest at blockades outside of the Fairy Creek and Central Walbran areas. “Despite tinder-dry conditions and high to extreme ﬁre danger ratings throughout Vancouver Island, logging continues in the Bugaboo region near greater Fairy Creek,” stated the Flying Squad. “With old growth logging in the Fairy Creek watershed now deferred for two years, an integrated resource management planning process underway and with the increased risk of forest ﬁres due to high temperatures, there is no reason for the protestors to continue to occupy our traditional territory,” stressed Pacheedaht Chief Councillor Jeﬀ Jones in a press release. “We respectfully reiterate our request for protestors to leave our traditional territory and let our nation get on with the business of how best to manage our Ḥahahuułi.”
Ahousaht musician Hasaatuk sings at INDIGIFEST By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Hasaatuk’s musical interest was stirred awake while attending Haahuupayak Elementary School in Port Alberni. Through Nuu-chah-nulth immersion classes, she learned how to sing her ancestral songs and became inspired to write music of her own. “It gave me a voice,” she said. After seeking guitar lessons from her father, who is from Ahousaht First Nation, Hasaatuk wrote her ﬁrst song when she was only eight years old. “ƛaqaʔas,” meaning “standing around outside,” was about the commercialization of Christmas, she said. “I was always passionate about [social] issues,” Hasaatuk said. “I never thought I was the best at public speaking, but I felt conﬁdent with a guitar. Nothing could scare me if I had a guitar.” While her music takes on a contemporary acoustic twist, Hasaatuk’s style is grounded in her traditional roots. “To be immersed in our language and our culture at such a young age really pushed me to try and incorporate our language as much as possible into my music.”
She uses her traditional name, which her grandmother gave her during a comingof-age ceremony, as her stage name. “It means loud, vibrant voice,” she said. “It’s really important to use our traditional names as much as possible and I feel it’s ﬁtting for me as an artist.” In those early years, Hasaatuk got her start performing at community gatherings in Port Alberni and has since gone on to perform across the U.S., in New Zealand and Spain. On August 12, she will be performing as part of INDIGIFEST 2021, a free, online celebration of Indigenous music hosted by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC). Beginning at 7 p.m., the show will include four other Indigenous artists. Representing musical genres from classic country to hip hop, and almost everything in between, the event is an “opportunity to share and celebrate diverse Indigenous music from across the province,” said FCPP, in a release. Each set will have cultural teachings and storytelling interspersed throughout, according to FCPP. “By streaming this year’s festival for free online, First People’s Cultural Council is making Indigenous culture even
Hasaatuk more accessible [by] showcasing Indigenous talent to a worldwide audience,” said Sae-Hoon Stan Chung, chair of BC Arts Council. Hasaatuk recorded her performance
while staying on Matsquiaht, the site of the former Christie Residential School. She said FCPP went “above and beyond” to help every artist feel supported by providing all of the necessary ﬁlming equipment to keep, along with tips and advice on how to use it. “[FCPP] made sure that we felt conﬁdent in what we’re putting out and that we have the skills to use more in the future,” she said. “To help elevate us as musicians and get our music out there.” The transition to performing online has been a “surreal” experience for Hasaatuk. The 21-year-old said it has taken some time to get used to looking at a screen and seeing a bunch of people silently clapping after ﬁnishing a performance. “There’s always the technical glitch,” she said. “But I’ve been really grateful to have these opportunities to perform throughout [COVID-19] and I’m really grateful that a lot of these festivals have moved online to support artists.” Whether performing in-person or online, Hasaatuk said that ultimately, music is about connection. “It’s a really powerful feeling to be able to perform for many people,” she said. “And to see how each individual person connects with it in a diﬀerent way.”
August 12, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 17
Woman warns people to listen to their bodies Vanessa Sim was constantly thirsty, needed the bathroom frequently and said random things before diagnosis By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Vanessa Sim, a Hesquiaht woman, wasn’t feeling well and decided to get checked at West Coast General Hospital on June 18, 2021. “I was endlessly thirsty, needed the bathroom a lot and was feeling confused,” said Vanessa Sim, a wife and mother and grandmother. She said her family was concerned about her because she would blurt out random things, not seeming to make sense. On top of that, her vision was going bad. Concerned about her worsening symptoms, Sim went to visit the emergency department at West Coast General Hospital to get checked out. She sat in triage for four hours before hospital staﬀ asked if she had a blood test. She hadn’t been tested but answers came quickly once the results came back. “You have diabetes,” the doctor blurted from the foot of the bed. There was no sugar-coating it. Sim was left to process her new reality of being a type 2 diabetic. According to Diabetes Canada, type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your body cannot make enough insulin (a hormone that helps control the amount of glucose or sugar in your blood) or does not properly use the insulin it makes. According to the Canadian Journal of Diabetes, Indigenous people around the
world are at higher risk for developing diabetes. “The higher rate of adverse health outcomes in Aboriginal peoples is associated with a number of factors, including lifestyle (diet and physical activity), genetic susceptibility, and historic-political and psychosocial factors, stemming from a history of colonization that severely undermined Aboriginal values, culture, and spiritual practices,” they wrote. In other words, our ancestors were more physically active and ate a healthier diet of seafoods, land mammals, roots, and berries. “People over the age of 40 with a parent or sibling with diabetes are at a higher risk of having type 2 diabetes,” says Diabetes Canada. Sim says her late father and her brother were both diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. But she didn’t recognize the signs. She only knew something was wrong with her body. “I craved orange juice and yogurt drinks,” she told Ha-Shilth-Sa. She drank a lot of water to try to relieve her unquenchable thirst. “Drinking too much water dilutes your sodium levels,” she said, adding that this is what brought on confusion. Sim had already started to make healthier food choices prior to her trip to emergency. She stopped taking sugar in her coﬀee and began eating more salads. Once she started treatment for her
Vanessa Sim condition, she said it was like doing a 180 – things got better quickly. In the ﬁve weeks since her diagnosis she dropped 30 pounds. “I stopped having sugary drinks,” she said, adding that she mostly misses her red raspberry slushies from the convenience store. She also spends a lot of time reading food labels to avoid high sugar or carbohydrate foods. Sim began taking prescribed Metformin and spent 90 minutes with a dietician, who taught her what foods she can and can’t eat, and about portion control. “I can have as much veggies as I can,” she said, adding that she’s discovered that she loves hummus as a dip, rather than the
commercial dairy dips and sugary salad dressings. She must monitor her blood sugars everyday with ﬁnger pokes to test her blood and she goes to the hospital lab every month for blood tests. “I’m sleeping better, my skin has improved and my vision…I don’t need to wear glasses for driving anymore,” she said. Sim also noticed that her stress levels have gone down. Prior to her diagnosis, Sim said her family ate a lot of take-out food but now she must change what she eats. “Sometimes I really want something I shouldn’t have, but I’ll just have my veggie sticks and hummus and my body feels so much better for doing that,” she said. Sim advises people to get to know their bodies and if something feels oﬀ, go get checked. According to Diabetes Canada, diabetes aﬀects one in three Canadians. Diabetes can be managed with healthy food, regular exercise, and in most cases, medication. They go on to say a good ﬁrst step is to cut out highly processed foods, reﬁned grains such as white bread, sugary food, and sugary drinks. Instead, plan your meals around vegetables, plant-based proteins, whole grains, dairy, lean meats, oily ﬁsh, nuts, and healthy oils such as olive oil. And remember to keep moving by going for walks or other regular exercise.
Upgrades and conversion planned for Beaufort Hotel By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - The Beaufort Hotel in Port Alberni’s Uptown could soon see renovations and upgrades that would convert the former convention centre into supportive and low-barrier housing. The Bread of Life and the Lookout Housing and Health Society from Vancouver have entered into a purchase agreement to buy the hotel. There are currently 19 units in the building, all of which are occupied. The Bread of Life and Lookout are hoping to renovate the building to accommodate at least 50 units. No current residents would be displaced during construction. John Edmondson, board member and ofﬁcer at the Bread of Life, said funding for the purchase and renovations will most likely come from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) rapid housing funding. He said the Bread of Life had previously applied for the funding through the CMHC and were very close to being approved but funds ran out. “We were told ‘Don’t worry, when the next funds are announced we’re ﬁrst in line and we’ll get to you.’ Fortunately for us that next round was announced about a week ago,” Edmondson said at a July 26 Port Alberni city council meeting. “The reason this fund is so appealing to not only us, but the rest of Canada, is this is a grant, it’s a 100 per cent grant for all expenses except for operations.” Edmondson said while waiting for funding, the Bread of Life met with Lookout Society and started talking about their approach and plans for the Beaufort Hotel. “About a month ago we signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to purchase and renovate the Beaufort Hotel and turn it into an operation centre and housing for about 50 rooms,” Edmondson said. “Just last week, Lookout
Photo by Karly Blats
The Beaufort Hotel could soon see renovations and upgrades that would convert the uptown building into supportive and low-barrier housing. at [the hotel]. It’s an amazing building, entered into a purchase agreement on the it looks pretty rough inside but there’s Beaufort, so we feel like we’re making progress.” huge potential. It’s a very solid building,” Puchmayr said. “We don’t come in If the partners can secure the funding, and evict people when we do make these they estimate about $3.5 million will be used for renovations. The purchase would purchases, especially when they’re a lowalso include the parking lot across from income building. The only time we move them out is when they decide to move on the hotel. Lookout Society has been providing to other places.” minimal-barrier housing and services Puchmayr added that what’s left of a kitchen facility on the main ﬂoor of the for homeless people for 50 years in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. building could be renovated and used for They currently have 55 sites, including in a culinary program that Lookout currently provides to clients on the mainland. Victoria and Duncan and about one-third of Lookout clients identify as Métis or Mary Campbell, long time staﬀ member First Nations. with Lookout, said they hope to have 24/7 staﬀ on-site once renovations are Chuck Puchmayr, president of Lookout Society, told Port Alberni council that he complete. sees great opportunity for the Beaufort “All of Lookout services are trauma-informed, minimum-barrier. We understand Hotel. “I’ve been to Port Alberni and looked that people who are homeless have a lot
more challenges other than just not having money or a home,” Campbell said. “Many are suﬀering with substance use, mental health challenges, physical disabilities and I’d say every single person we see has some kind of trauma in their background. We really have developed this large component of health supports.” Campbell said Lookout is conﬁdent in their ability to manage large construction and renovation projects, as they have constructed eight buildings from scratch making them suitable for homeless individuals. “We also have good relationships with funders, BC Housing and Island Health,” Campbell said. “We do have three contracts with Island Health in Victoria and Duncan right now. We’re quite conﬁdent in this and we’re excited about the possibility of this project and being successful on it.” The purchase of the Beaufort and bringing in an outside service provider like Lookout aligns with one of the recommendations on a BC Housing report released in March from a third-party review that looked into operational concerns surrounding the Port Alberni Shelter Society’s management of two Port Alberni shelters. It was recommended that an alternate shelter or housing facility with strong mental health and substance use supports be developed in Port Alberni by a diﬀerent service provider and with collaboration from local First Nation’s representatives. Port Alberni council will write a letter of support to help Lookout and the Bread of Life secure funding. “I’m really excited to see how this process goes for you and hopefully see this come to fruition in our community,” said Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions. “There’s certainly a need and I think you’ll be a great proponent to make a positive improvement here.”
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Summerfest returns to Yuquot, interpretation updated Carving is underway to present three plaques that detail the importance of the site and past Maquinna chiefs By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Yuquot, BC - The most people in two years gathered at the traditional home of the Mowachaht in early August with the return of the First Nation’s Yuquot Spirit Summerfest. As Mowachaht/Muchalaht members resumed their annual camp out at the Nootka Island site, visitors ﬁlled the MV Uchuck to visit the First Nation’s ancestral village on Saturday, Aug. 7. The crowd of over 100 didn’t approach Yuquot’s historical population, but as Tyee Ha’wilth Mike Maquinna welcomed all to his traditional home in the village church, he noted that the Yuquot community gathering was the ﬁrst to be held since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Yuquot has always been the centre of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht’s social, economic and cultural world, and at one time was the capital of Nootka Sound’s 17 tribes. Archeological digs have uncovered evidence of continual habitation at the site for over 4,300 years, and Yuquot, which is also known as Friendly Cove, served as the focal point of West Coast First Nation trade with Europeans during the early years of contact. Demand for pelts and other resources in Mowachaht/ Muchalaht territory brought Great Britain and Spain to the brink of war during the Nootka Sound Controversy of 1789-94. In the early 1970s the First Nation moved its reserve community to near Gold River, but the Williams family remained at Yuquot, and in recent years the historical perspective of the site has shifted to consider those who lived there for millennia. This change in perception is evident on a cairn that stands by the entrance to Yuquot at the southern tip of Nootka Island. A plaque remains there from when the location was originally designated a national historic site in 1923. “It says nothing about the people,” said Margarita James, president of the Land of Maquinna Cultural Society. “It didn’t acknowledge the Mowachaht people or Chief Maquinna on that original plaque.” At the request of former Ha’wilth Ambrose Maquinna, this introductory information about Yuquot began a process of revision in the late 1990s. By 2002, two new plaques were produced by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to provide a more rounded version of history. One plaque bears a message in Mowachaht followed by a translation in Spanish, the other carrying the same caption in English and French. “Whaling was a vital part of the life of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht, and of all the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples,” reads the 2002 plaque. “Near here once stood the Whalers’ Washing House, a unique ceremonial structure and the most signiﬁcant monument to a puriﬁcation ritual on the West Coast of North America.” While the community and visitors gathered in Yuquot’s church, carver Sanford Williams was working on pieces to carry the plaques in his work shed by the shore. The carvings show a wolf standing up, howling at the moon over three people who represent the clan of the wolf, explained Williams. “The wolf acts in our territory as a protector, a protector of the land,” he said. “It was one of my ideas because the q#ayac’iik, the wolf, in our culture is used quite a bit, like in potlatches to keep kids quiet when the wolf dancer has his mask
Photos by Eric Plummer
The Mowachaht/Muchalaht community camp out returned to Yuquot this year. Tyee Ha’wilth Mike Maquinna welcomed visitors on Aug. 7 (below left), while Sanford Williams (below right) worked on carvings to present plaques about the historical site.
on. Plus it’s part of my family crest, so I use the wolf a lot.” The carvings are being formed from a cedar log Williams found on Yuquot’s beach. “It’s really hard to ﬁnd a good log with no knots, so it was a matter of looking around on the beaches for a good log,” he said. “The high tides are really big in the winter. I just scour the beaches every time I come out here.” A third plaque from the Canadian monuments board has also sat in the Yuquot church for nearly 20 years, but will soon be mounted on a carving made by Patrick Amos. This plaque describes part of the Maquinna legacy. “Two distinguished chiefs who led the Mowachaht people of Nootka Sound at the end of the 18th century bore the name Maquinna. The ﬁrst, skilled diplomat, helped establish the Mowachaht among the richest fur traders on the west coast, at a time when their land was threatened by Britain and Spain,” reads the plaque, which is presented in Mowachaht, English and French. “The second Maquinna had the more diﬃcult task of trying to maintain his people’s prosperity in the face of declining fur resources and increasingly violent conﬂict between the Mowachaht and Europeans.” Williams expects the carvings he’s working on will be completed by early September, although a permanent location for them is yet to be determined. He hopes that visitors will “take the culture with them” after seeing the ﬁnished pieces. “Our culture needs to be out there,” said the carver, who usually spends his summers in Yuquot. “A lot of people out there need to start knowing our culture. I’m hoping that they’ll take that with them and remember it, or pass it around of what they’ve learned out here.”
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Tsunami survey reveals critical knowledge gaps Sessions oﬀer results of inundation zone mapping, but a data deﬁciency limits how governments can prepare By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor A survey of residents on Vancouver Island’s northwest coast suggests most know the signs of an approaching tsunami but do not know evacuation routes, mustering points or where to turn for information if disaster strikes. The survey is part of the Northwest Vancouver Island Tsunami Risk Project, a collaborative study involving Strathcona Regional District (SRD), Nuchatlaht and Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations along with various other stakeholders in the region. SRD oﬃcials share project ﬁndings and discuss next steps in a series of online presentations and public engagement sessions later this month. “Detailed maps of future tsunami ﬂooding (inundation) are needed for the allocation of evacuation routes and long-term planning in vulnerable coastal communities,” said Brad Unger, SRD board chair. “We are excited to be at the project stage where we can now present people with the preliminary maps that shows how a tsunami will aﬀect their community.” Since it was launched last August with $450,000 in provincial emergency preparedness funds, the project has gathered high-resolution aerial and bathometric mapping data together with public feedback in hopes of ﬁlling a “tsunami gap” in coastal risk assessment. Northwest Hydraulic Consultants and Ocean Networks Canada will show tsunami inundation zones in 11 coastal communities along the coast between Gold River
and Holberg in presentations on Aug. 18, 19, 25 and 26 (complete schedule and Zoom link below). The area of study includes the territories of Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’, Nuchatlaht, Ehattesaht, Mowachaht/ Muchalaht and Quatsino First Nations. No surveys of comparable scope and magnitude have been done before despite the region’s proximity to the Cascadia Subduction Zone and historic vulnerability to destructive, sometimes catastrophic tsunamis. The zone is a collision point of subsea tectonic plates that last wrought disaster for the Pachena Bay people with a devastating tsunami in Brad Unger the middle of the night 321 years ago. los and Kyuquot indicated they know the Large, prehistoric tsunami sites along signs of an incoming tsunami: A rapid the Island’s west coast have been identiand unexpected recession of water level ﬁed through geology. These include sites and a loud roaring sound coming from in the territories of every nation from the ocean. There also appears to be a reaHuu-ay-aht to Che:k’tles7et’h’. Earthsonable degree of preparedness with 67 quake early warning sensors, land-based per cent of respondents overall indicating and on the sea ﬂoor, have been installed they have enough disaster supplies to last in recent years, but there remains a gulf two weeks, according to survey results. in understanding the physics of coastal In contrast, a little more than half of ﬂooding, the so-called “tsunami gap.” respondents said they know their commuIn a preliminary report, SRD staﬀ nity’s tsunami meeting points. Forty-two pointed to a data deﬁciency that limits the percent said they do not know evacuation ability of local governments to adequateroutes. When asked, “Do you know how ly plan and prepare for the next major your community will alert you if there tsunami event. is a tsunami threat,” only 52 per cent A total of 282 residents responded to the answered Yes. public feedback survey. All respondents The survey ﬁndings should help inform in communities such as Quatsino, Zeballocal and regional planners of emergency
measures required. A similar wave-modelling project for the south Island’s Capital Regional District has been updated with results expected in September. “Their input has provided a great deal of support with helping us understand what the community’s concerns are associated to tsunamis and what they have learnt from their past experiences with tsunami on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island,” said Shaun Koopman, SRD protective services co-ordinator. Some of their accounts are included in survey results, which are available at https://srd.ca/wp-content/ uploads/2021/07/Community-TsunamiSurvey-Feedback-Report.pdf. “From Holberg and Winter Harbour to Cape Scott, residents and businesses are depending on old, obsolete analogue Telus service/phone lines in case of emergencies,” wrote one respondent. “These lines are no longer supported by Telus and with no cell service the only way to notify people of imminent danger is by going door to door.” “I’d like to see something much more like the Oregon coast which has clear tsunami signage and routes for safe places to go,” wrote another. Kyuquot respondents expressed interest in more public education, training, drills and exercises. No pre-registration is required for the 90-minute online sessions scheduled for Aug. 18, 1-2:30 p.m., Aug. 19, 7-8:30 p.m., Aug. 25, 1-2:30 p.m. and Aug. 26, 7-8:30 p.m. The same content will be presented in each session. Event Zoom links are available online at www.srd.ca/ nwvi-tsunami-risk-project.
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