Ha-Shilth-Sa December 14, 2017

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INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 44 - No. 12—December 14, 2017 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776

BC Hydro backs down on Sarita River power project By Shayne Morrow Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor The province has failed to live up to its obligation to create an Electricity Purchase Agreement [EPA] with Huu-ay-aht First Nation, according to Chief Elected Councillor Robert Dennis. On Monday, Dec. 11, Huu-ay-aht Elected Councillor Trevor Cootes sat down with hydro officials in Vancouver to move forward with the Sarita River Hydropower Project, which would see power generated at the site distributed through the existing hydro grid, both to local consumers and beyond. “There was no signing today. We wanted BC Hydro to agree to go ahead with the EPA,” Dennis said. “Quite some time ago, B.C. wrote us a letter saying that reconciliation is a priority for their government. They indicated they were committed to working in partnership with First Nations to develop a joint vision for reconciliation.” Dennis explained that, under the MaaNulth Treaty, Huu-ay-aht was allocated a specific water volume on the Sarita for a micro-hydro project. “But now BC Hydro has indicated they won’t sign an EPA with us,” he said. “So never mind reconciling – they won’t even live up to commitments that are in the Treaty.” Dennis said Huu-ay-aht was encouraged to develop partnerships with other jurisdictions and other businesses. But now BC Hydro appears to be unwilling to come to the table. “We were moving on anticipation that [BC] Hydro was not going to deal with us in good faith. It’s unfortunate if we have to start thinking that way. But if they had been dealing with us in good faith, we would have had an EPA a long time ago.” To date, Dennis said, Huu-ay-aht has invested years of time and millions of dollars into the project. “To me, this is a sign from the province that they are not willing to reconcile some of the issues that are outstanding.” Newly-elected NTC president Judith Sayers said the BC Hydro refusal is part of a pattern of rejections, despite a provincial mandate to create EPAs with B.C. First Nations. Sayers has a long working history with clean energy development. In 2015, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Clean Energy BC. In 2001, as elected chief councillor of Hupacasath First Nation, Sayers issued a proposal to BC Hydro to build a 6.5 megawatt run-of-river power plant on China Creek, in partnership with Synex Energy Resources Ltd, Ucluelet First Na-

Photos by Eric Plummer

Robert Dennis Sr. tion and the City of Port Alberni. Ha-Shilth-Sa spoke with Sayers just hours after B.C. Premier John Horgan announced that the controversial Site C dam project would go ahead. Sayers has opposed the project since its inception. “There’s always a hope that the government is going to do the right thing. And that hope was dashed to a billion pieces,” Sayers said. That being said, Sayers said clean energy is a “huge, huge” issue for B.C. First Nations. She noted that the Sarita project would provide a great economic opportunity for Huu-ay-aht. Her fear is that, with Site C approved, the window is closing for First Nations, including several Nuu-chah-nulth nations, who hope to develop clean energy projects. “Besides Huu-ay-aht, there are people like Ahousaht, Toquaht and Hesquiaht definitely wanting to go ahead with projects. But there’s not going to be a call for power for many years to come. Site C is going to put a glut of power on the grid.” Sayers noted that the B.C. Clean Energy Act requires that the province provide funding for First Nations to produce clean energy. “But there was nothing in Horgan’s announcement about how they would achieve that,” she said. “So First Nations are going to have to fight their way in to find some sort of opportunity.” Ha-shilth-sa contacted the B.C. Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources for comment, but was unable to obtain any response by deadline on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 12. We will provide updates as information becomes available.

Inside this issue... Quu?asa‘s Urban Gatherings.....................................Page 2 Tla-o-qui-aht’s container housing..............................Page 6 Mill worker rally.......................................................Page 10 Gateway to Education.............................................. Page 15 UVic bestows honorary degree.................................Page 23

Andrew Callicum speaks after being elected vice-president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council on Nov. 30 in Port Alberni.

Callicum wins byelection for NTC vice-president By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor

Port Alberni, BC - The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council has named Andrew Callicum as its next vice-president with a byelection vote on Nov. 30. Callicum won over Pamela Webster with a vote of 52-30 from NTC society members who cast ballots on behalf of 14 Nuu-chah-nulth nations. The byelection took place at an extraordinary general meeting in Port Alberni, with the results announced at Maht Mahs. After the results were announced Callicum pledged to help “people who are the most vulnerable, people who are the most marginalized, people that are the poorest, that suffer from mental health and addictions.” “I promise you that I will work tirelessly for the most vulnerable people in our communities,” he said. “I’m going to do everything that I can to ensure that every Nuu-chah-nulth person has all the support they need to be healthy, happy and well.” The vice-president election was initially scheduled for the NTC Annual General Meeting in late September, but a byelection was deemed necessary when no eligible candidates stepped forward to replace outgoing Vice-President Ken Watts. Callicum thanked Webster for running. Both candidates introduced themselves publicly and answered questions at a forum the preceding evening on Nov. 29 at Maht Mahs. “I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity,” said Callicum.

He recently served as the executive director of the Heiltsuk Tribal Council and was tribal administrator for the Hesquiaht First Nation from 2015-16. With years of experience as an employment counsellor, Callicum’s resume also includes managing the Nuu-chah-nulth Employment and Training Program. The vice-president term lasts until the next election in September 2021, when Callicum can run again if he chooses. The position is responsible for national issues affecting Nuu-chah-nulth-aht, and eligibility of candidates is determined by the electoral officer. Criteria includes being a member of a Nuu-chah-nulth nation, knowledge of First Nations culture, traditions and governance as well as experience in conflict resolution, lobbying, government and media relations. Twenty signed endorsements are required from members of Nuu-chah-nulth nations to be an eligible candidate. On the same day as the byelection, some delegates at the general meeting questioned if the eligibility requirements are best serving Nuu-chah-nulth nations. Two individuals who wanted to run for vicepresident were deemed ineligible by the electoral officer, and Nuchatlaht Councillor Archie Little said that the NTC president and vice-president need to be accountable to the nations, not a predetermined structure. A motion was passed to amend the bylaw dictating eligibility for the NTC’s top elected positions, with directors expecting to meeting in early 2018 to discuss how the stipulations can be changed.

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


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Quu’asa holds urban gatherings across the West Coast Events were held for Nuu-chah-nulth-aht living in cities throughout December, with food, cultural activities and information sharing. Gatherings took place in Campbell River, Vancouver, Seattle, Nanaimo and Victoria Young Alice inspects a Christmas tree, while 11-year-old Jason Edgar-Smith recieves a diabetes screeening from Jeannette Tremblay, a nurse with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, at the Campbell River urban gathering on Dec. 5. Staff with the Quu’asa program continued on to hold a gathering in Vancouver Dec. 7, where the Ukranian Cultural Centre was packed with Nuuchah-nulth from the Lower Mainland. Activies included dancing (bottom left) and drumming. Pictured in the bottom right are George Watts (black shirt), Stan Matthew, Duane Howard, Ed Ross and Joe Derocher (white shirt), who sang and drummed while the crowd awaited dinner. On Dec. 8 and 9 the NTC staff ventured south of the border to Seattle, Washington, where dancing, drumming and singing continued (below). At the Washington gathering Nuu-chahnulth residents of the Seatle area also enjoyed salmon meals, shared stories and reconnected with family, where a longhouse built by the Duwamish Tribe served as the venue. Photos by Denise Titian and Eric Plummer


December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3

NCN fisheries agreement delayed by Canada again By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Vancouver Island, BC - Top federal officials have delivered a message to lead negotiators of the five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations involved in an ongoing fisheries court case that they were not prepared to present a reconciliation agreement before cabinet this fall as previously promised - and they may not have it ready until February 2018. “We entered into a so-called ‘reconciliation process’ with senior staff of INAC and DFO over six months ago,” said Francis Frank, lead negotiator for the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. “Now we are hearing that it may not be until February. From our perspective, this is just another government stalling instead of taking action.” “This is not acceptable as these nations have already waited eight years to implement a favourable court ruling,” said NTC President Judith Sayers. The five First Nations made the decision to launch the NTC fisheries court case in 2001 after failed aboriginal fisheries rights negotiations during the treaty process. After years of preparation and 123 days in court a decision came in 2009, when the BC Supreme Court ruled in favor of the five nations (Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/Chinekintaht, Hesquiaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Mowachaht/Muchalaht), recognizing their constitutionally-protected aboriginal rights to fish and sell fish harvested within their territories. “We have been patient and willing to work with government to implement the 2009 decision by the B.C. Supreme Court to recognize the five Nuu-chah-nulth nations’ aboriginal rights to commercially catch and sell all species harvested within

their territories,” said NTC President Sayers. “But now our patience is wearing thin as the federal government has been stalling too long.” The nations are calling on the government to prove that they are serious about reconciliation. “Our fishers have been waiting since 2009 to fish and sell all species in our territories,” said Cliff Atleo, lead negotiator for Ahousaht. “This government has been in power for two years now, and we have yet to see any real evidence of the ‘new relationship’ promised by Prime Minister Trudeau.” “Our fishers and communities are living in poverty with unacceptable levels of unemployment,” said Elected Hesquiaht Chief Richard Lucas. “Yet right out in front of our communities are fishing jobs waiting for our people if this government will get on with it and do the right thing, like they keep saying they what to.” Sayers pointed out that the courts provided until May 2012 for the First Nations and government to negotiate a new fisheries regime based on the recognition of the aboriginal right - yet this still remains unresolved. “If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau means what he says about reaching a path to reconciliation with the First Nations, then we as Nuu-chah-nulth want to see actual on-the-ground and ‘on-the-water’ changes that support his promise,” said Sayers. “Ottawa has talked a good talk lately, yet our fishers are still living in poverty with little to no opportunities for employment in our communities.” “Two years in government is long enough for the Liberals to back up their words with real action that will make a difference to our communities and we call on them to act now,” she said

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Photo by Eric Plummer

The majority of Ahousaht’s roads are unpaved, but this is set to change with a paving initiative planned to begin in 2018.

Road paving for Ahousaht to begin in early 2018 By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Maaqtusiis, BC - The new year is set to bring major infrastructure upgrades for Ahousaht, including the beginning of a multi-phase plan to pave all roads in the community. With $5.5 million in funding from the federal government, road paving is scheduled to begin in early 2018 in the Happy Hill neighbourhood west of Ahousaht’s schools. The area around Maaqtusiis Elementary and Secondary are planned for the next stage of paving, followed by roads near the youth centre and then the area around the First Nation’s administration building to the nearby dock. Ahousaht Chief Councillor Greg Louie expects total paving to take four years, with the first two phases completed in 2018. Currently the majority of the community is unpaved. “It’s just the newer subdivision, that’s all,” said Louie. “The old subdivision is not paved at all.” The paving project includes all roads, curbs and gutters, as well as a drainage plan for gravel roads, according to Ahousaht’s website. To avoid digging and paving roads more than once, timing of the paving will be coordinated with the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. Construction of the $10.5–million wastewater project is also expected to begin in the winter of 2018, around the same time that the road paving would begin. “When it starts we want some of our people employed, just like any other project,” said Louie of the road work.

During the fall the First Nation met with Associated Engineering and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to discuss how the road paving will be phased in. The federal government has committed to providing $500,000 to get the project started over the first three months of 2018, followed by another half a million in the first quarter of next fiscal year to further progress the paving. For several years Ahousaht has been asking for federal support to improve the community’s roads, and in the past only funding for a solution to put on the roads was supplied, said Louie. “It’s been a priority for a long, long time,” he said, adding that improved roads will bring more responsibilities from drivers, such as the requirement to follow regulations and have a driver’s licence. Currently the community’s emergency vehicles are slowed down by bumps, puddles and potholes on Ahousaht’s roads. “The ambulance - you know how fast they go in the city - they don’t go that fast here, they don’t go even close to that speed,” said Louie. “Same with the firetruck…they’re big machines and they don’t speed down these roads here. They can’t because of the potholes.” Dust from the unpaved roads is another concern during Ahousaht’s dry spring and summer months, said the chief councillor. “You can see really fine dust coming in on the windowsills,” said Louie. “If somebody has asthma or a breathing problem, you’re walking and that wind is blowing, coming directly on you, you’re breathing that in.”


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‘Sector-wide’ ministry audit for fish processing plants Immediate changes made to Tofino plant after the Tla-o-qui First Nation met with aquaculture company By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor After images were publicized by a Vancouver Island photographer showing fish processing plants releasing blood-red effluent into coastal waters, the B.C. government has committed to a widespread assessment of the industry. “The ministry will be conducting a sector-wide audit of fish processing plants in the province to examine the current state of the industry with respect to regulatory requirements,” stated the B.C. Ministry of Environment’s media relations in an email to the Ha-Shilth-Sa. “The requirements are designed to ensure that the environment is protected and pollution does not occur.” The sector-wide audit follows Tavish Campbell’s recent exposure of underwater photographs and video from two processing facilities by Campbell River and Tofino. The images show bright red clouds of effluent pouring from underwater pipes into the ocean. “Blood water pouring into downtown Tofino harbour, and this time with huge schools of rock fish and perch feeding directly on the raw effluent and introducing it into the food chain of Clayoquot Sound,” said Campbell in a video showing the effluent. “Who is authorizing this dumping of infectious waste into wild salmon habitat? This is insanely dangerous for our wild fish and it has to stop.” To get a closer look at how outflow waste from the operations is affecting the surrounding water, Campbell conducted dives in October and November at Brown’s Bay near Campbell River and off Tofino’s harbour, collecting samples from the effluent-clouded ocean water. These samples were sent for testing at the Atlantic Veterinary College, which detected piscine reovirus. Both processing plants handle farmed salmon, and piscine reovirus (PRV) was first detected on the West Coast six years ago in chinook being raised in aquaculture facilities, according to studies conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Since then the virus has been found in farmed Atlantic salmon, as well as wild

Photo by Tavish Campbell

This underwater image from a video shot by Tavish Campbell shows the release of effluent from a Tofino fish processing operation into the surrounding water. chinook, sockeye, coho, chum salmon, made immediately to significantly reduce cutthroat trout and steelhead trout. PRV is the amount of water and particulates linked to other diseases affecting farmed being discharged and had a tour of the and wild salmon, including heart and plant,” added the Tla-o-qui-aht’s Natural skeletal muscle inflammation. Resource Director Saya Masso in the “Detections have been made from both joint statement. “We also discussed the farmed and wild fish populations which various options and technologies availhave extended from the State of Washing- able for treatment of effluent. This is an ton north through B.C. to Alaska,” stated important issue for Tla-o-qui-aht and we a DFO report on PRV. will work with Creative Salmon as they Effluent from the Tofino processing continue to research next steps and treatplant, which is operated by Lions Gate ment options.” Fisheries, was released into the Tla-oThe B.C. Ministry of Environment has qui-aht First Nation’s hahouthee. The also responded to the effluent images by Tla-o-qui-aht have a protocol agreement planning to send officers to the Brown’s with Creative Salmon, the aquaculture Bay and Tofino operations to ensure they company that raises chinook for the Tocomply with provincial regulations. Alfino operation. On Dec. 6 members of the though discharge requirements “are site First Nation met with Creative Salmon specific” for different facilities, dependrepresentatives to address the Tla-o-quiing on the volume of effluent and the aht’s concerns about the effluent. surrounding environment, some permits “There have been changes made for the might need to be updated to include filtrashort term to reduce organic matter being tion and disinfection prior to release into discharged into the environment,” said the ocean. the Tla-o-qui-aht’s fisheries department “In some instances more advanced in an email to the Ha-shilth-Sa. “There chemical or biological treatment techis also a plan being developed for the nologies may be required,” stated the long term to reduce this even lower and provincial ministry. “One such example treating what organics that may enter the is the Brown’s Bay Packing Company environment.” (Permit PE 8124), which is undergoing “All parties are now working together an amendment that, if issued, will include to voluntarily make some changes and new requirements for updated pollution improvements to procedures at the plant control works and more extensive monito address public concern,” said Creative toring and reporting conditions (both for Salmon’s General Manager Tim the discharge and the receiving environRundle in a joint statement from the ment).” company and the First Nation. According to Creative Salmon, the To“We discussed some changes that were fino processing plant follows all provin-

cial permits and regulations. “Effluent from the plant is screened and discharged into the marine environment at depth according to the provincial government permit,” read a statement from the company released on Nov. 28. The images of the effluent sparked outrage from aquaculture opponents. When the photographs were made public in late November, Clayoquot Action took aim at Creative Salmon, calling for the removal of aquaculture pens from Clayoquot Sound. “The inlets of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve are like wild salmon highways,” said Clayoquot Action’s campaign’s director Bonny Glambeck in a statement from the organization. “There’s no way for wild fish to avoid these diseased farms – so no way for them to avoid becoming sick.” Amid these accusations, Creative Salmon asserts that its standards and those followed by Lions Gate Fisheries are actually higher than what governments require. With a staff of 55 fulltime employees overseeing four farms in Tla-o-qui-aht hahoulthee, Creative Salmon operates under an agreement with the First Nation that prohibits underwater lighting at night and antifouling agents in the pens, limiting fish density to one per cent of the total space in the nets. “Both the plant and Creative Salmon are certified to the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard,” stated the company. “This is an audited, national standard that exceeds municipal, provincial and federal regulatory requirements.” Fish farms with this organic certification are forbidden to use “all materials and products produced from genetic engineering,” pesticides, “synthetic growth regulators,” parasiticides and antibiotics, according to the national standard. To address ongoing concerns about the release of effluent into the Pacific Ocean, Creative Salmon has committed to keep the Tla-o-qui-aht informed about the Tofino processing plant’s practices. “We are always open to talk constructively about what is happening and to address questions about our operations,” said Rundle.

‘Incompetent’ farmed salmon remain on DFO’s radar By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor

The largest release of farmed fish into West Coast waters in recent years brought DFO officials a flurry of Atlantic salmon reports last fall, but in recent weeks these incidents have died down. This is part of the most recent update from the Atlantic Salmon Watch Program, which monitors the presence of farmed fish on the B.C. coast. The program saw a surge in reports after the collapse of a Cooke Aquaculture net pen in Washington State on Aug. 21, which contained over 300,000 Atlantic salmon. Half of these farmed fish escaped from the broken Cypress Island facility into Pacific waters. From 2011 to 2017 the Atlantic Salmon Watch Program reported just three confirmed cases of the species off the B.C. coast, but this fall Fisheries and Oceans Canada collected over 40 samples and heard of more than 70 reports of Atlantic salmon. The fish were found as far as Campbell River and west of Tofino. The DFO is sending heads from the Atlantic samples to determine which hatchery they came from based on bone structure, said Byron Andres, senior

biologist with the federal department’s Aquaculture Environmental Operations. “The otolith analysis will determine if the fish came from the Cooke Aquaculture site in Washington State or somewhere else,” he said in an email to the Ha-Shilth-Sa. “That work is being done by colleagues in Washington State. We will be retaining tissue from each sample in the event that we want to conduct further analysis.” Despite the thousands of Atlantic salmon that were released, monitoring by the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation has yielded no recent signs of the farmed fish. “We have been monitoring several of our river systems with known pacific salmon returns,” said the Tla-o-qui-aht fisheries department in an email to the Ha-Shilth-Sa. “Our swimmers have not reported seeing any Atlantic salmon in any of the systems and no new fish have been reported being caught by any Tla-oqui-aht fishers.” As reports of the Atlantic salmon slow down, Andres has seen no indications that the fish are impacting wild species. “The most likely impact, if any, is that these fish could attempt to colonize natural waters in B.C.,” he said. “So far, there is little evidence that this would occur,

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Over 150,000 farmed Atlantic salmon were released into the Pacific in August. but the program exists to monitor conronment are identified and addressed, ” tinually in case that likelihood changes.” said CEO Glenn Cooke in the company’s The farmed salmon are “incompetent” at statement. “Cooke has made financial feeding themselves in the wild, according offers to Coast Salish tribes in excess of to a statement issued by Cooke Aquacul$1.5 million for their recovery assistance ture on Oct. 4. Although over 100,000 efforts.” Atlantic salmon remain unaccounted for, The net pen collapse occurred one year nearly 50,000 were recovered through after Cooke Aquaculture purchased the Cooke’s “fish buy-back program” that Cypress Island farm, which is located involved Coast Salish tribes, said the directly east of Victoria. company. a will continue conducting river surveys “Cooke is committed to ensuring that for Atlantic salmon through December any adverse consequences to the enviand possibly into January.


December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5

Thousands of feed bags found in the Broken Group

Response to 2,000 fish farm feed bags reveals a need for Parks Canada transparency, says Tseshaht First Nation By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Parks Canada is planning a formal cleanup to the Broken Goup Islands after thousands of fish farm feed bags were discovered on their shores in November. According to a statement from the federaldepartment, several plastic bags, a roof, part of a wall and other miscellaneous items were discovered on the islands – debris that appears to be from a lost structure that fell off an aquaculture barge in October. “As soon as we became aware of the debris, Parks Canada removed approximately 2,000 bags from the four inner islands,” stated Parks Canada. “An additional 1,000 bags and miscellaneous debris have since been removed. As weather permits, Parks Canada will continue inspecting the islands and removing debris with support from the Canadian Coast Guard.” But Parks Canadas initial response to the pollution did not include notifying the Tseshaht First Nation, whose hahoulthee includes the Broken Group Islands. The First Nation first heard of the debris on Friday, Nov. 17 through media reports. The news broke after an internal Parks Canada memo was leaked to media sources in mid-November. According to news reports, the memo states that the bags were first discovered Nov. 10. In a statement released Nov. 21, Tseshaht Chief Councillor Cynthia Dick said the lack of communication regarding the feed bags indicates the need for better transparency from the federal department. “It is very concerning that Tseshaht only learned of the incident through media sources and not directly from Parks Canada,” said Dick.

Google Maps image

Parks Canada has discovered thousands of fish farm feed bags in the Broken Group Islands. Media reports also state that, according to the Parks Canada memo, cleanup of the fish farm bags took place Nov. 10 and 11, but weather prevented staff from accessing other islands to determine the full scope of the pollution. Law enforcement is investigating, and if charges are successful the polluter will be responsible for cleanup costs, according to the memo. “Tseshaht First Nation wants to see a strong commitment from Parks Canada to work collaboratively in ensuring this is addressed and action is taken to prevent similar occurrences in the future,” said Dick in her statement. “As protectors of our land and resources, Tseshaht First Nation wants to ensure all that is sacred to us is respected in Tseshaht territory. This includes the home and origin of Tseshaht people in the Broken Group Islands.” Despite the delay in communication, Parks Canada Superintendent Karen

Haugen said the federal department is working together with the Tseshaht and other Nuu-chah-nulth nations to conserve and protect the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. “Between the period of time when the bags were first noticed and when the issue was reported by the media, Parks Canada was still assessing the scope of the debris and gathering information in order to provide overview of the situation to the Tseshaht First Nation, other indigenous partners, and key stakeholders,” said Hagen in an email to the Ha-Shilth-Sa. “Parks Canada has since had discussions with local First Nations and local government representatives regarding the debris in the Broken Group Islands.” Parks Canada and law enforcement agencies have not revealed who is responsible for the thousands of feed bags, but on Nov. 21 a statement emerged from

Omega Pacific Sea Farms, a Port Albernibased aquaculture company that operates facilities in Barkley Sound. Owner Bruce Kenney said the company is developing a salvage plan after fall storms partially sank Omega’s barge, causing feed bags to be released into the ocean. “Our Jane Bay farm in Barkley Sound, which has been at this location for over 30 years, has been battered by successive storm events with the first storm occurring on Oct. 18, partially sinking our barge,” stated Kenney. “The Canadian Coast Guard attended, and determined the incident to be of low environmental risk.” Storms continued through October and early November, creating more problems for the fish farm operator. “As we were developing a salvage plan, a second storm on Nov. 6 caused further damage,” said Kenney. “After this storm a number of feed bags were recovered from Jane Bay by our staff and caretaker, and placed in empty fish totes all tied and secured onto a cement storage float.” The fish farm debris also washed up on Long Beach, and members of the Tlao-qui-aht First Nation and the Surfrider Foundation collected the plastic bags, which are each big enough to carry 25 kilograms of feed. Dick noted that the debris recently discovered in the Broken Group Islands shows the need for better cooperation to protect the ocean and coasts. “This is part of a broader issue that requires the attention of all levels of government in partnership with First Nations and the broader community to provide adequate support in protecting our waters, land and resources for future generations,” she said.

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Shipping containers brings Tla-o-qui-aht more homes New steel units attend to a housing shortage for the west coast community, bringing the total homes to 111 By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Tofino, BC - There is an innovative new housing development popping up next to Tla-o-qui-aht’s Tin Wis Best Western Resort on the outskirts of Tofino, BC. According to TFN Public Works Manager David Dennis, several used steel shipping containers were purchased from a broker in Victoria at a cost of $4,500 to $7,000 each that were shipped to the new subdivision to be transformed into 21 housing units for TFN members. The TFN Container housing project is a demonstration project, meaning that it is new in the construction industry and there will be opportunities to learn about the feasibility of such projects in remote areas. The project involves the collaboration of several partners including INAC and CMHC who have subsidized about 75 per cent project to the tune of $1,746,000. TFN`s contribution to the project is $1.5 million. Besides gaining new housing units through the project TFN will also have members trained in specialized areas of this type of construction. The nation has partnered with the NTC, VIU, Camosun College and North Island College to deliver construction training to ten members who work on the project. ``They`ve received first aid training and certification in carpentry, working with rigging and cranes through this program, `` said Dennis. When the trained members are not working on the project they move onto work in other areas in the nation like maintenance, housing or public works.

Photo by Ken Watts

Converting shipping containers into houses will bring 21 new dwellings to the First Nation community south of Tofino. The project is expected to be complete by June 2018. TFN will see five detached family homes featuring three bedrooms, two bedrooms or two bedrooms plus a den. In addition, there will be 16 studio units measuring 320 sq. ft. Each unit will have an estimated value of $350,000 according to Dennis. This price tag does not including the value of the land since the subdivision is located on Indian Reserve. While it has not been determined who will live in the new units Dennis said they would have to be very tolerant tenants. “It’s a demonstration project and there will be people coming to see the units from industry types to visiting First Nations,” said Dennis. Dennis says, by nature, the project is expensive and would likely not be fea-

sible without the subsidies TFN received. While the containers themselves are relatively inexpensive, having them shipped up-island to Tofino is costly. “It might make more sense to develop this type of housing somewhere along a railroad line,” Dennis noted. “Container housing is very new to the industry and there are always plan changes that require us to go back to the architects or engineers, which causes delays,” said Dennis. One of the latest hold-ups is figuring out how to insulate the steel-sided containers. While the steel is high grade and expected to last hundreds of years, their smooth, painted interiors may prevent spray foam insulation from sticking to the surfaces. Dennis says other types of insulations would not work because they would retain mois-

ture, potentially causing mold problems down the road. The container interiors may have to be scraped and painted with a product that will allow foam insulation to stick, adding to the overall cost of the project. ``So we`re essentially inventing the process as we work,’ said Dennis. Through trial and error they figured out issues that popped up and Dennis says they would be able to replicate the studio container housing at a lesser cost in the future, now that they have the process worked out. TFN is a rapidly-growing community and has built 92 housing units for its 1200 members over the course of five years. These new units will bring the total number of housing units to 111 with more container housing coming down the road.

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December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7

Tseshaht braced for flooding amid November rain First Nation activates its Emergency Operations Centre after 61 millimeters of precipitation fell in one day By Shayne Morrow Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Port Alberni was battered through November with a total of 490 millimetres of rain, unrelenting precipitation that put the Tseshaht First Nation into disaster response mode to avoid flooding damage the riverside community has seen in recent years. Environment Canada’s records for Nov. 14 show 60.6 millimetres of precipitation, followed by another downpour of 80.5 millimmetres on Nov. 19. As rains continued and the Somass River rose, HaShilth-Sa spoke with Tseshaht leaders on Nov. 21 to see what steps the nation was taking. “We have been taking part in the conference calls with Emergency Management B.C.,” Tseshaht Elected Chief Councillor Cynthia Dick said. “We are currently at the ‘Warning’ Level, where you start making preparations if you are potentially going to be impacted. The [Emergency Operations Centre] will be set up, and sandbags have been ordered.” Dick noted the past few years have seen significant flooding. The year 2014 could be described as “catastrophic,” while 2016 was “serious,” but not to the same level of damage. “Last year, we took part in the conference calls, and they predicted that it was going to be at the same level, if not higher, than in 2014,” she said. “So we were well prepared for that one, and we had a lot of great community support, in getting the sandbags out, and making sure that pumps were at the [designated] homes, and making sure that for any detours, we had plans in place.” “The river has climbed throughout the day today. It is in people’s back yards, but it is not yet threatening homes,” said Tseshaht’s Emergency Preparedness chair Hugh Braker. “We have activated our Emergency Operations Centre. We’re at Level One. At this time, we are getting resources together, and putting them on standby for potential flooding.” “There are people on the river who are concerned. We know those houses that tend to flood, so it is about making sure those ones are ready,” added Dick. Those who live in the Watty’s Hill neighbourhood (especially elders and children, or people with exiting medical conditions) were at an increased danger of becoming isolated, due to road flooding and closures, Dick said. And those who live on the river and have previously experienced serious flooding would be evacuated before it comes down to a boat rescue, she added. Braker noted that last year flooding forced the closure of Highway 4 at Watty’s Hill, and a number of homes had to be evacuated. “But we managed to keep damage last year to a minimum,” he said. “In 2014, the flooding was catastrophic. In particular, we had two homes that suffered $60,000 damage, and we had numerous other homes that suffered less damage. We’re hoping we’re not going to get that this year.” Braker said to date, there has been no attempt to remediate potential flooding sites. “We have applied to look at having a study to see what we can do to lessen the risk,” he said. Tseshaht faces an additional hazard besides the initial flooding. That is erosion. “Some places on our reserve have lost five feet from erosion,” Braker explained. “So we have to look at both flood preven-

Photo by Shayne Morrow

Tseshaht Elected Chief Councillor Cynthia Dick and other leaders from the First Nation were closely watching the continued rise of the Somass River in November. tion and erosion prevention. We don’t have the grant for that [study] yet.” Yet another hazard is landslides. Last year, a landslide on a logging road required extensive remediation, and further slippage was expected. “We have numerous elders and people with chronic health problems living along the river,” said Braker. “They will be our first priority.” In late November five homes were evacuated from the Tseshaht reserve, affecting 17 people who the First Nation put up in Port Alberni’s Howard Johnson Hotel. As it turned out, the evacuation wasn’t required, but it was close, Braker noted.

“We dodged a bullet. But who can tell? If the river had risen another six inches, we would have had big problems.” ~ Hugh Braker, Tseshaht’s Photo by Hugh Braker Emergency Preparedness chair Some back yards on the Tseshaht First Nation reserve resembled small lakes “The highway did not flood. It came within inches,” he said. “There were [traffic] cones along the side of the highway because the shoulder flooded at the bottom of Watty’s Hill, but [the water] never came onto the highway. So it stayed open.” “We dodged a bullet. But who can tell?” Braker continued. “If the river had risen another six inches, we would have had big problems.” Braker noted that while flooding has always been a concern on Tseshaht territory, the problem has been compounded with changes to the Watty’s Hill roadway and an increase in the number of homes situated at the base of the hill and along Hector Road. “None of those homes were there before, and they’re all susceptible to flooding, so we have to prepare for that,” he said. “Even in 2014, we had people saying, ‘We’ve always had flooding.’ But that year, we had damage to two homes, totalling $60,000.” This year, fortunately, no homes were

after a month of persistent rain, leading Ken Watts to paddle across this lot in a canoe. damaged. But on the other hand, November’s flooding further exacerbated erosion at several sites that were badly affected last year. “We have a serious erosion problem developing along the river,” Braker said. Since this alarming period precipitation in the Alberni Valley has lessened. On Nov. 29 the River Forecast Centre ended its “high streamflow advisory’ for the Somass River, Sproat River, Ash River and nearby tributaries. “The water levels of the Somass River and tributaries are dropping slowly and currently below the levels of concern,” stated the centre at the end of November, noting that although rain could continue, the risk of flooding has lessened. “With cooler temperatures, part of this precipitation is expected to fall as snow at higher elevations. Current hydrologic modeling indicates that the flow in the Somass River [will] remain stable or drop slowly through the week, with possibility

of small rises.” Braker said Tseshaht takes pride in the fact that their emergency response program has been held up as a model for communities across the province. “Tseshaht’s approach to emergency response is very different from other agencies,” he said. “The Province of B.C., the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District – they dump loads of sand at the Sproat Lake firehall, they dump loads of sandbags and tell people online, ‘Come and get some sand if you need it.’ You have to go fill up your own sandbags, take them to your house that’s flooding, and try to fix them around your house.” “We don’t do that,” continued Braker. “We order the sand; we fill the sandbags; we bring them to people’s houses; we put it around. We evacuate people; the regional district does not. We go in and get people and bring them to the hotel. We have elders, we have people with medical problems – they have to get out.”


Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 14, 2017 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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DEADLINE: Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is Jan. 12, 2018 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 hashilthsa@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.

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Need for better communication with First Nations to mitigate diabetes By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor

When it comes to communicating the risks of diabetes, the effectiveness of the message depends on how it’s delivered, according to those who work closely with Nuu-chah-nulth-aht. This month nurses with the Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council are taking their mobile diabetes clinic on the road, providing screening and education at urban gatherings on Tuesday Dec. 5 in Campbell River and Dec. 14 in Nanaimo. “We’re hoping to see some people who have diabetes and perhaps catch some people who have diabetes and don’t even know it,” said the NTC’s health promotion worker Matilda Atleo. She believes that there are significantly more Nuu-chah-nulth people with the disease than what the NTC nursing department has in its records, due to some members accessing health services elsewhere and a habit among others of avoiding being assessed. “A lot of people have not been tested, so you have a lot of pre-diabetics in the communities,” said Jeanette Watts, the NTC’s nurse manager. “Nursing observations are that we do have a lot of people at risk for diabetes.” But communicating this risk to patients has not always worked. Atleo is personally familiar with this from her late husband, George Watts, who had diabetes for 40 years. As one of the founders of what became the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, George Watts was an influential politician – but communication wasn’t as effective during trips to the doctor, said Atleo. “He was one of those bull-in-a-chinashop kind of guys. He met with government people, ministers...he knew how to deal with them, he could talk to them,” she recalled. “But when it came to going to his doctor, the doctor would just scold him and say, ‘You’re not looking after yourself’.” “The Island Health approach has not worked,” added Jeanette Watts, noting that in the past the agency’s approach has not registered positively with Nuu-chahnulth people. “You’ve got to be ready to hear what the person’s story is. When you

go to a diabetic clinic at Island Health, they’re not set up that way. They’re set up with a classroom setting - that triggers people to residential school.” A better relationship with health providers will be needed to curb the increase in diabetes Indigenous Peoples across the province are experiencing. This rate has grown from nine per cent in 2005 to 10.7 per cent currently, said Dr. Shannon McDonald, deputy chief medical health officer with the First Nations Health Authority. Eight per cent of non-indigenous people in B.C. have diabetes, which also shows a slight increase over the last decade, she said. While diabetes can lead to higher blood sugar levels, the disease brings other health risks, including stroke, heart disease, kidney problems and impotence.

“We have to be, in many ways, back to the old ways where we’re eating real food, eating off the land and being more physically active” ~ Dr. Shannon McDonald

Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer, First Nations Health Authority “The more you know, the more you can control,” said McDonald. “A lot people have been able to revert back to that pre-diabetes state quite successfully by becoming more active, eating differently and taking care of the stress in their lives.” The doctor sees health benefits in a lifestyle closer to pre-colonial times. “We have to be, in many ways, back to the old ways where we’re eating real food, eating off the land and being more physically active,” McDonald said. “That doesn’t just mean taking the kids to hockey, it means getting up and going for a walk.” This is more easily said than done for those living in Vancouver Island’s more remote communities, where year-round fishing is no longer possible and the closest grocery store with produce and fresh meat can be hours away. As a result, many residents in coastal communities stock up on non-perishable food high

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in preservatives when they can get to a supermarket. “People have to realise what’s in those foods,” said Atleo. “They have that long shelf life - just think about how your body deals with that.” Some Nuu-chah-nulth people are still adjusting to a modern diet that was unknown to past generations, notes Watts. “The traditional way of eating has changed drastically, and it hasn’t been that long,” she said of the transition from what the ancestors lived on. “The way they ate was way different than now. The bannock, the bread, the flour products, those are all things that were brought in.” “I think that a lot of our people don’t realise that carbohydrates convert to sugar,” added Atleo. Another issue is the time needed to prepare healthy food. As families struggle to keep up with ongoing costs, nutrition often isn’t at the top of the priority list, said Atleo, who would like to see Nuuchah-nulth nations have their own health promotion workers. “People often buy the more affordable and readily accessible food that has a high sugar content,” she said. “Because of all the dynamics, all the challenges people have, that’s not a priority for them when it comes to eating healthy. They want to make sure they have enough money for their rent, lunch for their kids, food on the table. That’s the priority.” Modern demands bring stress, which also can lead to diabetes, said McDonald. “Stress hormones can cause us to react differently physiologically,” she said. “There’s a fair amount of evidence that weight gain, especially the kind of weight gain that we see around the middle, is a particular risk, and many of us First Nations and aboriginal folks tend to carry our weight in that area.” Atleo sees the need for a more holistic method in attending to diabetes risks. Besides diet and exercise, this incorporates a person’s mental, emotional and spiritual connection to themselves and the environment. “We need to change our approach,” said Atleo. “It’s not just about eating and physical activity, it’s all those other things – everything is connected, we need to go back to that.”

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 hashilthsa@nuuchahnulth.org. This year is Ha-Shilth-Sa’s 43rd year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!

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December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9

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Ditidaht school students release new music video By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter

Nitinaht, BC - Intermediate and high school students are excited about the release of a video music production they made featuring scenes from the community and a taste of Ditidaht language. Let Us Not Worry was created in the Ditidaht community in mid-October when N’we Jinan, a music production company co-founded by David Hodges, arrived to work with the students. N’we Jinan is a non-profit organization that brings a mobile recording studio into schools and community centres across North America. The program offers youth the chance to create an original song and music video that explores relevant issues and topics while promoting positive messaging, community engagement and a collective voice. Both Hodges and his videographer assistant Andrei Savu spent time at Nitinaht Lake working with the youth, first to develop a theme and lyrics for the song. According to Ditidaht Com-

munity School student Josie Thompson, the students were asked to brainstorm ideas about the challenges and hopes they experience in their community. They quickly came up with the song title, ‘Let us not Worry’. “The song sings about the concerns students have for their lives in Nitinaht and the hopes they have for their futures,” she wrote. After the brainstorm session, the video was shot the following day with scenes from around the community and students singing the lyrics they made. The video was aired at a special event at the Alberni District Secondary School auditorium on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. The evening featured student performances and a special announcement from the Ditidaht Language and Culture department. If you’d like to hear the song, it is available on-line at Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/nwejinan/nwejinan-artists-let-us-not-worry-ditidahtfirst-nation

c^axtakuk`#ic^ kwismis Merry (Happy) Christmas From the Tiic^@aq+ (Mental Health) & Quu%asa Team,

T Joseph Tom

NTC Enhanced Technical Service Unit wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Doug Neff Aaron Humen Holly MacLaughlin

T Kim Rai T Vina Robinson T Ruby Ambrose T Stan Matthew T Donna Lucas T Samantha Lankester T Kirunn Sharma T Ina Dick T David Busch T Richard Watts T Lisa Watts T Karen Cook T Lora McNeil T Dave Zryd T Donna Brown T Justin Dorward T Therese Smith T Maureen Knighton T Jolene Anker T Anita Charleson-Touchie T Chris Seitcher T Margaret Bird T Ann Marshall T Rikki Nelson T Rick Lebeau


Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 14, 2017

Laid off mill workers rally for change in the Valley New-to-Port Alberni forestry company with numerous First Nations employees proposes hope for the future By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC - More than 200 laidoff Somass Mill employees and their supporters showed up at Tyee Landing Nov. 30 in an effort to save their jobs. Owned by Western Forest Products Ltd., Somass Mill has been closed since a temporary shutdown was announced February 2017. On July 27, 2017 the company issued a press release stating the mill would be closed indefinitely, due to lack of log supply and the need for cost-cutting measures to remain competitive. “We will be encouraging employees to explore opportunities for employment at Western’s other sawmills on Vancouver Island,” said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western. Approximately 70 workers are directly affected by the closure of Somass Mill. MLA Scott Fraser said in a delivered a message that the closure of the Somass Mill is a significant blow to the community. He committed to work with Forestry Lands and Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson on developing a fair and lasting strategy to save jobs, like finding ways to process logs in the province. Babita Kuhnkhun, Senior Director of Communications at WFP, said the company is not in a position to make a final decision on the fate of Somass Mill or any other WFP holdings in Port Alberni. “We’ve committed to advising our employees in the community once a final decision has been made,” said Kuhnkuhn. When asked when that might be, Kuhnkuhn responded that she can’t say. Concerned that the Somass Mill closure will create a domino effect, closing down the Alberni Pacific Division, WFP’s other Alberni Valley mill, workers and the steelworkers union called for WFP to either resume full operations and rehire laid off employees, or sell the mill to “a company that will maximize its operations to hire laid off employees and improve the local economy.” Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan wondered why, with the high price of lumber, that the mill was still closed. And with the abandoned Somass Mill as a backdrop, speakers at the rally demanded change in the way forestry companies do business in Port Alberni. “We need to explore innovative ways to create jobs,” said MP Gord Johns, adding that the mill closures are everybody’s issue. “We know that when we process fibre in the community we reduce greenhouse gasses by three-fold.” He vowed to

Photos by Denise Titian

Mid-Island MP Gord Johns speaks to a crowd gathered on Nov. 30 to protest Western Forest Products’ closure of the Somass Mill last summer. hear the concerns of the people and bring them to Ottawa. According to Mayor Mike Ruttan, Port Alberni could be the site of the next generation of diverse wood products if it had company owners with a vision for the future and money to invest. Port Alberni could produce a billion dollars’ worth of high value wood products every year but it doesn’t happen if you don’t invest, he said. “We are calling on Western Forest Products to invest in this site and reopen it or sell it to someone that is willing to invest,” said Ruttan. He went on to say that the Somass Mill site could provide hundreds of jobs and he called upon WFP to show a belief in the future of Port Alberni - or sell it. According to information supplied by Bob Bortolin, vice-president of business development for the San Group, also laid-off Somass workers and the steelworkers union, their understanding is that spoke at the rally. of business development. Mill. “Most, if not all, new First NaWestern Forest Products is willing to sell tions employees are of Nuu-chah-nulth He said that the San Group, a multiits operations (two mills, Somass and ancestry,” said Harley Wylie, San Group level forest products corporation, has a APD) and its Tree Farm License sepavision of creating an economic area that First Nations Development Director and rately. This would maximize the overall is viable. “We want to bring Port Alberni Tseshaht First Nation member. sale price for WFP, but have a negative back to what it was,” said Bortolin. Owned by brothers Kamal and Suki impact on the town of Port Alberni and Sanghera, San Group is the only comThe San Group recognizes the First Nalocal First Nations Tseshaht and Hupapany in western BC that has not only kept tions of British Columbia, and says they casath, as well as other nearby First Nahave the utmost respect for their land, mills going but they’ve expanded them. tions engaged in local forestry operation. culture and sense of community. “And they are willing to invest in us,” Back in May 2017, the San Group pur“We look forward to furthering our relasaid Ruttan. chased Coulson Manufacturing Sawmill In fact, San Group is prepared to invest tionships based on respect and integrity – in Port Alberni and invested $45 million a collaborative journey of betterment, for into an expansion of the mill. In addition, $30 to $40 million in the Coulson Mill they increased the number of First Nation over the next few years, according to Bob generations to come,” says the San Group website. Bortolin, the San Group’s vice-president employees since they bought Coulson

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December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11

Adult learning centre being planned for Ahousaht Community’s collaboration with a charitable foundation aims to empower residents through skills training By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor

duce the cost,” said Blacker. “If we can source all of the timber that we need from the community, if the comMaaqtusiis, BC - After munity has the availability helping to open a library in of a mill to get them to mill Ahousaht’s high school this the lumber, we will bring fall, a charitable foundation is in volunteer teams who can drafting plans with the First work with the community to Nation to develop an adult build it.” education centre. This approach was taken Write to Read has held with the Malahat Nation to two design sessions with build the Kwunew Kwasun Ahousaht’s elected council to Cultural Resource Centre, formulate plans for a learning which opened in 2014. Blackfacility in the community, and er said the building is worth another meeting is planned over $750,000, but with for January. With support in-kind contributions, supfrom Rotary clubs in Britplied materials, two modular ish Columbia, the charitable trailers donated by Britco and organization backs initiavolunteer labour the facility tives to empower indigenous cost just $80,000 in funds. An communities, focusing on architect designed a culturprojects that promote literacy. ally appropriate building inLast summer Write to Read corporating the trailers, with helped establish a library Photo by Eric Plummer space for a library, computer in Ahousaht’s Maaqtusiis Bob Blacker of Write to Read and B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon were in Ahousaht Nov. 6 lab and community meeting Secondary School, and has for the official opening of a new high school library. space. worked on projects with other First Nations, including plans for learning centre needs to be. chef trades are very limited here. They While each community Write to Read a new community centre and museum in “What I think we need is more of a could get the training here, go somewhere collaborates with is different, Blacker else and contribute over there - then Kyuquot. balance of academic and vocational,” he sees Kwunew Kwasun as evidence that Bob Blacker of Write to Read said the said. “We have a lot of locals who are re- maybe when they get the experience, quality facilities can be built for First Naadult learning centre meetings entailed ally hands on. They can fix a fridge, a TV, come back. They could open really nice tions communities at a low cost. collecting ideas from Ahousaht commuthey can fix their own trucks and their restaurant here.” “We believe that we’ve got the template nity members, with an architect on hand own motors, but I think they could get “It could be a start for someone to get that can work,” he said, noting that upper training,” added Louie. “If they get back to draw a structure that could best serve more theory and practical training with levels of government have yet to realize the First Nation’s needs. those trades.” and stay in the community, great - and the value of the approach. “Politicians great if they go somewhere else.” “It’s realizing a dream the community Part of the purpose of the future facility still haven’t woken up to the fact that has had,” he said. is to open career opportunities for adults The organization is looking for ways to there is something out there that does Ahousaht Chief Councillor Greg Louie in Ahousaht. build a facility worth nearly $1 million work.” took part in the design meetings with “I know a lot of guys, especially men, for a fraction of the cost. Write to Read to determine what the adult who want to be cooks,” said Louie. “The “We’ve seen ways of how we can re-


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Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 14, 2017

Suicide Awareness Basketball Tournament a success Personal trauma inspires young Nuu-chah-nulth woman to help others by holding sporting event Dec. 8-11 By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC - It has been about 10 months since 22-year-old Angeline Frank lost her grandfather to suicide and much has happened since. Shocked and devastated by his sudden death, Frank, a young Ahousaht woman, spiraled into an abyss of depression. She felt devastated and alone, turning to alcohol to cope with the pain. “After my grandfather passed away – he committed suicide on Feb. 17 - it was really hard for me to deal with it…it’s still really hard for me to deal with it,” said Frank. Despite having a busy life with work and school, Frank struggled with the emotional pain caused by her grandfather’s suicide. “I contemplated suicide myself, I attempted suicide myself. I was in a really dark place and I just felt like nobody was there, nobody cared and nobody loved me,” Angeline said. There came a time when things got to a head and Angeline woke up in the hospital. It was then that her family staged an intervention. “They all told me how much they worry about me and how much they love me and how it made them feel that I was trying to do that,” she recalled. “It really opened my eyes to know that I wasn’t alone and that I really needed help and to find another way to deal with my grandfather’s death.” “At first I was scared to admit what was wrong, I was scared to admit that I was scared and hurt and I think it’s like that for a lot of people,” Frank added. “It’s really hard to deal with my grandpa’s death and I never want anyone to feel like that.” Together the family made a safety plan. Angeline went to counsellors and took part in traditional healing practises with her grandfather’s brother. “After that, I knew I wanted to bring suicide awareness to the forefront, but I didn’t know how to do it,” she said. Frank bounced ideas around on social media, including hosting a suicide awareness basketball tournament for 2018. But the feedback and encouragement was so great that she decided, with the help of family, to pull the tournament together in two months. Going with the theme ‘Everyone Matters’, Frank and her family hosted the Suicide Awareness Open Basketball tournament in Port Alberni from Dec. 8-11. “I was really stressed about it because it costs so much money to host a tournament, but I did it and it was worth all the

Women’s winners Hesquiaht Descendants

Photo by Denise Titian

Angeline Frank organized the Suicide Awareness Open Basketball tournament at the Alberni Athletic Hall. She thanked those who helped her put on the event, including her father, John, and grandmother, Gloria Jean. stress,” she said. Besides working five days a week in her father’s restaurant and pub, Frank takes criminology courses four days a week and has recently taken on another job. With her already busy schedule Frank relied on the generosity of volunteers to get the tournament work done. She is grateful for all of the people who stepped up to help her organize and run the weekend tournament. “I couldn’t have done it without all their help,” she said. Frank says she hopes the tournament will raise awareness about the issue of suicide and depression. She said she didn’t want to call it a suicide prevention tournament because, she pointed out, she can’t prevent suicide. But she wants to get the message out that everyone matters, they are loved and there is help. “I don’t want people to feel alone and I don’t want them to feel the pain I felt from losing a loved one, because it happens so much and we need to stand together to help one another and let them know they are not alone,” she said. Frank brought in inspirational posters and printed resource materials on suicide and depression to the tournament.

She wants people to remember that they have friends and family and there are lots of free resources and free helplines to call. “You can do a Google search to find help; I’ve even told people that they can call me, and I’ll be there to listen because I don’t take suicide lightly,” said Frank. At the tournament Frank made a speech to remind the people that each and every one of them matters and that they are loved. She chose a basketball tournament because it brings people of all ages together in a healthy, active way. “Suicide affects many First Nations’ communities and it’s something that needs to change,” said Frank. “If I can just get the message across to one person that there is help, then it was worth it all,” she added. There were nine men’s and five women’s teams signed up for the inaugural Suicide Awareness tournament. Frank said that more teams wanted to play but there was a shortage of referees that weekend. She hopes to have more teams playing in 2018. Even though she was busy running the tournament, Frank managed to play with

Men’s winners Maaqtusiis Suns

the Frank-Hunter team, which placed third. Maaqtusiis Ma’as placed second against the Hesquiaht Descendants, who won the women’s division. In the men’s finals the Maaqtusiis Suns placed first over the Wickaninnish Hawks. Men’s teams: 1. Wickaninnish Hawks 2. A.V Thunder 3. Hot Springs Wolves 4. Yulthknock 5. Chieftains 6. Ukee wolf clan 7. Hustle Gang 8. Maaqtusiis Suns 9. Nootka Natives Women’s teams: 1. Ahousaht Thunder 2. Hesquiaht Descendants 3. Frank Hunter 4. Ukee Ladies 5. Maaqtusiis Ma’as


December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15

Basketball “a gateway to education,” says proud Dad Ahousaht First Nation youth leaps into university life while bringing her game to the hardwood in Squamish By Shayne Morrow Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor This fall, Ahousaht member Shakayla Thomas made the big leap from a remote First Nations community to full-time attendance in university. And her basketball skills were all part of the package. Shakayla attends Quest University Canada, a private non-profit university located in Squamish, in the unceded traditional territory of the Squamish Nations. While the talented ballplayer had a number of schools interested in signing her, Quest offered the best learning environment, according to her Dad, Tom Paul. Paul noted that graduates from Maaqtusiis do not typically make a straight transition to university. More often, they may take a year or two off. “As parents, we did not want her to go to VIU or Camosun. We wanted her a little more isolated. When we went to go visit Quest, we fell in love with it,” Paul said. Both the ideology and the size of the institution felt right. “It’s perfect for a transition for kids coming from small communities,” he said. “There are 700 students, with class sizes of 20.” Timing proved to be a problem, however. Because Shakayla was unable to relocate to campus until September, she missed the summer pre-practice season, and became ineligible for a scholarship. “I was a walk-on. I didn’t get to Squamish until September. They did know I was coming, but they weren’t able to give me a scholarship,” she said. She will be able to seek a scholarship next season, however. “I live on-campus, in residence,” she said. “It’s definitely different, living with people I never knew.” That late arrival also meant she does not room with her fellow athletes. Again, that will change next season. While Paul, Shakayla and her mom, Marsha Mack, are all Ahousaht members, they all lived in Nanaimo. Moving back to their home community was a big change. “I came into the picture when Shakayla was in Grade 6. I’m a step-dad,” Paul explained. “I moved my family to Ahousaht in 2010, for employment, and we stayed here. “It was a bit of a transition for her, moving to a small community. She played basketball all through high school. She played in all the Native tournaments. She

Submitted photo

Shakayla Thomas did well. “She has a good head on her shoulders; she knows what is right. Our long-term goal was to get her to university.” That meant continuous encouragement to get out and exercise, to practice hard and to avoid pitfalls like drinking and drugs. In her first year at Maaqtusiis, Shakayla played in the 2012 Junior AllNative Tournament, hosted by Hesquiaht First Nation in Port Alberni. She and her Mystic Sunz teammates won the girls championship. While living in Nanaimo, Shakayla spent much of her free time at the Neutral Zone, which is affiliated with the Friendship Centre – Tillicum House. The Neutral Zone provided support and activities for both children and adults. “It was mainly First Nations, but it was also open to the general public,” she said, explaining, “for people who didn’t have much.” For many, it was a chance to get a good meal. For Shakayla, it was a chance to play basketball. Paul notes that Shakayla has been encouraged to fully embrace her Nuu-chahnulth culture. “We had a traditional coming-of-age party for her, with her family,” he said. “She does attend cultural events.” Paul said Shakayla learned the spiri-

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tual cleansing/bathing ritual known as oosimch. He said that training worked in reverse when he was having difficulty dealing with a death and an upcoming funeral. A counsellor suggested that he needed oosimch. “Shakayla attended the ritual – at six in the morning. She was rubbing her eyes and half-awake. It still touches me to this day. There I was, up to my chest in icecold water, praying and screaming and doing what I had to do.” Paul helped Shakayla write a paper for her application to Quest. The piece described the natural laws of Shakayla’s community in Ahousaht. “That is what is going to drive her through university,” Paul said. “Remembering that – the simplicity of how our ancestors lived – you can marry that with today’s [realities] - whether you’re struggling with university, whether you’re getting up in the morning to go to the gym, or the academics. Remember how you got there; remember what you learned in the potlatch, in the ceremonies, in the culture. It will drive you.” Shakayla said Quest does not have many First Nations students. “But they do have connections with the Squamish Nations. They bring elders to campus, to do lectures and presentations. Recently, they did a presentation on residential schools to one of the courses.” As a Nuu-chah-nulth member grounded in her own culture, she is finding opportunities to share her language and culture with her non-indigenous classmates. And many are fully receptive, she noted. “I do speak with my roommates and friends. They ask me questions, because they are curious,” she said. “I do talk about where I’m from and what our beliefs are.” Paul feels strongly that education is the key for First Nations to move beyond the toxic legacy of the residential schools and the resulting intergenerational trauma. Shakayla said she does recognize the multi-generational effects of the residential school horror and of the embedded racism in Canadian history. “The way they were treated, it was brought along to future generations that you were not good enough to go further,” she said. “They were told they were never going to amount to anything and they needed other people to tell them what they were good at.” Shakayla said the course system at Quest is not typical for post-secondary schools.

“Classes run Monday to Friday. You chose from a morning class, 9 to 12, or afternoon, 1 to 4. You chose the course online. Right now, I’m in afternoon.” As she explained, instead of juggling five courses for a full term, students complete one block in three and a half weeks, then proceed to the next block. And by the way, those classes are limited to 20 students. “Right now, I’m taking Democracy and Justice,” she said. “Our workload is bigger. That is to get a better focus on the course. We do a lot of essays and bigger papers.” The course ends on a Wednesday, followed by Block Break. On Monday, it’s a whole new course. “My next course is Q Skills,” she said. The course is designed to build up the math skills that will be required as the student progresses towards a degree. Shakayla said while her first choice to obtain a master’s degree in psychology, she might decide to move into social work. Asked if her goal is to practice those skills in her home community, she said her first choice would be to start in a new small community for a few years, before bringing her skills and experience back to Ahousaht. For now, it is Democracy and Justice, plus basketball – lots of it. “It’s very intense. I had to get used to a lot more practices – and just using the actual basketball terms,” she said. Part of college ball is being able to express it in accepted technical terms. It’s different from high school. Shakayla agrees that basketball, or sports in general, provide an opportunity to acquire an education. And she had plenty of talented teammates back home. “There is so much talent here. Shakayla is not the only kid who could use basketball as a gateway to university,” Paul said. “I’m hoping to drag more people out here,” Shakayla said. “This is a really good school. You interact with everybody - especially having small classes.” For young people from isolated communities, it’s a growing experience, she said. Shakayla said student ballplayers do get some free time on Sundays. Squamish does have a Friendship Centre. “There are a couple of tutors who go down to the Friendship Centre on Sundays to do some teaching. I’m thinking about going down there to help. They recently had a pow-wow.”

Wishing you all the happiness of the season and peace and prosperity in the new year.


Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 14, 2017

Ditidaht player combines hockey with fitness studies After years in the junior ranks, Connor Logan joined the State University of New York hockey team last fall By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-sa Contributor Plattsburgh, NY - Following a brief adjustment period Connor, Logan is enjoying his college life as a student and athlete. The 21-year-old member of the Ditidaht First Nation is a rookie forward with the State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh Cardinals men’s hockey team. The Cardinals, a Division 3 squad, compete in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC), which features nine clubs. “I knew I wanted to play college hockey somewhere,” Logan said. “And I wanted to find a place with good academics that I could pursue at the same time.” Logan is enrolled in the school’s fouryear Fitness and Wellness program. It’s actually been a number of years since Logan was in school. He graduated from Belmont Secondary School in Victoria back in the spring of 2014. And he spent the past three years focussing solely on his hockey career. During the 2016-17 campaign, his final season of junior eligibility, Logan was a member of the Battlefords North Stars, part of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. And the year before that he toiled with the Prince George Spruce Kings, who compete in the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). Upon graduating from high school, Logan bounced around between three junior franchises during the 2014-15 season. Not only did he suit up for the

23

Photo by Gabe Dickens

The 21-year-old forward is currently playing university hockey with the Plattsburgh Cardinals. BCHL’s Powell River Kings, but he also played for the Peninsula Panthers and the Campbell River Storm. Both the Panthers and Storm are Junior B squads that participate in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. Logan admits it was a bit of a change for him, being in class again now more than three years after he graduated from high school. “It was definitely an adjustment for sure,” he said. “It took me two to three weeks to wrap my head around it that I was back in school. Once I got used to it, it’s not as hard now. I can handle the school and the hockey now.” Eventually Logan aspires to become a strength and conditioning coach. But he

is hoping to delay that part of his life so he can continue to play hockey after his collegiate career. “Right now I’d like to go pro if possible,” he said. “But right now I’m just taking it year by year.” Several Division 3 programs in the United States expressed an interest in Logan. But he didn’t accept his offer until August of this year, mere weeks before the school year started. SUNY Plattsburgh had been pursuing him for some time. “It was probably since last Christmas,” he said. “We continued to talk right up until the time I signed with them in August.” Logan didn’t seem too concerned about taking his time before announcing where he wanted to spend his collegiate career. “I took a bit longer to commit,” he said.

“I wanted to make sure the place I committed to was the right place for me since I would be spending my next four years there. I talked to quite a few schools. But I liked the program that (SUNY Plattsburgh) were offering.” Cardinals’ coach Bob Emery is glad that Logan eventually agreed to sign with his squad. “It was touch and go there,” said Emery, who is in his 29th season of coaching the SUNY Plattsburgh squad. “But no doubt he was a player we really wanted. If he wasn’t we would have moved on to other recruits because it was so late in the summer.” Logan didn’t travel from his home in Victoria to Plattsburgh before committing to the school. “I didn’t actually visit the school (before signing with them),” he said. “I just saw videos about the school and program and I did my homework on them.” The Cardinals are carrying 26 players on their roster this season. A maximum of 20 can dress for each match. Logan has played in six of the club’s first eight contests this season and has one assist thus far. He realizes he needs to continue to perform well to remain in the club’s starting lineup. “You have to play well every night,” he said. “Everyone on our team is a good hockey player.” Logan added the U.S. collegiate ranks are indeed a step up from the Junior A leagues in Canada. “Everyone at the Division 3 level was the top player on their junior clubs,” he said. “Every step you take further in your career (the competition) gets better and better.”

Saturday, December 23 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away.May this be a year of celebrations for everyone, Merry Christmas to all! Jeannette Watts Jeannette Tremblay Diane Lindholm Matilda Atleo Melissa Bordal Laurie Sinclair Sonia Somerville Jackelyn Seitcher

Marian Webster Cynthia Fitton Katelyn Thompson Amanda Aspinall Christine Curley Sharon Johnson Alysha Jones Lynne West Kelsey Rix

Deb Melvin Vanessa Gallic Lucy Chiasson Heidi Nikiforuk Darryl Harsch Francine Gascoyne Robyn Clarke Kathleen Harris

NTC’s Nursing Department


December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 17

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Wonderful New Year NTC’s Finance Department wishes all a peaceful and joyous Holiday and a Happy New Year

Claire Trevena,

MLA North Island claire.trevena.mla@leg.bc.ca 1-866-387-5100

Scott Fraser,

MLA Mid Island-Pacific Rim scott.fraser.mla@leg.bc.ca 1-866-870-4190

Gudrun Haase Leona Dick Michelle Sabbas Patricia Little Richard Sam

Trevor Ginger Brenda Read Sterling Watts Lynn Plouffe Kelly VanMetre


Page 18— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 14, 2017

JOB OPPORTUNITIES TSOW-TUN LE LUM SOCIETY HELPING HOUSE PO Box 370, 699 Capilano Road Lantzville, British Columbia V0R 2H0 Telephone: (250) 390-3123 Fax: (250) 390-3119 Administrative Assistant Full-Time Position Closing Date: Tues, Jan. 2, 2018

Community Liaison Full-Time Position Closing Date: Tues, Jan 2, 2018

We are seeking a responsible and highly organized individual to perform a variety of administrative and clerical tasks. Duties include providing administrative support to the Executive Director and Program Director, and assisting in daily office needs.

Reporting to the Program Director, the purpose of this position is to provide outreach and networking services for clients who are, or have been incarcerated, and are currently under the jurisdiction of Correctional Service Canada. The Community Liaison will connect with individuals in institutions who are expressing an interest in attending Tsow-Tun Le Lum, in order to educate them about who we are and the programs we offer, and to assess if they are an appropriate candidate and are ready for treatment. The liaison will continue to connect and support the successful candidates while they are in program at Tsow-Tun Le Lum and then provide after-care support while the client is reintegrating back into community.

Primary Responsibilities • Understand and maintain all Tsow-Tun Le Lum’s policies and procedures • Answer and direct phone calls, Organize and schedule appointments • Plan meetings and record minutes • Write and distribute emails, memos, letters, faxes and forms • Assist in the preparation of regularly scheduled reports • Maintain a filing system, arrange and book travel • Assist in updating and maintaining office policies and procedures • Update website as required • Submit and reconcile expense reports • Assist in fund-raising and grant applications Requirements • Proven experience as an administrative assistant • Knowledge of office management systems and procedures • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, specifically Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Publisher • Excellent time management skills and the ability to prioritize work • Attention to details and good problem-solving skills • Excellent written and verbal communication skills • Strong organizational skills and the ability to multi-task • High School diploma plus other appropriate training • Ability to work independently and as part of a team • Knowledge of website management and maintenance (Please see additional requirements, & information regarding cover letter & resume below) Bookkeeper Part-Time Position Closing date: Tues, Jan. 2, 2018 Tsow-Tun Le Lum requires Full Accounting Cycle capacity and experience in its position of Bookkeeper; who is also expected to be knowledgeable of and work within Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. (G.A.A.P.). The Bookkeeper is responsible for the records of all financial transactions undertaken by Tsow-Tun Le Lum. Primary Responsibilities • Journalize and post all transactions • Use acceptable source documents for all transactions • Payroll, accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable • Production of periodic Financial Statements • Production of reports as required/requested by Board and Management • Completing bank deposits on a timely basis • Maintaining Personnel files • Administer/Oversee petty cash expenditures

Primary Responsibilities • Understand and maintain Tsow-Tun Le Lum’s policies and procedures • Travel to institutions and interview individuals who are expressing an interest in attending TTLL • Determine their suitability for treatment and help prepare them for programming • Attend treatment team meetings whenever possible, to seek assistance in assessing potential clients and to discuss the progress of individuals already in program. • Stay connected with the clients who will be attending TTLL and continue to provide support to keep them focused while in program • Network in community to locate resources available, who qualifies and how to access them • Provide after-care support to clients who complete program, by connecting them with appropriate community resources, starting and maintaining a support group for individuals reintegrating into community and providing individual counselling when needed • Compile reports and maintain confidential records as required Requirements • A university degree or the equivalent in counselling • Proven experience counselling individuals who have trauma and addiction issues • Experience working with individuals who have been incarcerated • Excellent time management skills and the ability to prioritize work • Attention to detail and good problem-solving skills • Strong organizational skills and the ability to multi task • Ability to work independently • Ability to work as part of a team • Good interpersonal skills and the • Ability to network with other organizations in community • A willingness to travel and be away from home. • Good computer skills and experience with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook (Please see additional requirements, & information regarding cover letter & resume below) Recovery Care Worker Casual: 0 – 40 hours per week Accepting applications ongoing

Requirements • Two years college or university • Sufficient knowledge and experience to function independently • Good communication skills, both oral and written • Ability to work well in a team environment • High level of computer skills, experience with SAGE Simply Accounting • Demonstrated problem solving skills • Critical thinking and detail oriented

(Please see additional requirements, & information regarding cover letter & resume below)

(Please see additional requirements, & information regarding cover letter & resume below)

• • •

Wanted a CRCW to provide responsibility for the general supervision of the residents and the Centre during the appropriate shifts. This position supports the counsellors’ management of residents. This position is responsible for the security of the Centre and performing janitorial and administrative tasks related to the position. The incumbent of this position will have a varying casual shift patterns which can be anywhere between 0 to 40 hours per week, which includes graveyard-nights and weekend shifts.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: A criminal record check will be conducted. Knowledge of Aboriginal people, culture and traditions. Holds a valid First Aid certificate or willing to attend First Aid training. In meeting the objectives and philosophies of the Society, preference will be given to qualified individuals of Aboriginal Ancestry in accordance with Section 42 of the BC Human Rights Code. The successful candidates will have a willingness to role model and maintain an abstinent lifestyle, and be two (2) years alcohol and drug free. Please address a Cover Letter and Resume to: Att: Personnel Committee, Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society PO Box 370, 699 Capilano Rd, Lantzville, BC, V0R 2H0 Fax: (250) 390-3119 Email: info@tsowtunlelum.org On your Cover Letter: Please state the length you’ve been abstinent from alcohol or drugs; also, please state your aboriginal ancestry. Tsow-Tun Le Lum Personnel Committee will be accepting applications. Only those people selected for an interview will be contacted. The TTLL Personnel Committee thanks you for your interest.


December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 19

Adults find it’s never too late to complete high school Learners in their 60s crack the books, encouraging youth to get ahead in life by earning a Dogwood Diploma By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC - The Nuu-chah-nulth Employment and Training Program is offering up another round of education upgrading for adults. Ellie Sampson is a case manager at NETP. She oversees the Adult Learning and upgrading Program. In its third year of adult upgrading NETP has partnered with the Eighth Avenue Learning Centre and SD70, who provide a teacher to work with the adult learners once a week. Erik Deutsch teaches special education and math at Eighth Avenue Learning Centre in Port Alberni. Every Thursday morning he goes to the NETP offices to work with the adult learners. This is his second year to teach the program. Sampson says there are 14 registered for the class but about ten learners show up consistently to do the self-paced work. The goal is to help adults achieve a Grade 12 education in a way that works for them. The time it takes to earn an Adult Dogwood Diploma (12th grade graduation) depends on the learner; each one comes with a different starting point and needs. In 2016, the three successful adult graduates started in January and worked consistently to meet the course requirements by the end of June. “It was a bit close but they all finished because they all attended every week,” said Sampson. There are five required courses one must complete in order to earn an Adult Dogwood Diploma. Mandatory classes include a language arts class like English or Communications 12 and they must also complete Math 11. They may select three Grade 12 electives if necessary. However, some adults may have previous work training or life experiences that may go towards the credits needed to graduate. A meeting with Deutsch during

Photo by Denise Titian

Eric and Fanny Mack, who are 63 and 62 respectively, work on completing their Grade 12 education at the Eighth Avenue Learning Centre in Port Alberni. intake will help determine the amount of work an adult leaner needs to do to earn a diploma. “Each registered student works at their own pace with NETP providing support, space, materials and any necessary equipment like computers,” said Sampson. Some learners prefer working on lessons by computer while others would rather have the pages printed up so they can handwrite their answers. Last year school year three NETP Adult Learning students successfully completed

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their programs and walked the stage with other graduates in June. The program normally runs from October to June but learners may sign up at any time. Toquaht elders Eric and Fanny Mack were inspired to take upgrading after their son completed the program in 2016. “I wanted to do this for years when I was living in Ukee (Ucluelet),” said Eric, 63. Haunted by the ghosts of residential school, Eric said he wasn’t getting anywhere. “Now I have more time and I want this

and now I have the chance,” Mack said. He enjoys the reading that is required but says that he finds writing a challenge. “But it will get better in time,” said Mack. “I love doing the work and I really encourage the young ones who are not in school to get an education so they can get good jobs,” said Fanny Mack, age 62. Their son completed the courses in 2016 and has come back to work on a course he needs in order to enter training to become a conservation officer.


Page 20— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 14, 2017

REGISTRATION REMINDER – STATUS AND BC MSP CARE CARDS This IMPORTANT REMINDER is critical for NEWBORNS be ENROLLED to access Health Benefits coverage under the BC Insurance Provincial Health Care Program Medical Service Plan Care Card/BC Services Card and the First Nations Status Card. IN HOSPITAL You receive a “Registration of Live Birth” form. Hospital staff can assist you to complete it. REGISTER YOUR BABY’S BIRTH – VITAL STATISTICS

Photo by Eric Plummer

Holding a message for his son in Vancouver, Rueben Thomas stands outside the new Teechuktl Mental Health offices on Third Avenue

Recovering addicts find support at uptown spot By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - On a rainy afternoon in mid-November Rueben Thomas stands outside the offices of Teechuktl Mental Health on Port Alberni’s Third Avenue, holding a sign he’s just made for the camera. “Love you son, Reno Montz,” reads the note to the nine-year-old boy who lives in Vancouver with his mother. “Miss you big time.” The gesture is one of the many displays of affection that easily come from Thomas towards his distant son. As a recovering alcoholic, his love for the boy provides constant motivation to maintain sobriety. “That’s my goal: I’ve been sober for eight years and I’m reaching out,” said Thomas, who hopes to spend time with Reno over Christmas. “I love him and I want to show him that I love him.” Behind Thomas stands the new Teechuktl offices, moved by the Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council from the former Argyle Street location in the summer. Thomas visits the location daily, and just took part in the offices’ ribbon cutting to mark the official opening on Nov. 16. “They’re my support group,” said Thomas, who regularly attends Teechuktl’s weekly men’s group counselling session. “I’ve been to six treatment centres just to get this far in my life.” Located in Port Alberni’s uptown district, the new Teechuktl office is right in the middle of where it needs to be to support urban clients, said the department’s southern region coordinator Ruby Ambrose. Staff offer a variety of wellness services from a Nuu-chah-nulth perspective, but the location is open to anybody in need, she said. Services include cultural support through the Quu’asa program. “A lot of them, they come here when they’re really struggling, and ceremony gives them an opportunity to let go, and it also uplifts their spirit,” said Ambrose, adding that staff provide brushings and other cultural supports in a designated room at the Teechuktl location or, if possible, outdoors. “Early in the morning they will bring somebody to the river or out to the mountain to do ceremony.” These ceremonial practices remind Thomas of the positive influences from his upbringing in Ahousaht. “I believe in our culture, I believe in our songs, I believe in what my uncle taught me,” he said. “You’ve got to believe or you’re not going to go anywhere.”

For Thomas, overcoming alcohol abuse entailed relocating to Port Alberni for a fresh start seven years ago. He’s had to change the company he keeps to maintain sobriety. “I did what the other guys did,” recalled Thomas, who now swims and exercises to maintain his health. “Age goes fast. I have six uncles who are alcoholics, they stay in one house.” The lure of certain old friends and family are what Rita Marlene Watts calls “triggers” that can bring relapse into addiction. In recovery for four years, Watts doesn’t have to look far to see the trappings of her former life. There were times that the availability of drugs and alcohol prompted Watts to ask staff for a ride home after visiting Teechuktl’s former office on Argyle Street. “A trigger to me is alcohol,” she said. “It’s a person inviting you over to their place and I know what they do, I know that they do drugs, I know that they drink.” “In my sobriety, I have changed my friends,” she added. “I don’t carry drug addicts’ phone numbers.” Watts attends Teechuktl’s women’s group session every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon to share her story and hear from others. Recovering from her addictions has taught Watts how to sit and listen, she said. “It’s an open conversation. The counsellor is sitting and you’re able to unload, you’re able to share whatever you want to share,” she said. “Everybody needs help in some shape or form, no matter what you are. You could be [from] residential school, you could be sexually abused, you could be an abuser, you could be an alcoholic, you could be a drug addict and you just want to speak to somebody - just because you’ve got that trigger that is pulling you.” Over the last four years several rounds of treatment at different centres has helped Watts come to terms with abuse she suffered in the past. “I’ve learned to let it go,” she said. “If you hold onto it you’re always going to walk hard, but, you’ve got to learn to let it go so that you can start walking lightly and carry on with your life.” A big part of Watts’ life now is caring for two of her grandchildren, plus two others. “I’m now a foster parent, I’ve got four children in my home,” she said. “I’ve taken all of that hard life, I’ve flipped it and threw it away, and turned myself into a positive woman.”

IT’S IMPORTANT: - You must register a birth with Vital Statistics in order to receive a birth certificate for your child. A birth certificate that states the parent’s information is necessary to obtain status or community membership/ medical services. Vital Statistics Office in Victoria 1-250-952-2681/818 Fort Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1H8 BIRTH CERTIFICATE When requesting a birth certificate you will have to complete an “Application for Service” form and pay the applicable fee. Through Vital Statistics and accessible online via “BC Birth Certificates “ BC MSP CARE/SERVICES CARD – HEALTH CLINICS AND HOSPITAL VISITS Failing to enroll a NEWBORN will normally result in Billings to a parent/ guardian on behalf of Newborns within a few months of Birth for BC MSP Care/Services Card. Doctors-hospitals and other medical providers will bill the parent/guardian directly when NEWBORN Is not registered because that is how the health providers normally get paid for visits/health services. FIRST NATIONS STATUS CARD – A SPECIAL NOTE – EXTENDED HEALTH BENEFITS Infants under the age of one {1} year are covered for First Nations Health Authority {FNHA} Health Benefits under their eligible parent {s}/guardians status number. Once a child is over the age of one{1} year, to continue receiving Health Benefits and Health Insurance premium coverage through FNHA, the child must have THEIR OWN REGISTERED STATUS NUMBER. To avoid discontinuance of coverage and direct billing health services for NEWBORN, the First Nations Health Benefits team and the NTC NIHB Health Benefits Health Department advises parents/guardians enroll their infants in the FNHA Health Benefits program at their EARLIEST CONVENIENCE WITHIN FIRST YEAR OF BIRTH.


December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 21

Families look for answers years after men go missing

Three First Nations men have not been seen in years, haunting Cowichan families with unanswered questions By Denise Titian Ha-Shilh-Sa Reporter Duncan, BC - This winter the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls continued with hearings at specific locations across the country. Hundreds of testimonies have been heard as the inquiry seeks to address the “widespread systemic violence” affecting indigenous women and girls, according the initiative’s chief commissioner Marion Buller. But a recent meeting in Duncan indicates the issue could apply to aboriginal men as well. Families and members of the Cowichan Tribes are struggling to understand why three individuals from the band remain missing since they were last seen in one area of the Vancouver Island town. Cowichan Tribes leadership hosted the meeting on Nov. 21 to provide information on the cases. A member of the local RCMP detachment was there to deliver information from the investigative perspective. The nightmare for the Louie/Peter family started on Mar. 1, 2007 when their 14 year-old son Desmond failed to return home. The last confirmed sighting of Desmond was on Cowichan Way, near the old Malaspina College - across the street, south of the Real Canadian Superstore - in Duncan, B.C. More than eight years later in early August 2015, Ian Henry, 26, left his Tzouhalem Road home on his bicycle. A family member reported seeing him on Aug. 10, 2015 near the Stone Butter Church on Tzouhalem Road. On Aug. 27 a hoodie was found in the bushes nearly three kilometres away, just off of Tzouhalem. RCMP believe the hoodie could have belonged to Ian Henry and took it into evidence. Then, on Feb. 10, 2015, Everett Jones, 47, disappeared near his home in the Club Road area of Duncan. Club Road is less than a kilometer west of the Real Canadian Superstore. Jones, whose father is Pacheedaht, is described as being of diminished mental capacity and was known to go for walks to nearby commercial areas in downtown Duncan. According to a family member, Jones was spotted on surveillance video at a business near his home around the time he disappeared. All three men are aboriginal and connected to Cowichan Tribes. Another thing they have in common is that they all have special needs. According to a relative of the three men, two are of diminished mental capacity and the third was diagnosed with mental disorder that requires medication. Corporal Kerry Howse, head of the Duncan RCMP’s First Nations Unit, said Desmond Peter’s file has been transferred to the BC Missing Person’s Centre in Vancouver for complete review with hopes that a fresh set of eyes may reveal clues. Howse said there have been no new leads in the Henry case, and it has gone to the RCMP’s Major Crime Unit in Victoria for review. The RCMP is investigating tips in the case of Everett Jones, said Howse. All three cases are still open and being actively investigated, said Cpl. Howse, and all three families receive updates from authorities on a monthly basis. But M. Patsy Jones disagrees. She said one family hasn’t heard an update for three months while it’s been nearly a year for the other family. M. Patsy Jones is a Cowichan Tribes member. A mother, grandmother and tire-

Submitted photo

Everett Jones, Ian Henry and Desmond Peter remain missing since they were last seen in Duncan. A meeting involving RCMP and the Cowichan Tribes was held on Nov. 21 in Duncan to discusses the unsolved cases. less volunteer, Jones is no stranger to the trauma of having a loved one go missing. Back in 1977 when she was still a small child, Jones’ older sister, in her early 20s, went missing. Back then it was family that went out searching, and it was family that found her sister’s remains in a rural area of Duncan, B.C. Her sister had been murdered. “It’s a cold case; over the years evidence deteriorates but we still keep pushing forward, hoping to get answers,” said Jones. Jones has spearheaded meetings and searches for the missing men. She does it because she is related to all three. “If I don’t do it, who will?” she asks.

“No matter where I go, I still watch for him; I look into people’s faces, always watching for him.” ~ Elizabeth Louie, whose son has been missing for 10 years With the help of a handful of relatives Jones and her team have searched from forests and trails around Mt. Tzouhalem down the rivers and rural areas in the Cowichan Valley all the way to the estuary of Cowichan Bay. Jones has also been investigating leads and passing tips to the local RCMP. She brought her files to the update meeting and spent much of her time delivering information and fielding questions from the crowd, often times, speaking along with the RCMP spokesperson. Following the brief RCMP update Cpl. Howse invited questions from the crowd. When asked if authorities believe the cases are linked, Howse replied that they have no reason to believe this is the case. Cpl. Howse said the police don’t know what happened to the men, but he believes that the community is safe. “I’ve been here two years and I feel safe,” he said. An elderly Cowichan Tribes woman took exception to Cpl. Howse’s comment, saying she doesn’t feel safe. “People drive by and throw rocks at our men and our women; our people go missing or get murdered. I don’t feel safe,” said Cathy Jim. Jones confirmed that the drive-by attacks happen to Cowichan Tribes members and she urged people to report them immediately. “We get lots of leads but by the time we hear about it, the stories are weeks old,” she said. Jones said people need to take note of vehicle descriptions, license plate numbers and any other descriptions and report it as soon as possible so that the violent incidents can be

Photo by Denise Titian

Cpl. Howse of the Duncan RCMP stands with Monica Patsy Jones at a gathering to discuss the cases of three men who have been missing in the Cowichan Valley. acted upon. “Yes, its unsafe and our chief and council of Cowichan Tribes have hired security who are working to help keep our people safe,” said Jim. She reminded people of the need to stick together and never let the youth go out alone. It is incidents like these, and having no answers for their missing family members that make some of the people of Cowichan Tribes feel under attack. “It is not easy to have a missing child,” said elder Myra Charlie. Her son, Everett Jones has been missing for nearly two years. “I keep praying to get them back,” she shared, before thanking all that are working to find the missing men. “My son has been missing for 10 years,” said Elizabeth Louie. She went on to say that he would have had his 24th birthday in November and they would have done something special. She said the Missing Person’s Center wants to do an age-progression image of her son based on photographs of him and his biological parents. The family is working on getting the necessary materials to the centre. “No matter where I go, I still watch for him; I look into people’s faces, always watching for him,” she said through tears. Louie said it is this time of the year that they do something to remind people that he is still missing. It might be a walk or a candlelight vigil. “This time of year is important for me,” she said. She hopes

more can be done to find him. Cpl. Howse responded by saying that files go to Missing Persons Centres in Victoria and Vancouver where they look for similarities between cases and enter information into a database. “If there are similarities between cases, they will notify us,” said Howse. He went on to say that the RCMP deal with an average of three missing persons cases a night, but the people usually turn up. Chief William Seymour said that his cousin is the father of Ian Henry and he knows the pain the family endures. “It is community support that keeps them moving forward,” said Seymour. He went on to say that Cowichan Tribes Fisheries staff had been working hard in the search. “They’ve searched the rivers and when the weather allowed, they dove the rivers,” he told the crowd. Jones said she will continue searching, hopefully with the help of political leaders. She noted that more tips have been coming to her since the update meeting and they have been passed on to the RCMP. “I’ve always said from the start that we are going to find them and bring them home,” said Jones. If you have any information or have seen any of these men, please contact North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250748-5522.


Page 22— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 14, 2017

Community & Beyond

Memorial for Leon Murphy

Mar. 18, 2018

Gold River Memorial for Leon Murphy will take place March 31,2018 at Wah-mesh gym in Gold River 1 pm. Suicide Peer Support Group

First Thursday, Monthly

Port Alberni The KUU-US Crisis Line Society hold a Suicide Peer Support Group Meeting on the first Thursday of each month at the KUU-US Office location. 4589 Adelaide. Photo by Melody Charlie

Elders Arlene Paul and Betty Keitlah joke about Mrs. Claus wearing a bikini this year due to global warming at the Ahousaht Elders Christmas Lunch.

Birthdays and Congratulations Congratulations to the new President Judith Sayers and new Vice President Andrew Callicum, thank you for taking on the responsibility of leading the council. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the NTC Staff. Merry Christams and Happy New Year to all the 659ers from another 659er. Happy Birsthday to my daughter Eliza George on Dec. 17 From Corby George and Lorraine Williams in Lynnwood Washington, USA.

Beginner book developed to revitalize old language

By Carla Moss Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor

Submitted photo

The Child & Youth Service Department at NTC hosted the 2nd annual Parent Self Care Night on Thursday November 16th in partnership with the Port Alberni Friendship Center. A big thank-you to all of the service providers who pampered our families and we look forward to seeing you all again next year in November.

The foundation for Tla-o-quia-ht’s language learning and revitalization is progressing with the release of a new beginner language book with accompanying audio CD and flashcards. ʔuktisýak huḥtakšiixḥ ciiqciqasa (A guide for learning to speak our own language), will be introduced to the Tla-o-qui-aht community at their Dec. 14, Christmas Party. It started as a University of Victoria Language Revitalization class assignment and became a community project creating a tool for beginning Tla-o-qui-aht language learners. A step in the direction of fluency, one of project coordinator Ivy Martin’s goals with the book is “to build confidence around what’s considered beginner. With this book, we may find we know a lot more than we thought we did and that it’s possible to relearn what some of us thought was lost.” ʔuktisýak huḥtakšiixḥ ciiqciqasa (A guide for learning to speak our own language) includes a section for parents and teachers generated from phrases provided by Headstart coordinator Carol Frank, and translated by Moses and Levi Martin. The audio CD provides recordings of fluent Tla-o-qui-aht first speakers and some students to provide assistance with pronunciation. “My children acquired the Nuu-chah-nulth sounds from listening to recordings of family elders, as well as everyday language usage in our family,” said Martin. “While that took us a step towards learning the alphabet, what I did for my family was to put little books and flashcards around the house. That included words they already knew spelled in Nuu-chah-nulth characters and then sound it out underneath. That would help them connect the sound with the letter.” It’s Martin’s hope that this project includes a wide array of people - from as young as seven to Tla-o-qui-aht first speakers born before 1945 - and that it continues to be inclusive and connected. “I feel the language has power to heal and connect families, in part by connecting the youngest with the eldest generations around something that is of value to Tla-o-qui-aht,” said Martin. “We have the choice to strengthen our connections by honouring the important role of every person within Tla-o-qui-aht nation in tending to the language…No role is a small role. Every time someone is using the language, every time family shares language we’re adding to Tla-o-qui-aht’s language foundation.” The learning suggestions like “I spy” included in the book and the counting

Photo by Carla Moss

Wiya Martin, 7, made the cover artfor the Tla-o-qui-aht Language Guide. song build upon the “learning through fun” and the development of language as one aspect of communication. “How we communicate as Quuʔas extends beyond just the words that are spoken to include our body language, our expressions, tone of voice,” said Martin. “Think how we raise our eyebrows. So when we connect with each other with language as a family it’s fun and it’s rich with learning opportunity to explore the other areas of our communication as well.” “While our children may be saying things with an English accent at times, they are really confident and it’s critical they haven’t had any negative experiences surrounding it to contaminate their willingness to learn and speak and contribute,” she added. First speakers and Tla-o-qui-aht Elders, Dora Frank, Levi Martin and Moses Martin contributed translations and recordings. Senior Tla-o-qui-aht Language student Gisele Martin, shared some of her musical learning tools for inclusion in the accompanying cd and language students Triton and Huya Martin shared their knowledge of the alphabet in the audio. Artists Marika Swan, Andrea Fergusson, Gene Antoine, Wiya Martin and Ivy herself provided the artwork for the book. “When we really begin to learn and understand our language we will begin to live how our elders hoped by being the responsible caretakers we say we are,” said Tla-o-qui-aht elder, first speaker and project contributor Moses Martin. “My own hope is that in 10 or 20 years Clayoquot Sound will adopt the Tla-o-qui-aht Language as an official language.”


December 14, 2017—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 23

UVic bestows honorary degree on Tla-o-qui-aht elder Barney Williams was among four distinguished Canadians to receive a doctor of laws degree at fall convocation By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC - Tla-o-qui-aht elder Barney Williams Jr. has become the latest Nuu-chah-nulth-aht to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Victoria. Williams shares the honor with three other people: BC’s first information and privacy commissioner, David Flaherty, lawyer Sheridan Scott, and former Gitxsan-Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council president Neil Sterritt. Each received an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University of Victoria’s fall convocation ceremony held Nov. 14. The University of Victoria awards several honorary degrees each year. By doing so, they recognize extraordinary achievement in community, national or international service. Their nomination criteria notes that they endeavor to honour individuals whose accomplishments are of such excellence that they provide, through example, inspiration and leadership to the graduates of the university. Williams, a respected Tla-o-qui-aht elder, is a residential school survivor who has gone on to make great contributions to his people and the public at large through his work. A registered clinical counsellor, Williams has worked with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and serves as an elder at UVic, helping guide the university’s role in reconciliation. He also serves as an elder advisor at Tsow-tun Le Lum Society Treatment Centre. The 2017 fall convocation ceremonies at UVic marked the successful completion of academic studies for more than 1,396 graduates. Some joined Williams in the commencement ceremony. Following the university’s territorial acknowledgment to the Songhees and

Photo by Denise Titian

Tla-o-qui-aht elder Barney Williams was granted an honorary doctor of laws degree by the University of Victoria Nov. 14. Esquimalt First Nations, Dr. Skip Dick, Songhees elder, welcomed the people and congratulated the class of 2017. Ian Case, Director of Farquhar Auditorium at the University, briefly introduced Williams and outlined his contributions to society before asking Chancellor Shelagh Rogers to award an honorary doctor of laws degree to the elder. In his acceptance speech Williams thanked those that bestowed this honour upon him. “I am overwhelmed with emotion, humility, humbleness and gratitude,” he said.

He talked about the years he spent in that dark place called the Indian residential school, and the damage it did to him and to others. “But I am here today,” said Williams. He credited his grandmother, whom he called his champion, for giving him the love, support and teachings he would need to get on with a productive life. “She was my greatest teacher,” said Williams. He also thanked his relative and fellow UVic doctorate of education recipient (2016), Umeek, Dr. Richard Atleo.

Williams talked about the reconciliation work he does with the university as an elder. As he congratulated the UVic class of 2017 he talked about how their hard work will reward them with a journey. “You will help us go forward, hand-in-hand, together on this journey of reconciliation,” he told them. Before closing, Williams thanked his friends and family, his children and grandchildren, and finally, his beautiful wife Trina.

Sayers speaks about future of reconciliation at VIU By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Nanaimo, BC – The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council president was the first speaker in a new monthly lecture series at Vancouver Island University addressing how Canada can improve its relationship with Indigenous Peoples. “Reconciliation is a complex concept that holds a different meaning for each individual,” said Dr. Judith Sayers in a news release issued from the university before the talk. Sayers spoke at VIU’s Nanaimo campus on Monday, Dec. 4, where she discussed the complexities of finding a common definition for reconciliation. Her presentation was followed by a question period. “I will also talk about the opportunities

and barriers to resolving past grievances and finding new solutions to reconciliation,” she added. The free monthly lecture series is being hosted by VIU’s Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, with the intention of stimulating dialogue about the relationship between the country’s indigenous and non-indigenous people. “Reconciliation is a new idea in Canada,” said the centre’s director, Douglas White. “We are at an important moment in Canada that calls for national reflection of a deep kind on this topic.” Another confirmed speaker in the series is Adam Olsen, the MLA for Saanich North and the Islands who is a member of the Tsartlip First Nation. Olsen is scheduled to speak on Jan. 8.

“The province is in transition and the relationship between the provincial government and aboriginal people in B.C. needs to change to keep pace,” he said. “Words are not enough. Change will require action. Creating certainty in British Columbia will require open communication, collaboration and creative thinking.” With approximately 2,000 indigenous students, one eighth of VIU’s campus is aboriginal. The university hopes to increase this enrollment with the help of a $13.5-million contribution from the Mastercard and Rideau Hall foundations that was announced on Sept. 20. Over the next five years, $9 million of this funding will support scholarships for indigenous students. The lecture series takes place in VIU’s Building 180, Lecture Theatre 134.

Judith Sayers

Wishing you a joyful holiday season, and a happy new year!! -NTC Education Department (Vicky, Wendy, Ian, Randy, Ahmber)


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