INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 49 - No. 03—February 10, 2022 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776
Sculpture Garden celebrates Indigenous knowledge Project incorporates Nuu-chah-nulth art to share traditional teachings with a Western audience in California By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Sebastopol, CA – A group of Indigenous scholars and artists are collaborating on a unique garden that will not only serve as a celebration of art but also act as a teaching tool showcasing traditional knowledge that has been passed down from generation to generation. And they have turned to Nuu-chah-nulth artists to take part in the project. The Cultural Conservancy and the Native American Academy have partnered to bring to life The Sculpture Garden of Native Science and Learning. It will feature totem poles and other carvings and include spaces where artists can demonstrate their knowledge - not only of carving methods, but also the ancient stories that are incorporated into the art. Rose Thater Brann-Imai is co-founder and director of The Native American Academy which endeavors to make the Indigenous learning processes and native science visible to the western world. Not only an artist but also an astrophysicist, Brann-Imai is passionate about raising the proﬁle of Indigenous knowledge to the Western world.
“Many of our founders are Canadian,” said Brann-Imai, adding that for the past 25 years she has worked to make the Indigenous world view accessible and understandable to Western-trained minds. She pointed to the still concerning suicide rate among Indigenous youth. “That has to be addressed,” she said. Rose believes in empowering young Indigenous people by showing them the knowledge they hold is key. According to Rose, Indigenous science and knowledge is everywhere in the form of symbols, glyphs and other art forms. “That is where our scientiﬁc knowledge is contained as opposed to numbers, formulas, books,” she said. For example, “the planting cycles followed by Indigenous women for centuries emerged from their relationship with the moon and the stars,” reads the Native American Academy website. “They codiﬁed their observations in embroidery and weavings. A single piece of cloth carries a knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, entomology, etc., and how they relate.” Continued on page 3.
Photo by Denise Titian
Carver Tim Paul holds his panel, the First Scientist, which will become a part of the Sculpture Garden of Native Science and Learning.
Ahousaht launches housing project in Port Alberni By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Ahousaht families struggling to ﬁnd aﬀordable rentals in Port Alberni may soon ﬁnd relief when their nation ﬁnishes construction of its new building, according to elected Chief Greg Louie. The City of Port Alberni is dealing with a critical housing shortage. According to a Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation report, the rental vacancy rate was three per cent in 2020. Add to that steep increases in rent, the city’s housing situation makes it more diﬃcult for families and singles to ﬁnd aﬀordable homes. In 2019, according to the same CMHC report, a three-bedroom unit in Port Alberni would cost renters between $949 to $1,231 per month. A survey of classiﬁed advertisements in January 2021 shows two-bedroom units renting for $1,100 to $1,300 per month, according to the CMHC report, although assessed property values in Port Alberni have risen signiﬁcantly since. Chief Louie said his council heard from Ahousaht people living in Port Alberni
Design submitted by DYS Architecture
during meetings with urban members about four years earlier. “We heard our people saying we need housing,” he told Ha-Shilth-Sa. With more than 500 Ahousahts living in Port Alberni, the First Nation’s council jumped on an opportunity presented by BC Housing to deliver options in the city. Louie said that BC Housing oﬀered funding to support Indigenous developments. Ahousaht councillors toured Port
Inside this issue... Closed ﬁsh farms come to Esperanza Inlet.....................Page 2 $50,000 reward for Lisa Marie whereabouts..................Page 4 Court rules against further blockades in Fary Creek......Page 6 Kelp farming opens possibilities....................................Page 9 Community garden feeds people in Tsaxana................Page 14
Alberni with a realtor a few years ago, and, with the support of the City of Port Alberni, settled on suitable site. The Citaapi Mahtii Housing Society, with representation that includes Ahousaht members living in Port Alberni, plans to redevelop a former school site located near the Fall Fair Grounds. “The development will create 35 new homes in a new four-storey building located at 4210 Cedarwood Street. This
will be the redevelopment of a vacated school facility,” reads a notice from DYS Architecture. The Citaapi Mahtii Housing Society is working to create a community that embraces Indigenous history, values and culture. It will have a multi-purpose gathering space suitable for drumming and serving food to crowds. The four-storey building will have eight studio units, seven one-bedroom apartments, four two-bedroom units, 12 threebedroom suites and 4 four-bedroom units for a total of 35 housing spaces. It will allow for a more inclusive community atmosphere. Ahousaht has consulted with Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations. According to Louie, an apartment unit each will be made available to their members. In addition, their members will be invited to apply for construction jobs once ground is broken, hopefully in 2022. Still in the design stage, Louie hopes architectural drawings will soon be presented for approval. Ahousaht has hired a consultant to take care of applications and other paperwork.
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Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa— February 10, 2022
Grieg installs semi-closed ﬁsh farms in Esperanza New system allows operators to raise and lower enclosures, reducing sea lice numbers among farmed salmon By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Esperanza Inlet, BC - Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. is introducing a new semi-closed containment system to all three of its ﬁsh farms in Esperanza Inlet, oﬀ the west coast of Vancouver Island. The new CO2L Flow system allows ﬁsh farmers to raise and lower farm enclosures, allowing farmed ﬁsh to beneﬁt from the natural ecosystem, while protecting wild salmon, Grieg Seafood said in a release. As ocean-based farmers, Rocky Boschman, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. managing director, said one of the most commonly raised concerns is the transfer of sea lice between wild and farmed populations. The semi-closed system has “drastically” reduced the number of sea lice in farmed populations, he said. Indeed, open-pen ﬁsh farms are criticized by some scientists who claim they transfer dangerous amounts of sea lice to wild populations, contributing to the collapse of B.C.’s wild stocks. As wild juvenile salmon migrate past ﬁsh farms, many fear they’re especially vulnerable to the parasites that wreak havoc on their immune systems, increasing their risk of disease. During the periods of wild salmon migration, or when there are harmful algae in the region, Dean Trethewey, Grieg Seafood’s director of saltwater production, regulatory and ﬁsh health, said barriers within the closed-containment systems can be lowered to prevent lateral interaction between wild and farmed
Photo supplied by Grieg Seafood
Snow falls on Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.’s Hecate farm in Esperanza Inlet. salmon populations. This “signiﬁcantly reduces the transmission of sea lice between the populations,” he said. Three cycles of ﬁsh have been raised in the new system since Grieg launched the ﬁrst trial in 2019 at its farms oﬀ the Sunshine Coast. “During the trial while the barriers were deployed, we did not have to treat for sea lice within the semi-closed system, while our other farms in the area were treated twice for sea lice during this same period,” said Trethewey. Fish raised in the trial system also saw an increase of growth by around 40 per cent, a 19 per cent survival increase. Grieg Seafood BC is part of the Norwegian multinational Grieg Group and operates 22 ﬁsh farms within the province. As one of the largest salmon farming com-
panies in B.C., Grieg is aiming to harvest 22,000 metric tonnes of ﬁsh in 2022. Salmon farming companies are required to report lice counts higher than three motile lice per ﬁsh during the wild juvenile salmon outmigration, which runs annually from March 1 to June 30, Trethewey said. “As a company, our goal is to keep lice well below this threshold, and once we start to see counts rise [above] 1.5 motile lice per ﬁsh, our treatment planning process is triggered,” he added. While these semi-closed systems prevent sea lice from travelling into the farms, Grieg Seafood said it doesn’t stop the movement of pathogens. Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Councillor Terry Dorward said the new system doesn’t go far enough. “The technology is there to go closed,”
said Dorward. “Industry just needs to smarten up and move in that direction. For too long, there has been an increase in pathogens and a decline in wild salmon.” In recent years, B.C. salmon numbers have hit record lows. Only two wild Chinook salmon returned to the upper Kennedy watershed in 2021, meaning the population has seen a 98 per cent decrease, reported Jessica Hutchinson, Central Westcoast Forest Society executive director and ecologist. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently called for new Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray to continue to work with B.C. and Indigenous communities on a plan to transition from open net-pen salmon farming by 2025. For Dorward, 2025 isn’t soon enough. “We’re [seeing] such decline in wild salmon stocks … we need to act now if we’re ever going to have healthy ﬁsheries on the west coast,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of faith in the federal government.” Numerous studies suggest the global demand for blue foods will nearly double by 2050, which will be primarily met through increased aquaculture. “As a company, we will continue to look for ways in which we can innovate and continue to improve our operations,” said Boschman, adding the company is looking for solutions that will recover solid waste produced by the farms. “There is no denying that this new system represents a transition towards what in-ocean farms can one day become,” he said.
February 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
Project incorporates art to share traditional teachings Continued from page 1. The Native American Academy was founded by a circle of traditional knowledge holders and aboriginal scholars dedicated to preserving and protecting Indigenous knowledge while bringing to life a 21st century science that is in a respectful relationship with the natural world. Their work includes the creation of the Sculpture Garden of Native Science and Learning located at the Heron’s Shadow in Sebastopol, California. The garden features totem poles and other carvings along with information that they hope will serve as a library or encyclopedia of Indigenous ways and knowledge. For Rose, the concept is important because of the holistic and interconnected nature of the Indigenous world view and teaching methods. “The sculpture garden will provide Indigenous youth with a reﬂection of themselves in an education system and society that does not recognize their world view, knowledge, or learning processes as valid,” according to the Native American Academy. “The vision is to teach them how we learn, not necessarily what we know,” Rose told Ha-Shilth-Sa. In her search for Indigenous carvers, Brann-Imai found a rich source in British Columbia. She met with master carvers Tim Paul of Hesquiaht and Joe Martin of Tla-o-qui-aht. Paul has been working on his interpretation of a carved panel called the First Scientist. Based on a charcoal drawing by Brann-Imai, the First Scientist is an image of a pregnant woman planting corn. Bran-Imai says Indigenous women were the ﬁrst to hybridize plants like potatoes, rice and corn to make food and medicine. Of Paul’s work on the carved panel, Brann-Imai said his selection and knowledge of the cedar itself is science and the tools he uses to create the image demonstrates his knowledge. For Paul, spirituality is an important part of his culture. “I’ve been brought up with cultural teachings. The spiritual side of who we are is a big part of what we want to bring out,” he said. Paul learned a lot from his late uncle Mo (Moses Smith). “The elders want to bring forward our connection to nature. My uncle Mo used to say we’ve been given lots (from the
A conceptual drawing (above) shows plans for the Sculpture Garden. Model poles (below) carved by Tim Paul, which include the 10 relatives, or elders, of nature, serve as examples of what could be found in the sculpture garden.
He said the panel will go to the Native American Academy for them to announce who they are. “There will be ﬁrst man and ﬁrst woman to be shown in the exhibit,” said Paul. Brann-Imai said the place, Heron’s Shadow, is a learning site that began with the creation of an organic farm. The sculpture garden itself will be a teaching site where artists will work, demonstrating their skills - and if they’re willing their knowledge, to the public. “We want to create a physical symbol, a library of knowledge,” said Brann-Imai. There will be a mobile component to the Sculpture Garden, allowing artists to go to schools or other educational gatherings. “We want to inspire kids to go to their grammas and look at weavings or embroidery – they might see planting patterns in there,” said Brann-Imai, adding that this could expand a child’s meaning of art. Brann-Imai is helping to fundraise for the project through the sale of prints of some of her art. She made a set of prints after the ﬁrst unmarked graves were discovered at former residential school grounds in Kamloops in 2021. The set tells a story of the discovery, the outcry and Indigenous healing. The series of ten museum quality prints called The Children’s Series are available for sale at https://www.nativeamericanacademy.org/sculpture-garden
elders before us). Don’t keep it to yourself,” Paul shared. Before Moses Smith died at Tim’s home, he asked Paul to bring him outside so that he could enjoy nature. “He reminded me put everything out for the young people, everything I have,” Paul recalled. Paul spoke highly of the grandmothers that so generously shared knowledge with him – Carrie Mickey, Carrie Little, Louise Roberts, Kathy Robinson, to name a few. “Ladies are so important and I’ve always tried to portray that in my work,” said Paul. “They’re the ones that hold everything. They’re the ones that correct people. They were looked upon as legal advisors – the grandmothers. Everyone’s opinion is valid and the Nani’aksu (grandmothers) made sure of that.” Paul’s carving will be displayed in the sculpture garden when it is complete.
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$50K reward for Lisa Marie information Award posted by an anonymous donor for location of the Tla-o-qui-aht woman By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Nanaimo, BC – Nearly 20 years since 21-year-old Lisa Marie Young disappeared from a house party after accepting a ride from a man she and her friends had just met, a new incentive has surfaced from an anonymous donor. Not a trace of her has been seen or heard of since June 30, 2002, leaving Lisa’s family heartbroken and desperate for answers. Lisa Marie Young went to a downtown Nanaimo night club with friends on the evening of June 29, 2002. At closing time, Lisa and her friends struck up a conversation with a man they had met in the club parking lot. He oﬀered them a ride in his older model red Jaguar to a local house party. The group of friends accepted the ride. Shortly after arriving, the group moved to another house party. At the second house party, in the Cathers Lake area of Nanaimo, Lisa said she was hungry and was oﬀered a ride to a sandwich shop by the driver of the Jaguar. She accepted his oﬀer and left with him. Lisa’s last communication came at 4:30 a.m., June 30, when she texted a friend expressing concern about the driver and her situation. According to Lisa’s mother, Joanne, who has since passed away, Lisa had big plans the following day. She was excited about starting a new job and moving into her new apartment with the help of her father. So, the parents were immediately concerned when they didn’t hear from Lisa the following morning. Nanaimo RCMP tracked down both the car and the driver, but never found Lisa. A Crime Stoppers re-enactment of Lisa’s last known activities was aired in early 2011, generating new leads but nothing leading to the whereabouts of Young. Cyndy Hall, a close friend of Lisa’s and, subsequently, the family, has maintained a Facebook page called Lisa Marie Young where she posts regular updates of events and news about the case. She recently posted that the Lil’ Red Dress Project has oﬀered to sponsor a Lisa billboard for a year. Carol Frank, aunt to Lisa, said she believes the billboard will be erected in Nanoose, north
Photo by Eric Plummer
Family and supporters participate in a walk for Lisa Marie Young in June 2021 in Nanaimo, an annual event held on the anniversary of her disappearance. of Nanaimo. Carol has taken up the crusade held by her late sister Joanne Young, who passed away due to a long-standing illness in June 2017. The family believe that the stress of not knowing what happened to her daughter aggravated the grieving mother’s condition, hastening her death. “My sister wanted to bring her home and give her a proper burial,” said Carol, adding that she was grateful to Cyndy Hall for keeping Lisa’s cause in the public eye. “I think of my late sister Marlene Joanne…and how hard she fought till her last breath to bring Lisa home.” So when an anonymous person donated $50,000 USD to help ﬁnd Lisa, the family was ﬁlled with gratitude. According to Carol, the donor follows the Lisa Marie Young Facebook page and stepped forward with reward funds to help them ﬁnd answers. “The donation is being set up through a lawyer and will only be paid out for information that leads to the location and/
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or recovery of Lisa’s remains,” Carol told Ha-Shilth-Sa. She acknowledged that the family knew early on that this was a homicide investigation, and their wish is to bring Lisa home for burial. Of the generous donation, Carol wrote, “today my sister would be thankful, honored this person would do this for Lisa.” She noted that this June marks 20 years since they last saw Lisa. “It takes a toll on many involved, I’m so thankful for the advocates’ hard work they do in keeping Lisa’s name out there,” said Carol. Family and advocates meet regularly with investigators, who continue to follow incoming leads. The family says people may contribute to the reward fund by contacting Cyndy Hall on the Lisa Marie Young Facebook page. Tips should be called into Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345
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February 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
Inquest into Moore’s death delayed for second time Proceeding scheduled for May, after being moved from Edmundston to Fredericton due to multiple holdups By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Fredericton, NB – The Coroner’s Inquest into the police shooting death of Chantel Moore of Tla-o-qui-aht has been postponed for a second time. Acting Chief Coroner Michael Johnston has announced that the opening of the inquest into the death of Chantel Moore of Edmundston has been rescheduled to May 16. The inquest was scheduled to be held this month. Martha Martin, Chantel’s mother, is frustrated. “I have knots in my stomach,” she said, adding that she wished it was a bad dream and that she could wake up and hold her daughter again. Ha-Shilth-Sa reached out to the coroner’s oﬃce in New Brunswick, where the hearing will be held, who stated their regrets for rescheduling the inquest to May 2022. “The two delays occurred because of a variety of issues, including health issues and staﬃng changes,” stated Geoﬀrey Downey of the Department of Justice and Public Safety’s communications oﬃce. He went on to say that the lead lawyer for the hearing was recently appointed as a judge. This required the appointment of a new lead lawyer. “Moving the hearing to Fredericton enabled the rescheduled hearing to take place sooner than if it remained in Ed-
Photo by Eric Plummer
Hundreds attended a demonstration for Moore by the B.C. legislature in Victoria in June 2020, where the young woman’s mother addressed the crowd. that Moore approached him brandishing mundston,” he said, adding that the new location made travel arrangements for the a knife. In December 2020 the Quebec BEI, an participants easier. independent police watchdog, completed The delay has caused some concern for their investigation into Moore’s death and family members living in British Columfound Sun to not be criminally responbia, who had raised funds and booked sible. tickets to New Brunswick for the second In June 2021, just after the ﬁrst anniverdelayed inquest date in February 2022. sary of Moore’s death, the New BrunsChantel Moore was shot to death by an wick Crown Prosecutor declined to lay Edmundston Police Force oﬃcer Jeremy criminal charges against oﬃcer Sun. Sun during a wellness check outside her “Based on the review of the evidence, it apartment on June 4, 2020. Sun alleges
is of our opinion that in the early morning hours of June 4, the oﬃcer in question did believe, on reasonable grounds, that force or a threat of force was being used against him by Ms. Moore, that he shot at Ms. Moore for the purpose of defending or protecting himself and that his actions were reasonable under the circumstances,” said the prosecutor’s oﬃce in the written statement. The BEI report was not released to the public because it contained sensitive information. But the Coroner’s Inquest will be open to the public. The inquest is expected to last four to six days and will take place at the Delta Fredericton Hotel in Fredericton. Acting Chief Coroner Michael Johnston and a jury will publicly hear evidence from witnesses to determine the facts surrounding Moore’s death. The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future. An inquest is a formal court proceeding that allows for the public presentation of all evidence relating to a death. The Coroner Service is an independent fact-ﬁnding agency that cannot make any ﬁnding of legal responsibility. The inquest will be conducted in both English and French and there will be simultaneous translation. Jury selection begins at 9 a.m. on the ﬁrst day.
Feds pledge $8.9 million expansion to justice centres By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Work is continuing to improve First Nations’ access to support in the legal system, a gap identiﬁed in the aftermath of the 2016 death of a Port Alberni woman after a night in a jail cell. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was recently signed between the British Columbia First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC), the province and the federal government to support the implementation of the BC First Nations Justice Strategy. The MOU marks a commitment from the federal and provincial governments to advance Indigenous justice by addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples within the justice system. “An ever-growing disproportionate number of Indigenous people are in our jails, with the fastest growing population behind bars being Indigenous girls,” said Attorney General of British Columbia David Eby. “We need to be doing things diﬀerently to address this profound crisis and disturbingly enduring provincial and national trend.” According to the Department of Justice, the overrepresentation is attributed to a variety of factors resulting from colonization, socio-economic marginalization, and systemic discrimination. Guided by the principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, an integrative, holistic and comprehensive approach will be used to enhance Indigenous peoples’ interactions with the justice system. The announcement included a pledge from the federal government to invest $8.9 million over ﬁve years to the BCFNJC as it expands the number of Indigenous Justice Centres (IJC) across British
Photo by Eric Plummer
Family members Colin Frank (left), Mamie Lucas, Matthew Lucas and April Lucas stand outside the Capital Theatre holding pictures of Jocelyn George on June 21, 2021 the ﬁrst day of a coroners inquest. Columbia. These moves respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action 30 and 38, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Call for Justice 5.15. Created in consultation with First Nations communities across the province, the First Nations Justice Strategy was signed in March 2020 as a collaboration between the BCFNJC and the province. A key goal under the strategy was to improve supports for Indigenous peoples by creating Indigenous Justice Centres. “These centres provide culturally appropriate legal information, advice, support and representation directly to Indigenous peoples at the community level,” the Department of Justice said in a release. A 2019 report from the department stated that incarceration numbers for Indigenous peoples are “worsening year-
by-year.” Despite Indigenous peoples only representing 4.1 per cent of the total Canadian population, the report said Indigenous peoples made up 28 per cent of the total inmate population in 2017 and 2018. On Jan. 26, the grand opening of the ﬁrst four Indigenous Justice Centres was celebrated through a virtual event that drew nearly 600 watchers. Along with a virtual justice centre, three physical locations have been established in Merritt, Prince George and Prince Rupert. The centres assist with criminal and child protection matters and are “on the frontline of justice reform,” said Doug White, BCFNJC chair. “For Indigenous clients, the legal advice and representation they receive can be life-changing,” he added. One of the recommendations from the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of
Jocelyn George advocated for a “justice centre in Nuu-chah-nulth territory to address the over-representation of First Nations people in custody.” George was 18 years old when she died of heart failure after spending a night in custody at the Port Alberni RCMP detachment in the summer of 2016. The BCFNJC hopes that the speed at which Indigenous peoples can access legal counsel will bridge barriers, change outcomes and prevent incarceration. Rather than going through the formal court system, mediation and restorative justice methods will be championed, if appropriate. Locations for an additional 12 centres have not yet been disclosed, but the BCFNJC anticipates adding three new centres every year. Renzo Caron, BCFNJC Indigenous Justice Centres provincial director, said that there is a “strong, strong emphasis” to place one of the new justice centres on Vancouver Island. “I think it’s somewhat of a necessity,” he said. “[Vancouver Island] is being given the most serious attention as far as our next IJC.” Considering the geographic vastness of the province, Caron said the distribution of the justice centres will be “as fair as possible,” while servicing the areas that are most in need. “Indigenous Justice Centres give individuals and communities the opportunity to have better outcomes by diverting them towards the services they need to address their speciﬁc challenges,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti. “This type of approach is exactly what is needed to address the longstanding systemic challenges faced by Indigenous peoples in Canada.”
Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa— February 10, 2022
Court rules against further blockades in Fairy Creek With its extension of an injunction until September 2022, the court deemed protestors unlawful and dangerous By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Vancouver, BC - A court order against protestors interfering in logging operations in the Fairy Creek watershed has been extended until the fall. The ruling came Friday, Jan. 28 from the B.C. Court of Appeal, two and a half months after the panel of three judges heard arguments from Teal Cedar Products, a forestry company with tenure over a large section of Crown land in southwestern Vancouver Island, and the Rainforest Flying Squad, a collective of activists concerned over the protection of old growth north of Port Renfrew. At stake is the Fairy Creek valley, located within the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation and considered one of the few remaining sections of old growth on Vancouver Island untouched by industrial logging. Since blockades ﬁrst went up in August 2020 to block Teal Cedar’s contractors from accessing the watershed, thousands have ﬂocked to Fairy Creek, resulting in one of the largest movements of civil disobedience in Canadian history. Almost 1,200 people have been arrested since May, when the RCMP began enforcing an injunction against interfering in forestry operations in the area. “Protests are part of a healthy democracy; criminal conduct is not,” stated the recent Court of Appeal decision. “The injunction is all that stands between Teal Cedar and a highly organized group of individuals who are intent on breaking the law the law to get their way.” But those who speak for the Rainforest Flying Squad have long argued that old growth logging has no place on Vancouver Island in the 21st century, when the mounting threats of climate change make ancient forests and their ecosystems irreplaceable in the face of industrial proﬁts. “There has already been a lot of logging on our territory. There are many, many clearcuts,” said Pacheedaht elder Bill Jones in an Oct. 21 statement. “If we can keep these last old-growth forests standing, I believe the Great Mother will still be able to care for our future generations.” The end value of the timber planned to be harvested from the area is approximately $20 million, according to an estimate by Teal Cedar. The forestry company would suﬀer “irreparable harm” if the court order was not in place, according to the original injunction against the blockades that was granted April 1, 2021
Photo by Melissa Renwick
Protestors chain themselves to an old-growth tree stump in front of the bridge at the Caycuse old-growth logging blockade, near Port Renfrew, on May 19, 2021.
“The RCMP has maintained a police presence in the area to respond to any calls for service in support of the local police of jurisdiction (Sooke and Lake Cowichan RCMP).” ~ Corp. Madonna Saunderson
RCMP media relations by the BC Supreme Court. “Teal employs approximately 450 people within its processing and manufacturing facilities,” wrote Justice Verhoeven in the initial court order. “If Teal is unable to log within the area of TFL 46, it will not have an adequate timber supply for its mills. It may be forced to shut down its mills, resulting in layoﬀs of employees, and Teal’s inability to supply its customers.” An earlier ruling from the BC Supreme Court denied Teal Cedar’s application to extend the injunction for another year, citing the infringement of civil liberties during police enforcement – including an
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impairment of freedom of the press that put the court’s reputation at risk. But that was overturned days later by the BC Court of Appeal on Oct. 8, leading to the Nov. 15 hearing and the Jan. 28 decision in Teal’s favour. In the recent ruling the appeal court clariﬁed that its role is not to decide on the direction of the forestry industry, but rather weigh the interests of a company legally harvesting from a governmentgranted tenure against the public’s right to protest on publicly-owned Crown land. The court described the Rainforest Flying Squad as a “committed, sophisticated and well-organized” protesting group that has so far raised over $1 million over social media. Over time tactics have become more advanced to block forestry access into the old growth areas, states the court ruling, including the use of large tripods. “The tripods reach heights of 30 feet, are hastily constructed and structurally unsafe,” stated the court. “Some tripod sitters place nooses around their necks with climbing ropes, chains and bicycle locks. One protester locked himself to a tripod with his face close to an array of nails, so the nails would injure him if an arresting oﬃcer touched him.” Another consideration for the court was
the First Nations that call southwestern Vancouver Island home. The Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations have both asked the ﬂying squad to leave, as they have consented to forestry in their territories. The neighbouring Huu-ay-aht First Nations acted as an intervenor in the appeal case, citing its treaty rights to manage resources as it sees ﬁt. In June the three First Nations issued the Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration, asserting territorial authority over their lands and waters. When the more permanent injunction came in late January, it appeared that conﬂict in the Fairy Creek area had already declined. No arrests have been announced by the RCMP since Dec. 2, when a dozen people were taken away for blocking access to a logging road. “The RCMP has maintained a police presence in the area to respond to any calls for service in support of the local police of jurisdiction (Sooke and Lake Cowichan RCMP),” wrote Corp. Madonna Saunderson of RCMP media relations. “We will continue our roving patrols to ensure the forestry roads remain clear and unobstructed.” The court injunction against interfering in forestry operations in the Fairy Creek watershed remains in place until Sept. 26, 2022.
February 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
Watershed protections lack teeth, watchdog says The B.C. government says it’s set to engage First Nations on a strategy to be•er preserve river and lake systems By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor The public has until mid-March to weigh in on a B.C. government watershed security strategy in the face of more severe environmental impacts, and a public interest watchdog wasted no time jumping in last week. Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman released a discussion paper outlining the watershed security strategy Jan. 25 with emphasis on Indigenous engagement and reconciliation. “Climate change and cumulative human impacts are threatening the health of the watersheds we depend on for clean drinking water, growing our food, habitat for aquatic species and healthy local economies,” Heyman said. “We need to ensure healthy watersheds for strong communities and ecological health, so we are collaborating with Indigenous peoples and all British Columbians to build a legacy of healthy rivers, lakes, streams and aquifers for our children and grandchildren.” The Environment and Climate Change discussion paper (shorturl.at/bvCGK) outlines key strategic themes for safeguarding B.C. watersheds with a view to building on work already done to protect and restore local watersheds. Increasing the role of Indigenous peoples, local governments and communities in watershed governance could help mitigate climate change risks, Heyman explains in the paper. A day after the paper’s release, the B.C. Forest Practices Board (BCFPB) gave
Photo by Mike Youds
Stokes Falls is a picturesque section of Port Alberni’s complex watershed system that, like many others in the province, faces risk of disturbance due to industrial forestry activities. input based on 28 audit and investigation ture; and private property,” the board negatively aﬀect water. reports from the last 15 years. said. “Forest practices can aﬀect water qualWhile the ministry makes only passing The FPB zeroed in on four major faults ity, quantity and timing of water ﬂows, reference in the paper to forestry impacts in the way B.C. manages forests in relawhich may have negative impacts to on watersheds — including them with tion to watersheds: drinking water, ﬁsh habitat, infrastrucmining, urban development and other 1. The public does not have adequate ture, such as roads and bridges, and activities that remove vegetation — the opportunity for meaningful involvement private property,” said Kevin Kriese, forest practices board response is much in how forest practices occur in relation board chair. “Looking ahead, climate more speciﬁc. to water and risk to values. change will have signiﬁcant eﬀects on “At least a third of the public complaints 2. There are no legal requirements to as- our watersheds and can compound the we have received involved the potential sess or consider cumulative eﬀects of for- eﬀects of human activities, including forfor forestry and range practices to aﬀect est practices in most watersheds in B.C. estry. However, there are steps that can be water and downstream values including 3. Current forest practices contribute taken to avoid or reduce these impacts.” drinking water; the integrity of aquatic sediment into streams. While the board audits and investigates ecosystems and habitat; public infrastruc4. Historical forest practices continue to forest practices to determine compliance with existing regulations, the regulations are deﬁcient, Kriese said. “Our investigations and audits usually ﬁnd industry is complying with the legal requirements to protect water resources and many licensees voluntarily do more, such as having professionals conduct watershed assessments,” Kriese said. “But the current regulations largely focus on managing water on a site-by-site basis. Less than 10 percent of the province has requirements to manage for cumulative eﬀects at the watershed level.” The board considered the strategy a rare opportunity to improve practices to better protect watersheds. According to the discussion paper, Indigenous engagement on multiple pathways — including government-togovernment tables and direct engagement — is to begin this winter. Deadline for public comment on the discussion paper is March 18, 4 p.m. The province expects to release the ﬁnal strategy in 2023. “Watershed security is the common theme that links the top issues of our time and is about much more than just environmental problems. Watershed security includes reconciliation, health, and economic imperatives,” said Oliver Brandes, co-director of the UVic’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. “Without watershed security, the costs of climate and ﬂood impacts grow, droughts endure, wildﬁres intensify, salmon die, forests fail, soil is lost, food cannot grow, local economies falter and conﬂict mounts. We fully support the province to advance watershed security and the urgent need for a watershed security fund.” To share thoughts about developing the strategy visit engage.gov.bc.ca/watershedsecurity.
Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa— February 10, 2022
Seals, sea lions and the debate over salmon decline The DFO isn’t pointing to pinnipeds, but others believe they are eating salmon before the ﬁsh grow to full size By Eric Plummer Ha-shilth-Sa Editor Vancouver Island, BC - Are seals and sea lions partly responsible for the decline of Paciﬁc salmon stocks? As the state of salmon on the West Coast continues to look grim, with some stocks facing extinction, the healthy population growth of pinnipeds has led some to wonder how much of a role the predators are having in the equation. Some First Nations have called for bringing back seal and sea lion hunting, a practice that was banned over 50 years ago, while the Assembly of First Nations has lobbied the federal government for management strategies that better control the opportunistic predators. In the summer of 2018 the AFN passed a resolution to work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to “implement targeted management strategies in regard to the growing population of seals and sea lions throughout the entire B.C. coast.” The animals have grown in numbers since the harbour seal hunt ended in 1967 and when stellar sea lions became protected in 1970. Now Canada’s Fisheries Act prohibits disturbing pinnipeds on land or in the water. This has allowed the animals’ populations to return to historically normal levels that were seen before the widespread hunt was permitted in the late 1800s. On the West Coast this amounts to approximately 100,000 harbour seals. “Harbour seal populations grew exponentially during the 1970s and 1980s, but growth rates began to slow in the 1990s,” wrote Lara Sloan of the DFO’s media relations in an email to Ha-ShilthSa. “The population now appears to have plateaued and stabilized in the Strait of Georgia, and the rate of population increase has slowed elsewhere along the B.C. coast.” “Stellar sea lion populations have increased slightly, with the latest 2013 population estimate ranging from 33,00039,000 animals in the summer months, increasing to approximately 48,500 in the winter,” added Sloan. As ﬁsheries and coastal communities continue to struggle with meagre forecasts, a lifelong commercial ﬁsherman is working with the University of Victoria to better determine if pinnipeds are eating more than their fair share of migrating salmon. Thomas Sewid, a commercial ﬁsherman of 45 years and member of the Kwakwakaʼwakw Nation, is currently travelling through the Vancouver area, Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island to collect stomachs from seals and sea lions. With the goal of gathering 100 stomachs, Sewid plans to take the samples to the University of Victoria, where they will be analysed to determine the types of ﬁsh the animals are eating and how much. Some First Nations have seals or sea lions in their communal licences to harvest a limited amount for social and ceremonial purposes, permits that could allow Sewid to collect the stomach samples legally. “We need to harvest those seals to know what salmon are being eaten, because they can tell by the DNA of the juvenile salmon and stomachs where those salmon originated from,” said Sewid, who is president of Paciﬁc Balance Marine Management. “Some of them will have pit tags in them.” Sewid is oﬀering $50 for each stomach, although forms must be ﬁlled out to ensure that the pinnipeds were harvested
Photo by Holly Stocking
Sea lions sun bathing on the rocks at Chub Point in the Barkley Sound (above). The animals’ population on the West Coast has grown since they became protested in 1970. Seals enter the water on the B.C. coast (below). legally under a First Nation’s licence for cultural and ceremonial purposes. He’d like to focus on pinnipeds that are found in “choke points”, narrowing parts of a river where high volumes of migratory salmon cross, like the Somass Estuary by Port Alberni. “Under food, social, ceremonial I’m not allowed to buy the seals’ stomachs, but I’m allowed to give them a $50 donation for bullets and fuel,” he explained, noting that the harvester’s status card and ﬁrearm licence must be up to date for the samples to be collected. “You open up the belly of the animal, you zap strap it on either side of the stomach, you cut it out, zap strap to keep the contents from oozing out, stinking and making Paciﬁc Balance Marine Management video still you puke and gag, you throw that in an industrial plastic bag.” for the decline of Paciﬁc salmon. South consumed by humans due to possible Over his life on the water Sewid has of the border, a study is underway by health risks.” witnessed the decline of paciﬁc salmon. Western Washington University and the But many Nuu-chah-nulth elders would “I didn’t ﬁsh last summer for salmon. I Makah Tribe to better determine what disagree. did ﬁsh the year before – I made $3,000 pressures seals and sea lions are put“To this day we still eat harbour seal,” when I should have made $30,000 on av- ting on the food chain. Using molecular said Ray Williams of the Mowachaht/ erage like in the ‘80s,” he said, stressing analysis techniques and by identifying Muchalaht First Nation, recalling the use that he sees pinnipeds eating an excessive bones in pinniped feces, the study aims of seal blubber fat for oil. “My late wife volume of young salmon as the ﬁsh mito determine what salmon the predators used to make that for us. She would exgrate. “Puntledge River in Courtney, the are eating, and how much. tract the oil from the fat. She would boil seals lie on their backs at night under the In 2016 and 2017 a case study was it and the oil would surface on the top of bridge and with the streetlights. They’re conducted in the Strait of Georgia, where the water, and she would scrape the oil sucking in juvenile chum and pink and the highest concentration of harbour from the top of the water, put it into a chinook like no one’s business.” seals can be found. Analysis of seal feces dish, and then into a bottle.” While Sewid has advocated for a comfound that the animals had a wide range As one of the few people who live in mercial hunt to better manage coastal of prey, with salmon being the minority the ancient coastal village of Yuquot, ecosystems, the DFO does not appear of what they consumed. From April to seafood still accounts for a large part of open to bringing back the seal and sea July of those years salmon accounted for the 80-year-old’s diet. But he has seen lion hunt. just three per cent of what the seals ate, many others shift to the more processed “Commercial ﬁsheries are not a means with other ﬁsh like herring, surf perch, food that is easily accessible in towns of controlling populations,” said Sloan. hake and pollack making up much more and cities. “While seals and sea lions do eat salmon, of the animals’ diet. From August to No“That’s how so many of our elders had salmon represent a small proportion of vember the case study found that salmon passed away so quickly, because of a their diet. Seals and sea lions also eat made up 35 per cent of the diets of seals change in diet,” said Williams. “They other predators of salmon and herring, who were found in estuaries, while have no choice but to walk away from such as hake, and are an important food non-estuary samples found that salmon the food that kept them healthy.” source for threatened transient killer accounted for 10 per cent. Anyone interested to providing a pinniwhales, whose numbers have been inAlthough the DFO acknowledges the ped stomach sample can contact Thomas creasing in inshore waters along the B.C. historical importance of harvesting seals Sewid at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604coast in recent years.” and sea lions for First Nations’ “social 724-7325 to obtain the necessary forms Among biologists, it remains up for and ceremonial purposes,” Sloan stated and information. debate just how responsible pinnipeds are that “Paciﬁc harbour seals are not to be
February 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Seafood company strives to highlight local products Through kelp’s natural beneﬁts, a duo aims to help the environment while expanding the plant’s capabilities By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Toﬁno, BC - Stevie Dennis has always felt a natural aﬃnity towards the sea. Growing up on the west coast of Vancouver Island, he’s spent his entire life working and living on boats. Be it as a commercial ﬁsherman, diver or whale watching guide, he’s tried it all. But nothing called to him in the way kelp has. That’s why over a year ago, Dennis and his business partner, Jordan White, launched Naas Foods, an Indigenousled company that produces organic kelp products in Toﬁno. Following in the footsteps of Louis Druehl, the ﬁrst commercial seaweed operator in North America, the cofounders have been working towards building a kelp farm in the Clayoquot Sound for the past three years. Not only do they see the move as a solution to address food shortages, but also a way to combat climate change issues. Seaweed aquaculture is a fast-growing sector of global food production, oﬀering opportunities to mitigate climate change by sucking carbon from the atmosphere. A 2018 International Panel on Climate Change report suggested that global warming stems, in large part, from excess carbon in the atmosphere. “Without increased and urgent mitigation ambition in the coming years, leading to a sharp decline in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, global warming will surpass 1.5 C in the following decades, leading to irreversible loss of the most fragile ecosystems, and crisis after crisis for the most vulnerable people and societies,” the report read. By integrating the natural beneﬁts of kelp into the everyday, the duo sees it as an opportunity to give back to the environment, while expanding what people think kelp is capable of. As they wait for an aquatic plant license from the province, Dennis and White remain hopeful to have a kelp farm in the water near Toﬁno by this time next year. In the meantime, the entrepreneurs have been using wild bull and giant kelp foraged within traditional Ahousaht territory to create a kelp-based product line. Although they plan to continue harvesting wild kelp to stay connected to the ecosystem, Dennis said a farm will allow them to relieve some of the pressure from wild species. Last April marked the launch of their ﬁrst product, Keltsmaht Kelp – a plant probiotic designed to increase the yield of crops without conventional fertilizers. Dennis and White tested over 60 variations of the “plant food” before releasing it. It had quick success and was picked up by garden stores across Vancouver Island, but the kelp enthusiasts were just getting started. They’ve since expanded their repertoire to include a seafood salad, which west coast residents and visitors can ﬁnd at local restaurants, including Pluvio, and from local food distributors, like the Toﬁno Ucluelet Culinary Guild (TUCG). Bobby Lax, TUCG community food coordinator, said that while the seaweed salad isn’t a “huge seller” yet, he felt it was important to support Dennis and White develop a market for kelp. “Two things that make food feel good is usually where it comes from, and that it didn’t travel too long to get to you be-
Photos by Melissa Renwick
(Above) Stevie Dennis processes a halibut inside Naas Foods in Toﬁno, on February 2, 2022. (Below) Jordan White and Stevie Dennis are the co-founders of Naas Foods, an Indigenous-led business that specializes in creating kelp products.
“Two things that make food feel good is usually where it comes from, and that it didn’t travel too long to get to you because it still has ﬂavour and freshness.” ~ Bobby Lax, TUCG community food coordinator cause it still has ﬂavour and freshness,” said Lax. Naas Foods is holding up food harvested locally as an “important resource that both tastes good and has a ton of health beneﬁt,” he added. It only made sense that the TUCG integrate kelp into their weekly meal plan and ﬁnd a way for more people to have it hit their dinner plate, Lax said. Kelp has only started to become a staple in people’s diets within the past 10 years, said Dennis. Each year, it becomes more “user friendly,” he said. Naas also oﬀers dried whole kelp, frozen kelp cubes for smoothies, and smoked kelp ﬂakes that can be used as seasoning. Using wood chips from a mill in Chemainus, White said they experimented with 25 diﬀerent smoke batches before landing on the “perfect combination using a couple of diﬀerent local woods.” There are many “cool things you can do with it for food,” he said, adding that as Naas expands, they hope to create replacement products for imported items like pasta. Establishing a deeper relationship with kelp has highlighted the need to create a food economy that is less reliant on foreign goods, said Dennis. The COVID-19 pandemic only further solidiﬁed that need, he added. “We need more food security,” he said. “And we need greener ways of working.”
As the beneﬁts of seaweed gain momentum worldwide, “there’s no ceiling” for where the industry can go, said White. Emulating the underwater ecosystem, Dennis and White are taking an integrative approach to their business. That’s why it felt like a “no brainer” to incorporate a fresh seafood market into their distribution and storefront, said Dennis. By buying fresh ﬁsh from the ﬁve Nuu-chah-nulth nations that comprise the T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries, Dennis said he’s able to support his uncles, cousins and relatives from Ahousaht and his neighbouring nations continue to practice their traditional ways of life. After processing the ﬁsh in-house, Dennis and White tag it, outlining the day it was caught and the ﬁsherman who caught it. “We’re hoping to bring traceability back to the ﬁshing industry,” said White. By selling species that are often overlooked, including rockﬁsh, the duo hopes to remove pressure from some of the keystone species, like salmon, which many studies suggest are on the verge of extinction. “People are on board with the whole seasonality,” said Dennis. “Through the
availability of ﬁsh that the T’aaq-wiihak can ﬁsh for, we can start bridging these gaps.” Mike David normally works for a nearby ﬁsh farm on a harvest boat, but found himself out of work when the boats were sent in for servicing last summer. The Tla-o-qui-aht man started ﬁshing for the T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries instead. This summer, he plans to take time oﬀ from the ﬁsh farm to work for the T’aaqwiihak Fisheries for a second season. “I made more money ﬁshing than I would have at work,” said David, who grew up ﬁshing. On any given weekend last summer, Dennis said there could be up to 20 T’aaq-wiihak boats out ﬁshing. “It’s stimulating an economy that’s growing right here in the community,” he said. “This is food on the table, and clothes on the kids’ backs for school.” As seafood lovers, providing fresh ﬁsh is an oﬀering that they feel passionate about. But when the business partners look ahead, images of rich kelp forests along Vancouver Island’s west clouds their minds. “We see [kelp] as the future,” said Dennis. “It is the future,” White echoed.
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa— February 10, 2022
Exhibit of late Tseshaht artist’s work opens in June Collection of George Clutesi’s work could go on the road in 2023, including a term at Alberni Valley Museum By Sam Laskaris Ha-shilth-Sa Contributor Victoria, BC – An exhibit honouring the works of late inﬂuential Tseshaht First Nation member George Clutesi will open at the Bateman Gallery in Victoria this June. The exhibit, which will be at the gallery from June 9 through Oct. 22, is titled GEORGE CLUTESI: ḥašaḥʔap / ʷ ʔaapḥii ʷ / ʷ ʕc̓ik / ʷ ḥaaʔaksuqƛ ʷ / ʷ ʔiiḥmisʔap ʷ Oﬃcials from the Bateman Foundation, the Alberni Valley Museum, the University of Victoria and the Royal BC Museum have collaborated with Clutesi family members, Tseshaht speakers and Nuuchah-nulth cultural advisors in exhibit preparations. The ﬁve Indigenous words after Clutesi’s name in the exhibit title were chosen to reﬂect his life and work as well as his ongoing legacy as an artist, scholar, educator and activist. In order, the words translate to: keep/ protective, generous, talented, strong willed and treasure. Clutesi’s son George Jr., as well as his daughters, Deana and Katrina, who are Tseshaht First Nation members, helped developed the exhibit title. Others who oﬀered their assistance with the exhibit naming were Tseshaht First Nation member Helen Dick and Ahousaht First Nation member Wally Samuel. “I’m always thinking of how small museums can make big change,” said Andrea Walsh, who teaches in the anthropology department at the University of Victoria and believes the Clutesi exhibit can have a signiﬁcant impact in the community. Walsh has been tasked with being the curatorial lead on the Clutesi exhibit. She said Peter Ord, the executive director of the Bateman Foundation, which operates the Victoria gallery, approached her about a year and a half ago to see if she would be interested in organizing an exhibit on Indigenous languages or Clutesi. “I was interested in that because of the work I’ve been doing the last 10 years with survivors of the Alberni Indian Residential School,” she said. Clutesi, who was born in Port Alberni in
Photo submitted by University of Victoria Libraries
This artwork will be included in a George Clutesi exhibit that opens at the Bateman Gallery in Victoria this June. 1905, had attended the residential school. He died in 1988. Clutesi’s family members gave their blessings for the exhibit to proceed. “They were formally asked if we could go ahead with this exhibition,” Walsh said, adding Deana Clutesi has been designated to serve as the family spokesperson. More than 20 of Clutesi’s original and reproduced works will be included in the exhibit. These works will be drawings, oil paintings and lino cut prints. These works are currently in the collections of the University of Victoria, the UBC Museum of Anthropology, the Royal BC Museum and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. The works that will be in the exhibit were created by Clutesi between the early 1940s and the late 1970s. The exhibit will also feature the work of some contemporary Nuu-chah-nulth artists. “They are going to be curating work inspired by Clutesi,” Walsh said. Those whose work will be included in the Clutesi exhibit are three artists from
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation: Hjalmer Wenstob, Timmy Masso and Marika Swan. Also included will be artwork from Petrina Hildebrand, a member of Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation. The exhibit will also include a ﬁlm featuring the voices of seven Alberni Indian Residential School survivors, including Samuel. “I’m really excited about that part of the exhibition,” Walsh said, since it relates to her extensive work with residential school survivors. Samuel is one of two Ahousaht members included in the ﬁlm. Mark Atleo is the other one. The other residential school survivors who share their memories in the ﬁlm are Fran Tait and Arthur Bolton, who are both Tshimshian, Deborah Cook (Nisga’a), Kathy Lafortune (Pacheedaht) and Gina Laing (Uchucklesaht). The ﬁlm was created by Tsawout First Nation member Dano Underwood. The exhibit will also include some of Clutesi’s writing, which will be interpreted by a pair of Nuu-chah-nulth scholars,
Dr. Dawn Smith (Ehattesaht) and Tommy Happynook (Huu-ay-aht). After its run at the Bateman Gallery this year, there are plans to have the exhibit at the Alberni Valley Museum, starting at some point during the spring of 2023. Clutesi’s son is the one who requested the exhibit travel to the museum, as it is on Tseshaht First Nation territory. Walsh said there might be additional travel plans for the exhibit in future years. “We never thought it would go further than the Bateman Gallery and the Alberni Valley Museum,” she said. “But we’ve had interest (in hosting) from two other B.C. institutions.” Throughout his life Clutesi had advocated for increased awareness of the values of Nuu-chah-nulth culture to Canada, as well as the retention of traditional knowledge within Nuu-chah-nulth communities. Clutesi’s work was commissioned for Expo ’67 in Montreal. He was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1973.
Phrase of the week: H=a%um%aksiiš siya +imsit, suuh=aa, kukuh=wish @uh%i%uks Pronounced ‘Haa um ug sis See ya Klim sit, su haa, kukoowish Ooh ee ug sis’, it means ‘I really love to drink broth, from salmon, herring, seal, it is my medicine’. Supplied by ciisma.
Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
February 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Nuu-chah-nulth language signs to be upgraded Almost $150,000 awarded for a handful of signs, some of which will have Nuu-chah-nulth, English and French By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Toﬁno, BC - Thanks to some provincial funding, oﬃcials with the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust will be able to check oﬀ some items on their wish list. It was announced earlier this month that the Toﬁno-based group, which embraces Nuu-chah-nulth living philosophies, would receive just under $150,000 from the B.C. government. This grant money will be utilized to upgrade various signs, which will include the Nuu-chah-nulth language, throughout the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region, one of Canada’s 19 UNESCO biospheres. Rebecca Hurwitz, the executive director of Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, said there has been a long-time desire to upgrade signage in the region. “It’s been a priority for us for a number of years,” Hurwitz said. “But we didn’t have the funding before.” One of the signs to be replaced is currently on Highway 4, entering the Paciﬁc Rim National Park Reserve. The welcome sign currently features predominantly English wording as well as a Nuuchah-nulth language greeting. “Our goal is to make the Nuu-chahnulth text more prominent in recognition of our history and values,” Hurwitz said. Hurwitz said since the sign is in a national park, French text will also need to be added which will result in trilingual text. Hurwitz also said some of the English text needs to be revised. “It’s very outdated,” she said of the sign, which is at least a dozen years old and utilizes the word ‘Reserve’ instead of the now preferred ‘Region’. Hurwitz said six to eight other signs will also be constructed with the grant money and placed in various locations. “We’re kicking oﬀ the project this
Photo submitted by Clayoquot Biosphere Trust
Provincial funding will allow the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust to upgrade signs in high-visibility areas. Pictured is the organization’s board of Directors. spring,” she said. signs that will be installed at high-traﬃc Clayoquot Biosphere Trust oﬃcials will locations throughout the region,” Hurwitz work with Parks Canada staﬀ to ensure said. signs conform to their standards. Plenty of stages will go into the making “The new highway sign will be larger,” of the signs. Hurwitz said. “But we’re not certain of “The grant includes support for the the size until we are able to ﬁnalize the design, manufacturing, and installation text and translation.” of all these signs, including support for Oﬃcials with the Clayoquot Biosphere Nuu-chah-nulth language translation and Trust had applied for the provincial fund- artwork,” Hurwitz added. ing in late 2020. Another venture in Nuu-chah-nulth A simple ordinary sign upgrade would territory which received government not have suﬃced. funding was the Ucluelet Mountain Bike “It needs to be built to new Parks Association. It was given $170,000 for a Canada signage standards,” Hurwitz said. mountain bike initiative. “So, it will be a signiﬁcant investment for NDP MLA Josie Osborne believes the the manufacturing and installation. We’re ﬁnancial support awarded to tourism grateful for the support from the province projects on the west coast will not only as this isn’t something we’d otherwise be boost various local economies but also able to fund.” help attract visitors. The large highway sign will be the ﬁrst “People love to visit the West Coast one to be constructed. because of its spectacular natural envi“Once the highway sign is completed, ronment,” Osborne said. “The Ucluelet we’ll start working with local partners to Mountain Bike Association and Clayodesign six to eight smaller interpretive quot Biosphere Trust Society are enhanc-
ing the experience for people exploring on foot or by bike with better trails and more educational content, artwork, and Nuu-chah-nulth language on signage, and I’m so glad we’re able to support their work.” The two initiatives were among the 52 new tourism projects throughout the province that the B.C. government announced they were funding on Feb. 4. Ten of the projects are in the Vancouver Island region. The total investment for all of these shovel-ready infrastructure projects is $21.3 million. All of the projects are part of the second phase for the 2021 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program’s Destination Development stream. The ﬁrst round of grant recipients, totaling $20 million for 54 projects, had been announced in February of 2021. Projects were selected not only for their prospective tourism beneﬁts but also on their ability to provide jobs for First Nations people as well as apprentices, youth, new Canadians and women. Those who were eligible to apply for the grants were First Nations, non-proﬁt organizations and local governments. “We know tourism infrastructure is a priority for communities,” said Melanie Mark, the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “We are responding to this call to action from the sector that will further support its recovery eﬀorts from the COVID-19 pandemic.” Mark believes there will be tremendous beneﬁts for B.C. residents and communities. “Our investment in tourism creates good-paying jobs that directly support local economies now and will elevate our reputation as a world-class destination for the many visitors looking to return to B.C. for years to come,” she said.
Indian Day Schools claims deadline fast approaching By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter The Indian Day Schools class action settlement lawsuit claims deadline is set for July 13, 2022. Those who attended Indian day school and have not submitted a claim are urged to do so as soon as possible. The Indian Day Schools legal action was launched to recover compensation for former students from Canada for harms suﬀered while attending a federal Indian day school or federal day school. Indigenous children across Canada were forced to attend both federally run residential and day schools, where many suﬀered various forms of abuse, and, in some cases, death. Students at federal Indian day schools or federal day schools have reported suffering physical, sexual, and psychological abuse by teaching staﬀ, oﬃcials, students and other third parties. In some cases, the abuse was severe. These abuses were in addition to the mocking, denigration, and humiliation of students by reason of their Indigenous culture and language. There were several Indian day schools in operation in Nuu-chah-nulth territories and adjacent areas. The Ahousaht Indian Day School ran from 1940 to 1985. Other Nuu-chah-nulth Indian day schools included in the class action’s Schedule K are Kyuquot, which ran
from 1949-1974, Nootka Day School in Yuquot, which ran from 1951-1968, Opitsaht from 1957-1971, and Ucluelet from 1948-1966. To be eligible for compensation in this settlement, individuals must have attended one of the identiﬁed federal Indian day schools or federal day schools during speciﬁc eligible class periods on the list of Federal Day Schools (Schedule K) and experienced harm. According to the class action’s legal counsel Gowling WLG, more than 130,000 individuals across Canada have already submitted a claim towards the settlement, but there may be more eligible people that are at risk of missing the deadline. In addition to personal claims, applications are also being taken by relatives of deceased former day school students. This process requires death certiﬁcates or other proof of death. Individuals managing the claims process on behalf of a deceased loved one may access guidance and support through the Indian Day School class action website. For individuals who attended a federal Indian day school, compensation awards range from the basic $10,000 to $200,000 for claims that include speciﬁc acts of abuse. There is a listing of physical and sexual abuse from level 2 to 5. The higher the level of abuse, the more the compensation award if approved by
Photo submitted by Ray Williams
The Nootka Day School ran in Yuquot from 1951-1968, taking in some students who came from residential schools. If you are experiencing emotional adjudicators. distress and want to talk, free counselThe NTC has an Indian day school ling and crisis intervention services are support worker who can assist people through the application process. For more available from the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or online at information contact Veronica Morgan at www.hopeforwellness.ca. 250-724-3939. The toll-free number and website are Information about the claims process, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. including claim forms and support, can be found at https://indiandayschools.com/ en/
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February is Heart Month Eat a healthy diet Eat a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of whole and minimally processed foods. Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit, choose whole grains and a variety of protein foods, including plant-based foods more often. Limit salt, sugar and saturated fats. Eat more vegetables and fruit. Aim to ﬁll half your plate with vegetables and fruit at every meal and snack. Switch to whole-grain breads and cereals whenever possible to help you feel full. Choose protein from a variety of food sources, such as beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, lower-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese, lean meats, poultry and ﬁsh. Choose a wide variety of healthy foods such as colourful red peppers and dark green leafy lettuce, whole-grain bread, legumes, beans, tofu, lower-fat milk, lean meat, and nuts (in moderation), to nourish your body with essential nutrients. Read the Nutrition Facts table on all food labels to assess the amount of calories, saturated fats, sugar and salt a product may contain. Also, look at the Nutrition Fact table for the inclusion of healthy nutrients such as protein, ﬁbre, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. Avoid highly processed foods which are a major source of saturated fat, sugar and sodium. Highly processed foods have many ingredients, are usually in a package and need little preparation. These foods include processed meats (eg. hot dogs, burgers, deli meats). Stay active Move more. Walk, rake leaves, play a sport. Find ways to be active in your daily life. Regular activity can help you lose weight, stay healthier, slow the physical decline of aging, sleep better, and reduce stress. Being physically active is good for your heart and brain. People who are not active have double the risk of heart disease and stroke as well as increased risk of diabetes, cancer and dementia. Being
active helps your heart, brain, muscles, bones and mood. Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health. No matter what your state of health, there is something you can do to stay active. Adults (18 to 64 years of age) and older adults (65 and older) should aim for 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, such as a brisk walk most days of the week, not only helps you lose weight, but is also a key factor in keeping it oﬀ over the long term. Try using a pedometer to motivate you to be active every day by tracking your steps. Reduce stress Know your stressors and get expert strategies to manage them eﬀectively. Learning to manage your stress will help you feel better everyday and lower your risk of illness. Maintain a healthy weight Learn the lifelong habits to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Managing your weight doesn’t have to mean altering your life dramatically. Take small steps, aim modestly and realistically, and then build from there. A small, steady weight loss of ½ to 1 kilograms (one or two pounds) a week is much easier to attain and healthier for your heart than a larger drop. Research also shows that you’ll be much more likely to keep it oﬀ. Some things to watch for in maintaining a healthy weight: Fried foods (eg. French fries, onion rings) Frozen meals (eg. pizza, pasta side dishes) Snack foods (eg. chips, crackers, donuts, cookies). Avoid unconscious eating at your desk, in your car or in front of the TV. Source: www.heartandstroke.ca
YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND Nuu-chah-nulth Council of Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries February 9 & 10, 2022 Online, via Zoom We encourage young Nuu-chah-nulth-aht to attend the meeting to learn more about pressing ﬁsheries issues and to represent future generations. Limited ﬁnancial support is available for youth (aged 30 and under) interested in attending. Please contact Kelda Blackstone at email@example.com or 250-724-5757 ext. 235 for more information.
Are you facing a diﬃcult situation, is life hard? Call us now. 24 Hour Crisis Line - KUU-US Crisis Line Society
Adult/Elder Crisis Line: 250-723-4050 Child/Youth Crisis Line: 250-723-2040
February 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
Port Alberni Friendship Centre Volunteers Needed Need work experience? The Port Alberni Friendship Centre is looking for interested applicants for various positions. Call 250-723-8281
More job postings at www.hashilthsa.com
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Sara’s Garden yields ‘golden ticket’ for Tsaxana A Mother’s Day event is planned to honour local food security champion Sara Fred, who passed away in 2020 By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Tsaxana, BC - Tsaxana’s “gathering garden” is growing a lot more than vegetables as it enters a third season. Also known as Sara’s Garden, the community resource represents an old idea given fresh impetus during the pandemic, a means of building greater food security and self-suﬃciency for the Mowachaht/ Muchalaht community. “Deﬁnitely momentum continues to build as the garden continues to grow,” said Kristi Walker, wellness co-ordinator for MMFN. Even with a new co-op food store set to open soon in nearby Gold River, the garden will remain an invaluable food source and more for Tsaxana. A new greenhouse had its ﬁrst full season of operation last year and proved successful, yielding plenty of cucumbers, tomatoes and hot peppers in addition to ﬁeld crops such as lettuce, squash, potatoes and leafy greens. Carrots, in contrast, failed due to the intense heat dome of early summer 2021 after a bumper crop in the garden’s ﬁrst productive year. This year’s addition will be a pantry, opening May 1, equipped with a work station and small freezer, a place to store preserved food for community use. Garden volunteers managed to put away plenty last fall. “Whenever we’re working in the garden, the pantry will be open,” Walker said. But Walker doesn’t measure progress only in terms of crop yields or new amenities. She sees greater value in the eyes of young children, excitement among youth, interest from elders and an essential ingredient she describes as “the golden ticket”: shared knowledge. “This has been really awesome,” she recalled. “We had a lot of little kids coming through the garden last year. It’s really very cool when they see where food comes from. There were young mothers walking over with children, and just elders coming by, saying, ‘Oh, I want to try this’.”
Photo submitted by MMFN
Talishe Amos, left, and Taylee Jack at the Tsa’xana community garden. For the second summer, the garden will provide training and work for half a dozen youth, said Rose Jack, MMFN health director. Walker worked with the youth last season. “My core is a group of youth and they’re super passionate, super excited and they are the future, the future of food sustainability,” Walker said. Part of her role as wellness co-ordinator is to teach and guide others in maintaining the garden. “It’s also about getting back into traditional foods,” she added. Last season, they collected salmon from ﬁshermen to hold a preserving workshop and managed to put up 240 salmon. MMFN contributed an elk hunting tag, so they can add this to the community pantry. “The golden ticket there is that the knowledge keepers are sharing,” Walker
said. “When we get the elders sharing with the youth, we are passing on knowledge for all future generations.” With the prospect of pandemic restrictions easing, they are looking ahead to summer and a wild blueberry harvest at Yuquot, Walker said. They also want to expand into traditional medicines. Rose said she has seen the health beneﬁts that come from a ready supply of fresh greens. “Having a garden here was very important,” she said, recalling how Sara Fred championed the idea of food security for years. “She worked and worked to get it oﬀ the ground and it just never happened.” “She was a big inspiration. We dedicated and named the garden after her,” Jack said. Before she passed away in 2020, Fred was able to watch the project ﬁnally take root.
A grand opening ceremony will be held on Mother’s Day to honour Fred’s memory and spirit. Both Jack, who co-ordinates youth activities in the garden, and Margaretta James, who co-ordinates elder activities, have been instrumental in drawing more people into the initiative. “We had been trying to get the community garden oﬀ the ground for a number of years, but we didn’t have enough volunteers,” Jack said. They had grant funding from First Nations Health Authority and Island Health, along with the materials required, but they did not yet have the magic ingredient: community. “That was my missing link until last year, getting the numbers out,” Walker said. “It’s been a little bit tricky.” Continued volunteer support will be critical in keeping the garden going, yet the garden produces its own kind of energy. “It really makes a diﬀerence in that community sense of having a common goal,” James said as the garden got going in earnest last year. “We all eat. That’s one of the really core values of ‘indigenuity,’ sharing your food.” Area residents have galvanized around forming a food co-op in nearby Gold River. The village’s Super Valu store closed six years ago, leaving a major gap and requiring countless more trips to Campbell River for supplies. The 180-kilometre round trip can be “pretty wicked” in winter, Jack noted. The new co-op will serve not only surrounding communities but also people in Tahsis and Yuquot, said David Humphrey, MMFN ﬁnancial oﬃcer and a co-op board member. They have so far managed to raise $30,000 through sale of $300 lifetime memberships. “Our magic number was 100 to get started and we got that in January,” Humphrey said. Since then they have negotiated a lease, purchasing equipment and aiming for an opening date sometime in March. “It’s getting down to brass tacks now,” Humphrey said.
Tla-o-qui-aht plans to expand ﬁre department By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Toﬁno, BC - Volunteer ﬁreﬁghters from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, as well as the Toﬁno and Ucluelet Fire Departments responded to a house ﬁre last Friday in the village of Esowista. It’s the third house ﬁre the nation has experienced within the past three years, which Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Elmer Frank said is abnormal. “There’s deﬁnitely been a lot [of ﬁres] and we’re certainly hoping that we’re not going to see any more,” he said. “Nobody wants to see that.” While Toﬁno Fire Chief Brent Baker couldn’t disclose the cause of the ﬁre, he said it was “accidental” and there were no injuries. “It’s a big loss when something like this happens,” said Baker. “There is generally a fairly large grief period. When you lose a home, similar to losing a member of the family, it’s quite serious – and it can take some time [to recover].”
Around ﬁve years ago, Frank said Tla-oqui-aht entered a ﬁre protection agreement with the Toﬁno Fire Department for the nearby reserve communities of Ty-Histanis and Esowista. “They’ve responded to two ﬁres here,” said Frank. “And they did it in a very good, timely manner. So, it’s deﬁnitely helpful to have this agreement with them.” On route to the scene, the Toﬁno Fire Department communicated with the Ucluelet Fire Department, which also dispatched members to assist in ﬁghting the blaze. Frank said Tla-o-qui-aht volunteer ﬁreﬁghters were at the scene within minutes and that the Toﬁno Fire Department was there within 45 minutes. “They’re coming from Toﬁno and they’re all volunteer ﬁreﬁghters too,” said Frank. “The response was quick.” Baker said the fast response from Tla-oqui-aht members helped to keep the ﬁre from spreading, and allowed the Toﬁno department to get the ﬁre under control more quickly.
Photo by Melissa Renwick
Esowista is pictured from Long Beach, in the Paciﬁc Rim National Park, near Toﬁno, on February 8, 2022. Frank said the nation is hoping to grow person ﬁre training from going ahead, but their ﬁreﬁghting crew from the 10 volFrank said they’re hoping to get it up and unteers they currently have by providing running “once we start getting over the additional ﬁre training. The pandemic’s worst of it.” recent Omicron wave prevented the in-
February 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
Photos by Eric Plummer
Rosie Marsden served as the NTC’s Indian registry administrator for 29 years, moving on from the job on Feb. 4, 2022.
Term in status card oﬃce sees population double The NTC’s Indian registry administrator looks back on 29 years of watching Nuu-chah-nulth families grow By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - After issuing Indian status cards for nearly three decades, Rosie Marsden moved on from her role this month, looking back on a term that saw registered members of the Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council more than double. There are now over 10,260 Nuu-chahnulth people registered with the NTC, providing them status under Canada’s Indian Act, along with the rights, services and beneﬁts that this entails. Many of these Nuu-chah-nulth-aht were registered by Rosie Marsden, who wrapped up her 29 years at the main NTC oﬃce in Port Alberni on Feb. 4. When Marsden started her role as Indian registry administrator in December 1992 there were only about 4,000 registered people among the NTC’s 14 First Nations. “It actually started oﬀ to be a one-year position,” she recalled. “The bands had thought that they were going to be taking over their own programs. One year led to another 28.” Marsden had moved to Port Alberni in 1982, after growing up in the Gitxsan village of Gitanyow in northwestern B.C. Over her years as the Indian registry administrator Marsden enjoyed seeing generations of Nuu-chah-nulth-aht pass through her oﬃce. “I pretty much knew everybody,” she said. “Those that I registered earlier on, they were now having children and I was registering their children.” Back in the early ‘90s registering for Indian status was less complicated, and didn’t even require photo identiﬁcation. The status cards didn’t have expiry dates. “Quite a few years back they didn’t have to produce any ID,” said Marsden. “But in the past 10-plus years they do have to produce picture ID and another piece of ID.” Although requirements for status registration have become more extensive over
Rosie Marsden the years, numbers steadily grew over Marsden’s term. When she started the ramiﬁcations of Bill C-31 were still taking eﬀect. In 1985 Parliament changed a discriminatory portion of the Indian Act, allowing the reinstatement for Indigenous women who had lost their status by marrying a non-status man. This also applied to children from these marriages, and led to over 114,000 Indigenous people across Canada gaining or regaining their status. Then in late 2017 Bill S-3 came into eﬀect, an amendment to the Indian Act aimed at addressing historic inequalities due to gender-based discrimination. This legislation applied to people who were without status due to their parents, grandparents, or even great-grandmother losing status. This further opened up the eligibility for status to more people. “I really enjoy working with people. I enjoyed it when I went out to the communities, the urban gatherings,” said Marsden, looking back on her career with the tribal council. “I would like to thank NTC and Quu’asa for the send oﬀ that I got. I really appreciated working for the Nuu-chah-nulth people, it was an honour.”
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