Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper December 3, 2020

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INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 47 - No. 23—December 3, 2020 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776

Pandemic brings need for mental health balance Front-line workers encourage people to stay connected as wintertime restrictions heighten the risk of isolation By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - Those who monitor the mental health of Nuu-chah-nulth-aht are urging people to find a healthy balance amid tightening COVID-19 restrictions that can lead to wintertime isolation. The emotional and spiritual toll the pandemic has taken on people was a focus of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s Annual General Meeting, which was held this year on Nov. 24 via the online Zoom platform. The effects on mental health are becoming increasingly apparent, commented Medical Health Officer Charmaine Enns. The pandemic has brought a public health emergency for more than eight months, with measures of varying stringency that discourage personal contact in order to control spread of the highly contagious coronavirus. Enns pointed to the opioid crisis, B.C.’s other public health emergency that was in place before the pandemic took hold. The B.C. Coroner’s Service recently reported 162 suspected overdose deaths in October, twice as many as the monthly total from a year ago and the fifth month this year with over 160 illicit drug-related fatalities. So far 1,386 illicit drug deaths have been reported in 2020, while by the end of November 441 fatalities have been attributed to COVID-19 in B.C. The Coroner’s Service links a sustained increase in overdose deaths since March to the higher concentration of fentanyl in what people are getting off the street, but some point to the complex emotional effects of the pandemic as a factor as well. “This is a function of isolation, mental health challenges, the many things that contribute to the drug toxicity deaths have been heightened and exacerbated during the pandemic,” said Enns during the AGM. “There’s really lots to be aware of as we balance approaches and interventions, so that people stay supported and the least amount of harm happens to people. There’s no easy way through this.” Vina Robinson manages Teechuktl Mental Health, which offers front-line services to Nuu-chah-nulth people. She’s heard from her harm reduction workers that some people are using more drugs during the pandemic as a means of coping with trauma. “If these people didn’t have our harm reduction team, we would have lost way more people,” said Robinson. For work that relies on personal connections, functioning under the pandemic’s social distancing requirements has been a challenging adjustment, admits Stan Matthew, a training and prevention coordina-

Photo by Eric Plummer

Staff with Teechuktl Mental Health are bracing for a busy winter, as a growing number of Nuu-chah-nulth people face isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured are Stan Matthew, Teechuktl’s training and prevention coordinator, with Harm Reduction Coordinator Becky Nookemis (left) and Crisis Response Clinical Counsellor Judy North. tor with Teechuktl. During the early days dential school students who, as children, through any means available. Judy North, of the pandemic the number of reports of couldn’t go home for the holidays. Teechuktl’s crisis response clinical counsuicide ideation or attempts increased to Robinson knows some residential school sellor, encourages everyone to reach out three or four a week. survivors who might be triggered when to others before the isolation takes hold. “We had to get really creative, because they can’t visit their home territory this “If you’ve got a loved one living by we couldn’t go knock on their door like year due to on-reserve lockdown meathemselves, give them a phone call, stand we usually do,” said Matthew, noting that sures. outside their door, wave at them, make catching concerning messages on social “They don’t get to go home, they them a Christmas card,” she said. “When media became an essential part of interdon’t get to have a big dinner with their we’re struggling, one of the best self vention. “One of the effects of the panfamilies, so it’s going to be even harder cares is to reach out to somebody else to demic is that people feel really alone.” with the pandemic added to the already support them…reach out to give help.” After the spring Matthew saw the Christmas blues and depression that hapRobinson stressed the importance of ideation reports decline, but concerning pens,” she said. regularly phoning elders. warnings could increase this winter. Ac“A lot of our people who might have “We want them to feel that they’re cared tive cases in B.C. exponentially increased experienced traumatic events in life, for for and loved by us. I’m recommending this fall to nearly 9,000 by the end of them to be alone was really difficult, that more people do that,” she said. “I November, leading Provincial Health Of- because they’re used to being around don’t ever try and end the call, I let them ficer Bonnie Henry on Nov. 19 to intropeople, and they’re used to having some end it.” duce the strongest measures since schools type of support around them,” added Matthew was surprised to get a call and many businesses were closed in the Matthew. “For them to just be in their from an elder a few weeks ago that recipspring. Until at least Dec. 7 masks are home by themselves caused a lot of anxi- rocated this concern. mandatory in all indoor public spaces. No ety, some depression. It also really, really “It was one of the individuals I was social gatherings or events are permitted affected our residential school survivors, calling to check in with all of the time,” – including religious services – and B.C. because it felt like, again, they were behe recalled. “The individual called me households are directed to not host any ing told what to do. They were told they and said, ‘Hey Stan, I’m just checking on visitors. had to stay in to isolate.” you. How are you doing? Are you okay? As British Columbia awaits the next Pandemic isolation isn’t only a hazard Are things well? Do you need anything?’ update to Henry’s orders to control the for elders, said Becky Nookemis, TeeIt really touched me.” virus’s surge, Matthew is anticipating a chuktl’s harm reduction coordinator. If you are struggling with mental health busy winter that more closely resembles “There are youth in Port Alberni who this winter, counseling is available 24 the alerts he received in the spring. don’t have homes, who are in group hours a day, seven days a week. Some “It slowed down, but I think if we homes or are living on the street,” she examples are the Indian Residential continue to remain in this portion of the said. “They can’t go back to their comSchool Survivors and Family Crisis Line COVID, they may rise again,” he said. munities because their communities are at 1-866-925-4419, the Vancouver Island Under normal circumstances, December in lockdown. They’re alone here in Port Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888 and 1-800 can be a sad time for some people. This Alberni.” Suicide at 1-800-784-2433. is particularly the case for former resiBut this brings a greater need to connect

Inside this issue... Ehattesaht reports nine COVID cases........................Page 3 Chantel Moore’s brother dies.....................................Page 5 Homelessness solution update...............................Pages 8-9 Remote settlements adapt to power outages.............Page 11 Restaurant owner apologizes....................................Page 15

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


Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 3, 2020

Nuu-chah-nulth couple hosts online potlatch After eight months of no gatherings due to pandemic restrictions, Facebook event brings live culture to homes By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ty-Histanis, BC – When Steven and Allison Howard saw a post on social media, a friend wistfully wishing someone would host an online potlatch, the couple never thought in a million years that it would be them to do it. “We thought it was crazy and we giggled about it,” said Allison. But after talking it over along with a little pressure from a friend, the couple decided to go ahead with a live-streaming potlatch. Allison is a social development worker for Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation while Steven works in maintenance at Best Western Tin Wis Resort. The couple lives at Ty-Histanis, near Tofino. “We are First Nation people. We love to hug, to be amongst family,” said Steven. He went on to say that without the ability to gather, to be together because of the pandemic, people are starting to suffer. He said he believed that people are beginning to struggle again with alcohol and drugs because they miss being together. “Our grandfathers used to say singing and dancing is medicine for us; music

calms our minds,” said Steven. Allison posted the event on Facebook called Oo’ii Healing Potlatch Online. The English word for Oo’ii is medicine. The post was made Nov. 25 and had over 600 attendees signed up to watch in just two days. The event started at 11 a.m. on Saturday Nov. 28. Allison planned to dance with her daughter while Steve and their son drummed. “We will introduce ourselves and open the floor at noon.” The potlatch was set up in 30-minute segments with people signing up to go live with performances. Only two time slots were left as of Friday evening. “People from Mowachaht/Muchalaht, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’, Tseshaht, Ditidaht, Tla-o-qui-aht and Huu-ay-aht signed up,” said Allison, adding that they would each go live while the audience sat back and watched. “At the end of it all Steven and I will close with one of our songs,” said Allison. “It’s a small step, maybe it will lead to a movement,” added Steven.

Submitted photo

Steven and Allison Howard hosted an online potlatch via Facebook on Nov. 28.

Feed the People adjusts to pandemic restrictions By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - Feed the People returns this December, but instead of a meal shared by hundreds, COVID-19 restrictions have forced organizers to individually deliver food to those who need it most in Port Alberni. Currently in its ninth year, the event has steadily grown since approximately 50 were given a Christmas meal in 2011. Last year Feed the People moved to the Alberni Athletic Hall for a larger venue, and the hall’s kitchen is again being used in 2020, although this time volunteers are not allowed to mix with the caterer. Following social distancing guidelines to lessen the risk of coronavirus transmission, Teechuktl Mental Health’s harm reduction team will pick up the 300 meals for delivery before noon on Dec. 9, with help from members of the Port Alberni RCMP detachment. Using entirely donated food, the Teechuktl team already has a list of who they will be delivering to. “They’re working on the streets, so they know, they know where people have tents set up,” said Teechuktl Manager Vina Robinson. The event still follows the words of a former worker in Teechuktl’s Quu’asa program. “Feed the People every year is for any at risk or homeless people in Port Alberni. It’s not just for Nuu-chah-nulth, it’s not just for First Nations,” explained Robinson. “This was the wish of the late Ray Seitcher. He wanted to feed the people of the Alberni Valley.” For years the number of people showing up each December for a meal indicated the growing needs of Port Alberni’s homeless. But during the COVID-19 pandemic Feed the People’s organizers have seen additional struggles on the streets. Stan Matthew, Teechuktl’s training and prevention coordinator, said the department’s staff have faced escalating needs in the small Vancouver Island city.

Photo by Eric Plummer

The usual gathering of hundreds for the annual Feed the People event will not happen this year due to COVID-19 concerns, but Teechuktl staff and the RCMP are planning to deliver 300 meals on Dec. 9. “They notice the increase in youth and other people coming into the Port Alberni area,” he said. “We know that it’s increased because we’ve increased our team. We’ve added a couple of team members to our harm reduction, so we know there’s a high need for supports.” The homeless situation in Port Alberni has made headlines in recent weeks, when a tent settlement grew to up to two dozen inhabitants outside a Port Alberni Shelter Society facility in November. The tents were evicted by Island Health, but a settlement appeared in Roger Creek Park, which was soon disbanded by the city and RCMP. Robinson has seen many who might have been transient or couch surfing in

the past in a situation where they literally have nowhere to go. “A lot of our people that have mental health issues - like extreme mental health issues - or even anxiety, this has gone through the roof with the pandemic,” she said. “So they’re transient, they’re floating about and they end up here in Port Alberni.” Many First Nations have closed their communities to non-residents in an effort to keep COVID-19 out. But this has left more to seek refuge in cities like Port Alberni, said Robinson, who first saw this issue in the spring. “The prisons were contacting me, because they were releasing prisoners early,” she said. “They were contacting

me to see if these guys who were being released could go home, and the nations said no. So these guys have nowhere to go.” The Teechuktl team normally tours the West Coast each December, bringing a meal and a night of Nuu-chah-nulth culture to people in Nanaimo, Campbell River, Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle. But these Urban Gatherings will not be held this year, leaving the mental health team looking for other ways to lighten people’s spirits. An online Urban Gathering is being planned, and holiday packages are being prepared for some of those who need to be uplifted as the pandemic continues.


December 3, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3

Eha!esaht reports nine active cases in community By the end of November 17 total infections were confirmed in the 100-resident Ehatis, but no hospitalizations By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Ehatis, BC - COVID-19 is spreading through the Ehattesaht Chinehkint First Nation reserve, resulting in nine active cases as of Nov. 30. With the small community of Ehatis under a lockdown order, Councillor Ernie Smith gave an online update to members on Nov. 26 through the First Nation’s Facebook page. He said 11 cases in total had been detected, although two had recovered. “We are on day seven of COVID reaching into our community of Ehatis,” said Smith. “Please everybody, stay home, we don’t want to spread this virus any further than it already has.” By the end of the month total cases reported in Ehatis rose to 17, although eight were considered by Island Health to be fully recovered. Daily life was made even more difficult when a Nov. 27 storm caused a power outage to the reserve next to Zeballos, said Ehattesaht Chief Elect Simon John. “It’s stormy here and the COVID storm continues,” he said, noting that most Ehatis residents don’t have generators to provide backup power. “Hopefully we’re at the back end of it now after a couple of days.” The closest hospital is 200 kilometres away in Campbell River, with part of this trip by logging road. Fortunately, no COVID-19 hospitalizations have been reported from the First Nation. “Everybody is just isolating at home. Some of them are getting transported to Campbell River to hotels,” said John. “If they are in a house with COVID, they cannot stay in the house.” “Anyone requiring hospitalization related to COVID-19 symptoms will be transferred to an appropriate acute care facility and there are plans in place to accommodate those transfers, if and when

Photo by Eric Plummer

Ehatis is next to Zeballos, where the closest hospital is 200-kilometres away. they are needed,” stated Island Health in those in their home. an email to Ha-Shilth-Sa. John said it has not been determined if Supplies of personal protective equipthe school’s visitor is responsible for the ment have been provided by Island cluster of cases, noting the limitations of Health and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal contact tracing into the origin of the comCouncil’s nursing department, while a munity’s coronavirus cluster. nurse has come to the community almost “We’re beyond that by a week now, daily to perform testing, explained John. you can’t go that far back to generate A rapid testing machine in Port McNeill the result of where it started,” he said. is being used to identify cases, said Island “We don’t know where it started, that’s Health what we’re not aware of because tracing “Any symptomatic close contacts will doesn’t go backwards, it goes forwards.” be tested to identify new cases as quickly The spread of cases in the remote comas possible,” wrote the health authority. munity is a scenario that many Nuu-chah“Island Health’s GeneXpert machine lonulth leaders have feared for months. In cated in Port McNeill is supporting rapid September the NTC, Heiltsuk Nation and testing for these remote communities. Tsilhqot’in National Government filed Residents of the area were alerted on a complaint to the B.C. Information and Nov. 20 that a positive COVID-19 case Privacy Commission, pushing for First had spent time at the Zeballos ElemenNations to be supplied with more detailed tary Secondary School earlier in the information on positive cases near their week, and this person also visited Ehatis communities. The coalition is asking for as well as the nearby Nuchatlaht comthe specific location of a confirmed infecmunity of Oclujce. Contact tracing from tion, whether the case is someone who the BC Centre for Disease Control began has travelled to a First Nation community Nov. 21, while Ehattesaht members were in the preceding two weeks and the identold to self isolate and only socialize with tity of the person if they are a member of

one of the collective’s nations. The name of the case is necessary for effective, culturally sensitive contact tracing, argues the coalition. “As one of our communities is in the midst of an outbreak, this information becomes even more critical to Nuu-chahnulth,” stated Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, in a press release. “We call on Premier Horgan to ensure his new ministers’ mandate letters include a strong commitment to sharing information and saving Indigenous lives.” The province has yet to bend to this call, citing the importance of protecting the privacy of positive cases. During a press conference on Sept. 15, Health Minister Adrian Dix commented that risking the disclosure of a person’s identity could discourage more people from reporting themselves as the province works to control the pandemic. “There are issues to balance here in terms of people’s right to privacy, which is closely connected to their willingness to engage in the process of the health care system. This has been a discussion from the very beginning with the first cases,” said Dix. “We have seen examples in communities - it can be a challenge in small communities and big communities - who are being blamed for having COVID-19, and we want people to come forward. We want people to let us know who their contacts are.” Meanwhile, residents of Ehatis are carrying on with their lives to the best of their ability under a lockdown. With a cellphone resting of his car’s dashboard, Frisco Lucas videotaped a message to help Ehattesaht members. “I’m going to do a quick chant for you guys, I understand there’s more numbers coming out,” he said in a post on the First Nation’s Facebook page.

Nations tighten restrictions as exposures reported By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Vancouver Island, BC - As B.C.’s provincial health officer urges people to not congregate and risk spreading COVID-19, Nuu-chah-nulth communities on the west coast are locking down with even more stringent restrictions than what people across the province are struggling with. Day-to-day life changed yet again for many in B.C. on Nov. 19, after Dr. Bonnie Henry announced mandatory masks in all public spaces, with no events or gatherings until at least Dec. 7. This includes children’s playdates or hosting visitors from outside one’s immediate household, with the exception of childcare by grandparents or two select individual visitors for those who live alone. These measures followed a surge in active cases this fall, rising from under 1,700 in mid-Sept to almost 9,000 on Nov. 30. “We have learned that as we move into winter, the virus spreads more easily,” said Henry during a Nov. 23 press conference. “It is our most challenging time, and we are all feeling the strain.” On Nov. 30, 2,077 new COVID-19 cases were reported over the previous three days, including 58 on Vancouver Is-

land. Currently 316 of those infected are hospitalized in the province, including 75 in intensive care. “We need to urgently reduce the level of transmission in our province to keep our schools and workplaces open, and relieve that very real stress we are seeing right now on our health care system,” said Henry. “That means reducing our social gatherings, our social interactions and events.” Meanwhile, Nuu-chah-nulth communities on Vancouver Island’s west coast had already tightened up on the day-to-day activities of residents. The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, which reported a COVID-19 case in Esowista on Sunday, Nov. 22, has required residents in its coastal reserves to not visit other households, with 9 p.m. curfew in place. All members of the Ehattesaht First Nation living in Ehatis or adjacent Zeballos are being ordered to not gather with other households, after it was discovered on Nov. 20 that a positive case visited Zeballos school and the nearby Nuchatlaht community of Oclujce earlier in the week. As of Nov. 30 a total of 17 cases were reported in Ehatis, although eight had fully recovered. “We are asking all members to self isolate until further notice,” stated the Ehattesaht First Nation in a notice to members

living in the small coastal communities. “We are also asking all members to stay calm, wash your hands more than usual, wear a mask in the house if you feel sick or nervous about your own exposure, only socialize within your home/apartment.” On Sunday, Nov. 22 Ahousaht members were told to postpone all non-essential travel to or from the Flores Island community. As of Dec. 1 at least three confirmed cases have been reported from the community, with one being transported to hospital. “There are limited health services in our region,” stated the First Nation. “Tofino General Hospital has only one ventilator and room for less than 10 patients overall. Ahousaht has a simple clinic and no hospital beds in our community. Everyone’s safety is a huge concern.” Those living in Ahousaht who work outside the community are now required to carry a travel safety plan approved by the First Nation’s Emergency Operations Centre before boarding a water taxi. Masks are now mandatory in Ahousaht’s public spaces and schools, while all gatherings are prohibited and members are told to not meet with anyone outside of their household. A 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew remains in place. While this fall’s rising number of infec-

Dr. Bonnie Henry tions have heightened anxiety among people across the province, Health Minister Adrian Dix has noted that B.C. has one of the highest survival rates of North American jurisdictions with a comparable size. Out of a population of just over 5 million, by December 33,238 people in the province tested positive for COVID-19 this year. Of those infected, 441 have succumbed to the respiratory disease, giving B.C. a 98.7 per cent survival rate.


Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 3, 2020 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

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

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DEADLINE: Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is December 11, 2020 After that date, material submitted and judged appropriate cannot be guaranteed placement but, if material is still relevant, will be included in the following issue. In an ideal world, submissions would be typed rather than hand-written. Articles can be sent by e-mail to holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org (Windows PC). Submitted pictures must include a brief description of subject(s) and a return address. Pictures with no return address will remain on file. Allow two - four weeks for return. Photocopied or faxed photographs cannot be accepted.

LETTERS and KLECOS Ha-Shilth-Sa will include letters received from its readers. Letters MUST be signed by the writer and have the writer’s full name, address and phone number on them. Names can be withheld by request. Anonymous submissions will not be accepted. We reserve the right to edit submitted material for clarity, brevity, grammar and good taste. We will definitely not publish letters dealing with tribal or personal disputes or issues that are critical of Nuu-chah-nulth individuals or groups. All opinions expressed in letters to the editor are purely those of the writer and will not necessarily coincide with the views or policies of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council or its member First Nations. Ha-Shilth-Sa includes paid advertising, but this does not imply Ha-Shilth-Sa or Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council recommends or endorses the content of the ads.

Huu-ay-aht mourns the loss of a member By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Vancouver, BC – A Huu-ay-aht person has died after contracting COVID-19. Edward Johnson of Huu-ay-aht’s Executive Council confirmed that their member died on Nov. 25 in a hospital located on the Lower Mainland. The member’s name will not be released out of respect for the privacy of the family and at the request of Huu-ay-aht leadership. Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert Dennis is asking people to abide by provincial health authority pandemic restrictions, including avoiding all non-essential travel. Johnson reminds people that when they grocery shop, they should stock up rather than making several small trips to the grocery store. He went on to say that food is being delivered to Huu-ay-aht elders so that they will not have to risk exposing themselves to the virus by going to grocery stores. Johnson said he knows that maintaining social distance from our loved ones is difficult given the fact that Nuu-chah-nulth-

aht are a gathering people. “This can be tough on us mentally, but we can seek out other ways to connect with family members using social media platforms and making phone calls,” he said. In a phone call with his grandmother, Johnson said she reminded him that everyone needs to be careful and stay home. “What I got from the conversation with my grandma was exactly what our three sacred principles say – we need to respect one another but most importantly we need to respect ourselves and take care of ourselves [so we can] take care of our families,” he shared. In response to the rising number of cases the provincial health authority as issued more safety restrictions including the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces, avoiding all non-essential travel and limiting your core bubble to household members only. The restrictions are in place until Dec. 7, 2020. HFN asks everyone to follow the new restrictions to minimize the spread of COVID-19. On Friday the B.C. Ministry of Health

Rainbow Gardens residents test positive By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - Two days after a staff member at Tsawaayuus Rainbow Gardens tested positive for COVID-19, a case has been reported with a resident in the longterm care facility. Island Health declared an outbreak at the Port Alberni care home on Nov. 16, following its policy when a staff member is confirmed to have the highly contagious respiratory disease. All workers and the facility’s 44 residents are being tested, and results from one resident came back positive on Wednesday, Nov. 18. “One of the residents deemed as a close contact to the initial staff case has tested positive for COVID-19,” stated Island Health in a release. “As a precautionary measure, this resident will be transferred out of the facility and that is expected to occur on the evening of Nov. 18.”

Then on Nov. 25 another person living at the facility was reported to have the coronavirus. Both residents did not show any symptoms of COVID-19, and there was no transportation announced for the third case. “This resident was one of the three initially deemed as a close contact to the initial staff case, is not currently experiencing symptoms, and we do not suspect this positive test is indicative of widespread transmission within the facility,” said Island Health. “All residents and staff who work at the site received a second COVID-19 test earlier this week. At this time, no additional cases have been identified.” The health authority noted that results from all others who work and live in Rainbow Gardens have so far come back negative. “Since the outbreak was declared on Nov. 16, the three residents considered

close contacts to the initial staff case have been isolated in their rooms, the unit where their rooms are located has been isolated from the rest of the building, and staff movement has been restricted to that unit,” continued the press release. In an effort to control the outbreak, the use of personal protective equipment has been enhanced across the facility, and additional public health nurses are working at Rainbow Gardens to speed up the testing process, stated Island Heath. Those who live next to the long-term care home in Rainbow Gardens’ assisted living units are also being tested. In a notice to families, Rainbow Gardens said that only essential visits are permitted at this time for critically ill residents and those undergoing end-oflife care. One visitor per resident is allowed for these cases, while school-aged children and youth as well as younger visitors are asked not to come.

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COVERAGE: Although we would like to be able to cover all stories and events, we will only do so subject to: - Sufficient advance notice addressed specifically to Ha-Shilth-Sa. - Reporter availability at the time of the event. - Editorial space available in the paper. - Editorial deadlines being adhered to by contributors.

Edward Johnson announced 911 new cases, with another 11 deaths. The number of people hospitalized with symptoms has risen to 301, including 69 in critical care. To date 395 people have succumbed to the respiratory disease. Huu-ay-aht is sending out relief payments to members to assist them during this time of rapidly increasing COVID cases.

Ha-Shilth-Sa belongs to every Nuu-chah-nulth person including those who have passed on, and those who are not yet born. A community newspaper cannot exist without community involvement. If you have any great pictures you’ve taken, stories or poems you’ve written, or artwork you have done, please let us know so we can include it in your newspaper. E-mail holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org. This year is Ha-Shilth-Sa’s 46th year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!

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December 3, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5

Chantel Moore’s brother dies, family turns grief to help Family turns tragedy into a call to help the homeless, after Moore’s brother faced years of struggle on the streets By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Six months after she laid her daughter to rest, Martha Martin is facing the unthinkable; she is preparing for the funeral of another child. Martin, the mother of Chantel Moore, the young woman shot and killed by Edmunston, NB police during a wellness check last June, has made another long journey back to her west coast homeland after receiving word that her son has died. Michael Martin, age 23, was found deceased in a city jail cell after an apparent suicide. Martin explained that her son had been struggling lately but he had hopes and dreams. “My son was living on the streets. He struggled with addiction, got himself in trouble and ended up in jail,” Martha said. Mike was released from custody on conditions but was re-arrested and placed in custody at the Surrey pre-trial centre. “I don’t know what he breached; that information is not available to me,” said Martha. Martha said that her son committed suicide in his cell on the night of Friday, Nov. 13 and was found the following morning. She was notified of his death late on Saturday, Nov. 14. But the young man had hopes for the future. In a video featuring Mike, who is was interviewed by what appears to be a support worker, he talks about how he wound up on the streets. Mike tells the interviewer that he was in foster care and felt like his needs were not being met there. At the time he thought the streets would be a far better alternative. “I didn’t plan on staying in the streets but here I am…seven, eight years later,” he tells the camera. Mike goes on to say that his identification was stolen a couple of years ago before he went to jail. Without it, he can’t apply for assistance or for a job. When asked if he wants a job he answered that he would love to work. Mike said it is terrible being in the streets and he hates it. “I would like for people to help, to give me a chance but most people look at me with disgust,” he said. Martha said that she spoke to her son in early November, about ten days before his death. She said he had planned on coming to New Brunswick to meet his dad and get a new start but then the phone calls stopped. “He wanted to get a fresh start, look for work but he couldn’t come right away because of his conditions,” Martha shared. Through her tears she said, “You never think you will lose two of your kids – one

Denise Titian photo

Martha Martin delivers food and care packages to people in Port Alberni on Nov. 21, eight days after the death of her son. shot by cops, one in jail. How does this happen in jail?” Martha flew to British Columbia from New Brunswick shortly after her son’s death. She said that an autopsy had been completed and the death is being investigated internally. “I wait for answers; it seems I spend more time waiting for answers than getting them,” she said. The Martin family reached out relatives seeking donations to help the less fortunate in Port Alberni. They came to the Safe Injection Site on Saturday, Nov. 21with vehicle loads of donated clothing, food and blankets to give away. “They’re human too; in the end all our blood is the same,” said Martha through her tears, noting that her son struggled with addiction and homelessness. “We want to give some hope, we want to make a difference.” People were offered hot drinks, soup, sandwiches and sports drinks. Boxes of comfort items, including new socks, hats and clean blankets were set out on the sidewalk for people to take what they need. Comfort packages filled with toiletries were made to give away.

Facebook photo

Chantel Moore and her brother Mike Martin. Moore was shot dead during a police wellness check on June 4. Less than six months later he brother died by suicide in a Surrey jail cell. One woman drove from Courtenay with boxes of comfort items. Not wanting to give her name, she said she was there to honor her brother, Mike. She and Mike lived in the same foster home at one point. “I want our leadership to step forward and recognize that a lot of our people struggling with homelessness - and now with COVID-19 - there are less options,” said Martha. She was outraged when she heard that the City of Port Alberni took down a homeless camp near the RCMP detachment. “They’re being treated like they’re not human,” said Martha. She went on to say that something needs to be done to combat addiction. There are not enough resources out there, she pointed out.

Grace Frank, Martha’s mother, helped distribute food and comfort items. She said she talks to street people and knows there are some that try sobering up, but there’s just no support. “Some people have tried, and they go looking for an apartment, but nobody wants them once they know their history,” Frank said. “We brought some food to people we know about,” she added. “Justine, the young lady that sits on at the bench at Dairy Queen, I heard that her boyfriend died there so she sits and waits for him to come back.” Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council President Judith Sayers stressed that Mike Martin’s suicide is linked to the shooting death of his sister in June by police. “We need to eradicate the systemic racism in the justice system that will prevent the compounding effects of one tragic event that insidiously touches many lives,” said Sayers. “We can’t keep these stories silent anymore,” added NTC Vice-President Mariah Charleson. She noted that within the span of six months, Martha has had to say goodbye to two of her children. “This is another reminder that the justice system in Canada continues to fail First Nations peoples all across this country. We must demand more.” “The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and all of its members express the deepest, heartfelt sympathies to Martha Martin, her entire family and the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation. We stand in support of Martha, her family and community at this incredibly sad time,” Charleson added. The funeral service for Michael Martin was held Nov. 24. “He would have been 24 on Jan. 27. I’m still struggling with the death of my daughter; this is so unfair,” said Martin.

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Report finds widespread racism in health care Plan released for fundamental changes to a system that needs to ‘root out’ discrimination cited by thousands By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Victoria, BC - An independent review into the discrimination of Indigenous people in B.C.’s health-care system has found “widespread” and “insidious” problems touching all points of care. The report, In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care, was prompted by allegations about an organized “Price is Right” game involving guessing the blood alcohol contents of Aboriginal patients in B.C. emergency rooms. On June 19, Health Minister Adrian Dix appointed former judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to investigate the allegations and recommend actions. While Turpel-Lafond found no evidence of an organized game, she did find anecdotal signs of multiple activities that resembled the allegations, she said. “Indigenous people and health-care workers have spoken clearly - racism is an ugly and undeniable problem in B.C. health care that must be urgently addressed,” Turpel-Lafond said in a release. “This report provides a blueprint for fundamental changes to beliefs, behaviours and systems that are necessary in order for us to root out racism and discrimination and ensure that the basic human rights of Indigenous people to respect, dignity and equitable health care are upheld.” Collecting the voices of nearly 9,000 Indigenous patients, family members, third-party witnesses and health care workers, the review found that “pervasive, interpersonal systemic racism” adversely affects not only patient and family experiences, but also long-term health outcomes for Indigenous peoples in B.C. “I am afraid to go to any hospital,” said one Indigenous respondent in the review. “When I do have to, I dress up like I’m going to church.” More than two-thirds of Indigenous respondents reported having experienced discrimination based on their ancestry and more than one-third of non-Indigenous respondents reported witnessing

Province of B.C. photo

On Nov. 30 Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, independent investigator, provided a report on her investigation into allegations of racist practices in B.C.’s health-care system. interpersonal racism or discrimination a tone for how we respond to this at the As an immediate step, Dix said that five against Indigenous patients, their family point of care.” new Indigenous health liaison positions or friends. Around one year ago, the B.C. Declaraare being added in each health authority Among the top negative assumptions tion on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples within the province. that are circulating in B.C.’s health Act was passed. Turpel-Lafond said that He extended an “unequivocal” apology care system is the idea that Indigenous shifts are starting to be made within the to those who have experienced racism patients are less worthy, that they’re alco- health care system, which she can see while accessing health care services in holics, that they’re drug seeking and that through this report. B.C. “now, and in the past.” they are incapable of adhering to treat“There is a greater degree of openness The health minster said that the report ment and medical advice, Turpel-Lafond and willingness to shift at the point of gives the provincial health care system said during a telephone press conference. care in all the various partners in the the opportunity to accelerate a “compreThe review has made 24 recommendahealth care system, but it is right to make hensive approach to address long-standtions, including the need for having a those changes,” she said. ing challenges of racism and the legacy greater degree of accountability within The independent reviewer said she is of colonialism rooted in principles of the system. calling on minister Dix to consider creathuman rights.” “At this point, I’m not confident that we ing the role of a new B.C. Indigenous “We all need to recognize and re-comhave a systemic approach to tackling rac- health officer – “a B.C. Indigenous health mit to eradicating racism from our health ism against Indigenous people in B.C.,” representative and advocate that can system,” said Dix, “to ensure that our said Turpel-Lafond. “I can say though, ensure the complaints and concerns of beliefs and behaviours are anti-racist and that it’s important that the government of Indigenous people are processed through based in cultural humility.” British Columbia – minister Dix – sets the quality review process and are heard.”

New award recognizes work towards reconciliation By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter A new award has been launched by the lieutenant governor of British Columbia that aims to honour those who have demonstrated a commitment to furthering reconciliation with Indigenous peoples within the province. In partnership with the BC Achievement Foundation, the British Columbia Reconciliation Award was established to help inspire British Columbians to work together to help forge a new future. “Reconciliation to me is making the wrongs right,” said Judith Sayers, BC Achievement Foundation board member and president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “It’s addressing all of those historic grievances and putting them behind us.” Janet Austin, B.C. lieutenant governor, said she has a responsibility to demonstrate leadership towards advancing reconciliation within the province. “Reconciliation must take root in our hearts, within families, between generations and throughout our communities,”

she said in a release. “I look forward to supporting this award and its deeply meaningful goal of building our relationships with each other across cultures and social barriers.” The award was founded by Steven Point, former B.C. lieutenant governor and member of the Stó:lō Nation. He has a hand-carved red cedar canoe on display at the B.C. Parliament Buildings, which was gifted as a symbol of reconciliation. “We’re all in the same canoe,” he said, encouraging British Columbians to “paddle together.” “Our world and its issues are not apart from us, but rather are a part of who we are,” Point said in a release. “We must not stand by and observe the world, but rather take steps to bring positive change.” Open to Indigenous and non-indigenous individuals, groups and organizations, nominations will be accepted until Jan. 15, 2021. “Reconciliation builds relationships and bridges the gap between two worlds through the efforts of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples,” said Say-

ers. While COVID-19 means that the award will be celebrated virtually, “it’s the reality we live in and hopefully we can do justice for those groups that are selected for the awards,” she said. As a member of the selection committee, Sayers said she hopes see a “broad, cross-section” of reconciliation efforts being made by British Columbians. “There’s a lot of negativity out there about ‘reconciliation’ – that’s it just an overused word,” she said. “But it really is an important cornerstone of what we’re building right now in B.C.” B.C. Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin


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Volunteers losing hope an immediate homeless solution

A second tent se•lement in Roger Creek Park was quickly taken down as the city follows COVID-19 restrictions, leaving some to w By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Volunteers at the forefront of Port Alberni’s homelessness issue are feeling frustrated with the city and other community stakeholders who they say aren’t offering immediate housing solutions for the most vulnerable. On Nov. 19 the second dwelling made by a group of homeless individuals and advocates was torn down by City of Port Alberni officials and members of the Port Alberni RCMP. The new camp was set up in a city-owned gazebo at Roger Creek Park after campers were evicted by Island Health earlier in the week from the Eighth Avenue lot next to the Port Alberni shelter. The original tent city was formed in conjunction with a protest against the Port Alberni Shelter Society (PASS) that is now under investigation by a third-party reviewer contracted by BC Housing. After campers were evicted from the Eighth Avenue location, some were given temporary shelter at hotels by Island Health, but protest organizer and advocate Graham Hughes said no permanent solution was offered to house people more than a few nights. “What we ended up getting was only three (hotel) rooms up until Wednesday (Nov. 18) morning,” said Hughes. “The core group of us was about 25, we’re down to about 14 now. This isn’t touching the homeless who can find couches, hallways or the homeless sleeping down at Randy Brown’s trailers. These are the absolute homeless people who really have nowhere to go right now. We needed a spot where we could just kind of be for the time being thinking something is going to gain traction with Island Health, something is going to happen with the city.” Hughes said they picked Roger Creek Park as the new location because it’s somewhat out of site and there are washrooms nearby. Tarps were set up to add more privacy in the gazebo and a propane fire pit was available for warming. “A lot of people were coming to warm up, getting out of the rain because with covid now there’s more lockdowns, more restrictions and everything is closed,” Hughes said. “There’s really nowhere for people to go to get shelter aside from hiding under awnings or door jams.” The Bread of Life on Third Avenue is undergoing renovations to open in December as a daytime warming centre three days a week for the homeless population, but until then individuals continue to seek places to get warmth. On the first two days of set up at Roger Creek, city bylaw staff came by the site and issued verbal warnings and on Thursday (Nov. 19) two people were issued trespass notices. Bylaw officers told campers they were not permitted to stay overnight in the gazebo and that the propane fire pit was a hazard. Later that night, city officials went back to the site and told everyone camping they had to leave immediately and all their belongings were removed and contained by the city. Hughes said the approximately 10 homeless individuals who were at the gazebo when city staff came by to dismantle it all fled. He said city staff removed all the belongings from the gazebo including Naloxone kits, propane tanks, clothing and blankets. “That’s their response instead of opening up Echo Centre, that’s their response instead of doing absolutely anything,”

A group of supporters (above) gathered on Third Avenue to distribute Naloxone kits to the homeless and at risk community around the Uptown cor Avenue. The Naloxone kits were sourced after several were taken by the city from the Roger Creek Camp. Rally organizer Graham H supporters who gathered on Nov. 13 to help hand out Naloxone kits to vulnerable individuals in the community.

“Bylaw told us it’s not a problem if they’re by themselves… even though every health authority out here is saying do not use alone, do not be alone, be together” ~ Graham Hughes Hughes said. Hughes said bylaw told him and the campers that staying overnight becomes a problem when people begin to gather in groups because it is a public safety risk. “Bylaw told us it’s not a problem if they’re by themselves… even though every health authority out here is saying do not use alone, do not be alone, be together,” Hughes said. City of Port Alberni CAO Tim Pley said individuals were given notice the day before the eviction that they couldn’t continue to occupy the gazebo. “The people that were occupying the space had been notified and served notice that they should remove personal belongings prior and what was left there was collected by the city,” Pley said. “[The gazebo] is a public-use facility like all parks and if people want to use if for day use, if they want to use any of our parks, they can book the facility.” Pley said the city has opened facilities in the past like Echo Centre in emergency situations to house people who are displaced, like a few years ago when there was a bomb threat at the old shelter building. “We’ve been in daily contact with providers like the shelter society and CMHA

(Canadian Mental Health Association) and they tell us on a daily basis that there’s unused capacity every night at the shelter. If that capacity gets used up in any day we can open the old shelter as overflow,” Pley said. “We’ve heard the calls for why doesn’t the city open facilities. The city’s not well positioned to provide low-barrier housing or social housing, we are well positioned to lobby on behalf of those folks and the mayor has been very active doing that.” Pley said if people have no other alternative, they can temporarily sleep in public parks if they move on in the morning, but they can’t set up permanent residence on

public land. By Monday, Nov. 23 volunteers were able to retrieve some of the possessions seized by the city from Roger Creek Park. Since the removal of campers from the Roger Creek gazebo, Hughes said himself and a few other volunteers have opened their own pockets and bought motel rooms for some of the homeless individuals. “The days of kind of hoping and believing that city council, Island Health, BC Housing actually cared and want to respond, the days of that hope are kind of dwindling and so really the hope that we


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ess solution will be available

ictions, leaving some to wonder where shelter will be this winter

Photos by Karly Blats

community around the Uptown core and down to Fourth y organizer Graham Hughes (below) speaks to a group of

have here is in our community itself,” Hughes said. “We have to rally and bring this forward because at this point it is very evident the only people that want to see something done about this are the people getting arrested.” In a Nov. 19 response to the Ha-ShilthSa, BC Housing said the third-party investigation into a number of allegations against the shelter society is underway and expected to take several weeks. BC Housing will not be commenting on the review until it is complete. Heidi Hartman, Vancouver Island regional director with BC Housing, told Port Alberni city council on Nov. 23 that

the Port Alberni shelter does have eight overflow beds available at the old shelter location, just down the street from Our Home on Eighth, if the shelter reaches full capacity. “What we do find through the housing first principle that BC Housing follows for both our shelter beds and for our supportive housing is the fact that while beds may be available, whether it’s shelter or housing, that folks may choose not to access those resources even though they may be readily available,” Hartman said. “But the really key piece to that is to meet people where they’re at, to always have those resources available if there is a change of mind.” Speaking on data from the entire province, Hartman said sometimes individuals may choose not to stay in a shelter because of rules and regulations like sharing of information, consent forms, paperwork or shelter operations. “It is up to our non-profit shelter operators…to have those house rules. As part of an operational review, BC Housing will review those every three years,” Hartman said. “What I will say is for communities where there is only one shelter, and this would be an example in Port Alberni, we need the shelter to be as accessible and welcoming as possible.” Allegations against the PASS include strict rules that result in individuals being banned for life from staying at the shelter. Hartman said BC Housing is aware that the housing demand isn’t being met in Port Alberni but that they’re always looking at what partnerships may be available to find a solution. She said there are currently about 80 to 90 applications in Port Alberni made to the supportive housing registry. “I do just want to highlight the need in our community for additional supportive housing and I know that CMHA is one example of a group in the community that has been working on a supportive housing project for the last few years with support from the city, and there just hasn’t been an opportunity for that to be funded,” said Mayor Sharie Minions at the Nov. 23 council meeting. Katrina Kiefer, executive director with CMHA Port Alberni, said all communities in the province and across the country are facing the difficulties of meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, and Port Alberni is no different. “Vulnerable populations, just like any other part of our community, are not generic. Individuals have varying needs which sometimes are different from the solutions that existing programs provide” Kiefer said. The Canadian Mental Health Association, through a contract with BC Housing and a COVID relief grant, employs outreach workers who connect with vulnerable populations, both housed and unhoused, within Port Alberni. “With specific reference to the unhoused, CMHA workers establish relationships and learn from the individual what their housing needs are, and what type of housing they will accept,” Kiefer said. “The housing options cross the entire spectrum from temporary night-by-night options, through to private landlord long-term rentals.” Kiefer said sometimes the housing option available to individuals is provided by the Port Alberni shelter, which sometimes may not be the best fit. “Where the individual is not receptive to the housing offered, CMHA workers continue to keep contact with the individual and review housing options as the situation changes,” Kiefer said.

Photo by Karly Blats

Lisa George, community service provider and homeless advocate, has proposed to the city to use her home (the former Redford House care home) on Redford Street to temporarily house homeless individuals.

These doors could be open for the homeless Lisa George is pushing for the city and Island Health to consider her building as a temporary solution By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - A Port Alberni advocate for the homeless wants to open her property to shelter those who have resorted to living in tents. Lisa George has been working around the clock with the group of homeless individuals evicted from the Eighth Avenue lot and then the Roger Street Gazebo. She owns the former Redford House care home that will be vacant until April 1, which has the capacity for 24 beds. George has proposed to Island Health and the city that they give her permission to allow the Redford house to be a temporary solution for the homeless who have not used the Port Alberni Shelter Society’s facilities, offering a low-barrier, semi-supported housing option for the community. “I have created an operational budget that includes rent, utilities, insurance, food, consumables and staffing based on providing 24 beds. The staffing model provides 24/7 double staff on site with peer supports included in the model,” George wrote in her letter to Mayor Sharie Minions. “Our sleeping spaces are large enough to accommodate six-feet spacing to be mindful of the COVID pandemic.” George estimates the budget required is approximately $47,000 per month. She’s seeking the city’s support in waiving permitting and licensing fees given this solution is only temporary. Without financial help from community stakeholders, advocates are considering fundraising options, should George be granted permission to provide this service.

Meanwhile, local homeless advocate Graham Hughes says people are still sleeping on the street with nowhere to go. A review mandated by BC Housing into the Port Alberni Shelter Society persists, but this investigation is expected to take several weeks and BC Housing is not commenting until the assessment is complete. As part of the protest that began almost a month ago, advocates are calling for a list of banned ex-shelter residents to be reviewed so people can have somewhere to go. “Every administrator working the homeless and substance use sector knew the shelter was barring countless folks from refuge and none of them did so much as report it,” Hughes said. Hughes believes the only way forward is for members of the community to form a new society from scratch that reflects the “actual values of our community and its residents.” The Port Alberni Shelter Society provides 30 supportive housing units, 23 emergency shelter beds, one family unit and 15 extreme weather beds. The shelter also runs Port Alberni’s Safe Injection Site, with more initiatives in development for the community’s most vulnerable. They offer a variety of supports and services that empower individuals towards self-sufficiency and a sense of belonging within the community, according to the society’s website. The society’s mission statement includes aiming to be a “model for compassion and acceptance of everyone regardless of their circumstances, create a safe environment of mutual respect for each other and maintain a welcoming environment where residents feel at home”.


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Sharing ancestors’ teachings through social media Tla-o-qui-aht elder and carver relies on technology to stay connected to others during the COVID-19 pandemic By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Tofino, BC - Master carver Joe Martin normally keeps an open-door policy. It’s been customary for people from different territories and nationalities to drop by Martin’s workshop in Tofino and soak in his teachings. Theatrically waving his hands through the air, Martin would tell stories of how his ancestors used to pierce a whale under its left front flipper by launching a harpoon from a canoe with the strength of one arm. “I’m well over my mid-life,” said the 67-year-old. “It’s the law of nature – one day I’m not going to be here. Having teachings and passing them on is a responsibility.” No longer able to host visitors due to the ongoing pandemic, Martin has turned to social media as a way of sharing his ancestor’s stories. By posting short videos of teachings to his personal Facebook page, the Tlao-qui-aht elder is hoping to appeal to younger generations. “That’s where we have their attention,” he said of the youth within his nation. Martin thinks back on his childhood with fondness. Considering himself one of the fortunate ones, he didn’t go to residential school. Instead, his father and grandfather were his teachers. Spending their days out on the land, Martin’s father would recount teachings to him over-and-over. Through oral repetition, his family’s histories seeped into his psyche and became a part of his being. As the world changes, the way we interact has transformed. Oral stories are being disseminated online as a way to bring communities together because people are unable to gather. “We have to adjust,” said Martin. “And this is how we’re adjusting.” In trying to capturethe attention of Tlao-qui-aht’s youth, Martin said that he has also connected with elders of his generation who were forced to attend residential school. Stripped of the teachings from their own grandparents, some have clung to Martin’s stories. During the first week of lockdown at the end of March, Cory Howard, Huu-

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Gisele Martin takes a video of her father, Joe, describing the process of building a dugout canoe from inside his workshop in Tofino, on Nov. 25. Using plants as an example, Gisele said was met with gratitude. ay-aht First Nations health and wellness that she would never go to another na“Even though they couldn’t be there, coordinator, began posting live videos of tion’s territory to harvest. it helped them with their day,” she said. himself singing his family’s songs. There are a lot of considerations to “Through social media, I’m connected It is a practice he has continued every be made about the reciprocal relationto people in a lot of different territories Tuesday evening, drawing in an average ship people have with plants, along with and get to hear their stories – it helps me of 500 viewers. traditional protocols that might not come navigate how I do things here.” “People are loving it,” said Howard. through in a video, she said. Gisele has been helping her father with “They say it’s medicine for them.” Being a gathering people, online platAfter his cousin was stricken with COV- his videos. The recordings extend beyond forms have provided a space for NuuID-19 last week, Howard recorded a song the technicalities of how to carve a trachah-nulth members to come together. ditional dugout canoe. Collaboratively, and sent it to him. But, as important as it is to connect with “It makes [people] feel better when they they try to weave in stories about how have culture in their life,” he said. “When generations of salmon returning to a river people, Gisele said it’s equally vital to interact with the landscape around you. they’re down, it lifts them up.” system provide nourishment to the surPictures on Instagram may allow people rounding forests, making it possible for a During lockdown in April, Joe’s daughto appreciate the wonders of nature, but canoe to come into existence. ter, Gisele, spent a lot of time connectGisele argues it is impossible to interact As a Nuu-chah-nulth language and culing with nature and photographing the with nature through a screen. And while “beautiful biodiversity” near her home in ture educator, Gisele said she recognizes the black mirrors are helping to fill the the benefits of social media as a way Esowista. void during this time of social distancing, At the time, she struggled on whether to of increasing cultural awareness, but we need to connect to the places where remains cautious. post the photos online, worrying how it “I think part of the problem or challenge we live and “support the health of those might affect people who were confined to places,” she said. their city apartments. with sharing things online is that our But after deciding to share them, she teachings can get fragmented,” she said.

Phrase of the week: Wii%iic^i>s%a> suwa Pronounced: Wee e chils alth sue wah. Means: I miss you. Supplied by ciisma.

Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin


December 3, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11

Remote se•lements adapt to increase in power outages Nitinaht Lake community without power for 38 hours due to mid-November storm that ba•ered the B.C. coast By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Nitinaht Lake, BC - The windstorm that swept through the west coast of Vancouver Island on Nov. 17 left more than 121,000 British Columbians without power. Ditidaht First Nation was among the affected communities, losing its power for around 38 hours, said elected chief Brian Tate. “It’s a natural occurrence every year,” he said unfazed. There are only four or five homes in the remote community by Nitinaht Lake without a generator, as the nearest town of Port Alberni is over an hour away. Last year alone, residents within Ditidaht First Nation experienced three or four power outages, which Tate chalks up to part of the lifestyle. “But sometimes it’s an unforeseen incident,” he said. Taking some of the community’s nearly 200 residents by surprise, the recent storm left many without enough fuel to supply their generators. In response, the nation’s local gas station came out of hibernation and opened for a few hours to allow citizens to stock up. As the frequency of storms rise, the number of customer outages during a storm has increased from 323,000 in 2014 to an average of more than one million customers over the past three years, according to a recent BC Hydro report. Of the few buildings that do not have generators within Ditidaht First Nation is their band office. Tate said the ongoing pandemic has made this matter more pressing and that council is hoping to supply band businesses with generators as part of their emergency strategy planning. “[COVID-19] makes you more aware

of what’s needed in the community,” he said. When the power goes out, Ditidaht members are in contact with BC Hydro to inform them where trees have crossed over the power line leading into the community. Trees or branches hitting power lines during storms cause over half of all power outages in B.C. To minimize their impact, BC Hydro invests in year-round vegetation management by pruning and removing flawed trees and vegetation that may fall and cause power outages in a storm, said BC Hydro spokesperson, Susie Reider. The restoration of power is prioritized based on outages that pose the greatest risk to public safety, such as downed lines, she said. “For restoration in remote communities, BC Hydro takes much the same approach as elsewhere in the province, and we plan for outages the same way as we do in other communities year-round,” said Reider. “Depending on the location, it may take longer to reach a remote community if weather conditions prevent access [or] safe travel. BC Hydro does have access to helicopters to make repairs to damaged equipment, depending on location and type [or] severity of the damage.” By supplying elders with firewood and encouraging residents to maintain their fuel supplies, Ditidaht First Nation is preparing for more imminent power outages in the few ways they can. “As storms get worse and more frequent, it is critical that customers prepare for outages during storm season by having an emergency preparedness kit on hand with 72 hours of supplies such as water, non-perishable goods, batteries and a flashlight, as well as a contingency plan for their household,” said Reider.

Bc Hydro photo

A power line that runs along the road to the Ditidaht First Nation’s community on Nitinaht Lake is often at risk of being cut by falling trees during winter storms. On Nov. 17 the community was without electricity for 38 hours.

New book recognizes relationships with plants By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter When Mehana Vaughan spoke over a Zoom call to celebrate the book launch of Plants, People, and Places, she was inside her home in Hawaii making leis with her children. “We are plant people,” said the professor of natural resources and environmental management of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. “This is an art shared by my grandmother and a way we share our love.” Vaughan is one of the contributing authors to newly released book. Born out of a symposium held in Victoria in 2017, it explores the roles of ethnobotany and ethnoecology in Indigenous peoples’ land rights in Canada and beyond. Plants, People and Places is a compilation of essays from leading voices in philosophy, Indigenous law and environmental sustainability. Edited by prolific ethnobiologist, Nancy J. Turner, the book argues that it is time to consider the critical importance of botanical and ecological knowledge to land rights and policy-making in Canada, the United States, Sweden, and New Zealand. Turner said that she hopes that the book will be a “useful contribution to reconciliation and recognition of Indigenous

knowledge and wisdom relating to the plant world, and will highlight the important role of plants in Indigenous cultures and for humans everywhere.” Highlighting Nuu-chah-nulth traditional knowledge keepers, such as Dr. Marlene Atleo, who writes about Nuučaanuł plants and habitats as reflected in oral traditions, and Umeek, Dr. Richard Atleo, who provides a retrospective and the book’s concluding thoughts, Plants, People and Places is an ode to how much we can learn from the history of human relationships with nature. Recognizing the common threads and shared understanding of people as part of the environment, along with the need for restoring that balance and reciprocity is “beautifully encapsulated” in this book, said Vaughn. Much like teaching her children how to make leis, Vaughn stresses the importance of sharing knowledge across generations. Kim Recalma-Clutesi is a contributing author to the book. “This tangible wealth is our history and our knowledge and how we interact with the spiritual, the super natural and the natural worlds,” she said. “We have to walk carefully and tread carefully wherever we are and I think our world would be much better if we did that with all that we do.”

Photo by Denise Titian

Dr. Nancy Turner samples young daisy leaves during a tour she led through the forest. Turner is the editor of a new book focusing on Indigenous people’s traditional relationships with plants.


Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 3, 2020

President’s message to Nuu-chah-nulth-aht On November 24, 2020, NTC had its AGM virtually over the computer. COVID has caused us in many ways to not have meetings and gatherings in person. I did up my annual report for the members and thought I would provide you with an outline of my year in review. Another year has passed quickly that has been filled with many issues that affect Nuu-chah-nulth. I am always proud to represent the Nuu-chah-nulth in any way and in any forum that I find myself a part of. I have worked hard at increasing our profile in the province and across Canada to ensure that people know that Nuuchah-nulth are a going political force and are working hard at improving the lives our members. This has been a tough year for our people as we have lost so many of our precious ones. My heart goes out to all those families and communities that are grieving the loss of their loved ones. We have had so many issues to deal with in this past year and I will list them with a brief description of what the issue is and how we are working on it. There have been many areas of focus for the work I have done this year and portfolios that I am responsible for. 1. Preventing COVID in our communities: On June 9th, the directors passed a motion directing the executive to pursue four conditions for B.C. to fulfill before opening the province. One was to get more testing equipment into communities and quicker lab results. Second was to work on screening checkpoints before people came into our territories, not just the reserve. Third was to train more contact tracers in the community. The Fourth condition was to have information about confirmed COVID cases in communities that are in close proximity to ours. That way we could know if we need to up our prevention measures, and make sure community members take extra precautions. We have had to bring a challenge to the Privacy Commissioner to try and get the information on proximate location of COVID cases. We are saying that without this information there is a great harm of risk to our First Nations. 2. Reconciliation: We have been working on a reconciliation position for the Nuu-chah-nulth collectively. Many of our nations are working on their own individual reconciliation agreements and the collective one will not interfere with this. When we went into COVID lockdown all work ceased on the project. We have had an extension until the end of March 2021 and our facilitator Shana Manson has agreed to do meetings over the computer to continue the dialogue. Watch for notice on sessions. 3. Fisheries: With COVID, many communities have sent their fishermen out to get food fish for their members regardless of where they live. The T’aaq-wiihak nations are still waiting for the court decision from the Court of Appeal. It has been since February 2019 when the case was heard. We are still working on trying to get shared management and in particular working on joint management on the Marine Protected Area that DFO is trying to establish off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Salmon are in crisis throughout B.C., including the ha-hahoulthee of the Nuuchah-nulth Ha’wiih. DFO needs to work closely with Nuu-chah-nulth Ha’wiih and nations to take immediate and far-reach-

ing action to support salmon stocks. Talk is not enough. 4. Education and training: When I can, I attend the School District 70 Advisory Committee. We were able to establish a cultural advisory committee to oversee curriculum development. I also try and attend SD 84 meetings as well and provide political support. This year has presented a major challenge with COVID issues, taking measures to ensure our students are protected from the virus as much as possible and ensuring that they do everything they need to do. Alternatives to in class learning have been explored 5. B.C. government relations. In November of 2019, the B.C. government passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. This act was to implement UNDRIP. The act was to make B.C. change its laws to reflect the declaration and enter into agreements on joint decision making. Almost a year later, the B.C. government has not done anything law. I have worked hard at holding B.C. government accountable to do this work. 6. Clean energy: I continue to work to find economic opportunities for our nation to develop clean energy and assist politically where I can for clean energy projects within communities 7. Justice: Shooting of Chantel Moore, member of the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation. On June 4th, 2020, Chantel Moore was fatally shot in Edmundston, NB by a police officer doing a wellness check. I have been working on justice for Chantel. 8. Communications and Media: The VP and I have been doing a fair amount of press releases on various issues. You can find them on the NTC website. 9. Federal law on the Universal Declaration of Indigenous Rights: Federal government has a draft of legislation and I participated in a call on what should be in that law. 10. Old Growth: Since the Nuu-chahnulth Nations also issued a statement on old growth, I continue to work on our ability to manage our own forests. 11. The so called “smudging case” was an issue I worked on. A parent objected to the smudging demonstration in a class room. The student and her property were not smudged. We won but the mother of the child appealed and I am working on the appeal Looking forward to the next year as your president, I am excited at the prospects of what we can accomplish. I look forward to hopefully getting back to inperson meetings and the ability to come visit your communities and celebrate with you. -Kekinusuqs, Judith Sayers

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December 3, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13

First nations, universities form unique partnership Some properties deposit raw sewage into the inlet, but co-operation clears path for $8-million waste treatment By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Bamfield, BC - Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) are pressing ahead this fall with construction of Anacla’s first community wastewater treatment system, considered a catalyst for local economic growth. After decades of discussion, negotiation and planning, the $8-million wastewater project finally gained ground through a unique partnership between HFN, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) and the research station’s supporting universities. Project partners assembled in early October at the project site on BMSC land for a ceremonial ground-breaking while maintaining safe distance in keeping with pandemic protocols. A moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) — biological wastewater treatment technology developed in Norway in the 1980s — will replace aging septic tanks and discharge fields used by residents and HFN operations. At the same time, the system supports development of serviced subdivision lots in Upper Anacla, a focal point for current and future growth above the tsunami inundation zone. “It is a big project,” said Huu-ay-aht Chief Counsellor Robert Dennis. “It’s certainly going to do a lot to support economic development here.” While the treatment plant could have been located in Upper Anacla, HFN opted instead for the sciences centre site, which will also serve Bamfield Community School. At BMSC, the new system replaces an aging aeration-type sewage plant brought from a Franklin River logging camp almost 50 years ago when the research station was built. A 350-metre extension of the sewage outfall is designed to

Photo by Huu-ay aht First Nation

Partners in Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ wastewater treatment project line up at a safe distance for the ground breaking in October. ensure treated effluent is carried beyond “One of the things we need to look at broader efforts to improve wastewater Bamfield Inlet to Trevor Channel. is how Huu-ay-aht First Nations and the management on Vancouver Island, RogEarlier on, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional regional district work together,” Dennis ers said. Extending the outfall pipe into District Area A (Bamfield) ratepaysaid. “Certainly our door is open.” the channel is both and ethical and scieners decided against joining the project, While residences and businesses in tific consideration for the research facilthough Dennis holds out hope that the Bamfield also rely on septic systems, ity. Redirecting the centre’s wastewater neighbouring community of residences some still deposit raw sewage directly uphill to the new treatment facility “was a and businesses that rings Bamfield Inlet into the inlet. A B.C. Ministry of Environ- bit of an engineering feat,” he added. eventually buys into the system. At Huument study in the summers of 2001/2002 “We’re really proud that when this is ay-aht community engagement sessions, found elevated fecal coliform counts in done it will not only provide tremendous he found some Bamfield residents and Bamfield Inlet and adjoining Grappler opportunities for Huu-ay-aht First Nabusinesses are now interested in getting Inlet at levels exceeding shellfish contions to build the local economy but also involved. sumption and recreational use guidelines. goes a long way to improve the health of That finding and subsequent sampling the community,” Rogers said. led Vancouver Island Health Authority to A key advantage of the moving bed issue a public health advisory while some treatment system is that initial capacity of shellfish beds had to be closed. 400 to 1,100 residents can be expanded HFN first approached the federal should other residents and businesses government for funding 15 years ago in choose to tie in. hope of developing a waste treatment MMBR is described as a newer, secondfacility for Anacla Village and Pachena ary form of treatment that employs sepaBay. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, ration of waste solids, UV disinfection as as it was then known, wanted HFN to well as a screen plant and floating media partner with the ACRD. Once Bamfield to maximize aerobic activity in reactor opted out, HFN decided to undertake the tanks. Treated effluent from such sysproject on its own, Dennis said. tems is considered relatively clean. The Indigenous Services Canada committed facility will include an odour abatement $3.6 million in 2010, but through succes- system as well. Accumulated solids must sive HFN councils the project encounbe periodically trucked to Port Alberni. tered more hurdles, specifically environOnce operational, follow-up testing and mental standards. monitoring will be done to ensure the BMSC was also looking at options for system meets design standards. replacing its wastewater system, so the Dennis said HFN was impressed by a two agreed to partner. That required parsystem operated by Nanoose First Nation, ticipation by the science centre’s funders, one designed to accommodate future five academic institutions in all, a process growth while protecting the waters of Nathat took additional time. noose Bay. He credits the BMSC partnerAt that stage, still short of funds from ship for paving the way to joint developother levels of government, HFN decided ment and a healthier community. to invest the final $4.4 million needed to “This will be a huge first for Anacla complete the project. A memorandum of people,” he said. understanding, allowing HFN to conVictoria is completing a $773-million struct and operate the facility on science system while a Comox Valley system centre land, was signed in 2018. will go into operation next year. Tofino’s BMSC Director Sean Rogers described wastewater treatment project was green the partnership as a natural fit for the lighted last summer by an additional $40 research institution. million in federal and provincial funding. “The universities recognized the imporTofino’s largest infrastructure investment tance of the project,” Rogers said. “I’ve since incorporation, the facility will serve been told by various organizations that the district plus Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation we liaise with that the partnership (with and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. HFN) really is unique.” Construction of the Anacla system BMSC is pleased to be part of an should take 15 months with completion initiative to clean local waters as well as expected by the end of 2021.


Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 3, 2020

Ahousaht part of historic Coast Guard initiative On call 24 hours a day, First Nations auxiliary members began operations this fall, and have already saved lives By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa RContributor Port Alberni, BC – Some members from Ahousaht First Nation are involved with a historic initiative. But a celebration to recognize being part of the first Indigenous-led Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary will in all likelihood have to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and it is safe to do so. Ahousaht is one of the five First Nations that are part of the Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary (CN-CGA). The CNCGA is an official partner of the Canadian Coast Guard. The CN-CGA, incorporated in mid 2018, was established out of the federal government’s $1.5 billion plan to protect the environment and improve marine safety. That plan is dubbed the Oceans Protection Plan. Federal officials launched the CN-CGA in part because of the October 2015 sinking of Leviathan II, a whale-watching boat. Six people died in that accident near Tofino, but others were saved when Ahousaht members were among the first to respond to the sinking vessel in their waters. “This is something that many have called for,” said Conrad Cowan, who serves as the CN-CGA’s executive director. Cowan was the CN-CGA’s first staff hire 18 months ago. A pair of zone co-ordinators have also been brought on board so far, including Stephen Keitlah, who is responsible for the Ahousaht zone. The CN-CGA currently features 50 members, including nine from Ahousaht. The Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation is also well represented on the CN-CGA’s board of directors by three individuals. Alex Dick serves as the board’s chair, Luke Swan is the secretary/treasurer and Thomas Campo is a director. This year’s pandemic, however, forced the entire coast guard auxiliary team into a months-long hiatus. But Cowan said teams from Ahousaht First Nation and Heiltsuk Nation have been operational in recent weeks in their territorial waters. CN-CGA officials sent

out a news release that members from these two First Nations are currently patrolling local waters now. “We wanted to do community celebrations,” Cowan said. “But that’s just not possible right now.” Response teams from the First Nations of Nisga’a, Gitxaala and Kitasoo/Xai’xais are also expected to be fully operational in the near future. Cowan said celebrations in each of the five First Nations that comprise the CNCGA will likely be held once they can be staged safely. “This is a good news story and I’m very happy to be a part of it,” he said. Cowan added the CN-CGA is a rather noteworthy venture. Team members include fishermen, expert mariners and water taxi operators. “It’s extremely effective,” Cowan said of the team. “It’s saved lives already.” For example, a man’s overboard distress call was sent out in mid-November. Members of the Heiltsuk Nation team were able to respond and bring the individual to safety. CN-CGA team members will be on call for whenever they are needed. “It could be in the day or it could be in the middle of the night,” Cowan said. CN-CGA members, who are on call 24 hours each day and every day of the year, have been trained in marine search and rescue. Members from various First Nations who live in coastal British Columbia are traditionally the first to respond to marine emergencies. Their experience at navigating local waters is considered a huge benefit. A prime example of how First Nations members from coastal communities can be of immeasurable assistance was the Leviathan II accident. Several members from Ahousaht First Nation were the first to arrive and worked at saving lives. Dick is among those who realize the important roles those from coastal First Nations have. “I foremost recognize the critical role of First Nation communities as members of the auxiliary in protecting mariners and coastal communities,” he said. “They are

Photo by Alex Ham

Members from Ahousaht First Nation are working on the water as part of the Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary. simply the most experienced stewards of lumbia are an essential part of the marine the marine environment and are unquessearch and rescue system in the region,” tionably vital to Canada’s marine safety she said. “They have been stewards of the system today.” coastal environment for generations, and Bernadette Jordan, the Minister of they are often the first responders on the Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast water when lives are at risk, particularly Guard, echoed this sentiment. in the remote areas along the coastline.” “Coastal First Nations in British Co-

Tseshaht condemns customer’s threatening behaviour By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Port Alberni, BC - Tseshaht First Nation is condemning the “threatening” behaviour of a customer who was noncompliant with the COVID-19 protection measures at the Tseshaht First Nation Market and Gas Bar. As part of the nation’s safety protocols, patrons are required to wear a facemask and sanitize their hands before entering the market. Increasingly, staff has been met with “grumbling” customers who reject the safety measures, said Hugh Braker, Tseshaht Emergency Operations Centre information officer. The issue escalated mid-November when a customer entered the market and started yelling vulgar phrases, objecting to sanitizing his hands. After walking towards a female employee in what she described as an “aggressive” approach, male staff intervened and escorted the customer out of the store. Before driving away, staff took photos of his vehicle.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. the following morning, a male threw a glass bottle at the market and shattered the glass door. Security cameras confirmed that the vehicle involved in the incident correlated with the car from the day before. “There is no place for this type of behaviour in a civilized society,” Braker said in a release. “Our staff and customers were exposed to unruly behaviour and assault. People must accept the measures we are taking in our community to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or they can stay away.” In the morning of Nov. 11, the incident was reported to the Port Alberni RCMP detachment. After accessing CCTV footage, investigators identified the perpetrator as Joel Desjardins-Lavoie, said Cpl. Jason Racz. Desjardins-Lavoie was arrested for mischief and remains in custody. He was also wanted on warrants from the province of Quebec for uttering threats, said Racz. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 16. Braker said the nation is doing “everything” they can to stop the spread of

COVID-19. With four confirmed cases within Tseshaht’s membership, Braker said the pandemic is “top of mind.” “Living on reserve we have about 70 elders and we’re sensitive to the fact that they are extremely vulnerable,” said Braker. “Other members in our tribe have compromised immune systems and they are very vulnerable. We’re doing everything we can to protect these people.” Yesterday, Tseshaht began distributing cleaning packages that will go to every member’s household within the Port Alberni area. They include: hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, Clorox disinfecting spray, gloves and masks. “I would like to remind people of the responsibility we have to keep everyone safe,” said Ken Watts, Tseshaht councillor and member of the Tseshaht Market board of directors. “The Tseshaht council condemns the actions of this individual. We encourage everyone to embrace Dr. Henry’s thoughts on this being our time to ‘be kind, be calm and be safe.” Tseshaht Market worker Thomas Dick


December 3, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15

Restaurant owner apologizes to Ahousaht couple Disturbing course of events this fall leads to sharing a dinner and collecting donations for Victoria’s homeless By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC – The owner of a popular sushi restaurant in downtown Victoria invited the family of Herb Dick to his restaurant to ‘break bread’ and receive his apology. It was an effort to amend the events of Oct. 21, when Herb and his fiancé went to the restaurant for a celebratory dinner. Nubo Kitchen & Bar is one of their favorite sushi restaurants. Dick has said the couple like the upbeat, friendly atmosphere there. But on that evening their pleasant evening turned sour when an intoxicated patron began verbally abusing them, calling them “f*ing savages”. The man eventually had to be restrained when he attempted to approach Herb in a threatening manner. The man was removed from the restaurant but unbeknownst to Herb, was waiting outside and threw a punch as the couple attempted to get to their car in the parking lot behind the restaurant. A female server and a passer-by intervened, keeping the attack from escalating. The police were called and the shaken couple contacted restaurant management in an attempt to resolve the matter. Dissatisfied with the response from the restaurant, the couple took to social media, sharing their story there. Nubo has four restaurants in downtown Victoria. When the story broke on social media at least two of the restaurants started receiving negative reviews, accusing them of being racist. Nubo Kitchen & Bar owner, whose second language is English, responded by assigning his restaurant manager, Anton Ihl, to connect with Herb so that they could come to an amicable solution. In the beginning, the couple believed the attacker to be a restaurant employee because he was wearing a Nubo hat. They later learned he was a patron that was a friend of kitchen staff.

Photo by Denise Titian

Shawn Lee, owner of Nubo, hosted Herb Dick (far right) on Nov. 18 to make amends after the Ahousaht member experienced a disturbing incident at the restaurant this fall. The event also collected clothing and supplies for Victoria’s homeless. translate well. He was afraid of unintensocial distancing requirements of the Ihl told Ha-Shilth-Sa that when the intionally offending them. pandemic. The tables were laid out with cident happened, restaurant staff brought Lee relied on his employee, Anton Ihl, beautifully plated food and refreshments the man to the back of the kitchen and to communicate with the couple and arfor Dick’s family and friends. sent him home in a taxi. They did not range the event. Herb and his guests were allowed to eat know he came back until he physically Herb accepted the apology, adding that before Ihl thanked everyone for coming. attacked Herb outside the restaurant. “We want you all to feel super welcome he wished his fiancé could have been After weeks of discussions and planthere. He noted the racial diversity in the ning, Nubo Kitchen & Bar threw an event here,” he told them, adding that the restaurant owners and staff felt bad for what room, saying it was nice to be able to sit they called ‘We’re all Human – celebrattogether as one. happened on the night of Oct. 21. ing diversity’ on Nov. 18. “I sincerely appreciate your apology,” Ihl assured his guests that the restaurant The restaurant was closed to all but said Dick to Lee. He went on to tell the management is not racist, and that they Dick’s invited guests, in part due the are proud of the diverse group that works restaurant staff that when Nuu-chah-nulth people have a disagreement, this is how there. they fix it. “We sit and eat together and As part of the apology, the restaurant listen to each other.” collected donations of clothing to help Herb’s uncle Guy Louie Sr. said he is the homeless. Dick works for a non-profit a member of the Aboriginal Coalition to organization that delivers services and End Homelessness in Victoria. Louie said supplies to the city’s population in need. he was grateful for what Lee and his staff The donation was gratefully accepted. Nubo owner Shawn Lee shook Herb’s did for Herb. “We live on the principal of Isaak hand and said he regrets what happened (respect) for one another, care for one in his restaurant and has assured Dick that the man that attacked him is permaanother - that’s our teachings,” he said. He told them that it is good to form a new nently banned from all four Nubo restaurelationship and a better understanding. rants in Victoria. Lee told his guests that Dick admitted that he was angry at first. they pride themselves on hospitality. “I had hard feelings going by here but “As the leader,” Lee told Dick, “I retoday it’s like washing it away; thank ally apologize for what happened in this you,” he said to Lee. restaurant.” Dick said he was grateful for the restauLee said he wanted to personally meet with Dick but worried about the language rant’s generosity, adding it may take three car trips to get the donations moved. barrier and making a mistake. Lee noted Lee promised to continue helping with that his English is not strong, and he was donations of comfort items for the homeworried that what he intended to say to less. the couple back in October would not

NOTICE OF VESSEL AUCTIONS For more information: Office: (250)724-3939 or Toll Free: 1-888-624-3939 Or email Ruby.Ambrose@nuuchahnulth.org

THE 19’ aluminum Skiff and the 21’ aluminum skiff bearing licence number 14K23116 and personal items therein owned by Steven Tatoosh, debtor to Port Alberni Port Authority, will be auctioned at 1:00 pm on 16 January 2021 at Port Albemi Port Authority, 2750 Harbour Road, Port Alberni, BC, V9Y 7X2. For more information contact Robert Anderson at randerson@leaguelaw.com


Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa—December 3, 2020


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