INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Vol. 46 - No. 04—February 28, 2019
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Steelhead ceases work in Sarita Bay By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor
Photo by Kazz Thomas-Atleo
Troy Johnson Atleo Jr. was born in the back of a pickup truck on Feb. 18 on the Ahousaht dock as his parents tried to rush him to hospital. He has since been airlifted to the Victoria General Hospital, where he is doing well.
Family Day baby born on dock By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ahousaht, BC – Family Day, Feb. 18, 2019, has taken on a whole new special meaning for the Atleo family in Ahousaht. Troy and Kazz Thomas-Atleo were nine weeks away from the due date of their newest child but the baby had other plans. Kazz woke early that Monday morning feeling pain. “(I) started contractions after 7; I thought it was just pains. I woke my husband up after 8,” said Kazz, age 20. But it was still too early for baby to come, so the first warning signs were noted but explained away as false labor or Braxton-Hicks contractions. But as time passed, more disturbing signs began appearing. “He (Troy) called his sister down after 9, they said it was just baby making room,” said Kazz. She was told to try a warm bath. But she was concerned because her pains were consistent and coming minutes apart. Even with a warm bath the pains grew
stronger, and, even more alarming, Kazz had started bleeding. Ahousaht is an isolated community accessible only by boat or float plane. The closest hospital is approximately 40 minutes away by boat. Ahousaht’s first responders and extended family members were called and the decision was made to rush Kazz to the hospital. But by that time Kazz’s labor was so intense she couldn’t walk down the stairs. A stretcher was brought in and she was carried to the back of a pickup truck that would bring her to a waiting boat at Mattie’s Dock in Ahousaht. But as the anxious parents made the bumpy ride down to the dock Kazz yelled out that the baby was coming. “I was ready to get carried off (the back of the truck) and I yelled baby’s coming out!” she told Ha-Shilth-Sa. The birth happened so quickly that the first responder didn’t realize that baby was already there. “She looked and she’s like, ‘no’… I said ‘Yeah, he’s out!’ and he come out right there,” said Kazz. People started yelling for scissors but
Inside this issue... Gaming revenues for First Nations.............................Page 3 Capital projects in Ahousaht.......................................Page 5 Barkley Sound float homes.........................................Page 7 Haida film at AV Museum........................................Page 10 Youth trip to New Zealand...................................... Page 15
there were none and they had to make-do, tying the cord off with a shoe lace. “It was scary; I heard him cry and they passed him to me,” said Kazz. She held her newborn son, who weighed in at four pounds eight ounces. He was born at 11:25 a.m. “They carried me to the boat and he was crying in my arms, moving around the whole way down to Tofino,” she said. Mother and baby were cared for at Tofino General Hospital. Baby Troy Johnson Atleo Jr. was flown by helicopter to Victoria General Hospital at 5 p.m., followed by his mother, who flew to Victoria three hours later. Dad Troy Atleo drove to Victoria. Baby Troy, according to his mother, is doing amazing at the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). His stay in the hospital is expected to be a short one. From there he will join his older siblings from their blended family, Karlee, Cara, Alice, Pearl and Zander, in Ahousaht. “He just made family day what it is! He said it’s time to make this family whole!” said Kazz.
Steelhead LNG has halted the development of a multi-billion-dollar facility in Sarita Bay, casting uncertainty on a project that was expected to bring up to 400 long-term jobs to Huu-ay-aht land. The news was circulated to Huu-ay-aht members on Feb. 15 in an open letter from Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. and Tayii Ha’wilth +iis^in (Derek Peters). “Huu-ay-aht First Nations was notified by Steelhead LNG that it ceased current project work on the Kwispaa LNG project,” stated Dennis and Peters. “We are deeply disappointed, and over the coming weeks your government will evaluate the implications of this decision by Steelhead LNG, identify all go-forward options, and assess how best to advance the interests of our citizens.” First announced in 2014, the Huu-ay-aht have been pursuing a partnership with the Vancouver-based energy company that would build an export terminal in Sarita Bay on land owned by the First Nation. Through an estimated capital investment of $10 billion, plus another $8 billion to build natural gas pipelines from northeastern B.C. and across the Strait of Georgia, Kwispaa LNG is designed to use the deep waters of Barkley Sound to meet a growing international demand for the resource. Kwispaa has secured National Energy Board licences to export up to 24 million tonnes of the condensed gas annually, and in October Steelhead announced the “major milestone” of filing a comprehensive project description to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. A final investment decision is scheduled for 2020, with export operations starting in 2024. Although “saddened” by Steelhead’s decision to cease current work on the project, the Huu-ay-aht will continue to seek economic opportunity for its more than 700 members. In a 2017 referendum, 70 per cent of Huu-ay-aht citizens voted to pursue the LNG project. Later that year the First Nation made a $3-million purchase of property in Sarita Bay from Western Forest Products with plans to use the land for Kwispaa. “As a nation, we continue to be open for business as we work to improve the lives of our citizens by seeking out economic opportunities,” stated Dennis and Peters.
If undeliverable, please return to: Ha-Shilth-Sa P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2
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Three judges consider scope of NCN fisheries First Nations’ lawyer cites ‘discontinued’ briefing notes to Ottawa, while Canada claims an increase in licences By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Vancouver, BC - Efforts from local DFO managers to implement a rights-based fishery for five First Nations were “stymied” by unwilling leadership in Ottawa, argues a lawyer representing the Nuuchah-nulth in an ongoing court case. This was part of the extensive message delivered to a panel of three judges overseeing an appeal of the Justification Trial over the rights of the Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Hesquiaht, Ehattesaht/ Chinehkint, and Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations to catch and sell fish from their territories on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Five days of proceedings wrapped up in Vancouver on Feb. 15 at the B.C. Court of Appeal, when cases were presented on behalf of the five Nuuchah-nulth nations and the Government of Canada. On the second day of proceedings Lisa Glowacki, one of the lawyers representing the five nations, described the failure of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans over the last decade to deliver a mandate honouring the Nuu-chah-nulth rights. This caused frustration among DFO managers serving the Vancouver Island region, and up to 2014 their briefing notes sent to Ottawa were marked “discontinued,” said the lawyer. Justice Harvey Groberman, who sat between Justices Barbara Fisher and Lauri Ann Fenlon, noted the lack of progress from the federal government to implement a rights-based fishery since 2009, when the Supreme Court of Canada determined the nations have the right to harvest and sell from their territories. “It’s apparent that after Justice Garson’s decision, Canada moved a little bit off of that position, but not very far,” said Groberman. But according to its factum document submitted to the court, the Government of Canada said that allocations and licences for the First Nations have increased. “In 2008, the appellants had 25 commercial fishing licences,” stated the factum. “Excluding clam and geoduck, by 2015 the appellants had 122 commercial fishing licences, in addition to thousands of pounds of quota for multiple species provided at no cost. Between 2008 and 2014, DFO increased the appellants’
Photo by Eric Plummer
As lawyers argued for the cases of five Nuu-chah-nulth nations and the Government of Canada in the B.C. Court of Appeal in February, a statue of Themis, Goddess of Justice stood outside the courtroom. allocations across 11 fisheries by approximately 496 per cent.” This trial is the latest chapter in a court case that has lasted over a decade, stretching back to when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the five Nuu-chahnulth nations have the aboriginal right to harvest and sell from their respective territories, as they did before the colonization of the West Coast. But negotiations with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) over the following years failed to yield
One man dead, three injured in vehicle crash By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Vancouver Island – Several families are grieving the loss of a 28 year-old man after a deadly single vehicle accident took his life and caused injuries to three of his family members. The accident occurred on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 20 approximately 6 kilometres west of Sutton Pass. The Port Alberni RCMP issued a statement the next morning stating that they were dispatched to the scene of the accident at approximately 8:25 p.m. on Feb. 20. “Upon arrival it was determined that a single vehicle with two adults and two children left the roadway, went down a steep embankment and came
to rest against a tree,” read the RCMP statement. It goes on to say that all four occupants were extricated from the vehicle, however, the 28 year-old male passenger died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. The 25 year-old female driver and a three year-old child sustained significant injuries. The second child, a six year-old girl, received minor injuries. “At this time, lack of occupant restraints is considered to be a contributing factor to the significant injuries sustained by the vehicle’s occupants,” stated the media release. The case of the collision is under investigation by the Central Vancouver Island Traffic Services.
a viable means of exercising this right for the coastal First Nations, leading to the Justification Trial and its ruling from Justice Mary Humphries in April 2018. Now the Nuu-chah-nulth nations are appealing Humphries’ decision from last year, citing concerns that their aboriginal right was incorrectly limited – particularly regarding the restriction that the fisheries should be of a small scale, artisanal and to be conducted within nine miles of the shore.
Canada argues that these restrictions are appropriate, citing the scope of Nuuchah-nulth fisheries before colonization. “The broad community participated, not for the purpose of accumulating wealth, but for sustenance, ceremonial practices, and trade,” stated Canada’s lawyers in its factum. “Fishing was not the practice of a select few high-volume fishers.” In his opening statement Kirchner described a Nuu-chah-nulth fishery that has evolved over time. It continued to develop until government regulations caused the nations to be “forced out of the commercial fishery” in the 1980s, he argued. “It was their fishery that helped build this province in its infancy,” said Kirchner. “As recent as the 1980s there was a flourishing Nuu-chah-nulth fishery.” Despite the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, the DFO has not transferred shares of the Vancouver Island west coast fishery from recreational or commercial users to the five nations, said the lawyer. With the task of balancing the conservation of declining fish stocks with the needs of First Nations, sports fisheries and commercial operators, the DFO has been tasked with setting harvest allocations for the various groups. In 2018 the total allowable catch for chinook off the west coast of Vancouver Island was set at 88,300. The sports fishery was allotted 50,000 of this total, with 5,000 going to First Nations’ food, social and ceremonial purposes, 3,447 to nations in the Maanulth treaty, 20,132 for commercial boats and 9,721 for the T’aaq-wiihak fishery. Meaning fishing with the permission of the Ha’wiih, T’aaq-wiihak is operated by the five nations tied to the ongoing court case. In its document submitted to the court, Canada noted the need to consider “the Crown’s responsibility to balance the distribution of fisheries resources in the interests of all Canadians.” During discussion with the lawyers, Groberman raised the possibility of a court injunction forcing Canada to implement the fishing rights of the five Nuu-chah-nulth nations, but a ruling from the three judges will be guided by the opposing arguments from both parties as well as focused information from a range of intervenors from across Canada. A decision is expected later this year.
Human remains found in cabin fire near Tofino By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Tofino, BC – The Tofino RCMP has confirmed that unidentified human remains have been recovered near Tofino on Sunday, Feb. 24. Details are scant but the Canadian Coast Guard and the BC Coroner’s Service assisted with the retrieval of the remains and an investigation is underway. “I can confirm that the BC Coroners Service is in the early stages of its fact-finding investigation involving unidentified human remains found on land on Sunday,” wrote Andy Watson of the BC Coroner’s Service in an
email to Ha-Shilth-Sa. According to a media release from Feb. 25, the Tofino RCMP investigated a structure fire to a cabin in Warn Bay, near Tofino. Human remains were located in the cabin. The file is still in the very early stages and Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) and the BC Coroners Service are both involved. The cause of the fire and the identity of the deceased are still under investigation. Warn Bay is located deep in the Tofino Inlet, near Kennedy Lake. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Tofino RCMP at 250-7253242.
February 28, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
First Nations are served up a slice of gaming pie The provincial budget for 2019 includes seven per cent of B.C.’s gaming proceeds going towards First Nations By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter British Columbia – For the first time ever, British Columbia’s First Nations will be included in a share of the province’s gaming revenue. The announcement came Feb. 19 as part of the provincial government’s Budget 2019. “Starting April 2019, approximately $3 billion over 25 years will be shared with B.C. First Nations, meaning every First Nation community in B.C. will be eligible for between $250,000 and $2 million annually through the agreement,” stated a provincial government news release. The funding, made possible through an historic revenue sharing agreement between the province and the First Nations Leadership Council, will allow First Nations to have a stable, long-term funding source to focus on their priorities, which can include health and wellness, housing, infrastructure, training, environmental protection, economic development, governance capacity and other uses. “Today was an awesome day,” said NTC President Judith Sayers in a social media post. She went to say that the province’s 203 First Nations would receive proceeds that amounts to approximately seven per cent of the gross annual gaming revenue for the next 25 years. “I started work on the First Nation Gaming Committee in 2006 when I was on the Task Group of the First Nations Summit,” Sayers told Ha-Shilth-Sa. They pressed the government for a meaningful gesture of forming a new
relationship with the province’s First Nations. “We did a lot of work going to see the (former) Premier Gordon Campbell, Minister of Indigenous Relations Mike de Jong and Finance Minister Carole Taylor,” she recalled, but there was no progress. “We had a comprehensive proposal on how we set up the distribution and how the money could be used,” she continued. At that time the First Nation Gaming Committee requested three per cent of the net revenue of BCLC (British Columbia Lottery Corporation) as that was the proportion of the provincial population First Nations represented. “We had called it a community development fund and we had worked closely with the First Nations in Ontario, using their model to put ours together,” Sayers said, adding that it was a good proposal. Provinces across Canada have been revenue sharing from gaming with First Nations for years, but not British Columbia. “We told the premier, Mike de Jong and Carole Taylor that it was low hanging fruit and this would fulfill the revenue sharing that we had agreed to in the New Relationship Vision,” Sayers stated, but the former premier and his cabinet had nothing to offer. “When Christy Clark became premier she actually laughed when it was brought it up to her,” Sayers stated. “The New Relationship was not something she was interested in and relations with First Nations became very strained and did not
Judith Sayers progress at all.” According to Sayers, when the NDP government was elected in 2017, the ministers of Finance and Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation had in their mandate letters to negotiate gaming revenue sharing with First Nations. They went to work and began talks with First Nations Gaming Commission negotiators, Grand Chief Joe Hall and Jay Johnson. “I have been involved for 13 years on the Gaming Committee and then appointed as a Gaming Commissioner,” said Sayers. She thanked Joe Hall and Jay Johnson for their work. According to the premier’s office, sharing revenue with First Nations communities is an important step that puts reconciliation into action.
“This agreement is part of B.C.’s commitment to create a new fiscal relationship with First nations, recognizing self-government and self-determination,” they wrote. “With this new source of funding, First Nations communities will have added resources to invest in important priorities that help communities flourish,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “We are proud to put reconciliation into action by supporting the right of every First Nation in B.C. to self-government and self-determination.” Sayers says that the BC First Nations Gaming Commission, under the direction of the Leadership Council, will establish a company that will distribute the funding according to a formula approved by the First Nations Summit, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and the BC Assembly of First Nations. They agreed that half of the funds received will be divided equally among the 203 BC First Nations. Forty percent of funds received will be divided on a per capita basis, while the remaining 10 percent will go to rural and remote communities. The only limitation on this money is that it cannot be given out to members as a per capita distribution. “Once we have a distribution company in place, the province will transfer this year’s money,” said Sayers. She is expecting the first transfer to take place this fiscal year.
Province blasts micro hydro, focuses on big dams By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor The B.C. government is delivering a disparaging message to micro hydroelectric producers, informed by a report that recommends cancelling a program that has allowed several Vancouver Island First Nations to harness power from their own territories. As it released the results of an internal review of B.C. Hydro on Feb. 14, the province stated that residents will bear the cost of electricity purchase agreements for locally generated power, an approach that was “largely the wrong energy profile.” Due to contracts to buy electricity from independent power producers - including some Nuu-chah-nulth nations - B.C.’s consumers will have to pay $16 billion over the next 20 years, averaging approximately $200 a year per customer, according to a report for the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “The report concludes that BC Hydro bought too much energy, the wrong type of energy and paid too much for it,” stated the ministry in a media release, which blames the previous Liberal government. “Due to the decisions of the previous government, ratepayers will overpay billions of dollars for power they did not need,” said Michelle Mungall, minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “B.C. didn’t benefit. BC Hydro customers didn’t benefit. A small number of well-placed independent power producers benefitted, and customers were stuck with a 40-year payment plan.” But several of these independent power producers are First Nations who, besides electricity, generated economic opportunity in their territories from micro
BY Hydro image
The Site Clean Energy Project currently under construction entails a 9,330-hectare reservoir on the Peace River in northern B.C., with the capacity to generate 1,100 megawatts. With current estimates exceeding $10.7 billion, the hydroelectric dam is the largest natural resource investment in the province’s history. hydro. The report, which was authored be ramped up and down as necessary,” by former B.C. Treasury Board director stated the ministry, comparing a $33-perKen Davidson, lists smaller-scale hydro megawatt-hour cost from large dams to generating projects owned by the Tla$100 from independent producers. o-qui-aht and Hupacasath First Nations NTC President Judith Sayers has long among those that secured electricity been an advocate for micro hydro, and purchases agreements to sell power back was elected chief when the Hupacasath into the grid. developed a generating station at China By harnessing streamflow over a descent Creek near Port Alberni. She disputes the in elevation, the Tla-o-qui-aht’s Canoe, province’s cost comparisons, and said its Haa-ak-suuk and Winchie Creek hydro messaging fails to consider the economic projects are estimated to generate enough benefits of clean energy micro hydro power for 5,500 homes on average, far development. more than exists in Tofino, Ucluelet or “There’s been at least $9 billion invested other nearby communities on Vancouver in B.C. from clean energy projects, and Island’s west coast. But the province over 17,000 jobs,” she said. “It brings states that such local initiatives are more jobs to areas all over the province, Site C costly than relying on large-scale hydrois going to be in one area and it’s going to electric dams on the Columbia and Peace create 25 [long-term] jobs.” rivers – despite the fact that only 35 per Since 2008 the Tla-o-qui-aht and other cent of Vancouver Island’s electricity is First Nations have benefitted from BC generated on the island. Hydro’s Standing Offer Program for “BC Hydro’s dams are flexible resourcmicro hydro initiatives. In 2017 the es that provide clean electricity and can province’s utility provider stopped taking
applications for the program, and the next year BC Hydro announced that no electricity purchase agreements would be issued until results of the ongoing review come out. Now Davidson’s report recommends that the province eliminate the Standing Offer Program, which would require regulatory changes as the program is prescribed under B.C. legislation. Toquaht, Ahousaht, Huu-ay-aht and Ditidaht are among the Nuu-chah-nulth nations with a micro hydro project at some stage of consideration or development. Eliminating the Standing Offer Program brings uncertainty for the many First Nations that want to generate hydro in their territories. “What they’re doing is killing an industry…there’s no opportunity to sell to the grid,” said Sayers. “I just think that they’ve put industry ahead of First Nations. This was a very conscious decision, in my opinion, that they were going to cut First Nations out of the clean energy industry.” Ironically, the province’s recent statements criticizing micro hydro come after Premier John Horgan’s government delivered a throne speech on Feb. 12 committing to legislatively implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. UNDRIP stresses the right of Indigenous people to selfdetermination. “Government recognizes that many Indigenous nation communities have seen small-scale private power as economic development opportunities,” stated the province. “That is why the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources will be engaging with Indigenous nations to discuss the extent to which the suspension of the Standing Offer Program may affect individual nations.”
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B.C.’s medical system leaves many elders underserved Indigenous people in B.C. live eight years shorter than other residents, an issue addressed by the TRC’s 94 calls By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - There are 28 general practitioners working in Port Alberni, as listed with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. Serving the Alberni Valley’s population of over 25,000, this works out to one family doctor for every 900 residents. It’s an indication of an innately stressed medical system that can leave individuals underserved - until they end up in the emergency room with a crisis - particularly with respect to older Nuu-chah-nulth residents in the mid-Vancouver Island city. Benedict Leonard is a nurse navigator with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. He regularly sees First Nations patients rely on the West Coast General Hospital’s emergency department to treat chronic conditions, including one person who recalled being sent home several times over the course of a week. “Someone I spoke with had this progression of visiting the emergency multiple times in a week and was told on the last visit, ‘Why did you let it get this bad?’” said Leonard. “Ultimately people are not getting treated like people; they’re not being listened to.”
Benedict Leonard As the NTC’s health promotions worker, Matilda Atleo has seen many cases of Nuu-chah-nulth patients being frustrated with the available medical care in Port Alberni. “I think it has a lot to do with even how the doctor talks to them,” she said. “Once they’ve received this treatment, they don’t want to go back, so they just avoid it until they get really sick.” “A lot First Nations are going to Nanaimo, because they’re not getting any help here,” added Atleo. To better serve First Nations patients, the West Coast General has an aboriginal liaison nurse on its staff, as do hospitals throughout Vancouver Island. This position helps Indigenous patients by referring them to relevant community services, supporting families and accessing non-insured health benefits. This additional help seeks to improve upon a provincial trend of First Nations reporting worse health indicators than others in B.C. A report released last year by the First Nations Health Authority shows higher rates of chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes among B.C.’s Indigenous peoples. Although life expectancy has slightly improved over the last 20 years, with an average age of 75 the province’s aboriginal peoples die eight years sooner than the rest of the population, according to the 2018 Indigenous Health and Well-being report.
Photo by Eric Plummer
Donna and Wally Samuel work closely with Nuu-chah-nulth elders in Port Alberni, including helping to find proper medical care. In October Dr. Sam Williams, the West Coast General’s chief of staff, spoke of the hospital’s ongoing efforts to improve its relationship with First Nations patients. “We are trying very hard in our emergency room to improve the care that we are giving to our most vulnerable patients,” said Williams during a panel discussion at the NTC’s Disability Access Committee’s Health-Ability Fair. “We are halfway through - with the help of many elders from the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council - to provide accommodations and put in place real change in our emergency so that when you come, we are treating you with kindness, cultural humility and real knowledge and curiosity with our dealing in trauma from the past.” For many older Nuu-chah-nulth-aht in Port Alberni, trauma from the past will often be tied to Indian residential school. “We’re residential school survivors, most of us elders that are in Port Alberni now,” said Donna Samuel, who attended the Alberni Indian Residential School. “We didn’t get very good food at the residential school, we did lots of stealing, somehow get into the pantry to get fruit and stuff. It probably affects lots of elders as they grow older.” Donna and her husband Wally Samuel Sr., who also attended the Alberni institution, regularly work with and advocate for Port Alberni’s many Nuu-chah-nulth elders who need help. The couple has observed that medical care is not the only issue that goes neglected, and many elders rely on their basic old-age pension for income. “A lot of them were private fishermen, never paid into any pension plans, so a lot of them are low income and that’s why they have to continue working,” said Wally. “They’ve just got enough to get by.” “This time of the year is very important. We had an auntie who didn’t file her taxes for two years before she passed away and nobody knew,” added Donna. “She was a residential school survivor and what she had in the bank was what she was surviving on.” Wally has observed a lack of understanding among home care workers serving older Nuu-chah-nulth-aht, who in some cases have even “locked the door
and don’t answer it anymore” to avoid bossy advice. “We’ve had to help a couple of elders getting their medical needs met,” said Wally. “They keep going to the hospital and getting sent home. The hospital assumes they have support at home, but the support that they’re thinking of is the non-aboriginal home care workers. According to the elders who tell us, they are not culturally sensitive. You’re just a number to them; they don’t look into what foods you like.”
These issues were addressed on a national level with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, which directs the federal government to “close the gaps in health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.” “We need to do the paradigm shift that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission asked for,” said Dr. Williams during the panel discussion. “There is no us and them; there is just us working together.”
On Feb. 26 the NTC Board of Directors recognized NTC President Judith Sayers on her achievement of the Order of Canada designation, which she formally received earlier in February. A presentation with remarks of praise and gratitude for all of Judith’s work on behalf of all Nuu-chah-nulth was given by Ahousaht Chief Councillor Greg Louie.
February 28, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
Capital projects bring employment to Ahousaht Infrastructure development includes dock renovations, a waste transfer station and a $21-million water plant By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ahousaht, BC – Several major projects are underway in Ahousaht that will not only improve the lives of the people living there, but also provide at least temporary employment for dozens of residents. Elected Chief Greg Louie said some much needed structural repairs are being made on the main dock in Ahousaht. Formerly a federal dock maintained by the government, the structure was given to Ahousaht, leaving the nation on the hook for maintenance and repair. Louie said structural engineers were brought in to assess the condition of the wharf. Archive photos suggest that the dock is about 100 years old. It has been repaired and altered in places but, for the most part, the long, single-lane structure is basically the same. The main dock, as it is called, is heavily used. Vehicles regularly drive the singlelane wooden planked structure to meet incoming boats. With no space to turn around, they are forced to drive in reverse to get back to land. Beneath the wharf are sets of floating docks where community boats are moored. In a village of about 1,000 people that is accessible only by boat or float plane, the wharf and floating docks are an important piece of infrastructure to the community. Chief Louie sent photos showing that decking has been removed from the wharf while workers repair pilings and bracings. He said there will be a small structural change; a widening area of about four by 10 feet that will allow vehicles and pedestrians to move out of the way of oncoming traffic. “There was a structural analysis and there are some parts that will have to be replaced, and the railings and walkways will be repaired,” said Louie. Three or four Ahousaht men are working on the project. “The work is being done in phases,” said Louie, adding that Ahousaht First Nation has already installed lighting and electrical outlets on the floats and wharf. The project is expected to cost about $500,000, which will be shouldered by the band. But Louie says his council and administration are working on a partner-
Construction to the heavily used main dock is one of several large-scale infrastructure developments underway in Ahousaht. ship with Small Craft Harbours that will enable Ahousaht to start up their own harbour authority. For now, use of Ahousaht’s docking infrastructure is free to members but, once the harbour authority is in place and a harbour master hired, users will be expected to pay fees to help pay the cost of maintenance and repair. “We’ve sent a couple people out to investigate what it takes to be a harbour master,” said Louie. When the time comes, Ahousaht will hire one or two people for the harbour master job. They will be sent out for training. “When the moorage fees are in place the income will be used to pay the harbour
master wages and cover maintenance costs of the wharf, then it will be selfsustaining,” said Louie. Waste transfer station Another project on the go is the expansion of Ahousaht’s transfer station. The transfer station, where Ahousaht’s trash and recyclables are processed, provides two full-time jobs. But a $900,000 upgrade will allow the nation to expand their repertoire of recyclables; meaning less waste being barged out of the village (destined for a landfill) and more jobs in the community. In what Chief Louie calls Ahousaht’s industrial area, the current transfer station has had extensive road upgrades. In addition, nine docking stations for large bins
Road upgrades and stall construction has begun for an expansion to Ahousaht’s waste transfer station.
are being constructed. Louie says the village is on a schedule for trash and recyclables pick-up. There’s a day for regular garbage, another for recyclables like paper and plastic and another for compostable materials. The trash and recyclables are sorted at the transfer station then barged out to Tofino. Ahousaht works with SonBird Refuse and Recycling out of Ucluelet to recycle plastic, paper and metal. Louie hopes that Ahousaht will be able to add glass to the list of recyclables. One of the difficulties with recycling is that the materials must be sorted and cleaned before it is transported out of Ahousaht. This may require the need to hire more workers for the newly expanded transfer station. Wastewater project Coming soon for Ahousaht is a $21 million wastewater project, expected to begin later this spring. “The tender closes end of February and we expect to select a contractor in March,” said Louie. The wastewater facility will be also be located in Ahousaht’s industrial area near the transfer station and water treatment plant. Labourers from the community will be hired for the two-year project. More homes Always in need of more family homes, Ahousaht will soon begin construction on two six-plexes, four CMHC singlefamily homes and a safe home. The new construction projects will cost about $3.5 million in total and will employ workers from the village. Louie says the six-plex will be owned by the nation for rental to families needing housing. The single-family homes will be privately owned by people that are eligible for mortgages. The safe home, said Louie, is similar to a women’s transition house, where women can have a safe place to escape abuse – but it will be open to men as well. More importantly, it will be a neutral place to house children from the village that need a safe place. “It could be for children entering the foster care system; where they can stay until things are sorted out with the adults,” Louie explained.
Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa—February 28, 2019 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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Take a hike for homelessness Coldest Night of the Year brought together groups for fundraising and advocacy By Shayne Morrow Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - The Alberni Community and Women’s Services Society invited the community to join them for the Coldest Night of the Year on Saturday, Feb. 23. There were CNOY events taking place right across Canada, with the focus on raising money to combat homelessness in our communities. In Port Alberni, participants gathered at the Athletic Hall (3727 Roger St.) at 4 p.m., and took part in a 2-K, 5-K or 10-K hike on a safe, specified route. “There are over 125 communities across Canada that do Coldest Night of the Year,” ACAWS executive director Ellen Frood told Ha-Shilth-Sa. While Port Alberni’s chill wouldn’t match Winnipeg, for example, “It is symbolic when we talk about ‘Coldest Night of the Year,’ and what we support – and that is our kids,” she added. Frood said ACAWS takes the CNOY focus beyond homelessness and into the full range of interconnected social problems that affect children and families. The society operates a transition house to give abused women and their children a temporary home, as well as an on-site Drop-In Centre at their Third Avenue office. “We have an open door and a pot full of coffee and somebody always brings muffins,” said Frood. “It is a place where you can come for referral services, information, or you can just sit. We have mittens, gloves, hats, socks, personal care needs. We distribute harm reduction supplies – all of our staff are trained to administer Naloxone (in the event of opiod overdose)… people will come to us to replenish their kits.” At the Drop-In Centre, clients can also meet with a community-based Victim Services worker and, if required, meet with RCMP and initiate court action. There are also programs for children who have witnessed abuse or have suffered sexual abuse, along with outreach services in the schools. “So somebody may drop in to our centre to get out of the cold, and we are able to
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Photo by Shayne Morrow
Alberni Community and Womens’ Services Society executive director Ellen Frood displays the touque that each participant in the Coldest Night of the Year event received. CNOY is a Canada-wide program focussed on homelessness and social issues like poverty and family violence refer them to services that are available,” mend the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council said Frood. and the First Nations Health Authority for Wes Hewitt is the executive director of doing something – they see the issues and the Port Alberni Shelter Society, which they are trying to address them.” keeps track of the homeless population in As an aside, Hewitt observed that serthe community. vices for the non-Indigenous homeless “Our last PIT (point-in-time) count in community are not adequate, either. April  put us at 147 for that day,” “We should not be focusing just on subHewitt said, adding that a PIT is perstance abuse and mental health. We also formed over a 24-hour period by observhave to look at affordability,” he said. “It ers on the street. It is not necessarily a is a huge issue in this community.” number to be trusted. CNOY 2019 saw a variety of teams “Realistically, we’re probably looking participate, as well as individuals. After at 200 to 250 people at any given time,” completing their hikes on the Saturday he said. And there is not a lot of seasonal night, CNOY participants gathered at the variation, he noted. Of the homeless Athletic Hall. population, Hewitt said about 40 per cent “Once people come back, we give them are Indigenous people. a big chili dinner as a thank-you,” Frood “We are much higher than what we said. “This year, we have Teens Can should be in the [Indigenous] commuRock, providing entertainment. And the nity,” he said. “Demographically, we are Elite Dance Studio have some of their about 19 per cent [Indigenous]. So we are people coming out. We’re also having a badly over-represented in that group.” silent auction to raise money and awareHewitt said that anyone looking back at ness.” the toxic legacies that have affected B.C. Frood said the very format of CNOY – First Nations, including the residential having all those people out on the street school history, can understand the social – creates awareness. stresses and vulnerabilities they face on “Especially if they’re all wearing their a day-to-day basis. Homelessness is just Coldest Night of the year blue hats,” she part of the problem. added. “For that reason, I would like to com-
Ha-Shilth-Sa belongs to every Nuu-chah-nulth person including those who have passed on, and those who are not yet born. A community newspaper cannot exist without community involvement. If you have any great pictures you’ve taken, stories or poems you’ve written, or artwork you have done, please let us know so we can include it in your newspaper. E-mail email@example.com. This year is Ha-Shilth-Sa’s 45th year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!
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February 28, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
Float home concerns prompt province to take over
Jurisdiction in areas of Barkley Sound is being passed from the Port Alberni Port Authority to B.C. government By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Barkley Sound, BC - To meet concerns over unregulated float homes in the region, the provincial government is taking over jurisdiction of two areas at the entrance to Barkley Sound. San Mateo Bay and Uchucklesaht Inlet, which are located where the Alberni Inlet meets Barkley Sound, have been managed under a lease by the Port Alberni Port Authority. This lease with the provincial government covers the waters from Polly’s Point to Tzartus Island in Barkely Sound, but the remote bay and inlet will soon be taken out of this agreement due to concerns over the presence of float homes. “The port authority applied to the ministry to surrender portions of the head lease that are outside the main transportation corridor for the port authority,” said the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in an email to Ha-Shilth-Sa. “It was a proposal from the provincial government, which we accepted,” said Zoran Knezevic, the port authority’s president and CEO. “The float homes were essentially the initial point where we started the discussion.” Knezevic said there are currently over 50 float homes within PAPA’s management area, residences that are mostly several decades old that exist under murky regulations. “We were not able to put them in a section or a group whether they are legal or not legal,” he said. “We were expected to essentially mange those under our head lease, however, I’m not equipped to manage the float homes. I’m not a city, I don’t have an engineering department, I don’t have the know-how, the experience and
the expertise to efficiently manage float homes in our current situation.” Eight “sub-lease holders” have applied to the province for licences of occupation to stay in the areas, according to documents provided by the Ministry of Forests. One of these applications pertains to “private moorage,” while others affect commercial, industrial, log handling and transportation operations. With this change in jurisdiction the province has requested the removal of a long-existing convenience float in San Mateo Bay. Stretching 60 feet long and anchored approximately 50 feet from the shore, the convenience float has been at the location since the early 1970s as an option for boats to temporarily dock. The convenience float is set to be removed as of March 8. “People also use it to shelter themselves when it’s rough out there, especially with small boats,” said Knezevic of the convenience float. “We were happy to provide that service to the public; it’s unfortunate that things are changing.” Unregulated float homes have long been a concern in Barkley Sound. In 2012 a home collapsed while being towed just outside of Julia Channel near the Broken Group Islands, dumping its contents into the ocean. This incident prompted the Tseshaht First Nation to urge the provincial and federal governments to introduce measures to protect the channel, which is a clam digging site for the First Nation. The area was closed for shellfish harvesting due to contamination, leaving some to suspect the float homes in the channel could be a factor. More concern arose in 2014 when a float home in the Alberni Inlet exploded and sank, causing the disappearance of a 64-year-old man. Not all float homes in the province are
Forest Operation Public Access map
For years unregulated float homes have been a concern in Barkley Sound, now two areas in the region where the Alberni Inlet meets Barkely Sound will fall under the jurisdiction of the provincial government to manage the issue. and construction of the aquatic houses, unregulated, and the Floating Home particularly relating to fire protection Association of BC advocates for those who decide to live on the water. The measures. Elsewhere in B.C. some float home communities are under the jurisdicassociation’s secretary and communications manager Sandy McKellar said no tion of municipalities that had an issue with the gap in regulations. residences in San Mateo Bay or Uchuck“Municipalities expressed concern that lesaht Inlet are registered members. “We do know that in some areas of the many float homes had inadequate safety provisions and that access to many sites province where the port authority managed water lot leases, the authority was was inadequate for ambulance crews and fire fighters,” stated the B.C. Float transferred to the Ministry of Forests, Home Standard. “There were two major Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Deproblems facing the municipalities when velopment,” she said in an email to Hathey attempted to regulate floating homes Shilth-Sa. “The province is also working or floating home villages. They often to identify all floating homes, in part to did not have jurisdiction over the area in ensure safety and environmental regulawhich these floating homes were moored tions are being met.” and there were no standards that covered In 2003 the province released the Britthe design and construction of floating ish Columbia Float Home Standard, homes.” a document that applies to the design
DFO seeks input on rockfish conservation By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor There are species of rockfish found on British Columbia’s coast that are known to live for a century. Despite the longevity of fish like the quillback and yelloweye, which have been documented to live to 95 and 118 years respectively, rockfish are particularly vulnerable to overfishing, and unlike salmon, the small fish usually don’t survive if released after being hooked on a line. “Often you’ll see them floating on the top as they can’t bring themselves back into depth,” said Neil Ladell, a sustainable fisheries officer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, during a presentation on Feb. 7 to Nuu-chah-nulth leaders at the Council of Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries in Port Alberni. “Rockfish are long-lived, slow to grow, late to mature.” The Hupacasath First Nation hosted the one-day discussion on Rockfish Conservation Areas as the DFO undertakes a multi-year review of a protection initiative the federal department has been pursuing since 2001. After conservation concerns for B.C.’s 38 species of rockfish increased in the late 1990s, in 2003 the DFO introduced areas on the West Coast where commercial and recreational fishing would be limited in order to protect the species’ habitat. These protected areas came to include 164 areas on B.C.’s coast, encompassing a total of 4,800 square kilometres of inshore habitat,
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife/Wikimedia Commons photo
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is reviewing the effectiveness of conservation areas for the yelloweye and other species of rockfish. including reefs, kelp forests and eelgrass beds. Fishing for First Nations food, social and ceremonial purposes was determined to have a limited impact on rockfish, but the commercial and recreational industries are considered a threat to the species’ chance of recovery. For this reason, recreational fishing in the rockfish conservation areas is limited to hand picking invertebrates, catching crab, shrimp and prawn by traps, and catching smelt by gillnet. Commercial fishing in the conservation areas can still include these activities as well, plus trawling for scallops, krill and groundfish, and seigne or gillnet fishing for sardines, salmon, smelt and herring. During the presentation, DFO officials
said that First Nations were consulted to a limited degree when the rockfish conservation areas were first introduced throughout the B.C. coast. Now input is being sought from the Nuu-chah-nulth and other First Nations to help guide the conservation strategy. “We’re coming to the nations first,” said Ladell. Ahousaht member Marion Campbell noted that her nation was not consulted about the conservation areas in its traditional territory. She referenced the ongoing court case with the federal government affecting the fishing rights of Ahousaht and four other Nuu-chah-nulth nations. “Why are these being created to create roadblocks for our rights-based fishery?”
said Campbell of the rockfish conservation areas. Hupacasath fisheries manager Tom Tatoosh said that the limited extent of fisheries monitoring is “a huge concern” for rockfish conservation, especially since thousands of sports fishing licences are granted each year on the west coast of Vancouver Island. “I want to make sure that we’re saving the resource for the right reason and the right people,” he said. “As of right now it’s the department that makes the decisions under scientific data. Scientific data today isn’t really working out for what goes on in our traditional territories.” Karen Bailey, a fisheries biologist working for the Nuchatlaht First Nation, blamed the DFO’s poor management for the decline in rockfish stocks, noting how many rockfish are being caught in a recreational fishery focused on salmon. “We know that we’re not accounting for all catch,” she said. “Not only salmon are being collected by these sporties in our home waters, they’re also collecting rockfish.” “Most recreational fishing is not going to be in these areas,” responded Ladell to concerns over the effects of the West Coast sports fishery on rockfish conservation. Following technical meetings, input from Nuu-chah-nulth nations regarding the rockfish conservation areas was collected by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on Feb. 28 during the Council of Ha’wiih in Campbell River.
Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—February 28, 2019
Clock running out on salmon farm policy Court ruling puts DFO on notice to comply with precautionary principle for a virus found in farmed salmon By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Scientific uncertainty continues to cloud waters surrounding marine-based salmon farms despite a court decision that puts DFO on notice, essentially, to clean up its act. In early February, the Federal Court overturned DFO’s policy permitting fish farm operations to transfer Atlantic salmon hatchery smolts to ocean net pens without screening for PRV (piscine reovirus), a pathogen that critics believe threatens wild salmon, chinook in particular. Justice Cecily Strickland ruled that DFO fails to consider the health of wild salmon, that the current practice violates the government’s own wild salmon policy and does not meet “the precautionary principle.” She gave the department four months to undertake risk assessment, requiring a thorough review of the science, and to come up with a new policy. Since the highly contagious PRV pathogen was first diagnosed in farmed Atlantic salmon two years ago (the pathogen has also been found in wild salmon), screening for the virus could bring a halt to Atlantic salmon fish farming in marine waters. The precautionary principle, as set out in an earlier court decision in the fish farm legal saga, requires that “complete scientific certainty should not be used as a basis for avoiding or postponing mea-
Photo courtesy of Alexandra Morton
A ruling from Federal Court in February overturned a DFO policy that allows Atlantic salmon to be transferred from hatcheries to net pens without being screened for piscine reovirus.
“It keeps me up at night thinking about it.” ~ Jared Dick, NTC Central Region Biologist
Jared Dick sures to protect the environment, as there are inherent limits in being able to predict environmental harm.” Biologist Alexandra Morton and Namgis First Nation, who brought the lawsuit against Minister of Fisheries Jonathan Wilkinson and two fish farm firms operating in the Broughton archipelago, consider it a clear victory for wild salmon. Others are not yet convinced. “It would be wrong to jump to conclusions,” said Jared Dick, NTC’s central region biologist, when asked for his thoughts on the controversy. Both the industry and DFO maintain that the PRV pathogen poses minimal risk to wild salmon since, for unknown reasons, it hasn’t triggered the fatal HSMI (heart and skeletal muscle inflammation) as it does in Norway. The Canadian government is pinning its new aquaculture strategy — intended to set the industry on a course for continued growth — on research and technology to provide answers. For his part, Fisheries Minister Wilkinson has allowed that migratory salmon
pathways may not be the best locations for fish farms due to the risk and uncertainty. He also promises that Canada’s first aquaculture act, yet to become law, will embrace the precautionary principle. The industry is turning to emerging technology. Cermaq Canada, which runs fish farms in Clayoquot Sound and other locations on the West Coast, announced in January that it plans to launch a B.C. trial of closed containment fish farming currently undergoing tests in Norway. While not wholly contained, the method limits interaction between fish and the external environment. A report due in May is expected to
provide some direction — a possible compromise that would allow the industry to continue the standard practice of transferring smolts from hatcheries to sea pens — but the court clearly forces the government’s hand. “We are reviewing the court’s decision,” said Shawn Hall, spokesman for the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA), via email. “We look forward to seeing the full risk assessment from the Canadian Scientific Advisory Secretariat, which should provide important context on this complex matter.” Rocky Boschman is the managing director of Grieg Seafoods BC, which operates fish farms in Nootka Sound. He promised full compliance with any changes in regulations, but expects they would be made on the basis of sound science. Recent testing of smolts moved from industry hatcheries to ocean pens did not reveal PRV, but the salmon had it when retested three months later, he noted. “The fish naturally pick it up in the water,” Boschman stated, responding via email. “DFO followed up the court’s ruling with its CSAS report concluding that BC-PRV transfer from Atlantic salmon
Wikimedia Commons photo
Farmed Atlantic salmon in tanks, before being transported into net pens.
poses minimal risk to the Fraser River sockeye, which is consistent with previous science.” Boschman said there is more to learn about BC-PRV, and the company is pleased that DFO plans to undertake more science and monitoring. “We share the public’s concern for wild salmon and are committed to continue our longstanding support for independent research into the health of wild salmon populations,” he wrote. As a biologist, Dick wrestles with the uncertainties around wild salmon declines, considering possible impacts from climate change, logging or disease. “It keeps me up at night thinking about it,” he said. Yet he feels it would be premature to pin the blame for chinook collapse in Clayoquot Sound on fish farming. “How do they know it’s not causing mortality if they’re not, for example, doing pre-spawn mortality sampling in the rivers? I don’t think the sampling’s been done to demonstrate nay or yea.” Uu-a-thluk, NTC’s aquatic resource department, is planning to conduct tissue sampling in the coming season that may shed some light on the mystery, he noted. While some in the Nuu-chah-nulth community want sea-pen farming stopped, others recognize the industry’s importance. “People are not considering the socioeconomic impact and whether it’s feasible,” Dick added. “That’s the balance I’ve come to learn and respect. What are you going to tell all the Nuu-chah-nulth families that rely on that industry for a paycheque?” Hall said the industry believes in working closely with First Nations and coastal communities, supporting continued research and enhancement, and “employing thousands of local people while providing approximately three-quarters of the salmon harvested in B.C. each year.” There remains a possibility that DFO could appeal the Federal Court judgment.
February 28, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Parks Canada image
An artist’s rendering of ʔapsčiik t̓ašii, the planned pathway through Pacific Rim National Park. Construction on the 25-kilometre trail has been extended until 2022.
Park trail bed construction set to begin in April Information sessions to be held in early March offer an update on the $51-million Pacific Rim pathway project By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Long Beach, BC - Contracts have been tendered for the next stage of constructing a 25-kilometre multi-use pathway in Pacific Rim National Park. Parks Canada and project partners, Tlao-qui-aht and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nations, have put out the word for contractors, posting invitations to tender on the Canadian government’s electronic tendering service, buyandsell.gc.ca. “My understanding is that the tender for the trail bed construction is basically out as well as the environmental monitoring tender,” said Tammy Dorward, Tla-o-quiaht project co-ordinator. With prime construction season just around the corner, Parks Canada hosts a series of public information sessions next week to provide updates on the five-year, $51-million project. The project team will be on hand to answer questions in Ty Histanis and Tofino on March 5, Ucluelet on March 6 and Hitacu on March 7 (times and locations listed at bottom). Named ʔapsčiik t̓ ašii (pronounced
ups-cheek ta-shee) — which means “going in the right direction on the trail” — the route lies in the traditional territories of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ. Once completed, the pathway will provide safe transportation for pedestrians and cyclists from the southern to the northern boundary of the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The path parallels the existing park access road. This is no ordinary trail work, though. Parks Canada has set high standards of planning and preparation to ensure the pathway project meets environmental standards and considers the cultural significance of the coastal forest in the hahoulthees, the traditional territories. Since the project began two years ago, work has included grubbing and excavating along with installation of bridges and culverts. Starting in April, work proceeds on the foundation for the trail. Much of the work to date has been behind the scenes though, including archeological, traditional use, geotechnical, wildlife and arbour studies that helped to determine the design.
There continues to be extensive consultation with and direction from a committee of elders. Environmental and archeological monitoring are integral to the whole process. “Throughout the trail clearing and construction, we had environmental monitors to oversee the work,” said Jackie Hicks, project manager. When weather conditions in the park deteriorated, they would reschedule or redirect progress in order to avoid or minimize impacts. “We’ve taken the time to construct the right pathway for everyone,” she added. “Pacific Rim contains some of the wettest places in B.C. We don’t want to cause any damage in the national park.” Due to the extent of preparations, an extra $17 million was added to the budget last fall. Along with the extra funding came an extension in the project to March 2022. “We expect construction to last for the next three seasons,” Hicks said, noting that the work is generally concentrated between spring and fall. They don’t yet know whether First Nation contractors will enter bids on the lat-
est work, but there are built-in assurances of Indigenous participation involving training, employment and subcontracting. “They do have an Indigenous benefits package attached to it,” Dorward said. “Any general contractor is required to work with First Nations. The entire project has been a partnership with both from the beginning.” “We’re definitely working in partnership,” Hicks said. INFORMATION SESSIONS Tuesday, March 5, 2-4 p.m. Tiičmis ʔaq›kin Health Centre, Community Room #82 Nuu Piit Taah Chilth, Ty Histanis Tuesday, March 5, 5-7 p.m. Tofino council chambers, 121 Third St., Tofino Wednesday, March 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. George Fraser Room, Ucluelet Community Centre, 500 Matterson Dr., Ucluelet Thursday, March 7, 5:30-7:30 pm. Cixwatin Centre Gymnasium, 700 Wya Rd., Hitacu
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—February 28, 2019
Haida film to be shown at Alberni Valley Museum Feature shot completely in the Haida language sparks interest among advocates of Nuu-chah-nulth culture By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Denny Durocher is hoping a film being shown at the Alberni Valley Museum next month will be one that inspires people to action. Edge of the Knife, a film made entirely in the Haida language, will be shown at the museum on March 10. This will be the lone local screening of the film. Durocher is part of the committee which brings in selected movies for showings at the museum, as part of its education and outreach program. Edge of the Knife, set in Haida Gwaii in the 1800s, follows the story of a pair of extended families at their annual fishing camp. Tragedy seeps into the film as one individual is separated from the rest during a storm. Believing that he has died, the families depart the camp for their winter homes. But the man presumed dead does indeed survive and goes into the forest where he transforms into the legendary Haida Wildman. There are less than 20 fluent speakers of the Haida language these days, making it a critically endangered one. Durocher believes Nuu-chah-nulth members who see the film, made with a Haida cast, will be encouraged to help save their own ancestral language. “I think it will inspire the people here,” Durocher said of Nuu-chah-nulth residents. “The film shows they’d do anything to recover the language. People have to get out of their comfort zone, off the couch and do language recovery.” Though Edge of the Knife is in Haida with English subtitles, Durocher also believes Nuu-chah-nulth members who see the film will be able to make a connection. “The languages are as close as German is to Mongolian,” he said. “But Haida Gwaii looks like the Nuu-chah-nulth. The people here are going to respond to the look and feel of the people.” Shelley Harding, acting manager of the Alberni Valley Museum, said Edge of the Knife is one of seven films that will be brought in locally this year as part of a series. Museum seating can accommodate about 400 moviegoers. “It’s a fundraiser for us,” said Harding, who is also the education curator at the museum. “And it’s an opportunity
Isuma Distribution International photos
Edge of the Knife, a Haida film, will be shown at the Alberni Valley Museum on Mar. 10 to bring in films to the community that appointed the co-curator of a project to Edge of the Knife will not enjoy the fact wouldn’t (ordinarily) come here.” update and restore the Northwest Coast they have to read subtitles. Renowned Nuu-chah-nulth artist Ron Hall located at the American Museum of Haa’yuups added the fact the entire film Hamilton (Haa’yuups) will be providing Natural History in New York City. is in Haida - and children in the film are an introduction to Edge of the Knife prior Haa’yuups believes the filmmakers did speaking the language - will assist someto its Port Alberni screening. Haa’yuups, a fantastic job with their portrayal of the what in language recovery. a Hupacasath First Nation member, has Haida Wildman. Though both the Haida Tickets for the 5 p.m. show at the Alberalready seen the film. He expects Nuuand Nuu-chah-nulth people are West ni Valley Museum are $10 each. They are chah-nulth members will have mixed Coast residents, Haa’yuups said there are available in advance at the museum or at reactions to the film. language differences. the doors the afternoon of the screening. “There won’t be a unified reception to “We’re not a monolithic people,” he it,” said Haa’yuups, who last year was said, adding some of those who watch
Phrase of the month - @aay’a qum>
Pronounced: ‘Iir yaa kumlth’, this phrase means fish are ready to spawn, or herring are excited to spawn. Supplied by c^iisma
Illistration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
February 28, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Gathering Our Voices comes to Port Alberni More than 1,000 are expected for the Indigenous youth leadership event, with a focus on cultural connections By Shayne Morrow Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - The Port Alberni Friendship Centre will welcome more than 1,000 youth delegates and support workers to the annual Gathering Our Voices event on March 19 through 24. Gathering Our Voices 2019 will take place on the traditional territories of Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations. GOV is an Indigenous Youth Leadership training program organized by the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, and the event attracts Indigenous youth from 14 to 24, although most delegates are from the 14-18 pool. Crystal Little is the GOV coordinator for the local Friendship Centre. “This is my first year working with GOV, and being a part of it,” Little told Ha-Shilth-Sa, noting that the enthusiasm for the event is strong province-wide. “When they opened the registration, it was closed within 15 minutes. The youth, generally, return every year. They save up all year to come… they are very motivated, and they do a lot of workshops.” For the young people, the emphasis is on strengthening the connection to their culture. There will be drum-making and paddle-making and painting, “But they also go into things like photography, and they are going to be doing a mural. “There will be all sorts of different workshops, and there will be an Elder’s
Organized by the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, Gathering Our Voices attracts 18-24 year-olds. Room – the workshops will be based around language and culture,” Little said. The program also offers delegates a trip to Tofino for a day of surfing. “I imagine that one is going to fill up pretty quickly,” Little said. She added that connecting with culture is a strengthening exercise for Indigenous youth. “They do go around the schools here, and they do lahal,” Little said. “I’ve seen some of those workshops. It is coming back to life, and I’ve seen even the shyest of kids come out of their shell, participating in lahal. So it’s going to be a really exciting time in Port Alberni… it is proof that the culture is coming back – it has
not been lost.” The Provincial Aboriginal Youth Council is a co-sponsor and delegates come mainly from Friendship Centres across B.C. Some attendees, however, come from communities with no cultural supports, and some are in care. Along with the youth delegates, GOV will also bring in chaperones and support staff, elders, speakers, entertainment and volunteers. While the event is geared towards Indigenous youth, participants are not asked for proof of Aboriginal status, according to BCAAFC. While there is not a mandate to include non-Indigenous youth in the GOV activities, organizers always welcome volunteers from 16 to 18 to
help out. Duties include venue set-up and clean-up, assisting with elders, supervising workshops, crowd management, security, serving food, etc. BCAAFC is providing orientation sessions for volunteers, and as a bonus, they are also offering free First Aid training. Orientation sessions take place at the Best Western Barclay (4277 Stamp Ave.) from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on March 16, and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 17. “We are calling on people to volunteer, even if it’s just for four hours on one day,” Little said. “People can call me at 250-730-0781.”
Family business offers handmade natural toiletries By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC - After years of suffering from a chronic skin condition that was difficult to control a Tla-o-qui-aht woman discovered a homemade remedy that brought relief and has no damaging side effects - for herself and her family members, anyway. Laura Fraser suffers from eczema, which is characterized by dry, scaly patches of skin. It is common in her immediate family; some of her relatives have been diagnosed with plaque psoriasis. Both conditions require medication, often a prescribed steroid cream. But Fraser began to notice that her prescribed medication was beginning to do more harm than good, so she set out to learn about alternative treatments for dry skin. Besides the steroid creams, Fraser is being treated for chronic pain related to two forms of arthritis and also for a back injury she suffered several years ago. The combination of some steroid medications over the long term can have undesirable side effects. Many chronic eczema sufferers are prescribed corticosteroid creams, but long-term use can cause adverse effects, like thinning of the skin. Anti-inflammatory medication over the long term has led to the diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome, for Fraser. One of the many symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome is thinning skin that bruises easily. “I came to the realization that cortisone was not a good choice for me so I needed to come up with an alternative,” said Fraser. Fraser’s husband, Ike Charlie, said his wife did all of her research online to come up with ingredients found in nature and recipes for moisturizing skin prod-
ucts. Fraser said she suffers from chronic pain and tires easily. She spends a lot of time home, with her family, a place where she can get her much-needed rest. “I wanted focus on self-care and things that make me feel good,” she said. Some of the things that help her feel better are lip balm and bath bombs. “Some of my medications cause dry lips and arthritis pain is soothed by warm baths; for that, bath bombs are nice,” she said. Bath bombs are hard-packed mixtures of dry ingredients which effervesce when wet. Other ingredients can be added for fragrance and color. They are popular for those that enjoy a scented bath experience. Laura and her daughters Nyna and Randi make both bath bombs and loose powders in a variety of scents. “The loose powder allows you to control the amount of product you use, making it last longer if you want,” said Fraser. For a while Fraser was using a commercially made natural skin moisturizer made of bees wax but it was expensive. Fraser knows that bees wax provides a breathable barrier for the skin and she learned of other natural anti-inflammatory ingredients that could be blended in. “I made soap before so I thought I would try to make some lotion bars,” said Fraser. She came up with a bar that combines bees’ wax, tea tree oil known for its antiseptic properties and mint. The pale green bar with the minty scent has soothed her eczema and other family members are enjoying success with the lotion bar. Fraser and her daughter Nyna began making more lotion bars, trying out different combinations of anti-inflammatory essential oils and pure ingredients like cinnamon, coffee, lavender, mint, oatmeal
Photo by Denise Titian
Laura Fraser and husband Ike Charlie, who are the founders of Purple Tiichma, with their daughters Nyna and Ricki. and more. Both Ike and Laura will tell you that they have not come up with a product that will be the answer for all. There are many different skin conditions and with many different causes. Add to that, people are physiologically different and some may respond well to some of their products while others may not. “Some people are sensitive to tea tree oil and for those people, the mint/tea tree oil bar would not be the answer,” said Fraser. Another important factor in the creation of the Purple Tiichma (tiichma means heart in the Nuu-chah-nulth language) is affordability. Laura uses pure ingredients and strives to package her products in sustainable materials. They are moving away from single-use tin and plastic canisters to glass jars that can be repurposed for home canning.
All of their products are made in the family kitchen taking care to keep things as sterile as possible. “The most important ingredient is care, love and compassion,” said Fraser. In addition to bath bombs and lotion bars, the family also makes lip balms and scrubs, perfumed oils, hair conditioner, hair pomade, deodorant, face masques and foot scrub. They have experimented with many combinations of scent and have decided to streamline their products, sticking with the more popular ones. The family has a Facebook page called Purple Tiichma from which they sell their products. They can be found at craft and health fairs and they hope to have a storefront someday. “My goal is to help people feel good – that is most important,” said Fraser. For more information about Purple Tiichma products, contact Nyna Elliott at 250-735-4393 or Laura at 250-735-1271.
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Community & Beyond Career Fair
Suicide Peer Support Group
First Thursday, Monthly
March 7 NETP is pleased to announce the 6th Annual Career Fair in Port Alberni at the Alberni Athletic Hall. 9 AM TO 3 PM.
Rideau Hall photo
Marjorie White entered the Order of Canada on Feb. 12 when the formal recognition was granted by Governor General Julie Payette.
Huu-ay-aht elder enters the Order of Canada By Deborah Potter Ha-Shilth-Sa Staff
Ottawa, ON - After being named to the Order of Canada in 2018, Huu-ay-aht elder Marjorie White received recognition and honour at the Accreditation Ceremony in Quebec on Tuesday, Feb. 12. “Marjorie White’s wisdom reaches far beyond the Huu-ay-aht First Nation,” Governor General Julie Payette said, as she handed the Order of Canada insignia to the Nuu-chah-nulth elder. “(It was) exciting,” White explained. “It’s just something you don’t expect.” White mentioned it’s an honour to be recognized and appreciated by the highest officials of Canada, and how truly rewarding it has been to work for the community for so long. With decades of volunteer and work experience in the urban areas of Vancouver, White has been a very busy woman. In 1956 White moved to Vancouver to study nursing. There, with the help of other aboriginal students, they opened up a support centre, the Vancouver Indian Centre Society, the first Friendship Centre in the province. As time went on the idea grew, and there are now 25 Friendship
Centers in B.C. and 125 across Canada. White also founded the Circle of Eagles society in 1970, a culturally sensitive halfway home for prison inmates transitioning into mainstream society. She has extended volunteer experience with Lu’ma Native Housing in Vancouver, the Lu’ma Medical Centre, and the Aboriginal Patients’ Lodge. White’s other notable achievements include being accredited into the Order of BC, the first aboriginal person appointed to Citizen Court Judge in Canada, and the first woman and aboriginal appointee to the Vancouver Police Commission. Her goal, White mentions, is to provide a better quality of life for the aboriginal people who move to urban areas, and to make the transition from on-reserve communities to the urban city a little easier. “There are so many people to thank, I had so much support,” White thanked, noting the support of her daughters, the community, the organizations, as well as the elected officials at the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “I never forgot my teachings,” White said. “I’m proud to be Nuu-chah-nulth, I’m proud to be a Huu-ay-aht member.”
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.
TSESHAHT MARKET GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC RIM
Hours of operation - 7:00 am - 10:30 pm Phone: 724-3944 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Find us on Facebook
Correction: Last issue’s word should of been: Wiiyaasum> Pronounced like: Wee yaa sumlth Translates to: short month
February 28, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
---------- EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ---------JOB POSTING Financial Controller Ehattesaht First Nation in Zeballos, BC is seeking a permanent full-time Financial Controller to oversee the financial management of the Nation’s community and business interests. This is a great opportunity for someone who loves the beauty of the West Coast. Ehattesaht lands and waters are stunningly beautiful. Our territories include some of the best salt water fishing in the world. Reporting to Band Administrator, the successful candidate will oversee the day to day activities of the finance department and will be responsible for the following: • Ensuring policies and financial controls are effectively developed, implemented and monitored; • Supporting Program Managers to ensure compliance with Funding Agreements (ISC, NTC, CMHC etc.); • Preparing monthly financial statements to Chief and Council and Administrator on a regular basis; • Maintain the chart of accounts and reconcile banks and various accounts for the Band, program departments and related businesses; • Preparation and presentation to Chief and Council of the annual budget and regular financial reports; • Ongoing monitoring of cash flow, as well as predicting future cash flow needs; • Capacity development of all Band staff, primarily the finance staff, in relation to financial management; • Ensuring monthly, quarterly and annual working papers are prepared; • Overseeing and implementing standardized accounting software within our financial operations; • Working closely with the auditors of Ehattesaht First Nation to ensure the timely and accurate completion of the all related financial statements;
Qualifications • • • • •
Adagio, Paymate, Excel & Word Bank reconciliation experience Proven Sobriety, Bondable, Provide Criminal Record Check Class 5 license and access to a vehicle Accounting Designation or 5 years equivalent prior experience
To apply submit your resume, expected remuneration and handwritten cover letter to: Ehattesaht First Nation PO Box 59 Zeballos, BC V0P 2A0 fax: 250-761-4156 email: email@example.com
Only those short-listed will be contacted for an interview. Deadline to apply March 8th, 2019 at 11:00 am
View more job postings at hashilthsa.com
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Special cedar hat stolen from Aboriginal art store Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, hopes to see a woven hat again after his shop was broken into By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Campbell River, BC - Ehattesaht member Ernie Smith is hoping to see his traditional Nuu-chah-nulth woven cedar hat again after it was stolen from his Campbell River art store. Awatin Aboriginal Art was broken into around 2 a.m. on Feb. 6, when criminals smashed three windows to get in, causing extensive damage to the store and art pieces. “There was a lot of damage. There was a print that was done by Mark Henderson, we’ll never be able to get another one, it was damaged beyond repair,” Smith said. “Also there was a $4,000 door damaged. Fortunately we’re able to get the artist to repair it. It was a door by Michael Price, it is beautifully carved.” Although all the damage is upsetting to Smith, he’s most disturbed by the loss of his hat. “It’s a traditional Nuu-chah-nulth hat made by Andrea Little…it was really finely woven and she had some grey and black fabric woven into it,” Smith said. “It’s very unique. I don’t think anybody else will have a hat like that, so it’s going to be hard for them to sell because the eagle feather on it, there’s a really large eagle feather and an abalone shell.” Smith said it is illegal to sell eagle feath-
ers in B.C. under conservation law. He said a friend had noticed the hat on a website in Nanaimo but the posting was quickly taken down. “It wasn’t there very long so they must have seen our (social media) posting because it got shared like wildfire. Well, over 300 people shared it and there’s still people sharing it,” Smith said. “Hopefully they have a hard time selling it and hopefully I get it back one of these days…it was very special to me.” Smith said the social media postings also garnered the attention of the Courtenay-based lawyer Michael McCubbin, of Sinclare & Company, who has offered to help Smith in his search free of charge. “He contacted us to help out by taking in the hat with no strings attached, so if somebody wants to turn it in to him they will get it back to us,” Smith said. “If they’re having a hard time selling it maybe they’ll turn it in with no strings attached.” McCubbin can be reached at 250338-6766, m.mccubbin@sinclarelaw. ca or Sinclare & Company, c/o Michael McCubbin, 200-575 10th St, Courtenay, B.C., V9N 1P9. Smith said new camera systems with night vision have been installed at the shop following the break in that he can watch at home from a laptop.
Connect the dots and color!
Ernie Smith/Facebook photo
Awatin Aboriginal Art in Campbell River was robbed Feb. 6. Goods stolen include a rare cedar hat.
February 28, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
New Zealand trip exposes youth to Maori culture Eleven youngsters and their adult companions venture to New Zealand in January to explore its heritage By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Nanaimo, BC - A group of Nuu-chahnulth youth have returned from a trip to New Zealand with a unique perspective of the country’s Indigenous Polynesian people. The Paddling Beyond trip, organized by the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, was planned to expose 11 Aboriginal youth, half of which are Nuu-cha-nulth, to Maori culture. For many of the youth this trip was the first time boarding a plane and travelling outside the province. Fifteen-year-old Cassidy Fuller, who is Cree and Heiltsuk, said learning about the Maori people and their culture stood out for her on the trip. Although Fuller thought the Maori culture was quite different from her own, similarities she noted was the way both showed great respect for the environment and each other. During the 10-day trip the youth and 12 adult chaperones had a full itinerary, which included visiting Ninety Mile Beach on the western coast of New Zealand, paddling in a double-haul canoe, checking out the Hobbiton movie set which was the location used for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy - and going on a harbour cruise to see dolphins. The group spent four days at two different Maori communities where they were shown weaving with flax, which is similar to Nuu-chah-nulth cedar bark weaving, and exposed to Maori song and dance. Seventeen-year-old Huu-ay-aht member Dorion Sutherland remembers performing a prayer song for the Maori people that was gifted to the youth to take to New Zealand by Greg Charleson. The boys on the trip learnt the Haka—a ceremonial dance, or challenge, in Maori culture—and the girls learnt how to use a musical instrument called a poi. “They got to learn some of [the Maori] songs and a lot of their protocol,” said Wendy Beaton, teacher at Tsawalk Learning Centre who attended the trip. “Music was huge in the culture.” During their visit to the Maori, the youth stayed in longhouses that are similar to those used by Nuu-chah-nulth-aht, except they don’t have a fire pit in the middle. “The walls had totems and the [Maori] ancestors are represented all throughout the design of the building,” Beaton said. “In both of the Maoris they had pictures of their ancestors on the walls so [the youth] had to be respectful and not take pictures. There was a lot of focus on
A group of young people and chaperones from the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre meet Maori people during a 10-day trip to New Zealand in January. respecting ancestors.” Fuller pointed out that a highlight of the trip was stopping at a 36-foot totem pole in Auckland that was carved by Nuuchah-nulth artist Tim Paul. The pole was brought to New Zealand in 1990 for the Commonwealth Games. “The kids did the prayer song there,” Beaton said. “I think that was a real powerful moment for them. I think there was some real emotion there to know that there was that connection to their territory.” The group also visited two cultural centres, one in the north and one in Rotoroa in the Auckland Region, that Beaton said gave the youth a “full on cultural experience.” “The thing that really struck us was the cultural centres that they have are all run by the Maori people and all the money that they collect for admission fees goes into scholarship and into supporting the cultural centre…it’s actually going into rebuilding their culture,” Beaton said. “They have a school at their cultural centre where they’re learning to do their weaving and carving. They give scholarships to all parts of their tribes and take students each year that attend for two years to learn their craft.” Something else that stood out for Beaton was the resilience and strength of the Maori culture and the steps they have taken to grow. “I loved that the street names and the cities all seemed to be in the Maori language. Language is very prominent and I
think that’s due to the fact they only have the one language,” she said. Beaton said the youth and chaperones all felt an instant connection to the Maori people they met. They were very welcoming and open about sharing their history and struggles. “They seemed to be able to look back in a positive way. It seems like the Indigenous people and the non-Indigenous people have found a way to keep the culture strong by working together,” she said. After returning home from New Zea-
land, the youth got together to reflect on the trip. “We were talking about how they have grown as learners,” Beaton said. “We did circle just about every day and [the youth] would have to share their thoughts and feelings about being away from their family, but also this strong sense that they were creating a new family. When we asked the youth about how they felt about learning about a new culture, a lot of them felt like they really wanted to learn more about their own culture…it was very beautiful.”
Ha-Shilth-Sa Archive photos
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