Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper July 2, 2021

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INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 48 - No. 13—July 2, 2021 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776

Photo by Denise Titian

Diamond Atleo, Peter Campbell, Tayshaun Charleson, Jaa-deen Charlie, Corby Frank and Joe Frank attend their high school graduation ceremony in Ahousaht on June 29. Maaqtusiis Secondary School celebrated 20 graduates this year. More on page 19.

No appeal from feds on fishing rights ruling Decision to not challenge court decision now tasks DFO to finish a reconciliation agreement with five nations By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor A court battle over Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights that has spanned nearly two decades appears to be over, with a decision from the federal government not to appeal a recent court ruling. On June 22 the Ha’oom Fisheries Society, which represents the fishing rights of the Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint, Hesquiaht, Mowachaht/Muchalaht and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, announced that Ottawa would not be pursuing further litigation after reviewing an April 19 decision from the B.C. Court of Appeal. In this spring’s unanimous decision, the judges overturned a 2018 ruling from the B.C. Supreme Court that had narrowed the nations’ right to commercially harvest and sell species from their territorial waters. This led representatives from the nations to see this as a victory, and now after multiple court challenges and appeals, Ha’oom is congratulating the Government of Canada on not challenging the recent decision. This news came after the discovery of the remains of 215 buried children at the former site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in early June. Ahousaht’s lead negotiator Cliff Atleo said that the traumatic aftermath of the residential school discovery was not ignored by the federal government, as they weighed the possibility of challenging Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights again in court. “We’re on the eve of an election,” said Atleo. “We’ve got the Kamloops stuff, the horror show there. Politically they had no choice.”

With the goal of revitalising the historical role Nuu-chah-nulth communities had in commercial fishing, the next step is for the feds to conclude a reconciliation agreement with the five nations this summer, according to Ha’oom. “The hard work actually begins, because it’s our job to convince Canada to accept our perspective of reconciliation, not their limited perspective of keeping us down all of the time,” said Atleo. “I think that there’s an opportunity. The climate is right for change of approach and attitudes and actually have them start listening to our interests - actually be able to have a way of life that sustains our communities, families and children.” The April court decision removed the terms “small scale”, “artisanal”, and “local” that were previously applied to the First Nations’ fisheries by the B.C. Supreme Court in 2018. Now the courts have defined the scope to “a non-exclusive, multi-species, limited commercial fishery aimed at wide community participation, to be conducted in their court-defined area for fishing, which extends nine nautical miles offshore,” according to the April 19 ruling from Justices Groberman, Fenlon and Fisher. “It would appear from all that has been said that the plaintiffs’ rights are to a fishery of a moderate commercial scale,” continued the judgement. But shortly before this ruling was released, documents drafted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada show an unwillingness to expand the commercial scale the five Nuu-chah-nulth nations can participate in the industry. “DFO is of the view that wide community participation is facilitated by the

Inside this issue... Pacheedaht tells protestors to vacate..........................Page 3 Work begins at Alberni residential school site...........Page 4 Investigators continue Lisa Marie Young search........Page 9 Surfing team for Tla-o-qui-aht youth.................Pages 10-11 Ahousaht celebrates class of 2021............................Page 19

Cliff Atleo use of small, low-cost boats with limited technology and restricted catching power,” reads this year’s Five Nations Multi-species Fishery Management Plan. “Vessels with a higher level of catching power are also more likely to exceed management measures intended to meet conservation objectives, such as limiting non-target catch.” Current allocations reflect this view, showing the five nations with a small portion of the catch off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Out of 88,000 chinook allocated off the west coast, the nations were given 7,821 for commercial harvest. Another 5,000 is designated for First Nations food, social and ceremonial purposes, while the sports fishery has 40,000 and the Area G troll fleet is allotted 31,738. The treaty Maa-nulth nations are allocated another 3,441. These numbers came from meetings with the DFO in April, and Atleo has yet

to see any improvements to what the five nations are permitted to catch under the federal department’s management plan. “Canada has to quit being scared of us being as successful as the rest of Canada,” he said, adding that the management of ocean resources could improve by giving First Nations a larger role. “We’ve been promoting that Canada simplify things by actually providing all of First Nations in B.C. half of everything.” The court battle that became known as the Ahousaht et al. case can be traced back to April 2003, when Nuu-chah-nulth nations filed a writ of summons against Canada and British Columbia for not honouring their Aboriginal fishing rights. This resulted in the Nov. 3, 2009 B.C. Supreme Court ruling that the five nations have an Aboriginal right to harvest and sell fish from their respective territories, a decision that Canada challenged multiple times unsuccessfully. After a 144-day justification trial on the scope of the Aboriginal right that concluded more than four years ago and this year’s updated decision from the B.C. Court of Appeal, the time is now for meaningful negotiations, said Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “We call on the DFO to come to the table immediately and begin dialogue with these five nations to determine sufficient allocations,” she said in a statement. “It is past time to do so. Our fishermen have waited long enough to pursue their livelihood and the court has definitively ruled on this right. It is a sad reflection on Canada that they fought the Nuu-chahnulth in court for 18 years instead of negotiating.”

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

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Pacheedaht calls for protestors to vacate Fairy Creek Wildfire danger during high temperatures and failure to follow protocol leads First Nation to issue statement By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Port Renfrew, BC - Due to the recordbreaking temperatures sweeping British Columbia, the Pacheedaht First Nation have issued a statement calling for protestors to vacate the Fairy Creek area with the increased risk of wildfires. “To prevent the possibility of human caused wildfires that could threaten the Pacheedaht First Nation community, businesses and natural resources, including old-growth forests in the Fairy Creek area, and with the safety of the protestors in mind, the Pacheedaht is requesting that all protestors immediately cease fire activity, such as campfires, and vacate their traditional territory,” read the statement. According to Environment Canada, at least 54 daily heat records were broken in British Columbia on Saturday, June 26. Amid the heatwave, there has been a growing concern about the threat of wildfires. In the last seven days, 26 new fires were reported by the B.C. Wildfire Service. The request is being made in consideration of the nation’s constitutional right to decide what is best for its lands, waters, and resources, read the statement. On June 7, the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations signed the Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration, which called for a two-year deferral of oldgrowth logging in the Central Walbran and Fairy Creek regions as they prepare resource management plans. “The three nations declared that in accordance with our traditional laws and our constitutionally protected Aboriginal

Photo by Melissa Renwick

A protestor is arrested at the Caycuse old-growth logging blockade established by the Rainforest Flying Squad, near Port Renfrew, on May 19. rights and title and treaty rights, our gov- stationed at various blockades throughout ernance and stewardship responsibilities the Caycuse and Fairy Creek watersheds in our ḥahahuułi (traditional territories) to prevent Teal-Jones from accessing must be acknowledged and respected,” what they consider the last remaining said Pacheedaht First Nation elected chief old-growth forests untouched by indusJeff Jones, in a statement. trial logging. The request was approved by the B.C. “While a temporary reprieve is in place government on June 9, however the for the Fairy Creek watershed itself, huge Rainforest Flying Squad, an old-growth trees are still being cut down every day activist group, said the logging deferral in the connected, surrounding forests on has “changed little.” Pacheedaht ancestral territory,” the flying Since August, the flying squad has been squad said in a release on June 21.

Since the deferral was announced, over 35 hectares have been logged in the Caycuse alone, according to the Rainforest Flying Squad. Under the guidance of Pacheedaht elder Bill Jones, Kathleen Code, a spokesperson for the Rainforest Flying Squad, said they will stand their ground as long as the old-growth is vulnerable to logging. Recognizing that it is fire season, Code said the Rainforest Flying Squad is currently drafting a wildfire protocol, which includes a ban on campfires, smoking, use of tools that can produce a spark, along with no backing of vehicles into long grass. “We are there to protect the oldgrowth,” she said. “We still perceive that there is a danger that those trees could be logged the moment we are not there to protect them. We are taking every precaution to make sure that we are protecting both the forest and our people.” Meanwhile, the Pacheedaht First Nation said it is committed to undertaking a formal integrated planning process to determine how best to manage the resources in their traditional territory. “With old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek watershed now deferred for two years, an integrated resource management planning process underway and with the increased risk of forest fires due to high temperatures, there is no reason for the protestors to continue to occupy our traditional territory,” said Jones. “We respectfully reiterate our request for protestors to leave our traditional territory and let our nation get on with the business of deciding how best to manage our ḥahahuułi.”

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Inquest into death of Jocelyn George extends 8 days Officers recall finding the 18-year-old in a delusional state, unable to recover from drug use after a day in cells By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - With a dozen of her family members sitting in the audience, the eight-day coroners inquest into the death of Jocelyn George began June 21, with hope that a public examination of the circumstances around the tragedy will enable more timely intervention for others in the future. Overseen by Coroner Margaret Janzen, a team of lawyers began their questioning of at least 30 witnesses scheduled to appear. Representing the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, the City of Port Alberni and the public interest of the inquest itself, the legal counsellors filled the stage of Port Alberni’s Capital Theatre before a jury of five. Although it is conducted like a courtroom, the inquest is not a trial leading to a legal judgement, but rather a public examination of the facts directly connected to George’s death in 2016. Jurors are tasked to objectively determine indications of systemic failure and make recommendations that may prevent future tragedies under similar circumstances. According to Matthew Lucas, George’s uncle who is speaking on behalf of the family, improvements are needed in how authorities and emergency personnel deal with someone experiencing a druginduced crisis. “I hope that we find a way to intervene in young people that are involved in the drug world,” he said outside the Capital Theatre on the first day of the inquest. “People are still dying, I think we’ve lost more people to overdoses than the actual coronavirus. So which is the pandemic?” Jocelyn George died from heart failure on June 24, almost exactly five years ago. On the morning of the previous day police found the 18-year-old sitting on the steps of the Salvation Army’s former location on Redford Street. Barefoot and scantily dressed on a rainy morning, the attending officers found her to be soft spoken, but delusional and appearing to be under the influence of drugs. “She was stating to me that she was playing hide and seek and that the others hadn’t found her yet,” said retired Const. Richard Gagnon, one of the two officers who attended. “What she was saying just didn’t make sense.” Const. Beth O’Connor found George to be vulnerable and unable to care for herself. “She appeared to me to be under the influence of something, I would have guessed some kind of a stimulant,” said

Photo by Eric Plummer

Family members April Lucas, Mamie Lucas, Colin Frank and Matthew Lucas stand outside the Capital Theatre holding pictures of Jocelyn George on June 21, the first day of a coroners inquest into the circumstances surrounding her death after a night in police custody five years ago. high heart and respiratory rate, George ing concerning behaviour. Appearing to O’Connor during her testimony. “One of arrived at Port Alberni’s West Coast Genbe delusional and under the influence of the responses that I recall was that she eral just after 9 a.m. Amphetamines and was baking cookies, that she was playing drugs, she was soon assessed by ambucocaine were still detected in her system, lance personnel, who did not deem her hide and seek with her friends.” prompting a flight to Victoria’s Royal in need of hospitalization. This put the During his testimony, Gagnon, who reJubilee Hospital that afternoon. responsibility on police to return her to a tired from the RCMP in 2017, recounted But it was already too late, recounted taking George to her address of residence, cell, where she remained for the evening. Lucas, who was at the Port Alberni hosVideo footage taken over that night but no one was there to receive her. He pital with other family members while his then brought her to her mother, Claudette shows George sitting up and lying down niece was being treated. in her cell numerous times. At 1:28 Lucas, who was caring for George’s two “They couldn’t find a pulse,” he said. a.m. she drank water from a tap, but she young children and informed the officer “I said to the doctor, ‘It seems like my wasn’t eating, and hadn’t for two days, that she would be unable to manage the according to what was reported to police. niece is gone’. He just kept saying, ‘It’s a teenager. In the past while in a similar shame that we have to move her’.” When he began his shift that morning state George would just leave, recounted Records show George went into cardiac Gagnon said he heard from the cell guard Gagnon. arrest at 7:08 p.m., and was pronounced that George was not getting better. “Her mother stated to me that she was dead shortly thereafter. Five years later, “I recall him saying that she appeared taking care of Jocelyn’s children at the her family has had the chance to say to be still under the intoxication of time,” he said. “She just thought it was goodbye, but see others in Port Alberni something, as she hadn’t eaten all night, not appropriate to have her in the house who are undergoing similar struggles. she hadn’t drank that he was aware of in the condition she was at, so if I could “In our hearts, we’ve dealt with our and that she didn’t appear to be getting take her back to cells and hold her until grieving for her. We’ve dealt with her better from when she was first brought she was able to take care of herself.” and sent her away,” reflected Lucas as he into cells,” he said. “She was just rolling By 7 a.m. George was taken into stood outside the inquest venue in Port around like she was still impaired.” custody at the Port Alberni detachment, Alberni’s uptown district. “I hope that By 7:33 a.m. she was finally given food detained under B.C.’s Mental Health Act. we can find a way to get our girls and and water, but the cell guard noted that She remained in the cell until she was our young people okay. When you drive she did not eat and had a dry mouth, deemed fit for release at 4:23 p.m. down here you see people that are inprompting another call to ambulance. But about an hour later a friend called volved in heavy drug use. It’s a tragedy.” With a very low blood pressure with a 911 reporting that George was still show-

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Research begins into unmarked graves at Alberni site Tseshaht start investigating undocumented burial at former residential school, as province commits funding By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Port Alberni, BC - When Jeff Cooke first heard that the remains of 215 children were found buried in an unmarked grave at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, he was pained with heartache. As the Huu-ay-aht elder thought of all of those children who never made it home, he said he was reminded of his own experience at the Alberni Indian Residential School and the possibility that more burial sites remained uncovered. “It’s pretty emotional,” he said. “Particularly for survivors of residential schools.” Since the missing children were located in Kamloops last month, Tseshaht First Nation elected chief Ken Watts said he’s received at least one call every day from survivors with leads to potential sites. After consulting with hereditary chiefs, residential school survivors, council and staff, the nation applied to Ottawa, requesting some of the $27 million federal funding being made available to help communities locate children who died at residential schools. There are 139 recognized residential schools in Canada. If the $27 million was distributed equally among them all, Tseshaht would receive less than $200,000. “It’s probably not going to be enough to do it right,” said Watts. “I’m hoping they go beyond that … it’s really important to honour those children that never made it home.” Ontario recently pledged $10 million to investigate residential school sites, followed by a $12-million commitment from the province to support work at the locations of B.C.’s 18 former schools. “We are working closely with [the] federal government to support requests from First Nations,” said the B.C. Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “With respect to investigations at other former residential school sites, we have received several requests and are working through what is needed.” As First Nations determine the next steps, the ministry said they’ll be taking guidance directly from the communities. “Each child has been forever taken from a family and a community that loved them,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement about the burial site at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. “This is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. And it is a stark example

Photo by Eric Plummer

Charlie Thompson speaks during a June 7 gathering at the former site of the Alberni Indian Residential School. Like many former students of the school, Thompson wants recognition of the children buried in the site, and answers as to why they never came home. province to demolish a former resideneight years old. The abuse from three of of the violence the Canadian residential his supervisors began during his first year tial school building. A cultural centre is school system inflicted upon Indigenous at the school and persisted throughout the planned to be built in its place. peoples and how the consequences of Watts is following their lead by seeking 10 years he was there. these atrocities continue to this day.” funding from the federal and provincial The Ditidaht elder is still filled with Right now, Watts said the nation needs governments to do the same. anger. In part, because he never got to the funding to hire someone to help with “I believe [they] have an obligation, confront his abusers before they passed. the research and to answer phone calls both morally and financially, to help us As he continues to care for his open from survivors. do the important work we need to do,” he wounds, the 73-year-old said he hopes “We need to hear the stories, do the said. “If you’re a survivor from northern that finding the children who went missscanning, come back with a report, B.C., and you want to come back to the ing from the Alberni Indian Residential determine next steps and make sure it’s site and reclaim who you are, it’d be nice all grounded in our culture,” he said. “It’s School will help others heal. to know that there’s a facility there to “It will help when these kids find their not just running a machine through our way back home,” he said. “Rightly where support you and your work.” territory – it’s cleansing the space and Indigenous people across Canada have they should have went.” cleansing the people that go in to do that heard horror stories about residential Buildings from the former residential work so they don’t have that negative schools for decades. school still stand within the community energy on them.” “A lot of people knew about the abuse,” of Tseshaht, like the Maht Mahs Gym. Part of the research will include idenWatts described Tseshaht’s territory as a said Watts. “People knew that a lot of tifying every student who attended the children didn’t make it home … but these Alberni Indian Residential School in Port hub for Nuu-chah-nulth people. Cultural aren’t just stories anymore. This is real. gatherings are often held in the gymnasiAlberni, said Watts. um, but when residential school survivors This is solid evidence that the horror “We owe it to the people that were see the building, many are triggered, said stories they say are true.” there,” he said. “Whether they’re with us Even though the Alberni Indian Resinow, or they’re gone, or they never made Watts. dential School was placed in Tseshaht ter“It’s such a reminder,” he said. “It’s an it home, we need to honour them.” ritory without the nation’s consent, Watts open wound that we hope we can take Similar to a war memorial, Watts said down someday – sooner rather than said they now “have a responsibility to they would like to commemorate every support [the families] to get the answers later.” student that attended the school, includthey need and deserve.” ing a special list of the names of the Recently, the Daylu Dena Council in Lower Post, a remote town near the B.C.“There’s lots of work to do and this is students who never returned home. just the beginning,” he said. “It’s going to Yukon border, received $11.5 million in Jack Thompson was sent to the Alberni federal funding and $1.5 million from the be tough, but it will provide some relief.” Indian Residential School when he was


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Ahousaht to search former residential school grounds Records show numerous children died at the Flores Island school in the early 1900s, a short walk from village By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ahousaht, BC – The grounds of the former Ahousaht Indian Residential School are now cleared of all buildings as the first nation begins prepping the site for a new healing center. But in the wake of news of hundreds of undocumented remains found at the former Kamloops residential school site, the nation will have the grounds searched for any unmarked graves. In a media statement issued June 3, Ahousaht Chief Councillor Greg Louie noted that there were two separate residential schools operating in Ahousaht territories. One, the Ahousaht Indian Residential School, was on Flores Island, just a short walk from Ahousaht’s main village, Maaqtusiis. The second was the Catholic-run Christie Indian Residential School, located on Meares Island for about 70 years, before it was relocated to Tin Wis for its last decade of operation. Run by the Presbyterian Church, the Ahousaht Indian Residential School first opened in 1895 on a plot of land just south of the main village. The building and teachers’ quarters could be seen above a small beach as one traveled by boat to the village. The original three-story residential school, built in 1904, housed 50 children. It burnt down in 1916. A day school operated for a few years until a new building could be constructed. Ahousaht boys built the second building as part of their education. The second building was smaller, designed to house 25 children. It too, burned down in 1940. After the fire, the Ahousaht children were sent home, about a five-minute walk to the village. The children from Kels-

Photo submitted by B.C. Archives

Run by the Presbyterian Church, the Ahousaht Indian Residential School first opened in 1895 on a plot of land just south of the main village. and the parents were not told the reasonmaht, Ehattesaht and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ were UCC website, The Children Rememing for the death of their child. Other also sent home. bered. stories share that babies were born to Ahousaht non-Catholic children were Chief Billy, a high-ranking Ahousaht children at the school and the babies were required to attend a day school in a build- Ha’wilth, was angry that his son died not seen after birth,” said Louie in a stateing on the residential school grounds that in the school and pressed for corrective ment. measures from the school. hadn’t been damaged by the fire. They Ahousaht is not only calling on the fedremained there until the new day school According to the UCC, community leaderal government to fully implement the buildings were completed in the village. ers petitioned to have the staff replaced According to United Church of Canaand parents pulled their children from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, but also the UN’s da’s archives, which includes letters and residence. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous school records kept by principals and “Billy was angry with the school not Peoples. Indian agents, there were documented just because his son had died on their Further, Ahousaht is calling on both watch, but because of the way Will’s student deaths at the school. It is noted the federal and provincial governments death had been handled,” states a report that many children in poor health were to provide the resources to not only sent home. written by a school inspector. Ahousaht, but all First Nations, so that “…in 1907, the death of student Will The inspector wrote further that Chief they can conduct searches using ground Maquinna, son of hereditary chief Billy, Billy wanted the situation corrected acpenetrating radar, in areas where residenprecipitated a major crisis,” states the cording to Nuu-chah-nulth protocol. “Billy asked Principal J.L. Millar to give tial schools were located. In the case of remains being found, Ahousaht demands him 50 blankets to potlatch, but Milthat the governments provide resources to lar refused. Instead he paid for the two identify and return remains home, where blankets used to bury the boy,” wrote the possible. inspector. Ahousaht is in the process of developing The UCC states that records show the land where Ahousaht IRS once stood. that from 1904 to 1916, deaths among students at Ahousaht IRS averaged one to They could not be reached for details about the search of the property or the two a year, from a typical school population of 35. They note that children were construction of the new healing facility generally in poor health, in large part, due that will be built there. On Meares Island, where Christie Indian to the crowded and unsanitary conditions Residential School once stood, the propat the residence. 2021 DAC Annual Health Ability Fair Cancelled There was no indoor plumbing, the erty has been transformed into a camping Due to the uncertainty of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic for the fall of building was cold, the water was not and hiking destination. It also serves as a 2021, the NTC Disability Access Committee has decided that it is in everyone’s clean and the children slept together in healing retreat for Ahousaht. There is a small cemetery at the Christie dormitories. Even the staff got sick. best interest to cancel the 2021 Annual Health Ability Fair. The health and site, a remnant of the residential school. “…children died while at these schools well-being of everyone is paramount, and we would not want to put anyone at any risk. It is our hope that we will be able to safely host a DAC Health Ability Fair in the Spring 2022. We will keep you posted.

Regional Community Wellness Fairs, NTC Health Promotion Our DAC group has been invited to work in collaboration with Matilda Atleo, Health Promotion Worker to plan and host Regional Community Wellness Fairs in October 2021. These will be on a smaller scale, so we feel that this is something that we support and can be involved with safely.


The schedule for the Regional Community Wellness Fairs is provided for planning purposes. More details to follow, when event plans are finalized and in advance of the dates for each location.

1. 2. 3.

October 7, 2021 in Port Alberni at the Alberni Athletic Hall October 14, 2021 in Tofino (location to be confirmed); October 22, 2021 in Campbell River (location to be confirmed)

Please mark your calendars. Further details will be shared closer to the event dates. In the meantime, we hope that you take good care of yourselves, be safe and have a wonderful summer!

Chuu, Helen Dick, DAC Chairperson & Florence Wylie, DAC Coordinator

Hours of operation - 7:00 am - 10:30 pm Phone: 724-3944 E-mail: claudine@tseshahtmarket.ca Find us on Facebook

Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2021 Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper is published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for distribution to the members of the NTC-member First Nations, as well as other interested groups and individuals. Information and original work contained in this newspaper is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission from: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2. Telephone: (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 Web page: www.hashilthsa.com facebook: Hashilthsa Ntc

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

Audio / Video Technician Mike Watts (Ext. 238) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 mike.watts@nuuchahnulth.org Editorial Assistant Holly Stocking (Ext. 302) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org

DEADLINE: Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is July 16, 2021 After that date, material submitted and judged appropriate cannot be guaranteed placement but, if material is still relevant, will be included in the following issue. In an ideal world, submissions would be typed rather than hand-written. Articles can be sent by e-mail to holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org (Windows PC). Submitted pictures must include a brief description of subject(s) and a return address. Pictures with no return address will remain on file. Allow two - four weeks for return. Photocopied or faxed photographs cannot be accepted.

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

City raises Tseshaht, Hupacasath flags As part of reconciliation, nations’ flags permanently fly at Port Alberni City Hall By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – A block of Argyle Street in front of Port Alberni City Hall was closed off to traffic for a very special event on June 21, 2021. The street was filled with tables and decorated in orange as the City of Port Alberni celebrated National Aboriginal Day. They announced, in the spirit of reconciliation, that they would permanently fly Hupacasath and Tseshaht flags at City Hall. Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions noted that the flags of the two First Nations, whose traditional territories make up Port Alberni, have been flown on National Aboriginal Day in the past but they were taken down at the end of the day. Emcee and City Manager Tim Pley, who is not Indigenous, introduced himself in the Nuu-chah-nulth language. He acknowledged that Port Alberni is within Tseshaht and Hupacasath territories and called the raising of the flags a small but very important step toward reconciliation. He called for a moment of silence to allow people to reflect on the lives of the hundreds of children that were taken from their families, never to return and for those that have yet to be found. The color orange was selected for decorations and clothing in remembrance of the children whose unmarked graves were found at Kamloops Indian Residential School in early June. Mayor Minions said that the flag raising ceremony had its beginnings in a reconciliation walk that ended at City Hall a few years before. There were more than 200 people that took part in the walk from Harbour Quay to City Hall on Mar. 27, 2017. The participants included people from Tseshaht, Hupacasath and the greater Port Alberni community. From that walk, a reconciliation committee was formed, made up of Tseshaht, Hupacasath, Indigenous residents from other nations and non-Indigenous locals. According to Minions, the committee came up with 27 recommendations to advance reconciliation in the city. The inclusion of the Indigenous flags at City Hall is one of those recommendations that they hope will lead people on the path to healing and respect, said

Photo by Denise Titian

The flags were raised during an event on June 21, marking National Aboriginal Day. Minions. MLA Josie Osborne said it is significant to see the relationship-building between the city and local First Nations. National Aboriginal Day, she said, is a day to celebrate culture and the contributions of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. But it’s also a time, Osborne noted, for Canadians to recognize that racism and discrimination against Indigenous people still exists. “This is a day of reflection, it’s a time for settlers to be unsettled,” said Osborne. She asked that people look within at their own biases and colonial history. “We have a lot of work to do,” she said. “It’s hard work, but it’s rewarding work and it’s time to do better.” Jolleen Dick, a member of Hupacasath elected council, reminded people that it’s not just National Aboriginal Day, but the month of June is Aboriginal month. She noted that the First People’s Cultural Council have language learning tools available on their website. “Maybe more people can learn (Nuuchah-nulth language) and we can have a discussion in our language,” she sug-

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gested. Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts also introduced himself in Tseshaht language. He reminded people that Alberni Indian Residential School was located in Tseshaht territory and they have some important work to do. He talked about the progress being made on the road to reconciliation with the city. “Down the road at Harbour Quay there is a stop sign in our language and mural…and A.W. Neil school has been renamed,” he noted. Mayor Minions said she is most proud of the relationship building that has been taking place. She acknowledged the sadness of the Kamloops Indian Residential School discoveries and how it has sparked dialogue among survivors. “Hearing those stories is difficult, but it is important to hear those stories because it helps us to understand,” she said. “If we want our future to be better than the past, we have to engage.” Looking to the future, Ken Watts said, “I hope we raise children that will end racism.”

Ha-Shilth-Sa belongs to every Nuu-chah-nulth person including those who have passed on, and those who are not yet born. A community newspaper cannot exist without community involvement. If you have any great pictures you’ve taken, stories or poems you’ve written, or artwork you have done, please let us know so we can include it in your newspaper. E-mail holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org. This year is Ha-Shilth-Sa’s 47th year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!

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July 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7

Old growth critical for culture, economy: Huu-ay-aht With the need to bring its people out of poverty, the First Nation responds to calls for a logging moratorium By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Calls for a moratorium on old growth logging could go against constitutional rights, warns the Huu-ay-aht, as they weight the need to retain forests for future generations against the immediate task of bringing more of their people out of poverty. As part of the Maa-nulth treaty, the Nuu-chah-nulth nation is stressing its right to be considered in any decisions to halt old growth logging in its territory. Calls for a moratorium have gained prominence recently, as after 10 months the Rainforest Flying Squad continues to occupy blockades near Port Renfrew in Pacheedaht territory, resulting in over 340 arrests since mid May. Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. referenced Canada’s residential school system while considering a complete halt to old growth harvesting. “One of their policies was establishing residential schools to take the Indian out of the child. This halt to all old-growth logging means taking the culture out of the Indian,” he said. “What this means is that we would have no more access to cedar logs needed for canoes, we would no longer have access to cedar needed for our cultural structures, such as the House of Huu-ay-aht.” Beyond that is the economic gap that remains between many First Nations people and the general B.C. population, something the Huu-ay-aht have worked to improve by acquiring a growing stake in forestry interests in Tree Farm Licence 44, a large section of Crown land south of Port Alberni. There are currently 44 Huu-ay-aht members working in the forest industry in mills, harvesting and at the

Western Forest Products office through a partnership the First Nation established with the company. But these positions would be at risk if no more old growth could be cut, argues Dennis. “From an economic standpoint, this would be devastating,” he said. “When you take the average income of the whole nation together, we’re still below the poverty line.” The Huu-ay-aht’s objective is to get another 50 of its members hired in forestry. “We’ve strategically positioned ourselves to be key players in forestry development in our territory,” added Dennis. “We’ve done it on the basis that we want to manage forests and fishery values to meet the present needs, without compromising the needs of future Huuay-aht generations. In doing that we have to manage the forest to make sure that there’s cedar for future generations.” Pressure continues to be put on the provincial government to follow recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review that was release last year, a study that notes a “paradigm shift” in how the public values ancient forests. In late June another study was released by the Ancient Forest Alliance, arguing that old growth has greater economic value standing than harvested. Produced by the consulting firm ESSA Technologies, the report presents 17 simulations for the highly contested forests near Port Renfrew, ranging from 30 per cent to all of the old growth trees being protected over the next century. Society would be better off under all scenarios, states the study, stressing the economic benefits of carbon storage to reduce Greenhouse gases, tourism, forest recreation, protection of coho salmon habitat and increased real estate values in communities near

Robert Dennis Sr. ancient forests. “Results show that, if all old growth forests were protected in the study area, tourism alone would nearly make up for any losses from not harvesting by adding an equivalent number of jobs and covering 66 per cent of the losses to GDP,” stated the Ancient Forest Alliance. But if this argument were applied to the Huu-ay-aht, Dennis cautions that tourism accounts for just about one per cent of the First Nation’s economy, despite multiple property acquisitions in Bamfield over recent years. Meanwhile forestry generates 60 to 75 per cent of revenues annually for the Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses. In early June the Huu-ay-aht were part of the Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration, along with the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations. Under the First Nations’ sacred principles of utmost respect, taking care of and everything is connected, this document asserts their territorial authority. It was also accompanied by

a notice to the province to defer all old growth logging in the Fairy Creek and Central Walbran areas for two years, allowing the nations to undertake resource management plans in consultation with its citizens. With the Huu-ay-aht in a modern-day treaty while the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht are undertaking the last stage of negotiations with the province towards a final agreement, Robert Phillips of the First Nations Summit’s Political Executive saw that it didn’t take long for the provincial government to listen. “It just made sense and moved forward accordingly,” he said. “The premier acknowledged it right away.” Phillips noted that the time has come for industrial heavyweights to acknowledge the interests of a First Nation when a treaty is in place. “Even though a lot of times industry has their hair on fire when they see such agreements, in the end they just look at it as just another way of doing business with First Nations,” he said. “They find ways to do it because the resources are on the lands.” While protest activity continues on southern Vancouver Island, Dennis is asking those concerned to give the First Nations involved a chance to conduct their integrated resource management plans. “In the meantime, let us do the business we’ve been doing,” he said, expressing frustration with protestors occupying First Nations territory without asking permission from Ha’wiih. “The needs of other people have to be considered,” continued Dennis. “I respect their right to protest when they’re not happy with forestry policy. But, hey, they’re not the only people in British Columbia.”

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Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2021

Multi-use Pacific Rim pathway mostly complete Elders share inspiration behind %apsčiik t%ašii in new video, trail conditionally opens while work still underway By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Long Beach, BC - West coast residents and visitors alike are advised to “proceed with caution” while using a 25-kilometre multi-use pathway, part of which is still under construction through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The $51-million ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee), located within the hahuuli of Tla-o-qui-aht and YuułuɁiłɁatḥ First Nations, is scheduled for official opening in spring 2022, but Parks Canada announced a partial or “conditional opening,” June 21 on National Aboriginal Day. In conjunction with the soft opening, Parks Canada released a five-minute video, Building ʔapsčiik t̓ašii: Creating a Pathway Together, which tells the story of the pathway’s design and development through careful guidance from a working group of elders. People have been taking advantage of the new link between communities for some time already, said kweesh kweesh ata aqsa, Tammy Dorward, First Nations program manager at the park. “Since it’s been paved it has been utilized, and so there was a discussion at the park on how to proceed,” Dorward said. Park administration recognized it would be difficult to keep people off the pathway until its official completion. A conditional opening comes with a set of eight advisories intended to ensure safety and privacy of communities along the route as final construction continues. “There is still lot of work to be done out there,” Dorward added. In late spring, Parks Canada contracted IWS Excavation to build a final threekilometre section of the pathway called Wayii (meaning hill) on the escarpment overlooking Long Beach between Green Point Campground and parking lots at Long Beach. That last stretch should be finished by fall. For much of its length, ʔapsčiik t̓ašii parallels Pacific Rim Highway through the park, meandering through rainforest and along foreshore, and passing near the Tla-o-qui-aht villages of Esowista and Ty-Histanis. Pathway travellers are asked to remain on the route to respect communities and to protect sensitive ecological areas. Occasional highway pullouts connect to the pathway, allowing motorists to park and travel the pathway in sections. Additional work on visitor amenities, interpretive panels and trilingual signage continues into next year, along with restoration, which includes removing invasive species, replanting with native species and adding wood-chip borders to the pathway. In the meantime, trail users are asked to respect the rules. “The idea is to proceed with caution,” Dorward said. “We’re asking all visitors to stay on the trail, to respect community privacy and not be walking through them.” Trail users may encounter construction crews at any point along the route and should be prepared to encounter wildlife as well. They are also urged to use extreme caution at uncontrolled highway crossings near Radar Hill and Wick Road. Dorward said she has seen many people from First Nations and the two neighbouring municipalities cycling the route. “I’ve heard great excitement from people biking the trail, from people wanting to use the trail,” she said. “People are

Photo submitted by Parks Canada

ʔapsčiik t̓ašii extends for 25 kilometres of foreshore between the entrance to Pacific Rim National Park and Tofino. using it, and it’s a great way for people to ure=youtu.be — presents the pathway in truth. That was a very important teaching have an alternative transport for work.” fullest form, not only as a vital commufor our people, that you speak the truth.” Louis Maddiford, co-owner of Ukee nity link but as a cultural showpiece and “You know, you could survive out there Bikes in nearby Ucluelet, said there has teacher in the making. all day without bringing lunch from home been an increased interest in cycling “In our language it has two meanings,” and we want it to stay that way,” adds recently, a trend he thinks was spurred Levi Martin, Tla-o-qui-aht elder, explains Marg Touchie, YuułuɁiłɁatḥ elder, later by pandemic isolation and the need for in his introduction. “Ups-cheek is going in the video. “We want everything in that recreation alternatives, as well as the new the right way on a path and, also, Upsarea to stay as natural as possible.” pathway as it nears completion. cheek means to make sure you speak the “People are understanding the benefits from this,” Maddiford said. “Lots of people are trying it out.” Pedalling the entire route is the equivalent of a 25-30 kilometre road trip and will probably appeal most to avid cyclists, he suggested. On the other hand, pedal-assist electronic bikes are increasingly popular. Only Class 1 e-bikes — those without a throttle — are permitted on the pathway. That rule will help to ensure safety by restricting speed. “Practically everything we do is Class 1 — none of our motors is throttled — so they’re allowed on the trails,” Maddiford said. The maximum speed of a Class 1 e-bike is 32 kilometres an hour. Saya Masso, natural resource manager with Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, said the pathway will encourage more people, including youth, to take up cycling for “participaction and fresh air.” “The trail serves as its own youth programming in a way,” he said. There are no cycling paths where he lives at Opitisaht on Meares Island, so the pathway is a welcome addition as a recreational asset and a safe alternative to cycling the highway, Mayo said. “I know that sentiment is echoed throughout,” he said, adding that he looks forward to taking his kids for rides. For years, local residents have wanted a path to connect their communities, a safe alternative to Pacific Rim Highway, often a busy route. In February, Tofino completed a link to the pathway, a $3.9-million, 2.8-kilometre addition to the municipality’s multi-use path. At the south end of the park reserve, Ucluelet was unsuccessful in its bid for grant funding earlier this year but remains committed to providing a similar link. The video production, Building ʔapsčiik t̓ašii — https://www.youtube.com/watch ?app=desktop&v=Bv0trpgEXMM&feat

July 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9

‘Bring peace to Lisa’: Investigators seek missing link Dozens joined a walk for Lisa Marie Young June 26, 19 years after the young Tla-o-qui-aht woman went missing By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Nanaimo, BC - Although Lisa Marie Young went missing 19 years ago, Nanaimo police have encountered new information into her disappearance over the last year and a half. A press conference was held June 26 at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment, where family members of the Tla-o-qui-aht woman and police investigators urged others to come forward to keep momentum going on the search for truth. Const. Hayley Pinfold and Corp. Markus Muntener said that since they took over the file in late 2018 police have introduced techniques into the investigation, such as a police dog and ground-penetrating radar. “When you’re dealing with potential areas that are large, that’s the kind of technique you have to use to narrow things down,” said Muntener of the radar method. “Since Hayley and I have started the investigation we’ve had numerous people come forward.” “If there’s anyone out there that knows something, help us bring Lisa home,” said Lisa’s aunt Carol Frank while standing before the RCMP detachment. “Please come forward to bring peace to Lisa and our family.” No charges or suspects have been identified in the case that RCMP are handling as a homicide. Lisa Marie Young was last seen at approximately 3 a.m. on June 30, 2002. The 21-year-old had spent the night out with friends, first at a Nanaimo nightclub, then two house parties. She left the second party to get something to eat, and accepted a ride with Christopher William Adair, a young man she had just met that evening, according to reports from the time. A friend reported receiving a text message from Young at 4:30 a.m., which read “come get me, they won’t let me leave.” As time passes, police urge anyone with old or new information to come forward. “We’re just asking that people come talk to us, because we are here to listen to everybody no matter what their circumstances are now or in the past,”

Photo by Eric Plummer

Led by Carol Frank, seen in the centre holding a paddle, dozens participated in the annual walk through downtown Nanaimo for Lisa Marie Young on June 26. said Const. Pinfold. “We are coming at wearing orange shorts in recognition of sponse to the National Inquiry into Missthis investigation from an open-minded residential school survivors and victims ing and Murdered Indigenous Women approach. We’re reviewing all our infor– progressed from the RCMP detachand Girls. While addressing the crowd mation on our investigation, whether it’s ment to Maffeo Sutton Park at Nanaimo’s in Maffeo Sutton Park Maria Charleson, historic or information that’s coming in waterfront. The Indigenous dance group vice-president of the Nuu-chah-nulth currently, and we’re assessing that inforButterflies in Spirit held a performance, Tribal Council, noted that the inquiry mation to determine and prioritize how followed by speakers that included concluded over two years ago, when 231 we’re going to go forward.” Young’s grandfather, Moses Martin. He calls to action were listed to attend to the Corp. Muntener added that over the noted the recent news of undocumented nation crisis. years the file has become enormous, inburials at the former sites of residential “The most striking thing from that cluding 15,000 documents and hundreds schools in Kamloops and on the Cowesreport is that Canada has finally admitof witnesses. sess First Nation in Saskatchewan. ted that the treatment of Indigenous “When we’re talking about witnesses “I hope that one day they’ll be answers, women and girls and two spirit has been from 19 years ago, it’s much more chalhopefully closure for those families that a continuing act of genocide,” she said, lenging to go back and corroborate that,” are feeling the same pain that we are stressing the importance of following the he admitted, although a valid piece of for the last 19 years,” said Martin. “We calls to action. “They’re called ‘imperainformation could open up the mystery still don’t know where Lisa is, we don’t tive’. Imperative meaning that if Canada into what happened to the young woman. know what happened to her, but the pain fails to make action to those 231 calls to “That could change overnight if an imdoesn’t go away. I want to thank you for justice, then Canada is continuing to inportant person comes forward and talks sharing your strength with us to come flict genocide on our Indigenous women to us that adds a very significant part of down, even though it’s almost 40 degrees and girls and two spirit.” that puzzle.” out here. You guys are tough in this city.” Police ask that anyone with information Walks held in Young’s honour have been Young’s disappearance is part of the that could help in solving the disappearheld in Nanaimo annually since her disRCMP’s database of over 1,100 missing ance of Lisa Marie Young to call the appearance. After the June 26 press conor murdered Indigenous women and girls. Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at ference the dozens in attendance – most In June an action plan was released in re- 250-754-2345.

RCMP looks to culture as officers undergo brushing By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - In an effort to help its members with the prevalence of negative news recently, on June 23 nearly two dozen officers from the Port Alberni RCMP detachment underwent a traditional Nuuchah-nulth cleansing ceremony. The gathering began with words of encouragement towards the RCMP for the work they do in the Port Alberni community. The officers were brushed with cedar leaves, before walking through a ring of branches, followed by being brushed again with eagle feathers. Teechuktl’s resolution health support worker Lisa Watts reminded the police offers to be present and aware during the process, while giving acknowledgement to their creator. Corp. Jay Donahue of the detachment’s Indigenous Policing Services team said that the request for a brushing was made to Teechuktl as a continuation of the local RCMP’s ongoing partnership with the Nuu-chah-nulth mental health services department.

Photo by Eric Plummer

Insp. Eric Rochette is brushed with eagle feathers by Howard Morris from Teechuktl Mental Health during a cleansing ceremony the performed on June 23.

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Tla-o-qui-aht team shapes a new generation of surfers Program helps more young people get access to the activity, while drawing on the cleansing power of water By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Tofino, BC - A group of youth from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation waded into the ocean along the beach in front of Esowista, near Tofino. Clad in wetsuits, some clumsily gripped onto surf boards while others proudly carried boogie boards overhead. The waves were choppy and inconsistent, but the youth seemed completely unfazed as they charged forward. After listening to them express a desire to learn how to surf, Alyssa Fleishman approached the nation’s youth worker, Amy Charlie, to collaborate on creating a Tla-o-qui-aht Surf Team. Fleishman is a child and youth mental health counsellor with the Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council who recently became interested in surf therapy and the benefits of healing through surf. It spurred her to launch Mułaa Rising Tide, an organization that provides surfing education and therapy to First Nations youth. “This is the surfing capital of Canada and a lot of these youth don’t have anyone to teach them how to surf,” she said. “This is their territory. People come here from all over the world to surf and the [youth] have no access.” Within Nuu-chah-nulth culture, the ocean is connected to many traditional healing practices, like cold-water bathing. “It’s a contemporary way of accessing an older tradition,” said Fleishman. Mułaa means “rising tide” in Nuu-chahnulth, which was translated by Tla-oqui-aht elder Levi Martin, and the logo

Photos by Melissa Renwick

Hannah Frank, 14, walks to the ocean in front of Esowista, near Tofino, on June 14 to join members of the Tla-o-qui-aht Surf Team. was designed by Tla-o-qui-aht artist, Ivy “I’ve always been taught to go in the her feel “happy.” Cargill-Martin. water when you’re sad,” she said. “It “They’re getting out more and not By formalizing the team with culturhelps cleanse your body and it makes you inside playing their games,” she said. ally relevant branded apparel, it gives the happier.” “They’re doing something else that’s betyouth a sense of belonging, said FleishFrank is one of the few youths from her ter and healthier for them.” man. nation that regularly surfs. She attributes The surf enthusiast has been working Hannah Frank said she has been surfing the lack of First Nations youth involved at Live to Surf, a surf shop in Tofino, for most of her life. The 14-year-old was in the sport to a lack of access to people the past year. As she deepens her connecfirst introduced to the sport in elementary willing to teach them. tion to the sport, Frank said she hopes to school and quickly latched on how good But as she looked around at the other continue surfing with the Tla-o-qui-aht it made her feel. youth in the surf team, she said it made team into the future.

July 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11

(From left to right) Payton Williams, Hannah Frank, Ali Swan and Cass Frank wade into the ocean in front of Esowista. On average, ten Tla-o-qui-aht youth for free. Tracking the youth’s progress and consistently participated in the weekly At first, the surfboards acted more like seeing how consistently some of them lessons, which ran from April 19 to June diving boards, explained Broussard. But showed up was “exciting,” she said. 14. Frank said she expects that number to over the weeks, the youth started to em“It’s been nice to get to know them on a grow as the surf team shares how fun it is brace the sport – they had more patience more personal level,” she added. to ride a wave with friends and peers. and are now starting to stand-up on the Neleeta Frank, Tla-o-qui-aht First Na“I feel better when I get in the water,” boards, she shared. tion youth leader, has been working on she said. “I feel refreshed.” “Surfing is a mindfulness practice, it’s getting more board and wetsuit donaSwell Tofino, an outdoor education exercise, it’s connecting with nature – on tions to launch a drop-in program, where and surf rental company, stepped in to every level it’s so good for people,” said young people will have the option to support the Tla-o-qui-aht Surf Team by Broussard. “The gear is expensive. It’s borrow gear. providing lessons, led by head instructor not easy to get into surfing. I just want to Recently, the Pacific Surf School in Bridget Broussard, boards and wetsuits get as many people into it as I can.” Tofino donated two used surfboards and

Ali Swan, 9, holds a surfboard in Esowista before heading out in the water as part of the youth surf club. three used wetsuits to the nation. With more boards and wetsuits available, Charlie said she is hopeful the sport will become more accessible to the youth. While this iteration of the surf team wrapped up on June 14, Charlie said they are planning to keep it rolling by launching a summer schedule. “The ocean is a spiritual thing to us,” she said. “It cleanses you, – I think it’s really nice for the kids to get into the ocean and be part of that connection.”

Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2021

New map shows intersecting Indigenous languages The First Peoples’ Cultural Council launches a project indicating Indigenous dialects, culture and art origins By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter To coincide with National Indigenous History Month, the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) has launched a new online map that intersects Indigenous languages, culture and art in British Columbia. The First Peoples’ Map is the first of its kind in Canada and was developed in response to a growing demand from First Nations people seeking a centralized platform to share information about their diverse communities, said Cathi Charles Wherry, FPCC special advisor. “Language champions, artists and cultural heritage workers let us know that this is something they wanted,” she said. “They wanted a platform where they could celebrate, share and showcase the good work that’s been done in their communities.” All of the information detailed in the map was contributed by Indigenous experts and reflects the reality that language, culture and art are not singular – they are all intertwined, Wherry added. First Nations communities will be able to draw inspiration from each other by looking at the language programs other nations are offering. Artists can find each other, curators can locate collaborators, and those living away from their home territories can connect with events that are happening in their communities, Wherry explained. As non-Indigenous people become increasingly interested in learning about Indigenous culture, Wherry said the map is one tool they can use to educate themselves. “Our hope is that this map will help non-Indigenous people to better appreciate Indigenous perspectives as one small step towards reconciliation,” said Karen Aird, acting CEO of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, in a release. “By combining all of this rich information together in one place, the map reflects an Indigenous perspective, by braiding important cultural elements together with the land.” During extreme weather events like wildfires and flooding, there are obvious things that communities want to save and

First Peoples’ Cultural Council map

With details on the origins of Nuu-chah-nulth dialects and other cultural information, the new project can be accessed online at https://maps.fpcc.ca. protect, Wherry said. But others, like the land where traditional plant medicines grow, might not be as evident to nonIndigenous emergency responders. “There’s a lot of really valuable information on there for people visiting or going to work in [First Nations] communities,” she said. The project was made possible by the $50-million that was granted to FPCC in 2018 to help language revitalization efforts in British Columbia. It replaces the First Peoples’ Language Map that was created by FCPP in 2008, as well as the First Peoples’ Arts Map built in 2012. B.C. accounts for around 60 per cent of the First Nations languages in Canada. There are currently 34 Indigenous languages within the province. Of those, three per cent of the reported First Nations population are fluent.

“Investing in tools like the First Peoples’ Map is a modern way to connect people to the many Indigenous languages, artists and cultural heritage spaces in B.C. and continue the collaborative efforts to revitalize and celebrate them,” said Murray Rankin, minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, a release. The map has three facets that can be explored by visually searching specific geographical locations, scanning the sidebar, or by filtering content using specific keywords. Its language layer displays all 204 First Nations communities and language regions in B.C., where users can hear pronunciations of language names, places and greetings. Viewers can use the arts layer to discover Indigenous artists and public art installations. And audiences can engage with local points of inter-

est, such as cultural centres, through the heritage layer. “FPCC initiatives, such as the First Peoples’ Map, are vital to the integrity of British Columbia’s social and cultural fabric as this work deepens public knowledge and understanding of the many nations and cultures that have existed in the province since time immemorial, as well as the complexities of human relationships to present day,” said Terry Teegee, British Columbia Assembly of First Nations regional chief, in a release. As content is continually added, the interactive map will be evolving. “The map is living,” said Wherry. “It’s never really finished.” The map can be accessed at https:// maps.fpcc.ca/languages.

Phrase of the week: C~aaxtaqniš%a> natssah=aa +ah@iqksaaqin haawii%a>quu +iis+iisa Pronounced ‘cha tahx nis alth Nah s ah haar Tla hirk saw ahk kin Haa wee alth’, it means ‘We are so proud when we see our young people finish their schooling.’ Supplied by ciisma.

Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin

July 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13

Tragedy to healing: Couple copes by helping others The Pelechs open Raven’s River Rest B&B, offering serenity to guests after dealing with the loss of their son By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – It has only been eight months since the tragic loss of their only son, but a Tseshaht couple has found a way to cope: by inviting guests to their newly opened bed and breakfast beside the river. Don and Linda Pelech were given a beautiful piece of property on the edge of Somass River by her grandfather in the late 1980s. They bought a 1978 singlewide trailer for $5,000 which would serve as their home until Don could build their new home. “It was the best $5,000 we ever spent,” he said. In the late 1990s the couple began working their property, building a home, chicken coop, smokehouse and doing the landscaping. They created a beautiful home, overlooking the river near Papermill Dam. “We’ve always known this is a special place,” said Don. When the couple moved into their newly-built home next door, they had to decide what to do with the old trailer. “People told us we should rent it out,” said Don, but the thought wasn’t appealing to the couple. Instead, they decided they would renovate it for their son, Brandon, and his toddler son, so that they could be close. “It probably should have been a teardown,” said Don with a chuckle. The only thing left of the old trailer is the roof and part of the floor. They doubled its size by building an addition. The work started in May 2020 and they were

Photo by Denise Titian

Don and Linda Pelech run the Raven’s River Rest B&B by the Somass River on the Tseshaht First Nation reserve. nearly finished when they received the devastating news that their son had died. Don stopped working on the renovations for four months as he grieved the loss of Brandon. They had to decide what to do with the trailer. “What are we going to do?” Linda asked. A registered clinical counsellor, Linda offers services like restorative yoga, hot stone massage and reiki, with healing practices from her Indigenous culture.

“I have worked with residential school survivors and trauma. I (intend) to walk beside you in your journey,” says her brochure. In 2017 Linda launched her business called Ener-Chi Holistic Healing which she operates on the property. The couple wanted the trailer to be used as something to do with wellness and healing. They went with the idea of making it a bed and breakfast with the focus on Indigenous culture. “This is a relaxed setting,” said Linda. “People can come her to unplug, relax and unwind.” Located next to the river, guests can go swimming, pick berries or fish for salmon. The previous guests loved watching the Tseshaht fishing for home-use salmon a few days earlier. The Raven’s River Rest B&B has the feel of a ranch-style home with two bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and a living room. Linda says they want it to be appealing to families and can comfortably house four people. Also, it is pet-friendly. “People have gotten more attached to their pets since the pandemic began, so we want their pets to feel welcome here too,” said Linda. Surrounded by trees and berry bushes,

the property is peaceful, with the sounds of the river and birdsong all around. The interior has a new feel and is tastefully decorated with splashes of Indigenous décor. The couple hired a Tseshaht housekeeper and another Indigenous person to do the landscaping. They will be adding a display case to showcase Indigenous art. Guests may opt for added services that Linda offers, like yoga or reiki, or even take part in Oosimch (spiritual bathing). The Raven’s River Rest is already popular and is booked up until mid-September. The raven, Linda said, is her family crest and that is why it was chosen as the name for the new B&B. She offers to share her cultural teaching with their guests. While sad that their son never got to live in the space, Don and Linda are pleased to share it with others. “It feels good to see people so happy here; I’ve always known this place is a little piece of heaven,” said Don. The Pelechs are looking forward to the next chapter in life. For more information visit www.enerchiholistichealing.com or call 250-2420114. Bookings can be made at Airbnb. com.

Congratulations 2021 Graduates! Best wishes on your future endeavours.

Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2021

Le•ers to Editor

Good day from Tigh-Na-Mara. First off all, we extend our Love and Respect to the Charleson Family of Hesquiaht, and to our aunt Rose Tom of Tla-o-qui-aht, as well to so many other loving Families, in your time of Grieving. My wife and I extend our love to you. From our wedding on June 26th, 2021, my wife and I are still beaming with love and joy - COVID-19 be darned. My Beautiful Wife has expressed her love and gratitude to you. I, too, need to express my gratitude and highest Respect to our Ha’wiih and our Haakuum that took time out of their responsibilities over their Hahoulthee. It was a great honor to have the presence of Tla-o-qui-aht Ha-wiih ~ Tyee Hawilth Hiyoueah & Haakuum-na-nulth, Hawilth Naak-wii-multh-nii, Hawilth Muuchinink & Haakuum-aalth; and Uchucklesaht Hawilth Tipiniksip, and Hawilth Cha-cha-min. It was, also, very humbling to have two of our Ha-wiih (Naak-wii-multh-nii and Muuchinink) in our wedding party. WHAT a great honor! The groomsmen, especially our ring bearer, handsome grandson Ryan, were very sharp & dapper, man! My Wife’s bridesmaids, and Flower girl, sweetheart Granddaughter Mariah - Extra beautiful, too. Thank you, sweetheart Granddaughter Jaidah, for your work in the live streaming in Facebook. So many people got to see our Special day because of your work streaming it online. And, to your Pops Johnson, kleco for all the errands you did for us, as well as decorating our SUV, in the extreme heat and all, at that. To my sweet Mother in Law, Judy and to our beautiful aunts who were there to witness ~ THANK YOU for braving the extreme heat to be with us ~ Betty Knighton, Bernice Touchie, Marie Samuel, Beaulah Howard and Gloria Jean Frank. We, also, needed to exercise protocol in acknowledging the Respective Nations territories in being allowed to have our Beautiful day in ~ the Opetchesaht & the Tseshaht. Thank you, bro Martin Watts for accepting on the Nations’ behalf. Our Family ~ We also wish to thank you for the beautiful gifts presented to us; especially aunty Beaulah for the sacred shawl presented to my Beautiful Wife, and the vest presented to me. To the Salvation Army’s Captain Michael Ramsay - a VERY big Kleco to you for Officiating our Special day, and to your sweetheart daughter, Heather for taking the great photos. We would be remiss in not recognizing the hard work of sis Jennett Watts for organizing our Special day...You did so much for your sis Ruby. Also, to Jenny Ann... Thank you for your assistance in creating/arranging the decorations at the Legion. To× Chris and Jennett’s neighbor, thank you for lending your arch to us. To daughter Kelly ~ your surprise worked, babe! You sure made our Special day even MORE special when you stopped by to congratulate us. And, finally, and most importantly ~ Kleco to bro Tim Johnson and sis Joenella Frank for catering the seafood for our Special day. It sure made the difference to have Co’ous food served to our Ha-wiih, and our Family. much Love & Respect,

On June 2, 2021, at the announcement of the San Group investing $100 million in their Port Alberni facilities, my father Thomas Watts, was introduced as the Chief of Tseshaht. Although my father inherited two big Tseshaht names, from his 3rd greatgranduncle Kwiisaahitchiił and his 2nd great grandfather Tuutaaʔap he only received the names and not the Chieftainships. The story behind the great names, Kwiisaahitchiił and Tuutaaʔap, begins on c̓išaa, or Benson Island, located in the Barkley Sound. Thomas’ 4th great-grandfather Ts’aupkshitl Hawʔiłwital and his wife ƛishinak lived at c̓išaa and had three sons, Tlaƛeakukw’ap, Kwiisaahitchiił and Tlakishʔatsʔuʔis. Tlaƛeakukw’ap married the daughter of Hawʔił Totootsh who was the Taayii Hawʔił (Highest Ranking Chief, taa-ee-ii h-aw-i-lh) of the Hach’aaʔatḥ. Tlaƛeakukw’ap and Heech’is had four sons and two daughters. Their names were Taapushʼin’is, Naasayłim, Tuutayłim, Naaweeʔiik, Kuuʔałap, Uukwiinuʔa and ƛixiitinił. Tlaƛeakukw’ap and Heech’is’s first born son’s name is Taapushʼin’is who died young and as an expression of his grief his father moved to Turret Island. Tuutayłim and Hawʔił Animyis had two sons named Wiihswisan’ap and Yuʔakwaʔyap. The Taayii Hawʔił (Highest Ranking Chief, taa-ee-ii h-aw-i-lh) of the Tseshaht was temporarily held by Kwiisaahitchiił until Wiihswisan’ap reached maturity. Naaweeʔiik and Suutahswuumƛ’s first born son was named Taayii Hawil Yaayuukwiʔa Uukwaatis’ath Kiki’in “Long Standing Thunder” Tuutaaʔap Tl’atsmik Mathcenaes T’ukw’ktl’a’aht Nash?as?ath Yaats’aa7aalh. Yaayuukwiʔa had the fourth ranking Tseshaht ushtakimł seat. Both Thomas Watts’ grandfather and great grandfather were Hereditary Chiefs of the Mamalilikulla First Nations of Village Island, an island located near Alert Bay, B.C. Thomas inherited the name Negai from his great grandfather, and my brother Wallace inherited the name Nagedzi from Thomas’ grandfather Hereditary Chief Harry Mountain. Over several decades there were thousands of pages of data collected about the Nuu-chah-nulth by Archaeologists, Anthropologists, and Ethnographers. To name a few researchers, there have been Denis St. Claire, Alex Thomas, Sapir, Morris Swadesh, Susan Golla, and Phillip Drucker. They describe the traditional Tseshaht Chieftainship system as being very complicated and that it existed since time immemorial. Drastically reduced in population by disease and intensified warfare forced the amalgamations of neighboring autonomous local groups. The survivors would flee to the protection of the Tseshaht. The Tseshaht absorbed the Maqƛiiʔatḥ, Waninʔatḥ, Nashʔasʔatḥ, Hikuułʔatḥ, and Hach’aaʔatḥ. A Tseshaht Chief was appointed over the newly absorbed ushtakimł (lineage group, ush-tak-im-lh). The Tseshaht gained control of their ḥaa ḥuułi (traditional territory, haa-huu-lh-ee) and tutuupata, the hereditary privileges, resources, house ownership, and occupation of high-status areas within the house, slaves, songs, dances, and masks. Chiefs had to maintain their elevated status by good leadership and effective management of the resources within his vast territory. Chiefs had authority, prestige and respect of the commoners, providing protection for them, distributing of surplus resources, hosting ceremonial activities, and distributing personal names. - Annie Laurie Watts

Proud of this year’s graduates 2021

Uu-uu-ta-miik & Thlaayiik (Remi and Ruby)

Correction: The page 16 story ‘San Group expands its Port Alberni manufacturing’ in the June 17 edition stated that Tom Watts is a Tseshaht hereditary chief, as this was announced during the event. Further correspondence with the First Nation has clarified that Tom Watts is not a hereditary chief, although he inherited two important names from his ancestors.

The Board of Education Vancouver Island West School District 84

July 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15

---Employment Opportunities---

Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2021

Nuu-chah-nulth nations receive tourism funding Huu-ay-aht will use provincial funds for more developments at Pachena Bay Campground near Bamfield By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Several Nuu-chah-nulth nations have been awarded with major funding from the Province of BC to help with suffering tourism sectors that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. StrongerBC programs such as the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP), Tourism Dependent Communities Program and Targeted Regional Tourism Development Initiative are part of the province’s actions to support recovery of B.C.’s tourism sector, including Indigenous tourism. The BC Indigenous Tourism Recovery Fund was created following the recommendations of the Tourism Task Force to support Indigenous tourism businesses specifically. Indigenous tourism businesses in B.C. have received over $28 million for 60 projects to support recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Huu-ay-aht First Nations was awarded $510, 340 that will go towards improvements at their Pachena Bay Campground in Bamfield. “Pachena Bay Campground is our hidden jewel, it’s something that all people on Vancouver Island and the Mainland love coming to but never tell anybody,” said Huu-ay-aht Councillor Trevor Cootes. “The campground itself has been our longest running business. In 1998 is when Huu-ay-aht kind of took that initial step to actually invest into the business like water, power, sewer, shower house… offer more amenities.” Cootes said the funding will go towards adding about 30 new campsites to the campground, going from about 70 to around 100. Funds will also be used to update the campground’s washroom facilities. “This was definitely an economic growth opportunity. The more campsites will create more revenue and create more job opportunities,” Cootes said. “The campground is taking bookings and will be opening July 1.” Cootes said the Huu-ay-aht have also recently put in a new access road to the campground so tourists won’t need to drive through the Village of Anacla anymore. “The thousands of campers we get each year will go through the new road access without impacting the local community,” Cootes said. “Another thing that was really important to Huu-ay-aht is that having a second road access is just so

We would like to congratulate my son, Mark Andrew. He did a wonderful job with his schooling. His parents, grandparents, and friends, family, coaches, and teachers at Cowichan Secondary are all very proud of him! Love from mom, Donna Louie

Pacific Rim School District “takaas%aaq+in huuh=takšiih=”

Melanie Mark critical to emergency preparedness and in the occasion of a tsunami warning we have two roads that our campers will be able to utilize.” Cootes said the impacts to Huu-ay-aht’s tourism sector and other businesses from COVID-19 were huge. “Our campground was actually closed last year for the first time in decades. Our Bamfield businesses that we own, the accommodations, food services, general store were all massively impacted,” Cootes said. “We were okay with one season, we could survive, but Huu-ay-aht is definitely in a place where we need to have our economy running again and not only investing but having these critical supports from our regional and national governments.” Cootes is anticipating a busy tourism season this year. He added that the Huuay-aht’s guided Kiixin tours will also be starting up July 3. Other Nuu-chah-nulth nations that received funding include the Ditidaht Development Corporation ($806,150), Ditidaht First Nation ($409,871), Tla-oqui-aht First Nations ($445,000), Ucluelet First Nation ($400,000) and Ehattesaht Wisdom Beach gather place ($304,500). “Indigenous tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments in B.C. tourism because it provides opportunities to share Indigenous cultures and experience communities in a new way,” said Melanie Mark, minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport in a press release. “This funding demonstrates reconciliation in action by creating and expanding tourism economic development projects with Indigenous nations and supporting self-determination for Indigenous businesses.”

Congratulations to Linden Smith and Brianna Lambert - 2021 Uchucklesaht Graduates.

Congratulations to the class of 2021 From the Board of Education


July 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 17

Eighth Avenue Learning Centre unveils garden name With guidance from a group of elders, the project combines vegetable growing with a First Nations pit cook By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - With a fire pit heating up to barbeque salmon behind them, students from the Eighth Avenue Learning Centre’s unveiled the name of the school’s new garden June 17. Tiic^%i Tuuk#as (pronounced ‘teechee tookwas’) translates into “The Life Garden” in English, the result of name suggestions brought forth by Kirsten Abercrombie’s Grade 8 and 9 class and translation provided by a group of elder Nuu-chah-nulth speakers. With an eye to the plants that people traditionally used in the area, the school garden combines a mix of vegetable growing with a First Nations pit cook in the centre. The project is the result of a year’s work from the high school class, who gave input to inform the design of the garden and partook in the site’s construction. Tseshaht and Hupacasath hereditary and elected leaders attended the June 17 naming ceremony, which began with the Tseshaht Welcoming Song. The garden previously underwent a traditional cleansing at daybreak on April 21.

Photo by Eric Plummer

Kirsten Abercrombie’s Grade 8 and 9 class developed a garden this school year at the Eighth Avenue Learning Centre.

Congratulations to this year’s Post Secondary scholarship winners Ditidaht



Mercediese Dawson Chantell Patterson Hannah Logan David Edgar

Harris & Co. Law Budget Car and Truck Rental NTC Education McGorman&McLean

Juris Doctor Law - University of Victoria Bachelor of Adult Education - Unversity of the Fraser Valley Bachelor of Visual Arts - University of Victoria Bachelor of Business Administration - Camosun College

NTC General NTC General NTC Community & Human Services

Bachelor of Education (NITEP) - University of British Columbia Bachelor of Indigenous Language Revitalization - University of Victoria Bachelor of Social Work - University of Victoria

NTC Education

Bachelor of Art and Illustration - Emily Carr University of Art and Design

NTC Education Judith Sayers Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Bachelor of Arts Political Science -Univeristy of Victoria Diploma Fish & Wildlife Recreation - BCIT Bachelor of Arts English - University of British Columbia

Tsahaheh Bank of Montreal Branch

Diploma Criminal Justice - Camosun College

Tsahaheh Bank of Montreal Branch

Diploma Indigenous Studies - Camosun College

NTC Education NTC Nursing NTC Education NTC Education NTC Nursing Roy & Daisy Hayupis

Bachelor of Arts - Vancouver Island University Bachelor of Science - University of Victoria Bachelor of Education - University of Victoria Diploma Culinary Management - Vancouver Island University Bachelor of Science - University of British Columbia Bachelor of Arts Psychology - Carleton University

NTC Community & Human Services Tsahaheh Bank of Montreal Branch Tsahaheh Bank of Montreal Branch

Bachelor CYC - Vancouver Island University Certificate Office Assistant - North Island College Bachelor of Education - University of Victoria

Ehattesaht Tamara Billy Christina John Chelsea Adams

Hesquiaht Aquila Charleson-Parlee

Hupacasath Cole Sayers Kadyn Vissia Courtney Vissia

Mowachaht Monica Amos

Nuchatlaht Mellissa Jack

Tla-o-qui-aht Curtis Tom Amy Spetter Timothy Masso Ottis Crabbe Colton Van Der Minne Maria Seitcher

Tseshaht Caroline Thompson Lana Celester Linsey Haggard

Page 18— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2021

Independent school proposed for urban First Nations Closure of two learning centres prompts Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre to launch a fundraiser for a K-12 school By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Nanaimo, BC - The Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre (NAC) has launched a fundraiser to create the first K-12 independent school in B.C. dedicated to serving urban Indigenous youth. The initiative is in response to community feedback about the consolidation of two Indigenous learning centres into the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district at the end of this month, in accordance with a B.C. Ministry of Education directive. The Nisaika Kum’tuks Learning Centre was created in 2014 and the Tsawalk Learning Centre in 2016 by NAC and the Mid Island Métis Nation (MIMN) in collaboration with the Vancouver Island West School District 84. The centres were established to meet the urgent needs of Indigenous students in the Mid Island area who are vulnerable and have difficulty engaging in the mainstream school system. According to a press release, Nisaika Kum’tuks and Tsawalk demonstrated their effectiveness by building trust within the community through a respect for Indigenous culture and an open-door policy that made staff available to students 365 days a year. The Mid Island Métis Nation and NAC are concerned that following the consolidation, the urban students, having struggled in the past, may have difficulty transitioning successfully to a larger educational system due to a lack of Indigenous-centred support systems and year-round programming. To continue providing for the educational requirements and well-being of the students, MIMN and NAC have applied for an independent school license. Joy Bremner, president of the MIMN, said there are about 100 students currently enrolled at Nisaika Kum’tuks and Tsawalk learning centres and about 75 per cent are Indigenous. Fourteen of the students between the learning centres are Nuu-chah-nulth. “We have such a small setting which really services a tiny portion of the population that can’t function in the regular public school system,” said Bremner of the need for an independent school licence. “It has to be a safe and healthy, culturally-sensitive atmosphere with a lot of one-on-one teaching, an elder in every day and local Indigenous communities involved coming in to do different programming and sharing.” Bremner said it’s important to have independent schools in place for Indigenous youth because many have experienced some level of intergenerational trauma. She said having an educational system that recognizes those traumas and can offer the proper resources is essential. “To present the opportunity for so many different aspects of education, it’s a priority in this day and age,” Bremner said, stressing the importance of acknowledging intergenerational trauma. “We’re determined to take action and provide a safe, healthy and culturally-sensitive environment for our young learners.” Currently Nisaika Kum’tuks and Tsawalk operate under the Gold River School District but the Ministry of Education has directed that the learning centres be transferred to the NanaimoLadysmith school district on June 30, meaning the centres will close. “What we’re doing now is looking at combining into one centre, kindergarten to Grade 12. It will be open to the same

Photo by Tim McGrath

The Tsawalk Learning Centre’s 2020 graduates are pictured. From left: Connor, Shania, Tatiyana, Alicia June. types of students,” Bremner said. The NAC campaign is seeking to raise $1 million to support the development of an independent K-12 school program and application process for a 2022 opening. Funds will also go towards securing a new physical site in Nanaimo, as it will combine the Nisaika Kum’tuks Learning Centre (K-7) with the Tsawalk Learning Centre (Grades 8-12). The school will provide Dogwood diplomas, Adult Dogwood diplomas and Evergreen certificates to graduates. The two centres currently include eight teachers, three support workers, a land and sea coordinator, two elders and various program supports from the community partners. Curriculum combines traditional teachings, culture and academics, in addition to work experience and trades training. More than 30 per cent of Tsawalk students are in or from care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency. Most are from single-parent homes struggling with poverty and intergenerational trauma as a result of residential schools. Tsawalk serves all people of colour as well as non-

Indigenous students. This June 13 students graduated from Tsawalk Learning Centre and 12 graduated last year. “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) articulates that Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems,” Bremner said. “According to UNDRIP, the state should take effective measures so that Indigenous individuals — particularly children — can have access to an education in their own culture when possible.” Greg Charleson, an elder from the Hesquiaht First Nation and cultural support worker at the Tsawalk Learning Centre, has two sons currently attending the school. Charleson said both of his sons have gained a better understanding and appreciation for their culture by attending the learning centre. “When I think of my oldest son who was not very much into his culture, he hardly even picked up a drum until he came here,” Charleson said. “The youngest boy is a leader, he’s a lead singer already and to see my older son pick up a

drum and have his dancing spirit awoken is an amazing thing to see.” Charleson said he’s seen many students come to the learning centres looking “broken” and withdrawn, but he says with time they will learn to sing or drum and have a deeper sense of purpose and connection to their culture. “When I think of residential schools, as I’m a residential school survivor/miracle because I don’t like that label survivor, I’m a miracle, and what those schools didn’t do for me was help me to identify who I am and where I come from. [The learning centres] are the exact opposite,” Charleson said. “This school helps to bring identity and form a foundation not only with the student learner but with the family.” Charleson said the schools provide teachings from many different First Nations, including Nuu-chah-nulth traditions. A Go Fund Me has been started to raise money to set up the independent school. A link to the fundraiser can be found on the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre Facebook page. Currently just over $19,000 has been raised of the $1 million goal.

Heečis (Eileen Haggard) Memorial Scholarship Winners Grade 12 Grade 12 Grade 12 Grade 12

Sereana Kaloucokovale Semiah Bennett William Cassidy Alex Thomas

Ahousaht Ahousaht Metis Tseshaht

July 2, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 19

Ahousaht’s high school celebrates the class of 2021 Maaqtusiis Secondary School recognizes 20 graduates this year in first indoor ceremony since pandemic struck Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Maaqtusiis, BC – Excitement was in the air as Ahousaht’s graduating class of 2021 prepared for the first indoor ceremony since the pandemic struck more than a year ago. The Commencement Ceremony took place on the school track on June 29. The Atleo-Louie scholarship and Clayquot Biosphere Trust award were presented to deserving students. The day wound down with a celebration dinner and family presentation to the graduates. The graduates are Diamond Atleo, Peter Campbell, Tayshaun Charleson, Jaa-Deen Charlie, Corby Frank, Joe Frank, Cecil George Jr., Savannah George, Stanley Glendale, Calvin Hunter, Dalainee John, Sereana Kaloucokovale, Matthew Lucas, Brandon Mark, Michelle Michael, Janae Sam, Xavier Smith, Aaron Whitmore, Lennox Williams, Mercedes Zarelli.

Photos by Denise Titian

Top: Dalainee John, Sereana Kaloucokovale and Diamond Atleo display their cedar graduation hats. Below right: Lennox Williams and Cecil George look over their gowns before graduation.

Murals displayed at Wickaninnish school garden By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Tofino, BC - In a move to better incorporate First Nations culture at the Wickaninnish Community School in Tofino, 13 food murals have been hung around the facility’s garden displaying the Nuuchah-nulth words of various plants and animals. Spearheaded by Paula Robertson, Tofino Community Food Initiative school garden lead, the project was born out of a desire to celebrate the Indigenous plants around Tofino. “I definitely wanted to see more representation of the Indigenous food here,” said Robertson. “I think it’s important for us all to know what is growing in our own backyard that we can use as food and medicine.” After securing several grants and wading through COVID-19 set-backs, the year-and-a-half project wrapped up in time for the end of the school year and was celebrated through a traditional ceremony on Tuesday, June 22. As part of the ceremony, Grace George, First Nations support worker for School District 70, guided student Mary-Jane Amos through reciting a traditional prayer learned from Tla-o-qui-aht elder Levi Martin. “Praise the light of day Creator, praise the light of day Creator,” George said, translating the prayer. “We are pleading with you Creator – give us strength, keep us strong. Help us to stand with dignity, honour and respect.” Through her role as a First Nations lan-

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Indigenous food murals hang at the Wickaninnish Community School’s garden in Tofino. They were designed by Ivy Cargill-Martin and painted by the students as a small way to incorporate better First Nations cultural representation. guage and culture educator, George said George said. Engaging students with caring for a she tries to encourage the students to live The inclusion of traditional words also garden teaches them to be “grateful for by those words every day. helps to promote the children’s connecwhat Mother Earth can give us,” said Recently graduating from the University tion to the land, she added. Robertson. of Victoria with a diploma in Indigenous Tla-o-qui-aht artist Ivy Cargill-Martin “Hopefully, [the children] walk on this Language Revitalization and a certificate designed all the corresponding illustraearth in nature with more understandin Indigenous Language Proficiency, the tions, and with the help of the school’s ing and more of a connection,” she said. 67-year-old translated all 13 words into art teacher, Chelsey Naka, every student “They know that this is a home, they Nuu-chah-nulth. participated in painting the murals. know that we’re the stewards of this They serve as a reminder that the garLooking ahead, Robertson said she home and that we’re helping to take care den sits on Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s hopes to secure funding to include an ad- of this home.” hahoulthee, known as traditional territory, ditional eight murals.

Page 20— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2021

Congratulations to this year’s NTC scholarship winners Ahousaht Grade K Grade K Grdae 1 Grade 2 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 10 Grade 12 Grade 12 Grade 12


Alayna Cloutier Jade Thomas Troy Atleo Jolene Lucas Shoni Lucas Nevaeh Atleo Maxwell Hansen Jared Little Taimani Robinson Heidi Swan Elijah Hansen Chasity Sam Angelina Williams Rosalynn Williams Leanna John Jessie Swan Maikeli Kaloucokovale Eric Lindsay Sequoia Lindsay Diamond Atleo Dalainee John Sereana Kaloucokovale

K-3 Draw K-3 Draw K-3 Draw K-3 Draw K-3 Draw K-3 Draw K-3 Draw K-3 Draw K-3 Draw K-3 Draw Academic & Athletic Artistic Academic Academic & Athletic Academic & Artistic Academic & Artistic Academic & Athletic Academic Academic Artistic Academic & Ha Hopchu Academic & Athletic

Grade K Grade 2 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7

Kyle Martin-Thompson Zoey Thompson Derrick John Damian Essler-Edgar Dakota Knighton Hailey Thompson Kate Edgar Breeanna Essler-Edgar Destiny Peltier Barry Samuel Mazzari tate Josie Marchand

K-3 Draw K-3 Draw K-3 Draw Academic Academic & Athletic Academic Academic & Artistic Academic Academic & Athletic Academic Academic & Ha Hopchu Academic


Ditidaht Grade 2 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Grade 8 Grade 8 Grade 10 Grade 12

Ehattesaht Grade 11

Kane Miller


Hesquiaht Grade K Grade 11

Mya August Katrina Rowe

K-3 Draw Academic

Hupacasath Grade K Grade 6 Grade 12

Kian Amos K-3 Draw Isabelle Tatoosh Mcleod Academic & Artistic Jenae Sam Academic

Huu-ay-aht Grade 5 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 8

Braydon Peters Sydney Nookemus Madison Lucas Olivia Peters

Academic Academic Academic & Ha Hopchu Academic & Athletic

Kyuquot Grade 3 Grade 5 Grade 10

Ayana Leo Jackson Jules Braelene Leo

K-3 Draw Academic Academic & Athletic

Dominic George Ava August Acacia Tom-Sylvester Catina Mattice Dave Amos Darnell Thompson

K-3 Draw K-3 Draw Academic Academic & Artistic Academic Academic

Nuchatlaht Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 12

Paton Peters Skyla Jeffery Amber Vincent

K-3 Draw K-3 Draw Academic & Artistic

Tla-o-qui-aht Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 5 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 10 Grade 10 Grade 12 Grade 12

Grade K Grade K Grade 1 Grade 1 Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 2 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 4 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 9 Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 10 Grade 10 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 11 Grade 11 Grade 12 Grade 12

Helen Martin Mason Frank Bode Amos Wiinuk Marin Hannah Frank Ryliegh Amos Da’von Ekering Raquel Thomas Timothy Masso

K-3 Draw K-3 Draw Academic & Athletic Academic & Athletic Academic Academic Academic & Ha Hopchu Academic Academic & Ha Hopchu

Nikko Lamb K-3 Draw Olivia Little K-3 Draw Kessa Watts K-3 Draw Sarah Burnip K-3 Draw Wyatt Pratt K-3 Draw Dawson Bill K-3 Draw Royston Good K-3 Draw Sadie Volodin K-3 Draw Annika Anderson K-3 Draw Desiderio Gomez-CharelsK-3 Draw Kailand Watts K-3 Draw Natilee Dick K-3 Draw Tessa Auerbach K-3 Draw Logan Knighton Academic & Ha Hopchu Odis Anderson Academic Solomon Watts Academic & Athletic Emery Auerbach Academic Nisma Marshall Academic & Artistic Carmen Bill Academic Kate Anderson Academic & Athletic Hayliegh Watts Athletic Giulianna Little Academic & Athletic Jaidin Knighton Academic & Artistic Tia Watts Academic & Ha Hopchu Jasmin Fred Academic & Artistic Kieris Braker-Patterson Academic & Athletic Kelcie Sam Academic & Artistic Hannah Sam Academic & Artistic Neve Watts Academic & Athletic Oliver Anderson Academic & Athletic Sophia Bill Academic & Artistic Jewel Jensen Academic & Artistic Rain Thomas Academic & Athletic Serenity Watts Artistic Kayden Dorion Athletic Kyle Rosengren Academic & Artistic

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