INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 47 - No. 04—February 27, 2020 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776
Hesquiaht woman voted NTC vice-president Election of 32-year-old marks the ﬁrst time the tribal council’s two top political positions are held by women By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Mariah Charleson, 32, has been elected as the Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council vice-president at a special meeting. The by-election came following the resignation of former vice-president Andy Callicum, triggering the scheduling of an extraordinary NTC meeting to conduct the by-election. Two candidates came forward to run for the position: Charleson along with Tseshaht’s David Watts Sr. The polling station was open for 90 minutes on the morning of Feb. 24 and 82 votes were cast from NTC society members. Charleson garnered 69 votes. She will serve the remainder of the term until the next election to be held at the NTC Annual General Meeting in September 2021. According to the NTC, the vice-president is responsible for issues amongst the member nations, which are internal to the NTC. Working with First Nation communities, NTC boards and committees is an example of some of the work that the vice-president undertakes. The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council is a not-for-proﬁt society that provides a wide variety of services and supports to 14 Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations with over 10,000 members. It serves its members through program and service delivery and political advocacy. Charleson grew up in the tiny, remote community of Hot Springs Cove where she says she was among the ﬁrst generation of children that didn’t attend residential school. In a community whose population ranges from 60 to 100 residents, the school operated out of two classrooms in half of the community hall’s basement. Charleson attended Hot Springs Cove School until Grade 7, before moving on to Shawnigan Lake for her high school years. Charleson attended the private boarding school until she completed Grade 11. Following graduation from Nanaimo District High School, Charleson moved onto Vancouver Island University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in First Nations Studies, followed by a Bachelor of Education degree completed in 2018. Charleson says she is well aware of the lasting impacts that ongoing colonialism has had on Indigenous people. In the past two years she has trained more than 2,000 government employees on the history and impacts of colonization. In addition, she has worked with BC Cor-
Photo by Denise Titian
Mariah Charleson has been chosen as the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council vice-president at a special meeting on Feb. 25. “It will be good to have someone to rections, helping to facilitate communica- Nuu-chah-nulth leaders need to do in light of governments’ eﬀorts at reconcili- bounce ideas oﬀ of,” said Sayers, who tions between the province and various has been working without a vice presiFirst Nations, seeking ways to address the ation. Sayers told the leaders they have dent since last summer. “She has some the power to request changes in provinoverrepresentation of Indigenous people good skills and I think we will mesh cial law when it comes to their territories in the justice system. She has worked well.” with various provincial ministries, includ- under new provincial legislation called Each nation took turns congratulating Declaration of Rights of Indigenous ing the Ministry of Indigenous Relations Charleson saying they look forward to People. and Reconciliation. seeing her in their communities. Some The new legislation gives First Nations “I am well aware of the lack of resaid they appreciated her enthusiasm and the power to request changes in provinsources provided for remote First Nathanked her for taking the time to meet cial law when it comes to traditional tertions communities,” she said. “I am also with their leaders. ritories. New laws mean that government well aware of the resiliency and strength “We are in a massive shift right now and industry must have free prior and of our people when we work together. I with the way government is operating believe we have every power in the world informed consent before accessing First Nations unceded territories and resources. and I see this as a huge opportunity for to uphold our inherent rights and to exert But, she said, change is a slow, drawn out our nations,” she said, adding that she them proudly.” hopes to be part of an eﬀort to build process. Charleson says she understands how strong, meaningful relationships with the “But we need to do this; we need to be government works and knows new tools communities. “The biggest thing is really proactive,” said Sayers. available to First Nations communities getting leadership excited about being Sayers congratulated Charleson, saying through things like the Truth and Reconpart of the society again.” ciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action that this is the ﬁrst time women have “I am looking forward to getting into ﬁlled the seats of both NTC president and and the United Nations Declaration on the communities, feet on the ground, and vice-president. She later told Ha-Shilththe Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Sa that she is looking forward to working listen - I heard them openly invite me “I understand that ‘reconciliation’ is and so I know it’s needed,” said Charlewith Charleson as the NTC enters a new a top priority for Canada and BC,” she son, stressing she is ready and willing to era of an all-female executive, with Florsaid. “I am conﬁdent that I can use these “work her butt oﬀ”. ence Wylie as the organisation’s execuas critical tools to hold governments “I have the conﬁdence; I able to speak tive director. accountable and to ultimately lead and for the people but I can also oﬀer an ear Sayers noted that Charleson has good contribute to a healthy, vibrant, and thrivexperience behind her, is well spoken and to listen,” she said. ing Nuu-chah-nulth community.” knows about many of the issues NuuDuring the special meeting NTC President Judith Sayers spoke of the work that chah-nulth communities face.
Inside this issue... Feds and Wet’suwet’en trade demands.......................Page 2 Improved access for shingles treatment.....................Page 4 Basketball tournaments.......................................Page 8 & 9 Coronavirus hits geoducks........................................Page 11 Artwork returned to families....................................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—February 27, 2020
Prime minister says ‘the barricades must come down’ In successive press conferences, Wet’suwet’en chiefs order ‘out means out’ for RCMP after Trudeau’s statement By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Ottawa, ON - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a hard stance on the continued opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline in central B.C., announcing that “the barricades must come down, the injunctions must be obeyed and the law must be upheld” at a press conference Feb. 21. But shortly after this statement, a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief stressed that a peaceful resolution won’t be possible until the RCMP leave their land. After two weeks of rail and road barricades in solidarity with a group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs – and cross-country protests against the planned natural gas pipeline through their territory – Trudeau indicated that the conﬂict has reached a point where negotiations are no longer productive. “Every attempt at dialogue has been made,” he said. “The discussions have not been productive. You can’t have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table. For this reason, we have no choice but to stop making the same overtures.” An hour later Chief Woos (Frank Alec) held his own press conference on behalf of the nation’s hereditary chiefs, saying that nation-to-nation discussions with the provincial and federal government can occur on Wet’suwet’en land – but only if the police honour an eviction notice the chiefs issued Jan. 4. The chiefs demand “that the RCMP are completely removed from our territory and cease patrols of our lands,” said Woos. “Out means out.” Enforcement of court injunctions against blockades led to more arrests when police dismantled a rail blockade by Tyendinaga Mohawks near Belleville, ON on Feb. 24. More blockades – and arrests - followed across the country. When RCMP moved into Wet’suwet’en territory on Feb. 6 to enforce a court order, their arrests set oﬀ a series of rail blockades and protests across Canada that many believe have put the country’s distribution system in a crisis. Railway shutdowns in multiple regions led VIA to send almost 1,000 people oﬀ the job, while CN has announced 450 layoﬀs. At stake is the future of a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline that would extend from near Dawson Creek to Kitimat, where the gas would be liquiﬁed for export overseas. At least 20 First Nations along this route have signed beneﬁt agreements with the company – including ﬁve of the six elected band councils in Wet’suwet’en territory – but for years a group of the nation’s hereditary chiefs have been opposed to the route. Everything is connected to the land The Wet’suwet’en “do not see themselves as entities separate from nature or their territories,” according to a 2014 submission from the nation’s hereditary chiefs to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Oﬃce. Following the principle of “yintahk,” which means everything is connected to the land, this belief was used by the Ofﬁce of the Wet’suwet’en to explain why the nation’s hereditary chiefs oppose the construction of the natural gas pipeline through 190 kilometres of their territory. “The Wet’suwet’en do not merely live on the land, they are part of the land, they belong to it and they return to it,” wrote the oﬃce of the hereditary chiefs. Despite the support of most of the
Oﬃce of the Wet’suwet’en photo
A stone trap is used to catch salmon along the shore of Hagwilget Canyon in Wet’suwet’en territory in 1890. The nation’s hereditary chiefs remain steadfast in their opposition to a proposed pipeline route, citing risks to the resources their people have relied upon for thousands of years. The Coastal GasLink route passes through several Wet’suwet’en territories.
elected councils in the 22,000 square kilometres of territory, the hereditary chiefs have remained unconvinced that the pipeline won’t cause irreparable harm to their land and the salmon-bearing Skeena watershed. “Hereditary chiefs are entrusted with the stewardship of territories by virtue of the hereditary name they hold, and they are the caretakers of these territories for as long as they hold the name,” continued their submission to the EAO. “It is the task of a head chief to ensure the house territory is managed in a responsible manner, so that the territory will always produce enough game, ﬁsh, berries and medicines to support the subsistence, trade, and customary needs of house members.” This position has gained support from Nuu-chah-nulth leaders, including Ahousaht Tyee Ha’wilth Maquinna (Lewis George). “What they want to do on their owns lands is their business,” he said during a recent Council of Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries in Campbell River. “The Wet’suwet’en today, the hereditary chiefs, Ahousaht stands in solidarity with them.” Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council President Judith Sayers stressed her support in a release issued Feb. 11. “We stand with the Wet’suwet’en in protecting their lands, waters and resources from development of gas pipelines,” reads the NTC statement. “We stand with the supporters of the defenders of the land across this country, especially our youth.” Chiefs’ alternative route was rejected Although it opposes the Coastal GasLink route, the Oﬃce of the Wet’suwet’en has stated that the chiefs are not against a pipeline going through their territory. In 2014 the group of hereditary chiefs proposed an alternative route that would run along land that has already
been disturbed by industrial development. Citing years of study, Coastal GasLink rejected these alternatives due to a combination of additional pipeline expense, environmental risk, hazardous terrain and the proposed route’s vicinity to towns. A recent B.C. Supreme Court Injunction ordering the removal of a blockade in the way of Coastal GasLink construction on Wet’suwet’en land noted the reasons for not proceeding with the hereditary chiefs’ alternative. “The plaintiﬀ explored and considered the proposed alternate route but ultimately rejected it for various reasons, including inappropriateness for the diameter of the pipeline, increased cost, the desire to avoid urban areas and greater adverse environmental impacts,” wrote Justice Marguerite Church in her injunction. ‘Economic reconciliation’ hangs in the balance While the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are steadfast in protecting their territory, other First Nations have put a high emphasis on Coastal GasLink and its connecting LNG Canada terminal to bring their communities out of poverty. The terminal would be built on the territory of the Haisla Nation, which plans to see employment and training beneﬁts from the project. Chief Councillor Crystal Smith said the development has funded community programs for her nation. Smith is also chair of the First Nations LNG Alliance. “It’s through economic development, economic reconciliation, that we’re going to ﬁnd the path back to our true identities, and revitalizing our culture as Indigenous people,” she said during the BC Natural Resources Forum in Prince George on Jan. 30. On Vancouver Island, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations have also looked at LNG to improve the lives of its people. Until Steelhead LNG ceased development of
the project in early 2019, the Huu-ayaht worked closely with the company to bring a multi-billion-dollar export terminal to Sarita Bay – and hundreds of permanent jobs to the area as well. Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. said that consulting with hereditary chiefs was always necessary as the Huu-ay-aht and Steelhead met with First Nations along the pipeline route to the proposed terminal in Sarita. “One of the requests that we do make no matter what group we’re meeting with, we have to meet with hereditary and elected leaders,” said Dennis, adding that this was done in signing a recent agreement with the Tseshaht First Nation. “When we completed that Tseshaht protocol, that was a meeting between Tseshaht and Huu-ay-aht elected leaders and hereditary leaders.” Dennis believes that Coastal GasLink’s diﬃculty came from an inability to come to terms with both elected and hereditary Wet’suwet’en leaders. “They respected hereditary leadership, but they weren’t able to deal with the hereditary and elected leadership issue, and that’s where the shortfall came about, in my view,” he said. “The most important thing for me is that we’ve got to all remember that we are doing things for the betterment of our people, no matter where we come from.” “Huu-ay-aht recognises and respects the jurisdiction of other First Nations,” continued Dennis. “We also recognize the importance of hereditary chiefs, including our own hereditary leaders at Huuay-aht Ha’wiih council being involved in resource development. We’re always hopeful that other communities, other First Nations, can ﬁnd ways for their own hereditary and elected leaders to work together because that’s one of the things that really advanced our issues on resource development in our territory.”
February 27, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
Port Alberni chosen for extended homeless count Nearly half of those surveyed in last count identiﬁed as Indigenous, almost one third had been in foster care By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – The provincial government is embarking on a homeless count in 16 communities around British Columbia. The goal is to produce accurate, up-to-date data that will guide B.C.’s Homelessness Action Plan and provide a baseline to measure progress. Funded by the provincial government and BC Homeless Services Association, the homeless count will begin April 7, two years after the last count in Port Alberni. According to Port Alberni Shelter Society Executive Director Wes Hewitt, the city is one of two communities selected for extended counts. In Port Alberni, that means that an additional counting process will take place over ﬁve days sometime in April. The extended count will give the province and service providers much more accurate information about the homeless situation in the valley. Marcie DeWitt has been contracted by BC Homeless Services Association to coordinate Port Alberni’s homeless count. The transient nature of individuals in the homeless community makes doing a simple head count diﬃcult, if not impossible. DeWitt told Ha-Shilth-Sa that the province has developed a method for performing the counts to get the best, most uniform information. One example is the point-in-time count where homeless persons in a given community are counted during a 24-hour period. Starting in the evening, volunteers visit places homeless people tend to go. They may be at various shelters in the community or places like police cells. “During the day it’s boots on the ground where volunteers walk the streets or drive to where the homeless go. They will distribute surveys to drop sites, places the homeless go,” said DeWitt. In 2018 there were twelve drop sites in Port Alberni, including the Bread of
Photo by Eric Plummer
Port Alberni’s homeless situation has attracted enough provincial attention that the government has selected the city to receive an extended count this year. Life, Port Alberni Friendship Centre and income assistance as their primary source the Alberni Valley will also be participatQuu’asa. of funds. A few, 35 per cent, indicated ing in an extended count which will allow Finally, there will be a magnet event they were employed anywhere from full for ﬁve more days of surveying at identidesigned to draw people in. In 2018 the time to part-time to informal jobs. ﬁed and participating drop sites. PAFC hosted such an event through a Fifty-eight per cent of Port Alberni’s Volunteers will be needed to carry out wellness fair followed by a community homeless population in 2018 reported the homeless count. Volunteer recruitdinner. two or more health conditions, which ment has begun and training will likely “We propose a similar approach this might include addiction, mental illness, start in early April. year,” said DeWitt, but said that plans physical disability or a medical condition. The following communities are included haven’t been conﬁrmed yet. Nearly half of the people surveyed in in the homeless count: Campbell River, The event is not simply a head count. Port Alberni in 2018 identiﬁed as Indige- Comox Valley, Cranbrook (also doing According to DeWitt, it involves a survey nous. Nearly one third said they had been extended count), Fort St. John, Merritt, that generates information used to inform in foster care or something similar. Parksville/Qualicum Beach, Penticton, policy and to secure funding for projects. The 2020 Point in Time Count is set to Port Alberni, Prince Rupert, Sechelt/GibIn 2018 the count revealed that there begin April 7 in Port Alberni. In addition, sons, Smithers and Williams Lake. were 147 people who identiﬁed as experiencing homelessness. Most of those surveyed, 82 per cent, said they were homeless because rent was too high. More than half said their income was too low and 46 per cent said there was no suitable housing. Of the homeless who were surveyed, 76 per cent received disability beneﬁts or
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Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa—February 27, 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
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FNHA reports be•er access to vaccine Shingles treatment for agonizing condition is now covered for seniors aged 65-69
2020 Subscription rates: $35.00 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Reporter Denise Titian (Ext. 240) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 email@example.com
The First Nations Health Authority has expanded beneﬁts to cover an expensive shingles vaccine.
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By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter British Columbia – Shingrix, the medication that helps prevent the painful viral aﬄiction called shingles, is now available to seniors ages 65 to 69 with out of pocket expenses. This means that FNHA clients age 65 to 69 can receive the vaccine from a licensed pharmacist without having to pay up front and send in receipts for reimbursement. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful, blistering rash caused by the vari-cella zoster virus – the virus that causes chicken pox. Anyone that has ever had chicken pox can potentially develop shingles, however it is more common – and more likely to cause complications and long-term eﬀects – in older people. Pain from the shingles rash can last for weeks and even months. Previously, First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) clients in this age group were eligible for coverage but only through reimbursement. Sheila Hill, an Ahousaht member living in Vancouver, is not only a FNHA client, but has worked for the health authority and its predecessor for more than 30 years. In her mid-50s, Hill said she received many calls from clients com-
plaining about the fact that the Shingrix vaccine was not covered and was very expensive. “We always told them to send their complaint in to us in writing, because they can’t do anything to make it better if they don’t know about it,” said Hill. Concerned that she may be at risk for shingles, Hill paid $300 for her Shingrix vaccination two years ago. She didn’t follow up with the recommended second dose because nobody told her about it. She was diagnosed with shingles on Feb. 13. It was on that same day, Feb. 13, that the FNHA announced that Shingrix Vaccine is now listed by Paciﬁc Blue Cross for clients between the ages of 65 and 69. Pharmacists can bill PBC directly for the medication. FNHA says the 65 – 69 group was selected for the beneﬁt coverage because the vaccine has a high impact on this age group. “People in this age group are more likely to get shingles and have higher rates of hospitalization from it,” stated the FNHA. The vaccine requires two doses to be fully eﬀective. FNHA clients who received their ﬁrst dose through the reimbursement process will be eligible
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.
for direct payment to cover their second dose. “Those clients outside of this age group can work with their doctor to go as a case-by-case basis and apply for Special Authority to get this product covered by exception through FNHA Vancouver,” said Sally Kwan, the FNHA’s Pharmacy Assessor – Health Beneﬁts, in an email. For Hill, it appears that her initial investment of $300 for the Shingles Vaccine was not a waste. She was prescribed medication to treat the rash and less than a week later the rash is gone. She is following up with her physician for advice about how to move forward with another shingles vaccination. “We are pleased we can respond to feedback and now oﬀer direct payment to pharmacies for Shingrix, which has a 90 per cent eﬀectiveness rate,” said Dr. Evan Adams, the FNHA’s Chief Medical Oﬃcer. Clients eligible for coverage are limited to two Shingrix Vaccine units per lifetime. The change in beneﬁts came into eﬀect Feb. 12, 2020. The FNHA invites clients with questions about their health beneﬁts coverage to visit www.fnha.ca/beneﬁts or call First Nations Health Beneﬁts at 1-855-5505454.
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February 27, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
Nuu-chah-nulth face higher risk of kidney disease The disease often progresses to late stages without showing any symptoms, bringing the need for screening By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - A push is underway this year to test the kidney health of more First Nations people – an initiative that will hopefully detect those at risk for a disease that doesn’t present symptoms until it’s advanced stages. The First Nations Health Authority plans to test 1,000 of B.C.’s Indigenous people this year for risk of chronic kidney disease, a condition that causes dangerous levels of ﬂuid, electrolytes and waste to build up in the body. As part of a collaboration between the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, FNHA and Can-Solve CKD Network, the initiative aims to check the kidney health of 345 people in Port Alberni alone. The Port Alberni kidney screenings began in mid February at the Friendship Centre, with one-hour sessions that include a blood pressure test, urine sample, height and weight measurement and blood sampling. These screenings can be conducted by a family doctor, but challenges to physician access make the kidney check sessions more convenient, said Catherine Turner, Indigenous liaison manager with the Can-Solve CKD Network. Twenty people have already been tested in Kyuquot, and the project plans to hold screenings in other coastal communities like Hitacu, near Ucluelet. “For more rural and remote First Nations communities, it might not be as simple as going to see the doctor,” said Turner. “Oftentimes there’s bad experiences with the healthcare system and healthcare providers.” Located near the back just below the ribs, the kidneys ﬁlter waste and excess ﬂuid from the blood, which is then converted to urine for excretion. Chronic kidney disease causes the loss of this function, and in its ﬁnal stage can only be treated by transplant or dialysis. Failing kidneys are indicated by fatigue,
Photo by Eric Plummer
Melissa Jack participates in a kidney screening with nurse Beth Neilson at the Port Alberni Friendship Center on Feb. 13. ditional diet of ﬁsh, berries and plants “We know that when people live in swelling, headaches, restlessness or itchimore remote communities, it can be more found in their surrounding territory is ness, but the disease often progresses diﬃcult to get access to care,” she added. preferable. without these symptoms until the later “Traditional foods are protective for kid“They may not have a family doctor that stages. neys, also following a diet high in ﬁbre, they see all of the time.” “Kidney disease is painless and silent, fruits and vegetables,” said Neilson. “We Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney so people will have no sign of kidney say half a plate of vegetables, a quarter disease, according to Diabetes Canada. disease, generally, until their kidney whole grain and a quarter of protein or function is as low as 20 per cent or 15 per Up to half of diabetics will have signs meat alternatives.” of kidney damage in their lifetime, as elcent,” said Beth Neilson, a kidney check Across Canada, the severity of chronic evated blood sugar levels and high blood nurse with Can-Solve. “There aren’t as many options at that point.” pressure can damage kidneys and prevent kidney disease appears to be worsening. The rate of end-stage kidney disease them from functioning properly. Approximately one in 10 Canadian increased by 35 per cent over the last “Kidney disease is closely linked to adults are at risk for kidney disease, but high blood sugar, high blood pressure and decade, according to the Kidney Foundarates are signiﬁcantly higher for First tion. The risk grows with age, but 46 per smoking,” states Diabetes Canada. Nations. Studies indicate 25-30 per cent cent of those with the disease are under But Turner notes that recent research of the country’s Aboriginal people are 65. at risk, with even higher rates in remote indicates there are other factors that can To mitigate risk, people are advised lead to failing kidneys. communities. Neilson believes that the “The pathway to chronic kidney disease to keep their blood pressure within the negative health impacts of colonization target range, engage in regular exercise is not through diabetes,” she said. “One are a factor. - including going for walks – and drink thing that’s been mentioned is autoimplenty of water. mune disorders; there are genetic factors “We know that there are a lot of people in some circumstances.” out there who have chronic kidney A high-salt diet with lots of processed disease, who are living with it and not foods can be hard on the kidneys, as knowing it,” cautioned Neilson. “The well as daily doses of anti-inﬂammatory drugs containing ibuprofen like Advil and sooner we can catch chronic kidney disease, the more options there are for Motrin as well as Aleve, said Neilson. “If your kidneys aren’t fully healthy, we people. We know things like dialysis and want to get you oﬀ those medications that transplant can be incredibly impactful for people. Our goal is to prevent anyone are not doing your kidneys any favours,” from having to go to that point.” she said. For First Nations people, a more tra-
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Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa—February 27, 2020
Fish farm industry slams report on disputed virus PRV-1 detected in 14 of 15 Clayoquot Sound sites sampled, industry states viral strain is endemic to B.C. waters By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor A report conﬁrming the presence of piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) at most Clayoquot Sound ﬁsh farms has been dismissed by the industry as “misinformation and fear mongering.” Analysis by the Atlantic Veterinary College detected the virus PRV-1a at 14 of the 15 Atlantic salmon farms sampled by Clayoquot Action between last May and December 2019. In its report, Going Viral, the Toﬁnobased conservation society uses the results as compelling evidence that dwindling stocks of wild Paciﬁc salmon are threatened by open net-pen ﬁsh farming in waters oﬀ the Island’s west coast. “B.C. is in the midst of a wild salmon emergency,” said Bonny Glambeck, project co-ordinator with Clayoquot Action. “If the Liberals are not even going to come up with a plan for ﬁve more years, then they better stop the transfer of PRVinfected ﬁsh into B.C. salmon farms immediately or they’re not going to have to worry about wild salmon at all — they’ll be extinct.” Returns of wild salmon to Clayoquot tributaries ranged from poor to abysmal last year. Only two chinook returned to Toﬁno Creek. Farther north, eight chinook returned to Megin River and 20 to the Moyeha. “Even in pristine rivers, very few salmon are returning of any species,” Glambeck said. “Having farms on their migratory route represents an unacceptable risk.” In recent years, with a surge of PRV-related diseases reported in Paciﬁc salmon farmed in Norway, Chile, Japan and Canada, research has concluded the virus can be a pathway for various diseases, depending on species. Creative Salmon rears Paciﬁc chinook salmon at several sites in Tla-oqui-aht territory near Toﬁno. Cermaq Canada rears Atlantic salmon at farms in Ahousaht territory. Glambeck said they are particularly concerned about the risk of PRV-1a replicating at Creative Salmon sites and spreading. “Because they are growing chinook, they are adapting the virus to Paciﬁc salmon species,” she said. “It’s documented that this is what happens with ﬁsh farms.” The industry was quick to dismiss the report, insisting that PRV-1a is naturally
Photo by Jeremy Mathieu/Clayoquot Action
Lab analysis found the virus PRV-1a at most Clayoquot ﬁsh farms that were sampled last year. present in Paciﬁc waters and not introduced through Atlantic salmon. The aquaculture sector has long maintained that the viral strain is endemic to B.C. waters, a benign strain that does not cause the heart and skeletal muscle inﬂammation found in Atlantic salmon. “There’s a lot of misinformation and fear mongering here,” said Shawn Hall, a spokesman for B.C. Salmon Farmers Association. The virus could not have come from Atlantic salmon, he said. “We raise our salmon from local brood stock transferred from local hatcheries.” Hall said the harmful viral strain is PRVB, a Norwegian variety, not the strain Clayoquot Action found. Concern that the virus may potentially mutate into more to open net pens. Former ﬁsheries minisvirulent forms is speculation, he said. He ter Jonathan Wilkinson announced rigoralso cited DFO testing of archived samous testing would commence last spring. ples indicating PRV-1a has been present “Now they’re doing the exact opposite,” in Paciﬁc salmon since 1987 and possibly Glambeck said. “They’re not testing and a decade before. Others have pointed out they’re not stopping the transfer of smolts that same period coincides with the arto ﬁsh farms … I would really quesrival of ﬁsh farms along the coast. tion the industry position on this. I think Neither Clayoquot Action nor Tla-o-qui- they’re really trying to cover something aht accepts the industry’s arguments. up.” Glambeck said DFO’s own studies show Tla-o-qui-aht Councillor Terry DorPRV-1a ﬁlls red blood cells in chinook, ward accused the industry, not its critics, triggering organ failure and causing ﬁsh of spreading disinformation. He said to become jaundiced. In sockeye, PRV Tla-o-qui-aht council feels strongly that causes lesions on the heart. the industry must address disease con“They had the opportunity to present cerns by moving to closed containment the scientiﬁc evidence that it’s benign ﬁsh farming. The nation has had grave in salmon in three court cases and were concerns about open net-pen ﬁsh farming unable to convince the judges that it is for decades and ﬁrst moved to block new harmless to salmon,” she said. operations from its waters in 1997. In the most recent court ruling, the judge Fed up, a citizens group from Tla-oruled that DFO needs to embrace the qui-aht took matters into their own hands precautionary principle and test Atlantic last spring, boarding two ﬁsh farms and salmon smolts before they are transferred documenting conditions.
“We felt we weren’t getting the full picture,” Dorward said. “What we found was ﬁsh with a great deal of deformities and wild salmon going freely in and out of the pens.” Since then there has been no substantive dialogue on the situation, he added. Nonetheless, Dorward is conﬁdent that a coastwide transition to closed containment, as promised by the Liberal government during the fall election, is imminent. “I think Creative Salmon understands that the federal government is moving to closed containment in ﬁve years,” he said. “Instead of looking at transition, ways to work with First Nations, they’re sticking with the status quo, business as usual. We should expect more direct action from this.” Minister of Fisheries Bernadette Jordan, who succeeded Wilkinson after the fall 2019 election, noted recently that she is
mandated to come up with a transition plan by 2025, not to see it implemented by then as others contend. “I know that position,” Dorward said. “It’s more delay tactics. I think the federal government knows the end is near for open net-pen ﬁsh farming.” Tla-o-qui-aht leadership acknowledges the importance of ﬁsh farming to the local economy in providing a source of employment, he said. They hope to engage further with Creative Salmon on closed containment while exploring economic alternatives such as kelp farming. Since wild salmon are clearly in jeopardy, they feel compelled to do whatever they can. “There could be a lot of factors — temperature of the water, climate change,” Dorward said. “These are things that are quite diﬃcult to get a handle on regionally. One of the things we can do is we will quit allowing ﬁsh farms to pollute our waters.”
February 27, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
DFO monitors prepare for the herring spawn Commercial ﬁshery will remain closed west of Vancouver Island this year, but open in the Strait of Georgia By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Vancouver Island, BC - Some herring spawns have been observed oﬀ Vargas and Flores Islands, as those who closely monitor the keystone species anticipate the bulk of reproduction to illuminate patches of the West Coast in March with aquamarine blue. Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s test boats began collecting biological samples in Barkley, Clayoquot and Nootka Sounds on Feb. 20 to gain information on the ﬁsh’s size, sex, age and distribution. In late February the Herring Spawn Reconnaissance Monitoring Program also took to the water, a DFO-funded initiative that supports boats from Nuu-chah-nulth nations that report the depth and extent of areas where herring are spawning. Besides airplane spawn surveys and dives conducted to gather data on eggs, the reconnaissance monitoring helps to inform the DFO’s models on the sustainability of the species and its ability to support harvests. The Nuchatlaht, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint, Mowachaht/Muchalaht, Hesquiaht and Toquaht First Nations are funded to undertake the work on parts of Vancouver Island’s west coast. The Nuu-chah-nulth monitoring involves locating the spawn, detecting what types of marine vegetation the herring ages are attached to and the volume of eggs at these locations, explained Uu-athluk biologist Jim Lane. “It’s not as precise as the dive surveys, but it’s information that is still very useful in the overall stock assessment process,” he said. The west coast of Vancouver Island has not supported a commercial herring ﬁshery since 2005, when seine and gill net boats caught a combined total of 4,245 short tons in Esperanza Inlet. The spawning biomass is forecast to be 24,171 tons this year, a level that is not deemed to be productive enough to sustain a seine or gill net harvest. The Island’s west coast herring ﬁshery will once again be closed for commercial harvesters, open only for small-scale First Nations food, social and ceremonial purposes. “Low biomass and growth for WCVI herring have persisted in most years since 2005, despite ﬁshing closures during that time,” states the DFO’s 2019/20 Paciﬁc Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan. Besides a small-scale spawn-on-kelp ﬁshery in the central coast, commercial closures are in place for the rest of the B.C. as well – except the Strait of Georgia. On the east side of Vancouver
Island the spawning biomass is forecast to be 59,792 tons, less than the 70,878 tons assessed last year. In this region a harvest rate of 20 per cent of the spawning biomass is advised, up to a maximum of 11,960 tons. While the forecast models aren’t perfect, Lane has seen a growth in Vancouver Island’s west coast stocks since 2010. “The overall trend for WCVI herring is upwards, but it is sporadic,” he said. Lane said that Nuu-chah-nulth decision makers have not determined what a sustainable rate of harvest would be for the Island’s west coast. “The nations have been pretty clear until there’s an agreed upon level of abundance that we’d open on, that they want the regular commercial herring ﬁsheries remaining closed,” he said. “Recent work by DFO has shown applying the same harvest rate to each herring management area is not always appropriate. If you harvest 20 per cent for [west coast Vancouver Island] herring, you won’t meet your conservation objectives of being above that limit reference point with high probability, because it’s too aggressive for the productive state the herring are in right now.” Current modelling indicates a 10 per cent harvest rate, with a 2,000-ton maximum, could be the appropriate strategy when the region does open a commercial herring ﬁshery. But the herring models that DFO uses can’t be used to assess “smaller spatial scales” on the Island’s west coast, said Lane. “Managing WCVI herring on smaller spatial scales is a major ﬁshery objective Nuu-chah-nulth have been requesting of DFO for decades,” he added. “The overall productivity is less,” Lane explained, comparing todays stocks with those of the 1990s. “What’s driving that is not known. Natural mortality has increased, but it is not clear what is causing it. It could be increased predation, or it may be changes in food availability due to changing ocean conditions or a combination of both.” As detailed in the DFO’s current management plan, by the early 1960s herring became a major ﬁshery on the West Coast, when the annual commercial harvest had grown to over 200,000 tons. But overﬁshing caused the industry to collapse in 1967, which remained closed until 1973, although small ﬁsheries continued for food and bait. Fueled by lucrative Japanese markets, the roe harvest began in 1971, which is currently the primary aim of commercial boats on the B.C. coast. This focuses on catching females when they are carrying the most
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Josh Charleson casts a net for a ƛusmit (herring) biosample collection in March 2019. eggs; the majority of the ﬁsh caught are boats, followed by gill nets that could fed to livestock or ground into feed for harvest March 15-April 9. The seine ﬂeet aquaculture. landed 7,178 tons, while gill nets caught Last year the Straight of Georgia’s roe 8,374 tons, a harvest that was below quoﬁshery was open March 9-15 for seine tas set by the DFO.
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Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—February 27, 2020
Ahousaht basketball squads see success at All Native For the ﬁrst time in several years, the coastal First Nation sends a men’s and women’s team to the tournament By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Prince Rupert, BC — Both of the Ahousaht First Nation entries registered respectable performances at one of the province’s most prestigious basketball tournaments. For starters, even though they had not competed at the All Native Basketball Tournament (ANBT) in about a half dozen years, the Maaqtusiis Ma’as for the most part managed to hold their own in the women’s division. The squad was able to win two of its four matches in the tournament, which wrapped up Saturday, Feb. 15 in Prince Rupert. And the Maaqtusiis Suns kicked oﬀ their action by racking up three consecutive wins before they were eliminated by the eventual tournament champions in the men’s category. This marked the 61st year the Prince Rupert tourney has been staged. A total of 54 teams took part. Besides the women’s and men’s divisions, there were also two other categories. There was a men’s intermediate grouping for those 21 and under as well as a men’s masters division for those 35 and over. Esther Robinson, the coach of the Maaqtusiis women’s club, was pleasantly surprised with the eﬀorts of her charges. Entering the event she had expressed concerns her side had not participated in this tournament for a number of years. Plus, the Ma’as were not even able to practice all together as a unit beforehand. “That’s what I was worried about – that we would lose two straight games and then we’d have to come home right away,” Robinson said. Only ﬁve of the players on the Ma’as roster live in the community of Ahousaht. Though they live in urban centres, the other half dozen individuals on the squad have a connection to the Ahousaht First Nation and were able to suit up for the team. The fact Ahousaht does not have all of its players living in its Flores Island community is one of the reasons the club had not entered the ANBT the last several years. Robinson’s charges did end up losing their ﬁrst game against a Vancouverbased squad. “We kept up with them and just ran out
Photo by Rebecca Atleo
Following a lengthy absence, the Maaqtusiis Ma’as once again found themselves competing at the All Native Basketball Tournament in Prince Rupert. Robinson’s daughter Terri as well as “Our community is backing us 100 per of steam at the end,” Robinson said. Laurissa Jimmy, Mercedes Brown, Shacent,” she said. “And I have girls calling After this initial setback the Ma’as then nia Sabbas, Janae Sam, Chantelle Dick, and asking if they can play with us next managed to register a pair of victories, Sereana Kaloucovale, Jaylynn Lucas, year.” over teams representing Bella Coola and It didn’t take long for news of the Ma’as Courtenay Louie, Amy Jack, and Freida Lax Kw’alaams. The triumph over Bella Thomas. Carol Thomas was the team’s moderate successes in Prince Rupert to Coola was especially signiﬁcant. manager while Wayne Robinson served spread. “We really struggled in junior ball and as assistant coach. “I was shocked,” Robinson said. “I had up until now against them,” Robinson Meanwhile, the Suns defeated teams girls calling me after I got home. I had said. “We ended up beating them by from Lax Kw’alaams, Prince Rupert and about 30 points.” three girls call me. And they’re tall girls, Lytton in their ﬁrst three tournament which is a plus for us. We had a very After their triumph over Lax matches. short team this year.” Kw’alaams, the Ma’as then saw their The club was then downed by Skidegate Robinson is hoping the Ma’as will tournament come to an end when they return to the ANBT in 2021. And she’s in its fourth outing. Skidegate went on to suﬀered their second defeat, against a capture the men’s division. hoping the team will be able to enter team from Kitkatla. The Suns had their tourney come to an plenty of other events as well Robinson, however, is excited about the end when they were beaten by Kitkatla, “I’ve got people agreeing with me they team’s future. The Ma’as participated in right after their loss to Skidegate. a Port Alberni tournament, which began should train together all year long,” she Kitimaat ended up winning the women’s on Feb. 21. And they will also compete at said. “We just need 12 dedicated ladies that will train really hard.” category. And the other division champs an event in Kamloops in April. were Prince Rupert (Intermediate Men’s) Robinson said the team has plenty of Players on the Ma’as roster this year that competed at the ANBT included and New Aiyansh (Masters). support from the Ahousaht First Nation.
Several nations compete in all Nuu-chah-nulth tourney By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - It was a busy weekend at the Alberni Athletic Hall, where six male and four female basketball teams competed in the All Nuu-chahnulth Basketball Championship Feb. 21-23. For the female’s, Hesquiaht Storm took ﬁrst place, Hesquiaht Descendants placed second and the Ahousaht Ma’as placed third. The tournament’s most inspirational female player was Jaylynn Lucas from the Hesquiaht Descendants and the MVP was Destiny Hanson from the Storm. The ﬁve female all stars were Jennifer Dick (Tseshaht Pride), Nicole Botting (Ahousaht Ma’as), Mariah Charleson (Hesquiaht Descendants), Tamia Edgar (Hesquiaht Storm) and Memphis Dick (Hesquiaht Storm). For the male teams, PA Rams (Makah) placed ﬁrst, the Chieftans placed second
and the Ahousaht Mavericks came in third. The tournament’s most inspirational male player went to Daxson Halttunen of the PA Rams and the MVP was Abraham Vensue of the PA Rams. The ﬁve male all stars were Ian Samuel (Witwaak), Dominic Thomas (Ahousaht Mavericks), Gredy Barney (Chieftans), Kobe Amos (Chieftans) and Zeke Green (Pa Rams). Organizer Wally Samuel said the First Nation tournament has been happening in Port Alberni since the 1960s. “Every nation had a team pretty well. So we’ve tried to revive that and keep that alive,” Samuel said. Samuel said there’s a lot of excitement and friendly rivalries throughout the tournament. “It’s a good time especially when it’s nation against nation,” he said. “It’s nice to see the people back together and having friendly competition.”
Photo by Karly Blats
Pride vs Storm: Tseshaht Pride and Hesquiaht Storm compete in the All Nuuchah-nulth Basketball Championship at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Saturday, Feb. 22.
February 27, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Two Maaqtusiis ball teams qualify for provincials In historic victories, Ahousaht’s girls and boys advance from Island championship with third-place ﬁnishes in late February By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Duncan, BC – It’s already been a rather successful season for a pair of Maaqtusiis Secondary School basketball teams. And it could get even better for both squads next week. That’s because both the Maaqtusiis senior girls’ and senior boys’ clubs have qualiﬁed for their respective A level provincial championships. The girls’ team earned a berth into the B.C. tournament, set for March 4-7 in Kelowna, by placing second at its Vancouver Island championships. The girls’ Island tournament was held Feb. 21-22 in Duncan. The Maaqtusiis side won three of its four outings at that event. The top two ﬁnishers qualiﬁed for the provincials in Kelowna. Meanwhile, the Maaqtusiis boys’ team placed third at its Island tournament, which concluded on Saturday, Feb. 22 in Nanaimo. But a tournament rule stipulated if the third-place ﬁnisher did not square oﬀ against the second-place team at the Island championships, then an ensuing challenge game could be staged. That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday night, Feb. 25. The Maaqtusiis side hit the road and faced oﬀ against the host Duncan Christian team in the challenge match. Maaqtusiis eked out a 62-59 victory in that contest to earn a berth into its provincial A tournament, set for March 4-7 in Langley. Cedar Wechlin, the athletic director at Maaqtusiis Secondary School, is thrilled both clubs from its school - which only has about 70 students - have advanced to their provincial tournaments. “This is huge for our community,” he said. “It gives our kids something to reach for. And it helps me as an athletic director to develop a better program.” The Maaqtusiis boys’ team last qualiﬁed for the provincials back in 2009. And though he doesn’t have an exact year, Wechlin believes it was at some point in the 1990s that the Maaqtusiis girls’ squad last participated in its provincials. Wechlin had spent a number of years serving as Maaqtusiis’ athletic director. But most recently he had been teaching in Fort Resolution, a hamlet in the Northwest Territories. He returned to Ahousaht midway through the current school year. “This was calling me back home,” he said of his Maaqtusiis post. But just a few months ago Wechlin could not have envisioned that both Maaqtusiis teams would have successful seasons. “We had players that weren’t eligible and we had fees that weren’t paid,” he said. “It was a heck of a mess.” Besides sorting out the appropriate administrative paperwork and getting everything in order, Wechlin also utilized the school’s physical education classes to train players for the two teams. “We told the kids we can do this,” he said. Wechlin added he is envious when he sees championship banners at other schools. He’s told Maaqtusiis players his goal is to see similar banners in the school gym. Both the Maaqtusiis girls’ and boys’ teams feature nine players this season. Though they are senior teams, the girls’ side not only features athletes in Grades 11-12 but also includes some individuals
Photos by Curt McLeod
Along with their female counterparts, Maaqtusiis High School’s boys are advancing to the B.C. championships in March, after winning in Duncan on Feb. 25. in Grades 9 and 10. The team’s head coach is Amy Jack, who works as an education assistant at the school. Meanwhile, the Maaqtusiis boys’ side includes players from Grades 10-12. A pair of community coaches, John Kennedy Frank and Floyd Campbell, are the bench bosses. The Maaqtusiis girls’ side is led by a pair of Grade 11 players, Janae Sam and Sereana Kaloucokovale. The team has been seeded 14th at its 16-squad provincial tournament. It will face third-seeded Heritage Christian from Kelowna in its opening match on March 4. Wechlin is anticipating the provincial boys’ schedule will be ﬁnalized by Thursday. Though he’s hoping for a Top
8 seeding for his squad, he admits he’s not quite sure exactly were organizers will eventually decide to rank the Maaqtusiis side. The Maaqtusiis boys’ club is led by point guard Matty Frank, the only Grade 12 player on the team. “He’s our only senior and our captain,” Wechlin said. “He deﬁnitely leads the team.” Point guard Cha-asta Campbell, who is in Grade 11, is another leader for the squad. Despite their third-place ﬁnish at the Island championships, Wechlin was pleased his club brought home some hardware. It was presented with a plaque for being the most sportsmanlike team at the tournament, as voted on by coaches
and the oﬃciating crews. “That was huge for us,” Wechlin said of the sportsmanlike award. Wechlin was also obviously pleased Maaqtusiis was able to win Tuesday’s challenge game and earn a spot into the provincials. “We showed up,” he said. “Our boys came together and we took the win.” Wechlin believes participating in the provincials will be an eye-opening experience for the Maaqtusiis clubs. “I think they’re going to be blown away,” he said of the excitement and atmosphere that will be present at the B.C. events. “This is going to be like their NBA.”
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—February 27, 2020
Fresh, live tuts’up distributed at Tseshaht longhouse
On morning of Feb. 21st Tseshaht First Nation members showed up at the longhouse for sea urchin distribution. Ray Watts Sr. cracked open the fresh tuts’up and ate it right in the parking lot. Young member Nathan Charlie, age 3, was hesitant to touch the beautiful, spiny creature. Sea urchins are low in calories, high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. This beneﬁt provides a good excuse to eat tuts’up, because the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fatty ﬁsh that contain omega-3 per week. Photos by Holly Stocking and Denise Titian
Phrase of the week - hesqwii@th= Pronounced ‘hesh quii ath’, this means pulling eel grass through your teeth to get the eggs oﬀ. Supplied by čiisma.
Ivy Cargill-Martin Illustration
February 27, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11 Non-Insured Health Beneﬁts - NIHB Coverage – Travelling Out Side Of Country General Principles 1.
Prior approval is required.
2. The client must: a. Be eligible for the NIHB Program; and b. Be currently enrolled or eligible to be enrolled in a provincial or territorial health insurance plan and continue to meet residency requirements for provincial/territorial health coverage. 3. For Transportation to Medical Services: For transportation to medical services outside of the country the client must be referred for provincially/territorially insured medical services by a provincial or territorial health care plan for treatment Shaganappi Plaza: wage change for Building Maintenance and Superintendent Windspeaker.com http://www.windspeaker.com/news/sweetgrass-news/building-maintenanceand-superintendent/ ammsa.com http://www.ammsa.com/content/careers/shaganappi-plaza-ltd-calgary outside of Canada. 4. For Supplemental Health Insurance Premiums: Full-time students enrolled in a post-secondary institution to study outside of Canada must provide a letter of conﬁrmation that tuition, which is not an eligible beneﬁt under the NIHB Program, has been paid. What is covered? Photo submitted by Roy Alexander
For Supplemental Health Insurance Premiums: The cost of privately acquired health insurance premiums for approved students or migrant workers and their legal dependents will be reimbursed. For Transportation to Medical Services: Transportation beneﬁts when eligible clients are medically referred and approved for treatment outside of Canada by a provincial or territorial health care plan. For further information on coverage outside of Country you are encouraged to call First Nations & Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), Vancouver BC toll free @ 1-800-317-7878 What You Should Know- “Before” Leaving British Columbia If you are leaving the province, you should be aware that your coverage may not pay all health care costs. Health services provided outside Canada often cost more than the amount paid by the Ministry of Health Services. Sometimes the diﬀerence is substantial; for example, the amount we pay for emergency inpatient hospital care will not exceed $75 (Canadian) a day for United States of exceeds $1,000 (US) per day and can be as high as $10,000 a day for intensive care. In addition, some items/services that may be a beneﬁt in BC are not covered outside the province; for example, prescription drugs and optometric services. Further, the Ministry does not subsidize fees charged for ambulance service obtained outside BC. We advise you to buy additional health insurance to supplement your basic coverage before you leave the province, regardless of whether you’ll be in another part of Canada or outside the country – even if your company or travel agency can advise you about extra coverage to pay for any diﬀerence in fees and to provide beneﬁts not covered by the Ministry. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you must mention this when purchasing additional insurance as most policies will not cover treatment of that condition outside the province. In some cases you may purchase an insurance policy where the insurance company has a signed agreement with the Ministry. This permits the company to pay physician and hospital claims and receive reimbursement on your behalf thus eliminating the need for you to handle your own claims. NOTE: Ambulance – If you require ambulance service while in another province or outside Canada, you will need to obtain service from an ambulance company in that jurisdiction and will be charged the fee established by the-out-of-province service provider. Fees range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. When purchasing additional out-of-province health insurance you are advised to obtain insurance that will cover emergency transportation while you are away and, if necessary the cost of transportation back to BC. MSP Contact @ 1-250-386-7171 or fax 1-250-952-3427 – In case the number s have changed the web site is: www.healthservices.gov.bc.ca/msp
Opitsaht resident Gene Antoine works as a diver in the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s geoduck ﬁshery.
Coronavirus hits geoduck By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Campbell River, BC - Shipment disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak have hit the Nuu-chah-nulth geoduck ﬁshery, leading leaders to carry unused quota over to the next year. The current geoduck season ends March 15, but the outbreak’s widespread effects on Chinese markets has already disrupted freight overseas, cutting oﬀ Nuu-chah-nulth harvesters from their biggest customers. As the vast majority of geoducks harvested from the west coast of Vancouver Island are sold to China and Hong Kong, a resolution was passed at the Council of Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries in early February to “roll over any uncaught quota to the upcoming 2020 opening”. Weighing an average of two to three pounds, the large, edible saltwater clam is dug up from tidal ﬂats, harvested by divers using high-pressure hoses to excavate geoducks from clam beds. Harvest is restricted to certain areas along the coast, during times when shellﬁsh testing determines that geoducks are safe for consumption. Hayu normally collects geoducks with a four-person boat, including two Nuu-chah-nulth divers and supporting crew members. “They tend to be in deeper waters, so usually they’re only accessible at extreme low tide,” said Roy Alexander, advisor for the Hayu Fishing Partnership, which is owned by the Toquaht, Ehattesaht/ Chinekint, Nuchatlaht and Hesquiaht First Nations. “They’re often mistaken for horse clams, they’re very similar looking - but the geoduck is the prize for its taste and its size.” Eight Nuu-chah-nulth nations currently share one geoduck licence, which brought a total quota of 56,000 pounds over the last year. “It’s one of the most sought-after ﬁshes there is,” noted Alexander. “It’s the largest valued shellﬁsh in British Columbia.” With a typical landed value of $15-18 per pound, shipment disruptions to hungry Chinese markets pose a concerning
and unexpected loss for Nuu-chah-nulth harvesters. “For landed price, we’re looking at half a million dollars that’s in jeopardy here,” said Alexander. “We were sitting here waiting for the area closures to lift. They lifted about a week before the virus hit, and suddenly everything just went ‘clamp’.” Since the coronavirus outbreak was reported on Dec. 31, more than 77,000 cases have been discovered in China, including over 2,600 deaths. The virus leads to a respiratory illness called COVID-19, an aﬄiction untreatable by medication that can progress to pneumonia or kidney failure. Nearly another 2,100 cases have been detected in other countries, including 10 in Canada as of Feb. 24. With 23 related deaths identiﬁed outside of China, the World Health Organization has called the coronavirus an international public health emergency – but not a pandemic. WHO believes that the virus originated from a market in Wuhan where live animals were sold. Fisheries and Oceans Canada have yet to agree with the Council of Ha’wiih decision to carry over unused geoduck quota. Other concerns with the ﬁshery were raised during the Feb. 3 meeting in Campbell River, including any impact that a larger geoduck harvest could have on the herring spawn. “If you could roll more over it’s going to have a longer dive season, so it’s adding to their problem,” remarked Andrew Jackson, ﬁsheries manager for the Tla-oqui-aht First Nation during the ﬁsheries forum. Two years ago the Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society, which is led by Ahousaht’s hereditary chiefs, declared that the commercial geoduck ﬁshery would be closed in the First Nation’s territory during the annual herring spawn. “It’s a big impact to our ﬁshery,” said Ahousaht member Kiista at the ﬁsheries forum. “They are still a concern for Ahousaht, and we want to still push DFO for having that impact assessment done for the geoduckers.”
Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—February 27, 2020
Community&Beyond nulth Language. RSVP to Elsie.Antuna@nuuchahnulth.org. Any Questions please phone : 250-724-5757
March 7 Port Alberni Time: 12 noon. Place: Maht Mahs Gym. Host: Earl Mundy 7th Annual Career Fair
March 12 Port Alberni Alberni Athletic Hall, 9 AM TO 3 PM Free table registration Contact Kirunn Sharma or Shan Ross for further details, Phone:250-723-1331 Fax: 250-723-1336 email@example.com shan. firstname.lastname@example.org Uchucklesaht Tribe People’s Assembly
March 14 Port Alberni Location: The Thunderbird 5251 Argyle Street Port Alberni. Time: Meeting 9:00am-12:00pm. What: Peoples Assembly re: Budget. Facilitator: Scott Coulson. Who: Uchucklesaht Tribe Citizens & Enrollees Language Gathering
March 24 – 27 Port Alberni Where: Maht Mahs Gym Time: 9:00am—2:30pm Breakfast and Lunch Provided Daily Open to All Interested in the Nuu-chah-
April 25 Campbell River We would be honoured if you would join us at our Memorial Potlatch for our late mother Margaret Jack, at Thunderbird Hall, 1420 Weiwaikum Road, Campbell River BC, starting at NOON with lunch. Memorial Potlach
May 16 Lake Cowichan We the Livingstone family are now planning a Memorial Potlach for our Father and Hereditary Chief Sha e’ Lum, Cyril Edward Livingstone. Bring your drums and regalia. All family and friends are invited. Location: Lake Cowichan Arena, 311 S Shore Rd, Lake Cowichan, contact Lake Cowichan First Nation at (250) 749-3301 for information. Suicide Peer Support Group
First Thursday, Monthly Port Alberni The KUU-US Crisis Line Society holds a Suicide Peer Support Group Meeting on the ﬁrst Thursday of each month at the KUU-US Oﬃce location. 4589 Adelaide St, Port Alberni.
Hupiimin Wiikšaḥiiy’ap ‘helping us to be well ̓
NTC Nurses want you to know: HIV Treatment is Prevention 25% of people who are HIV positive are unaware Testing means HIV drug treatment can start sooner and support is available sooner Treatment brings down the amount of virus in the body Treatment has changed. It can be as little as one pill per day A person with HIV/AIDS can live a long and healthy life
Les Sam Construction Residential . Commercial & Architectural Structures Construction Management & Consulting Forming & Framing Ph/Txt: 250.720.7334 les email@example.com
It is possible to make the next generation HIV/ AIDS free Testing is free for anyone. We are strictly CONFIDENTIAL. Call 250-724-5757 to speak to a Community Health Nurse.
February 27, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
-----------JOB OPPORTUNITIES ----------Uchucklesaht Tribe Government is currently accepting applications for a Full Time Building Maintenance Worker to take care of two buildings located in Port Alberni, BC Job Summary: Performs maintenance and repairs related to buildings, Grounds and equipment, in one or more areas such as electrical, plumbing, painting and grounds-keeping and cleans oﬃce space and various rentals that include hotel units at The Thunderbird. Key Duties and Responsibilities
Hupac^asath= First Nation Full Time Job Opportunities Chief Executive Oﬃcer The Chief Executive Oﬃcer is responsible for the management, administration and delivery of all programs and services in order to ensure that the needs of band members are met. You will report to the Chief and Council and will work closely with the Chief Financial Oﬃcer. This position works to build and support administrative capacity to advance transitioning to self government.
Accounting Assistant The Accounting Assistant is responsible for the transaction accounting functions providing support for the Chief Financial Oﬃcer and Accounting Technician. To provide back up for the Accounting Technician, completing accounts payable, accounts recievable, records of employment, payroll and other daily, weekly and monthly accouting transactions
Communication Coordinator The Communications Co-ordinator facilitates eﬀective and consistant communication between the Hupacasath First Nation, its members, staﬀ, council, committees, governments and the outside world, ensuring every sector and member is fully informed.
1. Establishes, monitors, and carries out preventative maintenance procedures and schedules for buildings, equipment and grounds. Ensures building and equipment meet all safety, security and ﬁre regulations and policies. Makes recommendations for major repairs and purchases to supervisor. 2. Performs carpentry, electrical, painting, mechanical and plumbing maintenance and repairs such as repairing furniture, constructing shelves, installing switches, replacing plugs and other basic appliance repairs, applying paint and other ﬁnishes, repairing drywall, disassembling and reassembling equipment, replacing sinks and toilets and applying ﬁnishing material such as linoleum. 3. Monitors work performed by contractors, prepares estimates of labour and material costs, contacts external contractors and trades people to obtain quotes and arranges for major repairs and maintenance work. 4. Collects and removes garbage and recyclable materials and ensures the safe disposal of hazardous waste. 5. Cleans internal and external areas such as entranceways, sidewalks, oﬃces and parking lots. Is able to use manual and power brooms, rakes, shovels and other equipment to remove dirt, leaves, snow and other refuse. Performs minor gardening and lawn maintenance tasks such as mowing, weeding, pruning and watering. Cleans internal areas of the building such as hallways, building ﬂoors and windows, stairwells, washrooms and oﬃce areas. 6. Completes and maintains related records such as maintenance logs and security incident reports. 7. Transports equipment, furniture and supplies manually and/or using aides such as dollies and carts. Operates a motor vehicle to pick up and move goods and supplies. Arranges furniture for special events. 8. Cleans as required The Thunderbird hotel units – experience in cleaning rental units would be ideal. 9. Performs other related duties as required. Required Qualiﬁcations, Education and Knowledge: • Grade 10, plus related vocational training such as building maintenance course. • Must hold Valid Class 5 drivers license or better • (Not necessary but would be helpful) SVOP, MED A 3 and ROC certiﬁcates Training and Experience: • Two (2) years recent related experience. • Or and Equivalent combination of education, training and experience Company: Uchucklesaht Tribe Location: Port Alberni Contact Info: Applications Deadline: Please forward a resume and cover letter by March 13, 2020 to: Lysa.Ray@Uchucklesaht.ca Uchucklesaht Tribe Government Suite A 5251 Argyle Street, Port Alberni, BC, V9Y 1V1 Fax: 250-724-1806 Attention: Lysa Ray
Natural Resource Manager The Natural Resource Manager is responsible for the oversight management, usage and conservation of Hupacasath First nation lands, air, water, infastructure, traditioanl territories and natural resources in a manner that respects or values so that our traditional teachings and knowledge can prosper and be shared with future generations.
Hupac^asath= First Nation Part Time Job Opportunities
Housing, Capital & Public Works Coordinator The right candidate will have strong business acumen, strong knowledge of CMHC housing program, AANDC housing programs, construction, asset management and have a natural ability to lead teams of tradesmen, consultants, contractors and sub trades while working working with the community members in a respectful and diligent fashion.
To apply for any of the above job postings please send a copy of your resume and cover letter explaining your suitability for the position and salary requirements to hr@hupacasath. ca Hupcasath First Nation, 5500 Ahahswinis Dr, Port Alberni BC V9Y 7M7
Human Resource Consultant To apply for any of the above job postings please send a copy of your resume and cover letter explaining your suitability for the position and salary requirements to hr@hupacasath. ca Hupcasath First Nation, 5500 Ahahswinis Dr, Port Alberni BC V9Y 7M7
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Study calls out feds for lack of Aboriginal engagement UVic researchers say environmental assessments need to place more of an emphasis on traditional knowledge By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor An investigative paper published this month by researchers at the University of Victoria (UVic) claims the federal government is failing to meaningfully engage with Indigenous knowledge in environmental decision-making. The paper, Indigenous knowledge and federal environmental assessments in Canada: applying past lessons to the 2019 impact assessment act, published in the journal of FACETS by Lauren Eckert and Nick XEMŦOLTW̱ Claxton, argues that a fundamental shift is needed in how government treats Indigenous rights and knowledge. Eckert is a UVic PhD candidate, Raincoast Conservation Foundation fellow and Vanier Scholar. Claxton is an assistant professor from UVic’s Faculty of Human and Social Development and elected chief of Tsawout Nation. The researchers propose that Canada should move toward environmental assessment processes that are Indigenousled and co-managed. “Environmental assessment processes have the potential to generate environmentally sound, socially equitable decisions across Canada. But without fundamental shifts in the way current policy relates to, engages with and recognizes the rights of Indigenous peoples and their knowledge, outcomes may continue to generate conﬂict between federal and
“Indigenous knowledge refers to the complex systems of knowledge, belief and practice that have informed Indigenous environmental stewardship and decision-making for millennia.” ~ University of Victoria press release Indigenous governments,” the researchers say in a UVic press release. “Indigenous knowledge refers to the complex systems of knowledge, belief and practice that have informed Indigenous environmental stewardship and decision-making for millennia.” During the research process, a team of colleagues analyzed 19 peer-reviewed papers (published over the last four decades) to understand what obstacles exist between harmonizing Indigenous knowledge and federal environmental assessment processes in Canada. They identiﬁed six categories of obstacles, including historical, legal, political, procedural and resource limitations. They also considered the federal government’s new 2019 Impact Assessment Act with an aim to understand how—if any—of the identiﬁed obstacles have been overcome in the recently passed legislation. According to the press release, the new act mandates the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in environmental assessment at the federal level, and also dictates that applicants explain how Indigenous knowledge was collected and used in
UVic PhD student Lauren Eckert, seen in Toﬁno, B.C. on Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation territories, co-wrote a new paper on incorporating Indigenous knowledge into environmental assessments for natural resource projects. decision-making. “Our analysis found that the act is a step in the direction towards better relationships between Indigenous knowledge and environmental assessment processes. However, many deep-rooted obstacles still exist,” the researchers state in the press release. “These include the ongoing impacts of colonization and the exclusion of Indigenous peoples from decision-making processes, along with the reality that environmental decisionmaking power is ultimately in the hands of the government.” The researchers’ key recommendations for how the government should utilize Indigenous knowledge includes co-creating research and monitoring programs with First Nations and providing appropriate funding for the sharing of Indigenous knowledge and adherence to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “Ultimately, we recommend that Canada’s legislative and federal structures recognize Indigenous-led environmental assessments. A number of examples of these processes exist, and it is through these approaches—led by Indigenous Nations, for Indigenous Nations—that there can be opportunity for equitable knowledge and power-sharing,” states the press release. “For instance, the Squamish Nation partnered with project proponents in a Squamish-led assessment of the Wood Fibre LNG project in 2015. In the same year, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation completed an independently led environmental assessment of the Trans Mountain Expansion project (TMX) based on Tsleil-Waututh values and law.” Judith Sayers, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council president, believes environmental assessment processes need to be revisited in light of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “First Nations need to be at the table looking at all the environmental issues and the government in turn has to take their concerns very seriously,” Sayers said. “If you look at what’s happening with Wet’suwet’en…If you look at Site C Dam and all the objections, the First Nations up there are not taken seriously and
Photo by 1491 Productions
Nick Claxton, an assistant professor from UVic’s Faculty of Human and Social Development, and elected chief of Tsawout Nation, co-wrote the paper with Eckert.
“First Nations need to be at the table looking at all the environmental issues and the government in turn has to take their concerns very seriously” ~ Judith Sayers, NTC President the government just says ‘that’s enough we’re going to approve the project.’ I really think [the government] needs the consent of Indigenous people before they issue an environmental assessment certiﬁcate.” Sayers said obstacles that prevent a positive relationship between some First Nations communities and the government come from the government’s belief that their decision is superior. “When [government representatives] sit down at the table with Indigenous communities they think that they always have that option to make that ﬁnal decision,
override the objections of First Nations and approve it. Coming to the table with that attitude doesn’t give you a lot of room to negotiate,” Sayers said. “In the clean energy industry in B.C. a lot of the companies have walked away from projects because First Nations have said no… and that’s the kind of attitude I think we need as well from corporations that want to develop.” Going forward, Sayers believes environmental assessments on First Nations lands need to incorporate Indigenous knowledge with as much or more weight than scientiﬁc research. “There’s a lot of things to be gained by revamping the (environmental assessment) process based on Indigenous values,” Sayers said. “I think things really need to be changed around in a diﬀerent way than they’re done now. There has to be weight put on Indigenous views and you just don’t see that happening.” To view Indigenous knowledge and federal environmental assessments in Canada: applying past lessons to the 2019 impact assessment act in full, visit facetsjournal.com.
February 27, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
Photos by Eric Plummer
Beaulah and William Howard, left, as well as Mark Michael, right, stand with Frank Collins as he returns a basket and mask to the families that created the artworks generations ago. Collins returned the pieces at the Mowachaht/Muchalaht’s House of Unity on Feb. 23. The basket’s creator, Lillian Michael, was from Nuchatlaht.
Artwork returned to Nuu-chah-nulth families Frank Collins declined a collector’s $5,000 oﬀer in favour of giving a carved mask back to the Howard family By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Tsaxana, BC - His voice shaking with emotion, Frank Collins unpacked a large blue tote before a crowd on a winter evening at the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation’s House of Unity. The 81-year-old removed a wooden mask and woven basket, two ﬁxtures in his home for generations, handing them to the descendants of the artisans who created and sold the pieces several decades ago. For Collins as well as the family members of late Mowachaht/Muchalaht carver Ambrose Howard and weaver Lillian Michael from the Nuchatlaht First Nation, the Feb. 23 event represented a homecoming for the pieces when they returned to the families that created them. This became a necessary gesture for the Tahsis resident since his wife Lucille, who collected First Nations art for most of her life, passed nearly four years ago. “I’ve already donated three pieces to the Tahsis museum,” said Collins of works that include a small Ambrose Howard mask, a print by Sanford Williams and another basket by Lillian Michael. “We had it in our will if we passed together that all of our native art was going to go to the Campbell River museum.” As the president of the Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society, Collins is in regular contact with the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation. His desire to send the pieces somewhere other than a museum intensiﬁed after hearing from the First Nation’s ﬁsheries manager Kadin Snook that a permanent space for such artwork could be developing in the future. “Kadin mentioned something about a culture centre here,” said Collins. “We decided that it should come here.” Part of Lucille’s collection was a large number of woven cedar baskets, including the recently repatriated Lillian Michael piece that was purchased in the 1970s when the couple lived in Gold River. The mask was bought in the late 1960s, but Collins believes it was made during the previous decade when Ambrose Howard still lived in Yuquot, on the southern tip of Nootka Island. As a child William Howard recalls his productive father honing the craft in his workshop while they lived in the ancient Mowachaht village. “Every time I went in there he was
sitting in there carving,” said Howard, whose father passed the craft on to him when Ambrose wasn’t selling pieces to interested buyers from around the world. Even before the family moved to Gold River in the 1960s when the Mowachaht/ Muchalaht reserve was translocated by the federal government, Howard would see visitors coming to their home in the remote Yuquot community to buy his father’s masks. “They would come in and I’d never know where they were from,” he said. Howard chuckles that his father once made a mask for him, an undertaking that took four to ﬁve months due to the constant demand for Ambrose’s product. A few times the father even took the work in progress oﬀ the wall to satisfy another eager customer, only to start his son’s mask over again. “He wasn’t ﬁnished theirs so he would take mine, and he’d start making another one. He did that about three times,” admitted Howard. “He told me one time that when he ﬁrst started carving it was - in my words - therapy, until he started selling it.” Originally from Newfoundland, Collins has been a resident in Vancouver Island’s west coast communities since 1963. While Ambrose Howard and Lillian Michael were spreading their pieces through the world, Collins worked in industries that helped establish Gold River and Tahsis, often working alongside families represented at the event in the House of Unity. “I worked at the old beach camp before the town was even built,” he said of his role in Gold River’s origins. His ties to the families of these small communities on the northwest of Vancouver Island led to returning the mask and basket, amid plans among the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation to eventually have the artwork on display. “I was oﬀered $5,000 for that mask,” said Collins of a pitch from a private American collector. “I didn’t want it hanging on a wall in Seattle. It had to come here - $5,000 wouldn’t have made me rich, but giving that there tonight made me very rich.” “I think that was the biggest part of it; bringing it home, because I love these people,” he continued. “They’ve always been good to me, and they’ve always respected me.”
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