Ha Shilth Sa Newspaper June 30th, 2022

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INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since Photos by1974 Melissa Renwick Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 49 - No. 13—June 30, 2022 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776

Ditidaht serves eviction notice to logging protestors Pacheedaht and Huu-ay-aht stand in support, witwak will monitor blockade after the activists refused to leave By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Nitinaht Lake, BC – Ditidaht First Nation delivered a message to protestors manning an encampment on a forestry road just outside of the Nitinaht Lake community: “Clean up your mess and go back to where you came from.” The letter was delivered on June 23 by Chief Councillor Brian Tate, who was supported by DFN Tyee Ha’wilth Satiixub (Paul Tate), and his fellow elected chiefs Robert Dennis of Huu-ay-aht, and Jeff Jones of Pacheedaht. Chief Tate said he noticed demonstrators were coming back to the encampment a couple weeks earlier. They had mostly abandoned the site over the winter. “None of them came to talk to us,” said Tate. “There is no respect for our Ha’wiih, our leaders or for our people.” The road they occupy is a spur off Carmanah Main, which now has a set of barricades constructed across the road. The first is made of wood and brambles followed by a more significant structure that appears to be made of wood and tarp. Blockades began in August 2020, as members of the Rainforest Flying Squad feared road construction would threaten the Fairy Creek valley near Port Renfrew, one of the few watersheds on Vancouver Island that remains untouched by industrial logging. Through 2021 activists continued occupying encampments on southern Vancouver Island logging roads, forcing First Nations with forestry interests to take measures to control conduct in their territories. On May 10, 2021 Huu-ay-aht set up a check point at the entrance to their ḥahuułi to control activity, telling visitors they must follow the nation’s three sacred principles: ʔiisaak (Utmost Respect), ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care of), and Hišuk ma c̕awak (Everything is Connected). On June 9, 2021 the province agreed to a notice from the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht for a two-year deferral on old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek watershed and Central Walbran, allowing the nations to undertake stewardship management plans with their citizens. Despite the logging deferral, activists said in the spring of 2021 that they fear large-scale logging could still occur in old-growth forest directly adjacent to Fairy Creek and in parts of the Central Walbran not included in the deferral. The current encampment is located within TFL 44, which is managed by C̕awak ʔqin Forestry, a partnership between Huu-ay-aht’s Huumiis Ventures LP and Western Forest Products. C̕awak ʔqin Forestry states that it is

Photo by Denise Titian

In response to a blockade that was recently built on a logging road off of Carmanah Main, a letter was delivered to activists on June 23 by Ditidaht Chief Councillor Brian Tate, who was supported by the First Nation’s Tyee Ha’wilth Satiixub (Paul Tate), and fellow elected chiefs Robert Dennis of Huu-ay-aht, and Jeff Jones of Pacheedaht. committed to respectful engagement with A group of about six protestors came out makes me said,” said a Ditidaht elder and the 14 First Nations that have portions to meet with the chiefs while at least two weaver, who uses cedar bark in her work. of their traditional territories within the others clad in black stood by. Chief Tate acknowledged the concern, boundaries of TFL 44. Those nations are Cyril Edgar chanted a ci’qaa as the stating forestry plans are being made by Ahousaht, Cowichan Tribes, Ditidaht, Ha’wihh, elected chiefs and witwak apthe First Nations during the two-year Halalt, Hupacasath, Huu-ay-aht, Lyackproached the activists, who came out to deferral process. Those plans include the son, Pacheedaht, Penelakut, Stx’uminus, meet them at the first barrier. protection of at least some stands of old Tseshaht, Ts’umbaa-asatx, Uchucklesaht Reading from a prepared statement, growth forest - 96 per cent of old growth and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ. Chief Tate said, “By entering into our forest retention within TFL 44, according RCMP have gone into the encampments ḥahuułi you must acknowledge and to C̕awak ʔqin Forestry’s fact sheet. to make arrests but the activists dig in, respect our Indigenous governance and “We have lots of good cedar bark and bringing in more people. stewardship responsibilities to decide deer hunting…some of the best of it “There are other ways to protest peacewhat is best for our lands, our waters, our is right up that road, but they have it fully, what they’re doing here is combatresources, and the wellbeing of present blocked off to our members,” said Tate. ive and conflictive,” said Tate. and future generations of Ditidaht, HuuOne woman defended her position by Harry Bossault of Huu-ay-aht is a ay-aht and Pacheedaht people.” saying that they have spoken to some witwak guardian, a position that started He went on to say that all visitors to of Ditidaht’s elders, “and they want us in January 2022. He is part of a crew that their ḥahuułi must not interfere with here,” she said. patrols the approximately 150 hectares of forest operations authorized by the BC She didn’t specify which elders were land that includes portions of territories Government under the Forest Act. spoken to, but she accused Tate of not of Uchucklesaht, Pacheedaht, Tseshaht, He told them that nobody is cutting the consulting with them. Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Hupacasath. last trees down. “Some people in your territory don’t He and Bryce Mercredi, witwak guard“We kindly ask you to clean up your agree with you – they don’t disrespect ian supervisor, were there to help deliver mess and leave quietly,” he told them. you,” he countered. the notice on June 23. Part of their job is Chief Robert Dennis pointed out that A woman calling herself Kagagi then to monitor the people at the encampment. Ditidaht brought their Tyee Ha’wilth, the asked if sitting together to talk about it “We are forced to record during any highest form of governance on this land. over coffee is an option. interaction at the encampment to avoid “The blockaders roaming around our At the end of the confrontation, it apbeing accused of physical violence,” said territories is not supported by our napeared that there was no willingness Harry Brossault, speaking to the hostilitions,” added Pacheedaht Chief Councilamongst the activists to leave the blockties that have grown between the activists lor Jeff Jones. ade. and authorities. While the chiefs have the support of This did not surprise Tate. On June 23, activists around the entheir people and even neighboring non“For now,” he said, “the witwak will campment could be seen near the barriIndigenous communities, some of their monitor the encampment daily, observcades they built. According to Tate, there members are concerned about the scale of ing, recording and reporting.” were many more hidden in the forest logging that might take place. If the illegal encampment is not rebeyond the barricades, he didn’t know “I feel like the trees have spirits, and moved, Tate said plans will be made to how many. that they want to cut them down, that deal with the matter.

Inside this issue... Two- year extension for salmon farms...........................Page 2 Ahousaht celebrates high school grads...........................Page 8 Nuu-chah-nulth graduates of 2022.....................Pages 10 & 11 Students honour residential school surviors.................Page 15 First Nation reclaims stake in tourism...............Pages 18 & 19

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


Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022

Salmon farms granted two-year extension by DFO DFO announcement welcomed from both sides, although how net pens will be phased out remains to be seen By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Days before nearly all of B.C.’s salmon farm licences were due to expire, the DFO has granted them licence to operate for another two years, as Canada pushes through on a promise to phase out the industry’s standard open net pen practice by 2025. On June 22 federal Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray announced a two-year extension for B.C.’s finfish aquaculture licences that were due to run out by June 30. Fisheries and Oceans Canada regulates the 109 farms on the West Coast that practice the breeding of finfish - which are in most cases Atlantic salmon. By the end of the month 105 of these sites were due to expire, with another three licences running out in August and one in September. DFO stated that the extensions are part of a plan to transition away from the standard ocean-based net pens by 2025, a Liberal’s election pledge that helped to retain a minority government after the 2021 federal election. How the net pens will actually be replaced remains to be seen, but a full transition plan is expected by the spring of 2023, stated the DFO. The two-year extensions do not apply to the Discovery Islands, an area off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island. After years of opposition, in December 2020 former fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced the cancellation of these 19 licences, but in April the Federal Court ruled that her decision wasn’t procedurally fair, lacking reasons to justify

cutting the sites. Now the Discovery Islands licences have been extended until January, when a final decision on their future is expected from the DFO after consultations are conducted. The two-year extensions were welcomed on both sides of the controversial issue. For years the Union of BC Indian Chiefs have called for the outright removal of salmon farms from the ocean, favouring the industry to fully adopt land-growing facilities. “The vast majority of First Nations in B.C. oppose open net pen fish farming due to the detrimental effects it has on wild salmon,” stated UBCIC President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, citing the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River. “Water is contaminated, poisoning salmon, shellfish, and other marine life. The immediate dangers include disease and pathogens which Justice Cohen spoke of as a potentially irreversible impact to B.C. Wild Salmon.” While it didn’t go so far as to blame fish farms for the decline of wild stocks, the recent DFO announcement pointed to the need to prevent contact between farmed and wild salmon. As farmed fish are bred in close proximity, many fear that the practice has spread sea lice and other pathogens to wild fish as they migrate by net pens. In recent years wild salmon stocks have declined to the point of near extinction in some cases. This has impacted those who subsist on the species. After peaking at over 40 million in the early 1990s, Pacific

Stewart Phillip salmon catches have declined to under 10 million for most years over the last decade, according to the DFO’s State of the Salmon Program. Now three quarters of the salmon harvested in B.C. come from fish farms. The economic benefits of these operations, which present rare employment opportunity for many remote coastal communities, cannot be ignored, according to the Coalition of First Nations for Finfish Stewardship. This group is composed of representatives from First Nations who commit to working with aquaculture companies, a coalition that includes leaders from Kitasoo, Xai’xais, Tlowitsis, Wei Wai Kum and the Ahousaht First

Nation. Although the coalition welcomes the two-year extensions, it hoped for more time after disappointing consultations with the DFO. “Our Coalition Nations trust the science that says salmon farming poses no more than minimal risk to our wild salmon, and so, as we advance, we will look outward at other factors impacting Pacific salmon with our science, our traditional ecological data, and the invaluable knowledge passed to us by our Elders,” stated the coalition. “[T]he development of aquaculture in our waters can be a successful joint venture that supports economic selfdetermination, enhances our wild salmon conservation efforts, bolsters our coastal communities, and helps lead Canada’s Blue Economy.” A press release issued by the BC Salmon Farmers Association stressed the need for Canada to meet the world’s growing demand for seafood. “Canadians and the world need a climate-friendly, affordable, and secure food supply at a time of significant food and living cost inflation,” said Timothy Kennedy, president and CEO of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, in the release. “While we are encouraged that licences have been renewed, we genuinely needed a six-year license term that reflected our production cycle. Longer license terms would have provided the confidence to further invest in innovation and technology, leading to continued operational and sustainable improvements, job creation for coastal communities, and greater food security.”


June 30, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3

Celebrating the re-awakening of +uuk#atquu%is Tseshaht and City of Port Alberni celebrate National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with unveiling of Wolf Tower By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Hundreds, if not a thousand or more people, gathered at Harbour Quay this morning to take part in a large-scale celebration hosted by Tseshaht First Nation and the City of Port Alberni. The National Indigenous People’s Day celebration in Port Alberni featured the re-awakening of Tseshaht’s Wolf Ritual Beach, something the First Nation says they were prevented from doing for more than a century. Modern day Harbour Quay at the foot of Argyle Street in Port Alberni was a large Tseshaht winter village site that they named ƛuukʷatquuʔis (Wolf Ritual Beach, the former Hikwuulh7ath village site), according to Tseshaht historians. The wolf ceremony, or Tlookwaana, is an important Nuu-chah-nulth ritual. According to Tseshaht, it spiritually prepared men and women for their roles and responsibilities to take care of their community. But the village site was taken from the Tseshaht for the purposes of settler occupation and, as a result, they were prevented from performing our Wolf Ritual at ƛuukʷatquuʔis, according to a May 5 press release from the First Nation. “It remains a sacred part of our Aboriginal title territories and today we have much to celebrate,” stated the First Nation. The City of Port Alberni has been working with Tseshaht as they define what reconciliation will look like for them. “Walking together is an expression of meaningful action and ongoing commitment to reconciliation efforts,” stated the First Nation. “We look forward to celebrating Indigenous culture and all cultures that make up Port Alberni and surrounding areas.” The event kicked off with a free breakfast followed by the welcoming of guest canoes. A Tseshaht chaputs (canoe) carrying their Ha’wiih was the first to arrive. They stood on the float to officially welcome the NTC Usma canoe, followed by canoes from Ahousaht and Huu-ay-aht. The last canoe to arrive carried two sets of grandparents and their grandchildren, who paddled all the way from Ahousaht, resting at Nettle Island for the night. Tseshaht Ha’wiih told them they were honored that they accepted the invitation to paddle ashore for this event. Following the arrival of the canoes, the

Photos by Denise Titian

Members of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation (above) and others were invited by the Tseshaht to the Harbour Quay on June 21, the historic site of the First NAtion’s Wolf Ritual Beach. Tseshaht members danced for the crowd (below) before the unveiling of a new design by William Gallic on the Harbour Quay’s tower (below left). wolf dancers were revealed and were escorted by Ha’wiih and drummers up to the area around the wolf tower, where the welcoming ceremonies would take place. There were two crackling fires at the top of the ramp – one to warm up by and the other to barbecue sockeye salmon. Eagle down lazily floated through the air as the crowd gathered around the hosts. Speaking on behalf of the Tseshaht Ha’wiih, Robert Watts explained to the crowd the importance of tlookwanna (wolves) in Nuu-chah-nulth culture. “It is the first time in over 100 years that we’ve brought them out, and they’re saying, ‘We’re here, we’re alive!,” he said. Tseshaht speaker Trevor Little noted that his people have gone through so much in their history. “It was 1884 when the first residential school opened – people talk about that but they don’t talk about what happened to us outside of those places,” he noted. He went on to say that he is grateful people are now learning the true history and are accepting it. “When we come together like this we feel the strength and the love – good work has been done over the years,” said Little. Tseshaht performed their welcome dance before Robert Watts officially introduced Tseshaht’s Ha’wilth Patuuk, their traditional government, their hereditary chiefs. “They welcome you back to ƛuukʷatquuʔis and they thank you for helping us celebrate ƛuukʷatquuʔis for the first time in over 100 years,” said Watts. Martin Watts acknowledged all of the Nuu-chah-nulth Ha’wiih who honoured Tseshaht’s invitation to spend the day celebrating with them. There was representation from Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’, Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, Huu-ay-aht, Hupacasath, Ehattesaht, Ditidaht, Tla-o-qui-aht and Uchucklesaht. They also acknowledged political officials who were there, including Port Alberni Mayor Shari Minions, MP Gord

Johns, MLA Josie Osborne, ACRD Chair John Jack and SD70 Trustee Pam Craig. Elected Tseshaht Chief Ken Watts also welcomed the people and acknowledged the elders who were there. He said that when he thinks of leaders past, the ones

who are the elders now, he thinks of them as veterans. “They are the ones who fought so we could stand here today,” said Watts, adding that there was a time when they were not allowed to feast or potlatch. Thanks to the efforts of past Indigenous leaders, culture is now being learned not only by children in schools, but also adults who are entering into language programs as they fight to keep ancestral dialects alive. Watts also acknowledged Tseshaht artist Willard Gallic Jr. who designed the art that was installed on the tower at Harbour Quay. He thanked Tim Pley of the City of Port Alberni for his assistance in the redesign of the tower. To the City Council, he said, “Thank you for helping bring us back to our home…Tseshaht has over 1,200 people and we welcome you.” The morning concluded with the unveiling of the newly designed tower, now embellished with Tseshaht images, and topped by twin wolf heads. Guests were invited to stay for barbecue salmon lunch and to watch song and dance performances by Tseshaht and their invited guests.


Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022

Usma launches canoes into Somass for kids in care Two 36-foot vessels were made for the agency to give children the opportunity to take part in cultural events By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Two white fiberglass canoes made in the Nuu-chah-nulth dugout style quietly slipped into the Somass River on the morning of June 17, to the cheers of crowds gathered on the riverside. The 36-foot canoes were commissioned by the NTC’s Usma Nuu-chahnulth Family and Child Services program to help children and youth in care connect with their cultures in a hands-on way. Tseshaht people welcomed Usma staff to Paper Mill Dam that morning to lead the blessing ceremony from their traditional territory. The pair of canoes made their first public appearance at the NTC parking lot in August 2021. Back then, Linus Lucas of Usma told the people that the canoes would be used for child and youth in care, to allow them to participate in Canoe Journeys 2022 and to enrich their lives with Indigenous culture. Unfortunately, there will be no Canoe Journeys 2022, thanks to the ongoing

Photo by Denise Titian

Tseshaht members welcomed Usma Nuu-chah-nulth Family & Child Services to Paper Mill Dam on June 17 for new canoes to be launched into the Somass River. COVID-19 pandemic. But, as social distancing requirements have eased, there are other smaller gatherings planned over the summer, like events to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on June 21. Kelly Edgar, Usma’s director, said that

the timing for the event was made in consultation with Tseshaht. The reason, she said, was to have the canoes ready to take part in the June 21 Wolf Tower Unveiling on National Indigenous Peoples Day. “We hope to have staff, care givers,

youth and maybe even elders paddle with us to the event,” said Edgar. Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts and Aaron Angeli led a prayer chant as Leisa Hassall, prevention and family wellness worker at Usma, followed by three young people brushed the canoes with cedar boughs. Nearby, sockeye salmon splashed in the river while eagles sang overhead. Tsheshaht Councilor Ed Ross directed the cleansing ceremony, making sure that the equipment and paddlers were brushed so that the canoes can begin their service to youth in a good way. “This is a long time coming,” said Edgar. Edgar added that the next steps for the canoes is to have them named and to be decorated with artwork. It is hoped that the canoes can be used this summer at Usma summer camps for small paddling trips. Eventually, the vision is to use them in future canoe journeys. “We hope to be able to use them to paddle children in care home, in the future,” said Edgar.

Tla-o-qui-aht celebrates Indigenous day in Opitsaht By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Opitsaht, BC - As rain poured down on hup̓icatḥ hitinquis (Opitsaht Beach), Leah Morgan lifted her arms to the sky and looked up. Unfazed by the cold, damp air, she inhaled deeply with her eyes closed. A gentle smile emerged across her face. Led by Coastal Bliss Studio Manager Heidi McPherson, Morgan participated in a Summer Solstice National Indigenous Peoples Day yoga class on Meares Island. The event was open to Tla-o-qui-aht members, and available to the public virtually through Zoom. Over 30 people signed up for the online class, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going towards Tla-o-qui-aht’s youth program. This year, the summer solstice coincided with the 26th annual National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. “It seemed to go hand-in-hand with doing something like yoga,” said Morgan. Since being introduced to yoga in October, Morgan said she’s changed both “inside and out.” “I have a brighter relationship with myself,” she said. “Yoga helps me with my

everyday thought process.” Morgan, who works as Tla-o-qui-aht’s records officer and IRA, helped to organize the event in a bid to share yoga’s health benefits with other members from her nation. Coastal Bliss yoga studio is located in Tofino, on the ancestral lands of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. Most teachers begin or end their classes by acknowledging the lands they practice on. It’s a gesture that makes Morgan feel welcome and accepted. “They have acknowledgement of our territory and they have that respect for us,” she said. His-shuk-nish-tsa-waak is a Nuu-chahnulth teaching that means “everything is one.” Similarly, yoga means “to unite.” Because of these shared foundational principles, Morgan said yoga naturally fit into her life. Coastal Bliss does its best to honour their pledge as a member of Tla-oqui-aht’s Tribal Parks Allies program, McPherson said. Part of being an ally is creating a relationship with the land and acknowledging

the land, she added. The yoga class sparked a whole day of activities planned by the nation, including language bingo, lahal, and a scavenger hunt. Deb Masso, language digital archivist for Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, said that after over two years of being unable to gather because of COVID-19, the event marks a transition. “It’s a day for us to get together as one – to unite,” she said. The pandemic changed the way people interact by intensifying their reliance on smartphones and technology, said Masso. “I hope people take a moment to get off their phones and just celebrate being together,” she said. “And to hopefully encourage our people to get into learning our language.” To uplift their own community, the day was called ƛaʔuukʷiʔatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht) Day. By hosting the event in Opitsaht, Tlao-qui-aht First Nation Tribal Administer Jim Chisholm said the nation’s members can privately celebrate without tourists “onlooking.” “It’s a healing process for First Nations

people to celebrate their existence and not be ashamed of it,” Chisholm said. “First Nations people have a right to be proud.” Masso said the energy of her ancestors helped guide the day. “I think about all the old people that I knew that lived out here and died here and are still a part of this land,” she said. “There’s so much power here.” Joe Martin, Tla-o-qui-aht councillor, said National Indigenous People’s Day presents an opportunity to educate nonIndigenous people on Canada’s colonial legacy. But, he said, it shouldn’t be limited to one day. “Every day should be Indigenous People’s Day,” he said. By the end of the yoga class, the towel Morgan had draped over her shoulders was soaking wet. But it didn’t keep the smile off her face. “This is our first real get together with our community since we had a lockdown,” she said. “I’m home – and it’s really exciting.”

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June 30, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5

Dozens walk for Lisa Marie Young on 20th anniversary Missing woman’s image to be displayed on Nanaimo city buses, a campaign that was covered by fundraising By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Nanaimo, BC - It’s been 20 years since Tla-o-qui-aht woman Lisa Marie Young went missing from Nanaimo, and family, friends and supporters still walk in her memory each year hoping that someday justice will be served. Dozens showed up for this year’s annual walk on June 26 that lead supporters from the Nanaimo RCMP detachment to Maffeo Sutton Park along the city’s waterfront. Once at the park, those in attendance shared food with Young’s family and heard from speakers, who voiced the hope that cold cases like Young’s and other Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) will one day be solved. Young, who was 21 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen at approximately 3 a.m. on June 30, 2002. The young woman had spent the night out with friends, first at a Nanaimo nightclub, then two house parties. She left the second party to get something to eat, and accepted a ride with Christopher William Adair, a man she had just met that evening, according to reports from the time. A friend reported receiving a text message from Young at 4:30 a.m., which read “come get me, they won’t let me leave.” As time passes, police continue to urge anyone with old or new information to come forward. In the past couple years, ground-penetrating radar and a police dog, trained in finding human remains, have conducted searches at undisclosed sites around Nanaimo. The still active and ongoing investigation involves around 15,000 documents and hundreds of witnesses. Young’s aunt, Carol Frank, said no new information has surfaced since last year. Although people continue to come forward with information, nothing has led to a crack in the case. “The lead investigator stays in touch with us. We can call him, email him, set up meetings so that really helps,” Frank said. “We’re still receiving tips. I’ll forward the information to the investigator.” Frank said her family has received a lot of support throughout the years from people who genuinely want to help get justice for her niece. In 2020, the Lil’ Red Dress Project funded an electronic billboard along the highway in Nanoose Bay with Young’s photo and a call for information. This year, the same information will be displayed on Nanaimo city buses. “With the bus add we were going to fundraise but people donated within a day

Photos by Karly Blats

On June 26 dozens took part in the annual walk for missing woman Lisa Marie Young, an event held since 2003. Supporters walked from the RCMP detachment to Maffeo Sutton Park. Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog was among the speakers. and a half, two days,” Frank said. “We have so many people that are caring and want this case solved and to find Lisa. We’ve got lots of support, lots of people that we don’t even know around the world that want justice.” Frank said it’s important to keep walking for her niece year after year to carry on Young’s memory for her late mother, Frank’s sister, Joanne, who passed away in 2017. “[Joanne] was the one that kept Lisa in the media’s attention because she didn’t want anybody to forget her. It’s just important for our family to have some kind of closure,” Frank said. “My sister passed away June 21, 2017 and she never got to find her only daughter.” Frank said social media and a podcast produced by Laura Palmer called Island Crime: Where is Lisa? has helped bring even more attention to the case over the past few years. Lisa Watts, MMIWG support worker with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, spoke to supporters at Maffeo Sutton Park on the 20th anniversary of Young’s disappearance. She called on everyone to have a moment of silence in Young’s honour. “She was a very lovely beautiful girl, a human being who contributed to her

community and she’s gone… unbelievable,” Watts said. “Today we stop for a moment and remember what can we do; what we can do is what we did here for a little while today, we sat and ate with Lisa’s family, we sat, we talked with each other.” Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog proclaimed June 26, 2022 as Lisa Marie Young day in the City of Nanaimo and June 30 as Lights For Lisa —where residents are encouraged to leave their patio light on in Young’s memory. “I’m a parent and grandparent, and I cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like for Lisa’s family when she

went missing and after all these years no justice, no knowledge, no closure,” Krog said. “There is no greater love, I believe, than the love that exists between a parent and a child… and I cannot begin to imagine all of those years when [Young’s] mother survived and lived to think about her daughter and what may have happened to her.” Krog urged the RCMP to always keep an open file for Young and to never give up the search. Earlier this year, an anonymous donor pledged $50,000 for any information that leads to the location and/or recovery of Young’s remains.


Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022 Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper is published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for distribution to the members of the NTC-member First Nations, as well as other interested groups and individuals. Information and original work contained in this newspaper is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission from: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2. Telephone: (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 Web page: www.hashilthsa.com facebook: Hashilthsa Ntc

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DEADLINE: Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is July 15, 2022 After that date, material submitted and judged appropriate cannot be guaranteed placement but, if material is still relevant, will be included in the following issue. In an ideal world, submissions would be typed rather than hand-written. Articles can be sent by e-mail to holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org (Windows PC). Submitted pictures must include a brief description of subject(s) and a return address. Pictures with no return address will remain on file. Allow two - four weeks for return. Photocopied or faxed photographs cannot be accepted.

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Feds ban six types of single-use plastics Measure eliminates production of plastic bags, cutlery, stir sticks, six-pack rings By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Ottawa, ON - Working toward the goal of zero plastic waste by 2030, the Canadian government announced they’re banning six categories of the most commonly found plastics polluting the country’s shorelines and oceans, but some groups are saying this is far from enough to protect ecosystems and eliminate plastic pollution. The ban will gradually eliminate the Canadian production and export of plastic bags, cutlery, stir sticks, six-pack rings, straws and some takeout containers. Canadian plastic manufacturers will have until the end of 2022 to stop production of the newly banned plastics and until the end of 2023 to stop selling them. The ban also ends the export of banned plastics by 2025, making Canada the second country ever to do so. The final ban also closes technical loopholes from its previous draft that would have allowed more durable single-use plastic options to replace items of common use, such as cutlery and checkout bags. “By the end of the year, you won’t be able to manufacture or import these harmful plastics. After that, businesses will begin offering the sustainable solutions Canadians want, whether that’s paper straws or reusable bags,” said Steven Guilbeault, minister of Environment and Climate Change, in a press release. “With these new regulations, we’re taking a historic step forward in reducing plastic pollution, and keeping our communities and the places we love clean.” Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, whose Private Members Motion to combat marine plastics pollution passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2018, said the government is starting to make small steps to tackle plastic pollution, but far from what’s needed. “Plastic pollution in our oceans threatens our environment and human health, it’s hurting wildlife, coastlines, communities and whole ecosystems…it’s concerning and dangerous,” Johns said. “Many Canadians have stepped back, whether it’s using re-usable shopping bags or making changes in their behaviour, but the government needs to go much further.”

Photo by Karly Blats

Plastic waste is seen washed up on the shore at Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay. Johns said for remaining plastic polfound that Canada’s single-use plastic lution, the federal government needs ban—the first phase in a goal to reach a comprehensive strategy that would zero plastic waste by 2030–will actually reduce plastic consumption and remove have little to no environmental benefit plastic pollution in and around aquatic while imposing a large financial cost on environments. Canadians. “We’re going to keep fighting to expand “Canada’s contribution to the global the types of single-use plastics included issue of aquatic plastic pollution is virtuin the ban,” Johns said. “It just doesn’t ally non-existent, but banning plastic— go far enough. It could have included hot almost all of which is properly disposed and cold drink cups and lids and all sorts of in Canada—will impose high costs of polystyrene which we know is littering on Canadians and will actually result in our coast. Those are things [the governmore waste being generated,” said Kenment] didn’t include which we in coastal neth P. Green, senior fellow at the Fraser communities have been asking for, so it Institute and author of Canada’s Wasteful falls short of what we were hoping.” Plan to Regulate Plastic Waste. Polystyrene, one of the most commonly A press release by the Fraser Institute used plastics, is almost impossible to states Canada’s contribution to global remove from shorelines, Johns said. aquatic plastic pollution, when assessed “It gets ingested by the wildlife, the fish in 2016, was between 0.02 per cent and and goes right up through the food chain, 0.03 per cent of the global total. so it’s having a huge impact on the eco“The government’s Zero-Plastic Waste system and ultimately on human health as 2030 plan will only prevent an almost unwell,” Johns said. “We’ve got the longest detectable reduction of three thousandths coastline in the world so we should be of one per cent of aquatic plastic polluglobal leaders. To take six items and igtion,” states the release. “And whatever nore a bunch of others that other jurisdic- minimal environmental benefits might be tions have [banned]…in France they got achieved by banning plastic could be offrid of plastic coffee cup lids and plastic set by the increased environmental harms cups and Canada can’t do it? Well, there’s of the plastic substitutes, including paper no explanation.” products and organic materials.” Market research conducted by Oceana According to the Fraser Institute’s study, Canada, an independent charity estabbased on the government’s own analylished to restore Canadian oceans, shows sis, while banning plastic will prevent that 90 per cent of people across Canada approximately 1.6 million tonnes of support a ban on single-use plastics and material from entering the waste stream, two-thirds want to see the proposed ban it will add approximately 3.2 million expanded to include more harmful plastic tonnes of substitute materials for a net products. increase in waste. But in a recent study, the Fraser Institute

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COVERAGE: Although we would like to be able to cover all stories and events, we will only do so subject to: - Sufficient advance notice addressed specifically to Ha-Shilth-Sa. - Reporter availability at the time of the event. - Editorial space available in the paper. - Editorial deadlines being adhered to by contributors.

Ha-Shilth-Sa belongs to every Nuu-chah-nulth person including those who have passed on, and those who are not yet born. A community newspaper cannot exist without community involvement. If you have any great pictures you’ve taken, stories or poems you’ve written, or artwork you have done, please let us know so we can include it in your newspaper. E-mail holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org. This year is Ha-Shilth-Sa’s 48th year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!

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June 30, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7

ʔapsčiik t̓ašii officially opens to west coast visitors Through talks with local First Nations, trail completed for $51 million, extending 25 kilometres by Long Beach By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Tofino, BC - After much anticipation, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government and Parks Canada joined together in welcoming visitors to use the new multi-use pathway at the Combers Beach trailhead in the Pacific Rim National Parks Reserve on June 28. The path, which extends around 25-kilometres, traverses through the traditional territories of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is the result of nearly $51 million in federal funding and offers visitors and locals an opportunity to explore the region’s lush rainforests by bike or foot. From the onset of the project in 2016, Tla-o-qui-aht Elected Chief Elmer Frank said the nation made it “abundantly clear” they needed to be involved to ensure the continued protection of their Ha-Houlthee (traditional territory). An Elders’ Working Group was subsequently formed with representatives from both nations. They have been meeting at least once a month for the past five years and are responsible for naming the path ʔapsčiik t̓ašii, which means “going the right direction on the path.” Tla-o-qui-aht elder Barney Williams addressed the crowd gathered at the Combers Beach trailhead to celebrate the official opening of ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee). As a member of the Elders’ Working Group, Williams said the nations worked together to make sure the place names were done correctly and respect was shown to the land, plants and trees. “Today’s about celebrating an accomplishment that came to be because two nations were able to sit together [and] work out differences,” he said. The Elders’ Working Group helped

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elder Barney Williams welcomes the crowd gathered at the Combers Beach trailhead in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to use the new multi-use pathway that connects Tofino and Ucluelet, on June 28. guide Parks Canada through the project tunity to support knowledge transfer is using the Nuu-chah-nulth principles of really important.” hishukish ts’awalk (everything is one), ʔapsčiik doesn’t just mean going the uu-a-thluk (taking care of), and iisaak right way, she said. It also means to do (respect). the right thing and speak truthfully. Together, they developed Nuu-chahWhen people talk about reconciliation, nulth cultural interpretation along the that’s what they should be aiming for, she pathway. Trilingual signage and text said. panels feature place names along the “It’s the wrongs that we need to right,” route, where English and French follow Martin said. Nuu-chah-nulth. John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Williams described it as “a first.” Cloverdale-Langley City, attended the Despite not being an elder, Gisele Marevent on behalf of the federal governtin was invited to join the Elders’ Working Group as a huhuḥtak̓iik (knowledge keeper). Because Canada’s residential school system tried eradicate Indigenous language, the members of the Elders’ Working Group represent some of the last fluent Nuu-chah-nulth speakers within Tla-o-qui-aht and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, she said. “Our cultures have been so abused and suppressed,” Martin said. “Any oppor-

ment. “The close collaboration with the Tla-oqui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ is part of our government’s ongoing efforts towards reconciliation,” he said in a release. “This significant federal investment will support local economies and growth in the tourism sector, as the pathway offers a wonderful opportunity to share the beauty, history, and culture of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve for decades to come.” The opening of the path exhibits Tla-oqui-aht’s willingness to move forward, to build relationships and to heal collectively, said Frank. “We are hopeful that this collaborative project will provide economic, educational, and recreational opportunities for all the parties involved,” Frank said in a release. “It is our hope that this beautiful trail will symbolize the benefits and achievements that were made by working collaboratively together to achieve common goals.” While Martin said a lot of work went into the project, more needs to be done to better represent Tla-o-qui-aht and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ within the region. And yet, she said, the path offers Nuuchah-nulth representation to visitors who may be experiencing it for the first time. “This has to be some of the first representation that you’ll see of our nations,” she said. “There’s been a lot of effort behind this project.”


Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022

Ahousaht high school grads celebrated by community Maaqtusiis Secondary holds up this year’s five graduates, a ‘close knit’ group that underwent a year of change By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Ahousaht, BC- Dressed in a cedar cap and a black gown, Alden Campbell furiously perfected his valedictorian speech in a quiet corner inside Maaqtusiis Secondary School on June 22. He had been working on it for two days hoping to get it just right in preparation for his high school graduation ceremony. Campbell was one of five high school graduates from Ahousaht First Nation being celebrated by family and friends who had gathered inside the school’s gymnasium on the remote Flores Island. Adorned with a picture of Vincent van Gogh’s starry night, twinkle lights, and a crescent moon cut out, the school’s gymnasium was like a tribute to the graduates’ bright futures. “Now that I’m graduating there’s a lot more choices than what I’ve had [before],” said Campbell. Following his passion for cooking, Campbell landed a summer job working at a seafood restaurant in Victoria before beginning his studies in culinary arts at Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus in the fall. It’s a big transition for the 17-year-old, who has been living in Ahousaht his whole life. When he thinks about the move, he said he’s split between feeling nervous and excited. Campbell’s father, Floyd, beamed with pride as he praised his son’s ambitious nature. “He’s much more focused than I was at his age,” he said. When John Hunter, one of the graduates, reflected back on the school year, he said he was lucky to have “super helpful” friends. The “close knit” graduating class would often stay behind after school to help each other if someone was falling behind, said Maaqtusiis Secondary School Princi-

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Ashton Brown (left), Alden Campbell and Moses Charlie prepare for their graduation ceremony at Maaqtusiis high school in Ahousaht on June 22. pal Ali Herron. Herron said it was important to celebrate “I’m super proud of them,” she said. In the mornings, Herron said the the students’ accomplishments. It also enVernon Brown travelled for two days students would show up at each other’s courages those who didn’t graduate this from his home in Klemtu to see his son, houses to encourage one another to go to year to try again next year, she added. Ashton, graduate. school. Before delivering his valedictorian Like anything in life, Brown said gradu“When any of them are going through speech, Campbell was presented with ating is a choice and he’s proud Ashton tough situations, they’re always there to the Atleo-Louie Scholarship and the “took it upon himself to make sure he back each other up and do whatever they Clayoquot Biosphere Trust Award for his graduated.” can to support each other,” she said. academic achievement. “There’s a movement among First NaSeeing the graduates together up on In his speech, Campbell encouraged his tions youth,” he said. “[I’m] seeing a lot stage was “rewarding,” said Herron. classmates to “keep pushing forward” as more going through college and univerEspecially after the challenging couple they transitioned to the next phase in their sity.” of years imposed by the COVID-19 panlives. With more opportunity for First Nademic, she added. “Our paths may be different,” he said. tions youth “in this era of reconciliation,” The students had to navigate school “But we’ll always have each other’s Brown said he’s confident Ashton is goclosures, scheduling changes and online backs.” ing to have a “bright future.” learning. Despite the small graduating class,

Haahuupayak gives Grade 7 grads a traditional feast By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – The school gym was decorated in black, blue and white as proud families smiled with pride, anticipating the grand entrance of one of the largest graduating classes From Tseshaht First Nation’s Haahuupayak School. The event started with the grand procession of the graduating class to their head table, which had a decorated dugout canoe placed in front of it. Cultural teacher Trevor Little got things off to a proper start with a prayer chant followed by Principal Nancy Logan’s opening remarks. Logan introduced herself Nuu-chahnulth-style, using her own language to tell the people her name, where she’s from and who her parents and grandparents are. It was a pattern followed by each of the graduating students as they demonstrated their knowledge of the Nuu-chah-nulth language and the cultural importance of knowing their roots. Principal Logan told the crowd that it was an important day to celebrate, acknowledge and honour the achievements of the graduating class, especially after all everyone has been through during two

years in isolation because of the pandemic. “We went two years without gatherings, socializing and mask dancing,” she noted. Logan told the class that she holds her hands up to them, acknowledging their courage and determination to succeed. She told them that life will give them many gifts and many challenges. “May you always rise up to the challenges. Congratulations to each of you,” said Logan. Special guests that evening were five Grade 12 graduates who are Haahuupayak alumni. Two of the former students assisted with emcee duties. Each graduate then took a turn at the microphone, starting with Braiden Thomas, who introduced himself, stated his age, said where he came from and who his parents and grandparents are, all in the Nuu-chah-nulth language. When he was done, he repeated his speech in English, finishing with, “ I want to thank all those that taught me.” Dinner was served before certificates were presented to students by Hawiih (hereditary chiefs). The evening finished off with words of congratulations from the families along with celebratory songs and dances.

Photo by Denise Titian

Terry Sieber and Taliah Brossault await a feast as they graduate from Haahuupayak elementary school. George, Dylan Cartlidge, Vance Clarke The 2022 graduates are: Chaasta Prescott-Qamiina, Luuta Prescott-Qamii- Mack, Sebastian Thomas-Joe, Terry Sieber, Taliah Sanderson, Brooklynn na, Evan Lucas, Phyllis Harris, Madison Joseph and Braiden Thomas. Lucas, Summer Little, Dakota Johnson, Ryder Sieber, Amber Robinson, Maddexx


June 30, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9

Grads look to bright future after proving they made it Over 60 high school and post-secondary Nuu-chah-nulth graduates gather at Alberni District Secondary School By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Port Alberni, BC - As Wayne David walked across the stage during the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) Graduation Ceremony he took a bow. The crowd gathered at the Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) whistled and cheered for the 58-year-old man who had just graduated with an adult high school diploma. For David, the accomplishment was a way to show his community he’s “endeavouring to become a better person.” “It’s a legitimate way to prove that [I’m] serious with [my] education,” he said. To cope with intergenerational trauma and marginalization David turned to alcohol and drugs. “It was a learned behaviour,” said the recovering addict. “I’m withdrawing from the belly of the beast – the drug world.” Throughout David’s recovery journey, he said many people have given him hope that he’s “worth it.” “They gave me the tools to carry on,” he said. David said he intends to continue his education by studying metal jewelry design at North Island College. Art has been a “lifelong endeavour” for David, who grew up drawing images of thunderbirds and killer whales. “I’ve always been drawn to art,” he said. “I have a few friends that are master carvers – they captivated my imagination.” He dreams of creating silver jewelry clad in Nuu-chah-nulth designs. Drawn to the mythical creatures found in Tla-o-quiaht teachings, he said he hopes to share

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Letitia Charleson walks the stage for graduating with a certificate in esthetics from Vancouver Island University, with support from her husband, JoshUa, during the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Graduation ceremony. to support the budding chef. his culture with the rest of the world. ing from Bella Coola. The culinary arts program is like “one David was among over 60 high school When Nelson’s brother, Devan Chester, big family,” said de Jong. and post-secondary graduates gathered at noticed his sister wasn’t taking school “When I see students succeeding, I want ADSS in Port Alberni on June 11. Supseriously in Bella Coola he opened up to be there to support them and witness ported by family and friends, the graduhis home in Nitinaht to encourage her those transitions,” he said. ates were honoured alongside fellow studies. In the future, Thomas envisions workstudents from their respective nations. Nelson said she was given more learning with Ahousaht First Nation to create Kylie-Rae Nelson travelled with her ing opportunities in Nitinaht. customized diet plans for its members. brothers and sister from Nitinaht Lake to “Friends and family were able to help attend the ceremony. me take [school] more seriously,” she By adapting people’s diets, he said he Nelson moved in with her siblings at the said. can help alleviate stomach issues and The avid painter said she hasn’t decided inflammation. beginning of the school year after relocatwhat she wants to do next, but is consid“One day down the line I want to give ering pursuing art. back to my nation,” he said. “To develop “When I [paint] scenery I get more con- a proper diet for others so they can have nected to the land,” she said. “I’m able to more energy and less pain.” focus and breathe.” NTC President Judith Sayers acknowlWilliam Thomas attended the ceremony edged the graduates as they moved into to celebrate graduating with a culinary their next phase of life. arts certificate from Vancouver Island “We need great minds, innovative minds University (VIU). - people who can push our rights, our When Thomas is cooking, he said he titles, and know our Indigenous knowlenters into a flow state. edge,” she said. “And go forth into the “Time goes away and the external world world in many different ways to fulfill goes away – it’s just beautiful,” he said. their destiny. The Ahousaht man is preparing to work As much as the number of people at the at the Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, ceremony intimidated Nelson, she said where he hopes to build on his experishe wanted to attend to “prove that she ence of working at the Fairmont Chateau made it.” Whistler this past winter. When she thinks about the future, it is “I really want to keep my foundation bright. learning at the five and four-star level,” “Not only do I think about the potential he said. I have,” she said. “But the potential the Thomas’ VIU culinary arts instructor, world has for me.” Francois de Jong, attended the ceremony

Photo submitted by Devon Hancock

Ditidaht Community School graduates, Inez Nelson and Maria Edgar.


Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022

Nuu-chah-nulth secondary and post-s

Alanda Atleo

Alden Campbell

Brevin Charleson

Briah Pearson

Cassius Sam

Denae Edgar

Elijah John

Ellektra Watts

Ethan Frank-Blackbird

Geena Haiyupis

Jo-Anne Dean

Kayden Vissia

Kyla Lucas

Kylie-Rae Nelson

Lauren Watts

Marie Edgar

Mason Frank

Michael Meija-Clark

Miranda Mack

Rave Sutherland

Samuel Jensen

Sean Williams-Kosteniuk

Tristan Ginger

Tyler Jackson

Tyson Whitford-Williams


June 30, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11

and post-secondary graduates of 2022

Ciara Robinson

Colleen Jones

Darlene Frank

Darren Titian-Mason

David Rampanen

Crace John

Hunter Jimmy

Isaak Johnson

Jayson Nookemus

Jenelle Johnson-Sabbas

Lelaina Jules

Letitia Charleson

Lillian Morgan

Lily-Rose Johnson

Magdelyn Patterson

Rave Sutherland

Robert Wells

Ron Dick Jr.

Rosemarie Gus

Samantha Jack

Tyson Whitford-Williams

Veronica Morgan

Wayne (Edward) David

Weslia Tom

William Thomas


Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022

Youth beam with pride during scholarship ceremony Students recognized for perseverance after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented in an in-person event since 2019 By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Port Alberni, BC - At the beginning of the school year, Grayson Joseph moved from the remote community of Kyuquot to the city of Port Alberni with his mother, Irene. It was a stark transition for the teenager, who went from a tiny school where everyone knew his name to the Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS). “I thought I wouldn’t like it and that I wouldn’t want to be here,” he said. “I was scared. It was a big school, so I wanted to go back.” Joseph pined for the place he had always known as home and struggled to engage with his classes. Despite that, he was awarded a $200 academic prize during the annual Nuuchah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) Scholarship Ceremony in Port Alberni on June 10. Joseph said the scholarship marked a “new start” that he could carry forward into Grade 9. As he collected his cheque, Irene’s eyes welled with tears of joy. “I’m so proud,” she said. Each year, Nuu-chah-nulth students are encouraged to apply for a variety of scholarships awarded by NTC. It’s been three years since the tribal council has hosted a ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions, which made this year more special, said Ian Caplette, NTC director of education, training and social development. “People were just happy to see their families and be together again,” he said. Students in Kindergarten through to Grade 4 were eligible to apply for a $50 scholarship draw. A scholarship selection committee was appointed to award applicants in Grades 8 to 12 with $200 bursaries. Students were selected by the committee based on their grades and written essays in four different categories: academic, athletic, artistic, and cultural. Post-secondary scholarships were also available for students excelling in topics including language, culture, business, health and education. Earlier this year, Joseph opened up to his family about being transgender and

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Jade Thomas (left) and Nevaeh Atleo pose with their scholarship cheques during Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Scholarship Ceremony held at the Alberni District Secondary School in Port Alberni, on June 10. changed his name from Kamea to Grayson. After revealing his identity, he said he felt “at peace.” “I feel happier – accepted [and] loved,” he said. As Joseph eased into his new life in Port Alberni and felt more comfortable in his own skin, Irene said he started to improve in school after Christmas. “I’m really proud of my baby – to know how resilient, how independent and how strong he is to overcome all those hardships.” Families from 12 different Nuu-chahnulth nations gathered at ADSS on June 10 to support over 100 scholarship recipients. NTC Vice-President Mariah Charleson was among those championing the students.

“I encourage all of you to continue fuelling your fire and continue doing what you’re passionate about,” she said. “Whether you’ve received a scholarship for your arts, your athletics, or your academics, we’re going to hold you to a new standard now because we know what you’re all capable of.” Alexander Ambrose beamed with pride as he was acknowledged onstage alongside his fellow students from Hesquiaht First Nation. When the 10-year-old received his $200 academic scholarship cheque, his jaw dropped in disbelief. “It feels really great,” he said. “I never thought I would actually get it.” Ambrose’s father, William, said he never had any doubts. “He sets his own goals and he completes them,” William said. “I’m proud of him.”

The past few years have been tough on Nuu-chah-nulth communities due to COVID-19, said Tseshaht First Nation Chief Councillor Ken Watts. “I don’t think we give our kids enough credit for the resiliency they’ve had to get to where they are today,” he said. Children have had to adapt to online learning, wearing face-masks and they’ve been isolated from their friends, Watts said. “Today is a testament to the resiliency of each and every one of [them],” he said. Irene tightly wrapped her arms around Joseph as he held his scholarship cheque in hand. They had made it through the year together and the fresh start marked by the accolade was worthy of Irene’s tears.

Phrase of the week: Wik tumši+%ii%a> h=uutaqši+ %a+quuk %iic^aqšaqukk Pronounced ‘Wik tum silt ee whoo ta k silth alt koo ee chuk she alt quk’, it means, ‘Education should never stop, no matter how old you are’ Supplied by ciisma.

Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin


June 30, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13

Congratulations to this year’s NTC scholarship winners Ahousaht

Huu-ay-aht

Jade Thomas (Gr.1 Draw) Diane Williams (Gr.1 Draw) Olivia Frank (Titian) (Gr.2 Draw) Troy Lucas Hernandez (Gr.2 Draw) RJ Little (Gr. 2 Draw) Mia-Rose Paul (Gr. 2 Draw) Marika Horbatch (Gr.3 Draw) Amanda Webster (Gr.3 Draw) Nevaeh Atleo (Gr.4 Academic) Tausha John (Gr.4 Academic) Waylon John (Gr.4 Academic) Jared Little (Gr.4 Academic) Heidi Swan (Gr.4 Academic) Reese Frank (Titian) (Gr.5 Academic) Gloria Jean Webster (Gr.5 Academic) TJ Hernandez (Gr.6 Academic) Eve Titian-Frank (Gr.6 Academic) Christine Webster (Gr.7 Academic) Angelina Williams (Gr. 7 Academic) Nia Frank (Titian) (Gr. 8 Academic) Ryleigh Johnston (Gr. 8 Academic) Rosalyn Williams (Gr. 8 Cultural) Jessie Swan (Gr. 9 Academic & Athletic) Olivia Samuel (Gr. 10 Academic) Jayme Bulwer-Paul (Heechis Memorial)

Danica Foster (Gr.7 Academ & Athle) Maddexx George (Gr.7 Cultural) Isabelle (Rory) Tatoosh MacLeod (Gr.7 Academic) Saphia Lauder (Gr.11 Academic)

Ditidaht Fanny Adams (Kindergarten Draw) Melanie-Rose Sutherland (Gr.2 Draw) Kyle Martin-Thompson (Gr.3 Draw) Warren Peter Amos (Gr.5 Academic) Rolando Antuna (Gr.7 Academic) Dakota Knighton (Gr.8 Academic & Athletic) Cole Thompson (Gr.8 Academic) Hailey Thompson (Gr.8 Academic) Kate Edgar (Gr.9 Artistic & Athletic) Destiny Peltier (Gr.9 Academic & Athletic) Barry Samuel (Gr.9 Academic)

Ehattesaht Jeremy Jack Jr (Kindergarten Draw) Bryan John (Gr.1 Draw) Tawni John (Gr.1 Draw) Brandon John Jr. (Gr.1 Draw) Braedynn Omeasoo (Gr.1 Draw) Tina Andersen (Gr.2 Draw) Mackenzie August (Gr.3 Draw) Patience Hawker (Gr.3 Draw) Mabel Adams (Gr.4 Artistic) Amalee Hanson (Gr.4 Academic) Keelahn Hanson (Gr.6 Academic) Shannon Williams (Gr.6 Academic) Everly Harry Jr (Gr.9 Academic & Athletic) Owen Kalob John Heath (Gr.9 Academic) Cadence John-Jack (Gr.10 Academic) Aliya Mack (Gr.11 Academic) Danica Mack (Gr.11 Academic) Kane Miller (Gr.12 Academic)

Hesquiaht Jeremy Jack Jr (Kindergarten Draw) Bryan John (Gr.1 Draw) Tawni John (Gr.1 Draw) Brandon John Jr. (Gr.1 Draw) Braedynn Omeasoo (Gr.1 Draw) Tina Andersen (Gr.2 Draw) Mackenzie August (Gr.3 Draw) Patience Hawker (Gr.3 Draw) Mabel Adams (Gr.4 Artistic) Amalee Hanson (Gr.4 Academic) Keelahn Hanson (Gr.6 Academic) Shannon Williams (Gr.6 Academic) Everly Harry Jr (Gr.9 Academic & Athletic) Owen Kalob John Heath (Gr.9 Academic) Cadence John-Jack (Gr.10 Academic) Aliya Mack (Gr.11 Academic) Danica Mack (Gr.11 Academic) Kane Miller (Gr.12 Academic)

Hupacasath Danica Foster (Gr.7 Academ & Athle) Maddexx George (Gr.7 Cultural) Isabelle (Rory) Tatoosh MacLeod (Gr.7 Academic) Saphia Lauder (Gr.11 Academic)

Kyuquot Malia Leo Schmitt (Kindergarten Draw) Ayana Leo (Gr.4 Academic) Jackson Jules (Gr.6 Academic) Serina Blackstone (Gr.8 Academic) Kamea (Grayson) Joseph (Gr.8 Academic) Ethan Blackstone (Gr.12 Academic)

Mowachaht Vada James-Thomas (Kindergarten Draw) Rosaria John (Kindergarten Draw) Timothy Johnson (Kindergarten Draw) Dominic George (Gr.1 Draw) Oriana James (Gr.3 Draw) Zinnia James (Gr.3 Draw) Andrew (AJ) Callicum (Gr.4 Academic) Dave Amos (Gr.7 Academic) Quentin James (Gr.7 Academic) Gabriel Callicum (Gr.9 Academic)

Nuchatlaht Hunter Jeffery (Kindergarten Draw) Roger Keim (Kindergarten Draw) Skyla Jeffery (Gr.4 Academic & Artistic) Julie Dean (Gr.11 Cultural)

Tla-o-qui-aht Mason Frank (Gr.4 Academic & Artistic) Bode Amos (Gr.6 Academic) Taylor Frank (Gr. 6 Academic) Sienna David (Gr.8 Academic) Ryleigh Amos (Gr.11 Academic) Da’von Ekering (Gr.11 Academic & Cultural) Jaden Frank (Gr.12 Artistic & BMO Academic)

Toquaht Carter Emerson (Gr.1 Draw) Koyah Morgan-Banke (Gr.11 Academic)

Tseshaht Keon Bush (Kindergarten Draw) Kiana Bush (Kindergarten Draw) Aviana Pearson (Kindergarten Draw) Charlotte Watts (Kindergarten Draw) Anikka Anderson (Gr.2 Draw) Faithlynn Gallic (Gr.2 Draw) Todd Goodwill (Gr.2 Draw) Ander Lucas, (Gr. 2 Draw) Wyatt Pratt (Gr.2 Draw) Kessa Watts (Gr.2 Draw) Dawson Bill (Gr.3 Draw) Kylie Gallic (Gr.3 Draw) Tatianna Peters (Gr.3 Draw) Sadie Volodin (Gr.3 Draw) Desiderio (Desi) Gomez (Gr.4 Academic) Gertrude Lucas (Gr.4 Academic) Kailand Watts (Gr.4 Academic) Odis Anderson (Gr.5 Academic) Solomon Watts (Gr. 5 Academic) Emery Auerbach (Gr.6 Academic) Tessa Auerbach (Gr.6 Academic) Sophia Burton-McCarthy (Gr.6 Academic) Nisma Marshall (Gr.6 Academic & Artistic) Carmen Bill (Gr.7 Academic) Jailyn Little (Gr.7 Academic) Cameron Amos (Gr.8 Academic) Carsin Guzman (Gr.8 Academic) Tia-Page Watts (Gr.9 Artistic & Cultural) Kieris Braker-Patterson (Gr.10 Academic) Kaylen Poirer (Gr.10 Artistic) Neve Watts (Gr.10 Academic) Sophia Bill (Gr.11 Academic) Quentin Chippeway-Thomas (Gr. 11 Academic) Hannah Sam (Gr. 11 Academic & Cultural) Rain Thomas (Gr. 12 Academic & BMO Academic)


Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022

Congratulations to this year’s Post Secondary scholarship winners Ditidaht Chantell Patterson, BMO Academic Scholarship Hannah Logan, Budget Car and Truck Academic Scholarship Samuel Joseph, NTC Education Academic Scholarship Peggy Hewa-Marambage, Haiyupis Family Scholarship Mercediese Dawson, MLG Law Corporation Scholarship

Ehattesaht Adrienne Michael, Renate Shearer Memorial Award Christina John, BMO Academic Scholarship

Hesquiaht Chuutska (Layla) Rorick, Wawmeesh Memorial Scholarship for Cultural Knowledge Sarah Gregory, NTC Education Academic Scholarship Dianna-Jo Charleson, NTC Education Academic Scholarship

Hupacasath Stephen Wonnacott, NTC Nursing Department Scholarship Rustee Watts, BMO Academic Scholarship Alana Sayers, NTC Hashilthsa Scholarship

Mowachaht Monica Amos, NTC Academic Scholarship Sherry Mattice, NTC Academic Scholarship

Nuchatlaht Melissa Jack, BMO Academic Scholarship

Tla-o-qui-aht Timothy Masso, John Thomas Memorial Scholarship – Teach Nuu-chah-nulth Language

Tseshaht William Merry, NTC Education Academic Scholarship Shelby Morgan, NTC Nursing Scholarship Linsey Haggard, NTC Education Academic Scholarship Cynthia Rayner, McGorman McLean Business Scholarship Jackelyn Williams (Seitcher), Tommy Jack Memorial Scholarship Mental Health Counselling

Have You Moved? If you should be getting a copy of the Ha-Shilth-Sa paper delivered to your home, please contact : Holly Stocking at 250-724-5757 or holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org

Proud of this year’s Pacific Rim School District graduates 2022 Congratulations to “takaas%aaq+in huuh=takšiih=”

the class of 2022 From the Board of Education The Board of Education Vancouver Island West School District 84 www.sd70.bc.ca


June 30, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15

Ditidaht students honour residential school survivors Le•ers to Our Elders is a 25-page hard-cover book filled with illustrations, photography, poetry and musings By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Malachan, BC – Ditidaht Community School students have created a hard-cover book filled with illustrations, photography, poetry and musings about their home and their elders. Copies of the 25-page book, called Letters to Our Elders, were distributed to Ditidaht elders at a community lunch served in the school gym on June 22. “Letters to Our Elders is a collection of student expressions for the Elders of Ditidaht Nation; for the victims of the residential school system and for those who have fought and continue to fight the legacy of that atrocity yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” reads the inside cover of the book. Shaniece Anika Edgar was in Grade 10 when she wrote pieces for the book. Now in Grade 11, Anika, as she prefers to be called, said she learned a lot following the news that 215 graves were found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. “I threw it out of my memory because I didn’t want it to be there,” said Edgar. She said discussions about the discovery of graves at residential schools “pulled her down”, but she did her best not to let it, even though the number of unmarked graves discovered at other Canadian residential school sites continues to grow. The sadness prompted her to write her poem called ‘If Only’. “It’s a main question I hear,” said Edgar. “If only things were different, if only it didn’t happen, if only so much wasn’t taken from us…where would we be?” She went on to say that there’s so much fear among her community because of what happened to her ancestors. “I think there will be a lot more hope in the future because we are working on it now, to build us up,” she added. Edgar is two generations removed from residential school, so she admits it’s hard for her to relate to what survivors went through. She said her paternal grandfather was a student. She is now in a school where she gets to be with family and spends an hour every day learning her language and culture. Margaret Eaton, a residential school support worker, welcomed the elders, telling them that she knows it is difficult being there, but she made sure emotional support for them was available, should they need it. Eaton told Ha-Shilth-Sa that the idea for the book got its start in 2021 follow-

Photos by Denise Titian

Shaniece Anika Edgar (above), a Grade 11 student at Ditidaht Community School, displays Letters to Our Elders with other students who particpated in making the book. Former residential school students (below) looked over the book at the First Nation’s school on June 22. ing the news that 215 unmarked graves were found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The discovery, she noted, has raised awareness and opened discussions about what happened to Indigenous ancestors. “It’s helped the kids understand what their grandparents and parents went through,” said Eaton. To the elders, she said, “Your kids and grandkids wrote their thoughts and feelings in stories, poems and letters and their teacher printed their work.” Teacher Kaila Pidwerbeski said there were 18 Grade 8-12 students involved in the project last year. They were to present the books then, but the pandemic prevented large gatherings, and so they waited until now to distribute the books. The students gave books to each of the elders. They began reading immediately, teachings, passing it on to the youth. young Indigenous Canadians by creating one, pressing her hand over her heart as “Our children are our future, they mimic a break between the children and their she read the words. what they see in us, how we speak and elder family members. Elected Chief Brian Tate spoke about But the culture and language survived how we treat one another,” said Tate. colonialism and the legacy of residenOnly 20 books were printed but the and continues to be nurtured in modern tial schools. First Nations, he said, were school can make more copies if people schools. pushed aside so government could gain are interested. To enquire about the book, Tate praised the elders for not only suraccess to their resources. Residential viving the residential school system, but call Ditidaht Community School at 250schools were designed to assimilate 745-3223. also for hanging onto their language and


Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022

Health Corner

Sun safety for all ages Know the signs of heat illness, how to respond and who is most at-risk. Signs of heat exhaustion • Skin rash • Heavy sweating • Dizziness • Nausea or vomiting • Rapid breathing and heartbeat • Headache • Difficulty concentrating • Muscle cramps • Extreme thirst • Dark urine and decreased uri nation Anyone with these symptoms should be moved to a cool space, given plenty of water to drink, and cooled down with water applied to the skin (e.g. cold shower, submerging body or legs in a cool bath, wearing a wet shirt, applying damp towels to the skin). Signs of heat stroke • High body temperature • Fainting or decreased consciousness • Confusion • Lack of coordination • Very hot and red skin If you think someone might have heat stroke, call 9-1-1 or seek medical attention immediately. Submerge some or all of the body in cool water, remove clothes and apply wet towels. Some individuals are at higher risk for heat-related illness, including: • Seniors aged 65 years or older. They may be particularly vulnerable if they are socially isolated, or live in older buildings without air conditioning • People who live alone • People with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or respiratory disease • People taking certain medications, including high blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, antipsychotics or antiParkinson’s agents. • People with mental illness such as schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety • People with substance use disorders • People with limited mobility, including those who are confined to bed, need assistance with daily living or who have sensory/cognitive impairment • People who are socially disadvantaged due to low income, being homeless or living alone • Newcomers to Canada • Occupational groups who work outdoors or who have increased physical strain • People who are physically active with increased physical strain with a reduced perception of risk • People who are pregnant • Infants and young children *If you are taking medication, particularly for mental illness, heart disease or

Alzheimer’s disease, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether it increases your health risk in the heat and follow their recommendations. Source: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/ healthlinkbc-files/heat-related-illness How can I keep my child safe from the sun? Avoid being in the sun for long periods at the start of the season. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend outdoors with your child over a period of several days. When possible, stay indoors or in the shade during the hottest time of the day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To prevent sunburn • Always protect babies from the sun: • Limit sun exposure, especially during peak hours. • Cover your baby in loose clothing and make sure they are wearing a hat. • Use a stroller sunshade to cover your baby. • Properly apply a small amount of sunscreen with SPF 30 (sun protection factor) on exposed areas. Note that sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6 months old, because they can rub it in their eyes and mouth. • Make sure your child’s favourite play areas have a shady spot, or bring along a sun umbrella. • Your child should wear a sun hat with a wide brim and back flap to protect the back of the neck, sunglasses with 100% UV protection (“broad spectrum”) and loose cotton clothing to protect skin from the sun’s rays. Only UV-rated clothing protects the skin under it completely from the sun. Sunscreen should be applied to the entire body if regular clothing is being worn. • At least 30 minutes before heading outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on all areas of your child’s skin that will be exposed to the sun. Use a lip balm with SPF 15 as well. • Remember to put sunblock on ears, nose, back of neck and legs, and tops of feet. • Reapply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours, and after swimming or vigorous play. To prevent heat illness or dehydration • Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Children don’t necessarily feel thirsty while at play. • Be alert for signs that your child is experiencing heat illness and needs to go inside. These include thirst, fatigue, leg or stomach cramps, and cool, moist skin, which can be a sign of heat exhaustion. Bring your child inside or into a cool, shady area, and offer frequent small sips of water. Removing extra clothing and fanning can help your child cool down slowly. Source: Sun safety | Caring for kids (cps.ca)

Correction: In the June 16, 2022 edition on Ha-Shilth-Sa, the page 10 and 11 article on a deep sea expedition included some information requiring correcting. Seamounts do not cause tsunamis or earthquakes as stated in the article. Rather, seamounts are here for same reason we have earthquakes and tsunamis - all three are caused by the tectonic activity along British Columbia’s coastline. The first seamount was identified around 90s years ago, not 50. Cherisse Du Preez, head of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) deep-sea ecology program, said the federal government AND the multi-nation partnership has the power to protect seamounts not the federal government alone.

Photo submitted by Janine Thompson

Hope and Health at Home held a soccer training camp June 24-26 in Ahousaht, involving 75 of the First Nation’s children as well as 15 Tla-o-qui-aht youngsters. Hope and Health at Home “H3” uses soccer to develop and empower Indigenous children and youth to realize their limitless potential, on and off the pitch- and box/floor! Beyond the physical and sport literacy, H3 targets specific social issues for the children and youth developing life and leadership skills and resiliency. It also speaks to the need to bring displaced Indigenous children and youth together in unity, to build a sense of connection and belonging.

Le!ers to Editor Indigenous Language and Culture in Schools Schools across Canada should offer courses in their local indigenous language and culture. Today, we have a responsibility to restore our culture in order for us to get the culture back. First contact banned potlatches, songs and dances in 1884. When there was a potlatch, Indian agents would show up and arrest about 50 people and they would spend several months in jail. The government demanded that all the big houses had to be burned down and no one could do anything to stop them. Now, some of our regalia is at the Royal BC Museum, which I would like to try to get back and place in our own museum. They burnt not only the big house but also families’ houses. On Aktis where my grandpas Peter, Tony, grandmas Tessie, Marilyn and my late great grandma Hilda lived, local First Nations people got hired. People from different families burnt down their own houses and other people’s houses. The government told them that they had to burn down the big houses and they didn’t have a choice. Secondly, the worst thing the government did was putting young children into residential schools. The government took them away from the communities from the age of four and up. They also split up siblings. The siblings weren’t allowed to talk to each other. If they got caught speaking their language they would be sexually or physically punished: they would get strapped, beaten, soap in their mouth, whipped, isolated in a dark closet, or an abandoned area in the school. Many of the survivors don’t want to speak their language, and they have not passed it on to their children the teachings and appropriate behaviors for various ceremonies such as potlatches, coming of ages, funerals and memorials. My sisters and I were taught how to sit still and listen when there is business. The MC of the ceremony would tell parents to keep their children with them at all times if there is a performance or business, because they would have security (witwaak) by every corner of the hall or gym to make sure kids don’t run on the dance floor.

When someone passes away, our traditional teaching is to wait four days and four nights before the funeral. For example, when someone passes away in Kyuquot, children have to stay inside the houses and with the curtain closed; children also have to stay home from school till the funeral. Pregnant women have a blanket around their belly to protect the baby. Children, babies or pregnant women cannot go to a funeral because the spirit would try to latch on to the child so they have another life after they pass, and children are very vulnerable. If a woman goes to the funeral, the baby would be just like the loved one that passed away. After the funeral, women have to burn the loved ones’ clothes and make an offering to send food up to them so they have some comfy clothes and food to get to when they are put to rest. After the funeral, we take down pictures and change names for a year. After a year, we usually have a memorial to remember all the good things about them. Language and culture is important for social activities like communicating with all the singers and dancers in culture events. The lead singer waits for the lead dancers to let him know when all the dancers are ready and all good to go on the dance floor. The lead dancer lets all the dancers know where they are going to stand in the dance line. I feel really grateful to have these teachings, because I will be able to teach my kids what my dad passed on to me. When I hear the language I understand it because I know all the letters and the sounds for all the letters, and I paid attention in my Native Ed classes. All that is really important for me, because I will be the next person in my family to lead my generation. I want the next generation to keep the learning going. While I and my sister were growing up my mom, aunty and uncles taught us how to dance and understand the songs and dances. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to lead my family’s dances. I believe I am also stronger and happier because I have learned these practices. We are going to be teaching our kids and grandkids. We are the hope to keep our language and culture alive. - Miranda Mack, Grade 12, Kyuquot Elementary Secondary School


June 30, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 17

Employment Opportunities Port Alberni Friendship Centre Volunteers Needed Need work experience? The Port Alberni Friendship Centre is looking for interested applicants for various positions. Call 250-723-8281


Page 18— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022

First Nation reclaims tourism with resort reopening Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ is tapping into a burgeoning appetite for vacations with an Indigenous theme By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Kyuquot, BC- After a two-year shutdown that included an uncertain period for the future of the destination, the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nation’s resort has rebounded this summer to reclaim its place in a growing tourism industry. Walter’s Cove Resort welcomed its first round of customers on June 23 with a newly leased floating facility anchored in Kyuquot Sound, one kilometre from the First Nation’s village of Houpsitas. The reopening came with considerable excitement from Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ members and staff, who haven’t brought guests to its fishing lodge since before the COVID-19 pandemic. With 17 staff on hand, 10 of whom are Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ members, the lodge is scheduled to operate until early September. The resort’s general manager Terry Schultz has seen a “pent up demand” for the destination over the past two years, as many of Walter’s Cove’s previous clients waited for when it would reopen. “We’re over 90 per cent occupancy right now for the season,” said Schultz two days before the first customers were scheduled to arrive. “We surpassed our guest number target last week, and we surpassed our revenue target about three weeks ago.” But until recently the resort’s future was uncertain, as structural problems were discovered with the previous facility on Walter’s Island. These issues became apparent in the fall of 2020, leading the First Nation to face $1.5 million in repairs to bring facility’s foundation up to safe standards, said Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et Chief Administrative Officer Cynthia Blackstone. “It was quite an emotional time for us when we had to close down that resort,” she said. “It was agonizing, really, because it’s such a beautiful building. People who have gone in the building have often expressed how amazing it is and enjoyed their experience while at the lodge.” After the available options proved to be unviable, by August 2021 customers who had left their deposits with the resort in hopes of a reopening had to be notified. “We decided to close for the foreseeable

Photos by Eric Plummer

Fishing guide Darian Baker (above) holds a fresh catch hooked by his crew on June 21 offshore from Kyuquot. The resort was cleansed with cedar (bottom left) from bottom to top before the first customers of the fishing season came. Dave Pinel (below), manager of West Coast Expeditions, explains the intricacies of tree moss on Spring Island in Kyuquot Sound.

“For me, it feels so good. It feels like what reconciliation looks like” ~ Jason Kemmler, VIFM General Manger future,” said Schultz of the old Water’s Cove facility. “We decided that it wasn’t worth the money to bring that up to commercial code, just due to the size of the lodge, the number of rooms we had. It would have taken them forever to get that investment back out of it.” What made this decision particularly difficult for the First Nation was the resort’s rapid growth over its previous five years operation. Since Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’ bought Walter’s Cove in 2014, annual revenue rose from approxi-

mately $150,000 to almost $850,000. But as many of its guests came for afar, flown in from Vancouver via seaplane, when COVID-19 took hold in 2020 the choice was clear. “About half of our guests are American. Of course, they couldn’t cross the border - the majority of our guests fly in,” explained Schultz. “With losing 50 per cent of our guests, it just didn’t make sense for us to open.” As the pandemic dragged on, the discovery of the old facility’s structural issues forced Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ to come to terms with what was needed if it was to explore a future in the fishing lodge industry: a larger resort than the pre-existing nine rooms. With no season on the horizon, opportunity was presented with the Englefield, a premier, 23-room floating facility equipped to feed and shelter up to 50 people. A partnership soon developed with the lodge’s owner Vancouver Island Forest and Marine, which is leasing the facility to Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ to serve as the new Walter’s Cove Resort. The Englefield most recently housed forestry workers on various parts of the West Coast, but now it returns to its role as a fishing lodge, which is what the

facility was originally designed for when it was built in 2000. “For me, it feels so good. It feels like what reconciliation looks like,” said VIFM General Manger Jason Kemmler, who has seen First Nations take a larger role in forestry over his career. “I think nations are going to be better stewards. They’re still going to harvest, they’re still going to fish, but they’re going to find ways to put back fish, and they’re going to find ways to be better stewards around fish creeks.”

More than a fishing lodge As Walter’s Cove embarks on another busy fishing season, ongoing threats to the survival of Pacific salmon have made it clear that less reliance on the activity will be necessary for the operation to remain sustainable. In recent years the DFO, First Nations, aquaculture companies and other interest groups have been scrambling to better manage the resource as some salmon stocks have declined to the brink of extinction. This has put pressure on the lucrative sports fishing industry to play a larger role in controlling what salmon are being caught. The Nuu-chah-nulth Council of Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries has called


June 30, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 19

On National Indigenous Peoples Day visitors and staff at Walters Cove Resort took a trip in a traditionally designed dugout canoe. for a ban to the catch-and-release method nounced its purchase of the touring company, which has a 50-year track record currently permitted for at-risk salmon in Kyuquot Sound. Hosting hikes and stocks, as well as “increase catch monimulti-day kayaking tours as far north as toring standards for charter and lodge Brooks Peninsula, the acquisition fits in operators.” “The recreational fishery is a significant with the First Nation’s aim of developing a more “sustainable, conservation-based source of mortality for all [west coast economy,” according to a press release. Vancouver Island] salmon,” stated a March 1 letter from the council to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “We’re transitioning away from our primary focus being on fishing, to focus being on eco and cultural tourism,” explained Blackstone. “We will still be able to provide fishing, but it won’t be the 100 per cent focus on it. I don’t think that we can really get away from it.” How exactly Walter’s Cove’s sports fishing trips will be replaced remains to be seen, but potential is evident nearby on Spring Island, where the base camp lies for West Coast Expeditions. This spring the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations Group of Businesses an-

Hunger for authentic experience Over its years as a fishing lodge, Walter’s Cove guests were greeted by Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ member Daisy Hanson, who welcomed them in her ancestral language. It’s an acknowledgment of the territorial heritage that is becoming increasingly sought after, particularly among visitors from oversees, said Keith Henry, president and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. “It’s never been stronger, because everyone is trying to figure out reconciliation, but they don’t actually know how to do that,” he said, adding that Indigenous

tourism is attracting a wider variety of clients than what the association previously thought, according to surveying. “It’s showing young families, single people. People just really want to understand.” Henry works with approximately 1,900 Indigenous-owned businesses across the country with a stake in tourism. The sector’s gross domestic product grew from $1.4 billion in in 2014 to $1.9 billion the year before the pandemic hit, reported the association. After fears of permanent closures and the loss of international travellers due to COVID-19 restrictions, 2021 still brought the highest sales yet from Canadian customers. “There’s never been more motivation in Canadians themselves to try and find new things locally,” said Henry, noting how the pandemic forced many people to reflect on environmental values. “People realized that this planet is not sustainable as we once thought it was. Part of their journey as non-Indigenous people is learning Indigenous values because they think they’re better values.” “People are looking for an Indigenous experience when they travel here,” added Paula Amos, chief marketing and development officer with Indigenous Tourism BC. “They want more than just to visit the location; they want to have an authentic, transformational experience.”

Treaty benefits of ownership As a resident of the First Nation’s village of Houpsitas, Janice John-Smith undertakes weekly grocery runs to Campbell River, a round trip across water, gravel road and highway that can be upwards of 12 hours. But despite the challenges of living in the remote community, the hereditary chief gladly calls Kyuquot home, where she has raised children and grandchildren.

She observed Walter’s Cove Resort with excitement as it prepared for the first guests of the season. “It’s so exciting to see our people working here,” said John-Smith. “I’ve seen our nation grow - like this Waters Cove Resort, this is something huge for us.” The reopening is the latest of many that have marked the last 11 years of treaty implementation for the First Nation. As part of the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ are among just seven First Nations in British Columbia with a fully-implemented modern-day treaty. The agreement has enabled the First Nation to progress economically through land ownership recognized under Canadian law. “The main thing that it’s helped many levels throughout the nation is the fact that we own the land,” said Blackstone. “The nation is an entity that can own land, versus Indian Act nations that are not permitted to own land.” Looking into the future, the First Nation hopes to explore the use of recreational tenures it holds throughout its territory. “We would like a land-based lodge, that’s another thing that I see for our future,” added Blackstone. “We’d like to put in some mountain bike trails, we’d like to add in some surfing, there’s a couple of beaches here that would be good. That would extend our seasons into the spring and the fall.” John-Smith admits to being against the treaty before it was implemented, but now it has become evident how the agreement is helping Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’ to determine its future. “I was scared…I didn’t know what we were getting into,” she said. “I was really scared for my children and grandchildren, but I see it different…the changes that are happening.”


Page 20— Ha-Shilth-Sa— June 30, 2022


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