INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 49 - No. 05—March 10, 2022 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776
Photo by Darren Chaisson
Young Tseshaht member Riley Hassall dropped the puck for Captains Jimmy Darby and Mattias Dal Monte at the Surrey Eagles vs the Alberni Bulldogs game on March 5 at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.
Mothers call for changes to the drug treatment system Those caring for their addicted children ﬁnd too many hurdles to jump through in the race to get them clean By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Vancouver Island, BC – “The system is set up for failure,” said a worried and frustrated mother of a young, heroin addicted man. Jackie Dennis of Huu-ayaht is doing whatever she can to help her adult son get clean, including taking him home to Anacla to care for him as he goes through the painful process of withdrawing from heroin addiction. Dennis says her 30-year-old son wants to get clean after using heroin for six years. “He told me he’s done with it, he wants out,” said Dennis. But heroin is like a clingy lover, it doesn’t let you go easily. “You can’t quit cold turkey,” said Dennis. She explained that heroin withdrawal comes in stages and involves excruciating pain, vomiting, diarrhea and sweats. “It’s either suﬀer or go back to using,” she told Ha-Shilth-Sa. Dennis is no stranger to addictions and
what it takes to withdraw. Her drug of choice was crystal meth. She had been using drugs for 12 years and reached out for help to get clean. But when she heard what she needed to do to get into treatment, she became frustrated and went back to using drugs. “I’d get the run around…call this person, call that person and then they tell you to make six weeks of appointments with a counsellor and stay sober two weeks…if I could have done that on my own, I would,” Dennis said. Jackie recalls having big boxes of drug supplies delivered for free to her when she was in Vancouver. “I didn’t have to go anywhere – they brought me all the drug supplies I needed and then sent someone to come clean up the dirty needles afterward,” she said. “If they would spend half the money on recovery that they do on keeping them addicts we might get somewhere.” A walk-in detox centre would be a good start, she suggested. Change came for Jackie in January 2021, when she spent two days struggling
Inside this issue... Josie Osborne leads new natural resources ministry......Page 2 Divers survey for lost ﬁshing gear.................................Page 4 Salmon farms rely on technology..................................Page 6 Alberni girls compete at provincials......................Pages 14-15 Gold River explores waterfront potential.....................Page 10
Grace Frank to inject crystal meth into her body but couldn’t do it. “I cried for two days, and I said to myself, ‘What the f**k are you doing, Jackie? You’re better than this!’,” she recalled. Dennis prayed to her late mother and her late son, asking them to protect her from harm as she went cold turkey and stopped using crystal meth all on her own. She
celebrated one year free of drugs on Jan. 11, 2022. Now she hopes to help her son break free from the bonds of drug addiction. Grace Frank of Tla-o-qui-aht shares a similar story. Her 37-year-old son has been addicted to drugs for nearly nine years. “It was heroin at ﬁrst, but I don’t know what it is now…it’s that other one that makes you go crazy,” shared the heartsick mom. “It’s tough to witness your own child ﬂying high on drugs and not knowing what to do.” Frank has traveled as far away as Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside, a hub for drug activity, to search for her son. When she ﬁnds him, she brings him back home to Ty-Histanis on Vancouver Island’s west coast, where she takes care of him as long as he will let her. “He’s lost a lot of weight, he’s not very healthy,” said Frank. They’ve developed a routine where Frank goes searching for her son, brings him home to care for him. Continued on page 3.
If undeliverable, please return to: Ha-Shilth-Sa P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2
Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa— March 10, 2022
Osborne leads Land, Water and Resource Stewardship New provincial ministry formed as a ‘necessary and natural evolution’ to be•er manage B.C. natural resources By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Vancouver Island MLA Josie Osborne has been appointed as minister of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship and the minister responsible for Fisheries by Premier John Horgan. “The new ministry for land stewardship reﬂects the fact that natural resources are foundational to our province and they are the backbone of many local economies,” Horgan said in a release. Since 2017, the B.C. government said it’s been working on three broad land and resource management goals: reconciliation with Indigenous nations, environmental sustainability, and economic activity. Over the last year, the Lands and Natural Resource Operations Secretariat’s organizational eﬀectiveness review showed that to keep making progress, changes to how ministries work and are organized needs to take place. The move is a “necessary and natural evolution” of resource management, the government said. “Osborne will work with First Nations, local communities and industry to build a vision for land and resource management that will embrace shared decision-making on the land base and to build certainty and create further opportunity for everyone,” the oﬃce of the premier wrote in a release. The ministry will be responsible for developing a path forward with First Nations to create a co-management system of B.C.’s land and resources.
Photo supplied by Province of BC photo
Premier John Horgan appointed Josie Osborne as Minister of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship, and Nathan Cullen as Minister of Municipal Aﬀairs in a swearing-in ceremony at Government House on Feb. 25. Masso said there needs to be an uptake Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Natural from the new ministry in engaging naResources Manager Saya Masso said he tions on their land visions to identify how looks at the new ministry with “hope.” they can symbiotically work with the “[Resource] decisions shouldn’t be province’s expressed land vision. made in a vacuum,” said Masso. “They “When nations look at their territories, should be made with sustainability and they’re looking at their kingdom,” he with the interests of the people who are said. “How many old growth trees do I going to be inheriting those lands in have left? Do these forests produce clean mind.”
water? Do they produce salmon runs? Do we have clam beds? All of those [resources should be] managed together – as one decision.” Osborne said the new ministry will work in partnership with First Nations to create a new vision for how land in B.C. is used. Before being elected MLA for Mid Island-Paciﬁc Rim in 2020, Osborne served as the mayor of Toﬁno from 2013 to 2020. She moved to Toﬁno over 20 years ago to work as a ﬁsheries biologist for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. During the coming weeks, Osborne said she’s beginning to engage with First Nations partners to lay the groundwork “for the important work ahead” in lead up to the new ministry’s oﬃcial start on April 1. The ﬁsheries, aquaculture and wild salmon ﬁles will be moved under the new ministry and Fin Donnelly, parliamentary secretary for ﬁsheries and aquaculture, has been appointed to work with Osborne. Through “inclusive processes,” the ministry will also be responsible for strengthening the province’s commitment to land-use policy and planning so that investors, communities and First Nations are provided clarity about social choice on the land base. “Minister Josie Osborne’s experience and skill will help government bring more predictability to the land base, while protecting B.C.’s natural heritage and ensuring the beneﬁts are shared more widely now and in the future,” said Horgan.
March 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
Indigenous content to be required for high school Set to begin in 2023, the provincial plan now seeks input from educators and the public to deﬁne requirements By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Victoria, BC - A plan is in place to ensure high school graduates have a better understanding of the ancestral history of British Columbia, with a requirement to complete coursework that focuses on Indigenous culture. Announced by the B.C. Ministry of Education on March 4, this development would begin for high school students in the 2023-24 school year. To earn a Dogwood Diploma, all high school students would need to complete coursework with an Indigenous focus among the 80 credits they currently earn to graduate. A typical, one-semester course earns four credits towards the diploma. It’s still yet to be determined how many Indigenous-focused credits would be required, as the province has launched an initiative to gather feedback from educators and the general public. Comments can be given to an online engagement website at https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc. Mary Mollineaux, K-12 policy manager for the First Nations Education Steering Committee, said that the new graduation requirement is being introduced after a survey of elementary and high school students revealed that only one third reported learning about B.C.’s Aboriginal peoples in school. “We’re hoping that students who are graduating with this new course will have had a chance to spend some time and reﬂection learning about Indigenous peoples in B.C., getting to having a better understanding of Indigenous perspectives and histories – and a better understanding of the land on which they live,” she said. In recent years a growing amount of Indigenous content has been introduced into schools, from Kindergarten through high school. In the Paciﬁc Rim School District, which includes Nuu-chah-nulth territory in Port Alberni, Toﬁno and
Photo by Deborah Potter
First Nations students are welcomed to the Alberni District Secondary School in October 2019. With one third of the Paciﬁc Rim School District identifying Aboriginal ancestry, SD70 has worked to incorporate a curriculum that reﬂects its student population. and it’s just not closing fast enough,” Ucluelet, existing high school courses provide a perspective that has been lacking and certainly resonate with them.” commented Mollineaux. “We’re reaching that could apply to the new requirement out to ﬁgure out any barriers to success.” include English First Peoples 12, BC “We think this would be an eﬀective High school completion rates indicate First Peoples 12, Contemporary Indiganti-racism tool also so that people have a better understanding of Indigenous the sense of belonging and connectedness enous Studies 12 and Nuu-chah-nulth students feel, said Smyth. Language and Culture, which is available peoples,” added Mollineaux. “Often the origins of that are much for Grades 8-12. More Indigenous students are completearlier in their schooling experience,” he Greg Smyth is Paciﬁc Rim’s superinten- ing high school than in years past, but a gap still remains. In Paciﬁc Rim the said. “One of our challenges is trying to dent of schools, a district where 34 per cent of the student population identiﬁed overall high school completion rate was make sure that students feel welcome and supported at school – but they also see as Indigenous in 2021. He foresees that 85 per cent last year, although 75 per their school reﬂects them.” this new graduation requirement would cent of Aboriginal students reached this milestone. Further north in Nuu-chahThis new graduation requirement is one bring “a deeper understanding of history, nulth territory the Vancouver Island West of the initiatives listed in B.C.’s Declaraculture and language” for all students. “I think that might resonate deeper with School District saw a 43 per cent comple- tion on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples tion rate among Indigenous high school Act Draft Action Plan, and also follows our Indigenous learners, who will then the Truth and Reconciliation Commisﬁnd a connectedness with curriculum that students, while the overall completion they haven’t been connected with previrate was 58 per cent. Sixty-ﬁve per cent sion’s Call to Action No. 62, which tasks of Vancouver Island West identiﬁes as schools to make Aboriginal content a ously,” he said. “For those students who mandatory component of the curriculum. Aboriginal. have been disconnected or disengaged with some of the other courses, it might “The gaps are still there in the outcomes
Prescribed medical alternatives don’t reach addicts Continued from page 1 “I feel fear when he’s not home. When the phone rings late at night, I’m so scared to hear that it might be an overdose,” she shared. Late night phone calls are a source of intense fear for Frank. It was a late-night call in June 2020 that notiﬁed Frank that her granddaughter, Chantel Moore, had been shot to death by an Edmundston police oﬃcer during a wellness check. “It’s traumatizing, my heart races,” said Frank about her phone ringing late at night. Frank’s repeated attempts to bring her son home has caused problems in her marriage, but she makes no apologies. “He may be an adult, but he is my son, and I will always love him, until the day I die,” said Frank. And even though the cycle has repeated itself several times over the past eight years, Frank clings to hope that things will change. “There is always hope, as long as they’re alive,” said Frank. Like Jackie’s son, Grace’s son has expressed a willingness to get clean but, according to Frank, there’s too many hoops to jump through. Nearly six years since a provincial public health emergency was declared, these mothers’ struggles appear to be aﬀecting more people across B.C. Last year there
were 2,224 fatal overdoses in the province - the most on record, with a 31-per cent jump in paramedic calls to treat toxic drug use on Vancouver Island. Port Alberni saw a 41-per cent increase in cases of overdose due to illicit drug use. Health oﬃcials and elected representatives have struggled to slow this rising toll. In eﬀorts to remove the stigmatization of illicit drug use and better guide enforcement, B.C. has applied to Health Canada for an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and in late December MP Gord Johns introduced a bill to decriminalize drug possession for personal use. Meanwhile, province has worked to guide users towards less-harmful alternatives, citing over 15,000 prescriptions for safer medical alternatives over the last two years. “Substance use addiction is a public health issue, not a criminal one,” said Sheila Malcolmson, minister of Mental Health and Addictions, earlier this year. In recent days Frank’s son called her and asked her to pick him up. She hopes that his choice to come home is a sign of his willingness to quit drugs. “The hardest thing is to see them coming down oﬀ of the drugs – the dope-sick part,” Frank shared. She said it’s become a routine – he’s got no more drugs. She buys him sweets, like
Jackie Dennis gummy bears, ice cream and pop. Then he retreats to his room where he wants to be left alone. “He doesn’t like being checked but I have to check him three to ﬁve times a night to make sure he’s not dead,” Frank shared. In late February, Dennis picked up her son from Port Alberni and brought him home to Anacla, nearly two hours away. He had been oﬀ heroin for two days and was sick from the withdrawals. Dennis planned to drive him back to Port Alberni’s West Coast General Hospital before the weekend to see if she could get him medical help for his withdrawal symptoms.
“Once someone is dependant stopping their use can be extremely diﬃcult,” states the Canadian Association of Mental Health. “People who have used heroin for a long time often report that they no longer experience any pleasure from the drug. They continue to use heroin to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal and to control their craving for the drug.” And that is where Dennis is at – working desperately to get her son through the withdrawal process, pretty much on her own. Ha-Shilth-Sa checked in with Dennis after the weekend. While she was unable to get help for her son at the hospital, she managed to get a virtual appointment with a doctor through Island Health’s Telehealth. Telehealth uses computer technology to connect patients with a doctor no matter where they live. But the appointment is for mid-March. By that time Dennis’ son will have chalked up about a month’s wait to get on the methadone program. Dennis was able to access a small quantity of methadone from a friend to carry him through. “Without his friend’s help, he’d be in absolute pain,” she said. For now, both mothers are caring for their sons in their home communities, hoping and praying that the cycle of drug addiction has ﬁnally come to an end.
Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa— March 10, 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
2020 Subscription rates: $35 per year in Canada and $40 per year in the U.S.A. and $45 per year in foreign countries. Payable to the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. Manager/Editor/Reporter Eric Plummer (Ext. 243) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 firstname.lastname@example.org Reporter Denise Titian (Ext. 240) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 email@example.com Reporter Melissa Renwick (416) 436-4277 Fax: (250) 723-0463 firstname.lastname@example.org
Audio / Video Technician Mike Watts (Ext. 238) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 email@example.com Editorial Assistant Holly Stocking (Ext. 302) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is March 18, 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 email@example.com (Windows PC). Submitted pictures must include a brief description of subject(s) and a return address. Pictures with no return address will remain on ﬁle. Allow two - four weeks for return. Photocopied or faxed photographs cannot be accepted.
LETTERS and KLECOS Ha-Shilth-Sa will include letters received from its readers. Letters MUST be signed by the writer and have the writer’s full name, address and phone number on them. Names can be withheld by request. Anonymous submissions will not be accepted. We reserve the right to edit submitted material for clarity, brevity, grammar and good taste. We will deﬁnitely not publish letters dealing with tribal or personal disputes or issues that are critical of Nuu-chah-nulth individuals or groups. All opinions expressed in letters to the editor are purely those of the writer and will not necessarily coincide with the views or policies of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council or its member First Nations. Ha-Shilth-Sa includes paid advertising, but this does not imply Ha-Shilth-Sa or Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council recommends or endorses the content of the ads.
Divers survey inlet for lost ﬁshing gear Ahousaht crew documents what’s found in the Alberni Inlet and plans for removal By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - An Indigenous-led dive team was busy last week scanning the waters of the Alberni Inlet for ghost ﬁshing gear and garbage. The team, consisting of lead Henderson Charlie, his brother Greg Charlie and nephew Jermaine Bulwer, all from Ahousaht First Nation, were contracted by the Coastal Restoration Society (CRS) to complete surveys of what they found while diving in the Barkley Sound. The survey project is ﬁnanced by the Ghost Gear Fund, which is resourced by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and has taken place in Sooke, Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound. Henderson Charlie, who has been diving commercially since 2014, said his team was surveying between Canal Beach and Clutesi Haven Marina. “We come out here, we see a bunch of crab traps, tires, garbage anything and everything,” Charlie said. “We’ve just been documenting everything we see to the best of our abilities. It’s hard to see what’s in the Port Alberni harbour because there’s so much mud and generations and generations of garbage left.” Charlie said before cleaning anything up, his team will ﬁrst record everything they ﬁnd in the water and provide the survey to the CRS. “After we’re done surveying, we’ll come in again with my dive team and a group of other people who work on the top side of things…we’ll start breaking things up and sending it to the surface,” Charlie said. “We’re here to come in and document what we see, send it forward to the government, and while we’re doing this, we’re coming up with a plan on what’s going to be the best, most eﬃcient and safest way to retrieve the garbage that’s left down here.” Charlie said his crew is mostly seeing garbage and ﬁshing gear from the past couple of months on the ocean ﬂoor, but there’s also generations of garbage buried in the harbour. “We can’t see it because the mud is so soft everything kind of just sinks under it, so we have to develop a plan to get what’s underneath to the best of our
Photo by Karly Blats
Henderson Charlie (front), dive team leader, and his brother Greg Charlie from Ahousaht First Nation scan the ocean ﬂoor with Greg Boyd (right) near the Harbour Quay on Feb. 25 for ghost ﬁshing gear and garbage. ability so we can take some stuﬀ out of here,” Charlie said. “We’ll never get it all, but we want to get some.” Capt. Josh Temple, executive director with the CRS, said the society was awarded $700,000 to perform large-scale ghost gear removals focused on lost ﬁshing gear and abandoned aquaculture sites, and regional ghost gear surveys to “support DFO’s prioritized action approach for future removal projects along the West Coast of Vancouver Island and the southern Salish Sea.” Temple said the CRS has goals to initiate First Nation-led projects. “CRS is deeply committed to supporting environmental stewardship goals of host First Nations,” Temple said. “By working to support capacity building and training in specialized technical skills pertinent
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.
to large-scale environmental work, CRS has helped to create a career pathway for Indigenous peoples to engage in meaningful employment and contract opportunities in an environmental stewardship career that resonates culturally with First Nations stewardship values.” Temple added that going forward, the CRS hopes to provide opportunities for hundreds of Indigenous peoples to enter this career pathway across the broader Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea region. “We are working constantly to develop opportunities to ensure that host First Nations, provincial and federal governments are fully supported in their commitment to environmental stewardship goals.” Temple said.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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!
The advertiser agrees that the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising out of errors in advertisements beyond the amount paid for space actually occupied by the portion of the advertisement in which the error is due to the negligence of the servants or otherwise, and there shall be no liability for non-insertion of any advertisement beyond the amount paid for such advertisements
March 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
‘Building boom’: Students eye careers in trades After years of stagnation, the small city and surrounding area are growing, bringing a need for capable hands By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - Back in March of 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic put Cody Nielsen-Robinson in a tough position. The 24-year-old’s Level 1 carpentry course was put on hold, with few prospects of progressing his career aspirations amid the new restrictions. “I really was in a pickle because I couldn’t continue,” recalled Nielsen-Robinson. “They were pushing it through but they were online classes and I couldn’t really learn how to use power tools through Zoom meetings.” What followed was a long year and a half at home as the young man struggled to secure employment or appropriate schooling to progress his trade. But an opportunity for change ﬁnally arose in October 2021 with a call from the Nuu-chah-nulth Education and Training Program. There were openings in a new Trades Sampler course being oﬀered through North Island College and the Industry Training Authority. As a 15-week introduction to carpentry work - with additional instruction in electrical and plumbing – the course could be seen as a step back for Nielsen-Robinson, who had already started the Level 1 carpentry that the Trades Sampler serves as a prerequisite for. With the course about to start, he had four days to decide if this was worthwhile path to re-entering the workforce. “It was very scary, very intimidating. I took a few days to think on it,” said Nielsen-Robinson. “After consulting with friends and family, I decided that it couldn’t hurt. I couldn’t think of it as a waste of time.” From a storefront location on Port Alberni’s gritty Third Avenue, 10 other Nuu-chah-nulth people undertook the Trades Sampler course, which ﬁnished in late February. As many seek to restart their lives in the working world after two years of COVID-19 related restrictions and shutdowns, Ian Caplette spoke to the students about the meaning of perseverance during a graduation event for Trades Sampler students on Feb. 24. “You faced adversity before you even started, and you persevered,” said Caplette, who is the director of Education, Training and Social Development for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “That is, in essence, how to succeed in life.” The surrounding community needs a healthy supply of perseverance to ensure
Photo by Eric Plummer
Trades Sampler graduates David Prest (left), Cody Nielsen-Robinson and Mercedes Brown stand with smokehouses they built during the course. The smokehouses are to be reassembled on the Tseshaht First Nation reserve as part of an upcoming Level 1 carpentry course. Port Alberni residents will have enough continuing education at North Island Col- go back to the company they apprenticed homes in the future. After many years lege. “We’re also seeing a building boom with and continue on getting their hours,” of no population growth, the city grew in all of the Indigenous communities said Haugen. by three per cent over the last ﬁve years, in the area. The housing stock in most He saw the need to build connections increasing to 18,259 residents in the 2021 Indigenous communities is aging.” with professionals when NIC held similar census. Growth was greater in the Alberni At the Trades Sampler graduation event introductory trades programs in Kyuquot, Valley, an area that includes the Tseshaht Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts Gold River and Tla-o-qui-aht communiand Hupacasath First Nation reserves. mentioned upcoming work in his naties near Toﬁno, allowing students to Last year’s census data for the Alberni tion’s community, including the demolikeep a foot in the industry of their choice Valley shows an increase of 4.5 per cent tion and asbestos abatement of the old while they attend school. to a population of 25,786. Sproat Lake school and the construction After working as a care aid over the last This growth has translated into a housof a 50-plus-unit development oﬀ of few years, Mercedes Brown is eager to ing shortage, raising rents and home Saiyatchapis Road, just west of the Sogain a foothold in carpentry. prices at an accelerated rate. The city’s mass River. The First Nation is currently “I want to stay in the construction part 2021 Housing Needs Report noted that undertaking a feasibility studies for this of all of it. That really interests me,” said rental prices have risen 53 per cent since project. Mercedes, who looks back on build2015, with lower vacancy rates as people “There’s going to be no shortage of ing with her grandfather, Ken Brown. struggle to aﬀord accommodation in a work just within Tseshaht,” said Watts. “Health care is just not for me. I kind community that is still mostly made up of “As Indigenous communities rebuild of grew up doing carpentry with my larger, older houses. and bring people back into their commugrandpa.” Although Port Alberni’s house prices nities, they need homes,” added Haugen. David Prest hopes to follow the career remain more aﬀordable than most other “There is a huge shortage of tradespeopath of his father, Joe Prest, who was West Coast cities, the supply shortage ap- ple.” involved in construction for First Nations pears to be closing this gap. This year the The Trades Sampler graduates have across Vancouver Island. David enjoyed city’s average value of a house set by BC already begun a partnership with the Tse- building the smokehouses, which can be Assessment jumped 47 per cent – more shaht, as a major part of the course was reassembled when they’re placed on the than any other city on Vancouver Island. the construction of smokehouses for the Tseshaht reserve. Fortunately, more multi-unit developFirst Nation’s community. After a month “It was an eye opener. I’ve never really ments are underway, including a large of apprenticeship work with a local comdone a trades program before,” he said. 1,500-home project the San Group plans pany, building the foundations for these “We did some electrical training for light to undertake on Burde Street. structures will be part of the upcoming switches, we also did a little bit of piping “We’re seeing a building boom in Port Level 1 carpentry course. for the bathroom and the sink…That was Alberni,” said Bob Haugen, director of “Once that program is done then they pretty cool.”
TSESHAHT MARKET GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC RIM
Hours of operation - 7:00 am - 10:30 pm Phone: 724-3944 E-mail: email@example.com Find us on Facebook
Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa— March 10, 2022
Salmon farms rely on technology to grow production As the industry faces tighter regulations, companies are counting on innovation to meet a growing demand By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Campbell River, BC - As the government tightens restrictions on salmon farming, an aquaculture company on the West Coast is relying on technological advancements to meet a growing global demand. In late February Grieg Seafood announced that RAS 34, its new hatchery facility in Gold River, is almost complete. The $25-million project is designed to grow 400 tonnes of Atlantic salmon annually, adding to the 500 tonnes of farmed ﬁsh that Grieg can already produce at its adjacent hatchery in Gold River. The new facility’s six tanks are being ﬁlled with almost two million litres of water, capacity to house up to four million salmon. The ﬁrst ﬁsh are expected to be added to RAS 34 in April. What makes this hatchery diﬀerent from Grieg’s pre-existing facility is the ability to grow ﬁsh longer on land. Currently the standard practice is to transfer a twoyear-old smolt to ocean net pens once they reach 100 grams. Rocky Boschman, Grieg’s managing director for its B.C. operations, said the RAS 34 hatchery could keep salmon from 500 grams to one kilogram until they’re moved out to the ocean. “More of our production is moving onto land,” he said. “Currently our production could be between 18 months and 24 months in sea in B.C. We could see that in the future going down to 12 months.” This shortens the amount of time the farmed ﬁsh could be near wild salmon, thereby lessening the transfer of sea lice and other pathogens between the diﬀerent species. This winter Grieg introduced another innovation to its pens in Esperanza Inlet to mitigate the environmental hazards of ﬁsh farming. These semi-closed containment systems use pen barriers than can be lowered when wild salmon are migrating by the farms, designed to reduce the risk of sea lice passing between the wild and farmed species. “I hope that it oﬀers people an idea of what the future could look like,” said Boschman of the semi-closed systems, which were previously introduced to the Sunshine Coast. “In some cases we’ve reduced our lice treatments to zero…We found that in a subsequent trial in Esperanza as well.” Cermaq also introduced a semi-closed containment system to Vancouver Island’s west coast in the fall of 2020. Using a barrier that eliminates lateral interaction between farmed and wild salmon, Cermaq’s system was successfully trialed in Norway before being introduced to the Millar Channel in Ahousaht territory, but one year in the project had to be ended “due to a technical fault and related ﬁsh welfare,” stated the company. “SCCS is immature technology under development, therefore it is not surprising when you are trialing new technology you will run into challenges,” said Dr. Peter McKenzie, Cermaq’s director of Fish Health in a statement from the company. “This was our ﬁrst attempt to grow ﬁsh of varying sizes in a semi-closed environment and unfortunately, due to water quality issues, ﬁsh performance was af-
Photo submitted by BC Salmon Farmers Association
Workers tend to a semi-closed containment salmon farm in the Millar Channel. Norway, they’re going to have two huge fected and resulted in ﬁsh mortality.” Despite these challenges, such advance- ships here dealing with the sea lice issue,” said Jack. “I don’t really agree with ments could oﬀer valuable hints as a them 100 per cent, but at least they’re burning question faces salmon aquaacknowledging that there is a problem culture in B.C.: How will an industry and they’re dealing with it.” projected to grow by 4.2 per cent annuMeanwhile an aquaculture act is being ally manage to remove all open net pens developed, legislation that some who from the ocean by 2025? The removal watch the industry believe is long overof open net pens was an election pledge due. the Liberals used to retain its minority “Right now the rules are purposely government in last fall’s federal election. It’s also part of Justin Trudeau’s mandate vague - there’s quite a bit of loopholes that industry is aware of,” said Jared to new Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, requiring a plan to transition from ocean- Dick, a ﬁsheries biologist with the NTC’s Ua-a-thluk department, who also sits on based open net pens within three years. an aquaculture committee with the First The topic was addressed during the Nations Fisheries Council. “Right now Nuu-chah-nulth Council of Ha’wiih Forum on Fisheries in February, an online is a time for First Nations to engage with DFO and say, ‘Listen, these rules don’t meeting that included a large continprotect our needs and aren’t suﬃcient to gent of staﬀ from Fisheries and Oceans protect our wildlife.’ Right now is a time Canada. As government and the industry to rewrite these rules and make them tries to ﬁgure out how the aquaculture more stringent.” transition will work, First Nations are Boschman welcomes the guidelines that being consulted – although some may not an aquaculture act would bring. be in favour of a government-mandated “I think all companies in salmon farmtransformation of the industry. Most ﬁsh farms on the B.C. coast are being run through an agreement with the local First Nation, an arrangement that will become a requirement in the province as of this summer. “We are aware that there are diﬀerent views among First Nations communities on aquaculture on this coast,” said Amy Marr, regional manager with the net-pen transition team for DFO’s aquaculture management. “We do intend to engage bilaterally over the next year to understand what are their views and interests in aquaculture - not just for marine ﬁnﬁsh, but other types of aquaculture.” “I was shocked to listen to First Nations that are 100 per cent behind ﬁsh farms,” said Mowachaht/Muchalaht Hereditary Chief Jerry Jack during the ﬁsheries forum. Grieg Seafood run sites in Jack’s territory, where he has seen the company attend to the prevalence of sea lice among farmed salmon. “Grieg is bringing in another ship from
More stories and job postings at www.hashilthsa.com
ing in B.C. would hope to see some sort of stable regulatory regime that would allow us growth,” he said. “The world market for salmon is growing astronomically. Last year the United States grew by 13 per cent.” But how that growth will be possible amid new restrictions to the industry remains to be seen. The industry suﬀered a major blow in December 2020, when former ﬁsheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced that 19 farms in the Discovery Islands will not be renewed past June 30 of this year. Another 79 sites – representing most of the pens on the B.C. coast are up for licence renewal on June 30. Boschman pondered how aquaculture in B.C. could grow to meet the world’s demand without more farms being added in the future. “There are only a couple of ways of doing that. One of them would be to increase the size of the farms,” he said. “You would have to increase the number of pens. You can’t really increase the density.” The BC Salmon Farmers Association expects that the province’s industry would suﬀer if additional farms are not added to the coast. “We will lose market share to imported farmed salmon – most likely from Chile,” stated the association in an email to HaShilth-Sa. “It’s really up to the federal government – in consultation with our First Nation partners – to change regulations around making a farm, instead of 2,500 tonnes, making it 4,000 tonnes by adding those extra cages,” added Boschman. “In same places you could do that because you’re really conﬁdent you’re really not increasing any negative impacts to the environment.” But amid calls to move the farms onto land, Boschman noted that the industry couldn’t currently aﬀord this transition. “There’s no business case to support it,” he said, referencing the cost of building the RAS 34 over the last three years to increase land hatchery production. “You see that it’s 400 tonnes for $25 million. If you do the simple math, one of our farms can be about 4,000 tonnes out in the ocean. We have 16 farms.”
March 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
Saving salmon: Parks concept featured in new ﬁlm Documentary argues wild salmon and old-growth forests have evolved together over time to be interconnected By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Vancouver, BC – A new ﬁlm featuring Nuu-chah-nulth eﬀorts to save salmon habitat on the west coast of Vancouver Island is made its premiere at Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) on March 2 in Vancouver. Filmed in Mowachaht/Muchalaht territories, Salmon Parks, an 11-minute documentary, was ﬁlmed in 2021 by director Carter Kirilenko. The ﬁlmmakers say that wild salmon and old-growth forests have evolved together over time and without one, the other couldn’t survive. “The loss of salmon populations would be disastrous not just for the people and wildlife that depend on them as a food source, but also for the many Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities whose livelihoods depend on salmon,” stated British Columbia’s chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. The answer may lie in the creation of salmon sanctuaries called salmon parks, says the wilderness society. In April 2019 Roger Dunlop, who was formerly an NTC ﬁsheries biologist and now serves as Mowachaht/Muchalaht land and resources manager, spoke to Ha-Shilth-Sa about the concept of salmon parks during an interview about funding received for studies and watershed restoration. In that interview he noted that watersheds in the territories of Mowachaht/ Muchalaht, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint and Nuchatlaht were heavily damaged due
Photo submitted by Salmon Parks
On March 2 the documentary Salmon Parks made its premier at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. to 60 years of industrial logging in the area, to the detriment of Chinook salmon survival. “Salmon Parks follows an Indigenousled plan to recover wild salmon and restore critical watersheds amidst the looming threat of industrial scale logging,” reads the VIMFF press release. “The ﬁlm reveals the fascinating interconnectedness between wild salmon and ancient forests while aiming to help secure the establish-
ment of Salmon Parks in Mowachaht/ Muchalaht and Nuchatlaht traditional territory, as a matter of Nuu-chah-nulth law, with recognition by federal and provincial governments.” It was a conversation with Nuchatlaht Chief Walter Michael that sparked the idea of salmon parks in Dunlop. Chief Michael wanted to protect his sockeye stream from logging. They began the work of mapping streams and reached out
for support from surrounding communities, businesses and organizations in an eﬀort to save wild salmon. “Nothing is more important than restoring the health of our Ha-houlthee including the forests and the streams they nurture,” Chief Michael wrote in his support letter on behalf of Nuchatlaht. CPAWS-BC is a non-proﬁt conservation group who say their work is to safeguard large parks, protected areas and wildlife corridors. They contributed to the making of the Salmon Parks ﬁlm, which they say tells the story of Indigenous leadership and hope. “Salmon Parks is an impact-driven documentary exploring the ‘Salmon Parks’ restoration plan to protect and recover key streams and rivers and restore wild salmon within the Ha-houlthee of northern Nuu-chah-nulth nations and led by Uu-a-thluk, an aquatic resource management department of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council,” read the media release.
Have You Moved? If you should be getting a copy of the Ha-Shilth-Sa paper delivered to your home and you are not, please contact Holly Stocking at 250-724-5757 or email holly.stocking@ nuuchahnulth.org
Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa— March 10, 2022
Paciﬁc Salmon Treaty fails to conserve B.C.-bound ﬁsh from Al
Last year a ﬁshery in southeast Alaska caught over 11.5 million salmon, including stocks that some believe could have kept Canad By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter The Paciﬁc Salmon Treaty (PST) is under ﬁre following a report suggesting that Alaskan ﬁsheries are impacting struggling salmon populations by intercepting a signiﬁcant number of B.C.-bound ﬁsh. Commissioned by Watershed Watch Salmon Society and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, the report was released on Jan. 11, in conjunction with the U.S. and Canada’s annual review of bilateral management under the treaty. Advocates say this came as no surprise and that in order to see change, the public needs to apply pressure on both sides of the border. Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Natural Resources Manager Saya Masso said the issue of Alaskan ﬁsheries intercepting B.C.’s endangered populations is something that’s addressed “rather poorly” on Canada’s behalf at the Paciﬁc Salmon Treaty. “We’ve been aware of this management issue for a while,” he said. In recent years, B.C. salmon numbers have hit record lows. Only two wild chinook salmon returned to the upper Kennedy watershed in 2021, meaning the population has seen a 98 per cent decrease, according to the Central Westcoast Forest Society. Aaron Hill, Watershed Watch Salmon Society executive director, said the report has ignited conversations with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), but he isn’t hopeful the government will tackle the matter. The issue has now fallen into the hands of Global Aﬀairs Canada, which is “balancing a whole raft of issues,” said Greg Taylor, Watershed Watch ﬁsheries advisor and one of the report’s authors. “To have expectations that suddenly Canada is going to make a change, or coerce Alaska into making substantive changes into its ﬁshery, would be naive,” he said. More than funding needed for a solution Claire Teichman, press secretary for Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, said the department knows “how important it is to protect and restore the paciﬁc salmon population.” “That’s why our government has committed $647 million to the Paciﬁc Salmon Strategy Initiative,” she said. “This is the largest investment Canada has made in salmon.” Hill said it will take more than funding to solve the problem. “The solution for these interception ﬁsheries in southeast Alaska is to move them to areas where they’re only targeting Alaskan ﬁsh,” he said. “[Alaska’s] constitution prohibits overﬁshing. They need to apply that same principle to the B.C.-origin ﬁsh that are migrating through their waters.” Under Alaskan law, it would be illegal “if they were doing to Alaskan ﬁsh what they’re doing to our ﬁsh,” said Hill. Doug Vincent-Lang, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) commissioner, criticized the report saying it was an “unfair and biased attack on Alaska salmon ﬁsheries.” Management of southeast Alaska salmon ﬁsheries is consistent with the Paciﬁc Salmon Treaty, he said. Taylor said the report doesn’t dispute that. “If you look at the world through the lens of the treaty, they are abiding by the treaty,” he said. “They’re probably ﬁshing less than what the treaty would allow … but if you look at it from a conservation point of view,
Salmon are processed on a boat near Ahousaht. Sockeye salmon (below) swim up Alaska’s Kenai River to spawn. they’re very much ﬁshing very heavily on our populations, to the point where they’re taking major proportions of our populations, and limiting or eliminating our ﬁshers’ abilities to ﬁsh.” No endangered salmon in Alaska
Of the 62 salmon populations Canada’s Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife have assessed, 41 per cent are classiﬁed as endangered; 18 per cent are threatened, 14 per cent are special concern; 5 per cent are extinct, and only 18 per cent are not at risk, said Taylor.
Alaska, on the other hand, doesn’t have any stocks listed under the Endangered Species Act, said Dani Evenson, ADF&G ﬁshery scientist. “Part of that is because we were developed later,” she said. “But part of it is also that we have very aggressive poli-
Kentaro Yasui/Wikimedia Commons photo
March 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
ﬁsh from Alaska, say advocates
e could have kept Canada’s restricted commercial boats on the water cies in the state of Alaska.” Since 1959, sustainable ﬁshing in Alaska has been the law after the state wrote it into its constitution. “We monitor all of our stocks,” Evenson said. “We know exactly what’s happening in-season, post-season [and] we do forecasts so we can target our ﬁsheries accordingly. Under the treaty, our obligations are a little bit diﬀerent.” The treaty requirements for each species and region are diﬀerent, but all are designed to accomplish the same thing; “to share the burden of conservation and the available harvest,” she said. Despite that, Evenson said the report required “more due diligence.” “It’s one-sided,” she said. “They didn’t report on the Canadian intercept of U.S. stocks.” According to the Paciﬁc Salmon Commission, mixed stock commercial Chinook ﬁsheries continue to operate in Northern B.C. and oﬀ the West Coast of Vancouver Island. “Interception net ﬁsheries [in B.C.] have been largely discontinued to protect Canadian salmon,” Taylor said. “What ﬁsheries remain have been moved more terminal to reduce interceptions.” Interceptions on both sides of the border The Paciﬁc Salmon Commission (PSC) is a regulatory body that was formed to assist in the Paciﬁc Salmon Treaty’s implementation. Employed by both the U.S. and Canada, the commission relays information between the countries, convenes meetings and publishes reports. In 1999, PSC Executive Secretary John Field said the treaty switched from rigid harvest limits to abundance-based management, reﬂecting the countries’ focus on sustainability. Field said that while there are no listed endangered Chinook populations in the state of Alaska, there are many listed populations of chinook in the Puget Sound and the Columbia River. “It’s those Puget Sound and Columbia River-listed stocks that are intercepted in the Canadian ﬁsheries,” he said. “Canada intercepts Washington and Oregon ﬁsh, and Alaska intercepts B.C. and southern U.S. ﬁsh.” Because of Alaska’s geography, Field said the state typically doesn’t see their ﬁsh intercepted as heavily in southern locations. “This picture that’s being painted of Alaska as this unstoppable juggernaut that’s intercepting everyone’s chinook from Canada is just false,” said Field. “They have taken steps in Alaska to protect Canadian origin salmon to the degree of shutting down ﬁsheries for years at a time by the Yukon.” Fisheries science isn’t rocket science, said Field. “It’s much harder,” he added. It doesn’t serve Alaska to over-harvest other stocks, Evenson said. “We want to harvest in proportion,” she said. “The goal is to ensure the long-term sustainability of all of these stocks because that’s what pays dividends in the ﬁsheries.” Both 2019 and 2020 saw two of the smallest Fraser River sockeye runs within the last 100 years, according to the PSC. These staggering numbers prompted former ﬁsheries minister Bernadette Jordan to close 60 per cent of B.C.’s commercial salmon ﬁsheries in June 2021. But as Canadian ﬁshing boats sat idle, the report argues that in recent years, commercial catch of Canadian-bound salmon is higher in Alaska than it is in Canada. At the Paciﬁc Salmon Commission’s annual meeting in Vancouver in late Febru-
ary, Field said Xeni Gwet’in First Nation Elected Chief Jimmy Lulua addressed the commission about the report during the public comment period. “That was the only time the report emerged during the commissioners’ discussions at the meeting,” Field said. Teichman maintained that “DFO oﬃcials are actively engaged with their U.S. counterparts through the Paciﬁc Salmon Commission to exchange information on ﬁshery harvests, environmental changes and the achievement of conservation objectives under the treaty.” The treaty was formed to balance interceptions, Taylor argued. It wasn’t formed to conserve or restore depleted populations, he added. “We’ve got a process as a treaty that’s really not designed to do the job anymore, and it cannot,” said Taylor. “To expect it to do so, in its current format, would be foolish.” ‘Interception ﬁshery’ caught millions in 2021 The District 104 ﬁshery, which is located on the outside of the Alaskan panhandle, is what Hill described as the “worst culprit” for catching a large ratio of a variety of Canadian salmon species. In 2021, around 10.7 million pink salmon, 495,000 sockeye, 20,000 chinook, 130,000 coho, and over 212,000 chum were caught in the District 104 ﬁshery alone, read the report. “The proportion of Canadian salmon in the catch, and the certainty of the estimates, varies by species,” the report added. Taylor said the District 104 exists as a “mixed-stock ﬁshery and an interception ﬁshery.” The Alaska pink salmon migrate past the District 104 ﬁshery while traveling to their spawning streams further inside water, he said. Even if the ﬁshery moved, Taylor argued, District 104 would be able to ﬁsh the population it claims it’s targeting. “The only thing they wouldn’t catch any longer is our ﬁsh,” he said. But moving the District 104 ﬁshery to inside water so it can focus on Alaskabound runs would present a “signiﬁcant challenge” because it would be unable to target the more abundant wild Alaska pink salmon, said Evenson. “That’s where the pink salmon are and where the harvest potential is,” she said. “Moving this ﬁshery into inside waters would likely mean picking up other stocks of all species.” When a treaty has only two countries in it, there’s an inherent veto power vested in each country when negotiating language and mandates, Field explained. “In the case of District 104 ﬁsheries, the agreed [to] treaty language allows Alaska to pursue their ﬁsheries in particular areas,” Field said. This puts the Canadian government in a “very diﬃcult situation,” said Taylor. “We’re not going to make these changes through the Canadian government, we’re not going to make these changes through the treaty – but maybe we can make them through the marketplace,” he said. Taylor has worked in the B.C. seafood industry for over 30 years and said this is the ﬁrst time he’s come across a “pretty simple solution to reducing by-catch of Canadian ﬁsh by 50 or 60 per cent.” “It doesn’t cost Alaska anything in terms of harvest of its own ﬁsh,” he said. “But the impact would be signiﬁcantly reduced on Canadian ﬁsh.”
Photo submitted by Nootka Sound Watershed Society
Tree planting is undertaken along the Sucwoa River, which is located east of Tahsis.
Habitat restoration nearly ﬁnished in Nootka Sound The Li•le Zeballos River held more than 400,000 chinook salmon at one time before industrial logging took hold By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Nootka Sound, BC - The Nootka Sound Watershed Society (NSWS) is nearing completion of its three-year riparian restoration project for watersheds located within traditional Nuu-chah-nulth territories. After being awarded a project worth $904,010 from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Coastal Restoration Fund, the NSWS has coordinated the planning, implementation and monitoring of silviculture treatments on the Sucwoa, Tahsis and Leiner-Perry Rivers near Tahsis (Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation), the Little Zeballos River near Zeballos and Chum Creek near Oclucje (Nuchatlaht First Nation, and Ehattesaht First Nation). The purpose of this project is to contribute to the restoration of salmon populations by creating habitat and environmental features that are critical for the ﬁsh. This was done using a variety of forestry practices to improve bank stability and salmon habitat. Dave Miller, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint ﬁsheries manager, said a project like this is important for wild salmon stocks to have a healthy and clean pathway up the river, which will promote cleaner and more sustainable food and resources for the community. “Habitat restoration in the Little Zeballos has been a concern of ours since the impacts of old logging practices and commercial ﬁshing activities came into our territory,” Miller said. “We now want to have a better understanding of the impacts on our wild stocks and improve habitat restoration activities. The ﬁsh feed our forests, this is very important. A circle of life event… our elders have spoken to this time and time again, it’s now happening, we are taking action.” More than 135 hectares of riparian area received silviculture treatments. These treatments were aimed at accelerating natural forest processes by planting and
promoting coniferous tree species (western red cedar and Sitka spruce) which create a long-term root network that helps to stabilize stream banks and provide future large woody debris input into streams. They also help to create old growth attributes, supporting diverse ecosystems that contribute to healthy forests and streams. In all, more than 21,000 trees were planted throughout the three years of the project. The NSWS hired strategic natural resource consultants to oversee the project with direction from their governing board and Western Forest Products. Two silviculture contractors were involved in the project including Nootka Reforestation Ltd and Adanac, who hired local forestry crews from Tahsis, Gold River, Tsaxana, Zeballos and Campbell River. According to a NSWS press release, historical logging practices did not regulate the harvesting of streamside vegetation; however, current-day forestry legislation requires riparian zones on all ﬁsh-bearing streams to be protected and left in their natural state. These protection measures help to maintain and support critical habitat that supports populations of Paciﬁc Salmon, steelhead and trout. Managing forests stands along streams in this manner will ensure the long-term contribution of large wood to streams, reduce sediment released into streams and contribute needed organic components and insects to the river adding building blocks of stream food webs. Miller said that historically, the Little Zeballos River held more than 400,000 chinook at one time pre-1940. “I was told by my grandfather, late Sam Adams, this did not include chum, sockeye or coho numbers, so you could imagine a river like Little Zeballos and what it could produce before cannery’s and commercial activities came into our territories,” Miller said. “It’s important to us, ﬁshing is a way of life. It’s in our blood.”
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa— March 10, 2022
Village of Gold River explores waterfront potential The planning process kickstarted with ICET funding looks to an economically vibrant area on Muchalaht Bay By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Gold River, BC - Gold River, a small village municipality nestled in the mountains, has a separate waterfront 12 kilometres down Highway 28 at Muchalat Bay. The unusual degree of separation stems from another era and a resource development boom in B.C., when Tahsis Company built the town to house employees for its pulp mill located in the river delta at the head of Muchalat Arm. Gold River District was incorporated in 1965 — acquiring a reeve and village council before it had residents — with municipal boundaries including portions of the river delta. Gold River Village was incorporated seven years later, Canada’s ﬁrst all-electric community and the ﬁrst to have underground wiring. The community thrived until forest processing and ﬁshing steadily declined through the 1990s. When the mill closed in 1998, the town lost half its jobs and a $1.8-million chunk of its tax base. Two decades later, the landscape and times have changed dramatically. Since 2018, the village has been piecing together components of an economic development strategy to guide growth and development in the valley, rebranding and reinventing itself as a west coast tourism hub. Another puzzle piece fell into place earlier this month when the municipality conﬁrmed the start of a waterfront planning process with kickstart funding from Island Coastal Economic Trust. “Gold River is now considered a tourism gateway to Nootka Sound, and the waterfront represents incredible potential to current and future users,” said Mayor Brad Unger. “Our vision for the waterfront is a place that supports and promotes a rich diversity of local economic activity and improved access to the incredible Muchalat Inlet.” Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation (MMFN) has been integral to the planning process, having helped to shape the economic development strategy. Ahaminaquus, a former village site where Mowachaht/Muchalaht residents from Yuquot were persuaded to resettle in the 1960s, lies squarely in the middle of the river delta. In Ahaminaquus, residents
Photo submitted by MMFN
The skipper and crew of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation’s water taxi are pictured in 2019. ers including MMFN, Grieg Seafood, West Coast Terminals, Air Nootka, Get “Gold River is now conAdventures (MV Uchuck II) and sidered a tourism gateway West Western Forest Products along with village residents and businesses. to Nootka Sound, and the The waterfront is considered critically waterfront represents inimportant to multiple sectors. “Any economic driver is important,” credible potential to cursaid Mike Roy, village administrator. rent and future users.” “We don’t really have a strategy for the waterfront now,” he added. “We do have some businesses interested in seeing ~ Brad Unger, improvements.” Gold River Mayor “It’s our only access to the ocean,” said Rachel Stratton, a village councillor lived in the shadow of the pulp mill until and member of Gold River’s economic health concerns led the village to resettle development committee. Gold River, as at Tsaxana, closer to Gold River. with Bamﬁeld and Anacla to the south, is MMFN operates a boat ramp in the river more landlocked than other Island comdelta and plans to develop a campground munities. and RV site at Ahaminiaquus with conTourism development is an obvious struction starting as early as this spring. choice for the picturesque valley, boundIn 2019, MMFN upgraded its water taxi ed by Nootka Sound and Strathcona service based at Muchalaht Marina, a Provincial Park. tourist link to Yuquot where additional “I love the fact that we’re diversifying improvements are planned. in small pieces,” Stratton said. “We’re not Waterfront planning engagement is exrelying on any one big industry, which I pected to involve a variety of stakeholdthink is a very good plan for a commu-
nity this size.” In 2020, Gold River was ranked No. 9 in the Top 10 B.C. municipalities for growth as a percentage of population. “The changes I’ve seen in the last few years,” Stratton said, noting the population rose by 50 in the 2021 census count. “There was a lot of rental housing here; now you’re lucky to ﬁnd a rental.” Last year, the municipality opened up 55 serviced lots on a two-hectare parcel southeast of the village in an eﬀort to spur development of more housing. As a realtor in addition to her civic duties, Stratton usually has about 20 homes listed; now she’s down to ﬁve. “It does feel busy,” she said. “We are getting more people coming in all the time.” The village recently acquired cellphone service, installed a centrally located information kiosk for visitors (another project supported by ICET Quick Start funding) and will soon have an EV charging station in operation. A Co-op store is expected to open this spring, six years after the last one closed, and a new RCMP detachment is going in as well. On the waterfront, change is coming through innovation. Grieg Seafood is developing land-based salmon farming at its waterfront hatchery, an important employer in the community for 22 years. As well, Gold River Aquafarms, a Campbell River company with U.S. investors, plans to develop a land-based steelhead farm on land formerly occupied by the mill, conﬁdent they can repurpose existing buildings. Through the planning process, a preliminary analyses of stakeholder needs will inform an early redevelopment concept for the area. Roy said a consultant still has to be hired before the process can begin. He also stressed the need for wide consultation. “Our goal is to get it right and that’s why we want to engage with stakeholders,” he said. “It’s really just the early stages of starting this.” The idea behind ICET’s Quick Start program is to provide small communities with limited resources, including First Nations, the necessary means to advance from recently completed strategies to implementation.
Phrase of the week: %uh=%uk%itniš +uucamih= tapah=cii Naa@atah= %it%iš%a> @ah=@ic^%it%ac^ %uuš mih= Pronounced ‘Oorh it ish alth tlu caa mirth tah ta pa, hoor it waasih alth huur tak wawaa it, chimwa’, it means, ‘The Women were held in high regard to the Chief, they would all voice their opinion’s of how a situation was handled, and sort it out to the best of the Chief ’. Supplied by ciisma.
Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
March 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Huu-ay-aht First Nation joins carbon-cu•ing initiative Forestry partnership sees ‘climate-positive future’ through tree planting, other initiatives to oﬀset harvesting By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Temperate forests in B.C., long a carbon sink and buﬀer against global warming, have become net carbon sources and now contribute to accelerated climate change in the 21st century. Through computer modelling, the province’s greenhouse gas inventory shows forests in the province have begun producing more carbon than they take in, an alarming reversal over the last 20 years caused in part by worsening wildﬁres and mountain pine beetle devastation. According to National Resources Canada, “The outcome of all these interconnected events is likely to be further acceleration of the feedback loop: more emissions will lead to accelerated climate change, which in turn will enhance the conditions that create more carbon-releasing disturbances in Canada’s forests.” In the face of cascading environmental impacts, forest research has begun to focus on ways to respond through science and innovation. Last week, Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) and Western Forest Products, together with mutually held Tsawak-qin Forestry, announced their Hišuk ma c̕awak Manufacturing Initiative (HMI). “Our approach is to put back in what we take out,” said Robert Dennis Sr., HFN chief councillor. The partners say HMI is a ﬁrst-of-a-kind collaboration between First Nations and industry, one working toward a “climatepositive future.” They see potential to tap into the carbon storage capacity of wood products with a goal to go beyond reducing emissions and remove more carbon from the atmosphere than emitted by 2030. “Over the past ﬁve years, together with TFL 44, we have planted over ﬁve million trees, which is more than the provincial standard requires,” Dennis said. “Now, we are taking that a step further and will reinvest in ways to lead the way to a climate-friendly future, guided by our sacred principles and the wisdom of our ancestors and the knowledge, innovation and support of our local communities and partners.” As B.C. embarks on a goal to slash greenhouse emissions over the next 10 years, HMI is seen as a model to others in the forest sector. The initiative grew out of a mutual interest in Tree Farm Licence 44 and aligns with an Indigenous-led integrated resource management plan for TFL 44 and Huu-ay-aht lands, a longrange plan designed to balance economic
Photo by Mike Youds
A logging truck hauls timber on Franklin River Road, south of Port Alberni, an area that is part of Tree Farm Licence 44. needs with sustainable ecosystems. The partners say they will work with all First Nations in the area to: • Identify opportunities for skills training and capital investment • Explore potential income streams through carbon credits and green energy programs. • Adopt innovative approaches to land management. • Extract more wood from areas harvested to reduce waste and slash burning. A 2019 study by the Paciﬁc Institute for Climate Solutions concluded that building more with wood in combination with region-speciﬁc sustainable forest management practices could provide signiﬁcant emissions cuts for B.C. A best-case scenario suggests innovative measures could contribute 35 per cent of the province’s 2050 emissions reduction target. “This type of sector-wide initiative is the kind of approach that will produce long-lasting and measurable climate beneﬁts,” said Elaine Oneil, director of science with the Oregon-based Consortium for Research and Renewable Industrial Materials. Research suggests sustainable forest management, eﬃcient recovery and utilization of logs and co-products, along with a manufacturing sector scaled to match the wood supply, could oﬀer signiﬁcant climate mitigation beneﬁts greater than can be realized in unmanaged forests alone, Oneal said. HFN and WFP commissioned a study for analysis speciﬁc to the region, looking
at options to reinvest in manufacturing, aligned to the sustainable ﬁber supply in the region, adding value to the predominant species of hemlock and Douglas ﬁr while increasing use of harvest and sawmilling residuals, all toward the goal of a more sustainable forest sector. Jason Fisher, a forestry expert, First Nations adviser and partner with accounting ﬁrm MNP, has been engaged to examine options that add value to the local economy, the goal being to align manufacturing with ﬁber supply in the region. Fisher will work with TFL 44-area First Nations and other stakeholders on feasibility studies to attract long-term investment. “I think it’s thrilling because this is a chance to look at Forestry 2.0,” Fisher said. “We’re looking at creating Indigenous opportunities all along the forest chain,” he added. “To me, that’s the real heart of this.” Fisher said there is no better opportunity than the forest sector for creating a circular economy through end-of-life solutions for wood products. “We’re creating opportunities for today and tomorrow despite the fact we know the climate is changing,” Fisher said. “Hopefully it can become an example of what else is possible out there.” “Hišuk ma c̕awak” is another way of saying everything is connected in Nuuchah-nulth, and so it is in the increasingly urgent context of greenhouse gas emissions. In its latest report, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that climate breakdown is
accelerating. Nations are failing to meet the reductions required to stop global temperature from reaching 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels, the ceiling for avoiding runaway climate catastrophe. As the ﬁrst province to set speciﬁc emission targets for economic sectors, B.C. plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 per cent of 2007 levels by 2030. Steven Guilbeault, minister of Environment and Climate Change, is expected to follow through with national sectoral targets by the end of March. While some observers have applauded B.C.’s plan, environmentalists point to glaring gaps, a lack of strategic initiatives and no sense of urgency despite a heightened frequency of climate-related crises still fresh in the memory of 2021. B.C. was one of the ﬁrst out of the gate when it brought in a carbon tax in 2008, but it has a dismal track record to show for all of that. Fifteen years ago, former Premier Gordon Campbell pledged to reduce greenhouse emissions by 33 percent by 2020. Instead, emissions increased. A collapse of the forest carbon sink cannot have helped matters. More signiﬁcantly, the province has not factored its continued liquiﬁed natural gas development into emission targets, critics contend. In October, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs called for an end to LNG and fracking on grounds that climate change disproportionately endangers Indigenous populations.
Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa— March 10, 2022
March is Nutrition Month It is our time to celebrate and honour the foods that nourish us with everyone in Canada. There are many ways to gather around food. Food is a way to connect with each other, to the land, and the sea. In First Nations communities, food is the center of celebrations and gatherings, and a part of culture. Culture is in caring for the land and sea, caring for the harvest, gathering, growing, cooking and mealtimes. For example, sharing food together is important for learning and a Nuu-chah-nulth teaching. Many elders have shared that they are healthier when they are eating traditional foods and produce from the garden. “They swallowed the knowledge that was being shared,” said elder Cliﬀ Atleo. Growing foods, community gardens Many people enjoy gardening as way to connect with the land, relax, be outside, and be more active. Gardening is great learning too! Spring is a great time to start a garden. Now is a good time to plant peas and lettuce. Many people are starting to seed kale indoors and will seed tomatoes and cucumbers in a few weeks. West Coast Seeds has a great guide for when to seed diﬀerent veggies. If you are interested in learning more about gardening, below are some suggestions and resources: o Connect with your local community garden - many nations have a greenhouse and a garden program, ﬁnd out if you have one in your community and who to contact o Meet your neighbour who has a garden and ask questions, oﬀer to help o Go online to Toﬁno Community Garden Initiative
Traditional foods harvesting In Nuu-chah-nulth territory, the foods are waking up and renewing themselves. On the land, nettles, miners lettuce, and dandelions are up and ready to harvest. Early plums have started to leaf. Soon the maple ﬂowers will be out and ready to add to tea or to salad for a sweet fresh maple ﬂavour. On the ocean the herring spawn has started. Are you harvesting and eating the foods of spring, or thinking about those foods? Wishing for some of the spring foods? Celebrating traditional foods can connect us to others and to culture. People connected to their foods are healthier and often have better mental health too. Here are some activities that you might be interested in - or are already doing! · Make a plan to harvest land or sea foods this spring. Take a friend or family with you, teach someone about the foods that you harvest · If harvesting traditional foods is new to you, ask an elder or knowledge keeper about the foods. Learn from them! · Post a picture of your harvest to Facebook, or follow someone who does. (I like following Jared Qwustenuxun Williams on Facebook, who often posts about traditional foods in Qwu’utsun territory). · Online, there are great places to learn more about traditional foods. Some include: o https://www.fnha.ca/
WellnessSite/WellnessDocuments/Traditional_ Food_Facts_Sheets.pdf o Nuuchahnulth seasonal round http://nada. ca/?page_id=3518 o Traditional Nuu-chahnulth Food Harvesting and Preparation Gathering around food harvest, food preparation, cooking and eating foods are all great activities for family time and learning together. The food activities can help us in so many ways. Food activities can help us to be more active, learn from each other and spend time together. And have fun! NETTLES! I am really excited that nettles are up! Try a nettle smoothie (you can substitute spinach) for breakfast or a snack. Nettles contain Vitamin C, histamine, choline and acetylcholine, vitamins A and D, iron (nine times more than spinach), sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium (29 times more than spinach), magnesium, silica, trace minerals and protein (more than beans). No wonder they are called a super food! When and How to Harvest: Nettles will sting you! You should use gloves or scissors to harvest. Gather nettles to eat fresh when they are very young – usually about 4-8 inches tall. The whole above-ground part can be eaten, stems and all. There are many ways to prepare nettles for food including: boiling, canning, freezing, sauteing, steaming, drying. Nettle Medicine If someone is feeling worn down, nettles are a good remedy. They are tonic to the liver, blood, and kidneys. Nettles are a diuretic that balances blood pH and ﬁlters waste from the body. This can be useful for arthritis, gout, eczema and skin rashes. They can help build blood after menstruation, birth or other blood loss. Others use nettles to decrease allergies. Healthy Shamrock Shake Ingredients • 1/2 cup (60 ml) plain, unsweetened milk or almond milk • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 1/8 teaspoon mint extract (optional) • sugar replacement = to 2 tsp sugar • 1 pinch sea salt • 1 cup spinach or nettles • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (optional) • 1 large frozen ripe banana Instructions: 1. Add all ingredients to a blender in the order listed and process until smooth and creamy. 2. Serve immediately. If you have a question, want to connect to a resource, or would like to share your experience please contact me, Jen Cody at NTC. Jen.firstname.lastname@example.org. I am new in the territory and still learning. Let me know if I have missed something. I am eager to learn and to share our food experiences and knowledge! -Jen Cody, dietician
March 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
More job postings at www.hashilthsa.com
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 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa— March 10, 2022
Alberni claims Vancouver Island championship The Armada’s 12-player roster includes ﬁve Nuu-chah-nulth players. They qualiﬁed for the 16-team provincials By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – Ryan Broekhuizen can vividly recall the last time the Alberni Armada had captured a major girls’ basketball championship. A senior girls’ squad representing Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS), captured the Vancouver Island championship way back in 1987. “It was 35 years ago,” Broekhuizen said. “I graduated from high school that year.” Fast forward to 2022 and Broekhuizen, an ADSS alumnus, is now the head coach of the Armada, a squad that features his daughter Jordyn as its star point guard and top point-getter. The Broekhuizen-coached club also managed to win its Vancouver Island championship in mid February. The ADSS team easily defeated Stelly’s Stingers, a club based in Saanichton, 57-36 in the gold-medal contest, staged Feb.19 in Victoria. By winning the tournament, the Armada qualiﬁed for the 16-team provincial AAA tournament, which began March 2 at the Langley Events Centre. They came out the contest with a 2-2 record, ﬁnishing 13th. ADSS’s 12-player roster includes ﬁve Nuu-chah-nulth players. They are Jenelle Johnson-Sabbas and Natalie Clappis, who are members of Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Jennifer Dick and Neve Watts of Tseshaht First Nation and Brandi Lucas, who has Tseshaht and Hesquiaht First Nation ancestry. The team’s assistant coach Dennis Bill is also Indigenous. Bill is a Tseshaht member. Several days after winning their Island title, Broekhuizen said his charges were still rather excited about their accomplishment. “They feel like celebrities right now,” he said, adding basketball is a huge deal in their community of Port Alberni. “I told them to enjoy every single second.” The Armada were sporting an impressive 20-2 record heading into their provincial tournament. “Our goal was deﬁnitely going to the provincials this season,” Broekhuizen said. “We literally dominated our way through the Island tournament.” The Armada kicked oﬀ that event by thumping the Parskville-based Ballenas
Photo submitted by Dennis Bill
The ADSS Armada captured the Vancouver Island championship for the ﬁrst time in 35 years. Whalers 63-17 in its opening match. The ADSS club then advanced to the championship ﬁnal with a 50-37 triumph against the Carihi Tyees, who are from Campbell River, in its semi-ﬁnal outing. The Armada entered the Vancouver Island event as the top-ranked team from the northern portion of the island. The Stingers were the Number 1 seed from the south. Before the provincials, the only two losses the ADSS squad had suﬀered this season were against AAAA teams, representing schools with a higher enrolment. Those that are grouped into the AAA category are schools that have between 163-262 girls in Grades 11 and 12. AAAA clubs are those that have more than 263 girls in the two senior grades at their school. BC School Sports, the governing body for secondary school athletics in the province, also has both AA and A categories for senior girls’ basketball entrants.
The A division is for those schools that have 78 or fewer girls in Grades 11 and 12. And AA is for those who have between 79 and 162 girls in those grades. Seedings for the provincial AAA tournament were set in late February. The Armada is ranked 11th and squared oﬀ against sixth-seeded Sa-Hali Secondary School from Kamloops in its opening match. “Our ﬁrst game is a big one,” Broekhuizen said. “And I think it’s a winnable one.” The B.C. tourney featured a doubleknockout format, meaning teams had to lose two games before being eliminated from further action. The ADSS club would have had to pull oﬀ some upsets in order to return home with some hardware from the provincial tourney. That’s because some of the other entrants were considered powerhouses at the B.C. tournament, which ran until
March 5. “What I’ve been told is the top four teams are very strong,” Broekhuizen said. “We might be reaching to get a medal. But you never know. It’s one game. It’s not a seven-game series.” Besides Jordyn Broekhuizen and the ﬁve Nuu-chah-nulth players, the other members of the Armada roster are Hannah Rust, Olivia Warman, Linneah Hobbes, Beth Bexson, Brynn Geddes and Jaime Langlois. While there was the lengthy gap of 35 years between championships for the ADSS senior girls’ teams, the school did have another Island championship squad between there. But that feat was also accomplished many years ago. In fact, a quarter century ago. It was back in 1997 that the ADSS senior boys’ hoops squad last won its Island title.
CYPRESS RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 250.724.7629
March 10, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
Alberni girls’ team competes for a provincial title High school basketball squad comes out of March tournament with a 2-2 record, ﬁnishing 13th out of 16 teams By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Langley, BC- The Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) senior girls’ Armada basketball team recently returned to Port Alberni after competing in the 2022 BC AAAA senior girls’ provincials in Langley. In the lead up to their ﬁrst game at the Langley Events Centre on March 2, assistant captain Jenelle Johnson-Sabbas said her nerves were running high. Unlike her home gymnasium at ADSS, the basketball court in Langley hosted larger crowds, an announcer’s table, and a big screen TV that broadcasted the game. While she said the new environment felt “kind of scary” at ﬁrst, the experience was not only good preparation for her goal to play college basketball, but for the upcoming annual TOTEM tournament being held in Port Alberni March 10 to 12. “It gives me that extra push,” she said. “There’s lot of great athletes over here that have us working non-stop.” Johnson-Sabbas’ sister, Natalie Clappis, was unfazed by the change of scenery. “Anywhere I play basketball is home,” she said. The ADSS senior girls’ team entered the provincial tournament ranked 11 out of 16 teams. After two wins and two losses, they ﬁnished the tournament ranked 13. “It’s good that we had challenging games,” said Clappis. “And the crowds prepared us for what TOTEM will [bring].”
Photos by Melissa Renwick
Jenelle Johnson-Sabbas, assistant captain (left), and Natalie Clappis play on the Alberni District Secondary School’s senior girls basketball team. The team’s ﬁrst game was against the Bill said that the ADSS team had to said. Sa-Hali Secondary School senior girls’ “learn to adapt to diﬀerent ways of playThe provincial tournament was a good team, which was ranked ﬁfth. Although ing.” build up to TOTEM because the Armada ADSS were defeated by a score of 62-68, “We had to learn about composure dursenior girls’ team will be playing two of Assistant Coach Dennis Bill said Armada ing the game,” he said. “It was really neat the teams from the provincial championtook their competitors by surprise. for the players to play in a bigger venue ships, Bill said. “I kind of got the impression that the … it was a really, really great experience “We obviously had some nerves at the team thought they could walk over us for them to have.” beginning of the tournament because we – that we were just this little team from As much as Johnson-Sabbas said she had never really experienced anything Vancouver Island,” said Bill. “I don’t was grateful for the opportunity to play in like this,” said Bill. “The team was very think they were quite ready for us. Our the provincials, she was looking forward supportive of each other and they really team really stepped up and did a great to being back on her home court. came together as a team, and I think it job.” “It’ll feel good to be back home playing brought the team closer together.” Because the provincial tournament in front of the people that have wanted draws the best teams from around B.C., to watch us since the season started,” she
Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa— March 10, 2022
Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
2021-2022 Scholarship Announcement for K – 12
Applications found at: https://nuuchahnulth.org/ services/useful-resources-applications-formspolicies-agreements
Applications will be available March 16 The K-12 Scholarships are for students from the following Nuu-chah-nulth nations:
- AHOUSAHT - HUPAC*ASATH - NUCHATLAHT - DITIDAHT - HUU-AY-AHT - TLA-O-QUI-AHT - %IIH=ATIS / C*IINAX=INT - KA:’YU:’K’T’H’/CHE:K:TLE7ET’H’ - TSESHAHT - HESQUIAHT - MOWACHAHT/MUCHALAHT
For more information, please contact Richard Samuel at (250) 724-5757 Or by e-mail: email@example.com