Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspapeer August 26, 2021

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INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 48 - No. 16—August 26, 2021 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Jaidin Knighton holds a sea urchin while snorkelling along the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet on Aug. 18, part of the Tseshaht Warrior Program. Story on pages 8-9.

Delta fuels fourth wave, but First Nations see declines Deployment of vaccine results in no COVID deaths among Vancouver Island’s Indigenous people since March By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Vancouver Island, BC – A fourth wave of COVID-19 dominated by the highly contagious Delta variant is making its way through British Columbia - including in communities with high populations of Nuu-chah-nulth people like Nitinaht Lake, Tofino, and Port Alberni. On Aug. 20 the Ditidaht First Nation’s elected chief and council issued a community update. In it, the nation acknowledges that some of their community members are coming down with cold and flu-like symptoms. Since that time at least some of the cases have been confirmed to be COVID-19. The nation activated their COVID-19 response plan and are offering vaccine and drive-thru testing. They are in touch with health officials and indicate that it is Island Health that has records of any positive cases in the community. Chief and council do not have official numbers. In her message to Indigenous people,

Dr. Shannon McDonald, acting chief medical officer of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), noted that the COVID-19 Delta variant is much easier to pass on to others than the novel coronavirus strain that started to spread in late 2019. Because it spreads more easily and has the potential to overwhelm the healthcare system, Delta is considered a variant of concern. “[I]t’s spreading quickly throughout all regions of the province. In fact, it was responsible for 99 per cent of infections in the interior during the last week of July,” McDonald wrote. The good news is that the provincial government’s proactive approach to getting vaccinations to remote Indigenous communities early on has produced positive results. Relatively few Indigenous people are now getting infected with the virus. According to Island Health, those who identified as Indigenous in B.C. were three times more likely to end up in

Inside this issue... Federal election called................................................Page 3 MV Frances Barkley still afloat..................................Page 5 Ahousaht and church progress in friendship..............Page 7 Promoting culture through T-shirts...........................Page 12 Port Alberni receives $400k for homeless................Page 17

hospital and four times more likely to die than the general population at the start of the pandemic. “Despite representing only 7.6 per cent of the population of Vancouver Island, the Indigenous population represented 34.9 per cent of COVID-19 cases,” they wrote in a report. It was because of these numbers that the Indigenous populations in the province were prioritized. The results show a significant decrease in the numbers of new cases, according to data compiled by Island Health from April 1 to July 31. “The Indigenous population represented 7.5 per cent of all COVID-19 cases during this time period,” states the VIHA document. “The incidence rate for this time period was 250 per 100,000 for the Indigenous population compared to 252 per 100,000 for the non-Indigenous population.” Hospitalizations with COVID-19 have also declined for Aboriginal people on the island, after seeing a rate three times that of the rest of the population over the

first year of the pandemic. Just five were tracked by Island Health from April 1 to July 31. “Compared to the non-Indigenous population, those who self-identify as Indigenous experienced approximately the same rate of hospitalization,” continued the VIHA report. “The number of Indigenous COVID-19 deaths within this time period was 0.” While the province has reported that most of the population ages 12 and over have received one or both shots, the recent spread of COVID-19 is impacting the unvaccinated and the partially vaccinated. For this reason, McDonald advises everyone to exercise caution. All unvaccinated people, including children ages 2 and over, are strongly advised to wear masks at indoor public settings. Frequent hand sanitizing and social distancing from people outside your home is also recommended. Stay home if you feel sick. Continued on page 2.

If undeliverable, please return to: Ha-Shilth-Sa P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2

Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa—August 26, 2021

84 per cent of hospitalized unvaccinated Search for boater south of Alberni Continued from page 1. “The great news is that those of us who have been fully vaccinated do have very strong protection against the Delta virus, with the risk of serious outcomes reduced by almost 100 per cent, and that we are providing protection for everyone around us, including those who can’t be vaccinated – for example, children under 12,” McDonald stated. In a move to encourage people to get vaccinated, Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry issued new orders on Aug. 23. Starting Sept. 13, people will be required to provide proof of vaccination to attend certain public events and businesses. “As of Sept. 13, one dose of vaccine will be required for entry to these settings,” states the health order. “By Oct. 24, entry to these settings will require people to be fully vaccinated at least seven days after receiving both doses.” Those spaces affected include indoor ticketed sporting events, indoor and patio dining in restaurants, night clubs, movie theatres, fitness centres, casinos, and indoor organized events like conferences and weddings. People 12 and older will be required to show proof of vaccination. “These new measures will help reduce transmission and keep our communities safe and ensure we can continue to keep businesses open and safely enjoy muchneeded social events,” stated Dr. Henry. “Vaccines are our ticket to putting this pandemic behind,” said Premier John Horgan. “So I call on all eligible unvaccinated British Columbians to roll up their sleeves to stop the spread, and help

By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor

Photo submitted by Ashely John

Ehattesaht Councillor Ashely John receives her COVID-19 vaccination in January, after the First Nation’s reserve community suffered an outbreak in late 2020. On Vancouver Island there were 430 acprotect themselves, their loved ones and tive cases on Aug. 24, including 53 new the people in their community.” cases. Ditidaht is advising people in their There have been 1,801 confirmed deaths community to stay home if they are feeldue to COVID-19 in B.C. since the paning unwell. Symptoms people there are reporting include cough, runny nose, sore demic began in March 2020. According to health officials, COthroat, body aches, fever and chills. On advice from the NTC nursing depart- VID-19 vaccines are free and safe. The province reports that from Aug. 16-22, ment, people not fully vaccinated with 70 per cent of cases affected people who two shots who had a confirmed exposure were not vaccinated, while those with one to a positive case of COVID-19 need to isolate for 14 days. If symptoms develop, shot comprised 13 per cent of these infections and fully vaccinated individuals they may go for a test. accounted for 17 per cent of cases. For those who have received two vacOver the same period, unvaccinated cinations, there is no requirement for people took up 78 per cent of hospitalizaisolation or testing if symptoms do not tions with COVID-19, with the partially develop. and fully vaccinated comprising the As of Tuesday, Aug. 24, there were remaining eight and 14 per cent respec5,357 active cases in British Columbia. tively. There were 641 new cases on Aug. 24.

Barkley Sound, BC - A 66-year-old man who went missing on Aug. 16 remains unaccounted for, after his boat was found empty near Rainy Bay, where the Alberni Inlet opens up into Barkley Sound. The disappearance was reported to police when the man didn’t return to a camp where he was staying in the remote location. He left the camp on his boat to get cellular service, according to the Port Alberni RCMP. “[H]is boat was found adrift by his companions who placed 911 calls and a Mayday on the VHF radio,” stated an RCMP press release. “Their immediate search of the area did not locate him.” The Canadian Coast Guard responded to the disappearance, as well as the Ucluelet RCMP and the RCMP‘s West Coast Marine Services. An RCMP media release about the disappearance went out Aug. 19. The man has not been identified, although police say he has family ties to Port Alberni and an address in the Lower Mainland. “The investigation is continuing from Port Alberni with support from West Coast Marine Services and the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team,” stated the media release.

August 26, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3

Global warming, fishing rights and unmarked graves Liberals eye a majority less than two years since last election, while NDP seeks to retain dominance of island By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Another election season is underway, after a mid-August announcement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Canadians will head to the polls on Sept. 20 – less than two years since the last federal election took place. By calling the election the Liberals seek to reclaim the majority government they lost in 2019, due in large part to surging support for the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer. Now the biggest threat to Trudeau’s hopes of a majority lie in how the Conservatives, under new leader Erin O’Toole, can attract voters. When Parliament was dissolved the Liberals had 155 seats, while the Conservatives held 119, followed by the Bloc Québecois’ 32 and the NDP’s 24. On the outskirts sat five independent MPs and 2 Green Party representatives. But in Nuu-chah-nulth territory on the west coast of Vancouver Island federal representation has gone to the NDP over the last few elections. Since 2015 the three ridings that cover the home territories of Nuu-chah-nulth nations, North Island-Powell River, Mid-Island and Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, have gone orange. Now all three of these respective incumbents, Rachel Blaney, Gord Johns and Alistair MacGregor, seek re-election, after all of Vancouver Island went NDP in 2019 except two ridings in Nanaimo and Victoria’s Saanich area, which were claimed by the Greens. Data collected from some individual polls in 2019 show an overwhelming support for the NDP in communities with a high proportion of Nuu-chah-nulth voters. In Ahousaht 164 of the total 175 votes counted on election day were for Gord Johns, while Rachel Blaney took 66 of the 83 ballots collected in Kyuquot. Such strong support in remote communities comes down to how effectively a candidate can maintain relationships, said Alexander Netherton, a professor of Political Studies at Vancouver Island University.

Annamie Paul - Green Party “You’ll find political parties [that] really try to make ongoing relationships with Indigenous peoples,” he said. “The NDP is pretty good at that on this island, the Liberals on the island less so and the Conservatives don’t have a really great track record of that since the 1950s.” Of foremost concern this election is how the government is going to manage contributing factors to global warming, said Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council. The situation so dire she doesn’t even refer to it as “climate change”, after heat records were broken in B.C. this summer while the province saw 860,800 hectares burned from over 1,500 wildfires – more than double the average area burned from over last

Photo by Eric Plummer

A federal election has been called for Sept. 20. Pictured are Tseshaht members performing in Port Alberni before the arrival of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh two years ago. The last federal election was held on Oct. 21, 2019.

Erin O’Toole - Conservatives decade of fire seasons. “No. 1 priority for me is climate emergency. I think we’re far past climate change,” stressed Sayers. “Global warming has become an incredible issue for us, dealing with all these really high temperatures, forest fires, flooding.” She noted some progress in the recent passing of the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, but this legislation has a goal of 2050 to bring greenhouse gases under control. “It’s too far away and there are really no consequences in it,” said Sayers. “I think that the government has got to take immediate measures to deal with climate, because it’s impacting our lives, it’s impacting our sea resources, it’s impacting our housing, our health.” Over Trudeau’s first term as Prime Minister he set up lofty expectations for First Nations, standing up in the house of Commons in 2017 to declare that no relationship was more important to Canada than that with Indigenous peoples. But over the following years frustration brewed among Nuu-chah-nulth people, particularly due to the failure of Fisheries and Oceans Canada to find agreeable terms with the nation’s negotiators. Talks between both sides have progressed little, despite multiple court rulings that upheld the rights of five Nuu-chah-nulth nations to catch and sell species from their home territories. The issue escalated to a declaration in early August from the nations’ Ha’wiih, authorizing members to fish according to

the First Nations’ own fisheries plans, not the allocations that were set by DFO. “I have been continually shocked with the various allocations of fish species that the federal government has deemed appropriate. We have the inherent right to fish and sell fish in our traditional territories,” said Ahousaht Ha’wilth Hasheukumiss, Richard George, following the declaration. “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 the other user groups, but at the end of the day, the resources are ours to manage through our own conservation practices.” “There’s seems to be a real push by the government to stop us from accessing our rights. I think it’s become a really big

Jagmeet singh - NDP issue across the country,” noted Sayers. “We just met with the fisheries minister a few weeks back, and she had no commitment to Nuu-chah-nulth whatsoever. It was, ‘Well, I’m going to have to check with my staff on that’.” But recent news from former residential school sites could force candidates to give more recognition to the concerns of First Nations. The discovery of 215 unmarked graves on the old grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School was the first of several to seize public attention this summer. “These are universal injustices that we can all appreciate, and it makes, I think, Canadians feel uncomfortable, which it

ought to,” said Netherton. Although the existence of children’s remains at the former school sites was addressed years ago by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it took the recent discoveries to force politicians to give the issue prominence. “After the TRC there was a bit of movement but some kind of implicit denial,” said Netherton. “It’s as if the significance of that fact was kind of buried. Identifying these unmarked graves really, in my view, brings this notion of a cultural genocide right to our front door.” Now candidates have less than a month

Justin Trudeau - Liberal Party to gain the trust of voters, but the decision among Nuu-chah-nulth people to engage in the election will depend on how they see their connection to the federal government, said Sayers. “I think there’s two schools of thought. One is we’re a citizen of the Nuu-chahnulth nation, we’re not a citizen of Canada, so I’m not going to vote and that’s their politics and not mine,” she commented. “Others are directly impacted by the federal government, whether it’s fisheries or justice or health, and they need to have a say in those things.” “If we were going to poll Québécois, the majority would say. ‘I am more attached to Quebec than I am to Canada’, said Netherton. “The really interesting thing about living in a federation - and of course with treaty people - is that we can have multiple identities. The trick now is to be proud and to assert those identities.”

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Tseshaht and San Group see partnership potential The growing forestry firm signs MOU, promises future business and cultural co-operation with the First Nation By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Jobs and fibre supply are key factors in a memorandum of understanding between Tseshaht First Nation and San Group, but the new agreement extends beyond business, promising collaboration on a cultural level as well. “There are so many ways for us to work together,” said Wahmeesh, Ken Watts, Tseshaht chief councillor after the MOU was signed in late June. “Today is the beginning of our formal relationship,” said Kamal Sanghera, San’s CEO. “We have been working with Tseshaht for a number of years and look forward to a number of important projects.” A Langley-based forestry company with an emerging presence in the Port Alberni, San arrived in the valley five years ago promising to do business differently. The company prides itself on innovation to achieve new efficiencies with an emphasis on value-added wood product manufacturing and exporting. San’s investment in the forest sector has created a buzz on the Island and stands in contrast to the closure of more than 100 B.C. mills over the past two decades. “The way San supports this is it gets more value from the wood we process,” said Mike Ruttan, San Group spokesman. “We don’t export raw logs, we create value around the logs we do harvest.” Since then, the company has followed suit, investing more than $100 million in the valley through purchasing and upgrading the former Coulson Mill just south of Port Alberni for smaller dimen-

Photo submitted by San Group

San Group CEO Kamal Sanghera, left, and Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the company and Tseshaht First Nation. sion logs. The San Group has also built a remanufacturing plant next to the former Catalyst paper mill (now owned by Paper Excellence Canada). Last month, San agreed to take over the Port Alberni Port Authority’s deep-water Berth 3 dock with a view to exporting overseas, another $115 million invested. They have a four-hectare site undergoing development on Hector Road and recently purchased from the City of Port Alberni a potential residential development site off Burde Street. The company exports products to 27 countries and was named B.C. Exporter of the Year in 2018. That strength goes hand in hand with Port Alberni’s strategic advantage as a designated federal port,

allowing direct export. San also tries to create a more established presence in the communities in which it operates, Ruttan said. Its Alberni Valley operations are located in local First Nation territories. The company has signed MOUs with B.C. First Nations before, but this is the first to include cooperation on a cultural level, Ruttan said. “Certainly, what San is involved in as a core of our business, is processing cedar, which is incredibly important to First Nations people on the West Coast,” Ruttan said. “Initially, it’s all around the fibre,” he stressed. San Group could see a good amount of fibre coming out of it, he added. Tseshaht certainly has that to market.

Tseshaht First Nation operates five forest companies and three limited liability partnerships, all managed through Tseshaht Forestry Corporation, together with two retail operations, Tseshaht Market and Orange Bridge Cannabis. There is also a desire to diversify beyond forestry and retail, and potential partnership with San Group could be one way of achieving this objective. “They want to work with us more collaboratively,” Watts said. “We see this as a good opportunity. There may be other developments we can participate in.” When a new Tseshaht council was elected to office last December, they decided to focus on strengthening partnerships, mending old relationships and creating new ones, Watts said. The MOU with San cements an existing relationship and establishes a framework for further co-operation. Watts described the MOU as a refreshing departure from the norm. “Not everyone looks at us a stakeholder,” he said. “They look to us as a potential partner.” It’s not so much about administering forest resources as it is about serving the interest of Tseshaht membership. “It’s about trying to create jobs and improve value,” Watts said. As for the cultural side of the agreement, Watts said San has expressed interest in developing cultural recognition around Nuupts’ikapis, a seasonal Tseshaht village site where the remanufacturing plant is located. San got its start with a small remanufacturing plant in the Fraser Valley in 1979, later expanding into sawmilling and forest harvesting.

August 26, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5

New business owners keep MV Frances Barkley afloat An agreement has prevented the closure of a vital service at month’s end, bringing relief to Bamfield residents By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - New owners have stepped up to ensure MV Frances Barkley continues operation. Business partners Greg Willmon and Barrie Rogers, who own Devon Transport along with a group of rental and leasing companies, announced Monday, Aug. 16 that Lady Rose Marine Services has accepted their offer to purchase the business. They gave assurances the passenger and freight service, a fixture of west coast life for generations, would continue uninterrupted. Willmon, who has a residence in Bamfield, was unloading his truck a few weeks ago at Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay when he ran into Mike Surrell, who has operated Lady Rose Marine Services for the past 13 years. Surrell went public earlier this month with his plan to cease operation Aug. 31, explaining that the pandemic has robbed the ferry service of most of its business. “COVID has basically destroyed this place,” Surrell said last week, before the purchase was confirmed, while hinting that there could be hope of saving the operation. “Nothing’s over until it’s over. The 31st of August hasn’t come yet.” Numbers tell the story, as they do for countless other businesses stricken by pandemic impacts. In a typical year, Frances Barkley carries between 7,000 and 10,000 passengers. In all of 2020, there were only 154 passengers. Their freight business also fell off in part due to the high cost of lumber, Surrell said. On the other hand, the scenic voyage from Port Alberni to Bamfield remains popular. Would-be passengers found themselves out of luck after the announcement of potential closure earlier this month. The service is fully booked (while adhering to pandemic safety limitations) until month’s end. Now, of course, those wanting to take the trip won’t have to worry. The possibility of losing what many consider an essential service led the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to hold an online meeting of stakeholders from various communities Monday afternoon. Bob Beckett, ACRD area director for Bamfield, said he was among those surprised by the sudden news of the possible closure. “I’m not sure folks know, especially

Photo by Mike Youds

Mike Surrell, left, current owner of Lady Rose Marine Services, met Tuesday with future owner Greg Willmon. those who live outside of the valley, Bamfield and Anacla, just how many services they do provide,” Beckett said. “There is something absolutely magical when the boat comes in.” As one resident mentioned: “How are we going to know what day of the week it is?” “It’s an integral piece of infrastructure that serves a lot of communities,” said Trevor Cootes, Huu-ay-aht First Nations councillor. “Our citizens living at home definitely rely on Lady Rose Marine Services for transportation and also have used it for medical purposes. It’s been huge there.” Huu-ay-aht First Nations have purchased several businesses in recent years and the service is relied upon as part of their operations “right across the board,” Cootes added. Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council is the biggest customer of Lady Rose Marine Services, Willmon noted. Willmon, Rogers and their staff felt the shockwaves from the sudden news of the

business closure. “Destiny was set in motion during a conversation I had with current Lady Rose Marine Services owner Mike Surrell a few weeks ago,” Willmon explained. “We were unloading our truck on his dock. It started with a question, ‘How are things Mike?’.” “They could be better, Greg. There is a 50/50 chance the Frances Barkley won’t be sailing next year, possibly sooner,” Surrell said. Willmon asked if he would consider selling rather than shutting down. Surrell’s answer: “Let’s talk.’” In the interim, Willmon spent “many hours” considering the purchase during a family vacation in Bamfield. He thought of the ramifications of losing what had long been a reliable service provided by Surrell, his wife Pauline, their staff and crew. After a meeting late last week, the two reached agreement in principle for the purchase. “My wife and I could not be happier with the sale,” Surrell said Monday. “We

are proud to be able to continue helping the new owners in making this company the success it was pre-COVID.” Willmon said it was important to move quickly with the purchase in order to retain staff and crew members for the operation. The business employs a dozen people. He felt it was critical to get a commitment from Surrell to remain on as general manager. “The plan is to continue operating the Frances Barkley,” Willmon confirmed. “We believe she has quite a lot of life left in her. We’re planning, over the next year, on doing some upgrades to her.” Devon Transport is based in Nanaimo, part of an integrated group of companies that includes a Budget rental outlet in Port Alberni along with 27 other locations. Lady Rose Marine Services has been in operation for 75 years. The company’s original flagship, MV Lady Rose, was retired from service in 2009 and replaced by MV Frances Barkley.


Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa—August 26, 2021 Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper is published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for distribution to the members of the NTC-member First Nations, as well as other interested groups and individuals. Information and original work contained in this newspaper is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission from: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2. Telephone: (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 Web page: www.hashilthsa.com facebook: Hashilthsa Ntc

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2020 Subscription rates: $35 per year in Canada and $40 per year in the U.S.A. and $45 per year in foreign countries. Payable to the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. Manager/Editor/Reporter Eric Plummer (Ext. 243) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 eric.plummer@nuuchahnulth.org Reporter Denise Titian (Ext. 240) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 denise.titian@nuuchahnulth.org Reporter Melissa Renwick (416) 436-4277 Fax: (250) 723-0463 melissa.renwick@nuuchahnulth.org

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DEADLINE: Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is September 3, 2021 After that date, material submitted and judged appropriate cannot be guaranteed placement but, if material is still relevant, will be included in the following issue. In an ideal world, submissions would be typed rather than hand-written. Articles can be sent by e-mail to holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org (Windows PC). Submitted pictures must include a brief description of subject(s) and a return address. Pictures with no return address will remain on file. Allow two - four weeks for return. Photocopied or faxed photographs cannot be accepted.

Photo by Eric Plummer

Water level on the Somass River at low tide was so thin that one could walk halfway across the water on Aug. 24.

Island moves to Stage 5 drought level Salmon bearing streams at risk due to high temperatures and almost no rainfall By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter West Coast British Columbia – Following a spring and summer of almost no precipitation and coupled with recordbreaking high temperatures, freshwater resources are under unprecedented stress, according to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. As of Friday, Aug. 20th, all of Vancouver Island was at Drought Level 5. This means that there will likely be regulatory action and emergency response preparation on the part of the ministry, including the likelihood of mandatory water restrictions. The Koksilah River in Duncan is struggling to keep its flows above the Critical Environmental Flow Threshold, and the province is forcing additional limits and cessation of water use in the river. The provincial drought level system is separate from municipal drought systems. The City of Port Alberni, for example, has a four-stage water restriction schedule. As of Aug. 23, Port Alberni is at

Stage 2 water restrictions, meaning residents may water lawns and gardens on two designated days per week for a set amount of time. The provincial drought level system is geared towards aquatic resources – namely salmon and other fish stocks in the streams, rivers, and low-lying lakes. There are six levels of drought on the province’s drought information portal chart. Drought Level 0 indicates no adverse impacts, while at the other end of the scale, Level 5 means adverse impacts are almost certain. While the Level 5 drought level designation is concerning, NTC Fisheries Biologist Jim Lane says it’s not as much of an issue on the west coast of the island as it is on the east side. He noted that there are very few stream systems on the west coast that have dams on them. “Water levels have been low before, it’s the water temperature that is more of an issue,” he stated. The fish in lower elevation lakes like the Megin, Kennedy, Sproat and Great Central can escape to cooler water down-

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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.

stream, according to Lane. While the water temperature was dangerously high for fish in some lakes, areas of the lower streams are fed by cool ground water springs. The concern about fish pooling in lower streams is loss of fish through predation or through food competition, or if the stream dries up completely. “This happens every year,” said Lane, adding that for now, we are not outside of drought ranges from previous years. The warm temperature in the Somass River could be a problem if the adult salmon migrating upriver to spawn cannot reach cool water. “At 25C degrees, that becomes lethal for the adult salmon,” said Lane. But salmon have, in the past, found cool water pockets to wait out the heat. Lane heard from the Ditidaht fisheries manager who reported water temperature in their river at 16C degrees with ground water-fed pools at 10C degrees. For now, local First Nations fisheries staff are monitoring the situation in their respective communities.

Ha-Shilth-Sa belongs to every Nuu-chah-nulth person including those who have passed on, and those who are not yet born. A community newspaper cannot exist without community involvement. If you have any great pictures you’ve taken, stories or poems you’ve written, or artwork you have done, please let us know so we can include it in your newspaper. E-mail holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org. This year is Ha-Shilth-Sa’s 47th year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!

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August 26, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7

Ahousaht and Catholic church progress in friendship Victoria church houses a reconciliation gathering as many work to heal from the effects of residential schools By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC – A group of Ahousaht members hosted a gathering at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church Hall Sunday on Aug. 15. The purpose was to cement the friendship between the church and the Victoria-based Ahousaht members. The Ahousaht cultural group formed in Victoria several years ago. Made up of singers and dancers, the group gathers in Langford at a hall owned by Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church where they socialize and practice cultural songs and dances. Their cultural nights are open to all Indigenous people that wish to take part. Members of Esquimalt First Nation regularly take part in the fun evenings. In his notification of the event, organizer and Ahousaht Councillor Phillip Guy Louie invited people to join the group as they step onward to embrace reconciliation, truth and friendship with the Victoria Catholic Church. Louie told the crowd that regular culture nights have been on hold since gatherings were restricted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with restrictions lifting, they plan the evening events at the church property, which they’ve been using for many years. For this reason, it was important to acknowledge news stories of the human remains found buried in unmarked graves on former residential school grounds and the feelings being stirred up across Canada. Leaders of the Ahousaht cultural group met with Father Dean and other church officials to work on a way to move forward. Elected chief Greg Louie thanked Father Dean, saying that the people were gathered there because Father Dean extended a hand. Louie noted that not everyone is ready for this form of reconciliation. He stated that Father Dean has maintained close relationships with many Ahousaht members. He thanked Father Dean stating he didn’t just extend a hand but extended a heart. “Our culture is still here because we are strong, resilient people,” said Louie. “We’re not going anywhere and you’re (non-Indigenous) not going anywhere so let’s walk together.” The event started with a cleansing ceremony that covered the church buildings. Inside the hall invited guests from Indigenous communities and the church congregation intermingled. Many people from both groups were wearing orange shirts. Ahousaht Ha’wiih Hasheukmis (Richard George, standing in for his father Maquinna, Lewis George) and Hanuquii (Nate Charlie) and speaker Cliff Atleo announced that the first order of business was to comfort those grieving for lost family members. Ta’ilthma, as it is called, is an offering of support for the people, to recognize their grief and to show them that their presence at the event is appreciated, Atleo explained. Atleo carefully explained things as the event carried on, so that those unfamiliar with Nuu-chah-nulth ways could understand what was going on and why it was being done. He told the crowd that the act of blanketing people symbolizes healing energy being offered to strengthen them and to hold them up during difficult times. After being blanketed, the Ahousaht

Photo by Denise Titian

On Aug. 15 a Victoria church housed a reconciliation gathering, as many in its congregation work to heal from the continued effects of residential schools. Ahousaht men there that would stop him. being taken from us and not speaking delegation performed a dance called the The moment was profound as the Yaht-yahta. Atleo explained that the name their language – all we can do is walk woman started to cry, while the ‘father’ of the dance, literally, means to walk. with you,” he said. “We stand with you in “It’s to make those that are grieving feel and the ‘boy’ both dabbed at their tears. solidarity; we are sorry for the losses you The demonstration ended in hugs. better,” he shared. “It’s telling them that continue to endure. We’re sorry and we Dave Frank talked about his experience your people, your chiefs, want to hold will do better.” in residential school. you up because they know grief is not There were two residential schools in “I was sexually abused by a priest,” he easy.” Ahousaht and two churches. None of the shared. Former residential school students buildings exist any longer. As an adult, the long-term effects of the were asked to come forward and they, Church officials standing with Father assault left him suicidal, and he talked too, were blanketed. Phillip Guy Louie Dean traveled to take part in the event. about his third and final attempt to comSr. said it was important for Ahousaht There were pastors from several Cathomit suicide. He was getting his weapon Ha’wiih to recognize survivors and they lic churches in the Victoria area and one ready when there was a persistent knock- from Port Alberni. Bishop Gary Gordon had arranged brushings for anyone who ing at his door. There, at his door stood a wanted it. was also in attendance. priest. Hanuquii spoke to his mother GenFather Dean recalled the time that the “It was a priest that God sent to rescue evieve, who was seated with the other Swan family needed a place to gather me,” he said. residential school survivors. when elder Rosie Swan passed away in a From that day forward, Frank commit“If you didn’t survive, mom, I wouldn’t Victoria hospital. He was able to connect ted to let go of his pain and anger. be here,” he said before thanking her. He with another church who opened their “It wasn’t the whole church that hurt told he was there now, to hold her up. facility for the family. Church representatives including Father me, it was an individual,” he said. “We will share with you…you’re our Frank then assisted in a brushing Dean were asked to stand before the people too and you are welcome to our ceremony that the church congregation crowd. He told them that he, the church churches,” he said. willingly took part in. officials and congregation came there Elected Chief Louie says Ahousaht First Father Dean went on to say that they with a profound sense of honor. Nation is in talks with both Catholic and recognize the intergenerational trauma “We respect that you would have us United Church officials about reconciliaof Indian residential schools and how it here to express your solidarity with our tion measures. impacts the children and grandchildren of friends,” he told the people. “I am so The evening was rounded out with dinsorry for your losses, and I will walk with survivors. ner and cultural performances. “We can’t comprehend our children you if you will have me.” As he spoke of a greater power, Father Dean used words like Noss (a Nuu-chahnulth word for Creator) and Creator. Father Dean said he has spoken to InGATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC RIM dian residential school survivors and has offered what support he can. Some, he said, just wanted a hug. “We see you care for each other, and we learn from you,” he told the people. At one point, the Ahousaht Ha’wiih along with Cliff Atleo stood before the church guests. Speaking on their behalf, Tim Sutherland invited a man to sit on a chair placed in the middle of the floor. He told the man to select two people that would act as his parents. A man and woman stepped forward as Sutherland told the first man that he is a little boy and the Ahousaht Chiefs were Hours of operation - 7:00 am - 10:30 pm there to take him away from his parents Phone: 724-3944 to Ahousaht. He will no longer be alE-mail: claudine@tseshahtmarket.ca lowed to speak English and if he tries to run away, well, there were three strong Find us on Facebook


Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—August 26, 2021

Youth introduced to underwater seafood harvesting The Tseshaht Warrior Program sent youngsters into an underwater world through training in scuba diving By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Ucluelet, BC - Sheltered within a large tide pool along the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet, Kenneth Lucas took a deep breath before diving five-metres to the ocean floor. Armed with a weight belt and snorkel fins the length of his arms, the 15-yearold secured himself in place by clinging to a rock. Behind him, Chris Adair pointed a flashlight into a dark hole under a boulder. A train of white tentacles came into view before Lucas kicked back to the surface for air. Above water, Lucas held a wide smile before diving back down to get another look at the Pacific octopus tucked inside its den. Lucas was participating in a three-day snorkel-harvester training course as part of the Tseshaht First Nation’s youth Warrior Program in late-August. Instructed by Adair, owner and operator of Bottom Dwellers Freediving, the goal was to expose the youth to underwater environments and aquatic species along the coast. “That liquid curtain – that barrier of the surface keeps people at bay,” said Adair. “[This training] gives the youth another space to be excited about and feel connected to.” The Tseshaht youth Warrior Program kicked off last September, following the success of similar programs held in Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h and Huu-

Photos by Melissa Renwick

Chris Adair, owner of Bottom Dwellers Freediving, provides safety instructors before the Tseshaht youth enter the ocean, along the Wild Pacific Trail, in Ucluelet, on August 18. ay-aht First Nations. Designed to foster community and build leadership in First Nations youth through land-based learning, the program hosts weekly meetings and monthly camp-outs. Lucas was encouraged to join by his sister a few months after the program was launched. Feeling “bored” and without “anything to do,” Lucas said he didn’t need much convincing.

“I like coming out here,” he said, sitting on rocky ground next to the Pacific Ocean. “It gets me away from social media. I know social media is supposed to be fun, but it makes me more stressed.” The interest in free-diving and harvesting developed in response to COVID-19 as concerns about food sovereignty and food security were amplified, said Nuuchah-nulth Warrior Program coordinator Ricardo Manmohan.

“If the Delta variant locks us down again, [Nuu-chah-nulth] people can still go out and harvest t̓uc̓up,” he said. Coastal Indigenous communities sustainably harvested seafood for generations before colonization, said RandiLeigh MacNutt, the Tseshaht Warrior Program female youth coordinator. By re-introducing these practices to the youth, she said they’re able to tap into those ancestral traditions.

August 26, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9

Kenneth and Brandi Lucas walk down the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet to access calm ocean waters for snorkelling. “It’s a way of life,” said MacNutt. “It opens up the door to helping the youth learn about what they can eat from the ocean and [how] to move forward by teaching others.” After securing funding through the First Nations Well Being Fund, Manmohan said the youth from each nation will receive the snorkel-harvester training, along with four sets of free-diving gear. The training included a day of in-class

academics in Hitacu, confined water training at Kennedy Lake, a species identification class at the Ucluelet Aquarium, and an open-water session in the ocean. The gradual progression allows students to hone their skills and become comfortable with the gear before diving in a liveenvironment, said Adair. “It’s a different planet down there,” he said. “I find that escaping into that liquid environment is very peaceful and helps

(From left to right) Kenneth Lucas, Brandi Lucas and Jaidin Knighton pose for a photo with sea urchins after snorkelling along the Wild Pacific Trail. me get away from the day-to-day.” sports until more recently. Tseshaht is the first nation to offer a Adair said that no one was teaching women’s warrior group in tandem with a free-diving on Vancouver Island up until men’s group. five years ago when he launched Bottom “Males and females will work together Dwellers Freediving. in the future so it’s important for them to As accessibility to equipment and work together now,” said MacNutt. instruction has grown, the cold-water Jaidin Knighton and Lucas’ aunt, free-diving community has “exploded,” Brandi, also participated in the snorkelhe said. harvester training. While the youth swam through kelp While the unknown of what lurked forests, Adair pointed out abalone and beneath the ocean’s surface was “scary,” starfish along the way. Occasionally, the Brandi cast her fears aside and said, “it’s youth disappeared under the water and going to be worth it.” returned with a sea urchin in the palm of Knighton joined because she was “genu- their hand for closer inspection. inely curious” about what it was like to “It’s not necessarily about getting dive underneath the water while keeping deeper,” said Adair. “It’s about staying warm. [down] longer to develop a connection Without advancements in wetsuit to the in-water environment – [to] bring technology, free-diving and snorkelling back harvest to the table to share with were primarily warm-weather destination friends and family.”

Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—August 26, 2021

Keeping watch over the birthplace of T

The Broken Group Islands are closely watched by the First Nation each summer, reminding visitors that the area is more than a ‘w By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Broken Group Islands, BC - A thick layer of fog wrapped around the Broken Group Islands on an early morning in lateJuly. It acted like a veil, withholding the beauty of the islands’ white sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, and the surrounding turquoise waters. The region is a mecca for kayakers and boaters alike who flock to the remote set of islands every year, which Parks Canada has long been describing as a “wilderness” destination. It’s one that deeply troubles Denis St. Claire. “To call this wilderness is just patently absurd,” he said. For 48 years, St. Claire has worked as an archeologist in Barkley Sound. It’s because of his life’s work that the region ranks among the most extensively studied in the Northwest Coast. The existence of 180 archaeological sites in the Broken Group indicates that Tseshaht First Nation, along with several nations that amalgamated with Tseshaht, have occupied the area for over 5,000 years, he said. One program is helping to change the islands’ “untouched” perception by teaching visitors about the region’s cultural legacy. In 2012, Tseshaht First Nation partnered with Parks Canada to create the Beach Keeper Program, which directly involves the nation in the stewardship of the land. Six Tseshaht members are currently employed as beach keepers and act as the nation’s “watchers” and “speakers” for the group of islands from May through September. Lead beach keeper Hank Gus said he likes to greet every visitor by introducing himself and his fellow beach keepers to make sure “everyone feels welcome and safe.” By logging visitors’ movements through the islands and recording the number of people sleeping at the seven designated campsites, Gus said they can account for travellers in the event of an emergency. They also share stories about Tseshaht’s birthplace, remind tourists of campfire bans, as well as provide visitors with

Tseshaht Beach Keeper Hank Gus asks a group of kayakers about their plans while in the Broken Groups Islands, in Barkley Sound, wildlife and weather updates, like the 8.2 magnitude earthquake that recently struck off Alaska’s coast. The nation’s direct involvement in stewarding the islands is helping to create public awareness “that people have lived here for millennia,” said St. Claire. While the 74-year-old said it was long overdue, it’s a step forward in the cultural preservation of the area.

As the area’s historical importance is being recognized, referring to the islands as wilderness is necessary to encourage visitors to come prepared, said Parks Canada superintendent Karen Haugen. “When communicating with visitors, Parks Canada refers to natural settings that are removed from amenities such as roads, accommodations, and stores as wilderness areas,” she said. “This way, visitors can

better assess whether they are ready for a backcountry experience and prepare accordingly.”

A legacy of whalers Gus’ interest in his homelands was sparked while working on an archeological dig led by St. Clair on Benson Island in 2000. “I started getting a taste of my roots by

(From left to right) Hank Gus, Memphis Dick and Shane Sieber look for campers to make sure they’re accounted for and safe on Hand Island in the Broken Group Islands.

August 26, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11

e of Tseshaht

the area is more than a ‘wilderness’ destination homelands helps our spirit grow strong,” he added. Memphis Dick is working as a beach keeper for her first season and considers Gus a mentor. Each time she listens to Gus tell the Tseshaht origin story to visitors, she remembers it in greater detail. “I don’t know how to explain it, but it just feels right to be here,” she said. “It’s empowering to know that years ago we lived on these islands and canoed to each place.” As part of a three-year archeological project led by St. Claire, a pile of whalebones was exposed in one of the excavations on Benson Island in 2000. Lab testing identified that the stack of bones came from five different whales that dated back at least 500 years, said St. Claire. “It would’ve been in front of the house of a whaler who was advertising his abilities,” he said. “Whaling [was a] way that somebody in the chiefly class could advance themselves.” St. Claire said it was typically rare for people to move beyond the class they were born into. “But if you could potlatch more than anyone, or were a more successful whaler, then your prestige went beyond what your birthright within the chiefly class would normally assign to you,” he said. This is why Tseshaht translates to “the smell and the decaying of whale bone along the beach,” explained Gus.

‘The beginning of our time’

Photos by Melissa Renwick

ds, in Barkley Sound, on July 26.

y are ready for a and prepare ac-

melands was n an archeologin Benson Island in

e of my roots by

oup Islands.

tracing back our history,” he said. Since then, Gus said he felt an “urgency” to return home. He has been stationed as a beach keeper on Keith Island every summer since the program’s inception in 2012. Despite living in Port Alberni most of the year, “To me, the broken islands are home,” he said. “Being able to live and work in our

St. Claire understood early in his career that excavating without knowing the cultural background of the area was half-hearted. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he worked closely with around 23 elders to make recordings and understand Tseshaht’s cultural ethnographic background. The late-Tseshaht hereditary chief Adam Shewish adopted St. Clair into his family thereafter. In his research, St. Claire studied the works of famed anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir. Over a century ago, Sapir worked with Tseshaht members born in the mid-1800s who recounted the Tseshaht origin story as taught by their grandparents. “Those are the versions that I find the most informative,” said St. Claire. “I recount them to my students, and anyone else who will listen, all the time.” Gus was among them and continues to share the nation’s origin story to those visiting the broken group. In the accounts by elders who spoke with Sapir over 100 years ago, Kapkimyis was either the son or the brother of Kwatyat, the supreme supernatural being and creator of all things within the Nuu-chah-nulth belief system. As the story goes, Kapkimyis was gifted new abilities from Kwatyat. Eager to show them off, Kapkimyis found a mussel shell and used it to cut the inside of his thigh. After collecting a puddle of his own blood into the palms of his hands, he blew into the blood to create new life in the form of a little girl. Kapkimyis made another cut on the inside of his other thigh and after scooping up the blood, he created a little boy. The two children represent “the beginning of our time – night and day,” explained Gus. Kapkimyis showed the children the ways of living and gave names to the surrounding 50 different species of mammals, birds, and shellfish. He showed the children how

(From left to right) Shane Sieber, Memphis Dick and Hank Gus greet a group of kayakers on Gibraltar Island, in the Broken Group Islands, in Barkley Sound. to catch, prepare and store the food, much of which came from a river that was plentiful with salmon. When he noticed Tseshaht’s first female and male bickering, he cautioned them and said, “that is not the way to live.” And yet, their arguing continued. In a fit of anger, Kapkimyis destroyed the river as a punishment to them, breaking the island into hunks of rock and soil that drifted apart, and eventually fixed into place. This, St. Claire said, is what created the Broken Group Islands as they are today. The origin story was often told by grandparents to children, St. Claire said. It was used to teach lessons about the importance of working together and sharing with your family and community.

Signs in English and French While on a kayaking trip, Peter Tyszewicz said he had “the pleasure” of meeting Gus and the beach keepers, who shared Tseshaht’s stories with him. “It’s a cultural experience,” he said. “It provides a different context and appreciation for the place.” Aside from Keith Island, all the Parks Canada signs on the islands are written in English and French. For around two years, Gus said the nation has been in conversation with Parks Canada about replacing

the signs to include the islands’ traditional names written in Nuu-chah-nulth, along with providing cultural background of the area. While the move is still in conversation, Gus and St. Claire remain hopeful. Haugen said that Parks Canada is committed to recognizing national heritage places that honour the historic and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples. “Visitors have expressed great support for this program as developing appreciation for the area through in-person conversations with a beach keeper [that] can significantly enrich their experience,” she said. Not only is the beach keeper program developing a greater sense of understanding for tourists, but it also instills Tseshaht with pride, said St. Claire. “There are Tseshaht members down there learning about their history and sharing it,” he said. “It heightens the awareness and appreciation of the nation members themselves. It educates them and makes them want to come down and see it for themselves.” When Tseshaht members do visit the islands, Gus said he can’t say “welcome to the islands.” “I say, ‘welcome home,’” he said. Note: The Tseshaht First Nation origin story was condensed for brevity.

Shane Sieber greets a group of kayakers on Clarke Island, in the Broken Group Islands.

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Promoting Nuu-chah-nulth culture through T-shirts A couple have found themselves to be in the thick of opportunity by printing unique designs onto clothing By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - When Natasha and Bill Dennis expressed their feelings about the pandemic onto a T-shirt a year ago, little did they know that the act would develop into a Port Alberni storefront that serves clients from across the region. On Aug. 1 Billybeauty opened at 4567 Gertrude Street, offering custom-made T-shirt designs, as well as prints on other clothing - plus a variety wood, metal and glasswork the Dennises inherited from Ladybird Engraving, which they purchased. Ladybird operated in Port Alberni for a decade, but its past owners were ready for retirement, said Natasha, who benefitted from a month of mentoring in engraving from the former proprietor, Dutch DeRooy. “He wanted to get this business into somebody’s hands that would keep it going,” explained Natasha, sitting behind the counter of her new shop with fleet of heat press machines behind her. “The engraving thing is in high demand. I didn’t realize how big it was, so that’s a huge addition to our business.” But the young couple are also bringing their own niche to the storefront location, offering people a chance to express their thoughts and ideas on clothing. With prices starting at $17.99 for a basic custom-printed T-shirt, there is no minimum order, thanks to a process that cuts designs into heat transfer vinyl sheets. Logos and captions are transferred through their digital formats onto the sheets, which have the negative space cut out by hand before the design is pressed onto a shirt or another piece of clothing. “The way that the programs work these days is that it’s not that complex to be able to get that design onto a computer, traced for the vinyl cutter to cut it,” explained Bill, who is from Ahousaht. “It’s not like silkscreening where they need a minimum order of 50 to make it worthwhile,” added Natasha, who is a member of the Tseshaht First Nation. “There’s a lot of start-up costs with silkscreening with having to get your image burned onto a screen and then having the inks and the dryers.”

Photo by Eric Plummer

Bill and Natasha Dennis opened their printing business in Port Alberni on Aug. 1, offering custom-made T-shirt designs, as well as prints on other clothing - plus a variety wood, metal and glasswork. In their first month at the storefront the greatest demand has come from businesses needing their brand on clothing. Under one heat press lies a design for tiickin eBike Rentals, an operation that started this year in Ucluelet, while on the counter sits a bunch of recently completed staff names tags for Port Alberni’s Shining Star Child Care. Months before they opened the storefront large orders came in, including 500 masks for the Ditidaht First Nation to distribute to its members at Christmas. Opportunity opened for the couple when it became apparent how easy it was to get a simple design or message affordably printed onto clothing. Their first design used the f-word, albeit with a ‘v’ in place of the ‘u’, as an expression of frustration over the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I just said what I felt and put it on a T-shirt,” said Natasha in reference to the two-word design. “I hated what COVID did to family and friends and businesses and everything in this town.” “We had no idea that anybody was going to really want the T-shirts,” said Bill. “More of less she was making them for us, for ourselves.”

But after people saw what she made through social media, requests began coming in. The opportunity became clear when the couple heard more interest while visiting family in Tofino. “As soon as I had that first person ask me if I can make him two T-shirts, we went back home that same week, and we were like, ‘We should just do this. We should just turn it into a business’,” recalled Natasha. The couple began purchasing blank shirts from the dollar store to fulfill their orders. Bill admits that the early months of the business were a learning process. “There were a lot of mistakes,” he said. “We were trying to get printable vinyl. We thought we could use a regular printer to print on them…It did not work at all.” Earlier plans entailed a “mobile clothing boutique”, leading Natasha and Bill to buy a trailer for their shop on wheels. They ended up selling it to invest in better equipment that now fills their new space on Gertrude Street. In the future the Dennises are looking to expand their business by incorporating more detailed silkscreening work. “I think in the next phase of our journey we might bring that in,” said Natasha.

“It’s really amazing the amount of detail you can get with silkscreening,” added Bill. As their product spreads through West Coast communities, the couple have found themselves to be providing a format for distinctly local issues. In early September 2020, when the Tseshaht First Nation was in the midst of a salmon harvesting conflict with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Denises received orders to return to their F-word design, this time the target being DFO. “I definitely think that it does promote the local culture,” noted Bill. “A lot of people have more of a voice in that way with being able to put things on shirts.” With the next Orange Shirt Day a month away, the couple have found their latest challenge to be a shortage of the signature colour that has come to recognize residential school survivors. “I do think that it brings a huge amount of awareness in our community, especially when ‘Every child matters’ came out,” said Natasha of her service. “The problem is that we can’t get orange T-shirts now for adults.”

Phrase of the week: %ay’a%iš%a> c^aa%ix si@a>c^a+kuu tuupkak%i q’aawi Pronounced ‘Ahh yah ish alth cha iix see arg alt koo tuup kak ee kaa wee’, it means ‘There is a lot of people who go pick blackberries when they are ready and ripe.’ Supplied by ciisma.

Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin

August 26, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13

Tseshaht teen accepts athletic basketball scholarship Mephis Dick will soon be off to Northwest Indian College, after a surprise offer recognizing her on-court talent By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Memphis Dick’s fall plans changed in a hurry. And now the 19-year-old Tseshaht First Nation member will soon be continuing both her academic and athletic careers south of the border. In August Dick signed a letter of intent to attend Northwest Indian College, located in Bellingham, a city in the state of Washington. Though she is not quite sure which program she’ll enroll in yet, Dick was offered a partial athletic scholarship to the school where she will play for the women’s basketball team. Dick had graduated from Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) in June of 2020. She was offered a deal to play college ball in Kelowna upon graduation but turned that down as she was not keen to leave her Port Alberni home. Dick has been recently working as a beach keeper for her First Nation’s Broken Group Islands. But she was planning to move to Nanaimo soon with the hope of applying and studying at Vancouver Island University, starting possibly as early as this coming January. A recent phone call forced her to change those plans. Dick’s father Ed Ross called her at work to inform her that Northwest Indian College officials had been in touch to see if she would be interested in attending the school and suiting up for its women’s basketball team starting next month. “At first I told my dad I wasn’t going,”

Photo by Denise Titian

Tseshaht First Nation member Memphis Dick is off to Bellingham in the state of Washington to continue her athletic and academic careers. Dick said. “I was a little scared because of how hard it is for some First Nations kids to leave home. It will be my first move away for me.” A few days later, however, Dick had a change of heart and decided that she would indeed be comfortable to head to Bellingham. She’ll leave for the American school on Sept. 10. “I talked to my family about it and decided that I should go,” she said.

Dick is also expected to make a quick trip to the college next week to write a placement test, which will help determine which program she’ll enroll in. Ideally, Dick is hoping to take some leadership and psychology classes at the college. “I’m not 100 per cent sure what courses they’ll have there,” she said. Dick added she’s hoping to eventually become a clinical counsellor and possibly even work for her First Nation. “I want to help First Nation kids,” she said, adding she’s hoping to provide guidance and direction. “I want to make it the norm for First Nations kids to graduate.” Dick added she still has some apprehensions about leaving home to attend school in the United States, especially since it has been more than a year since she was

last in a classroom. “It will definitely be a tough adjustment in the beginning,” she said. “But I’ll have a lot of help at the college.” Dick knows that she will also have plenty of support from her home community. Despite the fact there was not much notice, more than 20 family members and friends showed up for her letter of intent signing party, which was held on Aug. 10. “It’s amazing,” Dick said of the local support she receives. “They’ve always been there to support me. It makes me very happy and it’s comforting to know.” Dick realizes family members won’t be that far away while she is at college and that they will in all likelihood attend several of her games. Bellingham is about an hour’s drive from Vancouver. Before that, however, family members would need to drive about 60 minutes to get from Port Alberni to Nanaimo, where they would then board a ferry for just under a two-hour ride to Vancouver. Dick played five years of basketball at her high school. In Grades 8 and 9 she was a member of the ADSS junior girls’ squad. She then spent the next three years suiting up for the senior girls’ club. Dick also starting playing for the Hesquiaht Storm girls’ team when she was 11. She suited up for the Storm at various Junior All Native Basketball Tournaments over the years, once helping her side to a silver-medal finish and a third-place result another time. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the tournament was not held in 2020 or this year. Dick’s basketball resume also includes a pair of appearances at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). She was a member of the British Columbia girls’ squad that won a gold medal at the 2014 NAIG in Regina. And then at the 2017 NAIG, which were staged in Toronto, she helped her B.C. club capture the silver medal.

Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa—August 26, 2021

President’s message to Nuu-chah-nulth-aht Summer is quickly coming to an end as temperatures are lowering (we hope), and students are getting ready to go back to class. As always, summer has flown by. Hoping everyone got a lot of fish to smoke, can and eat. Higher temperatures affected the oxygen levels for the fish making it harder to for them to complete their journey to the spawning grounds and run sizes were not what we expected. There have been more losses in our communities and we grieve the people who have now gone. I share in the sadness of family friends and communities and send prayers, strength and good thoughts your way. We are now in the fourt wave of COVID with many being affected by the Delta variant and hope all of you take the precautions to protect yourselves, your family and communities. We know the province should not have opened so quickly, but we were not given the opportunity to have a say in the decision. We had an in person meeting with Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada. He had wanted to come to Nuuchah-nulth territories and spend time with Tseshaht and the site of the residential school as well as meet the rest of the communities. We raised issues of justice and the need to be our own security/police on our lands. We stressed the need for training, equipment and ensure funding to RCMP in tripartite agreement are being used for police services to our communities and not just the detachment. We also raised that we need enough homes and infrastructure. Providing funding for only on-reserve members does not give the nation enough money to provide homes for members to bring them home. One-year programs do not work. There must be multi-year funding to ensure the nations’ goals are met. Getting rid of systemic racism is key, especially in health including mental wellness. Co-developing distinctionsbased health legislation is important to make sure our rights are not in any way diminished. Any Indigenous health act must have input and consent from Nuuchah-nulth. NTC and the Council of Ha’wiih had a meeting with Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan. As we only had a short time to be together we spoke to three issues. Ensuring economic access for all Nuu-chah-nulth, we told the minister the Ha’wiih were authorizing a commercial fishery for the T’aaq-wiihak fishers. We also discussed the Pacific salmon initiative and our need to have a role in managing the fishery. We asked for a multi-year closure for commercial seine and gillnet for WCVI until Nuu-chahnulth determine the stocks are healthy once more. The minister made no commitment and mostly said she had to talk to her staff. As minister, she should be able to make commitments and answer our questions. This was just a short time before the election was called but we felt it important to put on the table Nuu-chahnulth positions. The federal election has been called and the vote will be September 20, 2021. Fisheries is one of those important issues that we need to find out all parties’ positions on to see whether they will respect, recognize and implement our right to food and commercial fisheries. Access to our fish to exercise our rights must be a given. Justice issues must also be made an

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

election issue, ensuring the MMIW inquiry recommendations are put into action, as well as having trauma-informed teams on wellness checks. Getting rid of systemic racism not only in the justice system but in all of federal government bureaucracies must also be a key priority. Federal issues impact us in many ways, including health, justice, languages, children and families. NTC will be organizing an election forum where you can ask questions of candidates and find out where they stand on various issues that are important to you. Also important is ensuring the federal government provides enough funds for finding unmarked graves at all schools across Canada and sufficient funds for counselling and cultural supports. I attended the Usma announcement that they have commissioned two canoes for their youth. It was great to see this initiative so that youth will be able to get on the oceans and rivers and learn the skills of a canoeist and learn all the teachings of being on the water. Look for the announcement of when these canoes will be launched. As many of you know, I was in a float plane crash in the Tofino Harbour at the end of July. My son Cole, three others and I were all safe. I thank Naas for my life. While all of us had injuries of some kind, our lives are the most precious things of all. My family all helped to put on a small luncheon to welcome my son and I back to this life, get new names and most importantly to thank those who helped me get out of the plane and provide support. I cannot thank all of you enough for the phone calls and messages of support and other encouragement I received following the crash. It all meant a lot and helped me get through a difficult time. Klecko Klecko. Our Annual general meeting will be held on September 23. As there are still many concerns about COVID and the Delta variant we will be holding the meeting virtually. It will be open to all Nuu-chah-nulth. The president and vice president elections are to be held at this meeting. Only myself is running for president and Mariah Charleson for vice president. There is no acclamation in our NTC constitution and there will be a vote of all the members on whether they want to vote us into office. I look forward to the vote and hope that I will continue to be your president and continue to work hard on your behalf and working with our nations. There is still much work to be done to advance Nuu-chah-nulth governance, self determination and exercising our rights. Respect always, Cloy-e-iis Judith Sayers

View more job postings at hashilthsa.com

August 26, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15

---Employment Opportunities--View more job postings at hashilthsa.com

Health & Emergency Response Coordinator The Tseshaht First Nation Administration Office is now accepting applications for the position of Health & Emergency Response Coordinator. This is a temporary full-time position that goes to March 31, 2022, with the possibility of extension based on funding availability. JOB SKILLS, EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE The successful applicant will possess skills and experience in the following areas: •

• • • • • • •

• •

• • •

Grade 12 (or equivalent) is required; a Certificate or degree in Emergency Management is preferred; or other relevant courses, training (including informal EMBC workshops). Minimum of 1 to 3 years of practical work experiences in the emergency management arena. Successful completion and ongoing Criminal Records Checks required. Must possess and maintain a valid BC Driver’s Licence, provide a satisfactory driver’s abstract, and have access to a reliable vehicle. Must be willing to travel. Preference may be given to Indigenous applicants or applicants with direct experience working for First Nations. Knowledge of Tseshaht community, culture and lands is an asset. A comprehensive understanding of the BC Emergency Management System is required including hazards, vulnerability, resiliency, Best Practices, and issues pertaining to First Nations emergency preparedness, response and recovery. A proven track record in emergency management—including development and implementation of an Emergency Program. Demonstrated leadership skills; able to foster a team approach, be flexible and be adaptable to working effectively in with diverse stakeholders, TFN Departments, and community. Proficient with the office administrative needs associated with managing the emergency management program, databases, portals/dashboards, reports, budgets, proposal writing and work plan development. Excellent interpersonal skills, able to develop rapport with membership, TFN personnel and external organizations at all levels. Proven abilities to maintain the confidentiality of information and materials. Effective written and verbal communication skills. Proficiency in MS Office applications (MS Teams, Word, Outlook, Excel, Power Point, etc.).

HOW TO APPLY Submit a cover letter, resume and three (3) current references to: Tseshaht First Nation, Attention: Executive Director, Victoria White by mail: 5091 Tsuma-as Drive, Port Alberni BC, V9Y 8X9; or by email: vshrimpton@tseshaht.com CLOSING DATE: September 9, 2021 at 4:30 PM

Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa—August 26, 2021

Encouraging signs for businesses despite pandemic Alberni Valley taps into tourism flooding to the west coast, helping to recover some losses due to COVID-19 By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – As the president of the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, Terry Deakin is pleased whenever there is positive business news in the region. That’s why Deakin was thrilled to see the Chims Guest House in Port Alberni host a special grand opening for its RV sites and Indigenous cultural centre earlier this month. Chims, located at 6890 Pacific Rim Hwy., will have four fully serviced RV sites available for bookings starting next month. “Anything we can add to our communities to build capacity for our tourism is great,” Deakin said. Deakin said she’d also welcome any other future opportunities from Alberni Valley businesses that would help bring in additional tourism dollars to the region. “I think we need to tap into that, especially when the world opens back up again,” she said. Due to family commitments, Deakin was unable to attend the grand opening at Chims, which was an event by invitation only. Recent renovations, however, at Chims have caught Deakin’s attention. “From the highway the landscaping looks beautiful,” said Deakin, who became the chamber of commerce president this past May, following a two-year stint as its vice-president. “If I was a tourist and driving by, I think I’d be impressed.” Deakin added any new locations in the region that offer accommodations for tourists will prove to be beneficial regardless of the number of spots available. “I think all of our hotels in the area are full,” she said. “Adding four places for people to stay in is a good thing.” Though the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented out-of-country visitors to

Vancouver Island businesses since March of last year, Deakin is glad tourists from British Columbia and a couple of other western provinces are still heading to the region. “It’s great for people to explore their own backyards,” she said. Naomi Nicholson, who owns Chims Guest House along with her husband Ed, was ecstatic with how things transpired earlier this month at the grand opening. “We really impressed a bit and outdid ourselves,” she said. “The theme of the day was showcasing what’s possible.” Besides offering tours of its RV sites to dignitaries and other invited guests, the Nicholsons also staged various events, including a fashion show, to showcase what Indigenous tourism experiences can look like. Renovations are continuing on the Indigenous cultural centre, which is expected to open at Chims next year. Video footage of the grand opening will be utilized in promotional materials. “This event was put on because we need to sell our Indigenous experiences for next year,” Naomi Nicholson said. Various workshops are expected to be offered at the cultural centre starting in 2022. Some of these workshops might include beading and drum making as well as how to can and cut fish. Meanwhile, some other Nuu-chah-nulth businesses are enjoying varying successes this year. These include a pair of businesses owned by the Tseshaht First Nation: the Tseshaht Market and Orange Bridge Cannabis. Claudine Watts, the general manager of the Tseshaht Market, said the business did scale back its hours of operations somewhat during the pandemic. But Watts said unlike many other businesses who have been struggling to stay afloat the past two years, her business has not suffered greatly. “We’ve had a good year,” Watts said.

Photo by Holly Stocking

The Tseshaht Market is located on the pacific Rim Highway, the last gas stop before reaching the west coast. “And even a bit better than last year.” “But I still think we’re in the midst of a Watts believes there are a couple of rea- pandemic.” sons why Tseshaht Market has continued Prior to the pandemic, the business to run successfully despite the pandemic. had six employees. But when Kyle was The market is the last full-service gas forced to cut back the store’s operating station between Port Alberni and the west hours, he was only joined in the store by coast communities of Tofino and Uclueassistant manager Tammy Lucas. let. Since then another employee has been “I think it’s because of our location,” brought back while one works on an onshe said. “We’re kind of the last stop call basis. before you get to the west coast.” Kyle said in recent months it is not just Watts believes the business is also a area residents who are coming into his popular one since its gas and cigarette store. sales are tax exempt. “We have had a little bit of an influx Watts also said the Tseshaht Market rewith tourism,” he said. “It’s not just local tains a consistent customer base because people coming in.” it frequently updates the public via its Kyle, however, is not willing to specuFacebook page. Postings include inforlate when the number of customers he mation on times of highway closures, sees will return to pre-pandemic levels. which have been a constant complaint in “I have no idea what’s going to happen,” the area in recent months. he said. As for Orange Bridge Cannabis, one of But he is encouraged by the fact tourism the first First Nation-owned cannabis dis- does appear to be picking up lately. pensaries in Canada, manager Ron Kyle “I’ve talked to friends in Tofino and said business is picking up once again. Ucluelet and they are still seeing large “It’s definitely improved,” he said. crowds,” he said.

August 26, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 17

Port Alberni receives more than $400K for unsheltered Provincial and federal funding will allow vulnerable people to have greater access to local services for support By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - The City of Port Alberni has been granted more than $440,000 in joint provincial and federal funding for a multi-faceted approach to improving the health and safety of unsheltered people experiencing homelessness in the area. The funding will allow vulnerable people in Port Alberni to have greater access to local services which will help tackle homelessness as the community recovers from the impacts of the pandemic, said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid-Island Pacific Rim and minister of municipal affairs, in a press release. “People in Port Alberni work hard every day to make our community a brighter, more welcoming place to live,” Osborne said. “We’re supporting the city’s work to connect vulnerable people with important services, and working towards a community where everyone is safe and healthy.” Osborne says this investment is part of the Union of BC Municipalities’ (UBCM) Strengthening Communities Program which is providing support to 48 communities across B.C. Over $76 million will support local governments to combat the impacts of homelessness and keep their communities safe and healthy as they

Photo by Karly Blats

The City of Port Alberni has received more than $400,000 in funding for improving the health and safety of unsheltered people experiencing homelessness in the area. Provide seven day-a-week coverage for most,” Osborne said. “These grants recover from the pandemic. a 12-month period for homeless liaison “Local governments have been on the will provide local governments with a staffing to attend at interactions between much-needed boost to continue vital front lines of the pandemic, supporting services that were strained because of the homeless people and city staff and/or communities and continuing to provide RCMP. The purpose of this coverage is pandemic. This is another StrongerBC critical services when people need them program focused on making life better for to represent the needs of the homeless in people and ensuring communities emerge those interactions and connect the homeless person with support agencies from the pandemic even stronger than Temporary employment for homeless before.” people providing value to the participants Port Alberni city council voted to apply for this funding at a council meeting back and the community Outreach programming for homeless in April. youth City CAO Tim Pley said the municipalOperate a Drop In Center complete with ity’s goal is that city council will receive a staff report on the grant funding at washrooms, showers and laundry facilitheir next meeting on Sept. 7. At that time ties Pley said more details for these projects council will consider issuing a Request will be provided when council receives a for Proposals for groups and agencies to staff report on Sept. 7. undertake one or more of the following scopes of work:

Google Maps

A small wildfire was discovered near Bamfield on Aug. 12.

Small wildfire controlled By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter A wildfire near Poett Nook was soon considered low risk after a Western Forest Products fire watch crew responded by applying 1,200 gallons of water to the blaze Aug. 12, according to a release by Huu-ay-aht First Nation. The 10-square metre ground fire occurred on treaty settlement lands that are under a standing timber purchase agreement with Western Forest Products, near Bamfield. “The crew watched the fire location Thursday evening to ensure it did not re-ignite, with 1,000 gallons of water on site,” read the release. Currently, the fire danger rating in the Coastal Fire Centre area is high to extreme, meaning new fires will start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge firefighting efforts. On Friday, Aug. 13. Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for West Vancouver Island warning about air quality.

“Many regions of southern and central B.C. are being impacted or are likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24 [to] 48 hours,” read the statement. “Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment, but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.” Smoke was drifting from the interior of B.C. as well as from the U.S., which currently has fires along the west coast, says the B.C. wildfire service. As of Aug. 24, there were 246 wildfires burning in B.C., contributing to a total of 862,782 hectares that have burned since April 1. “Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health,” says Environment Canada. As a heatwave swept across the province in mid August, with daytime highs ranging from 29 to 35 degrees Celsius, hot and dry conditions were expected to increase wildfire risk. To report a wildfire, you can call: 1-800663-5555 or *5555 on a cell .

Blair Park 5905 Pineo Rd

Page 18— Ha-Shilth-Sa—August 26, 2021

O•er populations managed for millennia, study finds Citing an imbalance in the food chain, research calls the animals’ Species at Risk Act designation into question By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter A new study has found that coastal Indigenous communities have managed their relationship with shellfish and sea otters for millennia. Written by Erin Slade, Iain McKechnie and Anne K. Salomon, the research challenges widely held assumptions about historical sea otter populations and is calling Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) into question. Longstanding claims by Indigenous communities argue that the protection of sea otters under SARA not only interferes with traditional harvesting practices, but also creates an imbalance within ecosystems that have been managed for thousands of years. Through archaeological and ethnographic evidence, the report determined that hunting and management practices of Indigenous communities regulated sea otter populations near human settlements, reducing the pinnipeds’ negative impacts on shared shellfish resources. “It kind of shifts the way that a lot of people think about ecosystems,” said Slade. While humans are commonly associated with negative ecosystem impacts, the recent graduate of Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management said that hasn’t always been the case. “It continues to be that humans can have positive interactions with ecosystems and really are a part of them,” she said. The sea otter fur trade began in the 1700s when the first pelts were traded to Captain James Cook from the village of Yuquot in Nootka Sound. Sought after for their dense fur, which sold for vast profits in China and Europe, the species were widely hunted and extirpated. Their worldwide population dropped from 300,000 in the 18th and 19th centuries to fewer than 2,000 by the early 1900s, and the last verified sea otter on B.C.’s coast was shot near Kyuquot in 1929, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. In response, DFO translocated 89 sea otters from Amchitka and Prince William Sound, Alaska, to Checleset Bay on the west coast of Vancouver Island between 1969 and 1972. They were designated as a species of special concern in 2009, following an assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in 2007, said DFO. “They are listed under the Species at Risk Act because they may become threatened or endangered,” said DFO. “Their susceptibility to oil and the proximity to major oil tanker routes make them particularly vulnerable to oil spills.” Despite that, the species has since repopulated to total of 8,110 sea otters, according to a range-wide survey of the B.C. coast in 2017. “It has since repopulated a portion of its historic range in British Columbia, but is not yet clearly secure,” stated DFO. “Population numbers remain small and require careful monitoring.” Prior to the fur trade, Slade said sea otters flourished alongside mussel beds, abalone, sea urchins and clam populations for thousands of years. “But what we’re seeing right now with the reintroduction of sea otters and the species at risk management of sea otters is that [they] are decimating shellfish

Photo by Kevin Head

Sea otters are effective predators who eat 20 per cent of their body weight each day. After becoming extinct 50 years ago, their numbers on the B.C. coast have reached over 8,100, thanks to a translocation from Alaska.

Photos by Melissa Renwick

The sun sets over the Hesquiaht Harbour, on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The study raises broader questions populations.” around reconciliation and natural reDianne Ignace has been living in the source policy, said Salomon. Hesquiaht Harbour since 1975 and at“Who should hold the authority, respontributes the reintroduction of sea otters to the decline of shellfish and sea urchins in sibility, and accountability to manage our relationship with sea otters specifically, the region. “They cleaned out the harbour of a lot of and nature more broadly?” she questioned. “We need to confront the legacy resources,” she said. “There are no more of colonialism in our laws and policies, clams. The clams are all gone.” Sea otters eat around 20 per cent of their in our scientific process, and our own cultural norms and values.” body weight each day and without the DFO said that the Canadian governability to manage populations, Tseshaht ment acknowledges the need to “access First Nation elected chief Ken Watts said and incorporate Indigenous knowledge in that shellfish abundance is being immeaningful and respectful ways.” pacted. When making decisions about sea otter “[The study] solidifies what we’ve always known,” he said. “We need to be a management, DFO said its priority is to part of [ecosystem] management because ensure that the “best available informawe’ve been managing our territories since tion” is reflected, including science and Indigenous knowledge. time immemorial.” “Management plans for species of Huu-ay-aht First Nation Hereditary special concern, such as sea otters, are Chief Hup-in-Yook (Tom Mexis Happynook) helped advise the research and said prepared in cooperation with the jurisdicthe removal of First Nations from ecosys- tions responsible for the management of the species, including directly affected tem management has “made everything wildlife management boards and Indiggo out of balance.” enous groups,” said DFO. “These policies removed us from our The federal government acknowledges responsibility within our territories as the need to access and respectfully incaretakers of our food sources,” he said. corporate Indigenous knowledge when Too often, Slade said policy making occreating ecosystem management systems, curs at a level that is separate from those said DFO. who are most affected by it. “Work is underway at a national level to “The management of sea otters can ocdevelop processes for how DFO receives cur in a way that doesn’t mean that sea Indigenous knowledge and applies it to otter populations are going to be at risk,” inform decision making,” said the departshe said. “What I see as being positive ment. “As part of these processes, some about this kind of interaction and manFirst Nations offer Indigenous knowledge agement is that it is driven by the people which is taken into consideration in both who also rely on those resources and is scientific and management approaches.” informed by their interactions.”

Over her life in Hesquiaht Harbour, Dianne Ignace has seen the decline of shellfish due to growing numbers of sea otters. Iain McKechnie is an archeologist and assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Victoria who has been working in the Broken Group Islands onand-off since 2001. Generally speaking, McKechnie said “there’s not a lot of archaeology happening.” “There’s a lost opportunity to learn more about how ancient communities dealt with marine resource management,” he said. “Because there’s not a lot of work that’s happening on that topic, there’s a lot of assumptions that modern science makes about Indigenous impacts and Indigenous histories.” While McKechnie said the “tide is turning” in terms of Indigenous sovereignty, he hopes the study will encourage conversations around access to livelihoods and the “ability for nations to make decisions for themselves with respect to marine resources.” “There’s a lot of opportunity for people to start being more participatory in choosing to draw on history and how we can continue to co-exist with our ocean spaces and tenure systems like the Ha’wiih hereditary rights to harvest,” he said. “Those are important governance practices that really could be re-implemented and recognized.”

August 26, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 19

Photo by Melissa Renwick

A line-up gathers outside Tacofino food truck at lunchtime in Tofino on Aug. 24. Despite daily Highway 4 road closures and the ongoing pandemic, the resort town has seen a particularly busy summer.

Page 20— Ha-Shilth-Sa—August 26, 2021

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