INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 46 - No. 02—January 31, 2019 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776
Fisheries court appeal attracts coast-to-coast involvement By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor
Photo by Denise Titian
Nuu-chah-nulth master carvers Gord Dick, Tseshaht and Tim Paul, Hesquiaht, wait to make a presentation to the Nuuchah-nulth Board of Directors about the Language Revitalization Pole project they will be working on over the coming months.
Carver creates totem pole at UVic Hesquiaht artist commissioned to create carved centerpiece, backed by UNESCO By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC – 2019 is being celebrated as the UN International Year of Indigenous Language and the University of Victoria has been chosen as one of the sites for a major UNESCO project. The UN International Year of Indigenous Language – Language Revitalization Pole has been commissioned by the First Nations Education Foundation (FNEF) and Hesquiaht master carver Tim Paul will design and carve the pole. The red cedar log, estimated to be 800 years old, is a windfall and comes from Huu-ay-aht traditional territory. In yet another Nuu-chah-nulth connection, the pole will be carved in Port Alberni at the workshop owned by Tseshaht master carver Gord Dick, who told Ha-ShilthSa he would be honoured to help work on the pole if Paul would let him. With his signature warm smile, Paul told the younger artist he would welcome to contribute. Master carver, artist and Hesquiaht elder Tim Paul says this pole will symbolize the importance of language and cultural teachings for Indigenous peoples. “It is especially important now because
of who we are today with English being our first language,” said Paul. But he has confidence in the next generations and their ability to keep the languages alive. Many Nuu-chah-nulth elders lost their ability to speak their first language at residential schools. Paul told Ha-ShilthSa the story of his late uncle, Moses Smith, whose first language was Chinehkint but he lost it after attending residential school. According to Paul, Moses had a very patient uncle who took Moses to Chinehkint territory and brought his first language back to life for the young man, immersion-style. It was hard work but it came back. “Uncle Mo said dictionaries are good, we learn words, but we also need to learn to speak to each other with it,” said Paul. Over the years Paul has worked with dozens of Nuu-chah-nulth elders who have documented their himwitsa (Nuuchah-nulth storytelling, usually by elders to children to pass on life lessons). “Some of these stories have been saved and can be transferred to new technology and the kids know how to use these devices; they can take it home with them,” said Paul. Paul said he has been working with younger Nuu-chah-nulth people in lan-
Inside this issue... Fisheries court appeal.................................................Page 3 Tseshaht and PAPA sign agreement ...........................Page 5 LNG pipeline protest..................................................Page 7 Canada’s new food guide.........................................Page 10 Carver harnessess tradition...................................... Page 15
guage immersion programs. “There’s Marika Swan, Layla Rorick, Giselle Martin and Tsimka Martin who are working hard to preserve the language,” said Paul. He expects to begin carving the pole sometime in February or March, depending on when they can get the log to Port Alberni. He has already drawn a conceptual design which he says incorporates the teachings of 18 Nuu-chah-nulth women that he’s worked with over the years and who gave everything they had in terms of teaching language and culture. “I need to recognize and thank them,” he said. The theme for the pole is ten relatives of the Nuu-chah-nulth people: sky, sun, moon, mountains, rivers, lakes, land, sea, wind and stars. There will be an eleventh relative included on the pole, earthquake, which is sent to teach humility and remind human beings of the all-encompassing power of the creator. “Oral history, songs, dances, ceremony, and art were – and continue to be – the vehicle for transmitting history, knowledge, and sovereign rights from generation to generation,” said Paul in a FNEF media release. Continued on page 4.
Vancouver, BC –The legal fight for future generations to pursue a livelihood on their territorial waters continues in February, when five Nuu-chah-nulth nations return to court for a fisheries rights appeal. The nations that operate T’aaq-wiihak fisheries, which include Ahousaht, Tlao-qui-aht, Hesquiaht, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint, and Mowachaht/Muchalaht, will be closely watching developments in the B.C. Court of Appeal when proceedings run Feb. 11-15 in Vancouver. Following a judgement from the Justification Trial last April, this next phase of legal proceedings is set to once again delve into the scope that the nations can exercise their aboriginal right to harvest and sell species caught in their territorial waters. In 2018 Justice Mary Humphries defined the extent that the nations can catch and sell fish from their hahoulthee, but subsequent assessments of her ruling has brought concerns from Nuu-chah-nulth that she erred in her judgement on the scope of the aboriginal right. Particular attention has been paid to Humphries’ restriction that the nations can pursue “a small-scale, artisanal, local, multi-species fishery to be conducted within a ninemile strip from the shore.” Also known as the Ahousaht et al. court case, this next phase of proceedings has brought Nuu-chah-nulth fisheries rights to a Canada-wide scale, with intervenors selected from across the country to help inform the appeal court. Six intervenors have been selected to speak for aboriginal fishing rights, including the Mi’gmaq of Listuguj, whose home territory stretches through Quebec’s Gaspe Penninsula, into New Brunswick and Maine. Their commercial fishing rights were upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999, but still struggle to exercise this in the face of federal restrictions, wrote Justice Barbara Fisher in her reasoning from selecting the intervenors. Fisher will be one of three judges overseeing the upcoming appeal. On Canada’s West Coast the Council of the Haida Nation has been selected due to it “distinct perspective” on rights to territorial resources. “It has a unique perspective on the process of reconciliation that will be helpful to this court,” wrote Fisher. Continued on page 3.
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January 31, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
Commercial intervenors limited to one submission Continued from page 1. Several intervenors were chosen from Vancouver Island, including the Nuuchah-nulth Tribal Council. “I appreciate that there may be broader implications to the Nuu-chah-nulth as whole,” wrote Fisher. “The NTC is well situated to provide a perspective on this provided that this submission is not duplicative and is limited to addressing how the return to what it asserts to be a ‘frozen rights’ approach will impair economic development in the Nuu-chahnulth fishery.” Representing five First Nations from southern Vancouver Island, the Te’mex’w Treaty Association was selected to speak on the risk to urban Indigenous communities. For a broader perspective a coalition of four Indigenous associations has also submitted a factum to inform the court. This includes the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, The First Nations Summit, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the First Nations Fisheries Council. Then to provide an “international lens” to the fisheries rights issue, the Assembly of First Nations was selected to inform the court of the Crown’s duty to consult according to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The five nations have been caught up in court proceedings for over a decade, with the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in favour of the five nations’ right to harvest and sell from their hahoulthee in 2009. “At contact, the Nuu-chah-nulth were overwhelmingly a fishing people,” wrote Justice Nicole Garson in her judgement, citing the time that Europeans first landed on the west coast of Vancouver Island. “They depended almost entirely on their harvest of the resources of the ocean and rivers to sustain themselves.” Garson specified that their aboriginal right was not unrestricted, and the implementation would require negotiations with the provincial and federal government. Several unsuccessful federal appeals to the B.C. Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada followed, along with years of mostly stalled negotiations. The next appeal will also include three intervenors selected to inform the court of commercial interests in the fisheries: the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association, the Canadian Sablefish Association and the B.C. Seafood Alliance. But unlike the Indigenous organizations, the commercial intervenors were limited to submitting one factum of 15 pages for all three due to their “common positions” on the Nuu-
Photo by Eric Plummer
Ahousaht lead negotiator Cliff Atleo speaks in front of the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver with Ahousaht Tyee Ha’wilth Maquinna Lewis George, after the judgement of the Justifiation Trial was announced on April 19, 2018.
The upcoming appeal is expected to determine the scope to which five Nuu-chahnulth nations can harvest and sell fish from their territories.
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chah-nulth fisheries rights issue. The B.C. Seafood Alliance represents groups that harvest almost $1 billion worth of seafood annually. “There’s a concern over the uncertainty as to what reconciliation in practice is going to mean,” said Executive Director Christina Burridge during an interview with Ha-Shilth-Sa last November. “We certainly don’t see ourselves as adversaries of reconciliation at all, we think it’s an imperative for Canada. We understand that fisheries will be part of that, but the uncertainty is over what that means in practical terms – both for conservation and people’s livelihoods.” In a press release issued after the Justification Trial ruling in April, the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association defended Humphries’ decision, hinting that a lesslimited aboriginal right to the resource could threaten its sustainability. “The court said that this fishery is independently recognized as a well-managed sustainable fishery and that the plaintiffs’ proposal would involve a significant extension of the prawn fishing season with unspecified effort and unpredictable consequences to the resource,” stated the release. This is a very good decision that will ensure the sustainability of the commercial prawn fishery for the benefit of future generations of fishermen, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal.”
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Totem pole inspired by 18 Orca habitat protections bring fisheries uncertainty Nuu-chah-nulth mentors By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Fisheries in Nuu-chah-nulth territory could face further restrictions this year as the DFO tightens its measures to protect the habitat of endangered killer whales off the west coast of Vancouver Island. On Dec. 19 Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced 6,419 additional square kilometres of critical habitat protection for northern and southern resident killer whales on B.C.’s coast. This more than doubles the existing critical habitat the DFO previously pledged to protect in 2009, with new “highly productive” salmon areas north of Haida Gwaii and west of Barkley Sound, according to an announcement from the federal department in December. The measures were introduced to promote the recovery of the southern and northern resident killer whales, which are respectively listed as “endangered” and “threatened” under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. Both species commonly feed on chinook salmon, bringing the possibility that the protection of their critical habitat could include further restrictions to fisheries in the region this year. “Under a Critical Habitat Order, the destruction of critical habitat is prohibited,” stated the DFO in an email to the HaShilth-Sa. “This does not immediately result in fishery closures. However, this is an important foraging area.” “They could bring a wide range of changes, some of which will directly affect fisheries,” said Eric Angel, program manager for Uu-a-thluk, the Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council’s fisheries department. “I think it’s reasonable to be concerned that the department is going to put a heavy emphasis on reducing chinook harvests further in these newly designated areas as one of their preferred approaches.” Now a total of 10,714 square kilometres on B.C.’s coast are designed as critical habitat for killer whales, including an offshore area that covers a considerable amount of Nuu-chah-nulth waters south of Clayoquot Sound. While fisheries restrictions will inevitably affect coastal Nuu-chah-nulth communities, it remains to be seen how this will be managed as the Critical Habitat Order is enforced. Angel cautioned that severe restrictions from the DFO on chinook harvests could push more fishing vessels north to Clayoquot Sound and Nootka Sound. “They bring these measures in, they could have an absolutely devastating effect on the communities that depend very heavily on fisheries at an important
time of year for their economies,” he said. “The First Nations and the communities on the west coast of the Island more generally, they have a lot at stake here.” “Should fisheries reduction measures be needed, all efforts will be made to minimize the economic impact of any reductions on coastal communities, and to work with implicated sectors to ensure their activities do not result in critical habitat destruction,” wrote the DFO. “Any fisheries management measures under the Fisheries Act related to chinook access that might be proposed would be considered in consultation with stakeholders for the 2019 season.” With as few as 74 southern resident and 306 northern resident killer whales left, the protection of the species has received growing attention from government authorities on both sides of the border. The State of Washington recently announced $1.1 billion in spending to promote the whales’ recovery, including a whale watching ban in some areas. “We are undertaking a herculean effort to save these iconic creatures,” stated Washington Governor Jay Inslee. “The Government of Canada is moving quickly to protect southern and northern resident killer whales and to help the population recover,” pledged Minister Wilkinson in his December announcement. “These new critical habitat areas will ensure that the ocean space the whales frequent and forage for prey is protected for generations to come.” Angel isn’t convinced that the Critical Habitat Order will help the long and complex lives of the killer whales. He sits on a technical working group tasked with advising the DFO on how to protect the species. “We don’t have a clear sense of how any of these measures are going to improve the situation for the killer whale population,” said Angel, who hopes to see more engagement with coastal communities. “There’s no mechanism right now for working with local stakeholders, communities and First Nations to figure out what might work in those specific areas.” The DFO identifies three key threats to the survival of the killer whales. These include reduced prey due to declines in salmon stocks on the West Coast, acoustic and physical disturbances in their habitat - particularly from the passage of vessels - as well as environmental contaminants. Ninety percent of encounters with southern residents have occurred off the west coast of Vancouver Island, according to a report on killer whales released in the fall, with these sightings being most frequent from June to September.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has more that doubled the critical habitat for killer whales, including a new area off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Continued from page 1. “Through storytelling we are also reminded of our family ties to neighboring tribes and nations. When we use our language, it is not just another way of saying something; the principles of our culture are embedded in the language and many words simply cannot be translated. It is only by understanding our language that we can unlock the most important values, principles, and concepts of who we are,” he continued. The pole will have a very special name relating to the material it is made of – cedar, which is meaningful to coastal First Nations as a life-giving tree; and more so to Paul, because it is the name of his Hesquiaht grandmother. Once carving begins a documentary film crew will record the entire process. The material will be used in education tool kits for distribution to the 11,000 UNESCO Associated Schools Network in over 180 countries. The estimated cost for the project is $1 million to support both the pole project and the Ucluelet First Nation Nuu-chahnulth Barkley dialect language revitalization pilot project. $650,000 will be used to complete the Nuu-chah-nulth language preservation pilot project and expand it to include the other 13 Nuu-chah-nulth nations. According to a UVic news release, the pole will be a centrepiece of the year and a significant point of reflection for UVic’s ongoing commitment to the work of decolonizing and Indigenizing the university. “We’re honoured that UVic was chosen by UNESCO and the First Nations Education Foundation as the permanent host of the Language Revitalization Pole,” said UVic President Jamie Cassels. “It will stand as a powerful reminder of our need to embrace the truth of our country’s history, to fulfill our commitments to reconciliation and to meet the challenges that lie ahead, especially with respect to Indigenous language revitalization. The
pole will also be a living acknowledgement of the traditional territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, the land upon which UVic stands.” Les Doiron, volunteer chief executive officer of FNEF and elected President of the Yuu>u%i>%ath Government talked about the importance of the pole. “This pole will not only raise awareness of the threats facing indigenous languages in Canada and around the world, it will also draw attention to the urgent need to advance reconciliation and healing by supporting Indigenous peoples and communities in their efforts to preserve and promote their languages and cultures through innovative solutions,” he said. Paul said the pole will be complete this fall and the raising ceremony should take place in late November 2019.
Photo by Denise Titian
The totem pole, shown here in a draft, symbolizes language and cultural teachings for Indigenous peoples.
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January 31, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
Tseshaht First Nation and PAPA sign agreement
Improving relationships between parties at core of the Cooperation, Collaboration and Communication Accord By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - The Tseshaht First Nation (TFN) and the Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) have signed an agreement to formally establish a cooperative and collaborative relationship between the two parties. The agreement—Cooperation, Collaboration and Communication Accord—was signed Tuesday morning (Jan. 29) by the TFN and PAPA and is effective immediately. The purpose of the Accord is to enter into a more formal arrangement between the TFN and PAPA with respect to establishing and maintaining a long-term cooperative and collaborative relationship through effective communications. “The reason why we focused on [cooperation, collaboration and commu-
nication] is we realized in the past that between both parties, communication wasn’t always the best and that’s kind of a way forward, so we’ve agreed to come together on good terms,” said Ken Watts, elected councillor with the TFN. Both parties have a number of joint interests including marine use, fisheries, tourism, skills, training and employment and transportation infrastructure. The Accord states that TFN council and the PAPA board of directors will meet at least annually and as required to monitor and evaluate the implementations of the Accord. “It’s a living document too,” Watts said. “I think that’s good because we’re going to learn as we go along here, we’re entering new ground in terms of a more formal relationship. I’m quite excited about.” Watts said another important piece of the Accord is a section outlining that,
when applicable, PAPA will attempt to gain the Free, Prior and Informed Consent from the TFN on projects that may impact the First Nation’s Title and Rights. “Although it’s not the full blown consent, the province and the federal government have their own legal obligations, but I think the Port Authority is stepping up and saying, ‘hey, we will try to gain your consent on projects.’ That’s a big first step,” Watts said. Watts added that the Accord will also strengthen the TFN and PAPA’s working relationship to help better explore opportunities to incorporate Tseshaht culture, history and language through advertising and possible signage. “I think it’s more the commitment to meet regularly and we can communicate and let each other know what’s going on if we think it might impact the other person,” Watts said. “For me, one of my portfolios is economic development so we’re already looking at a few potential opportunities to work together and collaborate on some projects within the Port Authority’s jurisdiction and work that they do. They’ve already expressed interest on working on a few projects with us.” Zoran Knezevic, president and CEO of the Port Alberni Port Authority, said he’s looking forward to continuing to expand and strengthen PAPA’s relationship with the TFN and advance economic development for the region.
Ken Watts Knezevic said a purpose of the Accord is to increase the number of meetings between the two parties and to work together on projects of common interest. “Such as Clutesi Haven Marina, where we see a potential of working together, of developing an attraction or a landmark for the benefits of the region, Port Authority and Tseshaht First Nation,” Knezevic said. “Also the common project like a fish processing facility and any other areas that we find of common interest.”
--- IMPORTANT NOTICE --Photo by Eric Plummer
On Jan. 23 the remains of two people who lived 1,000 years ago were interned in a cave at an undisclosed location on Nootka Island.
Ancestral remains finally laid to rest on Nootka By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Nootka Island, BC - The ancient remains of two people have finally been laid to rest on Nootka Island, following an internment practice undertaken by the Nuu-chah-nulth a millennium ago. On Jan. 23 a dozen or so participants witnessed the placement of the remains in a cave at an undisclosed location on Nootka Island. Led by elders from the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, the ceremony was held to finally lay the remains to rest. Radiocarbon dated to be 1,000 years old, the remains of a woman and adolescent were discovered at the Yuquot lighthouse during archaeological assessments in the summers of 2017 and 2018. The reinternment was originally planned for Dec. 11, but had to be postponed due to stormy weather at the ancient Mowachaht village site. The Canadian Coast Guard assisted with helicopter transportation, said Kevin Kowalchuk, band administrator for the Mowachaht/ Muchalaht First Nation. “We had tried to do it before, but the weather was just not good. It finally cooperated, so now the ancestors can rest in peace,” he said. “It was a small ceremony. There were no photos taken at all out of respect for what was happening.” Ray Williams, a Mowachaht elder and
lifelong Yuquot resident, was comforted that the woman’s remains were finally put to rest in a culturally respectful manner. “That’s the way they did it in her times when she was here,” he said, noting that his ancestors weren’t normally buried in the ground. “It was important that she was brought back the way they did it 1,000 years ago into the cave, which our people normally did.” Williams is familiar with the site where the remains were put to rest. About 30 years ago he encountered other remains in the cave while working with an archaeologist who was studying Yuquot, where evidence of human habitation for at least 4,300 years has been unearthed during previous studies. “There was a woven cedar blanket wrapped around a child,” Williams recalled. Archaeologist Colleen Parsley determined that the remains found by the lighthousein 2017 and 2018 were likely not originally placed there, but moved from another location at the ancient village site earlier in the 20th century. This probably occurred when soil was moved by lighthouse keepers for a garden at the station, according to Parsley’s assessment. In appreciation for the Coast Guard’s assistance, Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation Ha’wilth Jerome Jack prepared gifts for the pilots, said Williams.
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Navigating through a health care maze By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - Navigating through B.C.’s understaffed and complex health system is a challenge for anyone, but can be particularly daunting for Vancouver Island’s First Nations people, says a nurse tasked with assisting Nuu-chah-nulth-aht to find proper medical care. At the end of June 2018 Benedict Leonard joined the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s nursing department. Since then he has focused his efforts towards helping Nuu-chah-nulth find the right medical care in Port Alberni, including working weekends at the West Coast General Hospital. “There is a huge need for support and nurturing and relationships,” said the nurse navigator, a new position the NTC added in 2018. “The health system is incredibly complex and frustrating for, I think, anyone - but we’re working with communities that also have generational, institutional trauma.” That generational trauma includes memories of the assimilationist practices of the residential school system, as well as other federally mandated institutional legacies, such as the Nanaimo Indian Hospital. In operation from 1946-66, this hospital received thousands of First Nations patients for tuberculosis treatment. Former patients recall being strapped to beds, sometimes even being physically or sexually abused. A $1.1-billion class action lawsuit is developing from the victims. Although these institutions closed more than a generation ago, Leonard still sees their effects on his clients. “Stress and trauma impacts your immune system, so people just get way sicker way more often if their immune system has been compromised. Stress alone directly impacts that,” explained Leonard. “Trauma begets chronic conditions, so pain is often a manifestation of some sort of traumatic experience.” NTC nurses have been working to inform other medical professionals of the particular challenges faced by First Nations patients, said Lorraine Harry, the tribal council’s home care nurse clinical leader.
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Since the June 2018 Benedict Leonard has worked with Nuu-chah-nulth clients to navigate a health care system that poses particular challenges for First Nations patients. “There’s some that do understand, but drain the patient’s fluid every day at there’s a lot that don’t - there isn’t any home. “That dramatically improved his awareness of the history or the culture,” health and quality of life.” she said. “We’re always working to raise The nurse navigator will soon no longer awareness and work with our counterbe stationed at the hospital two days a parts, to have them be more aware so week, allowing Leonard to focus more they can work more effectively with our time on connecting with clients in Nuuclients.” chah-nulth communities on the coast. But It’s easy for a solution to get lost in the he’s challenged by not being able to acsystem, as Leonard found while working cess patient’s medical records, as Island with one patient recently. The person was Health’s charts are only available while suffering from ascites, a condition often working within the health authority. brought on by liver failure which causes a “As nurses we’re incredibly shackled by bloated stomach due to the accumulation confidentiality and privacy laws - which of fluid in the abdomen. The doctor recprotect the client, so in most cases they ommended a mechanical component be serve a good purpose,” said Leonard, inserted into the patient to allow regular noting that Island Health’s highly pubdraining of the fluid. licised privacy breaches in recent years “The doctor suggested that it happen have influenced what nurses can access. because of the complicated belly pres“The repercussions of that is they really sure and toxins, and then the hospital clamped down on access to information.” said you’re not approved because it’s not Efforts are underway to improve colcovered under MSP,” Leonard recalled. laboration between the NTC and Island Facing a huge risk of infection, the Health, with hope for a memorandum of patient was forced to visit the hospital’s understanding to be signed in the future, emergency room every few days for the said Harry. fluid to be drained. “That would improve the collaboration “It was close to two months before and communication between, and it will we were finally able to get a $100 part, alleviate that confidentiality piece, ensure which ended up making a huge differthat we are part of that circle of care,” she ence,” said Leonard, adding that this said. component allowed nurses to more easily
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January 31, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
March for Wet’suwet’en opposition to LNG pipeline Tla-o-qui-aht lead a March to support Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposition to a development in north B.C. By Nora Martin Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Tofino, BC - Tla-o-qui-aht Ha’wiih, the First Nation’s members, their allies, Clayoquot Action and Friends of Clayoquot Sound joined forces on Jan. 16 to support the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Conflict in the northern B.C. nation’s territory has attracted national attention this month, when hereditary chiefs of all five Wet’suwet’en clans stood in opposition to the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Designed to transport natural gas from Dawson Creek to an LNG terminal near Kitimat on the B.C. coast, Coastal GasLink’s parent company has made agreements with elected chiefs and council’s from First Nations along the route. But this does not include the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who led a blockade to the pipeline construction. Following a court-ordered injunction to give Coastal GasLink access to the site, RCMP moved in on Jan. 7, arresting 14 people. According to a press release provided by the Jan. 16 event’s organizer Terry Dorward, under Anuc’nicw it en (Wet’suwet’en law), all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals. On Jan. 7, militarized RCMP descended unto unceded territories of the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s Gildumt’en and Unist’ot’en clans to enforce a colonial court injunction. Peaceful women and elders were faced with heavy assault rifles and the full colonial violence of a state invasion on unceded territories. Fourteen were arrested, in-
Photo by Nora Martin
Dozens gathered in Tofino on Jan. 16 in opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which is being constructed through Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C. cluding Gildumt’en spokesperson Molly Wickham. The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation stands in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and their sovereign right to defend their people and the environment from the proposed Coastal Gaslink
Pipeline. People gathered by the totem pole at Tin Wis Resort in preparation for the March. Tla-o-qui-aht elder Levi Martin began with a prayer. Dorward welcomed people on behalf of Naaquimulth Simon Tom, Ray Seitcher, elected Chief Moses Martin, Desmond Tom, Joe Martin and council members. Joe Martin sang a paddle song, owned by late Wilson George of Tla-o-qui-aht. The paddle song was used to welcome people into the Tla-o-qui-aht territory. People came from Salt Spring Island, Nanaimo and Denman Island to support the cause.
“Yeah we may have been illiterate when the settlers first arrived here in our land, but so were they as they did not understand our language either,” ~ Joe Martin, Tla-o-qui-aht Member To begin the procession people selected banners and placards which read “RCMP Hands Off Wet’suwet’en”, “Water is Life” and “No Pipelines”. During the five-kilometre walk from Tin Wis to Tofino the supporters took turns singing and shouting slogans like “No Access-No Consent”. The marchers took to walking the Pacific Rim Highway, slowing down traffic for a few minutes. In all there were two negative reactions by non-participants driving by. The marchers stopped by the new RCMP building that is currently under construction to make it known they do not agree with the national police force carrying out instruction from governments, and then proceeded to walk through the town of Tofino, ending at the Anchor Park. The organizers felt it would be important to end at the park as
the Tofino council accepted a totem pole honoring the Ha’wiih and in the spirit of working together in reconciliation. Terry Dorward read out a statement and on a personal note said, “Reconciliation will not be achieved by a barrel of a gun”. Tla-o-qui-aht member Joe Martin spoke about teachings, reminding people about illiteracy. “Yeah we may have been illiterate when the settlers first arrived here in our land, but so were they as they did not understand our language either,” he said. Jeh Custerra of Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) stated his reaction to the injunction, stressing that the police were ruthless arrest women and elders in Wet’suwet’en territory. He also said that B.C. and federal government know they have no jurisdiction and nothing can go through without Indigenous consent. In his address Dan Lewis of Clayoquot Action said he was horrified at the RCMP’s use of guns and said this is not reconciliation, noting that liquid natural gas actually means fracked gas. Deanna Dean, who is from Alberta but now lives in Esowista, spoke of her concerns, stressing that fracking has to stop and tying the practice to causing earthquakes. MP Gord Johns sent his regrets and provided a written statement that read “he stands in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en”. Tla-o-qui-aht Chief Councillor Moses Martin said when the Hereditary Chiefs make a decision it should be honored. Moses also stated “the business community needs to wake up as we smell danger,” adding that what is happening to the Wet’suwet’en violates the first law of respect. In closing the participants were invited to the Village Green Park to help distribute pamphlets. Cecilia Jackson, Tla-o-qui-aht member, expressed her curiosity and concern about what is happening in Wet’suwet’en and was happy that she could come out and help with making placards and take part in the march. She does not approve of the tactics that are being used by the government and the RCMP to build a pipeline through First Nations territories.
Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—January 31, 2019
Pot facility planned across from treatment centre Beaver Creek residents and the addictions centre are concerned, but the developer expects to generate 250 jobs By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Beaver Creek resident Wendy Edwards is concerned about a proposed 57,000-square-foot marijuana growing facility that could be built right next door. The ACRD (AlberniClayoquot Regional District) has issued a building permit for the facility amid protest from neighbors and from Kackaamin Family Development Centre – a First Nations-run family addictions treatment centre. In the August 2018 issue of Ha-ShilthSa, Mike Youds reported that the proponent of a medical marijuana production facility was granted a building permit from the ACRD, at 7827 Beaver Creek Road. At that time it had yet to acquire an operating license from Health Canada. “There will be lights on and equipment running 24/7 along with a 50-car parking lot, and there was no consultation with the neighbors,” Edwards complained. Edwards pointed out that the creek that runs between her property and the proposed cannabis growing facility is fish-bearing and the commercial facility, which will require a lot of water to operate, is a threat to a sensitive riparian zone. The Beaver Creek neighborhood has long-standing water issues including frequent boil-water advisories. The property is located in Hupacasath traditional territory but the First Nation is not a party to the development. Hupacasath leaders were not available for comment due to the loss of a community member. Add to that, Edwards’ next closest neighbor is the First Nations addictions treatment facility Kackaamin Family Development Centre (KFDC) across the street. Last August Ha-Shilth-Sa reporter Mike Youds noted that the identity of proponent hadn’t been revealed by the ACRD. The ACRD granted a building permit at 7827 Beaver Creek Road but the proponent had not, at that time, obtained an operating license from Health Canada. Since that time Moni Sadeghi of Premium Cannabis Meds BC has come forward as the owner of the proposed facility. Last summer KFDC Executive Director Sadie Greenaway stated that the proposed Beaver Creek Road marijuana production facility is incompatible with the addictions treatment work carried out at KFDC. In operation at its Beaver Creek facilities for a decade, KFDC delivers services to entire family units, including services for children and youth. The people from the neighborhood gathered at Beaver Creek Hall on Jan. 22 to learn more about the proposed development and to air their concerns. Sadeghi was at that meeting. In a media release issued Jan. 12, Premium Cannabis Meds BC announced they would build a state-of-the art, high security medical marijuana production facility on Beaver Creek Road. The medical marijuana research and production plant represents a $25 million investment that can provide 200 – 300 jobs. Despite reassurances that the facility will be secure, odor-free and quiet, neighbors were not convinced that is it a good fit for their rural residential neighborhood. According to the Alberni Valley News, when one of the neighbors asked if the facility would lower property values, Sadeghi responded by saying having a bunch of drug addicts nearby hasn’t de-
Photos by Denise Titian
The view from the driveway of 7827 Beaver Creek Road, the site of a planned medical marijuana production facility; the neighbor across the street is Kackaamin Family Development Centre which treats family units struggling with addiction. valued property. Edwards said the crowd booed at the comment and Kackaamin staff left the meeting. In a phone interview with Ha-ShilthSa, Sadeghi said she is in the process of reapplying for building permits from the ACRD. “We received approval from the ACRD to build in the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) on July 13, 2018, but at the same time the ALR regulations changed, so now we have to reapply for non-farmuse permits,” she said. Sadeghi said the facility will be built and will have the very best equipment that will address the concerns raised from the neighbors about sound, lights and odor. “Seventy-five percent of the property is wetland and not suited for agriculture,” added Sadeghi. She is aware that the neighbors are not happy. “But we’re trying to work with them because they are important to us,” Sadeghi said. Construction on the facility was to begin last November, but with permitting delays and the necessary approval of a second ACRD building permit, construction could begin within the next six months. The facility could be operational a year following that. “We will have 250 full-time employees and another 100 indirect jobs will be created,” said Sadeghi. They will be offering training for the jobs in the coming months and are looking to hire First Nations workers. Recreational cannabis use became legal in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018 and individuals across the country are lining up to cash in. According to Health Canada, under the Cannabis Act a federal licence is required to cultivate, process and sell marijuana for both medical or recreational purposes. It is up to the provinces and territories to determine how cannabis is distributed and sold within their jurisdictions. They set the rules around how cannabis is sold, store locations and how the stores operate. In other parts of Canada, First Nations
This driveway leads to the proposed 57,000-square-foot cannabis production facility. are exploring the economic benefits of going into the cannabis business. Some are already doing business after having gone through the tedious permitting and licensing process. According to their newsletter, Tseshaht First Nation in Port Alberni is moving forward and applying for licenses to cultivate and sell cannabis. Tseshaht elected councillor Ken Watts said the nation is not prepared to share details about their venture, but he did say, “Our community has supported our nation entering into the industry in both cultivation and retail.” The Mohawk Council of the Kahnawake and Thunderchild First Nation of Saskatchewan have both entered into partnerships with existing businesses that grow cannabis. Grand Chief Joe Norton points to Kahnawake’s heavy dependence on government funding. “We need a stable source of income so that we can then give it back to our people,” he said. The income from their cannabis business could pay for enhanced park spaces,
Mohawk language programs, health and, yes, addictions treatment. Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) is the proud owner of the first licensed Canadian recreational cannabis store on First Nations land. Opened Nov. 7, 2018 at Opaskwayak, Manitoba, the 1,500-square-foot retail store is fully stocked with cannabis products. The OCN, like many other Canadian First Nations, are partnering with companies that have already been licensed for medical marijuana. In British Columbia there have been more than 400 commercial cannabis license applications received by the provincial government since recreational use of marijuana was legalized in October. Three months later only seven licenses have been granted for legal sales of cannabis in the province and none of them are on Vancouver Island. The onerous process involves applying for a cannabis license through the provincial government, another license from Health Canada and possibly another from the Canada Revenue Agency.
January 31, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
New fish lab in Nanaimo can’t come soon enough Coastal communities need answers to rebuild endangered stocks, says Nuu-chah-nulth fisheries managers By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Nanaimo, BC - With chinook stocks in collapse, a provincially funded fish-health research centre opening in Nanaimo is urgently needed by communities hoping to rebuild their struggling fisheries. Promising that coastal communities will benefit from a new Centre for Innovation in Fish Health at Vancouver Island University, the B.C. government announced its partnership in the research facility earlier this month. “Our coastal communities depend on healthy fish stocks for their economic, social and spiritual well-being. For too long, the necessary investments and protections required to ensure the long-term viability of this precious resource have been neglected,” said Melanie Mark, minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. The new centre at VIU will help ensure fisheries are viable and prosperous for future generations, she added. An initial investment was made of $215,000 for equipment and renovations at the centre to “help kick-start a strategic partnership with Indigenous communities, industry, not-for-profit groups and the educational sector,” the ministry said. A VIU spokeswoman said the province took the lead and the university expects to see additional funding from other sources as the centre develops. Expected to open in the fall, the lab is designed to meet Canadian Food Inspection Agency standards at a biosecurity level for aquatic animals above the standard available at Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo. As such it will the only one of its kind on the West Coast capable of research in a range of diseases affecting fish in B.C. waters at a time when demand for lab analysis exceeds capacity. It should also bring research to the West that would otherwise go to the East Coast.
Jared Dick Jared Dick, NTC’s central region biologist, said the new lab is good timing considering the immediate need for disease screening along the west coast as the Canadian government rolls out aquaculture plans. The $105-million Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, a joint federal-provincial initiative, was announced in December. “Pathogenic screening hasn’t really been done in my area, Area 24, Clayoquot Sound,” Dick said. Chinook stocks, found in six rivers in the sound, are of greatest concern due to steeply declining numbers and importance to coastal First Nations. Stocks in
Students look on as Tim Green of Vancouver Island University’s Centre for Innovation in Fish Health handles shellfish specimens in Nanaimo. the Megin and Moyeha rivers are on the Salmon farming remains a question processing facilities. Lions Gate Fisheries verge of being lost entirely. mark in terms of its impact on wild salm- stopped dumping solids but still deposits Uu-a-thluk (“taking care of,” the Nuuon, a question that needs to be answered fish blood into Tofino harbour, Jackson chah-nulth name for NTC Fisheries) is one way or another, Dick noted. Elevated said. Like many others, Jackson would engaged in biological detective work to levels of sea lice on juveniles as they like to see that stopped and sea-pen fish gain a better understanding of what’s leave freshwater is an obvious concern as farming halted on the Island’s west coast. causing juvenile chinook mortality in The director of lands and resources for are other parasites and diseases. A better Clayoquot Sound. Research is required informed assessment of the disease risks Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nato determine aquaculture strategies and tions tied to salmon farming will undoubtedly shine a light on potential impacts from help to determine the future of aquaculsea-pen fish farming in the sound. Fish ture in Clayoquot Sound. “I think it’s certainly a have been sampled in the river and estuAhousaht Fisheries Manager Luke benefit. If anything hapary, but more testing is needed in saltwaSwan thinks the VIU lab could be an ter, looking at how juveniles — mostly asset, particularly in cases where farmed pens at the fish farms, we chinook but also coho and chum — are salmon escape and mingle with wild fish. can always find out about it faring. Last year, 300,000 escaped when a pen Uu-a-thluk is developing a project for collapsed in Washington State. from an independent third the Bedwell River in Ahousaht terriAndrew Jackson, Tla-o-qui-aht fisheries party.” tory and awaits confirmation of funding manager, said the lab’s services can only through an endowment fund, Dick said. be an advantage. The river, which flows into Bedwell “When we have a problem, we do ~ Luke Swan, Sound, produces an average of 100 send (samples) to the biological station, returning adult chinook but has dipped but what I’ve heard is that this is more Ahousaht Fisheries well below that in recent years. In the advanced than the biological station,” Manager 1940s and 1950s returns from the river he said. “I think it’s certainly a benefit. were much higher, exceeding 400 adult If anything happens at the fish farms, chinook in many years, according to Uuwe can always find out about it from an said habitat destruction, not disease, is a-thluk. independent third party.” the No. 1 issue from where he stands. Multiple causes — overfishing, poachThis could help in matters possibly “Forestry practices have done a lot of ing, incidental catches and habitat degrainvolving litigation through the courts, he damage to the runs with all the debris dation from logging — have been blamed said. that’s washed down,” Tony Hanson said. for the collapse of the chinook fishery Tla-o-qui-aht has no Atlantic salmon He believes companies cut trees too after it peaked in the 1950s. Fishing fleets farms in its territory, but there are four close to fish-bearing streams and leave remain a fraction of what they once were or five active chinook salmon farms. As behind too much waste. Combined with with additional restrictions looming over well, TFN has an ongoing concern over extreme weather events brought by orca conservation. fish waste effluent dumped by local fish climate change, this contributes to erosion and washouts that destroy the clean gravel substrate critical to spawning. “Tahsis River is the worst,” Hanson said. “They clear-cut the top end and left a path for the water to come straight down.” Some of the salmon stocks in the area are only now recovering from clear-cut logging decades ago. The local chum fishery is in its second year of limited openings of two or three days a week. Hanson is hoping that fish habitat issues can be brought to the table through negotiations with the B.C. government and logging companies. Like Tla-o-qui-aht, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’ is among west coast First Nations that don’t have Atlantic salmon farms operating within their territories. There is a sablefish farm in their waters, but the groundfish operation is not Eric Plummer photo subject to the same disease concerns as VIU’s new fish lab is expected to help inform aquaculture on the West Coast. farmed Atlantic salmon, Hanson said. Pictured is a fish farm in Nootka Sound.
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—January 31, 2019
Aboriginal version of Canada’s food guide forthcoming New food guide’s emphasis on plant-based protein and fresh produce might not be effective for First Nations By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – A dozen years after it was last updated Health Canada officials released the newest version of Canada’s Food Guide earlier this month. The guide is intended to be relevant to all Canadians. Mentions are even made of attempts to be inclusive of Indigenous people. But there is still plenty of work to be done to better reflect the dietary needs of Indigenous people across the country. Besides seeking advice from the recently released guide, government officials are encouraging Indigenous people to continue utilizing the 2007 version of Canada’s Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and Metis as a source for healthy eating. That Indigenous guide came out about six months after Canada’s Food Guide was last released a dozen years ago. Dr. Hasan Hutchinson, the Director General of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion at Health Canada, said an updated Indigenous guide will also be produced at some point. “The next phase is we’re having much closer engagements with Indigenous people and their communities,” Hutchinson said. Representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Metis National Council and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami will be included in those discussions. “It’s not something the Canadian government is going to do by itself,” Hutchinson said of the upcoming Indigenous guide. The consultations with various groups will help determine what will be included in the revised Indigenous guide. “That will depend on which direction to go,” Hutchinson said, adding he is not certain how long it will take for the updated Indigenous guide to be released. As for the latest food guide that just came out, there is a heavy emphasis of having one’s plate full of fruits and vegetables. And instead of having meat as a source of protein the guide is suggesting plant-based proteins, including beans and tofu, as a better way to consume proteins. This new guide doesn’t align with many Nuu-chah-nulth residents who tend to eat
Atleo, who has a number of health speaking engagements each year, is pleased with certain elements of the new guide. “I really like the idea of their rationale of how they chose things in terms of health concerns,” she said. “I hope to add that to my component (during talks).” Atleto also has an opinion of what would allow Nuuchah-nulth people to be healthier. “I think First Nations people should be encouraged to have their own community gardens,” she said. Atleo said just three of the 14 Nuu-chah-nulth nations currently have a community garden. They are the Tseshaht, Ucluelet Health Canada photo and Ehattesaht First Canada’s Food Guide was released earlier this month, but an updated Indigenous version still needs Nations. to be produced following consultations with various organizations. “I think the chala greater percentage of seafood compared follow recommendations in the national lenge is getting the funding to do that,” to other Canadians. And Indigenous food guide. Atleo said of starting up additional compeople in general tend to eat more meat “The reality is I’m not sure how many munity gardens. “I don’t think they have such as moose and elk as part of their would go by the guide,” she said. the funding to do it.” culture. Atleo, who has been working at her job Atleo added she was pleased to see Matilda Atleo, a health promotions for 17 years, realizes she still has quite a the new guide focus on the importance worker for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal bit of educating Nuu-chah-nulth residents of consuming water, instead of sugary Council, had some mixed reactions upon on their food habits. drinks which includes juices. seeing details of the new guide. “We have a lot of members who eat a “I was also pleased to see them emphaFilling up one’s plate with fruits and high carbohydrate diet,” she said. “And sizing water,” she said. “Here in our nursvegetables might sound easy but it can I’m suggesting they have more fibre.” ing department we’re always saying: ‘No provide a number of challenges for IndigThe newest food guide states wholejuice. Just have water.’ So we’re happy to enous people. food options are a much better choice see that in the guide.” “There’s always the thought of what do “If they make their own bread, I’m sugTo better serve not only Nuu-chah-nulth you do with our low-income families that gesting they increase the fibre and add but also other Indigenous people as well, can’t purchase fresh fruits and vegetawhole wheat,” Atleo said. Atleo agrees an updated Indigenous guide bles,” Atleo said. She’s also suggesting brown rice and needs to be produced. Atleo added she’s not sure how many whole wheat pasta are preferred options “I think there is more work to be done,” Nuu-chah-nulth residents would actually over white rice and plain pasta. she said.
Phrase of the month - Qaa%uucii> Pronounced: ‘kah-oots-ilth’, this phrase means making a berry or clam basket. Source: Nuu-chah-nulth Phrase Book & Dictionary.
Illistration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
January 31, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Port Authority remembers Uchucklesaht Ha’wilth
Late Martin Charles took part in the 1976 rescue of six people from a boat and helicopter accident near Bamfield By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – The Port Alberni Maritime Heritage Society are hosting an event featuring the story of late Uchucklesaht Ha’wilth Martin Charles’ heroism in saving lives during a 1970’s accident at sea. The event is part of PAMHS’s seasonal events that include exhibits and guest speakers for those interested in local maritime topics. Hosted by the Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA), Rescue at Sea: Remembering Martin Charles, M.B. will be a look back at a 1976 maritime accident off the coast of Bamfield involving a fish packer vessel. Clifford Charles, Uchucklesaht Ha’wilth and retired Coast Guard officer, will be presenting the story of Martin Charles and will share details of the dramatic events off Bamfield in February 1976. Clifford knows first-hand what happened because he was there with his father and two other Canada Coast Guard personnel assisting in the rescue. Clifford was young when he landed a job with the CCG (Canadian Coast Guard) literally by accident. “My dad, Martin Charles, had been working at the Coast Guard station in Bamfield for several years when a coworker broke his leg,” said Clifford. He was hired immediately to fill in for the injured worker. One day in 1976, father and son along with two other CCG personnel were dispatched to a herring packer vessel that had grounded in rough seas. “The vessel grounded at Cape Beal Lighthouse; throwing four persons into
Photo by Denise Titian
Named after the Uchucklesaht hereditary chief, the M. Charles M.B. was christened May 20, 2015, with a ceremony for the vessel at the Centennial Pier at Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay. Uchucklesaht Ha’wilth Clifford Charles is pictured speaking. the ocean,” he recalled. But they were not the only casualties. A helicopter team from the US Coast Guard also responded to the mayday but they crashed into the ocean. Charles and his CCG team rescued six people in the incident. Sadly, one life was lost. Both the Unites States and Canadian Coast Guard presented Martin Charles
and his fellow crew members with silver medals of bravery. In addition, the CCG named one of their new rescue vessels after Martin Charles. Clifford Charles, Officer-in-Charge (retired), Canadian Coast Guard, will be at Echo Centre in Port Alberni on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. to present Rescue at Sea: Remembering Martin Charles, M.B. The Maritime Heritage event will be held
in the Dogwood Room. Admission by donation. The Port Alberni Maritime Heritage Society (PAMHS) was formed in 1989 with the purpose of working with the museum and the community to preserve and present the maritime heritage of the West Coast area.
Journalist returns home to present for Words on Fire By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – Award-winning journalist Wawmeesh Hamilton returned to his hometown earlier this month to read and discuss one of his favourite articles. Hamilton, a member of the Hupacasath First Nation, was the featured reader on Jan. 24 at the Alberni Valley’s Words on Fire event at Char’s Landing in Port Alberni. Hamilton, who now lives in Vancouver, read his article titled One town, two worlds: Reconciliation in Port Alberni. The article, which was published this past January, was a collaboration between CBC Indigenous and The Discourse, the two main journalistic ventures where Hamilton’s work appears these days. “I’ve never done this before,” Hamilton said before his reading. “I like the challenge of it.” This wasn’t the first time that Hamilton discussed his article. Interest in the piece previously resulted in a radio interview and a Facebook live event. While numerous articles have been published about reconciliation efforts in major Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, Hamilton’s story was different as it focused on a small community. “I’m proud of the way the whole thing came together,” said Hamilton, a 54-yearold writer who specializes in reconciliation and Indigenous issues. “I didn’t put a knife into the small town.” While working on his story, Hamilton
visited the Port Alberni grounds where his parents went to residential school. “I’m proud of having gone there,” he said. “I went to interview a source as a journalist. I didn’t go as a son looking to see what his parents had gone through. A flood of feelings came that I was able to hold in check.” Hamilton said the article he read is indeed one of his proudest journalistic moments. “It ranks up there,” he said. “But I’m proud of every story I’ve ever completed.” Hamilton was also curious to hear what Port Alberni residents thought of the story. “There was a lot of shares of the story,” he said. “But I didn’t get a lot of feedback about it.” Hamilton’s story, however, was indeed an eyeopener for many. “It launched or sparked a national conversation about what reconciliation looks like in small-town communities,” he said. “It became part of an editorial in the Toronto Star and how they are ignored. When you can effect that kind of change, that’s something to be proud of.” Hamilton had worked for the Alberni Valley News as a reporter and photographer from late 2006 up until the summer of 2014. “That’s where I really got my grounding in journalism,” said Hamilton, who went on to earn a Master of Journalism degree from the University of British Columbia. During his journalism career Hamilton has won three BC & Yukon Community
Photo by Wonderful Ida
Wawmeesh Hamilton was at Char’s Landing Jan. 24 to read and discuss one of his favourite stories. Newspaper Association awards as well as three Canadian Community Newspaper Association awards. Hamilton was also keen to share his thoughts of his story on Jan. 24. “Up until now, where I work at The Discourse, I was never asked my opinion about my stories,” he said. The Words on Fire event, held monthly, gives local writers an opportunity to read their work. The evening also included an open mic session where spoken word per-
formers and poets were welcome to sign up and participate. There is no set fee for admission, but organizers suggest a $10 donation. The event is a presentation of the Federation of BC Writers. Hamilton is a board member of this organization. Words on Fire is usually held on the third Thursday of each month at Char’s Landing, which is located at 4815 Argyle Street in Port Alberni.
Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—January 31, 2019
Letters to the editor As a member of the Traditional Government for the Mi’kmaq Nation for the district of Epekwitk of Prince Edward Island I fully support the Heredity Chiefs in British Columbia and their members who are fighting to maintain that Indigenous law is the rule of law in their land. It is important for all Canadians to understand why we Mi’kimaq, a people looking out on our Atlantic shores, care so much about what is happening on the other side of the continent within sight of the Pacific. It is because we share a common experience. Our highest courts have recognized indigenous law. On December 11, 1997, The Supreme Court of Canada in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia set a precedent for how treaty rights are understood in Canadian courts, affirming the recognition of oral testimony from Indigenous people, a cornerstone of our traditional ways. Yet, the RCMP use their violent authority, their powers of arrest to manhandle our elders and our women. That is a blatant disrespect. We have deep respect for our Elders and our Indigenous women because they carry, give birth to life and care for our children. Tense terrorist actions against our people by the RCMP clearly shows us that the historic terrorism by the government of Canada and the RCMP is still practiced in this country. It is sad indeed to see our elders, women and other people, arrested for protesting the destruction of their environment, our Sacred Mother Earth and her precious water, fish, berries, plants and animals. We depend on these for healthy food for now and for future generations of people - whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous. Here on our beautiful PEI, Mi’kmaq ancestors never surrendered any territory to the British Crown or the Crown in right of Canada. This means that under the provisions of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 we still own all of what is
now called Prince Edward Island. The Royal Proclamation also stated that; “but that, if at any Time any of the said Indians should be inclined to dispose of the said Lands, the same shall be purchased only for Us, in our Name, at some public Meeting or Assembly of the said Indians, to be held for the purpose by the Governor or Commander in Chief of our Colony…”0 [.]” They put this in the Royal Proclamation because there was so much fraud on the part of the colonial powers. This caused much friction between the British and the Mi’Kmaq. It also guarantees that one or two Mi’Kmaq people can’t make a deal with the government to sell any land. The sellers and the government must take any sale to the Assembly of Mi’Kmaq. The 1763 Royal Proclamation forbid British governors from granting the right to survey or settle any lands which had not already been sold to the Crown, or might be sold by treaty in the future. British subjects later settled throughout our lands in violation of what we considered treaty right to keep them and their resources. By comparison, most of British Columbia was settled - and continues to be settled - without any treaties. British Columbia First Nations maintain that they have never given up any of their aboriginal land rights. On December 11, 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed with the British Columbia Hereditary Chiefs that they had the power over their traditional lands and that their laws prevailed on the Delgamuukw decision.
Community&Beyond Family Day Science Camp
Suicide Peer Support Group
First Thursday, Monthly
10am to 3pm at the alberni Athletic Hall, Come have some fun with the Science World team of Vancouver! Free event. Hosted by Uchucklesaht Tribe Government
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.
Yours Sincerely, Keptin DR. John Joe Sark LLD Member of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council for the Distich of Epekwitk (PEI)
Connect the dots and color!
January 31, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
---------- EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ----------
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation
**** JOB OPPORTUNITY **** Village Maintenance Foreman Full-time Temporary, Ty-Histanis To view full posting please visit www.hashilthsas.com/careers-training
To view more job postings visit www.hashilthsas.com/careers-training
Deadline to apply is: Friday February 8th by 4:30pm Submit your resume and cover letter to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or by Fax: 250.725.3352 Or drop at the office in a sealed envelope at #1119 Pacific Rim Highway Tofino
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Tower brings improved cell service to Sproat Lake Rogers’ investment gives cell reception for eastern part of lake, but gap still exists further west on Highway 4 By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - One of the largest lakes in Nuu-chah-nulth territory now has improved wireless service with the recent installation of a cellular tower. At the end of December Rogers Communications activated the new cell tower on Sproat Lake, which is visible at night with a red beacon that can be seen from high elevations in Port Alberni. Located by Faber Road at the southeast section of the lake, the cell tower provides service that was previously nonexistent for much of the area. “No longer will Sproat Lake residents have to travel down the road to get cellular coverage,” said Penny Cote, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District’s director for the Sproat Lake electoral area. “This new tower will provide cell coverage for approximately 2,000 permanent residents at Sproat Lake, and more than double that in the summer months.” The announcement was made on Jan. 23 at the main ACRD administrative office in Port Alberni, where representatives from Rogers Communications came from Vancouver to speak about the development. “For the first time on Sproat Lake, our customers can enjoy high-speed wireless coverage via a 4G LTE network, and this includes voice, text and data,” said Rick
Photo by Eric Plummer
ACRD Chairperson John Jack, Rogers Communications B.C. President Rick Sellers and Penny Cote, the ACRD electoral area director for Sproat Lake, announced the cell tower development on Jan. 23. Sellers, Rogers Communications B.C. president. “For emergency personnel this new coverage will help us effectively respond to all incidents. Being connected will increase economic opportunities and also support local businesses.” For years Cote and the regional district have been pushing for better cellular service on the lake, and back in June of 2015 the ACRD formally passed a resolution to issue a letter of land use concurrence to allow the construction of a tower.
“We had an accident last year where there were injuries and we had to drive a long ways to get to anywhere where they had cellar coverage,” said Cote. “The Sproat Lake Fire Department, first responders, search and rescue, 911, Sproat Lake Marine Patrol, foresters, boaters, hikers and recreational users of all types will benefit from this new service.” This investment from Rogers Communications follows the construction of a cell tower on a stretch of Highway 16
in northern B.C., serving the Witset First Nation. “That was obviously important because they didn’t have any coverage at all,” said Sellers, adding that the company continues to look at potential service tower locations if the economics are viable. “Where it makes sense from both sides, we’ll make sure that we do work with the provincial government when they’ve identified a need and a requirement. If it makes sense from our perspective, then we’ll certainly help them where we can.” Cote added that the new cell tower complements the ongoing development of the Alberni Valley Regional Airport, which is located just north of Sproat Lake. With an expanded runway from over $6 million in investment, the airport can now receive larger aircraft. “This investment from Rogers Communications is another asset for us which will greatly benefit this community, opening up economic development opportunities by linking Sproat Lake into the cellular world,” said Cote. The new tower will not provide cell service for all of Sproat Lake, just the majority of the east side where most people live and use the lake. Travellers heading to the west coast on Highway 4 will still encounter a gap in cell reception at the farther reaches of Sproat Lake until the vicinity of Long Beach.
Port Alberni looks to be more than just a port of call By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Three cruise ship visits to Port Alberni in the coming months will be different from past visits, including more First Nations involvement and potential long-term business opportunities. MS Maasdam, a 56,000-tonne ship owned by Seattle-based Holland America Line, is scheduled to sail past Polly’s Point May 25, June 15 and July 26, carrying more than 1,200 passengers to Harbour Quay. “Getting three visits is a real coup,” said Bill Collette, manager of Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce. “The opportunities are substantial for us in town for showcasing the natural beauty and the First Nations communities.” There are opportunities not only in local tourism but in the major growth of the cruise ship market. According to the tracking website CruiseMapper, the industry is poised for significant growth with 2018 revenues of $40 billion forecast to rise to $59 billion by 2027. North America generates more than half that business. Maasdam’s visits are part of Holland America’s “expedition demographic” test for a younger, more active type of cruise passenger. Named after the Maas River in the Netherlands, Maasdam is a sister ship to MS Statendam, which visited the port in 2009. These are medium-sized vessels built 25 to 30 years ago with a high degree of comfort and luxury. In recent years, the industry has expanded its fleet with ever greater variety, bringing larger and smaller additions into the picture. Symphony of the Seas, launched in 2018, is the largest passenger ship ever built, five times the size of the Titanic. Meanwhile, 32 smaller ships are on order worldwide, signalling a fresh approach to the traditional silver-haired cruise market.
Holland America photo
MS Maasdam, shown here at anchor in the Caribbean with its fleet of Zodiacs alongside, visits Port Alberni this spring and summer. Those trends offer an opportunity for the community as a whole to work together to build regional tourism based on the valley’s natural features, outdoor recreation and authentic experiences. The City of Port Alberni, Port Alberni Port Authority and Alberni Valley Tourism are investing $50,000 or more on preparations, including a facelift for Harbour Quay, to ensure the welcome leaves visitors impressed. Collette said the idea is to capitalize on the visits so that the port becomes a more frequent stop on the world cruise map in future years. “It’s very important,” he said. “They’re only here a few hours. I think if we showcase properly, everybody has a chance to win. It’s a big opportunity to tease a little and promote tourism. It’s our opportunity to market the area. My role is to quarterback everything.” In partnership with the city and local First Nations, the chamber has to make the most of what will be brief, one-day affairs. The ship is expected to arrive mid-morning and weigh anchor by 5 p.m. A cruise ship committee has tapped about two dozen local people to manage
various tasks ranging from music to traffic management. Jeff Cook, a Huu-ay-aht ha’wilth (hereditary chief), and Corey Anderson, Tseshaht councillor, have volunteered to co-ordinate the First Nations component for the three visits. Long active in the valley community — he was named Port Alberni’s Citizen of the Year in 2017 — Cook said a lot of preparation is in order. He sounded out the two host First Nations, Tseshaht and Hupacasath, on the spring and summer visits. “They’ve shown an interest in the cruise ships coming to town,” said Cook, who sits on the port authority board. “We really haven’t done any planning yet, but we’d like to see a strong First Nations component and a welcoming ceremony.” He wants to see wider participation by local First Nations beyond the dockside ceremonies when the vessel ties up at Harbour Quay. That may consist of tours tying in the Tseshaht big house or Hupacasath businesses. A community activist and promoter of the valley, Cook sees the long-term potential if Port Alberni can make a lasting impression. Economic development for
Hupacasath and Tseshaht should be part of the overall plan. “There’s got to be some benefit for First Nations other than being open and welcoming,” he said. The various co-ordinators are about to embark on the next round of preparations. They’re taking part in special training sessions on Jan. 30-31. Aquila Centre for Cruise Excellence, a New Brunswickbased company that provides cruise experience training. Collette said Port Alberni has proven to be a hit with the more traditional cruise market, based on feedback from previous visits through cruise-line excursions out of Nanaimo. “We’re not a tourism mecca yet, but we have a lot of tourism potential,” he said. “They love what we have. What we have, others don’t have,” he added, listing the heritage railway, McLean Mill, Alberni Inlet and natural attractions. Holland America’s website lists three options for the Port Alberni stop, a two to three-hour coach excursion to Cathedral Grove, a five-hour road tour to Stamp Falls and Little Qualicum Falls and a city highlights alternative.
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Harnessing ancestral teachings in traditional lands By Deborah Potter Ha-Shilth-Sa Staff Tofino, BC - Just south of Tofino, in the traditional lands of Tla-o-qui-aht, Joe Martin can be found carving a new cedar canoe. This project is a 22-foot long Nuu-chahnulth style canoe that he is carving with Gary Martin, which will be in honour of his great, great grandfather. “I was taught (how to carve) at a very young age, by my father and grandfather,” Martin says, talking about the traditional ways of canoe carving. Back then, he would use the traditional carving tools, which are stone, bone, and fire. Today, Martin uses tools available at any local hardware store, a saw, wedges, hammers, and chisels. But where he carves still remains the same; Martin carves all his canoes out in the forest. “It’s where I can get back in touch with the land,” Martin explains.
Martin talks about the protocols and laws of the land regarding canoe carving, specifying that they are intended to “provide our need, not our greed.” He also stresses the importance of picking the right tree, one that doesn’t house bird nests, or a shelter for wolves or bears. Felling a tree in the proper season is important as well, cutting one down in the fall or winter so as not to disturb as much wildlife in comparison to the warmer seasons. Martin is carving a second canoe with Don Williams Jr, which will be a 24foot Haida-style canoe. Martin goes on to explain that in a Haida-style canoe, the bow is slightly raised and angled back, while the stern is slanted and finely curved upwards. A Nuu-chah-nulth-style has a raised bow, and the stern is almost straight upwards. The two different styled canoes Martin is carving both came from the same cedar tree.
Photo submitted by Joe Martin
Joe Martin works on one of his many canoes in his forest workshop.
Ha-Shilth-Sa Archive photos
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