INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 48 - No. 23—December 2, 2021 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776
Photo by Eric Plummer
Wally Samuel and Keesa Watts dance at a gathering on Nov. 27 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. Held on Samuel’s 75th birthday, the event was an expression of gratitude towards those who supported him through cancer treatment. Story on page 15.
Nations reach out to new ﬁsheries minister Nuu-chah-nulth must have half of the overall catch west of Vancouver Island, says a recently passed motion By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Canada’s newly appointed ﬁsheries minister has inherited a formidable task on the west coast of Vancouver Island, where a contentious relationship with Nuu-chah-nulth has seen decades of litigation, stalled negotiations and a recent directive from hereditary chiefs for their people to ﬁsh according to the nations’ own plans. Following this fall’s federal election that brought the Liberals back to a minority government, Vancouver-based MP Joyce Murray was appointed minster of Fisheries and Oceans in October. The federal ministry operates under the mandate of “sustainably managing ﬁsheries and aquaculture,” while “working with ﬁshers, coastal and Indigenous communities to enable their continued prosperity from ﬁsh and seafood.” As Murray begins her new role, a cautionary letter was sent to her oﬃce on Nov. 10 from Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, and Cliﬀ Atleo Sr., chair of the Council of Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries, warn-
ing that scientiﬁc expertise will not be enough. “The collapse of salmon stocks in recent decades is a challenge that your department cannot address on its own based on scientiﬁc knowledge,” reads the letter. The letter from Sayers and Atleo also references a motion passed this fall by the council and the NTC. This resolution states that “meaningful reconciliation” includes a 50 per cent share in ﬁsheries west of Vancouver Island, under a comanagement arrangement with DFO that “respects Nuu-chah-nulth laws”. This would far exceed what the federal department allocated to the local First Nations earlier this year. Out of the 88,000 total allowable catch, 7,821 were set aside this spring for the ﬁve Nuuchah-nulth nations that operate T’aaqwiihak ﬁsheries, with another 5,000 allocated for First Nations’ food social and ceremonial purposes and 3,441 chinook for nations in the Maa-nulth treaty. Meanwhile, the sports ﬁshery was allocated 35,000 for the west coast of Vancouver Island, while the Area G commercial troll ﬂeet got 36,738 before the chinook season opened.
Inside this issue... No wrongdoing found for oﬃcer who shot Moore.........Page 3 Are clearcuts a factor in ﬂooding?..................................Page 5 Nuu-chah-nulth culture in school curriculum.................Page 8 Commissioner points to ‘over-policing’.......................Page 11 New campgrounds in development..............................Page 14
Preliminary catch data had the ﬁve nations bringing in 10,734 chinook, while the recreation ﬁshery was decreased to almost 23,000 and Area G brought in 25,225. “We just haven’t been able to exercise our right,” said Sayers during the NTC’s Annual General Meeting in October. “If you’ve ever talked to DFO, it’s like talking to the wall,” added Hesquiaht Chief Councillor Joshua Charleson during the meeting. “They come with an oﬀer, they can’t deviate from this oﬀer because they’re only mandated to give you what the minister has approved before the meeting. Negotiations have basically been stalemate since 2013.” For over a decade, the right of Nuuchah-nulth nations to commercially ﬁsh in their own territorial waters has been disputed in Canada’s courts. In a case involving the Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint, Hesquiaht, Mowachaht/Muchalaht and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in April that the ﬁve nations have the right to a ﬁshery “of a moderate commercial scale”. This court decision removed the terms “small scale”, “artisanal” and “local” that were
used in a prior judgement to deﬁne the scope of the nations’ ﬁsheries. Canada opted to not appeal that court decision, but T’aaq-wiihak’s share of chinook was only increased to 13,000. By August a directive came from the ﬁve nations’ Ha’wiih, informing their people to disregard DFO’s allocations in favour of the nations’ own ﬁshing plans. “We all went ﬁshing. We sold under the authority of our Ha’wiih,” said Charleson, adding that DFO oﬃcers came to the docks once to harass the Nuu-chahnulth ﬁshers. “One of the Tla-o-qui-aht Ha’wiih…he told DFO oﬃcers to leave. They never came back, they respected his words.” Following the Nuu-chah-nulth’s 50 per cent share of ﬁsheries oﬀ Vancouver Island’s west coast, Charleson explained that in the future nations that are directly tied to the court case will be following their own Ha’wiih ﬁshery management plans. The strategy will be for Ha’wiih to directly buy from their ﬁshers, explained Charleson. “The power of our ﬁshery is Ha’wiih,” he said. Continued on page 3.
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Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa— December 2, 2021
From fuel to food: Flooding brings hoarding frenzy Lineups up at gas stations and grocery stores, as meat, produce and toilet paper run out amid highway closures By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Vancouver Island and the lower mainland braced for the worst as another ‘atmospheric river’ swept over the region Nov. 14 and 15. The storm caused ﬂoods, washouts, mudslides and sink holes, stranding communities and claiming the lives of ﬁve people – one man remains missing. All were lost in the deadly mudslide on Highway 99, 35 kilometres north of Lillooet. The mid-November rainstorm did not hit Nuu-chah-nulth territories as hard. Some communities saw power failures and the road to Nitinaht Lake ﬂooded for a relatively short period of time. It was nothing unusual for this time of the year. On Vancouver Island travel on southern communities was disrupted when the Malahat suﬀered extensive damage due to heavy rainfall. Highway One was closed near Tunnel Hill on Nov. 16 as the northbound side of the road collapsed. The road was open during the day for single-lane essential services traﬃc. It was closed during the night for repairs. Malahat commuters were advised to take the Paciﬁc Marine Route through Sooke, Port Renfrew and Duncan. Some took the Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay ferry to bypass the Malahat. BC Ferries added additional sailings to accommodate stranded travelers. They also ran an extraordinary ferry sailing from Swartz Bay in Saanich to Duke Point in Nanaimo, supporting the movement of essential goods and travelers between Victoria and Nanaimo due to the impacts on the Malahat Highway. The three-hour round-trip BC Ferries sailings took place on Thursday, Nov. 18.
Photo supplied by Ministry of Public Safety
Flooding throughout British Columbia, particularly in the Lower Mainland (pictured) and Interior regions, has disrupted supply chains to Vancouver Island, causing some to buy out of panic. By Nov. 22 temporary repairs to the vincial government imposed a limit of 30 is a top priority, and the declaration will enable us to put the resources in place to Malahat portion of Highway 1 were com- liters of fuel per visit. make that happen.” “B.C. is prioritizing gasoline and diesel plete, opening both lanes of the highway. On Nov. 17 Ucluelet Mayor Mayco for essential vehicles, while working to But just north of Nanaimo a large sinkNoel issued a social media post assuring keep fuel available for people in B.C.,” hole was discovered on Nov. 18, closing stated the province. “Under the Emergen- west coast residents that they would be Highway 19, forcing motorists to use a okay. cy Program Act, an order restricting the detour. Traﬃc in and out of north Nanai“I wish to ensure everyone knows we purchase of vehicle fuel in certain regions mo was snarled for the weekend of Nov. are good here with supplies and food,” he 20 and 21. Some drivers reported that the of the province is in place until Novemwrote. ber 30 at midnight.” normally one-hour trip between Port AlThe Co-op Federation is keeping on top A provincial state of emergency was berni and Nanaimo took more than three. on things for us, he continued. Meanwhile highway closures and ﬂood- declared Nov. 17. “Items coming from Alberta are being “This provincewide declaration will ing throughout B.C. drove a hoarding ﬂown to Vancouver and trucked to the help us with the challenges ahead as we frenzy as people lined up at gas stations West Coast stores for the next couple recover from the utter devastation that’s and grocery stores, buying up fuel, meat, been caused by this natural disaster,” said weeks to ensure no disruptions in supproduce and toilet paper. Mike Farnworth, minister of Public Safe- ply,” Noel wrote. “Be Safe, think of othSeveral service stations in the Greater ty and Solicitor General. “Getting our rail ers and no one will go without.” Victoria area ran out of fuel while prices and roadways back up and in operation skyrocketed further up island. The pro-
December 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
No wrongdoing found: Oﬃcer who shot Moore walks New Brunswick Police Commission ﬁnds “insuﬃcient evidence” that policeman commi•ed a breach of conduct By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Edmundstun, N.B. – “We are a fair and independent civilian police oversight body,” reads the greeting page of the New Brunswick Police Commission, but friends and family of Chantel Moore beg to diﬀer after learning the commission cited insuﬃcient evidence as the reason that the police oﬃcer involved did not commit a breach of the Code of Professional Conduct Regulation. The Commission released its report Nov. 19. “The Commission has completed its review of the Police Act investigation conducted by an investigator appointed by the Commission and will take no further action as there is insuﬃcient evidence that the oﬃcer committed a breach of the Code of Professional Conduct Regulation,” said Commission Chair Marc Léger in the report. In other words, they found there was no wrongdoing on the part of Jeremy Sun, the Edmundston Police Force oﬃcer who shot 26-year-old Chantel Moore to death during a June 4, 2020 wellness check. “They don’t protect us, they only protect themselves!” wrote Martha Martin, mother of Chantel Moore, in a social media post after the report was released. “Cops investigation(s) cannot be done by retired cops…. They will never arrest their own!” The June 4, 2020 shooting death drew national attention after it was learned that Moore, a mother of a young daughter, had lost her life during a wellness check. She was, according to police testimony, asleep on her sofa in plain view of the police oﬃcer who went to check on her safety in response to a call from a concerned friend. Moore had been drinking with friends at her apartment hours earlier. By the time the police oﬃcer arrived at her thirdstory walk-up apartment, Moore’s friend had gone home. The oﬃcer alleged that when he woke Moore by pounding on her window, she retrieved something from the kitchen counter and went to the door. He said she was holding a blanket around herself with one hand while wielding a knife with the other. The oﬃcer told investigators that she refused to drop the knife after repeated, loud commands in French, and was advancing toward him in a threatening manner. Moore suﬀered multiple gunshot
Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot during a police wellness check on June 4, 2020. wounds and died on scene. called ‘justice system’ in Canada fail“This ﬁnding of no misconduct is outra- ing First Nations peoples,” said NTC geous,” said NTC President Judith SayVice-President Mariah Charleson. “We ers. “They and the Crown basically say cannot forget that Chantel was murdered it is ok to shoot an Indigenous woman and shot numerous times on a ‘wellness four times if the oﬃcer feels his life was check’ by an on-duty policeman. When endangered. That it is reasonable force. we see no accountability from these horHow can that be considered reasonable? rendous actions that have led to the loss A large oﬃcer against a small woman of precious life, it tells the whole world cannot disarm her? And has to shoot her that young First Nations women’s lives that many times?” don’t matter, which couldn’t be further “The systemic discrimination in the from the truth.” system is rampant and must be changed Charleson pointed to the ﬁnal report on for justice for Chantel and other First the National Inquiry into Missing and Nations people,” Sayers added. “We need Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. big changes to police acts and complaints Its 231 calls to justice have yet to be procedures. We need Indigenous peoples implemented, she said. involved in the complaints procedures.” “When we see Canada’s lack of re“This is yet another example of the so sponse to these imperative calls to justice,
we are seeing a country continue to inﬂict genocide on our precious women, girls, 2 spirit +,” added Charleson. The NB Police Commission says it will not release its report to the public in accordance with their Privacy Act, Police Act, and other privacy rules. However, Léger, the commission’s chairman, noted the investigation’s policy and procedural review found issues outside the commission’s mandate. “The Coroner’s Inquest into Ms. Moore’s death may raise those issues as well and the commission is ready to fully cooperate with the coroner,” said Léger. Sayers says there will be a coroner’s inquest scheduled for February 2022. The purpose of the inquiry is not to ﬁnd fault or wrongdoing, but the coroner can rule on the manner of death, whether it be homicide, suicide or accidental. The purpose of the coroner’s inquest is to investigate the circumstances of a death in order to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. According to Sayers, the Crown Special Investigators Report said it was homicide but that it was justiﬁed. She said the coroner’s inquest makes recommendations. “The recommendations from the Rodney Levi coroners inquiry were good. We can hope for the same,” she added. Rodney Levi, 48, was an Indigenous man shot by police in New Brunswick on June 12, 2020, just eight days after the death of Chantel Moore. The jury in the coroner’s inquest ruled his death a homicide rather than “suicide by cop” which a forensic suicide expert alleged at the trial. The coroner’s inquest jury in the Rodney Levi case presented recommendations, including the reinstatement of the Indigenous band constable program, as well as opening detox centres and more mental health services in First Nation communities. They also recommend that RCMP oﬃcers not be ﬁrst responders during wellness checks but should be on standby. “We also hope for Justice of Chantel in other ways. Better and more de-escalation tactics. Trauma-informed teams used in wellness checks. More training for ofﬁcers on respect and valuing Indigenous lives,” said Sayers. She went on to say that a civil lawsuit is likely the next step. On her Facebook page Martha Martin wrote, “I love you my girl, I will continue to ﬁght for justice. Your life mattered.”
DFO pledges ‘continued prosperity’ for First Nations Continued from page 1. “DFO can adjust their numbers accordingly to the rest of the sectors.” During the AGM Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts noted that over the years the federal department has operated according to its own plans, regardless of what party holds power in Ottawa. “DFO is its own machine of government,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who is in power, what mandate has been put forward, they’re going to do whatever they want in DFO.” But part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s mandate is to “support Indigenous participation in ﬁsheries,” a stake that ensures “continued prosperity”. “There remains no more important relationship to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples,” stated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in his supplementary mandate letter sent to former
ﬁsheries minister Bernadette Jordan in January. “You, and indeed all ministers, must continue to play a role in helping to advance self-determination, close socioeconomic gaps and eliminate systemic barriers facing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. As minister, I expect you to work in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples and communities to advance meaningful reconciliation.” “All of the DFO policies since the ‘60s and ’70s have been put in place to get the Indian out of the water,” said Charleson. “It’s gotten so bad now that we have four commercial ﬁshermen in all of Nuu-chahnulth who actually do it for a living.” A new mandate letter from the prime minister has not yet been publicized, but a formal invitation for Murray to meet with the Council of Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries is expected in the coming weeks as the minister settles into her new role.
Photo by Eric Plummer
Tseshaht boats ﬁsh on the Somass River in September. The Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations harvested from the river this year according to an economic opportunity agreement with DFO, which totalled 32,248 chinook salmon by the end of the season.
Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa— December 2, 2021 Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper is published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for distribution to the members of the NTC-member First Nations, as well as other interested groups and individuals. Information and original work contained in this newspaper is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission from: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2. Telephone: (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 Web page: www.hashilthsa.com facebook: Hashilthsa Ntc
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Photo by Eric Plummer
Despite disastrous ﬂooding elsewhere in the province and heavy rain in Port Alberni, the Somass River has not risen to an alarming level for the Tseshaht First Nation. Pictured is the First Nation’s administrative building over the Somass River.
Tseshaht avoids ﬂood devastation As river levels remain manageable, First Nation considers its community fortunate By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – Gina Pearson just might want to go out and purchase some lottery tickets. That’s because Pearson, who is the emergency response co-ordinator for the Tseshaht First Nation, has surprisingly not had any additional stress at work in recent weeks. Yes, various parts of British Columbia have suﬀered devastating consequences of late because of ﬂoods and landslides. And the B.C. government declared a provincial state of emergency on Nov. 17 to provide a response to the widespread damage. Mike Farnworth, the minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, had announced the provincial emergency. He made the announcement after recommendations from Emergency Management BC and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The original state of emergency was scheduled to be in eﬀect for 14 days. On Monday, the state of emergency was extended for an additional two weeks, until Dec. 14. “Extending the state of emergency will extend the ongoing support and recovery from the widespread damage already caused by ﬂooding while positioning us
to take all necessary steps in the days ahead,” Farnworth said on Monday while announcing the extension. But Pearson, who works out of the band administration oﬃce, said her First Nation has been extremely fortunate. Even though the First Nation’s community of Port Alberni has received a tremendous amount of rain, no issues have resulted from that, she said. “We’ve been very lucky,” Pearson said. “We just haven’t had any ﬂooding.” Some were anticipating some ﬂooding to occur as part of the First Nation is located beside the Somass River. Flooding has occurred in Tseshaht in the past because of its proximity to the river. “We are on ﬂood watch,” Pearson said. “And that’s about all we can do right now.” Pearson added the First Nation has yet to take any preventative measures to avoid ﬂooding, and is somewhat surprised that the river has not risen to concerning levels. “We monitor the houses that are along the river,” Pearson said, noting there are a dozen homes that are closely monitored on a consistent basis. “The closest house to the water is 50 feet from the riverbank. Once the water reaches that house, then we have a problem.” As the emergency response co-ordinator for her First Nation, Pearson’s duties
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include doing a visual inspection of the water levels in the community. On days it rains, she leaves her oﬃce and heads to the community’s Papermill Dam to assess water levels. She’ll also monitor if there are any signs of potential water troubles for the Tseshaht homes along the river. “We’ve been lucky for about four years now,” Pearson said, as ﬂooding has not been a concern for community members recently. She added the last ﬂooding in town occurred because there was also a large amount of snow on mountains surrounding the community. Heavy rains melted substantial amounts of accumulated snow, then forcing additional water into the community and into various homes. Pearson recalled some Tseshaht homes were evacuated at the time and residents had to spend three days in hotel rooms. If needed, Pearson would have to place a phone call to oﬃcials with Emergency Management BC. This organization would then be responsible for providing bags and sand to help mitigate any potential problems in the community. Emergency Management BC would also cover the expenses for any residents who would need to evacuate and ﬁnd alternate housing arrangements.
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December 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
Clearcuts examined as B.C. struggles with ﬂoods The absence of large swaths of trees has had a role in November’s catastrophic landslides, according to studies By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Thousands of British Columbians remain displaced following a series of devastating ﬂoods and landslides that have swallowed highway roads and entire cities in the southern part of the province. The ﬂoods prompted British Columbia to declare its third state of emergency this year on Nov. 17. The devastation was triggered by an atmospheric river that carried rainfall two times the average amount within a 72-hour period. As the severity and frequency of extreme weather events increases in B.C., researchers say the long-standing use of clearcut logging has exacerbated the probability of ﬂoods. But one of Vancouver Island’s largest forestry management companies disagrees, maintaining that it is an “eﬀective” system that actually reduces the area of disturbance. A recent University of British Columbia (UBC) study by XuJian Joe Yu and Younes Alila found that logging can increase the frequency of large ﬂoods by up to four times. Alila is a UBC forestry professor who has been studying the relationship between the forest cover, logging, and hydrology for over 25 years. “What we are seeing now is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. Aggressive forestry practices over the past several decades have resulted in cut rates of up to 60 per cent in some watersheds, said Alila. The way the province has been managing forests is not only “highly unsustainable,” but regulation and policies do not appreciate how sensitive the hydrology is to these “high cut levels,” he said. When a forest is removed from a watershed, its canopy is no longer there to intercept precipitation. “That means you have more rain directly hitting the ground,” said Alila. “And therefore, you have more moisture available for runoﬀ.” The forest’s canopy also slows down snow melt because it acts like a barrier from the sun’s radiation. “If you remove the trees, the snowpack is receiving way more solar radiation,” he said. “So, you’ve got more snow on the ground, but also more energy to melt the snow.” The location of a cut-block can also greatly contribute to the disruption of hydrology within a watershed, Alila explained. South and west-facing aspects of mountains are more sensitive to logging than east and north-facing sides. Global warming only adds to the issue, he said. “The severity and the frequency of these atmospheric rivers in the fall has now increased as a result of global warming,” said Alila. “Even modest increases in the magnitude of these larger extreme events, like ﬂoods, can translate into surprisingly large changes in their frequency. The larger the event, the more frequent it becomes.” Clearcutting does not cause landslides, says Mosaic The Ministry of Forests said that harvesting can contribute to ﬂooding because it creates soil conditions less conducive to absorbing water. “That’s why B.C. uses a science-based reforestation approach to reduce risk of ﬂooding,” the ministry added. Under the province’s new vision for forests, the ministry said it’s working “to
Photo by Eric Plummer
Clearcuts are seen on a slope near Port Renfrew, just outside of the Fairy Creek valley in Pacheedaht territory. Researchers are linking the commonly used forestry practice to ﬂooding events in British Columbia. Low land and ﬂat areas in watersheds ensure our oldest and most ancient forests these sites. All these forest plants conare critical sponges, said Merkel, adding are protected, and Indigenous peoples are tribute to the soil structure and rooting that many have been cleared for roads, full partners in sustainable forest manage- systems in these areas.” houses, agriculture, forestry, and logging. Mosaic said a variety of factors inﬂument.” “It’s not surprising that we’re having ence slope stability, including steepness, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Presisome of these problems because we’ve precipitation, the types of vegetation dent Judith Sayers said she has yet to see taken out those buﬀer areas of our landpresent, historic disturbance, as well this transition. There is recognition by scape,” he said. the government, she said, but there are no as man-made structures like roads and Since 2018, the Ministry of Forests said culverts. “concrete” actions yet. the province has planted over 1 billion “Because these factors, and many oth“UNDRIP [The United Nations Declaratrees in its reforestation eﬀorts. tion on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples] ers, all come into a geotechnical engi“Replanting harvested areas and those talks about our ability to control, manage neer’s assessment of landslide risk, it areas ravaged by wildﬁre and pests is eswould be highly unlikely that any expert and use our own forests,” said Sayers. “And I don’t see that reﬂected in the new would categorically suggest that clearcuts sential to our ﬁght against climate change and rebuilding forest health,” the ministry cause landslides,” said Mosaic. “Instead, forestry policies or law that [the governsaid. with today’s professional standards in ment] is proposing.” While clearcutting is “the most comMudslides are also triggered after heavy place and scientiﬁc knowledge and legmonly applied” harvesting practice over islative framework, it would be weather events like the one B.C. just the last 20 years, the Ministry of Forests more appropriate to say that profesexperienced, said Garry Merkel, B.C.’s noted that in recent years logging represional foresters assess landslide risk beold-growth strategic review panel expert sents less than a third of the disturbance fore proceeding with harvesting activiand a professional forester. caused by wildﬁres. ties.” Debris from clearcuts accumulates in “In general, any stand-replacing disturClearcutting is commonly used in forest and around creek channels, which evenbance, be it through harvesting, wildﬁres tually lets loose under heavy rain, he said. management for a number of reasons, or mountain pine beetle, can contribute to said Mosaic. Some of these include It tears creek banks, taking mud and all ﬂooding because they create soil condimimicking ﬁre and other types of natural the surrounding debris with it, he added. tions less conducive to absorbing water,” “You end up with very large landslides,” disturbances, providing safer working said the ministry. “In BC, over 16 million conditions, managing mature trees that Merkel said. hectares have been aﬀected by the mouncontain forest health issues, as well as One of the 14 recommendations outlined in the Old Growth Strategic Review providing optimal growing conditions for tain pine beetle, and a record 2.7 million hectares have burned in wildﬁres over suggested developing alternative harvest- crops of trees that will be replanted, such the last 5 years. In comparison, 888,000 as the Douglas-ﬁr. ing methods to clearcutting. hectares were harvested between 2016 But Alila maintained that the only way If forests were harvested delicately so and 2020.” forward is to rethink how we manage the ecosystem’s attributes, structure and In August, Environment and Climate function remained intact, Merkel said you forests “before it’s too late.” Change Canada announced an investment Governments also need to consider the can have very little eﬀect on the ecosysof up to $340 million in new funding over impacts of climate change and land use tem. developments when designing infrastruc- the next ﬁve years to support Indigenous “But the standard systems that we use leadership in nature conservation. ture, such as bridges and culverts, said are primarily clearcut,” he said. “Indigenous peoples are key partners as Alila. Mosaic Forest Management is the man“We should not continue doing business we work to protect more nature, conserve ager for TimberWest and Island Timberbiodiversity, and combat the worst eﬀects lands, which have been operating for over as usual without accounting for the fact of climate change,” Jonathan Wilkinson, that the ﬂood regime has changed and is 100 years on B.C.’s coast. “It is a common misconception from the continuing to change,” he said. “The past minister of Environment and Climate Change, said in a release. does not represent the future anymore.” public that clearcutting causes landWhile Sayers said, “there’s never going slides,” a Mosaic spokesperson wrote in Floods are ‘not surprising’ to be enough money for the amount of an email. “The public has probably seen work that needs to be done,” she hopes old stumps that persist for decades and The Ministry of Transportation stated that the federal and provincial governmore – all still functioning to support “to ensure transportation infrastructure is ments show more of a willingness to sit stable slopes. Furthermore, other plants resilient and adapted to the eﬀects of cliat the same table with First Nations. – both planted trees and other forest mate change, including extreme weather “I really would like to see the province shrubs and herbs – quickly re-establish events, we must look beyond historical working more closely with First Nations on these sites. Mosaic plants trees information to future trends and what [to] use our traditional ecological knowlon average within ten months of harthey might mean for British Columbia.” edge and Indigenous wisdom,” she said. vest. Native shrubs and herbs persist The province has undertaken initiatives “We can use our knowledge to restore or re-establish after harvesting, and seed- to evaluate and address potential climate these forests.” lings growing from seed dropped from change impacts on transportation infrathe original forest also re-establish on structure, the ministry wrote.
Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa— December 2, 2021
Concern grows over DRIPA follow-through Despite human rights measures and two passed bills, consultation is lacking overall, say Indigenous leaders By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Two years after B.C. became the ﬁrst jurisdiction in Canada to bring into force the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, Indigenous leaders are growing increasingly concerned about a lack of engagement, transparency and action. “Progress, if any, has been very slow and tedious, and we’re uncertain as to what the government is really doing,” said Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council President Judith Sayers, who was involved in UNDRIP at international, federal and provincial levels. DRIPA establishes two basic mechanisms for change: Aligning B.C. statutes with UNDRIP in consultation and in cooperation with all 203 First Nations, and joint decision making or consent prior to decisions on use of statutory powers. The provincial government is obligated by the Declaration Act (DRIPA) to align its laws with The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and to report annually on progress toward that goal. A draft action plan released in June sets out 79 proposed measures to achieve the goals in the UN declaration within the next ﬁve years, but the draft left much to be desired. The completed plan, which was to be released in December, won’t be available until sometime next year. “This is a government action plan; we need a First Nations action plan,” Sayers said. “I think there’s work going on, but we certainly don’t feel the results of that, and I’m very, very concerned about that.” The provincial government has been talking with the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) — comprised of representatives of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) — but the council has no authority to address matters involving rights and title. Sayers doesn’t see that much has changed in the way of implementing DRIPA or including B.C.’s 203 First Nations in decision making. “It’s not the leadership council that needs to have consultation and co-operation leading to consent,” Sayers said. “That’s just the icing on the top of the cake. They’re not doing the job.” As the province grappled with widespread ﬂooding and mudslides over past few weeks, the storm surge grew to be an emergency matter for some. Fraser basin and southern Interior First Nations were evacuated, some completely cut oﬀ, others facing destruction of their lands on a massive scale yet without the government assistance seen elsewhere. FNLC called on provincial and federal governments to commit supports and resources to communities having to cope with cascading crises: 2021 wildﬁres, COVID-19, the opioid crisis, homelessness and discovery of thousands of unmarked graves at former residential schools. “We reiterate our call for the province to declare an indeﬁnite state of emergency as this ﬂooding has caused what will most certainly be billions of dollars in damage, indeﬁnite displacement of thousands of people, long-term environmental eﬀects yet to be contemplated and serious long-term disruption in an already fragile supply chain,” said Robert Phillips of the First Nations Summit. On Nov. 23, Indigenous Relations Minister Murray Rankin was on the phone
Photo from YouTube/B.C. Government
UNDRIP and DRIPA. By adding a fee for FOI requests — which cannot be waived even when an application is made in the public interest — the province is disproportionately harming First Nation applicants, UBCIC states. The fee violates the UN declaration since it was never discussed with First Nations or their representative organizations, they contend. Amendments to the Clean Energy Act and the Mental Health Act also proceeded without consultation in 2020. While the provincial government is working with some First Nations — engaging with Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht through joint forest management talks — it was unclear how much input First Nations had into the province’s old growth strategy, Sayers said. Then there is the need to develop new, cleaner sources of energy for small and remote communities along the coast. Despite COP 26, the Clean B.C. plan to reduce pollution and a Clean Energy Summit that took place in November, too few First Nation opportunities are on the table, she said. All of this leads Sayers to question whether old attitudes have changed and the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation has the staﬀ resources to handle the enormous and complex task at hand. She wants to see an independent secretariat with Indigenous representation that can wield the power to compel government to follow through on DRIPA commitments. “I just don’t see the change in attitude that we need,” she said.
B.C Indigenous Relations Minister Murray Rankin promised emergency supports for First Nations in a ﬂooding update in mid-November.. with First Nations hardest hit, discussing proposed amendments will create new responses to widespread ﬂooding, includ- barriers for First Nations requiring acing formation of “integrated Indigenous cess to provincial government records to response and recovery deployment substantiate their historical grievances teams.” He acknowledged they have against the Crown,” the letter states, callmore work to do with a need to improve ing the amendments a contravention of front-line communications with First Nations and streamline supports. There has been progress on human rights. On Nov. 17, Attorney General David Eby tabled Bills 18 and 29, legislative amendments that would further uphold ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NOTICE Indigenous human rights. Both represent NOTICE OF INTENT TO ISSUE AN OPERATIONAL important steps to implement DRIPA, CERTIFICATE 110576 UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE Eby said while restating the NDP government’s commitment to reconciliation and ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT combatting racism and discrimination. Take notice that the Director intends to issue an OPERATIONAL B.C. Human Rights Commissioner CERTIFICATE 110576 to the City of Port Alberni for the municipal Kasari Govender said Indigenous leadership together with the Human Rights Triwastewater treatment lagoon located on Johnstone Island and the bunal and her oﬃce called for Indigenous associated discharge to the Somass River estuary. The Operational identity to be explicitly protected in the Certiﬁcate will be issued a minimum of 30 days after the last date of province’s Human Right’s Code. publication of this notice. “UBCIC supports the new reforms brought in today, but we know we have The land upon which the facility is situated is 7TRI_Alberni (Lease to double down on the hard work to make Areas 135 & 135A) and Lot 3, Plan VIP 72152. The location of the point real progress and switch from simply proof discharge is Latitude 49.2397 N and Longitude 124.8219 W. moting the rights of Indigenous Peoples, to implementing the rights of Indigenous The wastewater treatment facility and discharge are authorized through Peoples every day in all areas of life in the City of Port Alberni’s Liquid Waste Management Plan which was British Columbia,” said Kukpi7 Judy approved by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy Wilson, secretary-treasurer of UBCIC. on July 30, 2021. The subject Operational Certiﬁcate imposes additional Responding to the amendments, Reterms and conditions on the treatment and discharge of the municipal gional Chief Terry Teegee of the B.C. wastewater. Assembly of First Nations said they are now beginning to see movement on the A copy of the draft operational certiﬁcate may be viewed the City of Port immense task of transforming B.C. laws. Alberni website https://www.portalberni.ca/public-notice-posting-place But consultation with First Nations on a copy is available for the public to view in person at City Hall. other key legislation of critical importance to them has been lacking or Any person who may be adversely aﬀected by the granting of this altogether absent, not a hopeful sign the Operational Certiﬁcate and wishes to provide relevant information may, government takes implementation seriwithin 30 days after the last date of publication of this notice, send ously. One example is Bill 22, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy written comments to the City of Port Alberni, Rob Dickinson, Director Act amendments that were expected to of Engineering & Public Works [phone: 250.720.2838 or email: pass before the end of the legislative firstname.lastname@example.org] with a copy to the Ministry session. In late November the Union of [email: email@example.com]. The identity of any respondents B.C. Indian Chiefs issued an open letter and the contents of anything submitted in relation to this application will calling for its withdrawal. become part of the public record. “The bill in its current form fails to uphold First Nations’ unique rights of Dated this 28 day of October 2021. access to information as many of the
December 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
New buoy explores the potential of wind power Ocean development could help Vancouver Island’s remote communities cut down their dependence on diesel By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Victoria, BC - A new wind buoy being deployed oﬀ the southern tip of Vancouver Island could help remote communities cut their diesel dependence. The buoy was manufactured as part of a project out of the University of Victoria’s (UVic) Paciﬁc Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery. Led by UVic mechanical engineering professors Brad Buckham and Curran Crawford, it was designed to explore wind resources oﬀ the coast of Vancouver Island. Although land-based wind turbines only account for a small percentage of the globe’s energy needs, they have become an increasingly popular renewable energy resource, Buckham explained in a press release. Comparatively, oﬀshore wind turbines have not been used to the same extent. This is primarily because industry lacks the data needed to develop “accurate, certiﬁable and insurable technologies,” the release read. “Oﬀshore wind is the next frontier in wind energy,” said Crawford. This buoy-based technology is the ﬁrst of its kind in B.C. and allows researchers to get measurements by mooring the buoy, said Crawford. “The data is critical in helping address a signiﬁcant knowledge gap that has prevented oﬀshore wind energy produced by ﬂoating turbines from being used more widely,” Buckham said in a release. Weighing 5,500 kilograms and standing nine metres tall, the customized buoy
will be deployed a few hundred metres southwest of Trial Island, near Victoria, for around six months. Equipped with a wind turbine and 3D laser-scanning systems, the buoy can measure changing wind patterns 200 metres above the water’s surface. Purchased as part of a larger UVic project entitled, Canadian-Paciﬁc Robotic Ocean Observing Facility, the buoy was constructed by Sidney-based AXYS Technologies Inc. and cost around $1.8 million. Chloe Immonen, research scientist and deployment manager, said the data will not only beneﬁt remote communities who rely on diesel energy, it will also contribute to a better “understanding of the way wind can be harnessed to create sustainable energy.” Because of the scale of oﬀshore wind turbines, Crawford said they are designed to accommodate larger communities, such as Haida Gwaii. “There is the potential to do smaller scale wind [projects] and we want to take a look at that,” said Crawford. “But we’re not proposing to put a multi-megawatt turbine oﬀ the coast of a really, really small community.” It is more eﬃcient to harness wave, tidal, and solar energies for small, coastal communities, he said. After its initial deployment near Trial Island, Crawford said the team will be looking for a new location to deploy it for another year so they can monitor wind patterns throughout every season. Crawford said he’s looking forward to “post-processing the data to get more rich information out of it.”
Photo supplied by AXYS Technologies
The PRIMED group, an initiative of the University of Victoria, deployed a wind data gathering buoy in November. The project aims to help remote communities use alternative sources of energy. “It’s nice to have this hardware to get some hard data,” he said. “There’s large scale simulations of what wind speeds might be in B.C., but no real data for us
to work with. It’s been many years in the making to get this thing built and underwater. It’s great to ﬁnally be able to get that data.”
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Interweaving Nuu-chah-nulth culture into curriculum Amid COVID-19, Wickaninnish school’s arts program has shifted from performance projects to visual work By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Toﬁno, BC - During art class at the Wickaninnish Community School in Toﬁno, Dominic Hansen eagerly volunteered to introduce himself to his class. Despite having already been in school together for nearly three months, Hansen’s classmates listened to him attentively, as if they were hearing him for the ﬁrst time. In Nuu-chah-nulth, he shared his name, his parent’s names and where he comes from. Nuu-chah-nulth peoples commonly introduce themselves by sharing more than just their name, said Dani Stone, the school’s vice-principal and ﬁne arts teacher. They describe where they have roots, the names of their parents and grandparents, as well as the territory they currently occupy. The formality is one Stone encourages the children to regularly practice. “It’s a way to make connections,” she said. “Identity is so important. Ultimately, we’re trying to help kids to be able to advocate for themselves – to know who they are.” Nuu-chah-nulth language and cultural teachings are woven into the school’s everyday curriculum. You’ll often hear Stone reminding her students to show “iisaak,” meaning respect, to each other. And instead of saying, “thank you,” at the end of the class, Stone will say its Nuu-chah-nulth translation, “kleco-kleco.” “It’s so important for kids to see themselves [and to] understand that we’re on Tla-o-qui-aht territory,” she said. Even the student’s art projects are entirely inspired by Nuu-chah-nulth culture. Under the guidance of Grace George, First Nations support worker for School District 70, Darlene Frank, the school’s Nuu-chah-nulth education worker, and Corinne Ortiz-Castro, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation homeschool coordinator, the art classes integrate First Nations symbols and traditional sewing practices. Before COVID-19, Stone said the ﬁne arts program consisted of more performance-based classes, such as music and drama. But when lockdowns and social distancing measures made it diﬃcult for some children to regularly attend class, Stone said they needed to switch gears. “We were trying to build school community without being allowed to be together last year,” said Stone. By transitioning the focus to visual arts, Stone said it gave students a “place to enter wherever we were with our learning.” For students like Payton Black, the shift felt natural. The 10-year-old has been sewing for years after being taught by her grandmother. “When I’m nervous, I sew,” she said. “It’s fun.” The emphasis on visual arts has allowed students, like Black, to step into the spotlight and share their skills with friends, said Stone. Through a progression of increasingly more intricate art projects, Stone is trying to develop the student’s conﬁdence. They are building up to create a design that will be sewn onto the school’s regalia and left behind as a legacy piece. Many years ago, George told Stone that she dreamed of seeing the entire school dressed in regalia designed in the school’s colours while performing Nuu-chah-nulth dances for the entire community.
Photos by Melissa Renwick
Grace George helps Grade 3-4 students with their art projects at the Wickaninnish Community School on Nov. 22. This year, Stone said, the school is working towards that goal. Community members and school staﬀ have been sewing vests and shawls so that there is one for every student. While the gathering hinges on the situation surrounding COVID-19, Stone said she remains hopeful. “One day when we return back to a more normal time and we’re able to gather safely together, we hope to have our community come together to celebrate with us,” she said. Over the 28 years that George has been working as a First Nations support worker, she said she’s seen a big shift in the way the community and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples have embraced their culture. As recently as 10 years ago, George said that students wouldn’t identify themselves as being from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. “They just weren’t told,” she said. Now, even the most quiet and shy First Nations children say who they are “loud and proud,” George said. The 67-year-old never went to residential school, but her older brother, Billy, did. “He was really, really badly beaten,” she said. “But he never forgot the language.” Billy became her mentor when she began studying Indigenous language revitalization and proﬁciency at the University of Victoria, where she recently graduated with a diploma. “When I started taking the language course, he couldn’t believe that he went from being beaten to being paid to teach me the language,” she said. “It’s really evolved and it’s so nice to see. Toﬁno and this school have been really accepting of our language.” The Nuu-chah-nulth alphabet, which contains 46 letters, hangs on the white board at the front of the classroom. It’s not easy to learn, but George said some students picked up on the language “right away.” Eddie Dyrchs moved to Toﬁno from Germany with his family three years ago. Because Nuu-chah-nulth and German
(Above) Dominc Hansen, 9, sews sequins into a felt Christmas tree decoration. (Below) Darlene Frank, Wickaninnish Community School Nuu-chah-nulth education worker, shows a ﬁnished art project to Grade 3-4 students. share some of the same guttural sounds, George said the language has come to him easily. The nine-year-old said that Nuu-chahnulth reminds him of German and has been “really fun” to learn. “Land-based learning is so important,” said Stone. “That’s the stuﬀ that really resonates with the kids.” Stone said she laments that she didn’t receive Nuu-chah-nulth teachings when she was in school. “I feel like I’m catching up as an adult,” she said. The vice-principal said she’s “blessed” to have received so many diﬀerent teachings from Nuu-chah-nulth members and education workers. It’s a gift she wants to share with her students. “I see the joy and pride on parents’ faces and kids’ faces when they learn those [cultural] pieces,” she said. “It helps to build connections within the students.”
December 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Elders stories inspire Copper Canoe Woman jewelry Using natural materials, such as cedar bark and abalone, each of one of Vina Brown’s designs has a story to tell By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Bellingham, Wash. - Vina Brown has vivid memories of watching her granny, Elsie Robinson, bounce between soaking swamp grass, hanging cedar bark to dry, and weaving baskets while watching sports on the TV inside her Nanaimo home. There was a grace and ease in her technique that Brown said she absorbed without realizing it at the time. “The intergenerational transference of knowledge was organic,” she said. Putting her observations to the test, Brown would retreat into her bedroom where she created hand-strung jewelry that she sold at the local ﬂea market. “I always had that entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. “Even as a child.” And yet, it wasn’t something that she tapped into until more recently. While studying her masters in Indigenous jurisprudence and Indigenous law at the Northwest Indian College in Washington state, the now 35-year-old was struggling to retain the material. “It was so dry,” she said. Thinking back to an appliqué beading class she had previously taken at the college when she was 26, Brown started beading as a way to stay focused. “I’m such a kinaesthetic person and learner that I needed to be in my body,” she said. The act of beading not only helped her absorb the information, but it brought her back to her childhood. She became inspired to create 200 pieces of beaded accessory jewelry over the following two years that would be gifted during a ceremony at her family’s potlatch in 2017. “That kind of launched me,” she said. “It was almost like my apprenticeship of feeling worthy enough to sell my art.” In 2019, Brown created her own jewelry line, Copper Canoe Woman. The designs blend her Nuu-chah-nulth and Haíłzaqv ancestry and culture. Her latest collection, ʕuy̓aałapʔiš naniiqsu, is dedicated to her granny. Inspired by Robinson’s weaving and basketry, the collection was made “to continue her legacy, her art and designs,” said Brown. Through her jewelry, Brown said she
Photos submitted by Copper Canoe Woman
Vina Brown’s latest collection of pieces is dedicated to her grandmother, Elsie Robinson. Over the last few years she has developed her Copper Woman Canoe jewelry from her home in Washington State. designers and artists, said Brown. hopes to transcend Robinson’s Ahousaht curiosity” of her granny, who used to “I’m so happy that this younger generaworldview into a modern context. study quantum physics. tion of youth has access to native design“To bring her along on an energetic and “She used to talk about the universe,” ers,” she said. “We now have access to metaphysical level,” she said. Brown recalled. “She used to say that more ways to showcase our culture than Using natural materials, such as cedar when you break us all down, we are all we ever did in my day.” bark and abalone, each of one Brown’s light. We all come from the same enCopper Canoe Woman designs are bold designs has a story to tell. ergy.’” Traditionally, women artists were Robinson refused to settle for the “nega- in size and in their expression. They reﬂect Brown’s personal taste, while also revered in Nuu-chah-nulth culture, she tive colonial narrative” that undermined rejecting the suppression so many Indigexplained. the intelligence of Indigenous peoples, enous artists continue to face. “They were upheld to a high status Brown said. “I want [the jewelry] to be accessible to because they were knowledge keepers,” “She went above and beyond to interIndigenous people and all people of all she said. “Their designs weren’t random. rupt and connect us to thinking beyond socioeconomic backgrounds,” she said. Their designs were stories, they were what the physical eye can see,” Brown Unlike her granny was able to, Brown history and they were proprietary to wrote, in a description about her light families.” burst earrings. “Our ancestors understood said she is setting that scale. “I’m the one deciding how much my Now, she said, it’s her responsibility to physics, they understood time travel, and art is worth,” she said. “And that’s really continue sharing those stories. being able to travel faster than a beam of empowering.” “I don’t take that responsibility lightly,” light, or expand beyond linear timelines. Through her jewelry, Brown said she she said. The evidence is in our stories and knowlhopes to help Indigenous and nonHer “light burst” earrings are an homedge systems.” Indigenous people adorn themselves in a age to that history – “to the depth and Despite being a master of her craft and way that is deeply rooted in history and highly respected within her community, Brown said Robinson’s work was not ap- culture. “I want them to walk into that board preciated in the same way by mainstream meeting, or walk into their interview, society. Galleries and shops would give or walk into a store and feel protected,” her insultingly low rates, which she acshe said. “My late-granny used to say, cepted to care for her family. “She lived in a time where women were ‘we wear shiny things when we go to second-class citizens,” said Brown. “And potlatches or to parties to protect us – to reﬂect negative energy.’ I really think if you were an Indigenous woman, you about that when I’m making my pieces. were even lower than that.” That reality limited access to Indigenous These are protection pieces.”
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa— December 2, 2021
Honorary degree given to late Nuu-chah-nulth leader Royal Roads University told Mowachaht/Muchalaht elder Lillian Howard of the recognition before her passing By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC – An activist from a young age, Lillian Howard fought for the rights of Indigenous people - and for planet earth. She was a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, relative, friend to many. She was a former co-chair for the Nuuchah-nulth Tribal Council representing the northern nations of Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’, Ehattesaht, Nuchatlaht and her home of Mowachaht/Muchalaht. Howard died in hospital in Vancouver on Oct. 30 with family by her side. Before her passing Howard learned that she was chosen to receive an honorary degree from her alma mater, Royal Roads University, where she graduated in 2007 with a MA in Environmental Education and Communication In fact, back in 2007, Professor Rick Kool, who delivered Howard’s citation, predicted that she would one day be honoured in this way. “In 2007, as she was nearing the completion of her MA thesis under the supervision of Professor Brian White, I wrote to our Vice-President Academic, Dr. Steve Grundy, that ‘Someday, RRU may see ﬁt to give her an honorary doctorate’,” stated Kool. That day came Nov. 19, 2021, in a prerecorded ceremony that was presented online during the Royal Roads University Fall 2021 Virtual Convocation. During the pre-recorded event a song was sung for Howard by Tseshaht member Jessica Sault. In his citation, Professor Kool said, “For ﬁve decades, Lillian Howard was on the frontlines of advocacy for Indigenous people in B.C. and Canada. Lillian’s years of work and unwavering dedication will be recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Royal Roads University, during the 2021 fall convocation ceremony Nov. 19, 2021.” He noted that the honorary degree became oﬃcial before Howard’s passing. “There is comfort in knowing Lillian and her family could share in the knowledge of the special place Lillian always holds within the Royal Roads family. Her words, actions and fearless determination will live on and inspire others to follow
Photo supplied by Royal Roads University
Lillian Howard was a lifelong advocate for Indigenous people. in her footsteps,” said Kool. He continued, “Hailing from the Yuquot Village, ‘the place where the winds blow from all directions,’ a member of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation of Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka’wakw and Tlingit ancestry, Lillian attended RRU in her ﬁfties, earning a Master of Arts in Environmental Education as part of the second-ever cohort of that program. But she had been a social and environmental advocate since the 1970s when she was involved in the McKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry.” “The elders were wonderful teachers,” Lillian wrote in her 2007 thesis. “My great-grandmother had a keen interest in what was happening on land and environment. She believed in appreciating our roots and staying connected to the land.” “My great-grandparents taught me a lot about our people, lands and territories. They helped me to shape my interest in culture and history, the environment and the larger society. Both of my greatgrandparents… played a signiﬁcant role in building the foundation for my lifelong interest in Aboriginal, social and environmental matters,” she continued. Kool said that the 1980s saw her work
with the Union of BC Indian Chiefs on a campaign to gain support for Indigenous rights, then become involved with treaty processes for several First Nations, including as co-chief negotiator for the Nuu-chah-nulth Framework Agreement. In later years Howard was vice co-chair of the Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee and sat on the Vancouver Police Department Aboriginal Advisory Committee. She also served on the Douglas College Aboriginal Advisory Committee (and as elder for Douglas’ Aboriginal Stream), the McCreary Centre Society advisory committee, the West Coast LEAF Aboriginal Advisory Committee, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Indigenous Council. According to Kool, she belonged to the Butterﬂies in Spirit dance group, which raises awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. She was also the co-founder of the Uplifting Indigenous Families Fund, which raised money to assist families during and after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Lillian wrote that she attended the Christie and Mission Indian Residential
Schools. “Attending the residential school had a traumatic eﬀect on me,” she recalled. “I learned to cry silently. For the longest time, I felt deeply saddened about losing the ability to speak my Mowachaht language. I have accepted that dealing with issues arising from the institution is a lifelong healing journey.” Royal Roads said Lillian was a survivor and learned to build strength from her challenges. In 2019, she modelled for Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week. In 2021 she was a speaker at Genome BC’s annual genomics forum alongside doctors Bonnie Henry and Anthony Fauci. She was also conference elder at the Indigenomics Institute’s Indigenomics by Design 2021 Conference. Lillian also shared her time as an advisor for Indigenous Health – Provincial Health Services Authority, provided support services for Indigenous women and families at the BC Women’s Hospital, and was a board member of EAGLE, or Environmental Aboriginal Guardianship through Law and Education. ReMatriate, a Canadian Indigenous women’s collective that uses social media to connect Indigenous peoples - particularly women - through art, showcased and recognized Lillian with a feature of her, for her tireless eﬀorts and dedication as a matriarch to uplift society. Lillian was a volunteer at the Aboriginal Front Door Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community. She was recognized as an Indigenous woman leader by the University Women’s Club of Vancouver for her work on Canada 150+ as co-chair of the City of Vancouver’s Urban Aboriginal Advisory Committee. “Lillian Howard, you will be missed, yet your lifetime of actions has sown and nurtured strong roots across the country. Your contributions – to justice, health, environment and reconciliation – will be remembered and will go on to empower and awaken minds to Indigenous peoples’ rights long into the future,” said Professor Kool. Howard’s family held a celebration of her life in Vancouver on Nov. 22. Lillian Howard, November 22, 1950– October 31, 2021
Phrase of the week: K’ak’amaqstu+ c^’a%uk %ušyuyi%iš %a> Suuh=aa hi>sap%i> y’acp%i>%i Pronounced ‘Ka ka muq alt koo caa ugk e sue shild ish alth suu hilths pith yats pee e ilth e’, it means when the river gets too high, the salmon swim across the road. Supplied by ciisma.
Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
December 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
‘Over-policing’ has hit First Nations: Commissioner Study shows Indigenous people arrested at 10 times the rate of others in Vancouver, pointing to need for reform By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor B.C.’s Human rights commissioner is blaming “over-policing” for the grossly disproportionate number of Indigenous people caught up in the criminal justice system, calling for the redirection of funding from law enforcement to other social services. This is one of several recommendations from Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender, who released a report on Wednesday, Nov. 24 that highlights discrimination against black and Indigenous people in B.C. Govender’s study was submitted to the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act, a parliamentary group working on reassessing law enforcement in the province. The recent report compiled a decade’s worth of arrest statistics from police departments in Vancouver, Surrey, Nelson, Prince George and Duncan, analysis that shows “signiﬁcant racial disparities,” said Govender. From Jan. 1, 2011 to the end of 2020, Indigenous people in Vancouver were arrested at a rate ten times higher than white residents. Black people in Vancouver were arrested at a rate nearly ﬁve times that of white residents, while Asian and South Asians were less likely to have run ins with the police than other racial groups. The report was accompanied by a study from Scot Wortley, a professor at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. He noted that in Vancouver Indigenous women are the third most likely group to be arrested, behind Aboriginal men and black males. “Most studies across North America reveal that women, regardless of race, are signiﬁcantly underrepresented in police statistics and charge recommendations,” said Wortley. “In British Columbia, however, Indigenous women appear to be an exception to that general rule.” Enforcement of colonial law Wortley pointed to three explanations for the unbalanced trends towards Indigenous and black people: racially biased policing, a prejudice among civilians who report crimes, or long-standing societal issues that contribute to oﬀending. “These higher rates of oﬀending indeed may be related to issues of colonization, historical discrimination, multi-generational trauma and contemporary socioeconomic disadvantage,” he said. “I think that these things, and how bias and discrimination in our history may impact the current criminological landscape, needs to be acknowledged, explored further and ultimately addressed.” Boyd Peters is a director with the BC First Nations Justice Council who holds the policing and corrections portfolio. He said the human rights commissioner’s report conﬁrmed what he has known for many years. “Policing and the justice system in Canada have really failed our Indigenous peoples,” said Peters. “The outcomes of policing on us as First Nations people are really dire.” Peters is Sts’ailes, a Coast Salish First Nation located east of the Lower Mainland, where he has seen his community’s distrust of law enforcement link back to when the RCMP enforced mandatory attendance at residential schools. “That’s still instilled in us, and I’m sure that all of our First Nations communities have that kind of a feeling,” he said.
Photo by Melissa Renwick
Marissa Mack (centre) organized a peaceful protest in Ucluelet to honour Chantel Moore and George Floyd, on June 6, 2020. “I had no relationship to her other than the colour of our skin,” said Mack. “All lives don’t matter until black and brown lives matter.” “Even our community, to this day they don’t want to approach the police, they don’t want to report incidences, assaults or major crimes.” Govender pointed to recent cases of Indigenous and black people being targeted during interactions with police, including the fatal shooting of Tla-o-qiuaht member Chantel Moore in 2020. The young woman was killed on the porch of her apartment in Edmunston, New Brunswick, after an oﬃcer was called to check on her well being. Police accounts from the scene stated that Moore refused to drop a knife as she approached the male oﬃcer. “People may wonder what over-policing looks like,” said Govender. “It looks like Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman from B.C. who was shot and killed during a wellness check. These are the painful realities behind the numbers that we share today.” Anti-bias training for oﬃcers Wortley also pointed out that the number of charges against Indigenous people that ended up being tossed out of court was also particularly high. “These were charges that were recommended by the police, but ultimately not pursued by the prosecution, or closed as a result of what was labelled ‘departmental discretion’,” he said. “Some might argue that this may represent lenient treatment of Indigenous and black people. Others, however, would argue that this may provide evidence of arrests of low quality or arrests that were based on limited evidence that had very little chance of prosecution if proceeded with.” The Vancouver Police Department acknowledges the “implicit and explicit bias that eﬀect decision making for everyone in society.” “We have been proactive in helping our members identify and understand their own biases,” said the department’s media relations in an email to Ha-Shilth-Sa. “This includes ongoing anti-bias training for police oﬃcers, which begins dur-
ing their recruit training and continues throughout their careers.” The VPD also noted policy changes to how its members conduct street checks, resulting in a 94 per cent drop of these interactions in 2020. “This was in response to community concerns that racialized people were overly represented in street check data,” wrote the police department. But the ongoing mistrust of police remains an issue for Indigenous and black people, stressed Govender. “When marginalized people cannot trust the police, they are less likely to report crimes against them,” she said. “To build this trust we need to reimagine the role of police in our province, including by shifting our focus from the police as default responders to other community safety strategies.” Less police, more social services This shift entails redirecting public funds that would otherwise go to police departments, “to invest in civilian-led services for people experiencing mental health and substance use crises, homelessness and other challenges,” stated the human rights commissioner’s report. The document added that some people’s needs
“could be satisﬁed through increased social service provision, rather than a criminal justice response.” Peters has seen the need for social services become more urgent in recent years with ongoing issues like the opioid crisis and mental health stressors that worsened during the pandemic. “It’s out of control, so we really do need to put the person and the community at the centre,” he said. “So less police, more of those types of services and approaches. Community safety must be guided by and tailored towards the community needs.” The human rights commissioner’s report also recommends removing police ofﬁcers from schools, in favour of civilians with experience in counselling and coaching. “Some of the tasks that fall within police right now are really better handled by community services, by health-based services,” said Govender. “That would be a much more eﬀective way of addressing the health needs of our communities.” “We’ve been pouring money into policing for decades now, with very little changing with respect to the level of crime and patterning of crime that we’re seeing in this data,” added Wortley.
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Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa— December 2, 2021
Sharing healthy holiday food with loved ones Wintertime is the time to ‘cozy up’. This includes sharing time with family and friends and sharing the foods we love. The food choices we make for ourselves and our families can show our love in many ways. This winter, when making and sharing foods, also think about how the foods we choose are loving because they are healthy. Healthy foods are loving foods for ourselves and others because they help us: Have energy and keep active Have a good mood more often Help kids grow (brain, muscles, bones and teeth) Boost our immunity so we are not sick, or pass sickness to others live longer and better When we make healthy eating choices we are better able to love, laugh, learn and play with our families. Special holiday foods……can be healthy! During the holidays we have many favorite and special foods. Holiday eating can be healthy by having a variety of foods that have more nutrients and ﬁber…and less sugar, salt, or fat. Many families enjoy the traditional Christmas dinner with turkey or ham, cranberry sauce, potatoes, brussel sprouts……..all the trimmings. These are special holiday foods many of us love, and all are HEALTHY. Enjoy them! Fruit and veggie trays, cheese and crackers for snacks are also great ways to share good food and eat well. Holidays have a lot of focus on sweets, which sometimes make healthy eating a challenge. Here are some tips to eat well. Create a healthy eating plan for when you are visiting Invited to a party? Oﬀer to bring a healthy dish along Eat close to your usual times. If your meal is served later than normal, you or the kids can eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when the next meal is served. Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. It will be harder for you or the kids to
manage your blood sugars. Your kids might get grumpy and you’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat. If you choose foods that are not healthy, get right back to healthy eating with your next meal. 2. At the party…or when you are hosting at home Start with vegetables to take the edge oﬀ everyone’s appetite. Have (or oﬀer) a small plate for food. Our eyes are sometimes oversized, a small plate helps us all have better portions. Drink (or oﬀer) water or drinks with little or no sugar. Try bubbly or ﬂavoured ﬁzzy waters rather than pop. Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do oﬀer alcoholic drinks, have them with food. Alcohol can lower blood sugar and interact with medicines. 3. Other foods During the holidays we also have favorite sweets or snacks. Having these foods are special too. When you are choosing foods for yourself or family, limit how often and how much of these foods you are eating. Slow down and savor a small serving and make sure to count it in your meal plan. Harm reduction works. If you have a choice between pumpkin pie and pecan pie…..choose pumpkin. You will cut calories and sugar by a third. Holidays are a time to share our love with others by sharing time and foods. Add extra love with foods that share culture, tradition, and are healthy. One recipe that is full of love for me is the cranberry sauce my grandfather made for holidays. Very simple, delicious, and full of love, vitamin C and ﬁbre! Take one bag of cranberries, one orange (washed and cut up, seeds removed) and put in a blender or food processor. Whiz until smooth (ish). Add sugar to taste (1/4-1/2 cup). Let sit for two hours, if you can wait that long! You’ll be surprised! -Jen Cody, registered dietician
TSESHAHT MARKET GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC RIM
Photo by Eric Plummer
Teechuktl staﬀ and volunteers prepare meals during the 2018 Feed the People gathering in Port Alberni. Due to COVID-19 concerns, for the second year in a row boxed meals will be delivered to those in need instead of holding a large gathering.
Feed the People returns Meals will be delivered due to pandemic restrictions By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Port Alberni, BC - The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s (NTC) Teechuktl Mental Health team and Quu’asa staﬀ are gearing up for this year’s Christmas Feed the People. Through food donations, the event will be providing 300 meals to anyone in need in Port Alberni on Dec. 8. “Christmas is a time of year that’s supposed to be happy,” said Irene Robinson, Teechuktl’s Quu’asa southern region outreach wellness worker. “You have family gatherings – you eat together, but not everyone can do that.” Robinson said Feed the People is an opportunity to bring a smile to someone’s face. Now in its 10th year running, the event was created by the late-Ray Seitcher who worked as a senior cultural worker for Quu’asa. “Ray’s goal was to let the [homeless] know that somebody cares about them – that they’re not just on the street and no one thinks about them,” said Robinson. “He wanted them to know that they matter. Somebody does care. Someone does love them.” The luncheon is being catered by Tseshaht First Nation member Margaret Robinson, who is preparing a turkey meal complete with all of the ﬁxings. Although this year’s Port Alberni homeless count recorded a drop in the number of people who identiﬁed as homeless, the individuals who identiﬁed as Indigenous rose from 48 per cent in 2018, to 65 per cent in 2021. “We see our homeless are struggling,” said Robinson. “I love making people happy and making them smile at a time of year when it’s not always easy to smile.”
Before COVID-19, the Teechuktl team held in-person sit-down meals in Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Campbell River, Victoria, Vancouver, and Seattle as part of the annual urban gatherings. “People looked forward to it,” said Robinson. “It was a chance to get together and socialize. It was a chance to have a nice meal. It was a chance for [people] to dress up.” Due to pandemic restrictions and the 421 active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island, meals will be boxed and delivered this year. The Teechuktl staﬀ will begin taking names for a delivery list on Dec. 1. They’re aiming to reserve the meals for homeless people and those with low incomes, but Robinson said, “nobody is turned away.” In the past, staﬀ have coordinated meeting times and locations with those who don’t have homes to ensure they receive their meals. The RCMP and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs BCHL hockey team have stepped up to help deliver this year’s meals. Wacey Rabbit, bulldogs assistant coach, said helping with meal deliveries was a way for the players to give back to the community. While most players are not from the area, he said “we’re still members of the community. That’s always been taught to me, and that’s what I’m making sure these young men know.” Donations are being accepted at the Teechuktl Mental Health oﬃce in Port Alberni. They are still in need of 10 turkeys, as well as socks and gloves for their care packages. “We want people to know that there is someone there for them,” said Robinson. “[We want] them know that they’re loved and cared for.”
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December 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
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Hupacasath, Mosaic brings campground to Loon Lake First Nation and the forestry company develop ʕaʔuk ʔaama k̓anis, meaning the ‘lake loon camp and rest area’ By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – A new campground, oﬀering 27 sites, is expected to open just outside of Port Alberni this coming May. Work on the venture has begun after the Hupacasath First Nation and Mosaic Forest Management recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build the campground. The new facility, which will overlook Mount Arrowsmith, will be on Loon Lake, a stocked ﬁshing lake located about 10 minutes east of Port Alberni. “It’s something to celebrate,” Hupacasath First Nation Councillor Jolleen Dick said of the MoU. “We’re really proud of it. It gives us possession back of our land. It’s something we’ve been ﬁghting for generations.” Hupacasath oﬃcials are also thrilled they have been allowed to name the campground. Its oﬃcial name is ʕaʔuk ʔaama k̓anis, which is pronounced ah-uk aah-ma ka-niss. Hupacasath elected Chief Brandy Lauder said the name translates to ‘lake loon camp and rest area’ in the Hupacasath language. “We value Mosaic recognizing Hupačasath traditional territories and the importance of our culture,” Lauder said. “We look forward to continue working together to explore more opportunities to beneﬁt our people.” Molly Hudson, the director of sustainability for Mosaic Forest Management, said her company has partnered with Hupacasath First Nation on various business and community ventures over the years. For example, the two have worked together in the identiﬁcation of archaeological sites, log purchases and marketing. But this marks the ﬁrst partnership between the two parties involving recreational use of land. The site where the campground is being constructed currently includes a boat launch. But that is being upgraded to a launch that is more accessible. A ﬁshing dock will also be constructed as will a recreational trail network for walkers. Dick said a kiosk will also be installed at the campground. “There be will signage welcoming
Photo submitted by Mosaic Forest Management
Hupacasath First Nation has partnered with Mosaic Forest Management to build the Lake Loon campground.
Jolleen Dick people to the campground and sharing history of the area,” Dick said, adding she’s among those pleased with the Hupacasath name chosen for the facility. Dick believes it will mostly be residents from the province that will be utilizing the campsites. “I think British Columbians would like to camp in more rustic ways,” said Dick, who is serving her second term as a Hupacasath councillor. Hudson said Mosaic oﬃcials are pleased
that representatives from the First Nation were keen to enter into a partnership to build the campground. “We’re really excited they wanted to take these steps with us,” she said. Hudson also said it will be determined in the future on whether to expand the campground and add more sites to it. “It’s always possible,” she said. “We’ll see how things go to start and then we’ll see how we are doing in terms of occupancy.” Hudson cautioned, however, there is only so much space available at the campground and oﬃcials would not want overcrowding to become an issue. News of the latest campground means Mosaic Forest Management has grown its investment in recreational access. The Loon Lake campground is the 14th one the company is invested in on Vancouver Island. Jeﬀ Zweig, the president and CEO of Mosaic Forest Management, said his company is committed to building on its work with various communities to promote recreational access to forest lands.
“The addition of this stunning campsite in the Loon Lake area gives visitors to the Alberni Valley a chance to explore wild places, learn about the culture of Indigenous nations, and connect safely with family and friends,” Zweig said. “It is part of Mosaic’s broader initiative to facilitate recreational opportunities in and around our working forest through dozens of access agreements with local organizations and our network of not-forproﬁt campsites on Vancouver Island.” Josie Osborne, the MLA for Mid Island-Paciﬁc Rim, is also pleased that a partnership was established between the two parties. That partnership will beneﬁt several others. “Spending time outdoors has always been a big part of who we are as west coasters,” she said. “It’s incredible to see the partnership between Mosaic and the Hupacasath First Nation moving forward with the naming of the new campsite. This work is something everyone involved should be proud of, and is an excellent way to share the best of our communities with visitors to the region.”
Tla-o-qui-aht develops new campground sites By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Toﬁno, BC - Large slash piles sit along the side of the highway leading into Toﬁno near the Best Western Plus Tin Wis Resort. The wood is set aside to be ground down by a chipper and used towards the development of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s new RV park and campground. Led by the nation’s new company, Hithuiis Spirit Construction Ltd. (HSC), the Tsawaak RV Resort and Campground is slated to have a soft launch in April. It will host 35 RV sites, at least 12 tent sites, and 13 mini cabins that will be built with longhouse facades. Painted by Tlao-qui-aht artists, each cabin will represent a diﬀerent moon. The logs that were felled for the construction of the project are being milled by San Group in Port Alberni so they can be repurposed and transformed into benches and fences, said Alex Masso Jr., HSC business and project manager.
Tla-o-qui-aht artists will also have the opportunity to select felled trees for carving projects, he added. The job opportunities the project has provided is what Masso said excites him the most. “It’s really exciting to get to work with friends and family,” he said. “Everybody’s learning lots.” Around 10 employees from Tla-o-quiaht and Ahousaht First Nations have rotated in and out of the project, said Tlao-qui-aht First Nation Economic Development Oﬃcer, Jamie Basset. The $5-million project is currently on budget, but Basset said the weather has pushed scheduling behind. “Weather conditions in the last two months have slowed us down quite a bit,” he said. “And surprises in the ground.” It’s just the reality of building right above sea level, he added. After the soft launch in April, Basset said they plan to be fully operational at the beginning of May. Named after the Nuu-chah-nulth phrase
Photo by Melissa Renwick
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s new company, Hithuiis Spirit Construction Ltd., is developing the Tsawaak RV Resort and Campground near the Best Western Plus Tin Wis Resort, in Toﬁno, on Nov. 10. “It’s a hugely complex endeavour, but His-shuk-nish-tsa-waak, meaning “everywe’re looking forward to adding it to the thing is one,” the campground will be a place where people can learn about Tla-o- tourism resort oﬀering that we currently have with the Tin Wis,” said Basset. qui-aht culture and way of life.
December 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
‘Believe in yourself’: Elder thanks for cancer support Despite living an active life, Wally Samuel was born with a hole in his heart, and wasn’t expected to live past 30 By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - Looking back on the cancer diagnosis he received over two years ago, Wally Samuel reﬂects that a terminal outcome never came to mind as he prepared for treatment. “I didn’t really think of death right away or anything like that,” says the Ahousaht member. “I just said, ‘How are we going to beat this? What do we have to do?’.” Samuel had experienced months of unexpected weakness before receiving the news of liver and colon cancer in September 2019. “Before that I was losing a lot of energy,” he recalls. “I barely could walk. I didn’t know what the heck was going on, I thought I was getting old.” A trip to the hospital found he was low in iron, but after 10 transfusions no improvement was evident. Subsequent tests ﬁnally uncovered the growths in his liver and intestine. “We were really shocked at the beginning,” recalls Samuel’s long-time wife, Donna. “I never ever thought we would hear that, but we did.” “I was up north at work and I was really scared when I got the news about the cancer,” says Samuel’s oldest son, Eddie. “I0 think what really touched my heart and encouraged me about life was we had a family meeting, and he told everybody, ‘We’re going to stay positive and stay strong. I’m going to be okay’.” A tumor was removed from his intestine, followed by six months of chemotherapy, entailing two pills in the morning, two in the evening, with monthly blood tests at the hospital. Samuel kept as busy as his health would allow, and even built a fence at his Port Alberni home during the treatment. “It drained me a bit,” he admits. “I couldn’t move around as much as I wanted to. My skin changed colour, my hands and my feet, they got black.” “It was up to me to make sure that he kept up his meals so that his body could handle the chemo,” says Donna. “I cooked everything that he really liked, his favourite foods to give him strength.” “He got really, really weak at home sometimes,” adds Eddie, reﬂecting on his parents’ bond. “My mom was there. She was always up and making sure he was on his medication, making sure he was eating what he’s supposed to be eating. They’re together forever and he couldn’t have done that without her. They support each other all the time.” In September of 2020 Samuel underwent surgery to remove a piece of his liver, taking out what cancer remained. By the following spring the elder’s doctors declared him cancer-free. The family credits the support of loved ones and friends over Samuel’s treatment for helping him get through, including ﬁnancial contributions that helped fund the many stays in Victoria, where his cancer clinic is located. With the relentless November rain pouring outside the Alberni Athletic Hall, the family held a gathering and dinner for nearly 100 of these people on Nov. 27 to express their gratitude, marking Samuel’s 75th birthday. “Throughout his journey on his cancer a lot of people supported him, so we’re just acknowledging those people that helped him throughout that time,” says Samuel’s son, Richard. This wasn’t the ﬁrst health scare he
Photos by Eric Plummer
Almost 100 people gathered at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Nov. 27 to celebrate Wally Samuel’s 75th birthday and his successful treatment for colon and liver cancer. Pictured are Samuel, (above), with Keesa Watts (below) and Rachel Titian. department, and has been involved with the friendship centre in various capacities since 1980. “He made sure that he had some sort of income coming in, especially when our kids were little. It can be done,” recalls Donna. “From when we were young, there wasn’t a time when Wally didn’t have a job. If he’s out of a job, he’s out there looking right away. He never wanted to be in the lineup to go for help from the government.” Wally and Donna have been together since 1966, after meeting while attending the Alberni Indian residential school a few years before. The couple raised ﬁve children, had 16 grandchildren and so far 10 great grandchildren. “I never gave up, I just kept moving and doing things,” says Samuel. “We all ing, ‘We don’t know if we can bring him worked together as a family. That’s my encountered over his life. back. If we bring him back, he might be strength, that’s what keeps me going. “When I was a child I was born with a vegetable’,” says Samuel, who is also Family, friends and our culture. We rea hole in my heart the size of a silver diabetic. “They weren’t sure how long I dollar,” says Samuel, who was born in learned our culture, luckily we had those was out.” cultural people around us.” Ahousaht. Since that heart attack he has been “I didn’t see his resiliency in the resiBy the age of 16 open-heart surgery was equipped with a pacemaker. But this dential school, but I sure did see it in his performed to patch up the hole, but dochasn’t slowed Wally or Donna down. cancer,” admits Donna. “I had never seen tors didn’t expect the boy to live a long He has worked as a marine mechanic up life. that kind of strength in him.” north and lived in Prince Rupert for ﬁve “Keep positive. You’ve got a lot of “They told my dad when they were years working for CN Rail. The family strength in you if you believe in somesending me home that I would be lucky settled in Port Alberni, where Samuel thing,” says Wally. “You’ve got to believe to live past 30,” he reﬂects. “I never rein yourself.” ally worried about it. I just carried on and worked for the city’s public works done what I had to do. It never really affected my mind that I might die young.” Although Samuel had to be careful to not play too aggressively, he enjoyed an active youth. “That’s how I gained my friendships, we played together,” says Samuel. “We were always playing games. It wasn’t really thought of as sports. It was outdoor games, playing on the beach, playing on the ﬁeld, playing in forest.” He did live past 30, but there was a close call. On his 31st birthday it was the Grey Cup, when Wally recalls driving friends somewhere. He was waiting outside on the steps when he suddenly keeled over. His friends eventually found him unconscious outside, rushing Samuel to Port Alberni’s nearby West Coast General in his station wagon. There were no vital signs when he was admitted. “They had my wife on the edge, say-
Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa— December 2, 2021
Nuu-chah-nulth Child and Youth Services Program Bringing services together, for Nuu-chah-nulth children and families Connecting with Your Children As your kids grow they may forget what you said, but won’t forget how you made them feel – Key in Health. Help show your child how much they mean to you by engaging in fun activities. Here are some simple ideas for daily fun with kids.
Make Kool-Aid Playdough
Have a picnic
Ingredients: • 1 1/4 cup ﬂour • 1/4 cup salt • 1 pkg unsweetened Kool-aid (just the dry kool-aid, don’t mix it into juice) • 1 cup boiling water • 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil Directions: 1. In a bowl, mix ﬂour, salt and kool-aid. 2. Stir in water and oil 3. Knead with hands for about 5 minutes. 4. Store in ziploc bag for up to 2 months. 5. Use like playdough. 6. Smells great and is the color of kool-aid.
Whether its going to the beach or park or just laying out a blanket on your front lawn and eating together, kids love connecting with their parents.
Go for a Walk We live in such beautiful communities, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Count how many birds you see, name the ﬂowers, pick berries, balance on logs.
Locations Southern Region Unit B 4835 Argyle St. Port Alberni, V9Y 1V9 Ph: (250) 724-0202, Fax: (250) 720-3693 TF: 1-855-924-0202
Central Region PO Box 279, 151 First St. Toﬁno, V0R 2Z0 Ph: (250) 725-3367, Fax: (250) 725-2158 TF: 1-866-901-3367
Northern Region PO Box 428, 100 Ouwatin Rd. Gold River, V0P 1G0 Ph: (250) 283-2012 Fax: (250) 283-2122 TF: 1-877-283-2012