INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Vol. 46 - No. 13—July 04, 2019
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Ditidaht and Pacheedaht reach treaty ‘milestone’ Agreement In Principle entails $60 million in transfers, legal ownership over Crown and national parks land By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Victoria, BC - The Ditidaht and Pacheedaht signed an agreement that has been a quarter century in the making today, setting the First Nations up for the final stages of treaty negotiations with the province and Canada. Elected leaders inked a joint Agreement In Principle in Victoria, a document that includes the basis of separate treaty agreements for the two southern Nuuchah-nulth nations. The agreement lays the groundwork for final treaty implementation, with attention to territorial rights and obligations, as well as interests in land and waters that are formally recognized by Canadian law. On the traditional territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, the AIP was signed by Premier John Horgan, federal Member of Parliament John Aldag (on behalf of Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett), Ditidaht Chief Councillor Robert Joseph and Jeff Jones, chief councillor of the Pacheedaht First Nation. “This Agreement In Principle is a milestone,” said Jones before signing the AIP. “For Pacheedaht, it began when Europeans first visited our home on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It has not been an easy journey since settlers first arrived in our lands.” “Like other nations across the West Coast of Canada, we have faced hardship,” continued the chief councillor. “Despite this all, we decided to take a new relationship with the Crown through the treaty process.” At its current stage, the treaty proposes almost $20 in capital transfers to Pacheedaht and nearly $40 million to Ditidaht that would be paid upon implementation of the agreement, plus respective economic development funds of $1.8 and $3 million. Pacheedaht has approximately 280 members, while Ditidaht numbers 770. The proposed treaty land entails the nation’s existing reserves, plus areas to be transferred from Crown land and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. For the Pacheedaht this would include 175.9 hectares of reserve land, plus 1,593 of provincial Crown area and another 128 hectares transferred from the national park to the First Nation. The Ditidaht are set to own its 751 hectares of reserve land, almost 4,000 hectares of Crown land and 1,453 hectares of national park land in the southeastern portion of Vancouver Island.
Photo by Eric Plummer
Ditidaht Chief Councillor Robert Joseph, Pacheedaht Chief Councillor Jeff Jones and Premier John Horgan sign an Agreement in Principle at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria June 28, progressing the nations to the final stage of treaty negotiations. Behind them stands Scott Fraser, B.C.’s minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. years to work out a final agreement, but The province has also pledged to nations’ territory was restricted, Canada a number of issues remain to be settled made a land cash offer in 1979, but this establish a 54-kilometre gravel forest was rejected by the Pacheedaht and with the province and Canada, including road from Cowichan Lake to the end the how fisheries rights will be recogof Nitinaht Lake to benefit the Ditidaht Ditidaht. nized. “It was crazy. Nobody in their right community. mind would accept that,” recalled Joseph “The first thing we want to do is have a Joseph has been involved in treaty meaningful role in fisheries stewardship,” negotiations for the Ditidaht for decades. of the offer. “It was basically shoved Joseph said. “Resulting from our own acdown our throats. We didn’t have any He foresees his nation becoming more tion, we would have access to more fish, empowered to economically benefit from input into it.” that’s our vision. We have to find a way its land if a treaty is implemented. The Pacheedaht first filed their stateto protect that.” ment of intent to explore a modern-day “If you own everything and you can’t treaty in 1996, while the Ditidaht’s subSeveral Aboriginal groups in BC have develop your economy, you’re wasting reached the AIP stage of the treaty your time,” said Joseph, who expects the mission was made in 1993. Joseph said process - including the Yekooche First that his nation made progress when their treaty could have an influence on other negotiators decided to abandon a “comNation that signed their agreement back Aboriginal communities. “We would be in 2005 - but few have progressed to final negotiating things that would ultimately bative” approach. implementation. “For a good decade and a half we were be extended to all First Nations, because drawing lines in the sand and saying, Three modern-day treaties have been we’re starting to wake people up.” implemented in British Columbia, During the event, which was held at ‘This is our position, what’s yours?’ That’s combative and it doesn’t solve any including the Maa-nulth Final AgreeVictoria’s prestigious Empress Hotel, ment, which took effect April 1, 2011 problems,” he said. “Let’s be part of the speakers noted that the nations never for the Huu-ay-aht, Uchucklesaht, agreed to the establishment of the West process and you won’t have to consult Toquaht,Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ ̣ and Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ with us.” Coast Trail when it was added to the Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations. He expects it could take another three region’s national park in 1973. After the
Inside this issue... Salmon allocations and sports fisheries.....................Page 3 2019 Graduating classes....................................Page 7 to 11 Language survival strategies....................................Page 12 Cathedral Grove congestion.................................. Pages 14 National Indignous Peoples Day..............................Page 18
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Indigenous Language legislation receives royal assent New law guarantees continual funding and a national oﬃce to help preserve ancestral dialects across Canada By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC – The Heliset TTE SKAL – Let the Languages Live Indigenous Languages Conference opened to the great news that Bill C-91, the Indigenous Languages bill, received Royal Assent on June 21 – most fittingly on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Bill C-91states, in part, that the Government of Canada recognizes that the rights of Indigenous peoples, affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, including rights related to Indigenous languages. In his keynote address at the conference, AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde talked about the efforts of the AFN and other Indigenous leaders to get the bill passed, which would allow language champions to access resources and build on their work saving critically endangered dialects. Language, Bellegarde stated, is fundamental to our survival as Indigenous peoples. “The residential school system in Canada was a form of genocide that tried to eradicate all of our languages; we were taught everything about being First Nations was no good,” said Bellegarde. He went to say that today’s generations are still feeling the intergenerational trauma from this institutionalisation. While there are no more residential schools, Indigenous children are still overrepresented in Canada’s child welfare system; something that further alienates young First Nations children from their families, their languages and their culture. Bellegarde suggested that Indigenous people need to work together to rebuild culture and languages. “The government invested a lot of resources and time to eradicate our languages,” he said. “Now they must invest the time and resources to correct it.” Bellegarde noted that language revitalization is a priority for the AFN and they have worked hard on the legislation. With a nod of her head, Canada’s Governor General gave Royal Assent to the Bill C-91 in the House of Commons on National Indigenous Peoples Day. “What this means is statutory funding will be in place to ensure the resources are there to bring back fluency,” said Bellegarde.
Photos by Denise Titian
Renee Sampson leads the Grade 4/5 class of the SENĆOŦEN Immersion program. The children, from the WSÁNEĆ Nation, began their immersion program in Nursery school.
“The government invested a lot of resources and time to eradicate our languages.” ~ Perry Bellegarde, AFN National Chief
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde This funding will be used by communities in a variety of ways, including the mentor/apprenticeship language programs, immersion and other models of transferring fluency to non-speakers. Bellegarde noted that British Columbia has the fastest growing language programs and resource development in Canada. He acknowledged MLA and
Congratulations 2019 Graduates! Best wishes on your future endeavours.
Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Scott Fraser, and BC Premier John Horgan for making language preservation a priority by contributing $50 million to language revitalization. Bellegarde said that Canada’s First Nations are the fastest growing segment of the population and by investing in language preservation, the province is investing in human capitol. “If you are successful in language education you are successful in life,” said Bellegarde. Up until recently, First Nations had very few resources to work on languages. Bellegarde thanked the elders and language champions that struggled over the past decade or more to keep building on flu-
ency. “We thank you and you will see the fruits of your labour soon,” he vowed. Bill C-91 requires the establishment of the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages. The office’s mandate and powers will include supporting the efforts of Indigenous peoples to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages. The office will be required to submit an annual report to the minister of Canadian Heritage on the use and vitality of Indigenous languages in Canada and the adequacy of funding provided by the Government of Canada for initiatives related to Indigenous languages. Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett made an appearance at the conference to announce that her government has committed $300 million over five years to protect Indigenous languages in Canada. She stated that the partners will soon come together to determine how the funding will be used. She noted that it is important that funds get to the grassroots people doing things like immersion programs, which have proven to be successful.
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Salmon allocations oﬀend rights, says leaders With support from other nations, Hesquiaht speaks of shutting down the rec fishery if the situation continues By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Tofino, BC - First Nations have the right - above other users - to access fish from their waters, according to the Constitution and the Supreme Court of Canada. But this isn’t playing out on the west coast of Vancouver Island, according to Nuu-chah-nulth leaders who addressed the issue at a recent fisheries meeting in Tofino. Tseshaht Councillor Hugh Braker noted that of the 130,000 chinook that are projected to migrate to the Somass River this spring and summer, 31,000 is allocated for the First Nation’s economic opportunity fishery, while another 2,000 is set aside to Tseshaht’s food, social and ceremonial purposes. “We have a population of over 1,200, so we can rejoice in getting 1.7 chinook per person for this upcoming year. That’s supposed to be our food, social, ceremonial allocation,” said Braker. “The sport fishermen are getting well over 40,000.” This frustration was heard around the table from Nuu-chah-nulth representatives at the Council of Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries, hosted by the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation June 12-13 in Tofino. “It offends the constitutional priority of Aboriginal people,” added Braker. “Sport fishermen, commercial seiners, commercial gillnetters, they have no place at the table when my tribe talks about priority for Tseshaht…Our place is guaranteed in the Constitution.” This year tougher restrictions were imposed on the West Coast in order to
Hesquiaht Chief Councillor Richard Lucas protect endangered chinook salmon that originate from the Fraser River. DFO is not permitting the retention of chinook caught west of Vancouver Island until July 15, including for First Nations food, social and ceremonial purposes. “After conservation, the First Nations fisheries have a constitutionally protected priority and DFO will be authorizing very limited opportunities to harvest chinook for ceremonial purposes prior to July 15,” said Lara Sloan of the department’s communications in an email to Ha-Shilth-Sa. Despite the new retention restrictions, the recreational sector has a strong presence in Ahousaht waters, said Harold Little. This is the first time the seasoned Ahousaht fisherman has seen sports fishing boats inside the surf line, prompting Little to direct his frustrations to DFO officials who attended the fisheries meeting on June 13. “Or hahoulthee is as far as you can see in the ocean. We own it,” he said. “I want to know how you own it. What right do
you have to tell us what to do?” “The reason we’re here is to hear the concerns and bring them forward,” said Kevin Conley, a DFO Aboriginal programs coordinator. In his response Conley referenced the Ahousaht et al. court case. In 2009 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/Chinekintaht, Hesquiaht, Tla-o-qui-aht and Mowachaht/ Muchalaht have the Aboriginal right to harvest and sell fish from their own territories, but negotiations have stalled over the last decade and those involved currently await the result of an appeal heard in court last February. “We have dedicated process, negotiators and senior-level managers working on that,” said Conley. “I would have to defer and bring that comment to those officials.” With this year’s restrictions on chinook the DFO announced it would be increasing enforcement, but how this will affect recreational boats is yet to be determined. “Essentially it’s an honour system,” said Jim Lane, the southern region biologist with Uu-a-thluk, of recreational catch reporting. “There’s not a lot of officers dedicated to the west coast of Vancouver Island.” In the restricted areas, sports fishing for chinook has continued with the requirement that the fish are released. This includes the Tofino Saltwater Classic held July 5-7, which is limiting its chinook derby to catch and release. The fundraising event plans to have “fish master” boats on the water during the competition to measure and assist in the releasing of
chinook. More than 80 per cent of chinook salmon survive after being caught and released, says the DFO. “The impacts of chinook non-retention on Fraser River chinook are expected to be very low in marine recreational fisheries, as salmon released from hook and line gear generally have high survival rates,” said Sloan. “They’ve got no idea and yet we’re talking about species that are actually threatened on the West Coast. We should close it and not even allow a bycatch,” said Ahousaht member Wickininnish, Cliff Atleo, of the sports fishery in Nuuchah-nulth territory. “Let’s be draconian. I think we’ve got to start looking after the resources.” Hesquiaht Chief Councillor Richard Lucas said his nation has been further restricted by the newly established conservation areas to protect rockfish – a DFO mandated measure the nation was not consulted on. “We look after the hahoulthee. If Canada won’t cooperate with us, then I think it’s time we took some action and we shut down the sports fishery,” he said. “We do support Hesquiaht if they’re going to close it - and I hope they do because we’re at a critical stage,” added Nuchatlaht Councillor Archie Little. “We can’t allow catch and release.” “As Ahousaht, we support and respect what Hesquiaht is wanting to do,” said Ahousaht representative Kiista, with the DFO officials present. “You’re under monitoring a privilege. To us, you’re over monitoring our right.”
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Hupacasath building homes after lengthy hiatus Due to the Indian Act’s certificate of possession, First Nation had to buy land from members to make it possible By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Nuu-chah-nulth nations in general are challenged with housing shortages, but what makes Hupacasath First Nation unique among them is its biggest obstacle: No available land. As a result of the Indian Act’s certificate of possession program, adopted by Hupacasath First Nation years ago, members purchased properties to an extent where there was practically nothing left for new housing or other forms of land development on the Ahahswinis reserve. Ninety percent of Ahahswinis, an urban reserve on the north side of the Somass River, is owned by community members. “Hupacasath has had the unique experience of having to buy back land from members for building housing,” said Rick Hewson, CEO and chief financial officer. “That’s why there hasn’t been housing built in Ahahswinis for some time.” People on the Hupacasath wait list for housing have had to be patient. Some have been on the list so long that their family composition has changed, affecting their housing needs, Hewson noted. There are 47 families on the wait list of a nation with a total population of 332. “I think it’s been about a dozen years since we’ve had any movement on housing,” said Art Van Volsen, housing coordinator for the nation. “It’s been a long time coming.” Van Volsen is excited to have steered a pair of duplexes on Josephine Street, a stone’s throw off River Road, to the construction stage at long last. The 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom ranchers should be available as rent-to-own homes by early 2020. The Hupacasath government consulted members to initially gauge interest in whether anyone was willing to sell their land. Often families don’t want to let go of their property, preferring to retain it for future generations. “I think it’s a challenge where there is a certificate of possession program,” Hewson said. “Many communities are completely owned by band members, but for any government program, they require land to be turned over to the band. It causes a lot of friction.” While it wasn’t easy, “I think we’ve negotiated a fair and equitable rate,” Hewson added. Once a purchase was completed, they opted for a duplex design in order to optimize the housing opportunity. A meeting
June 26 will help determine which families will be able to move in later this year. After encountering a lot of red tape with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s New Approach to Housing Support program, Van Volsen found success working with CMHA’s on-reserve nonprofit housing program. Even with that, the process wasn’t straightforward. “There is no manual,” he said. “You’ve got to have somebody doing it.” That means consistent communications with the funding agency and having someone who can write effective proposals. Applicants have to compete for a limited pool of funds. Projects need to be championed with strong backing from chief and council, he stressed. “There are nations out there that don’t have proposal writers and they’re going to miss out,” he said. There are two more serviced lots available within the three-hectare parcel purchased by Hupacasath. Those lots are earmarked for band members interested in financing their own construction. Beyond that, a long-term opportunity for Hupacasath to develop new housing lies with the nearby Kleekoot reserve west of Sproat Lake. Kleekoot may accommodate an additional 24-36 housing units, though its location some distance from town would present an issue for some members, Hewson said. Subdivision development would first require a water connection, the subject of a feasibility study nearing completion. While Hupacasath’s land constraints are unique within Nuu-chah-nulth territory, their needs are most certainly not. “I would say, relative to their population, that is pretty normal,” said Doug Neff, NTC director of capital programs, commenting on the community’s lengthy wait list. Other Nuu-chah-nulth communities are challenged by remoteness and resources. “It is a chronic shortage of housing, no question. There is also a chronic lack of infrastructure to support that housing,” Neff said. The challenge lies not only with constructing new housing but with simply maintaining the existing inventory, he added. Calling the housing situation facing Indigenous people unacceptable, the NDP government last year made B.C. the first province to fund investment in on-reserve housing. More than 1,100 new homes will be built over the next two to four years through the Indigenous Housing Fund.
Photo by Mike Youds
Taylor Saywell, right, and co-worker Taylor Heck of Saywell Developments prepare foundations for a pair of residential duplexes, the first housing built by Hupacasath nation in years.
July 04, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
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Bamfield Community School students perform a song during the SD70 First Nations Spring Festival on May 16 in the ADSS theatre.
Audit shows progress on Indigenous education By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor A recent audit on education of Indigenous students in B.C. showed the graduation rate is 16 per cent lower than for nonIndigenous students, lowering from a 24 per cent gap in 2015. On June 18, the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia released a progress audit on the Ministry of Education’s changes since the office’s 2015 report on the education of Aboriginal students in B.C.’s public school system. The original 2015 audit found there were gaps between Indigenous and nonIndigenous students in reading, writing and math assessments, in graduation rates and in how safe they feel in school. In 2015, the office made 12 recommendations to assist the ministry in closing the gaps. The recent progress audit found the gaps have become smaller, but are still substantial. The progress audit shows the Ministry of Education has taken action to address many of the original recommendations. According to a press release from the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia, the ministry has implemented a new curriculum to teach all B.C. students about Indigenous culture and history. It also introduced a program, Equity in Action, to guide school districts through an intensive process to identify barriers to Indigenous student success. The ministry just hired a director of Indigenous analytics to improve how it uses data to focus on the gaps between Indigenous and nonIndigenous students. “School District 70 (SD70) is very pleased that the attention is being given to Indigenous students, not just by school districts but by the province,” said Dave Maher SD70 principle of Indigenous education. “Indigenous school achievement is now being focused on by so many organizations. The fact that we can all work together and align our energies, or strategies, and our abilities to create conditions that are optimal for Indigenous students to succeed - both from a culture prospective and academic prospective are really encouraging and needed.” Maher added that SD70 is encouraged by the improving results in Indigenous education, particularly with graduation rates of students. Thirty per cent of students in SD70 are Indigenous and of those students, the graduation rate is 67 per cent, which is up from the mid-30per-cent range over the last 10 years. School District 70 has a dedicated
Indigenous education team, Maher said, that is working to Indigenize many of the curricular competencies and learning outcomes of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students. “We’re working hard to ensure that children see their families, communities and culture reflected in the daily lives of school,” Maher said. “We’re working hand-in-hand with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, with our Indigenous organizations, our Nuu-chah-nulth communities to ensure that their voices are seen, their voices are heard and their voices are present in the daily learning.” Maher said some ways Indigenous and Nuu-chah-nulth worldviews are implemented into teachings throughout SD70 schools are by teaching probability with the game of lahal, as well as working with government and community leaders like Judith Sayers and Cliff Atleo to teach students about Indigenous governance. Although Maher sees many positive improvements in Indigenous education, he says there’s still a lot of work to do. “The audit has given us the opportunity…to confirm that we’re definitely on the right path but we do have a lot of work to do to bring parody between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students,” he said. “When we’re looking at Indigenous school success, we’re looking at it beyond the academic sense, we’re looking at it from encouraging a sense of positive personal identity, positive cultural identify and school belonging.” Maher said school districts need to continue to work with Indigenous communities and organizations towards health, wellness and education for students and to continue working to make sure all Indigenous voices are heard. The Auditor General’s report states the Ministry of Education still has work to do in areas such as developing an Indigenous education strategy, ensuring important data around student success is collected and reporting publicly on its progress. “Full implementation of our recommendations requires multiple parties to be part of the solution - Indigenous communities, government, school districts, teachers, unions, parents and students,” said Auditor General Carol Bellringer in the press release. “During our interviews for the progress audit, we heard about increased government collaboration with Indigenous leaders and communities.” The full progress audit and the original report are both available on the Office of the Auditor General website: www. bcauditor.com.
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Graduates recognized for perseverance Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council awards 144 scholarships for all educational levels By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - “We have to lead the way for the next generation,” said Georgina Sutherland to the crowd gathered at the Alberni Athletic Hall, honouring 115 Nuu-chah-nulth high school and postsecondary graduates on June 15. As a Nuu-chah-nulth Education Worker at the Alberni District Secondary School, Sutherland has an intimate knowledge of what First Nations people can face on their educational path. “We see children, as Nuu-chah-nulth education workers, that are not proud of their body type, that are not proud of their gender, not proud to be First Nations,” she said. “I have to tell those students that they’re beautiful, that they belong here. Sometimes they don’t believe me, but I have to tell them every single day.” Held by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, the day-long ceremony emphasized belonging, celebrating graduates of Grade 12 as well as colleges and universities across the West Coast. The event also awarded over 140 scholarships to students of all ages, ranging from Grade 1 to post-secondary. Samantha Deutsch of Hesquiaht was given a Grade 12 academic and Heechis scholarship. In an emotional speech, the ADSS graduate shared the challenges through her academic career, beginning with a family tragedy when she began middle school. “My father died by suicide when I was in Grade 7,” she recalled. “And after that, even though I liked attending school, it became a struggle to get up in the morning. Despite having a good group of friends I felt isolated.” When she began high school Deutsch said she “didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin”, and missed many classes due to depression. “I utilized resources in my community, but nothing seemed to fit with me and I felt even more alone,” she said. “But I continued on, and gradually, through hard work, things slowly got better. My family’s love and watching my mother on her education career path helped remind me
Photo by Eric Plummer
Samantha Deutsch speaks to the ADSS graduating class about her life experiences after recieving the Grade 12 academic and Heechis scholarships at the NTC ceremony on June 15. To illustrate how people learn in differways at varying paces, NTC Director “Traditionally that’s how we ent of Education Ian Caplette told a story of learned, we learned from our his own time in school. While living with his mother and an older sibling by five older people” years, Caplette always looked up to his big sister – particularly after she failed ~ Ian Caplette, Grade 2 when she didn’t learn how to read. NTC Director of Education “She started to learn and she taught herself how to read,” said Caplette. “I started learning how to read when she was what I wanted for myself.” Deutsch recalls feeling particularly com- learning how to read. She didn’t know it, pelled by a social studies project she took but what she did is she gave me the tools to do well in school when she couldn’t, on about the residential school system just by learning. So by the time I was in and the 60s Scoop. kindergarten I was already learning at a “The information I found made me feel Grade 2 level.” sick - but I was proud knowing that the “Traditionally that’s how we learned, resiliency of our Indigenous people was we learned from our older people,” he not lost, even though colonizers did their continued. “I did well in school, but I best to assimilate them,” she said. didn’t graduate like everyone else, when Deutsch received cultural support from everybody else did. I didn’t graduate until the Quu’asa program, and gained experiI was 31. It took some time, and that’s ence volunteering for the Kuu-us Crisis okay. There will be some people who are Line Society. She plans to further her walking to be recognized today, after it studies in psychology and addictions for took some time.” a career in helping others.
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Class of 2019 Graduates Nuu-chah-nulth Employment Training Program @aah=uus%ath Graduates Curtis Dick - Carpentry, NIC Jori Frank - Carpentry, Camosun Peter Frank Jr. - Carpentry, Camosun Russell Frank Jr. - Carpentry, Camosun Fredrick Mattersdorfer - Carpentry, NIC Paul Sam - Carpentry, NIC Seymour Seitcher - Carpentry, NIC William Thomas - Marine Service Tech. Apprentice, Quadrant Marine Institute
%iih=atis%ath Graduates Chaeli Ambrose - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood
h=is^q#ii%ath Graduates Earl Paul - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood
huupac^~as%ath Graduates Arthus Van Volsen - Certificate FN Housing Management
Lax-kw’alaams First Nation Graduates Twyla Enockson - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood
Samson Cree Nation Graduate Cory Yellowbird - Carpentry, NIC
+a%uuk#i%ath Graduates Dennis Blackbird - Carpentry, Camosun Thomas Campbell - Carpentry, NIC Glen David Jr. - Carpentry, Camosun Jordan Dorward - Carpentry, NIC Steven Frank Sr. - Carpentry, NIC Tabatha Frank - Diploma Acting Film Television Voiceover, Creative Institute of the Arts James Martin - Fishing Master 4, Maritime Institute Nicholas Seitcher - Carpentry, Camosun Shawn Quick - Carpentry, Camosun
c`is^aa%ath= Grade 12 Graduates
+a%uuk#i%ath= Grade 12 Graduates
Gredy Barney - ADSS & Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Kolton Braker - ADSS, Dogwood Angelina Cartlidge - ADSS, Dogwood Antina Dennis - Eighth Ave LC, Evergreen Taylor Little - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Cecil Mack Jr. - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Elliot Mack - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Michael Nelson - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood William Merry - ADSS, Dogwood Jacob Potter - ADSS, Dogwood Dougie Sam - ADSS, Evergreen
Reggie (James) David - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Ottis Crabbe - USS, Dogwood Autumn David - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Marcus Frank - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Catherine Joe-Thompson - ADSS, Dogwood Taylor Lee - Kwalikum SS, Dogwood Brandon Martin - USS, Dogwood Rowan Mayes - USS, Dogwood Tre Seitcher - Eighth Ave LC, Evergreen Tamara Thomas - ADSS, Dogwood
Post-Secondary Graduates Thomas Jensen - Diploma Advanced Audio Engineer, Nimbus School Cynthia Rayner - MBA, Athabasca University Jamie (Rosa) Ross - Cook Assistant, NIC Olivia Shewish - Diploma ECE, NIC
huu@ii%ath= Grade 12 Graduates
Ahmber Barbosa - BSc, VIU/Athabasca Joseph David - Certificate ECCE, NIC Rae-Ven Frank - Certificate ECCE, NIC Martina Martin - Professional Cook 1, NIC Freda Thomas - Certificate ECCE, NIC Maureen Tom - Certificate ECCE, NIC Cooper Morais - Diploma Aircraft Maintenance Eng., BCIT
h=is^q#ii%ath= Grade 12 Graduates
Talen Adair - ADSS, Dogwood Humiis (Ethan) Little - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Tristan MacDonald - ADSS, Dogwood Dillinger Williams - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Post-Secondary Graduates Belinda Nookemus - Joinery/ Cabinetmaking Foundation, NIC Kalissa Montgomery - Joinery/ Cabinetmaking Foundation, NIC Tiana Peters - Health Care Assistant Certificate, NIC Andrea Pettigrew - Professional Esthetics Certificate, VIU Michael Douangluxay-Cloud - MBA, Seattle Pacific University Lee-Anna Gurney - Health Care Assistant Certificate, Camosun Dion Joe - Prep Cook Certificate, NIC
Noah Charleson-Sterritt - TSHS, Gr.12 Diploma Samantha Deutsch - ADSS, Dogwood Jayden Iversen - ADSS, Dogwood Noble Jones - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Sebastian Sutherland - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Andrew Thompson, Eighth Ave LC, Evergreen
Post-Secondary Graduates Kelsey Amos - Primary Care Paramedic, JIBC Kerry Erickson - B.S.W., VIU Sandy (Kai) Geddes - BA History, VIU Mamie Lucas - Human Services Certificate, NIC Georgina Sutherland, BA First Nation Studies, VIU
c`is^aa%ath Graduates George Sam - Carpentry, Camosun
Yuu>u%i>%ath= Graduates Mathew Jack - Carpentry, NIC Kobe Little - Carpentry, NIC
Congratulations to all the 2019 Graduates
muwac^~ath=/muc^>aath Grade 12 Graduates Shannon Frank - Gold River SS, Dogwood
Post-Secondary Graduates Christopher Jack - Certificate ECCE, NIC
Gorr d J oh Go ohns ns NDP MP for C Court ourtenay ourt enay-Alb enay -Alberni -Alb erni
1-844-620-9924 Gord.Johns@parl.gc.ca www.gordjohns.ca
@aah=uus%ath Grade 12 Graduates Michael Andrew - ADSS, Dogwood Hannah Atleo - ADSS, Dogwood Kaelib George - USS, Dogwood Erin Frank - Maaqtusiis SS, Dogwood Hannah Manson - Maaqtusiis SS, Dogwood Haley Mark - Maaqtusiis SS, Dogwood Ashiel Marshall - John Barsby CS, Dogwood Shelby Martin - Maaqtusiis SS, Dogwood Ashley (Dawn) Matttersdorfer Maaqtusiis SS, Dogwood Rick Moras - Maaqtusiis SS, Dogwood Stanley Sam Jr. - Maaqtusiis SS, Dogwood Dianna Sorensen - ADSS, Dogwood Selena Tom - Maaqtusiis SS, Dogwood Janaya Thomas - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Pierce Washburn - USS, Dogwood Aiyanna Thomas-Whitmore Maaqtusiis SS, Dogwood Post-Secondary Graduates Angeline Dennis - BSc in Nursing, with Honors at VIU Fiona Cromwell - Diploma Biological Science Technology, NAIT Ryan Jack - Certificate Foundation Carpentry, VIU Renneth Louie - Diploma in Indigenous Studies, Camosun Savannah Sam - BSc in Nursing, VIU William Thomas - BA Criminology, SFU June Titian - Certificate Applied Business Technology, NIC
diitiid%aa%tx= Post-Secondary Graduates Mercediese Dawson - BSW Indigenous Specialization, UVic Krista-Lynn Joseph - MA Education, VIU Amanda Seymour - Certificate Health Care Aid, VIU
%iih=atis%ath= Grade 12 Graduates Joan Hubert - ADSS, Dogwood Florence John - ZESS, Dogwood Antonio Mark - CTC , Dogwood Ivan Wells - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood
huupac^~as%ath Grade 12 Graduates Alyssa Frank - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood Mercedes Tatoosh - Eight Ave LC, Dogwood Travis Tatoosh - ADSS, Dogwood Tristan Tatoosh - Eighth Ave LC, Dogwood
qaay`uuk`#ath=/c^~iiq+is%ath Grade 12 Graduates Ocean Jules - KESS, Dogwood Cas Sutherland - John Barsby SS, Dogwood
Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 04, 2019
Scholarship Award Recipients 2019 diitiid%aa%tx= iih=atis%ath= @aah=uus%ath= Nevaeh Atleo (Draw) Serenity Lucas (Draw) Riley Stewart (Draw) Houston Stewart (Academic) Jonas Canute (Academic) Aaron Dick-Ferrie (Academic) Xander Lelewski (Academic) Sequoia Lindsay (Academic) Eric Lindsay (Academic) Philip Canute (Academic) Inez Little (Academic) Sereana Kaloucokovale (Academic) Julianna Morris (Academic) Gerald Frank-Perry (Academic) Juniper John (Academic) Cedar Lindsay (Academic) Erin Frank (Academic & Artistic)
c`is^aa%ath= Easton Burton-McCarthy (Draw) Natilee Dick (Draw) Desiderio Gomez-Charles (Draw) Kailand Watts (Draw) Odis Anderson (Draw) Stanley Laplante (Draw) Solomon Watts (Draw) Sophia Burton-McCarthy (Draw) Dean Gallic (Draw) Kate Anderson (Academic) Carmen Bill (Academic) Damon Albion (Artistic) Cameron Amos (Academic) Juliann Fraser (Academic) Hayleigh Watts (Academic) Noelani Watts (Artistic) Jasmine Fred (Academic) Oliver Anderson (Academic & Athletic) Sophia Bill (Academic & Artistic) Hannah Sam (Academic) Makenna Dick (Amos) (Academic) Grace Sarlandie (Academic) William Merry (Academic) Michael Nelson (Academic &Heechis) Post-Secondary Scholarship Awards Shalaya Valenzuela, BMO Scholarship Cynthia Rayner, BMO Scholarship Jade-Lynn Jensen, NTC Education Scholarship Toni Schutte, NTC Scholarship Linsey Haggard, John Thomas Memorial Scholarship Thomas Jensen, NTC Journalism Scholarship Victoria Dick, NTC Nursing Scholarship
nuc^aa>%ath= Amber Vincent (Artistic)
Derrick John (Draw) Warren Peter Amos (Draw) Quinton Canute (Draw) Sydney Nookemus (Draw) Dakota Knighton (Academic) Hailey Thompson (Academic) Kate Edgar (Academic & Athletic) Breeanna Edgar (Academic) Isabelle Fortin (Academic) Destiny Peltier (Academic & Athletic) Mazzari Tate (Academic) Josie Marchand (Academic) David Edgar (Academic & Athletic) Post-Secondary Scholarship Awards Krista-Lynn Joseph, BMO Scholarship Hannah Logan, NTC Education Scholarship Laura Peltier, McGorman McLean Scholarship Rose Gray, NTC Education Scholarship Mercediese Dawson, Tommy Jack Memorial Scholarship
huu@ii%ath= Emily Ginger (Academic) Natalie Clappis (Academic)
huupac^~as%ath= Deeawnah Lauder (Draw) Rose Tatoosh (Academic) Mia Foster (Academic) Saphiah Lauder (Academic) Autumn Tatoosh (Academic) Courtney Vissia (Academic & Artistic) Lindsey Frank (Academic & Athletic) Miriah Mottishaw (Academic & hahuupchu) Post-Secondary Scholarship Awards Elliot Vissia, NTC Scholarship
muwac^~ath=/ muc^>aath Talishe Amos (Academic) Serina Blackstone (Academic & haahuupcha) Samara Amos (Academic) Logan Wilson (Athletic)
Amalee Hanson (Draw) Keelahn Hanson (Draw) Robyn Ambrose (Academic) Jenniece (Diane) Mack (Academic) Danica Mack (Academic) Adam John (Athletic) Brianna Jules (Academic) Destiny Hanson (Academic) Chaeli Ambrose (Heechis) Post-Secondary Scholarship Awards Adrienne Michael, Roy & Daisy Haiyupis Award Stacey Miller, Wameesh Memorial Scholarship
qaay`uuk`#ath=/ c^~iiq+is%ath Ayona Leo (Draw) Liam Billy-Smith (Draw) Linden George (Draw) Mekhiah George (Draw) Kaida Joseph (Draw) Mya Smith (Draw) Naomi Vincent (Draw) Kamea Joseph (Academic & hahuupchu) Alex du Bourg (Academic)
Brenden Iversen (Academic) Noah Charleson-Sterritt (Academic) Samantha Deutsch (Academic & Heechis) Jayden Iversen (Academic & BMO) Post-Secondary Scholarship Awards Mamie Lucas, Budget Car & Truck Rentals Scholarship Kelsey Amos, NTC Scholarship Courtney Amos, Harris & Co. Law Scholarship Seth Recalma, NEDC Scholarship Vanessa Redford, NEDC Scholarship
+a%uuk#i%ath= Kadience Amos-Hayes (Draw) Anthony Curley (Draw) Taylor Frank (Draw) Jayne Lucas-Noel (Academic) Alden Seitcher-Watts (haahuupcha) Da’von Ekering (Academic) Timothy Masso (Academic & haahuupcha) Post-Secondary Scholarship Awards Alicia James, NTC Education Scholarship Maria Seitcher, Renate Shearer Memorial Scholarship Colton Van Der Minne, BMO Scholarship
School District 70 (Alberni) “Always Learning”
Congratulations to the class of
From the Board of Education
Post-Secondary Scholarship Awards Samantha Jack-Gatley, NTC Education Scholarship
4690 Roger Street, Port Alberni Phone 250-723-3565 www.sd70.bc.ca
July 04, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Dawson eyes law degree and possible political career Graduate’s pursuits prompted by the trials that were tied to the deaths of Tina Fontaine and Coulton Boushie By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – Though she recently earned a social work degree from the University of Victoria, Mercediese Dawson has other plans. The 29-year-old Port Alberni woman will be returning to the Victoria university this September. She’ll be studying in the school’s Indigenous law program. Dawson is enrolled in the program, which is entering its second year, and officially called the Canadian Common Law (JD) and Indigenous Legal Orders (JID). The joint-degree program is the first of its kind in the world. “It’s really inspiring,” Dawson said. “I’m excited to see how they combine our Indigenous law with constitutional law.” There’s also been federal interest in the program. This past March the Canadian government announced in its budget it would be granting $9.1 million to the University of Victoria to build a new National Centre for Indigenous Law and Reconciliation. Dawson’s mother Karen is Nuu-chahnulth, from the Ditidaht First Nation. And her father Gary is Kwakwaka’wakw. “I was really excited when they first announced the Indigenous law program,” Dawson said. “I didn’t see myself doing anything with my social work degree.” Dawson said she has aspired to be a lawyer for some time. She was part of a small class with only six graduating students in her high school, and was the only one who took a law course in her Grade 12 year at Ditidaht Community School. Dawon’s interest in the field was re-
newed when UVic announced plans to add an Indigenous law program. At the time she was closely following a pair of noteworthy cases before the courts, trials for those accused of murdering a pair of Indigenous individuals, Tina Fontaine and Colton Boushie. “All that happened at the same time and it got me interested in law school again,” Dawson said. While she now plans to obtain a law degree, Dawson also set her sights set on politics, in all likelihood starting off with the Ditidaht First Nation. “A lot of band members came to me and asked me to run for council this year,” Dawson said. But since she is embarking on her law studies this year, Dawson felt it was not the right time to run to serve on the Ditidaht council. “I wouldn’t be able to dedicate myself to being a councillor now since I’m going back to school,” she said. But she’s already got her eyes on possibly running for a spot in the 2023 election in her community. And it might be for the top spot of chief instead of trying to secure one of the four available positions as councillor. “I might run for chief,” she said. “I’ll have a law degree by then.” Dawson created a bit of a stir at her recent convocation where she was presented with her social work degree. “I was the only one in my traditional regalia,” she said. “I felt I really stood out.” Dawson also stood out because she had a red hand print painted on her face, in recognition of missing and murdered Indigenous women. School officials
Mercediese Dawson returns to UVic this September to study in the school’s Indigenous law program. had some discussions before deciding degree from UVic in 2011. whether they would allow Dawson to Dawson is spending her summer in Port walk across the stage to be handed her Alberni as she works for the Nuu-chahdegree. nulth Tribal Council. She’s been hired “I told them I’m not going to say anyas co-ordinator for the annual Tlu-piich thing or do anything but I am going to Games. make my statement about this,” she said. Those multi-sport Games are scheduled Dawson is following in the footsteps of for Aug. 6-11. her father. He had earned his social work
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 04, 2019
July 04, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Maaqtusiis High School celebrates grad class of 2019 Fourteen students completed studies at the Ahousaht school this year, many overcoming unforeseen challenges By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ahousaht, BC – Hundreds of people turned out for Maaqtusiis School’s grade 12 graduation celebration held June 27 at the school gym. Fourteen graduates were escorted into the beautifully decorated gym in the grand procession before taking their seats on stage. Principal Kate Drexler told the students that, as principal, she does not get the opportunity to teach students each day, “but I am fortunate enough to get to listen and observe . . . to learn,” she told them. From there, she addressed each student, sharing with them the special moments from their high school years. Most of the students faced great challenges but persevered and finished their schooling. For some, it was becoming a parent, for others it was the loss of close family members. But they rose up to meet the challenge and learned that success can be achieved. “And with that – the lessons in resilience, strength, responsibility, connection - I am lucky to have been a student at Maaqtusiis Secondary School; a student of you twelve inspiring educators, ƛ̓eekoo,” Drexler said to the graduates. In their valedictorian speeches, Stanley Sam and Aiyanna Thomas Whitmore thanked their parents and teachers on behalf of the class of 2019 for their efforts in guiding the students to success. They had a special thank you for a school staffer named Brenda, who put in special effort for five members of the graduating class. “She stayed in after school with us from 5:00 to 8:00 in the evening just to make sure we got it done,” said Aiyanna. In his speech, Jerry Perry, a member of the school staff, congratulated each of the graduates individually. He talked about the extended family members, the Ha’wiih, the school staff and the Ahousaht Education Authority and their
Photos by Denise Titian
Maaqtusiis celebrated its new graduates on June 27, including valedictorians Aiyanna Thomas Whitmore and Stanley Sam. contributions to the community. “These grads are a result of many years of their work,” he said. The fourteen graduates are: Stanley Sam, Aiyanna Thomas-Whitmore, Selena Tom, Hanna Manson, Joseph Titian, Leanne John, Shandon Thomas, Erin Frank, Joshua Frank, Shelby Martin, Ricki Moras, Haley Mark, Pearl Campbell and Keondra Frank. Erin Frank earned the Honour Stole and the Tliishin Memorial Award for excellence in academics. The community reconvened at the school gym for dinner and family presentations.
ADSS 2019 valedictorian from Hesquiaht First Nation By Deborah Potter Ha-shilth-Sa Staff Port Alberni, BC – On Friday, June 28 Alberni District Secondary School celebrated another year of high school graduates. A couple hundred students, as well as their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends, celebrated moving on from public school and into adulthood with the graduation ceremony at the Multiplex. With each passing school year, more Indigenous students are seen completing their high school education. This year, the ADSS Valedictorian was a Hesquiaht member. Jayden Iverson was a proud student at ADSS. Among his grad class, he was voted as “Most School Spirit”. He competed on the school’s wrestling team, as well as on the rugby team, track and field, and was an avid band and drama student. With all this in mind, he felt the need to run for valedictorian as well. His favourite high school memory was winning the wrestling backside quarterfinals, which he mentioned had been the highlight of his life so far. “It guaranteed that I would be on the banner in the school gym,” Iverson explains to Ha-Shilth-Sa. “It immortalized my stay at ADSS.” As a band student, Iverson enjoyed the
many opportunities and trips, including travelling to Montreal. Iverson’s valedictorian speech focused on pride, from oneself, where they came from, and where they will go. “Walk forward proudly…with a renewed passion for life,” Iverson says to his fellow grad students in his valedictorian speech. As a Hesquiaht student, Iverson says the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council helped a lot in his pursuit of graduating. With grants and funding, Iverson worried less if he could afford post-secondary, giving him a better opportunity to further his education at an institute he wants to attend. “The education department helped me a lot,” says Iverson, thanking the Nuuchah-nulth education workers in the schools, as well as NTC’s education staff behind the scenes. Next year, Iverson plans to attend the University of Victoria to study physics, and with the help of NTC’s education funding, post-secondary seems a little more achievable. “No matter your background, you can achieve anything if you believe hard enough,” Iverson says to Ha-shilth-sa, just after walking the stage for his high school diploma.
Photo by Deborah Potter
Jayden Iverson is this year’s valedictorian at Alberni District Secondary School.
Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 04, 2019
Language survival strategies examined at conference Event draws delegates from across Canada and the around the world, focusing on protecting Aboriginal dialects By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC – More than 1,000 delegates from twenty countries arrived in Victoria B.C. to celebrate Indigenous languages and to explore language preservation strategies last week. The United Nations declared 2019 the year of Indigenous Languages, allowing for organizers to stage one of the largest Indigenous languages conferences in Canada. HELISET TŦE SḰÁL – ‘Let the Languages Live’ – 2019 International Conference on Indigenous Languages was co-hosted by the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation (FPCF) and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), in partnership with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Its goal was to celebrate Indigenous languages worldwide and support language revitalization in urban and rural areas. The doors to the Victoria Conference Centre opened June 23 with greeters welcoming their guests. They guided them through the massive venue in the heart of downtown Victoria. Billed as a global gathering organized by and for Indigenous people to support language revitalization, the event brought together people of all ages and all stages of fluency in their mother tongues. Many Nuu-chah-nulth delegates were in attendance, showcasing the work that they are doing in their communities to preserve and reinvigorate Nuu-chah-nulth languages. Delegates came from around the world and were made up of Indigenous leaders and advocates in language, policy and academia. There were keynote speakers that talked about the current state of Indigenous languages and the importance of building new speakers for the next generations. Break-out group sessions and panel discussions allowed experts to share expertise in Indigenous language reclamation, revitalization and maintenance. There were workshops that explored the stories and successes of various language revitalization groups, or shared the latest technology and software for recording languages.
Photo by Denise Titian
Hesquiaht elders maamicisumaqsa, Maggie Ignace, and tupaat, Julia Lucas, speak at the recent Indigenous languages conference about the Mentor Apprentice Program. Keynote speakers included Perry BelleNations in British Columbia and more Emcee Racelle Kooy gave a brief overgarde, national chief of the Assembly of than half of Canada’s Indigenous lanview of what would be happening at the First Nations, and Dr. Lorna Williams, a guages are in the province. conference and was pleased to announce University of Victoria professor emerita that Bill C-91, the Indigenous Languages “Many provinces don’t provide funding of Indigenous Education. or resources to save indigenous languaglegislation, received royal assent just a BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee said that few days earlier, on June 2. It is a bill, she es,” she said. saving languages and using them supBut the BC Government committed $50 said, that would ensure that we have our ports vibrant communities. Bringing them million for language revitalization. In languages for the next generations. February 2019 the province announced it back will help translate our history and Frank George Sr., an elder from the host nation Lekwungen, welcomed the people was making the investment in Indigenous our truth. “Over 150 years our languages are critilanguages to reverse the disruption from to his territory. He noted that the work cally endangered by colonial practices Canada’s history of colonization and people are doing to save the languages is – there are very few fluent speakers left,” residential schools. important because, he said, it has almost said Teegee. all been lost due to Indian residential and Herbert thanked the provincial government for the much-needed support saying He noted that the United Nations has day schools. established that languages are a fundathat for the past decade, the FPCC operGary Sam, councillor for the host nation, mental human right. He said the chiefs ated on a shoe-string budget. said that just over a year ago his nation are working hard to bring the languages “In BC we’ve become leaders in lanhad one fluent speaker who was in his back but are under-resourced. guage revitalization,” she said. 80s. Teegee called up the provincial govern“We have language classes every week at Following a dance performance by ment to develop legislation to protect Wsenac, the cultural teacher had this to the Songhees Wellness Centre; our language was sleeping but now we’re bring- say, “Language allows us to think and act Indigenous languages. The chiefs, said Teegee, will continue to ing it back,” he said, adding that they still the way our old people did.” work to decolonize the nations. He asked people to pray in their lanneed everybody to participate. guages and to have a good feeling of how “The next chapter hasn’t yet been written. Tracy Herbert, CEO of the First Peoples Cultural Council, which co-hosted the our language will bring us back to the old We will write it and it will be the best 150 years,” he vowed. ways of how we took care of everything. conference, noted that there are 203 First
Phrase of the week - +u`psq#ii Pronounced: klups-kwii. Means: a display of pride during a potlatch when one’s child dances for the first time, expressed through a small donation. Supplied by c^iisma
Illistration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
July 04, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
Trail project designed to enhance salmon habitat Path construction aims to avoid the glacial gravel deposits in the Pacific Rim park that are ideally suited for spawning fish By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-S Contributor Long Beach, BC - Progress continues on a multi-use pathway through Pacific Rim National Park with construction this season beginning near Wickaninnish Beach, work timed to limit impacts on salmon and trout. Known as ʔapsčiik t̓ ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) — which means “going in the right direction on the trail” — the $51-million project is scheduled to take three more seasons to complete while providing training and jobs for Tlao-qui-aht and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nations. A collaborative approach, including close consultation and an Indigenous benefits package, recognizes that the park occupies traditional Nuu-chah-nulth territory. In keeping with its mandate to protect the area’s ecological integrity, Parks Canada has gone above and beyond usual standards for construction, said Karen Haugen, park superintendent. That includes a careful and scientific approach to park lands containing a surprising extent of habitat for anadromous and semi-anadromous (sea-run) fish species. “There are 39 fish-bearing stream crossings in the ʔapsčiik t̓ ašii corridor,” Haugen noted. “Many of these streams are known to have chum, coho and cutthroat trout running through them.” Inland from Pacific Rim’s sprawling beaches lies an area known as Kennedy Flats. Retreating glaciers that formed the flats 10,000 years ago deposited gravel
“It’s an amazing project and we’re really looking forward to the restoration work that will occur because of it.” ~ Karen Haugen, Park Superintendent that offered a highly productive substrate for spawning salmon and trout. The area’s low-lying terrain also made it readily accessible for industry. Kennedy watershed’s fish-bearing streams were severely damaged by logging between the 1920s and 1960s prior to the park’s creation. More than a quarter of the park reserve was logged. Since the mid-’90s, local volunteers, including those from First Nations, have removed residual wood, debris clusters and organic sediments to restore streams.At this time of year, streams run dry, which limits potential impacts from pathway construction. Before work began, biologists with contractor Current Environmental walked the entire 25-kilometre length of the route, which parallels the park access road. They surveyed fish-bearing streams to gain a better understanding of populations and habitat availability. Using detailed impact analysis, they developed recommendations for limiting effects on fish and fish habitat through bridge and culvert design, mitigation and restoration of specific habitat. The analysis also served as the basis for an environmental management plan that identified restrictive timing windows around fish and bird species. DFO
Parks Canada photo
Chum salmon, along with coho salmon and cutthroat trout, inhabit streams that will be crossed by ʔapsčiik t̓ ašii. These chums were quick to reclaim spawning areas after recent culvert replacement in Sandhill Creek. reviewed the plan and signed off on the project with the explicit condition that habitat mitigation is included. That will represent a net gain of more than 4,000 square metres in fish habitat. All water-course crossings along the 25-kilometre route are designed with fish passage as a priority. Three of the crossings will be clear-span bridges without any interference with the stream beds. All other crossings will include culverts allowing fish passage and water flow. “It’s an amazing project and we’re really looking forward to the restoration work that will occur because of it,” Haugen said. Haugen hopes to see salmon returning as they did after a failing culvert under Wick Road was replaced with a bridge in nearby Sandhill Creek. The 2017 work, which also involved local First Nations and the Central West Coast Forest Society, was one of the largest rehabilitative projects ever undertaken in the park. “We now have chum coming back to that stream because of the enhancement work done,” Haugen said. Current environmental staff will remain on site during all in-stream and riparian work to minimize impacts of construction and implement habitat restoration prescriptions. “It’s reclaiming the ecological integrity of the park,” Haugen said. “It’s wonderful to be able to bring that back to life.” Parks Canada maintains that its partnership with Tla-o-qui-aht and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ is integral to the five-year project. This includes ongoing collaboration with a committee of elders and hiring supervisors from each nation to monitor construction. “They’re already on site, which is great to see,” Haugen said. Hazelwood Construction of Nanaimo was contracted this spring to construct the trail bed. Six workers have so far been recruited through a local job fair held in early June. Once completed in 2021, the pathway
will give visitors and area residents an opportunity to experience the coastal foreshore without having to rely on automobiles to traverse the sprawling park reserve.
While the project required additional funding as planning developed, there has been no budget increase since a third infusion of $17 million last year, Haugen said.
Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 04, 2019
Phase two of Cathedral Grove sees ideas for bypass Counts from the past three summers show parking demand often reaches twice the area’s capacity in daytime By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - Two more open houses have just wrapped up where the public had the opportunity to review and evaluate preliminary ideas to improve safety and access at Cathedral Grove. More than 500 people submitted ideas to improve safety and access at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park during consultations that began in fall 2018. The open houses were part of Phase 2 of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s (MoTI) engagement process. They took place in Parksville on June 19 and Port Alberni on June 20 and saw approximately 50 people attend. At these open houses, the MoTI showcased a number of options to address traffic and pedestrian safety concerns at Cathedral Grove, while protecting the integrity of the park. “The ministry is seeking feedback from the public on these options, which will be considered as part of the further assessment work, leading towards a preferred solution,” said the MoTI in an emailed statement. “The feedback from the open houses was positive and there was plenty of support on the ministry’s approach to developing options. Members of the public were also pleased to see their suggestions from the first round of engagement represented in the options that were presented.” The ministry will be publishing the results of the second round of engagement on their website in late summer. After analyzing the strengths and challenges of each idea, the MoTI presented the most feasible suggestions for further public discussion during phase 2. Ideas for discussion varied from shortterm safety improvements like improved signage, traffic calming and enforcement, to more medium to long-term measures, including pedestrian overpass ideas, various existing parking area improvements, additional parking capacity and bypass options. Although several participants suggested a bypass could reduce traffic traveling through Cathedral Grove, the MoTI, in a safety study, say the scale, complexity and cost would not allow implementation of a bypass in the short-term.
Photo by Karly Blats
A provincial government study into ways to make Cathedral Grove safer is exporing suggestions from the public, such as an expanded parking lot and a pedestrian bridge. The first phase of the Cathedral Grove Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Study focused on listening and understanding. The goal was to work with participants to identify potential ideas that address both safety concerns and protection of Cathedral Grove’s inherent values. Public ideas from the first phase included 316 suggestions to relocate or add parking to a different area, 138 suggestions for more trails to connect to parking and provide safe routes, 290 suggestions to consider a pedestrian overpass or underpass, 255 suggestions to consider a highway bypass around the park and 124 comments about protecting old growth trees. Cathedral Grove, at the edge of the Nuuchah-nulth territory, is world-renowned for its giant old-growth Douglas Firs, which attract approximately 500,000 visitors annually. Most visitors arrive by vehicle, park along Highway 4 and cross the highway to visit both sides of the
park. On an average summer day, over a two-hour period, about 530 pedestrians cross the highway in Cathedral Grove in unauthorized locations. Counts form the past three summers, show parking demand often reaches twice the area’s capacity in the summer between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and periodic traffic counts show a steady increase in the number of vehicles passing through
Cathedral grove. The ministry will use the public input from Phase 2 of the engagement to reduce the long list of options to a short list of preferred aproaches that would be shared with the public in a third round of engagement in the fall of 2019. British Columbians can provide input until July 31st at https://engage.gov.bc.ca/ cathedralgrove/.
Annual walk continues for missing Lisa Marie Young Photo by Eric Plummer
Nanaimo, BC — Dozens of loved ones and members of the extended Tla-oqui-aht community held a walk for Lisa Marie Young on Sunday, June 30, 17 years after the young woman went missing without a trace in Nanaimo. The procession began at the Nanaimo RCMP station at 303 Prideaux St. just after 2 p.m., taking over one lane of the street as the group made their way to the city’s waterfront under a hot sun. The family of Young has held a walk in her honour since 2003, the year after the 21 year old disappeared one night in Nanaimo. The case has stood as a telling reminder of the national phenomen of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls that has affected communties across Canada. Other Nuu-chah-nulth women were also recognized during the June 30 walk.
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Regulations require commercial fishers wear PFDs New WorkSafeBC measure follows recommendations that were made after a 2015 fishing tragedy oﬀ of Tofino By Kelda Blackstone Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – WorkSafeBC has introduced new regulations aimed at improving safety conditions for workers on board commercial fishing vessels. Every person on board is now required to wear a life jacket or PFD (personal floatation device) while on deck. The regulation went into effect last month, on June 3, and applies to all commercial vessels, regardless of size. The change was not unexpected by commercial fishers, said Patrick Olsen, manager of Prevention Field Services at WorkSafeBC, in a phone interview on June 25. But overall, he says, the regulations have been well-received. Crewmembers have been pulled into the water while managing lines, setting gear, and in other situations. The use of a life jacket reduces the risk of drowning, stated Olsen. WorkSafeBC’s regulations are informed by new recommendations for safety onboard commercial fishing vessels that were made following the September 2015 capsizing of the Caledonian near Tofino. Three crewmembers drowned in the incident; only the crewmember wearing a PFD survived the tragedy. George Chester John Sr., a seasoned Ahousaht commercial fisherman known to friends and family as Chester, supports the new regulations. He is the skipper of the Flora Queen, a 36-foot wooden troller based in Tofino, and has been fishing for 64 years. “I’ve done longlining, seining, gill netting, trolling,” John said in an interview at his Port Alberni home. “When I
Photo by Kelda Blackstone
Commercial fishing vessels docked at Fishermen’s Harbour, Port Alberni, B.C. started, I was only about 10 or 11.” When John heard about the regulation, he phoned around to five or six fellow fishermen, to see what they thought about it. “Everyone agreed,” John said, “They want to have their life jackets. Keep them safe. Because they’re responsible for their crew.” “They might blame me, eh,” John continued, speaking of his responsibility as skipper on the Flora Queen. “If [the
deckhand] falls overboard or like if I’m napping, tell him to take the wheel for a while, he might go outside . . . accidently [fall overboard].” John is waiting for the next opening, when he will go out for spring salmon. Part of his willingness to comply with the new regulations is motivated by a desire to avoid penalties. “One guy was saying ‘I don’t have to wear it,’ to me yesterday,” he said. “But I said no, I think we gotta have it, other-
wise we’ll be in trouble. They might tie us up [restrain the vessel at the dock, preventing them from fishing].” But he does understand and support the safety reasons behind the regulation. He has been in situations himself that led him to put on a life jacket, at a time when regulations were not as prescribed. “I’ve seen a lot of storms,” said John. “Once going to Ahousaht, I sort of got scared...There was another boat behind me not too far, used to disappear by the big groundswell, some of it was breaking. So I put a life jacket on. I was by myself. Just in case something happened. I think you gotta have it, anyways.” Dale Miller, executive director at the BC and Yukon branch of the National Lifesaving Society, says the introduction of the new regulations is good news. Anything resulting in more people wearing life jackets is supported by the Lifesaving Society, said Miller in a phone interview. Any flotation device approved by Transport Canada is acceptable and will follow regulation. Miller describes a new hybrid type of PFD, which is inflatable but also inherently buoyant. It’s not nearly as bulky, and could be a good solution for those working on fishing vessels, as it won’t inhibit movement. Similar to the enforcement of seatbelt use in vehicles, Miller hopes that everyone gets used to the idea, and that it becomes commonplace. “The new regulation will help [improve safety] a lot,” stated Miller. “There may be some resistance initially, but if you look at the number of tragedies, it’s well worth it having everyone wear a life jacket.”
Kyuquot students experience big-city life in Ontario By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Kyuquot, BC – Despite being from vastly contrasting communities, youth from different parts of the country have become close friends. That’s because students from Kyuquot Elementary Secondary School recently took part in an exchange. For starters, 21 students and three chaperones from the school, located in the remote Nuu-chah-nulth community on northwestern Vancouver Island which is accessible only by boat or float plane, travelled to Hamilton, Ont. in early May. During the eight-day trip to Ontario, the Kyuquot contingent was hosted by representatives from St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic Secondary School. The exchange was completed later in May when 27 St. Jean de Brebeuf students and three chaperones came to Kyuquot for a six-day stay. The Kyuquot/Hamilton exchange was organized and partly funded by Experiences Canada, an Ottawa-based charitable organization. Monique Comeau, one of the Kyuquot teachers who travelled to Ontario, believes the exchange will create some long-lasting friendships. She said students from the two schools have continued their interactions online since the trips concluded. “I know they’re pretty involved on social media,” Comeau said of the students from both schools. This marked the third time Kyuquot students had been on an Experiences Canada exchange. Students had also travelled to Ontario the previous two times. The last
exchange involving Kyoquot was during the 2014-15 school year. Simone Randall, who teaches math and science at the Kyoquot school, was one of the adults who travelled with students to Ontario. She said big-city life was an eyeopener, especially for those Kyoquot students who had not been on a previous exchange. “The size of their school shocked us,” Randall said. “We only have classrooms and one portable classroom.” Randall added even the St. Jean de Brebeuf students had some new experiences when they travelled to Kyoquot. “A lot of them had never been on a boat before,” she said. While in Ontario, Kyoquot students also had the opportunity to travel to Toronto, the country’s most populous city located about a one-hour drive from Hamilton. The Kyoquot contingent attended a Toronto Blue Jays’ game and also went shopping at the famous Toronto Eaton Centre, a massive mall. Comeau said there was another highlight for the Kyoquot students. “They really loved Canada’s Wonderland,” she said. “To go to an amusement park for the first time was amazing.” Comeau said just leaving their own community and also reciprocating the exchange was a big deal for some of the Kyoquot students. “They rarely get to go elsewhere, let alone have a bunch of new faces of students come to them,” she said. The Hamilton students who travelled to B.C. stayed on Walters Island and also visited Aktis, an old uninhabited settlement where Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nation members
Students from Kyuquot Elementary Secondary School recently took part in an exchange with St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ont. used to live. use it for crafts, so we used cedar that Students from the two schools also went was already soaked for a year, and we on a geocaching venture. A joint dance made bracelets and stuff.” – Wayne Jr. was also held and Hamilton students Vincent, Grade 11 watched those from Kyoquot perform “The dance could’ve been the best ceremonial Nuu-chah-nulth songs and night of my life! It was full of excitedances. ment, sweat and amazing music. I liked After the exchange was over, Kyuquot that it wasn’t filled to the brim with rules students wrote about their experiences. (just the reasonable ones) and it was Excerpts of these writings follow: very free-flow. We got to pick the music “I love culture and I also loved how we wanted, most of us were comfortmuch interest they showed during and able dancing and getting close with each after we were done. When we finished other.” - Farakina Chidley, Grade 11 performing all of the songs/dances I had “Learning about the tide pools and a few of their students ask ‘Are you guys getting seafood was fun. They got to try going to be doing more dancing?’.” some of our seafood they never tried beBraelene Leo, Grade 8 fore. Then going down by the water and “Our group went up by the water tanks throwing rocks and skipping them was and hiked uphill to a cedar tree and fun … Dancing by the fire with everyone thanked the creator and the tree for giving was great. Some songs we didn’t know us the cedar, after getting the cedar we but we still danced.” - Danica Mack, went back to the school. We need to soak Grade 8 cedar for one year before we can actually
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Letter to Editor Boating Safety 2019 Port Alberni RCMP It is that time of year again – time to get our boats out on the water. We have spent a few hours here and there getting them ready – the motor is running, the trailer is registered. But what about safety equipment? What do I need to know? To begin, we need to understand what a vessel is. Simply put, if it floats and you propel it toward a destination, it is a vessel. Vessels can include air mattresses or tubes while you are tubing, and do include stand up paddle boards, windsurfers, kayaks, canoes, inflatable boats, peddle boats and the obvious ones – like sail boats, power boats and fishing boats. Next, we need to know what lifejackets and PFD’s are. Lifejackets and PFD’s both serve to keep people afloat. Lifejackets keep people afloat with their face out of the water. PFD’s or Personal Floatation Devices, keep people afloat, are designed to be more comfortable and don’t necessarily keep your face above water. Every vessel needs lifejackets or PFD’s – one for every person on board (including windsurfers, stand up paddle boards, peddle boats and every other type of vessel). The PFD’s have to be readily accessible – or “at hand”. You have to be able to grab it on a moments notice and make it ready to go (if you are not wearing it). Lifejackets and PFD’s have to be approved by either Transport Canada or the Canadian Coast Guard and the label showing that approval has to be clearly visible. PFD’s and lifejackets have to fit properly – if there are children on board there have to be PFD’s and lifejackets that fit them. Lifejackets and PFD’s have to be in reasonable condition – if it is in the bilge, soaked in water, oil and gasoline – it doesn’t count. PFD’s have to be maintained according to manufacturers instructions (inflatable ones need to be leak tested regularly and cartridges have to be replaced when they expire). Inflatable PFD’s only count as PFD’s if you are wearing them. The consequences for not having PFD’s or lifejackets? Possibly death (if you don’t have it when you need it) or $200 plus $100 for every PFD / lifejacket that is missing. All vessels are required to have a “noise making appliance”. Noise making appliances can include bells, horns and whistles. Most new PFD’s come with a whistle attached in some form or another.
Here again, the noise making appliance must be ready to use at a moments notice. It won’t help you in an emergency if you have to dig it out of the bottom of a box. The other safety items required for your vessel can be found at https://www. tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obsmenu-1362.htm . After the lifejacket / PFD requirements, the items required for your vessel vary with the size, type and use of your vessel. Ultimately, the goal of these requirements to keep everyone safe on our waters. Please carry your safety equipment and be safe. DID YOU KNOW? Stand up paddle boards are vessels and are required to have a sound making device (like a whistle), a buoyant heaving line and a lifejacket or PFD (and navigation lights if operated after dark)? Boat operators who consume alcohol can be subjected to an Approved Screening Device Demand by police? This would require you to blow into a device that indicates your blood alcohol level. Operators who blow a fail on the device will be subject to a criminal investigation for impaired operation of a vessel.
Community&Beyond Elder’s Gathering
NTC’s DAC Fair
July 23 & 24
Oct. 2 - 3
Location: Vancouver Convention Centre Phone: 250-286-9977 (Please DO NOT fax forms) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bcelders.com
Held at the Alberni Athletic Hall. More details to come.
Aug. 6 - 11 Port Alberni
More information to come at a later date.
Paddle boats, windsurfers and inflatable boats (the cheap ones you can buy at department stores) are also vessels – they may require sound making devices, buoyant heaving lines, lifejackets or PFD’s and bailers (and navigation lights if operated after dark)? Sometimes tubes and inflatable mattresses can be vessels as well. Tubing and consuming alcohol is extremely dangerous and could result in Criminal charges. Cst. Pete Batt Indigenous Policing Services Port Alberni RCMP
Suicide Peer Support Group
First Thursday, Monthly
Port Alberni The KUU-US Crisis Line Society hold a Suicide Peer Support Group Meeting on the first Thursday of each month at the KUU-US Office location. 4589 Adelaide st Port Alberni.
2019 Tlu-piich Games Coordinator My name is Mercediese Dawson, my traditional name is T’lakwase’ which loosely translates to copper of the future in Kwakwala. I am from the Ditidaht First Nation on my mother Karen Mack’s side. My grandmother is Frances Tate, and my late grandfather was David Tate Sr. On my father, Gary Dawson-Quatell’s side, I come from the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw and Laichwiltach nations of the Kwakwaka’wakw territories. My grandparents are Lorna (Dawson) and James Quatell. I just recently graduated with my Bachelors of Social Work degree from the University of Victoria. Just a few months ago, I was accepted into the new Indigenous Law program at UVic and will be starting in the fall as the second cohort
Boaters who are consuming alcohol on vessels could be subject to charges under the BC Liquor Control and Licencing Act? Boats with sleeping quarters are only considered residences if they are tied to a dock or at anchor – otherwise the boat is a public place. Canoes and kayaks require sound making devices, buoyant heaving lines, lifejackets or PFD’s and bailers (and navigation lights if operated after dark)?
to begin. My goal is to continue to work for our Indigenous people; I am passionate about being a part of the change seeing our people rise up, which is what we continue to do every single day. I love living in Victoria but am very grateful when I get to come home to Port Alberni to be with my family and friends. I want to note, I am a visitor on Tseshaht and Hupacasath territory so I have much gratitude to the nations and the people for allowing me to be a guest on their land and to call Port Alberni home. I have worked two different summers with the Tlu-piich Games. I started out as the games assistant to Marisa Bennett when she was the Coordinator, and joined her for a second summer the following year as her operations coordinator. I loved my time working as part of Marisa’s team and learned a lot from her and my coworkers. I never saw myself as the Games coordinator, but that’s where my summer has guided me. I am happy to introduce myself as this year’s 2019 Tlu-piich Games coordinator. I hope to bring nothing but good vibes to the games with the help of my team and the amazing volunteers that come out every year. This is for our NCN families and youth and I want to hold everyone up as much as I can and fill our children’s week with a lot of memories, excitement and enthusiasm. We have started out late, but we are working hard to make this another great and successful summer for the Tlu-piich Games. Our team is happy to serve our Nuu-chah-nulth Nations this summer. I look forward to seeing the Nations come together in August!
Les Sam Construction Residential . Commercial & Architectural Structures Construction Management & Consulting Forming & Framing Ph/Txt: 250.720.7334 les email@example.com
henna artist By Aleesha Sharma
Book your henna session for community events, weddings, birthday parties, school events or any special event.
Phone: 250-730-1262 or 250-720-3096 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Correction: In the June 20, 2019 issue, Paintings celebrate NCN culture at ADSS article Jeff Gallic was said to have collaborated on the first painting unveiled, it was actually Jake Gallic. We aplogize for the name mix up.
July 04, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 17
2019 Tlu-piich Games Volunteer Coordinator
My name is Earl Tatoosh, from Hupacasath First Nation with roots in Tseshaht, Ditidaht, and Squamish Nations. My father is the late Earl Tatoosh Jr and my mother is Peggy Tatoosh(Dick), I am the youngest of 10 siblings. I was born and raised in Port Alberni. I have been active in the local basketball community for the last 15+ years. In 2018 I graduated from Vancouver Island University with a Business Administration Diploma with an Accounting focus. Over the past couple of years I have enjoyed connecting with my home community as I worked coordinating events for places such as McLean Mill and the Port Alberni Friendship Center. I hope to
use this experience to help bring an exciting and fun atmosphere the 2019 Tlu-piich Games and help bring together Nuu-chah-nulth families and communities.
2019 Tlu-piich Games Coordinator Assistant My name is Annette Nookemus, from Ditidaht Fisrt Nation, but I grew up in Port Alberni. I am very proud to say I am from the Samuel and Thompson families. My father is Daniel Samuel from Ahousaht First Nation and my moher is Iris Frank from Tha-o-qui-aht First Nation. I am married to James Nookemus of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations and I am the proud mother of Barry, who is 12, Sydney, who is 9, and a foster parent to 2 additional children. I have raised both my son and daughter to be active in sports and we are proud of everything they do from school to sports and activities in the community. I am working as the Assistant to the Tlu-piich Games Coordinatior to help organize nearly one week of fun filled events and activities. This is going to be an amazing event for youth, families and the whole Nuu-chah-nulth community, I can’t wait to see you all out there.
2019 Tlu-piich Games Volunteer Coordinator Assistant My name is Briah Latrice Watts-Pearson; my traditional name is Asmanahaay. My mother is Gina Pearson from Tseshaht First Nation and my father is Johnnie Pearson from California. I have strong ties to the Namgis people of Alert Bay where my late grandfather Cecil Wadhams and late grandmother Florence (Mountain) Matilpi were from. But I grew up with my family of Tseshaht. I am 19 years of age and have a beautiful daughter who is now 2.5 years old. I graduated from high school in 2017 and have since been raising my daughter and working to provide for her and
myself. I look forward to assisting in the coordination of the 2019 Tlu-piich Games this Summer as it is an exciting time for our Nuu-chah-nulth youth and adults who participate in the many events that take place. I’ve always been a strong supporter of the games and now I look forward to the opportunity to assist with the events that will take place this year, as I feel that sports are important in everyone’s life not only for health reasons but for gathering our people for a week of fun and activities for the whole family to enjoy. I look forward to this opportunity and to seeing many nuu-chah-nulth nations participate, come on out and have fun! See you soon!
Save The Date The NTC 10th Annual Golf Fundraiser At the Alberni Golf Club, 6449 Cherry Creek Rd
12:00 pm - Registration 1:00 pm - Shot gun start 6:00 pm - Dinner served Come and participate at the NTC’s 10th Annual Golf Tournament fundraiser; the goal is to raise funds for the annual Tlu-piich (summer) Games. The games bring families together for fun and competitive activities while celebrating our life, heritage and culture. After the tournament, please stay and join us for dinner, live and silent auction and door prizes! For more information or registration forms contact the Tlu-piich Games Coordinator at 250.724.5757 or email@example.com
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Indigenous Peoples Day celebrated in Port Alberni Photo by Denise Titian
The Port Alberni Friendship Center opened its doors to hundreds of people for their annual National Indigenous Peoples celebration on June 21. Fun activities were planned for people of all ages to enjoy the annual event. Staff of the PAFC served their guests free barbecue salmon plates complete with dessert and smiles. Guests had their choice of eating indoors or at shaded tables set up outside. A live band played outside while kids had their faces painted, jumped in a bouncy castle and lined up for free cotton candy. In the hall people visited vendors and listened to Indigenous performers
Photos by Deborah Potter
Photo by Denise Titian
Carry The Kettle First Nation held a traditional Saskatchewan powwow, with Owls Path Canada Foundation, at Sproat Lake Landing. Over the course of the weekend, the nation displayed traditional jingle dancing, singing, cedar weaving, as well as carving.
Tseshaht celebrated National Indigenous People’s Day in the sun at the Paper Mill Dam on June 21. Around 100 Tseshaht members came to the dam, enjoying a barbecue with burgers, salads, bannock, door prizes and freshly caught salmon cooked over a fire. Many of the attendees enjoyed a nice swim on the hot day after the meal.
July 04, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 19
Huu-ay-aht First Nations celebrates 50 years in Anacla The First Nation rebuilt on the coastal site in 1969 after a previous settlement was destroyed in the 1700 tsunami By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Anacla, BC - In 1969 it was evident that changes were happening in Huu-ay-aht territory. The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve was on its way to being established, stretching along the west coast of Vancouver Island, north and south of Barkley Sound. Arthur Peters could see this development overtaking the shores of Pachena Bay and the Sarita River - an area the Huu-ay-aht had used for thousands of years - leading the elected chief and his council members to direct the First Nation to begin building a community in Anacla. When the first 11 houses were built 50 years ago, Beachkeeper Pete Tatoosh was the site’s only permanent resident. “We started with the four-plex and seven houses in the original loop when you first come in,” said Huu-ay-aht member Wišqii, Robert Dennis Jr., who moved back to Anacla in 2016. “It was done to let people know that we’re here. We had concerns, the West Coast Trail is right here.” At the time a campground had already been established next to Anacla at Pachena Bay. Robert Dennis Sr. was among the village’s first residents. “We operated a store here in Pachena,” said Dennis, who is currently the Huuay-aht’s Chief Councillor. “It was a coffee shop and gas bar, so I was the first manager.” Anacla traditionally served as a summer village for the Huu-ay-aht, but a tsunami that struck the coasts of Vancouver Island and Japan on Jan. 26, 1700 devastated the settlement. The waves came in the darkness of night, when most of the village was asleep, said Wišqii. “The ones that survived went up to high ground, but there were a lot of people that didn’t survive,” he recounted. “We always built right on the waterfront; our village would have been in the area where the campground is now. When that tsunami came in it destroyed everything: it broke the houses, it broke canoes, we lost food supplies.” In 1969 many Huu-ay-aht members lived in Sarita, a site less exposed to the open ocean that traditionally served as a winter village location. “There was even a hospital, like a health unit, in Sarita at the time,” said Huu-ayaht member Hinatinyis, Brittany Johnson. Members were encouraged to move to the new village, and now only four people remain at either sides of Sarita Bay, while Anacla has a population of approximately 120. But this represents a small fraction of the First Nation’s nearly 750 members, the majority of whom live in cities outside of their ancestral territory. Dennis recalls that 95 per cent of Huu-ay-aht lived in the haḥuułi when Anacla was rebuilt in 1969. “It’s the total opposite now, where most of our people are now living away from home,” he said. “In my lifetime I’ve seen a really huge contrast.” Like many First Nations communities, housing is hard to come by in Anacla. And those who can live in the village face a 83-kilometre trip on a dirt and gravel road to get to the nearest hospital or grocery store in Port Alberni. “It’s not just moving here, you have to be able to come and go from here as well,” said Hinatinyis. “There’s always a big desire to move home, but there isn’t anywhere for people to go yet. It’s tight, un-
Photos by Eric Plummer
Besides being National Aboriginal Day, June 21 also served as the 50-year celebration of habitation in the village of Anacla. Over 100 came to Pachena Bay to enjoy the occasion.
“Chief Arthur Peters said, ‘I want my people working, I don’t want my people collecting social assistance’.” ~ Robert Dennis Sr. less you can get in with family members and stay in their basement or something like that.” The First Nation has set the goal of having half of its members move to Huuay-aht territory by 2033, backed by a housing and economic development plan to support this migration. This summer six modular units are expected to arrive near the House of Huu-ay-aht and the nation’s government office, located outside the flood plain on the other side of the Sarita River from where Anacla was rebuilt in 1969. The modular homes will be installed on an 11-lot subdivision with connections to the water and sewer system. “This is the first phase,” said Martie Robertson, owner of Robie’s Contracting, as he was finishing these connections in late June. Up to a dozen people worked on the new lots, most of which were Huu-ay-aht members. “We had the most turnout for band members ever. I think we had about seven or eight,” said Robertson. “We got them onto the machines and pipelaying, general labouring. That was the whole idea, to introduce them to the underground business and heavy equipment.” As part of its long-term plans, the nation aims to have another 50 lots built in the newer portion of Anacla. The 400 or so permanent positions to run the multi-billion-dollar Kwiispaa LNG facility would have been a major component of this vision. But this changed when Steelhead LNG, the Huu-ay-aht’s partner in the venture, announced in February that it ceased work on the project. Since then the First Nation has signed a business partnership with Western Forest Products to manage timber and provide jobs in its territory. And in recent years
the Huu-ay-aht’s tourism potential has grown with the purchase of multiple properties in Bamfield and the introduction of tours to the ancient village site of Kiix ̣in. “Chief Arthur Peters said, ‘I want my people working, I don’t want my people collecting social assistance,” said Dennis. Since moving back to Anacla four years ago, the chief councillor has enjoyed the community’s existing economy. He gets clams and crabs from family members in the village, and fishes for salmon with his boat.
“I’m helping them and they’re helping me so that I can have food that I enjoy,” said Dennis. “If you have an economy that’s supporting each other, that’s a good thing. If you don’t have that, what else do you have? You’re supporting somebody else’s economy.” “The old part of our culture is that it’s better to give than to receive. It’s something that my dad always taught me,” he added. “Wealth is not determined by what you have; it’s determined by what you give.”
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