Ha Shilth Sa Newspaper May 30, 2024

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Tears of forgiveness as couple sentenced for death

Rykel and Mitchell Frank

PortAlberni, BC –APortAlberni couple has been sentenced to 15 years after they pled guilty to manslaughter in the 2018 death of six-year-old Don-Tay Patrick Lucas.

Following sentencing on May 16, the judge allowed members of the Lucas family, including Don-tay’s biological father, to stand before the accused to offer words of forgiveness to them. There wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom as the family reached out with words of love and compassion.

But first, the court heard the joint submission from prosecutors and counsel for the accused, along with victim impact statements and Gladue Reports.

The judge told the spectators that Gladue reports examine the impacts of colonial policies, discrimination and racism on accused Indigenous people.

Gladue reports, said the judge, attempt to address the overincarceration of Aboriginal people in Canada. It is not, he said, a discount, as some people believe.

Both Rykel and Mitchell Frank pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in November 2023 and have been in custody since their arrests on May 6, 2022. They were initially charged with first degree murder, but last year this was downgraded to manslaughter with their guilty pleas, avoiding a trial.

The court heard from Rykel and Mitchell, who both apologized to the families and the communities affected by their actions. The couple, the court heard, are remorseful and entered guilty pleas to be accountable for what they did to spare the family the pain of a trial.

“Not asking for help was the biggest mistake I ever made, and if I could change places with my son, I would,” Rykel told the court.

Rykel Frank (nee Charleson) is the mother of Don-Tay Patrick Lucas with her former partner, Patrick Lucas. The couple had two other daughters. Following their breakup, she began a relationship with Mitchell Frank. The couple married shortly before Don-Tay’s death in 2018.

According to her Gladue report, which had portions read in court, Rykel was abandoned by her father before birth and then abandoned again by her mother, who was in addiction at the time. Rykel was raised by her grandmother until she was five years old, the year her grandmother passed away.

She went back to her mother, who was a residential school survivor suffering

address their wrongdoing, in which boy was killed in 2018 due to blunt head trauma

from untreated trauma which “leaked onto Hannah”, according to the Gladue report. Hannah is an alternate name used by Rykel. The defence lawyer noted that in Rykel’s family tree of 500 people, more than 200 of them went to residential school.

“Rykel is first generation not to go,” he stated.

As she grew into her teens, Rykel suffered physical and sexual abuse and began using alcohol and drugs at age 13. She moved onto harder drugs as a young adult.

Rykel’s mother died in 2022. Her husband, Mitchell Frank of Ahousaht, grew up in a home where alcohol abuse and family violence was prevalent. His Gladue report indicated that he grew up witnessing his father injuring his mother in acts of violence and sometimes turned that violence on the kids.

The court heard that Mitchell Frank was raised with poor parental modeling, spending seven years in several foster homes, from age nine to 16.

The report also stated that Mr. Frank struggled with suicidal ideation and alcohol addiction.

By the time of Don-Tay’s death, Mitchell and Rykel moved in together and had

a one-year-old child together. Rykel had just suffered a miscarriage, the court heard, when Don-Tay and his sister were returned to her care.Along with their own children, Rykel had in her care her six-year-old sister.

Overnight they went from two children to four. They didn’t have formula for their hungry infant, they had limited life skills and they couldn’t manage the situation, stated the defence. Rykel told her lawyer that she now knows she wasn’t emotionally ready to take her children back, but she was afraid to tell social workers, for fear all of her children would be taken into care.

“They were struggling. People knew they were struggling. They had no business taking Don-Tay,” said counsel for Mitchell Frank. “They were left with something they could not handle.”

Hanging his head, Mitchell Frank told the families and the community that he is sorry, and that he loved Don-Tay. He said he is continuously working on bettering himself.

According to defence lawyers, the couple began abusing Don-Tay in ways that they learned along the way. From December 2017 to March 2018, Don-Tay was subjected to various forms of violent

abuse. His death was caused by blunt force trauma to the brain.

In his sentencing, the judge said no jail term will bring Don-Tay back, but the sentence must reflect society’s condemnation of the crime.

The judge sentenced both to 15 years less time served, which amounts to 143 months each.

Ancillary orders for both Franks include a prohibition of firearms possession upon release and they must provide DNAsamples to be added to the national database.

Following sentencing, the judge allowed the Lucas family an opportunity to speak to Rykel and Mitchell. The couple stood, in shackles, facing the family.

“Hannah (Rykel’s other name) and Mitchell,” said Don-Tay’s grandmother Judy Campbell, through tears. “We forgive you.”

She noted that the Charlesons, Franks, and Lucas’are huge families.

“It hasn’t been easy, but we must do this in order to let our little man rest,” she told the accused.

Another young woman spoke, telling Rykel and Mitchell that their girls are so precious.

“We want you to know that you guys are loved and missed in the community,” she told them through sobs.

Rykel, wiping her tears, heard another family member say, “I love you – I’ve always told you that.”

“It’s been very difficult, but I forgive you guys, both,” said Don-tay’s father, Patrick Lucas, before being helped out of the courtroom in the arms of his sisters.

In a statement from the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, President Cloy-e-iis, Judith Sayers, said she hopes that the sentencing brings some solace and healing for those affected by Don-Tay’s death.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends and communities of Dontay Lucas who continue to remember him and grieve his loss,” said Sayers. “Our Nation is heartbroken at the loss of this young soul whose tragic death has had a profound and long-lasting impact on the Nuu-chah-nulth communities.”

“We all want justice for Dontay. We hope today’s sentencing provides some comfort to all who have been impacted,” added NTC Vice-President Les Doiron.

“The NTC deeply respects the strength of the Lucas family in expressing forgiveness to Rykel Charleson and Mitchell Frank in the courtroom after sentencing. We encourage everyone to respect this tremendous act of forgiveness so that Dontay can finally rest and his family, friends and community can continue on their healing path.”

Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Vol. 51 - No. 11—May 30, 2024 haas^i>sa Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40047776
If undeliverable, please return to: Ha-Shilth-Sa P.O. Box 1383, PortAlberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2 Inside this issue... Excitement and pride at Kyuquot gathering...................Page 2 Summer drought expected for VI...................................Page 5 C*išaa%ath= Lightning tournament held in PA.............Pages 8&9 Naa%uu event showcases culture.................................Page 10 Canoe steaming in Esowista.........................................Page 15
Denise Titian photo Family members of Don-Tay Lucas, including the boy’s father Patrick Lucas (far left) stand outside the PortAlberni Law Courts on May 16 before the manslaughter sentencing for the boy’s death.

Excitement and pride at cultural gathering in Kyuquot

Kyuquot Elementary Secondary brings students and the school district together in a performance-packed event

Kyuquot, BC - In mid-May the remote community of Kyuquot welcomed students from all over School District 84 and beyond for a youth cultural sharing event. Guests from throughout Nuu-chah-nulth territory gathered in Kyuquot Elementary Secondary School’s gymnasium, and with smiles drawn across many faces, they eagerly awaited the students’performances.

Students from KESS, the host school, Gold River Secondary School (GRSS), Ray Watkins Elementary, Captain Meares Elementary, Zeballos Elementary, K’ak’ot’lats’i School of Quatsino First Nation and Tłisalagi’lakw School of ‘Nagmis First Nation each took to the floor sharing songs and dances.

But first, KESS opened the event by cleansing the floor with the cedar dance.

For Grayson Joseph, a Grade 10 student at KESS, this is the first cultural sharing event she’s participated in with KESS.

“I love it,” said Joseph. “It’s exciting getting to learn how to lead and be a part of it.”

“I’ve done dances growing up,” said Joseph, who shared that the cedar brushing dance is from her family. “This is my first time actually participating [the] majority of the time.”

“It’s always been a part of me,” she added.

Of the many guests who traveled to the remote community of Kyuquot for the day’s festivities, Joseph’s family from PortAlberni was in attendance.

“I’m very happy to see them watch everything I’ve done so far since I moved here,” said Joseph.

KESS students practiced every day to prepare for the cultural sharing event. Joseph shared that in the evenings the elders would attend to correct the youth.

“They can teach us and show us how it’s supposed to go,” said Joseph. “We’ve all learned a lot since the beginning of practices.”

Joseph said one of the most significant things she’s learned from the elders is that it’s okay to be shy.

“Because it’s our culture and we’re here to carry it on,” she said. “And just be out there, dance as if it›s just you in the room.”

“I love how we can all focus when we’re dancing, and then as soon as we get the chance to, we can be excited and happy,” said Joseph, noting that despite how shy everyone can get, they “step it up and do our dances.”

Brandon Smith, who has spent the last few years working with KESS students teaching them how to be leaders for their culture. Smith has also noticed the confidence growing in the students.

“I’ve noticed…their confidence level going up and showing that they’re proud to be who they are,” said Smith. “It just makes me proud, going from, really, no voice, to raise the roof off.”

Smith has been working with the students in the drumming circle on how to use their voice, be respectful, listen for the signals of each song, how to lead solo parts and the history of composing songs.

“They needed a role model,” said Daisy Hanson, a Nuu-chah-nulth education worker at KESS, of Smith. “Amale figure to be in that circle.”

Hanson, who had previously taught Smith when he was a student at the school, prioritizes passing along her knowledge of culture and language.

“We call it haahuup, in Kyuquot,” said Hanson. “It’s about teaching them good teachings and it comes from the heart.”

“It’s very deep and it’s very sincere,” said Hanson, who passes down everything she can, as she remembers the words of her mother’s father, Hippolite Ignace. “‘When you learn things, my dear,’he said, ‘you pass it down, you don’t hold on to it. You’re taught things so that you can teach somebody else’.”

Hanson noticed past students in the audience who were singing the songs performed during the event.

“To see that they still remember it, they’re still carrying it and they’re still singing it,” said Hanson. “That really completes my heart.”

All of the songs performed by KESS, shared Hanson, were composed by her.

The cedar dance, with the help of Waakiitaam, Irene Hanson and Shawn Hanson, and the eagle dance with the help of Waakiitaam and Russel Hanson.

Among the songs, Joseph’s favorite is the eagle dance.

“[It] took a lot in me to get used to it so, a lot of hard work,” admitted Joseph, who is one of the eagles in the dance.

During the eagle dance some of Hanson’s students surprised her, taking to the floor joining the lead dancers. There was not a dry eye for Jennifer Hanson, director of education for Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’and Daisy Hanson as they witnessed the students perform.

“When I go they’re going to have something to sing, when I’m gone the school will have songs,” said Daisy. “That’s what I want to leave behind for them.”

“Seeing the younger ones excited to watch the older ones out there, you can see them dancing in the back and they’re practicing so they can do it when they’re older,” said Joseph. “I like that we can carry it on.”

Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa—May 30, 2024
Alexandra Mehl photos The event included students from KESS (above), Gold River Secondary School, Ray Watkins Elementary, Captain Meares Elementary, Zeballos Elementary, K’ak’ot’lats’i School of Quatsino and Tłisalagi’lakw School of ‘Nagmis First Nation. Sam Johnson of Mowachaht/Muchalaht (above) was among the many to visit for the event, which also brought groups from Quatsino and the ‘Nagmis First Nation.

Mowachaht/Muchalaht awaken totem at new hotel

With the Spirit of the People pole in front, First Nation expects Baymont by Wyndham Hotel will open in June

Gold River, BC -Abeautifully carved 12-foot totem pole was revealed on May 22 as the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation held an awakening ceremony in front of their newly constructed Baymont by Wyndham Hotel.

Gold River residents and students from Ray Watkins Elementary and Gold River Secondary School were welcomed to the event, which began with a prayer from the younger students. The sound of Frisco Lucas and Jimmy Johnson’s drums could be heard as the elders got to work brushing the newly installed totem pole created by master carver Sanford Williams. Students and community members soon joined in for song and dance.

“It’s really uplifting to see that our community of the Mowachaht/Muchahlaht take ownership and do an upgrade,” said Lucas.

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation spearheaded the renovations of the former Gold River Chalet, after their purchase of the hotel over a year ago.

“Having ownership of the hotel really means a lot to our people,” he said. “It’s quite powerful in its own way because we’re able to open the ceremonies with our traditional chants and our brushings of the cedar.”

“Cedar is often brought out to protect,” explained Lucas. “That’s what the ceremony was about… to protect the land that it’s on and the totem pole.”

While it is hoped that hotel renovations will soon come to completion, two more buildings remain to be constructed on the property: a welcome house and staff accommodation.

Those at the event were given escorted tours through the new hotel, getting a preview of the blue-colored rooms and soon-to-be window-lit restaurant.Azar Kamran, CEO and administrator for MMFN, hopes to have the hotel available for bookings roughly around mid-June.

“I couldn’t believe it that our band took over this,” said Bruce Mark. “It makes the people very proud to own something like this.”

“We planned this for years and years and years and it’s finally happening,” saidAnthony Dick. “Now we got the hotel, we got the marina, now we got four vehicles to help us get around.”

“This is a step that we are taking in

destination marketing planning for the territory,” said Kamran to the crowd that gathered.

The vision, he shared, extends from Gold River to Tahsis to Campbell River, which will utilize the “already existing assets of this territory.”

“This beautiful, wonderful territory that is ready for responsible tourism,” said Kamran, “tourism that has its foundation engraved in ensuring that the sustainability, creation of jobs, and inflow of outside investment into our territory.”

In an interview with Ha-Shilth-Sa, Sanford Williams, carver of the 12-foot totem pole, shared that it’s named Spirit of the people.

“I call this Spirit of the People, which represents the transition from the generation to generation,” said Williams. “I carved a couple of wolves on there along with humans in between the ears and the belly of the wolves.”

He reflects that in potlatches wolves are used as guardians.

“I’m also making another pole which is going to be 20 foot and it’s going to be

“It’s [the] first time I’ve ever been called

“It’s pretty special to me.”

May 30, 2024—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3 250.724.7629
the same scene of the wolf and humans,” said Williams, noting that he will also be carving two doors for the hotel. to do something special for a hotel, [locally] like somewhere in Gold River and it’s such an honor for me,” said Williams. Alexandra Mehl photos Sam Johnson uses eagle feathers in the ceremony to awaken a totem pole in front of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation’s newly renovated hotel in Gold River. The ceremony was held for the community on May 22.

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Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is June 7, 2024

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).

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FNHA system falls victim to cybera ack

First Nations Health Authority reports that ‘limited personal information impacted’

British Columbia – The First Nations HealthAuthority has reported that they are investigating a cybersecurity incident.

In a statement made May 22, FNHAsaid it became aware of unusual activity on its corporate network on May 13.

“We took immediate action to investigate this activity and intercepted an unauthorized entity who had gained access to our corporate network,” they stated.

FNHAwent on to say that they immediately deployed countermeasures to block the unauthorized entity’s access and prevent any further unauthorized activity.

The health authority’s systems house corporate, employee and client information. With the investigation still in its early stages, they’ve discovered evidence that “certain employee information and limited personal information of others has been impacted.”

“FNHAalso immediately engaged third-party cybersecurity experts to assist with containment and remediation and to conduct a forensic investigation to determine the extent and scope of this incident,” according to the FNHAstatement.

“We have also reported this incident to law enforcement and to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia.”

The FNHAcyberattack is the latest in a series of recent cyber security incidents in the province of British Columbia, including the London Drugs cyberattacks discoveredApril 28. That breach forced the closure of about 80 London Drugs stores in Western Canada for just over a week, leaving some patients without access to their prescriptions.

In the London Drugs cyber attack, a foreign cybercriminal group claimed responsibility and demanded a $25 million ransom by May 23, or they would begin publishing the stolen information.

London Drugs has hired a third-party security company to protect its systems. Because private employee information may have been compromised, London Drugs stated that it has offered its current employees two years of credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

On May 10 the provincial government announced that its systems revealed three separate sophisticated attempted attacks beginning in earlyApril.

Shannon Salter, head of BC Public Service, said the province spends $25 million annually on security and works closely with federal partners.

Premier David Eby stated that the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and other agencies are investigating.

It is believed that the cyber attacks on FNHAand London Drugs are not related.

Ha-Shilth-Sa belongs to every Nuu-chah-nulth person including those who have passed on, and those who are not yet born.Acommunity 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 50th year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!

FNHAsays it has taken and continues to take immediate action to issue required notifications to impacted individuals and to otherwise provide support.

“FNHAhas no evidence that this cyber incident has impacted any clinical information systems it uses,” according to their statement. “This ongoing investigation is the utmost priority for FNHA. We are working diligently, around the clock, to resolve this matter in a safe and secure manner.”

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Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa—May 30, 2024
In the case of London Drugs, a ransom was demanded. This was not the case for FNHA. David Eby

Summer drought expected for Vancouver Island

Rain in June will determine the severity of conditions this summer, as forests already face a deficit in moisture

Vancouver Island – Vancouver Island –Summer 2024 is another month away but the entire Vancouver Island is already at stage 2 drought conditions according to the province of British Columbia. This means that, effective May 17, 2024, category 2 and 3 open burn fires are prohibited across the Coastal Fire Centre.

This means open burn fires must be no larger than two meters high and three meters wide.At this point, campfires under this size have not been prohibited.

The summer of 2023 saw some of Tofino’s worst drought levels with lack of winter snowpack and 75 percent less average annual rainfall. With water reservoirs running dry, Tofino had to take extreme water conservation measures despite the fact that tourism was heavily impacted due to the Cameron bluffs forest fire, which choked traffic to the west coast for most of the summer.

According to Jake Richardson, Fire Information Officer at BC Wildfire Services, summer 2024 will see campfire bans again. When the ban start depends on many things.

“Currently on the Coast we have a Category 2 and Category 3 fire prohibition in place, which we hope will help to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires in our region this spring,” Richardson said in an email to Ha-Shilth-Sa. “Based on the weather indices, which we track daily and review often, a campfire prohibition may also come into effect on the Coast sometime this summer when the temperature, fuel moisture, humidity, and other factors reach triggering thresholds,” he continued.

As Vancouver Islanders saw in 2023, drought not only means campfire bans, but also increased danger of wildfires, as was the case at Cameron Lake, when a suspected human-made fire was not properly extinguished near the top of the mountain in early June. Due to the steep terrain and windy, dry conditions, the fire was difficult to control and forced the closure of Highway 4 between Parksville and PortAlberni for much of summer.

But there may be some good news for 2024. “Fortunately, when we look at drought and its relation to wildfire, the Coast received some consistent rainfall this winter prior to freeze-up, and we are receiving precipitation in many areas currently,” Richardson noted.

“While rainfall levels are less than average, they have been high enough to take the Coast out of drought condition and contribute to a very low Drought Code across our area,” said Richardson. The Drought Code, he explained, is a numeric rating of the average moisture content of deep, compact organic layers, and is an important factor when looking at wildfire


The island has seen rain in the last few days of May and, with cooler temperatures than this time last year, there is a good chance we won’t see the extremes of 2023. “The fire season will ultimately be shaped by how much rain B.C. receives this spring and into June,” said Richardson.

The B.C. Wildfire Dashboard app says the recent rains and more seasonable weather condition this spring has reduced wildfire activity in the province however, much of B.C. remains unseasonably dry as a result of ongoing drought. The cooler weather and periods of rain has allowed BCWS crews to make progress in containing wildfires burning in Fort Nelson, in northern BC. But the weather will turn to more summery conditions in the coming days. “Despite mixed precipitation and cooler temperatures in recent days, much of B.C. remains unseasonably dry as a result of ongoing drought. This means fuels continue to be very susceptible to ignition and wildfires can spread rapidly,” said BCWF in a May 27, 2024, statement. Richardson says the BCFW knows that 2024 could wind up being another challenging wildfire year across the province, “but we are positioned and ready to respond to potential new fires here within the Coastal Fire Centre.”

British Columbians and visitors are being asked to do their part in preventing wildfires. If you’re out enjoying nature

BCWS is asking people to be responsible. “Regardless of the time of year and conditions, we want to stress that anyone recreating in our forests needs to be responsible if having a campfire, as well as when engaging in any activity that could potentially cause a wildfire,” said Richardson.

If you live in an area where your home could be threatened by wildfire, there are steps you can take to protect your

home. Richardson recommends homeowners visit the FireSmartBC website where they will find information about preventative measures to protect their homes. “FireSmart BC’s website has a wide range of things homeowners can do to take part in reducing the risk for their home,” said Richardson.

For the latest information about B.C.’s wildfire situation, download the BC Wildfire Service application.

May 30, 2024—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
BC Wildfire Service photo Dry conditions early in the summer brought a long wildfire season last year, including a blaze on the bluffs over Cameron Lake that ignited in early June.

Effects of early May solar storm felt in the deep sea

Solar flares made Aurora Borealis visible from Vancouver Island,

In early May a powerful sun storm made the Northern Lights visible from Vancouver Island, but no one predicted that the resulting magnetic disturbance would have been felt on the ocean floor as well.

Over the first full week of the month

NASArecorded the strongest solar storm to reach earth in two decades. From May 3 to 9 the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration observed 82 solar flares, which are giant explosions on the sun that send energy, light and high-speed particles into space.

“[A] barrage of solar flares and coronal mass ejections launched clouds of charged particles and magnetic fields towards earth,” stated NASAon its website.

This generated one of the strongest displays of theAurora Borealis in the last 500 years.Also know as the Northern Lights, the geomagnetic storm was so strong during the second weekend of May that the nighttime display of light and colour waves could be seen from parts of Vancouver Island.

But over the following days, data collected from the deep sea indicated that the effects of the solar storm could have been felt up to 2.5 kilometres below the Pacific Ocean’s surface.

Ocean Networks Canada monitors a series of subsea observatories in the Pacific, Atlantic andArctic. Instruments called Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers sit on the ocean floor to measure currents, but in the days that followed the solar storm the compasses in these devices had recorded anomalies.

“It has coils in it that can then be affected by electromagnetic field,” said Kate Moran, Ocean Networks Canada’s president and CEO. “The actual change in the magnetic field in the ocean at the location was changing the readings.”

Fluctuations from the compasses were recorded from the NEPTUNE instruments that stretch via a cable network far west of Vancouver Island, as well as from the VENUS profilers southeast of the Island and in ONC devices collecting data in Conception Bay on Canada’s Atlantic coast.

The abnormal readings began Friday, May 10, lasting approximately 24 hours until the following evening. The changes in data were recorded as deep as 2.5 kilometres far west of Vancouver Island, but the largest variation was a shift between +30 and -30 degrees 25 metres below the ocean’s surface at an instrument in Barkley Sound.

“We hadn’t seen it before, ever,” said

Moran. “It’s a little bit of a discovery, I would say.”

The changes in the compass data coincided with peaks in theAurora, leading the researchers to believe that this is an effect of the sun.

“We know that the magnetic field in the deep ocean was impacted by the solar storm,” Moran noted. “The ocean is a conductor, so, of course it’s going to conduct and modify the magnetic field in the ocean too.”

Back in March, after a smaller event on the surface of the sun, an ONC data specialist noticed an anomaly in recordings. He now believes this had the same cause as what occurred during the May solar storm.

“I looked into whether it was potentially a earthquake, but that didn’t make a lot of sense because the changes in the data were lasting for too long and concurrently at different locations,” commented data specialistAlex Slonimer on what he noticed in March. “Then, I looked into whether it was a solar flare as the sun has

been active recently.”

Such magnetic disturbances pose a risk to power grids, satellites, navigation systems and even animals with their own magnetic wayfinding abilities.

Some believe this is part of the reason why salmon are able to return to spawn in the creeks where they were born, after years of migrating far into the ocean. In 2020 Oregon State University released findings that the species’relationship with magnetic fields could help salmon find their way home to breed. In the study juvenile chinook were subjected to a strong magnetic pulse that affects the magnetic orientation in other animals, including mole rats, birds, bats, sea turtles and lobsters. The study found that salmon could be using microscopic crystals of magnetite, an iron oxide, in their tissue as a biological map and compass.

“In the big picture, these salmon know where they are, where they’re supposed

to be, how to get there and how to make corrections if needed,” said David Noakes, the study’s author and a professor of fisheries and wildlife at OSU. “While they’re in fresh water, they’re imprinting upon the chemical nature of the water. When they hit salt water, they switch over to geomagnetic cues and lock in that latitude and longitude, knowing they need to come back to those coordinates. And when they decide to come back, it’s months in advance because they’re halfway to Japan.”

While no widespread environmental disruptions have been evident from the recent solar storm, there’s reason to believe that such events will become more common over the next year. The sun is approaching the peak in an 11-year cycle, with the Solar Maximum anticipated in July 2025. The Northern Lights are expected to become stronger and more frequent as this event approaches.

Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa—May 30, 2024 TSESHAHT MARKET GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC RIM Hours of operation - 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Phone: 724-3944 E-mail: manager@tseshahtmarket.ca Find us on Facebook
magnetic anomalies recorded offshore
Tolstnev photo
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The green Northern Lights, orAurora Borealis, are seen above the ocean. In early May the phenomenon could be seen from parts of Vancouver Island.

500,000 sockeye predicted into the Somass system

Hopes are high for sockeye salmon fishing, despite a low snowpack and expected drought conditions in region

PortAlberni, BC - By early May, Larry Johnson of Huu-ay-aht, who’s traditional name isAnii-tsa-chist, meaning keeper of the sea, had already seen the traditional signs that indicate the beginning of fishing season.

“The swallows that are flying around are indicators and the salmon berry bushes coming into bloom are also indicators,” said Johnson, who is the president of Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood and chairman for the Maa-nulth Fisheries committee.

“When you see lots of salmon berries blooming and lots of berries, it will be a good salmon year,” he said.

These are all signs that, according to Johnson, mean “the river should have fish in it.”

According to Hupačasath’s fisheries manager and biologist Graham Murrell, the first Sockeye was recorded onApril 5 in Sproat lake. By early May migration through the Somass River system started to pick up to 10 a day, he shared.

“Most years, we’re coming in with a bunch of unknowns [and] uncertainty about what the actual return is going to turn out to be,” said Murrell. “The Round Table, we settled on a conservative moderate starting point around the 500,000 [for sockeye].”

“It puts us into moderate fishing [and] sets out June fishing parameters for all the sectors,” said Murrell.

Last year, the round table predicted a sockeye return of about 700,000 into the Alberni Inlet and Somass, shared Johnson.

“What happens is, in season, sometimes

Tseshaht and Hupacasath fishers catch

early summer 2023.Areturn of half a million

system this year.

you get indications that there’s more fish or less fish,” he explained.

In retrospect of last season, Johnson shared with Ha-Shilth-Sa that he believes the drought conditions impacted the fish’s ability to go up the rivers at particular times, creating holding patterns that gave the illusion of more fish than there was.

“The drought, it caused a lot of fish to hold, as opposed to being able to go up the river and hold in the lake,” said Johnson. “We had overpredicted, and so we stopped fishing.”

In the past Murrell has seen Sockeye season extend through to September. He hopes that this year the Sockeye finish their run by the end of July, avoiding the higher temperatures inAugust.

Last year, the majority of Somass sockeye migrated in better conditions, shared Murrell.

“Last year was a pretty good year,” said Murrell. “In terms of sockeye, especially.”

As of May 15, the snow survey and water supply bulletin reported Vancouver Island’s snow basin to be 34 per cent of normal.

With a provincial average of 57 per cent of normal, “warm weather in early May led to accelerated snowmelt,” reads the report.

“Thankfully, we are coming out of the El Niño now,” said Murrell of a weather pattern bringing warmer water on the ocean’s surface near the equator, which brings warmer weather patterns to the West Coast. “The lasting effects of that El Niño winter, I’m sure it will impact the sockeye this year.”

The provincial report points to warmerthan-normal spring and summer weather

expected, and “hazards of drought due to long-term precipitation deficits, low snowpack, [and] early snowmelt.”

“[Snowmelt] keeps our rivers cooler as the season goes on, so we don’t have as much of that to play with,” said Murrell. “Hopefully it stays cool enough and we can maintain the rivers and the cooler water.”

This year, with the expected hot conditions and the impacted snowpack, Murrell said we could foresee some holding patterns and “slowdown in the returns.”

“There’ll be some modifications to fishing plans, I’m sure,” he said. “When we see that happening, the nation fisheries, we’ll try to kind of give the fish a free passage up the river.”

But for Murrell, his concerns are focused on the return counts for mature male salmon in Great Central and Sprout Lake.

“The real issue is, what I see, we may have an imbalance between Great Central and the Sprout stocks this year for Sockeye,” said Murrell.

Last year Great Central saw a large number of Jacks, mature males, shared Murrell.

“Usually it’s flipped around, usually you’ll see more through Sprout, but Great Central had quite a bit,” he noted.

“That’s kind of pointing towards perhaps a little lower Sproat return so that’s something we’ll just have to keep an eye on,” said Murrell of forecasts based on last year’s numbers. “I’m hoping for good things.”

“I have high hopes,” added Johnson. “I’m a fisherman, so we always have high hopes for going out and having success because we’re trying to feed our people.”

May 30, 2024—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
Eric Plummer photo sockeye salmon on the Somass River in sockeye is forecasted into the river

‘It runs deep’: 46 teams converge in PA for love of the

In the largest basketball tournament the Alberni Valley has seen in years, the May long weekend event brings together 46 teams from

PortAlberni, BC -Over the May long weekend Tseshaht Lightening hosted a basketball tournament of a caliber that the Alberni Valley has not seen in years, bringing hundreds of players and even more family members to gather around a game dear to Nuu-chah-nulth-aht.

“It runs deep in PortAlberni and in [the] Nuu-chah-nulth community,” said Earl Tatoosh of Hupacasath and coach of the Chieftains. “It’s kind of been my love since I was six years old.”

“It was just a family thing; I have five brothers,” added Tatoosh, who played for the Chieftains for 15 years prior to transitioning to their coach two years ago.

With 46 teams of all ages in divisions ranging from U13 to Seniors, gymnasiums all over PortAlberni were filled as highintensity games proceeded over a period of three days.

“It’s the biggest tournament we’ve had in town, basketball-wise, for years,” said Tatoosh.

Anthony McIntosh of Tseshaht, who is a player for the Chieftains, has had a basketball in hand since he was 10 years old.

Though in his younger years he wasn’t involved in basketball as an organized sport, he tried out forAlberni District

Secondary’s senior boys basketball team in the latter half of high school, playing in Totem 50.

“[I] tried out for the senior team and [to] my surprise, I made it,” said McIntosh. “It was a pretty good experience.”

McIntosh also shares his love of basketball with his eight-year-old son, who plays on a newly established U13 team.

“If he’s with me, he’s hooping,” said McIntosh.

“I thought it’d be good to see them out and learn this game the way we did growing up,” he said of the newly established U13 basketball team.

McIntosh is excited to see his son get into a sport that he can help him grow and evolve into.

“I’m very proud of Ed Ross and what he’s doing in this community,” said McIntosh.

“I’ve been a basketball player my whole life so to see something of this caliber…to involve everybody, is amazing.”

Ross shared with Ha-Shilth-Sa that over the course of the weekend he ran into countless uplifted family members rushing from venue to venue watching their sons, daughters, nieces and nephews.

As a coach, Ross gets to “see [the players]

demeanor when dad, mom, uncle, auntie walk through the door.”

“I can see their backs get proud, and I can see that their effort gets more,” he shared.

“I can see the strength that that brings… when their parents or [whoever] comes through the door.”

But Ross also sees the flip side of the coin when the crowd doesn’t show up.

“That’s why we wanted to have this tournament,” said Ross. “Our first heroes are mom and dad, and to be able to witness your mom and dad play and then vice versa, being able to watch your son or daughter or niece.”

“We really wanted to create that dynamic of just togetherness,” added Ross. “Just bleeding and sweating together, and growing together and bonding together, and just that medicine of being together.”

On Saturday morning, May 18, theAlber-

niAthletic Hall grew thunderously loud with song and cheer at the tournament’s opening ceremonies. Participating teams presented themselves to the cheering crowd, then finding their place around the drumming circle.

“The opening ceremonies, seeing all the youth participate in the culture as well, and being centered around all of the young upcoming basketball players is really awesome,” said Tatoosh.

For the next generation of basketball players, Tatoosh hopes the game offers them the same thing it brought him over the years.

“Asense of community, a sense of brotherhood with their teammates, an outlet to… leave everything out on the floor - whatever you’re going through, it’s a safe space for you to let everything out,” said Tatoosh. “To compete, and work towards a common goal with all of your teammates, and sportsmanship.”

Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—May 30, 2024
Innisa Ross of the Tseshaht Lightening dribbles up the court during a tournament the team hosted in PortAlberni May 17-19.Atotal of 46 teams pa the Chieftains, below, and several squads fromAhousaht, bottom left.

love of the game

brings together 46 teams from across B.C.

Mehl photos

Alberni May 17-19.Atotal of 46 teams participated, including

C*išaa%ath= Lightning tournament marks Port Alberni’s return as a basketball town

The squeaks of sneakers on hardwood rang out over the May long weekend as B.C. basketball players came together in PortAlberni for the inaugural Ćišaaʔatḥ Lightning Tournament.

The three-day open hoop tourney saw 46 teams in five divisions play over 80 games spread out over five venues, with the finale taking place at Coulson’s Gym in theAlberniAthletic Hall on Sunday, May 19.

Jasmine Montgomery Reid is a member of the Rez Coast pick-up team that took the tournament win in the women’s final against Hesquiaht Descendants.

“PortAlberni used to be a really big basketball town, so I’m really happy they’re trying to bring it back,” she said. “This is the place. There’s a big crowd, lots of elders, and those U13 teams… there was a lot of good energy. We’re laughing, we’re having a lot of fun.”

Tournament host Ćišaaʔatḥ Lightning U13 girls battled their way to the finals, but ultimately fell 50-28 to the Snuneymuxw Islanders from Nanaimo.

Snuneymuxw coach Daphne Robinson said her team has been together for two years.

“It’s a good win. It’s a lot of work for them. They worked hard over the last two years,” Robinson said. “They earned every one of those points putting time in the gym and going to tournaments. It’s a lot of pride. It means a lot to see these girls really succeed. They put a lot of work. They earn it.”

Tournament organizer and Ćišaaʔatḥ Lightning U13 girls coach Nasimius Ross was happy with their second-place result.

“They did amazing. There was a transition from softball to basketball and they just want to be outside and play softball. That’s what they are into right now.”

TheAhousaht Guardians U13 boys’team, who are the 2024 JuniorAll Native champions, reaffirmed their prowess by outscoring the Snaw-Naw-As Sawbills 77-40 in the final game.

On the men’s side, Brooklyn Doiron’s RAIN team nabbed the win from Similkameen 87-69 in the U17 division and Tom Campbell’s pick-up team triumphed 103-65 over Bella Bella in the men’s final.

Ross told Ha-Shilth-Sa the tournament will happen again next year, but he hopes to share the organizing part with others.

“It’s evident that there is a hunger for basketball here and it’s alive here, but we just need to create more,” he said. “It’s too much for one person and it needs to be shared. Maybe we can band together next time and all of us host all of our guests next time. That’s how I’m envisioning it right now. That it’s ours. It’s not mine, it’s all of ours.”

“I really want to open it up. I guess that’s a call out. If anyone is interested in hosting with us. If not, I’ll hold fort until people jump on the bandwagon,” Ross continued. Artist Norman Seaweed created rings etched with two serpents and a basketball for the MVP, Top Defensive, Top Scorer, Most Inspirational and Most Sportsmanlike awards. TheAll-Star awards, turquoise dyed cedar rope with a new trade bead bracelets for ladies and necklaces for the men, were crafted by Jan Green.

May 30, 2024—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Alexandra Nora O’Malley photos Nasimius, Ed Ross speaks to his team, Ćišaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht) Lightning, during a break in a tournment they hosted in PortAlberni.

naa%uu showcases culture while funding programs

For the second year the event combines a feast, art display, dancing and storytelling about Tla-o-qui-aht history

Tofino, BC – Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks Guardians are proud to present the naaʔuu cultural feast event for the second year in a row. Naaʔuu, which means feast, shows on select weekends over the summer at the Tin Wis Best Western Resort & Conference Centre.

According to the Tin Wis website, naaʔuu, developed by Tla-o-qui-aht, showcases history and culture from the perspective of their people.

The event allows guests to sample a true Nuu-chah-nulth-style seafood buffet prepared by Tla-o-qui-aht caterer Roberta Tom and team. Roberta is proud of the seafood diet preferred by Nuu-chahnulth-aht, especially when it is prepared the Nuu-chah-nulth way.Almost all of the food was harvested locally, by Tla-oqui-aht men and women.

Roberta said that she loves their food and the fact that it is all seafood and healthy. The freshest items on the menu on May 25 were the crab, harvested by a Tla-o-qui-aht youth and the salmon, caught the day before by his fisherman father.

“I displayed the entire salmon on the platter to show that all parts were eaten, even the head and tail,” said Tom, stressing the importance of not wasting food.

“If we have too much then we have to share it.”

For the May 25 event host Terry Dorward introduced himself as Seitcha. He stood on the dimly lit stage under red lighting as the smell of cedar smoke wafted through the air.

As guests waited at tables for the show to start, they enjoyed the atmosphere created to give the feeling of entering a longhouse. Beautiful carvings hung from the perimeter of the room while video reels played on the screen showing proud Tla-o-qui-aht moments while recordings of drumming softly played in the background.

“We designed this program with our people to help support underfunded programs,” Seitcha told the crowd.

His nation, he said, is getting creative generating modes of fundraising that helps language and cultural programs while supporting the stewardship and retention of natural resources.

He told the people that the event was not a potlatch and the songs and dances

they would see were either created by the hosts for the naaʔuu event or they had permission of the chiefs to use certain songs. Guests were encouraged to take photos and videos and share on social media with the hashtag #naauu

“We encourage you to come hungry – as you will be treated to a seafood buffet,” said Seitcha.

He joked that they would be rolling people out the door after the event, because they would be so full.

Following dinner, naaʔuu host makes a presentation. This year there are two hosts – Terry Dorward andAllison Howard. Each host writes their own presentation, so guests can enjoy different experiences if they see both.

Seitcha’s presentation started with the First Nation’s history followed by a

traditional Tla-o-qui-aht welcome song and dance.

Seitcha spoke of important symbols in Nuu-chah-nulth art, like the thunderbird, whales and sea serpents, and how Nuuchah-nulth-aht were known for their skill at hunting whales to feed the people.

“That Nuu-chah-nulth would hunt whales is said to be equivalent to a fullgrown male human being taken down by eight mice,” he noted.

Seitcha went on to speak of colonialism and the impacts residential schools and government policies had on Indigenous peoples in Canada. People are still healing from the damage caused by these things, which disrupted family structures and ancestral languages, while displacing people.

According to Seitcha, the Tla-o-qui-aht

are using their Tribal Park guardians to help their people heal from the effects of colonization. Programs like naaʔuu were developed as an alternate source of income for the nation, which does not exploit natural resources.

“We need to find strength in these struggling times,” said Seitcha.

He spoke of the interconnectedness of everything and the Nuu-chah-nulth world view of hishookish tsawok, meaning everything is one.

“We need the forests for the salmon and the bears need the salmon, too,” said Seitcha.

For reasons like these, Seitcha said the Tla-o-qui-aht Ha’wiih (hereditary chiefs) made a declaration that their entire territory is a tribal park.

Naaʔuu, said Seitcha, was designed to empower young people of the nation.

“Naaʔuu was designed to help our young to be proud of who we are,” he said.

Proceeds from ticket sales pay for the event. Seitcha estimates about 60 per cent of tickets sales goes to expenses and to pay the cooks and performers. Roughly 40 per cent goes to underfunded cultural and language programs for the nation’s youth.

Development of the naaʔuu experience is a work in progress. Seitcha says they are working on increasing cultural performances. In addition, Tla-o-quiaht is working with a Tseshaht group to help develop their own cultural tourism experience.

Asample of the menu can be found on the Eventbrite naaʔuu page. On May 25, guests were treated to a variety of fish including smoked black cod, baked salmon and halibut along with fresh crab, herring roe on branches and prawns.

Guests are advised to arrive with fully charged phones and devices as photos and videos are allowed and even encouraged during the event. Hash-tagged videos appear on the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks or Tin Wis Resort social media pages. Each naaʔuu event runs for three hours, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Best Western Plus Tin Wis Resort Conference Centre at 1119 Pacific Rim Highway in Tofino. Naa?uu will show June 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, 28 and 29.

For tickets visit https://tribalparks.com/ naauu/ . There is special pricing available for Nuu-chah-nulth-aht.


Pronounced ‘You qwaa mit ish alth noo wii ooh qwith cha puts oohr wilth ink ee muks es cha ugk ooh qwilth kwats caa s soom’, it means ‘My Father used to make canoes. He would use fire, water and rocks to make the seats inside of it! ’Supplied by ciisma.

Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—May 30, 2024
Illustration by Christine Sparks Denise Titian photo Dance, masks and regalia were presented to guests on May 25. Future Naaʔuu performances are scheduled June 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, 28 and 29 at the Tin Wis hotel.

Hesquiaht artist celebrates teachings of k#iisah=i%is

Carving made to mark the historic situation that faced a stranded young killer whale this spring near Zeballos

PortAlberni, BC – The orphaned killer whale calf that made her way out of a lagoon near Ehattesaht inApril is being celebrated through art.

It was in late March when a Bigg’s killer whale and her two-year-old calf entered a shallow lagoon near Ehatis when the mother became stranded on a sandbar as the tide receded. Despite community efforts to save her, the mother drowned, her female calf lingered nearby.

For about three weeks DFO officials and Ehattesaht members worked on plans to capture and move the juvenile whale, named kʷiisaḥiʔis (Brave little hunter) by the First Nation. The plan was to lure her into a sling, lift her from the lagoon and onto a vehicle where she would be transported to safer waters to be reunited with her pod.

But kʷiisaḥiʔis evaded capture and, on April 26, delighted the world when she made her own way out of the narrow neck of the lagoon under cover of darkness.

Hesquiaht elder and artist Tim Paul has strong family ties to Ehattesaht and he was inspired by the resiliency and intelligence of the orca calf.

“What can we learn from the young female killer whale?” Paul asked.

He recalled Luna, named tsux’iit by the Mowachaht/Muchalaht. Tsux’iit was a six-year-old male southern resident orca that mysteriously wound up, alone, in Nootka Sound in 2001.

While this whale wasn’t fed by humans, he did become habituated to boats and people. Highly social animals, killer

whales thrive in pods. But without his pod, it seemed Luna viewed boats as playmates and would rub up to the sides of vessels or play in their wake. Often people would lean over and pet Luna.

Like the case of kʷiisaḥiʔis, federal fisheries officials believed that tsu’xiits’ habituation to boats and people was not healthy and there was a push to capture the whale and move him toward Juan de Fuca Strait where he would have a chance to reunite with his pod.

But tragedy struck March 10, 2006, when tsux’iit was fatally injured by the propeller of a barge in Nootka Sound.

In 2018, Tahlequa (J-5), a southern resident killer whale, lost her calf shortly after giving birth. She drew international attention after carrying her dead calf 1,000 miles over 17 days, apparently mourning her loss. Two years later, Tahlequa bore another calf in September 2020 that survived.

“Luna stayed because he was being touched and petted. What have we learned?” Paul asked.

He said kʷiisaḥiʔis should have been left alone to grieve rather than chase her around the lagoon.

“We need to leave her alone, let her make her own way out,” said Paul.

Paul said that he spoke with an Ehattesaht relative who said he didn’t agree with DFO’s plan to capture and transport the young whale.

“Leave her alone, let her mourn,” said Paul.

But it’s from incidents like this, according to Paul, that songs are dances are made.

“This is a part of history and should never be forgotten,” said Paul.

Tim Paul carved a piece to memorialize kʷiisaḥiʔis (Brave little hunter), an orphaned killer whale stranded in a lagoon near Ehatis for a month this spring.

There is a spiritual side, he explained, where a song should be composed that shows the connection between us and the ancestors.

“The little two-year-old killer whale was so attached to her mother. Like us, she needs time to mourn, and when it’s time, we let go,” said Paul.

And, after four weeks in the lagoon where her mother died, kʷiisaḥiʔis moved on, on her own.

Paul said there are important lessons our relatives in nature are teaching us.

“We take this forward as history so that we will not make the same mistakes again, and so young people will know

how to do things,” said Paul.

To commemorate the incident, Paul created a wooden sculpture featuring kʷiisaḥiʔis. He said the carving depicts the lagoon where her mother died, and the face, fins, and tail of kʷiisaḥiʔis.

In lateApril 2024, the sculpture was accepted by Ernest Smith behalf of ʔiiḥatisatḥ činaxint (Ehattesaht/ Chinekint).

kʷiisaḥiʔis is being monitored as she makes her way from the inlet to the ocean. People are urged to stay away from her and allow her the best opportunity to find her pod.

May 30, 2024—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Les Sam
Residential . Commercial & Architectural Structures Construction Management & Consulting Forming & Framing Ph/Txt: 250.720.7334 les sam@shaw.ca

President’s Message

Another busy month has passed and hoping you are all doing well. I know we have suffered more losses within our communities and my heart goes out to all of you. With June around the corner we are happy to welcome back the sockeye and other species of salmon. We are happy to celebrate graduations from secondary and post secondary and I know those ceremonies have already begun with proud familes showing up to say how proud they are. NTC Scholarships are June 14th and graduation is June 15th Happy times to look forward to.

I attended and spoke at a few conferences, one on the restorative economy and a clean energy conference. Both are about restoring our economies and finding sustainable ways to make revenues and create jobs. It is exciting to see the various businesses our Nuu-chah-nulth nations are involved in. For the first time in six years, BC Hydro is doing a call for power, 3000 Megawatts. Minimum project size is 40 MW, which is a big project. The existing projects in Nuu-chah-nulth communities are under 15 MW. There will be a lot of wind projects in this call. BC Hydro didn’t want any more power as they thought they had enough from the Site C dam, but with population growing, businesses needing more power, electric vehicles and other things, the need for power has grown.

I have been working with other First Nations to get BC Hydro and the B.C. government to do calls for power for smaller projects, but they seem to think that it takes too much work for the team they have. Economic reconciliation is the key to smaller projects and I am doing a lot of advocacy to ensure First Nations have the opportunity to develop projects that are of high environmental standards.

The B.C. government provided $140 million to the New Relationship Trust to help with building projects and also to help provide money so bidding for the power can be done less while using that money. Michelle Corfield is doing the engagements and the paper can be found online and surveys as well. Good to shape the way the money will be used. The paper suggests the money not be used till 2028. As there will likely be a call in 2026 we need that money in time that so First Nations can take full advantage of the money.

The conference covered so many topics of existing kinds of clean energy. This included the need for more electrical grids to grow the capacity on lines, but also battery storage, which is a way to keep the power for times when it can be sold at better prices as well as for when the power supply is down, which happens in many First Nation communities.

Had a short meeting with Miniser Josie Osborne to again encourage her to make opportunities for small projects and to provide capacity dollars for First Nations in building their own group to advocate and build capacity - something like the Saskatchewan First Nation power authority. BCEMC has limited resources and capacity and cannot do the work that is needed for First Nations.

It was a tough month as the sentencing of the mother and stepfather of Don-Tay Lucas occurred. The mother and stepfather were sentenced to 15 years each and given three-year credit for time served (2 years plus an extra year). The family of Patricik Lucas got up in the courtroom after the sentencing and forgave the two who were sentenced.

I had the opportunity to speak to the

public service employees union Indigenous network about MMIWG2SL+. Had a good discussion on actions needed and support.

The BC First Nations Justice Council has now opened Indigeous Justice Centres in Nanaimo and Victoria and plan to open one in Campbell River and Port Hardy. I attended the opening of the Indigenous Justice Centre (IJC) in Nanaimo. The IJC has now opened in Nanaimo right downtown at 17 Church Street. Legal help is given for family and criminal law. Wrap-around services are provided through referrals made to help with housing and counselling etc. There is also one in Victoria (794 Yates St). Take the time to visit these centres and talk to everyone there and see if they can be of help to you.

There are two issues I am working on that have started to take more of my time. One is dealing with gaming. Since we have the gaming revenue sharing done and the COVID relief funding done, the First Nations Gaming Commission has been trying to set up a negotiations table to deal with further issues like jurisdiction, getting a fair share of gaming grants and the ability to host our own gaming in our communities and other issues. We are hoping we can get further work done on this file before the provincial election is called in October.

B.C. amended the LandAct so First Nations can now own land. Before these changes you had to have an individual hold it in trust or form a company or society to own the land, and in some cases First Notions had the nature’s conservancy hold it for them. You can now transfer the land to your First Nation.

The other issue we are starting to work on again is the Heritage ConservationAct and making transformational changes. I have told you in the past that we worked very hard with B.C. for a couple of years trying to make changes for our heritage sites, objects and sacred places. Unfortunately we didn’t achieve this and chose to not make any amendments during this spring session of the legislature. It will delay transformational change for a year but we hope we can have something that First Nations can be satisfied with. There are many important meetings coming up in June and I look forward to reporting out to you on those.


Call for Clam Diggers

June 5 & 6

Nelson Point, Cowichan Valley

Join the Environmental Stewardship Team Wednesday and Thursday June 5th6th (option to work both or either day). Helping to monitor clam abundance and health in Nelson Point. Lunch provided. Contact Lynn Pinell by June 3rd. Salish Sea Initiative Coordinatorat T:250245-7155 EXT. 222 or lynn.pinell@ stzuminus.com

Multhmuums – NETP

June 10 – 20, 2024

Ucluelet, Gold River, PortAlberni – In person – virtual hybrid

Enriching workshop that delves into cross-cultural awareness. Engage in a variety of empowering activities including Grief and Loss, crafting Medicine Bags, mastering Yoga Grounding Techniques, crafting Drum Making, honing resume building skills, refining interview skills. 9:30 am – 3:30 pm. *Lunch provided* To register connect with our Intake Coordinator at 250-723-1331 or gregory.thomas@ nuuchahnulth.org, current clients please connect with your case manager:

2024 Youth Gathering

July 12-14, 2024

Beach Campout -Anacla

Hosted by Huu-ay-aht First nation. Registration details to come. Graduation and Scholarship Ceremonies

June 14th & 15th

ADSS – 4000 Roger Street, Port Alberni, B.C.

Scholarship Ceremony – June 14th. Doors open at 3:30 pm; Dinner at 4:30 pm; Ceremony at 6:00 pm Graduation Ceremony – June 15th. Doors open at 1:30 pm; Ceremony at 2:30 pm; Dinner at 4:30 pm. Graduation forms can be submitted via email to graduation@

&Community Beyond

nuuchahnulth.org via fax, or dropped off at or mailed to the NTC Main Office. Nuu-chah-nulth Baby Group

Every Monday

CYS - 4841 Redford Street, Port Alberni

10am-12pm. We offer Prenatal and infant development information, special guests, snacks provide and $20.00 food voucher per family. Referrals when needed. NTC Nursing and Doula’s 250-724-3939. Enter from 4th avenue side, building with orange stripe.

Girls Group

Every Tuesday

Usma culture space, PortAlberni

5:00pm-7:00pm Girls ages 13-18. Need a safe space? Want to express yourself? Looking to learn to bake and cook? Do you enjoy doing crafts? Come join us for fun activities with food and refreshments every Tuesday!

Eating in Balance

Every Wednesday

PortAlberni Friendship Center

1:00pm – 3:00pm. Participants work together to make a meal, discuss health and food related topics. Participants who work (cook and clean) with the group will receive a $10.00 grocery coupon that can be used at either Quality Foods or Buy-Low Foods. Childminder on premises.Adrop-in group, no registration required. For more information please call and ask forAmber – 250-735-6276 ext. 233.

Cultural Brushings with Quu asa

Every Friday

RedfordAdministration Building, Port Alberni

9:00am-12:00pm Cultural Brushings in support of the Tseshaht Community. If you have any questions, please call Leanne Harding,AdministrativeAssistant 250-724-1225

Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—May 30, 2024

Employment and Training

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

May 30, 2024—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13 Check out our new Facebook page Nuu-chah-nulth Jobs and Events Updated daily!

Indigenous nurses pave the way beyond colonial past

Victoria Dick and Lisa Bourque Bearskin aim to ‘rewrite nursing back into healthcare’ through leadership roles

Prior to colonization, Indigenous healers and midwives held significant roles in their communities, serving with their knowledge of harvesting, preparing and administering local medicinal plants, reads an article published by the Canadian NursesAssociation (CNA).

Even with Indigenous people’s rich history of traditional medicines and healing practices, Western healthcare systems have a longstanding past of alienating First Nations people from the sector.

“The genesis of healthcare in Canada was a direct result of the relationship that the Jesuit missionaries had with our First Nations healers when they first came to the land,” said Lisa Bourque Bearskin of Beaver Lake Cree Nation, who is an associate professor for the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria (UVic). “When the settlers came over, they introduced disease. It was the First Nations healers and helpers that helped cure them and give them access to all of that traditional knowledge that’s on the land.”

The use of medical plants and ointments, such as willow bark which carries a chemical similar toAspirin, and petroleum jelly, also known as Vaseline, had been utilized by First Nations for centuries.

“That was all invented by First Nations people because they were already practicing, they were already taking care,” Bourque Bearskin said.

According to the CNAarticle, up until the 1930s, Indigenous women were “largely barred” from attending nursing school in Canada.

Charlotte EdithAnderson Monture of the Mohawk tribe became Canada’s first Indigenous Nurse in the early twentieth century, reads a biography published by the National Women’s History Museum. But Monture obtained her education inAmerica at New Rochelle Nursing School in New York, after being rejected from a number of nursing schools in Ontario.

She would later become a First World War veteran after serving in the USArmy Nursing Corps on the frontlines.

In 1955, Rose Casper of St’at’imc Nation, a survivor of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, became the first Indigenous nurse in Western Canada. But from the 1930s to 1980s the establishment of racially segregated Indian hospitals spread across the country. Three major hospitals were opened in British Columbia, with one in Nanaimo, which operated for roughly two decades after the Second World War, closing its doors in the mid ‘60s.

According to the University of British Columbia’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, the hospitals, initially a means to isolate tuberculosis patients from the general public, stemmed from the missionary hospital movement in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

These hospitals were frequently overcrowded with patients and understaffed with employees that were often under qualified, the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre stated.

Experimental treatments and “painful and disabling surgeries” were also conducted on patients at the hospital.

“Our Indian hospitals removed that autonomy, and that recognition of our traditional healers,” said Bourque Bearskin.

“We’ve got this longstanding history of genocide that continues.”

“When I think about the Indian hospitals, nurses, ourselves, were complicit in implementing those,” added Bourque Bearskin. “We were complicit in sustaining the system of systemic racism.”

She notes that it is likely that many older Indigenous patients have experiences with the Indian hospitals.

“Families have those memories,” she said.

Bearskin and Victoria Dick of Tseshaht are currently working on creating a curriculum, “from the ground up”, called the Indigenous Graduate Education and Nursing (IGEN) program for UVic.

“What we’re trying to do is... to rewrite nursing back into healthcare [and] into the history,” said Bourque Bearskin.

“Nurses are always at the bedside, nurses are always in the home, but we don’t find our nursing leaders at those decisionmaking tables where they really need to be to help systems transformation.”

“[Nurses] understand the significance of working with the people,” she added.

“And I think the people trust them.”

For Bourque Bearskin and Dick, the work they’ve been doing over the last few years, including the development of the master’s program, is better aligning healthcare with the principles of UNDRIP.

“[It] clearly articulates that First Nations, Inuit, Métis, are afforded the opportunity to design and deliver their own health care approaches,” Bourque Bearskin said.

When asked what it means to nurse the Nuu-chah-nulth way, Dick reflects on the words from a guest speaker for an IGEN course, who shared that Indigenous and Nuu-chah-nulth nurses have inherent knowledge from growing up in their communities.

For Dick, it’s important for Indigenous nurses to tie in their background and connection to their community to be an effective nurse.

“I can go into most of our nations and practice relationally and be effective in practice,” she said.

Dick notes that because of this connection to her background, she can go in and out of communities with trust.

“Which isn’t very easy,” she added. “There’s lots of mistrust.”

Especially with high turnover rates, she added.

Nursing the Nuu-chah-nulth way, shared Dick, is focused on health promotion.

“When you’re healthy in the first place, let’s keep it that way,” said Dick, which includes promoting a healthy diet, exercise, community and spiritual wellness.

Dick goes on to share that prioritizing a relationship-focused approach means the patient “is the expert in their healthcare”, which entails approaching clients with respect and non-judgement.

“I feel like most people just want you to listen to them,” said Dick. “So often, they’re not heard in the healthcare system, so just taking that time to listen to them goes a long way.”

According to Jess McConnell, manager of Indigenous Health at West Coast

General Hospital, positions such as Indigenous Liaison Nurses (ILN) and Indigenous Patient Navigators (IPN), who supportAboriginal patients and their families while they navigate the healthcare system, are available to clients at most hospitals on Vancouver Island.

In recent years, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), alongside the Health Standard Organization, developed the British Columbia Cultural Safety and Humility (CHS) standard. This is the first of its kind in Canada, according to Monica McAlduff, FNHAchief nursing officer.

The standard aims to improve the health care system for First Nation patients by creating culturally safe environments, encouraging providers to care for their clients with humility, and ending Indigenous racism, she wrote in an email to Ha-Shilth-Sa.

According to the In-Plain-Sight survey, a review of Indigenous-specific racism throughout B.C.’s health care system, of 2,780 Indigenous respondents, only 16 per cent reported to have not been discriminated against while seeking care.

Meanwhile, 35 per cent of health-care workers reported witnessing discrimination against an Indigenous patient.

“[It’s] critical for workers of the Western health-care system to understand the systemic barriers and work towards minimizing these inequities and influence policy change for our people to access culturally safe health care,” wrote McAlduff.

“We’re the only health professional that’s trained with this generalist knowledge,” said Bourque Bearskin. “We know how to work with communities, we know how to work with populations, but we’re never brought to that table to help facilitate that.”

henna artist

Book your henna session for community events, weddings, birthday parties, school events or any special event.

Phone: 250-730-1262 or 250-720-3096

E-mail: aleesha_sharma1@hotmail.com

Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa—May 30, 2024
UVic photo Lisa Bourque Bearskin of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation is an associate professor for the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria. Victoria Dick

Canoe steaming at Esowista shows ancestral practices


people move 150 stones from

Tofino, BC – The rocks were hot enough to use by about 7:30 a.m. on the muggy May 15 morning at Esowista on Long Beach.

With confidence and ease, Tla-o-qui-aht canoe carver Joe Martin instructed about a dozen shovel-ready helpers to shuttle the 150 stones from the fire to the cedar canoe filled with salt water. Like stepping into a time machine, the distinct hissing sound of steam and the enchanting scent of smoky cedar seemingly transported the group back to a different era.

“People have been doing this kind of thing for a long, long time,” said Martin. “Canoe making is something everyone learned back in the former days. Every household would have had canoe builders and house makers.”

After most of the rocks were plopped in the canoe, they wrapped it snug with several tarps for just under an hour to steam.

“The heat from the water and the rocks make the (wood) soft enough so you can bend it,” Martin explained, adding that in the former times they used a long, tapered wedge to lift the bow and stern so the canoe opens.

“Instead of that, I have a hydraulic jack on the back and we’ll get another little jack on the front” he continued. “It will lift it and open it just enough. Sometimes, I’ll go beyond what I would like, then I’ll let the canoe relax for a day or two then it comes back a little bit. That way it takes all the stress out of it. Then we put in the seats. If we leave it at the widest we can make, then when we go in the water it’s always under stress and it can crack in the water.”

For Huu-ay-aht WarriorAndrew Clappis, 17, participating in the canoe steaming was a wonderful surprise.

“I didn’t think I’d be attending a canoe steaming this week. It’s so cool,” said Clappis. “Just learning how to do it now (is important) so we can teach the next generation.”

Honouring the tree

Four Nuu-chah-nulth apprentices, Terrell Lamb, Valleen Jules, Tsimka Martin and Thomas Zarelli, worked with Martin and his brother Carl over the past 70 days to get the canoe to the steaming stage. Martin told the Ha-Shilth-Sa he was honoured to have his daughter Tsimka take part in the traditional practice.

“Areally empowering part of this process was actually selecting and falling and carving the canoes in the forest,” said Tsimka.

“Selecting the tree and doing a ceremony on the carving site was really special.

to a vessel full of salt water, part of a process that began months earlier

“Canoe making is something everyone learned back in the former days. Every household would have had canoe builders and house makers.”
~ Joe Martin

It feels very different than if we were working in a gravel yard and a logging company brought us a log,” she said.

Over the course of two months, the apprentices camped in the woods within TFN Tribal Parks territory, working on the 600- to 700-year-old cedar they selected to carve two canoes.

Martin emphasized the importance of harvesting resources in the fall and winter, instead of the summer and spring when birds are nesting.

“That was the very first thing my grandfather taught me about this. We really disrupted the natural environment by just cutting wood down any old time of year all year long,” said Martin.

With the help of WestCoast Wild ZiplineAdventures, the canoe carving team rigged a zipline to remove the canoes from the forest and transport them to the beach for steaming.

Funded by the Tla-o-qui-aht First Na-

tion (TFN), the goal of the canoe project is for Nuu-chah-nulth youth to reclaim their cultural practices and reconnect with the land.

“The revitalization of our culture is amazing to see,” said TFN Capacity Building Co-ordinator Norine Messer. “These are the things that will bring us back. It’s an essential part of healing,

the reclaiming and practice of traditional teachings.”

Once the work is finished on both canoes, they will be stored in either Opitsaht or Ty-Histanis to be used for youth programming, like harvesting from the sea, canoe races and family picnics.

“We will keep them together for easy access and regular use,” Messer said.

May 30, 2024—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
Nora O’Malley photo Joe Martin, right, oversees the placement of hot stones into a cedar canoe for its shaping. The stones came from a fire on Long Beach (bottom left), as the canoe was widened with the help of braces (bottom right).
Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa—May 30, 2024

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