Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper November 18th, 2021

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INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 48 - No. 22—November 18, 2021 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776

Elder’s plight points to need for health advocacy Chery Amos relied on the hospital to treat her chronic condition, resulting in 25 emergency visits in one year By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - Just over a year ago, the ache in Cheryl Amos’s lower abdomen had become unbearable, leading her to seek emergency treatment at the West Coast General Hospital. “I was in deep pain, intense pain, and I was throwing up for three days non-stop, so I went to the hospital,” recalled the Tseshaht member. She was hooked up to a machine intravenously for her dehydration, and given Gravol for nausea, but after she was released her situation had not improved the following day, when she recalls returning with a bladder infection. “I kept throwing up,” said the 71-yearold. “I went there three consecutive days.” By the third time she was in the West Coast General’s emergency department, a doctor seemed unconvinced that Amos had a problem requiring medical treatment. “She says to me, ‘Cheryl, have you been drinking?’,” recounted Amos. “‘No not at all. Not in the least. Besides, you’ve got my blood tests,’ I said to her.” “She said to me, ‘There’s absolutely nothing wring with you’,” continued Amos. “I just got up and left because she insulted me.” The elder went home, treating the pain in the bottom left side of her stomach and lower back with hot water bottles. But the agony didn’t subside, and five days later she was back in the hospital, desperately seeking treatment on Oct. 13, 2020. This time painkillers and more Gravol were prescribed, plus liquid potassium to help recover her body from the effects of constant vomiting. But Amos kept throwing up, and continued to seek help in Port Alberni’s hospital, a drawn-out ordeal that has totaled 25 visits to the emergency department over the last year. Day surgery was finally arranged for Feb. 5 of this year, but the scope failed to locate the source of Amos’s pain. Meanwhile her body had become severely bloated, and 85 pounds had been put onto her frame that normally weighs 135, said Amos. “I gave a urine specimen and it was the colour of iced tea,” she recalled, noting that the pain was taking its toll on her physically. “My lower back was giving out because of it.” She long suspected her kidneys were the location of the problem, but as the emergency hospital visits continued, the series of doctors she saw were unable to pinpoint the source of the pain, said

Photo by Eric Plummer

Cheryl Amos holds a box full of hospital admission bracelets, prescriptions and medical documents she has collected over the past year of seeking help for a chronic condition. She currently awaits a meeting with a kidney specialist. Amos. and Surgeons of B.C. and the last Canada “It was constant, I couldn’t touch it, I census. couldn’t wear my waistbands at all. I kept According to a provincially commistelling them at the hospital it’s right here. sioned report released by Mary Ellen I told every single doctor I’ve seen,” she Turpel-Lafond in February, Amos’s said. “But what is so frustrating is that I reliance on the emergency department is couldn’t get them to look into what was not unusual among First Nations people really wrong.” in B.C. A CT scan on Oct. 6, 2021 also failed “First Nations, on average, are 75 per to pinpoint the problem, but the agony cent more likely to visit the emergency finally began to ease when Amos left the than anyone else - and the reason for that hospital with a prescription for painkillis that they are not attached to primary ers and antibiotics for a badly infected care,” said the former judge and provinkidney. cial child advocate during a Feb. 4 press “By the ninth it eased off,” she said, conference. “Their needs get more acute recalling the first time her condition has because they don’t get primary care. And been pain-free in 18 months. when they go into emergency, it may not Amos has a family doctor, but she be the place to do the referral, to do the hasn’t seen him in over a decade due to communication, to provide the culturallydiscomfort and “very bad incidents,” she safe care, because at times emergency said. The COVID-19 pandemic has also departments themselves are in a state of limited availability to family doctors, crisis.” making an immediate appointment to This dynamic has been taxing the seek answers about her pain an imposprovincial system, said Health Minister sibility. Amos has been unsuccessful in Adrian Dix when Turpel-Lafond’s report securing another general practitioner in was released. Port Alberni, where there is one family “The fact that so many people around doctor for every 700 residents, according our province, Indigenous people, encounto data from the College of Physicians ter the health care system through the

Inside this issue... Float plane collisions in Tofino.......................................Page 3 Residential school survivors faces past..........................Page 5 First Nation Veterans..............................................Pages 8 & 9 8-year-old child receives COVID shot.........................Page 11 Turning the provincial museum inside out...................Page 15

emergency room and not through primary care is a challenge to our health care system,” he said. “Unfortunately, right now these instances are far too familiar, and nothing is happening with reporting,” stressed Mariah Charleson, vice-president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “We’ve seen a Nuu-chah-nulth member, somebody who was in dire need of medical assistance, and they were banned from the West Coast General Hospital.” Poor access to a family doctor is particularly concerning among First Nations people over 65, said Turpel-Lafond. “These elders are not attached to primary care at a rate 89 per cent higher than non-First Nations people in British Columbia – and that, in fact, is quite a staggering finding of this data report,” she commented. “Poor access to primary care may be driving the lower screening rates for treatable cancers.” Comfort with a physician in an institutional setting could already be a challenge for those who attended residential school or an Indian hospital in their youth, noted Charleson. “There’s already that distrust, so if you’re thinking of receiving care and you already have these layers and layers of distrust, it’s going to be really difficult to communicate,” she said. “Many of our people will just refuse to go and get help altogether.” But improvements could be possible through better advocacy to personally help someone navigate through the health care system, something Charleson is pushing for during meetings with First Nations leaders and health officials. “We want to see 24-7 access to an advocate in the hospital for instances like this,” she said. “We think that can go a long way.” After more than a year of struggle, Amos has been referred to a kidney specialist in Victoria, thanks to her connecting with the NTC nursing department. “They were exceptionally helpful, thoughtful,” she said. “I’m wondering why I didn’t turn to them long ago.” As a kidney problem has become the more likely source of Amos’s pain, she has lost a significant amount of weight by cutting down on salt and controlling her diet. “I’m not going to go back to the hospital, because I’m sick and tired of it,” she said. “I want other people to speak up because there’s so many other incidents.” Amos hopes to eventually return to her career of assisting others in long-term care after her health progresses.

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

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Photo sumitted by Barkley Project Group

Hesquiaht member Les Mickey stands by Ah’ta’apq Creek, which has just become the main source of power for Hot Springs Cove.

Hesquiaht transitions to green energy Hot Springs Cove’s generator is now turned off, starting the community’s reliance on hydro power By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Hot Springs Cove, BC - In early November, Hesquiaht First Nation turned off the diesel generator that normally powers their entire community at Hot Springs Cove, off the west coast of Vancouver Island. It was the first time the nation ran solely on green energy, which was made possible by the Ah’ta’apq Creek Hydropower Project. “It was extremely exciting for us,” said Hesquiaht First Nation Elected Chief Joshua Charleson. “It’s exactly what we wanted.” Widely championed by the late-chief Richard Lucas, the project has been over 10 years in the making. When Charleson was elected in 2020, he said the project “landed” in his lap and attributed much of the groundwork to Lucas. The late-chief worked “tirelessly” to secure funding and the necessary resources to complete the project, he described. “A lot of work has been put into this,” said Charleson. “Everybody’s just super thrilled that it works because it’s been such a long time coming.” Prior to switching to hydro power, the nation used around 232,000 litres of diesel each year, which cost roughly $600,000, he said. The project will cut around 80 per cent of the community’s reliance on diesel, he added. “Ever since I can remember there have been barges of diesel that have had to come up to Hot Springs Cove,” said Charleson. “It’s always dangerous transporting anything by water, especially during winter. This is really good for the whole region – for the sensitive ecosystem in Clayoquot Sound.” Stephanie Charleson has been working on the project as an environmental monitor for around 13 months and said it’s been “amazing” to be a part of. When the diesel generator was first turned off, she said the whole community was warned to expect some power outages. But they never came. “Everybody was pretty happy to know it went quite smoothly,” she said. To supplement the hydro power, a solar system is being installed on the community centre’s roof, which will cut an ad-

ditional 10 per cent of the nation’s diesel consumption. The goal is to create a true microgrid that optimizes the use of solar and hydro energy, said Ben Whyte, Barkley Project Group Ltd. vice president of engineering and construction. Whyte said the nation is trying to secure additional funding to expand their solar system and include a battery bank, which would limit their reliance on diesel altogether. Remote locations always present challenges when it comes to construction projects, said Whyte. COVID-19 added to that through social distancing protocols and its impact on supply chains. Despite that, he said the project is on schedule and on budget with the contractor. Charleson said the community plans to hold a celebration in the spring, once the winter storms and the fourth-wave of the pandemic levels off. Hesquiaht First Nation artist Jeffery Ignace was commissioned to carve a plaque in honour of Lucas that will be presented at the ceremony and displayed in the powerhouse. After seeking approval from Lucas’ family, Ignace carved the late-chief’s name into the plaque, along with a thunderbird paired with lighting bolts on either side. Ignace said that he had a personal relationship with Lucas, so the process of creating the design was one of great contemplation. In the end, Ignace said he settled on the thunderbird because they are regarded as a “powerful animal.” Over the next year, teams will continue to monitor the creek’s water flow to ensure that it’s maintained at a healthy level for the fish that are further downstream, said Whyte. Adjustments will be made as needed. Restoration efforts will also be carried out to encourage growth and re-establish a natural environment, he added. “Now that we have reduced our diesel consumption by 80 per cent with this hydroelectric project, that means 80 per cent less fuel is going to be coming through our waters, and also through our logging roads,” Charleson said. “We’re reducing the risk to a very important ecosystem … by turning the lights on with our green energy.”

November 18, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Traffic from boats and aircraft in the Tofino harbour has become a heightened concern after two float plane crashes occurred in three months this year.

Safety concerns in Tofino after two floatplane crashes Tofino Air advocates for a strobe light to warn of aircraft movement, while others want airport-level safety By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Tofino, BC - When a Tofino Air floatplane struck an Ahousaht First Nation water taxi in the Tofino Harbour on Oct. 18, vessel operators started raising questions over the lack of regulation in the open water. The incident triggered Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) President Judith Sayers, who was inside an Atleo Air floatplane that flipped after hitting a sandbar upon takeoff in the harbour less than three months prior. “I still have a couple of physical injuries that I’m working through,” she said. “It was a very traumatic experience to have to go through.” Sayers has since committed herself to advocating for changes in regulation and safety standards in the harbour. “I don’t want anybody else having to go through something like this because of inefficient laws,” she said. Ken Brown witnessed the October collision near the First Street Dock. He’s now “nervous” to operate his own Ahousaht water taxi business, which transports Ahousaht members between their home on Flores Island and Tofino. “I would like to see something put in place for safety,” he said. “[Floatplanes] land right in the traffic that’s coming in and out of Ahousaht and Opitsaht.” One solution, he said, would be to have a designated landing strip for planes so “they’re not in the line of fire with boats.” “We have to meet halfway,” he said. Josh Ramsay, Tofino Air owner and operator, said the airline has been “analyzing the traffic congestion” and boat speeds in the harbour to ensure they’re safely operating alongside the other operators using the harbour. Since the incident, Ramsay said the company’s flight crew, office staff, as well as maintenance and management employees received emergency training that goes

beyond the company’s annual Transport Canada approved training program. “Tofino Air has been operating in this harbour for over 40 years with this being our first incident,” said Ramsay. “We are working in conjunction with harbour users and the appropriate regulatory authorities to create a safer harbour.” A local committee of pilots, commercial fishermen, charter operators and harbour users was formed after the incident, according to the Tofino Harbour Authority (THA). Meeting over Zoom, stakeholders are invited to discuss safety concerns. “Tofino Air is advocating for the installation of an aircraft activated strobe light in the harbour to indicate pending aircraft movement, and a speed limit for when aircraft[s] are taking-off and landing,” said Ramsay. THA has jurisdiction over the federal facility at the Fourth Street Dock, but doesn’t have jurisdiction over the marine traffic traveling through the Tofino Harbour or Clayoquot Sound, said THA Manager Kevin Eckert. “All we can really do here is educate people that use the facility,” he said. “But once they’re off the dock, we have no right to tell them how to operate their vessel.” Eckert said the RCMP and Canadian Coast Guard do not regularly monitor the harbour for safety. “It’s a very busy part of the coast,” he said. “We would be better off with someone, at least one person, who has the authority to do something – either hand out fines, or stop people on the water who are operating their vessels unsafely.” The Canadian Coast Guard station in Tofino is a search and rescue station and does not regulate traffic within the Tofino area, according to a spokesperson for the federal agency. “Similar to most harbours on the Pacific Coast, Tofino does not have a regime in place to actively manage vessel or aircraft movements,” said Transport Can-

ada. “Vessel operators or aircraft pilots are required to follow safety regulations made under the Canada Shipping Act or Aeronautics Act.” Because the harbour is considered “open water,” Tofino RCMP Const. Daniel Mcintosh said “there’s no actual monitoring of what’s going on out there.” While he said it would be “nice to be able to get out more often,” he doesn’t think it’s needed. “It’s like the highways,” Mcintosh said. “There’s not always somebody out there 24 hours a day. We do what we can when we can and respond to complaints and concerns … whenever they come in.” Floatplane operators and Transport Canada don’t take accidents lightly, said Eckert. “For there to be two [accidents] in the last three months is pretty much unheard of,” he said. “There are actions taking place. There’s momentum.” Transport Canada said their efforts to “improve transportation safety are ongoing.” These include amendments to the Canadian Aviation Regulations in 2019 that “strengthen the safety of seaplane passengers and crew.” “As safety is a shared responsibility, Transport Canada encourages seaplane pilots to consider the limitations of other craft on water before they take off, land or taxi,” Transport Canada said. “It is the pilot’s responsibility to fly safely in any weather condition.” After the October collision, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) deployed a team of investigators to Tofino. TSB spokesperson Chris Krepeski said the investigation is still in the early stages and could take around 450 days to complete. “If there’s a significant systemic safety deficiency that requires attention, we don’t hesitate to communicate those before the investigation is completed,” said

Krepeski. Similar to Victoria, Sayers said she would like to see Tofino’s harbour be redesignated to an airport. “Victoria has been a destination for commercial seaplane traffic since 1920, when the first mail flight arrived from Seattle,” said Transport Canada. As the harbour became increasingly busy over the following decades, Transport Canada said they conducted several risk assessments that determined the need to “more closely regulate seaplane traffic in [the] Victoria Harbour.” “This led to the certification of the Victoria Harbour Airport under the Civil Aviation Regulations in 2000,” said Transport Canada. “Victoria Harbour is the first certified water aerodrome in Canada and is the only water airport in the country that is certified in this manner.” Tofino is currently designated as a water aerodrome. In 2019, Transport Canada developed a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) to address water airports. They are now in the “advanced stages of finalizing water airport regulations.” According to the NPA, one option would be to require that all water aerodromes become certified as a water airports if they are located in “the built-up area of a city or town, or have a scheduled passenger service.” Both plane collisions in the Tofino Harbour involved Nuu-chah-nulth members. Sayers said she wants to ensure plane safety “is at its highest” and needs to see more than a list of recommendations from the TSB. “There has been a lack of follow through by Transport Canada,” said Sayers. “It’s very concerning … the safety of our people is the most important thing. We use water taxis and floatplanes to travel to get to our communities. They’re just necessary.”

Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 18, 2021 Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper is published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for distribution to the members of the NTC-member First Nations, as well as other interested groups and individuals. Information and original work contained in this newspaper is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission from: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2. Telephone: (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 Web page: www.hashilthsa.com facebook: Hashilthsa Ntc

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

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DEADLINE: Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is November 26, 2021 After that date, material submitted and judged appropriate cannot be guaranteed placement but, if material is still relevant, will be included in the following issue. In an ideal world, submissions would be typed rather than hand-written. Articles can be sent by e-mail to holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org (Windows PC). Submitted pictures must include a brief description of subject(s) and a return address. Pictures with no return address will remain on file. Allow two - four weeks for return. Photocopied or faxed photographs cannot be accepted.

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Cold weather shelters now open Shelter spaces across B.C. double this winter in an effort to keep the homeless safe By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor This winter, the Province of British Columbia is providing more than 1,900 temporary shelter spaces and nearly 360 extreme weather response shelter spaces to ensure people experiencing homelessness have a warm place to sleep and can get out of the cold and rain. These emergency shelters supplement more than 2,250 permanent year-round shelter spaces open throughout B.C. The temporary shelters will be open every night during the season, many of them 24/7, with meals provided. Some have already opened, with more opening this month and later this season. The extreme weather response shelters, which typically open each year from Nov. 1 until March 31, are available overnight when a community issues an extreme weather alert. This year, the province gave non-profit groups access to funding as early as Oct. 1 to allow shelters to open in communities already experiencing extreme weather. Communities outline what weather conditions warrant an extreme weather alert and determine the number of extreme weather spaces to activate on any night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need. These emergency shelter programs are made possible through partnerships with communities and non-profit groups throughout the province to provide temporary but immediate places to stay for anyone who is experiencing or at risk of homelessness. More shelters may be added throughout the winter when needed. In addition to these shelters, BC Housing has partnered with health authorities, municipalities and other housing partners to secure more than 1,900 additional spaces in 43 communities, where people experiencing homelessness can self-isolate and recover from COVID-19. In Port Alberni, 20 temporary shelter spaces will be available throughout the winter at the former Port Alberni Shelter Society building on Eighth Avenue and 15 spaces will be available at the new shelter—Our Home on Eighth. In addition, eight more temporary spaces could

Photo by Karly Blats

As the weather gets colder and wetter, the Province of BC has responded by providing more than 1,900 temporary shelter spaces and nearly 360 extreme weather response shelter spaces for people experiencing homelessness. Pictured are tents outside of a Port Alberni Shelter Society residential building in 2020. become available at the former shelter McKenzie said roughly 30 per cent of location is an extreme weather alert is the population the Society serves identiactivated. fies as Indigenous. On Vancouver Island, Victoria will A 2020 point-in-time homeless count offer the most temporary shelter spaces recorded 1,523 people in Greater Victoria throughout the winter months. There will as homeless. The count found that 35 be 241 temporary shelter spaces availper cent (299 people) of all respondents able this winter in Victoria between seven identify as Indigenous. Of those responshelter locations. dents, one half are First Nations with Grant McKenzie, Victoria’s Our Place status. Nearly 80 per cent of aboriginal Society’s director of communications, respondents identified the Indigenous says there’s always a need for more shelcommunity they are from, and more than ter spaces. 100 communities from across the country “The challenge is staffing and the were listed. Forty-five respondents identiincreased challenges of the unhoused fied as Nuu-chah-nulth. population that we are seeing,” McKenOf the Indigenous respondents, 84 per zie said. cent disclosed experiencing chronic He said in response to COVID-19, the homelessness, meaning they have been society and BC Housing opened a 24/7 homeless for six or more months in the emergency response shelter with 45 past 12 months. spaces—which is currently full. Sixty More than one third (36 per cent) were more spaces were made available at the sleeping outdoors on the night of the 225 Russell Street location by the provcount (March 11, 2020), and 71 per cent ince for temporary spaces throughout the were single or had no family members winter. staying with them that night.

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November 18, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5

Residential school survivors face a distant past Those who support former students prepare to help for when discoveries are made in Nuu-chah-nulth territory By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor The discovery this year of hundreds of unmarked graves at several former residential school sites has sent many survivors back to the traumatic past of their childhood. As many First Nations prepare to follow the lead set by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc in Kamloops, those who work closely with former residential school students expect that the need to enable healing will continue for some time to come. “It’s going to be big when searches happen in our territory,” said Ruby Ambrose, a regional coordinator with Teechuktl Mental Health. “We need to be prepared.” Ambrose is referring to plans underway to uncover burials at former residential school sites in Nuu-chah-nulth territory. Currently Tseshaht is preparing to employ ground-penetrating radar on the former grounds of the Alberni Indian Residential School, the technology behind the discoveries that came from Kamloops in late May. The First Nation also plans to use LiDar on the site, a light detection and ranging technology that employs laser beams to create a three-dimensional representation of a particular environment. Ahousaht is currently in discussions with the United and Catholic churches regarding reparations over the running of two residential schools in the First Nation’s territory. The Ahousaht Indian Residential school was run by the Presbyterian, then the United Church, from 1895 until 1940 on Flores Island by the First Nation’s village of Maaqtusiis. On Meares Island Christie Indian Residential School was operated by the Catholic church, housing students for 71 years until the institution moved to Tofino in 1971. The former grounds of the Ahousaht residential school have been cleared, as the First Nation prepares to build a healing centre on the coastal site. “Ahousaht is taking steps to find those who did not make it back home from these two school sites,” said Ahousaht Chief Councillor Greg Louie in a statement. “We have a workplan being developed that includes interviewing former students, reviewing records from church and government archives, ground penetrating radar surveys and other methods or searching the terrain surrounding these sites.” As the future of the sites was discussed

Submitted photo

Bernard Jack of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation vividly remembers being taken from his home in Yuquot as a child. during the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Counhomelessness he experienced as an adult. cil’s Annual General Meeting on Oct. 26, “I’ve gone to other treatment centres, just Louie described the longstanding effects knowing I was sick. I didn’t like how my of attending Christie residential school as life was, but that substance got a hold of a child. me, and it nearly took my life.” “I was literally physically stripped of “I would like the Roman Catholic my Ahousaht identity,” he said. “I very churches to own up to what they did to seldom came home. And when I did our people, as a nation,” added Jack, who come home, I was a stranger. A stranger is a member of the Mowachaht/Muchato my community, I was displaced.” laht First Nation. Following a mandate of assimilation set Those who survived residential school by the Government of Canada, children went on with their lives into adulthood, were forbidden from speaking their but trauma experienced at the institutions Indigenous language while at residential was often buried, said Ambrose. Secrecy school. This has removed generations of was enforced at the schools, but the lastformer students from the fluency of their ing result of this repression is shame. ancestors. “They weren’t allowed to talk about “I was brought up by my grandparents. anything,” she said. “There was a lot of They never said, ‘Sit down, we’re going secrets that they had to keep, otherwise to teach you our language.’ They just they were punished.” talked, and I heard it, and I learned it,” But for residential school survivors, recalled Louie. “Being displaced from distant memories resurfaced this year as Ahousaht and my grandparents, that Canada took notice that many children language started to fade. Nowadays I hear never returned home. our elders speak, and I can understand “They get reconnected with a lot of for the most part, but trying to speak it is these feelings of fear, a lot of shame, another challenge.” a lot of hurt and just disconnect,” said Bernard Jack remembers the moment Ambrose of residential school survivors. that displacement began vividly. The “Something that they learned while they federal Indian agents visited his vilwere there was to just disconnect themlage of Yuquot to take Jack on what he selves, because a lot of the things they thought was going to be a brief airplane did they got in trouble for. A lot of shutride. The trip ended at the Meares Island ting down, isolating.” dock, where priests and other school staff “When one has experienced trauma, awaited Jack and his siblings to start there can be different ways of exhibiting their time at the institution. Jack attended it, and one is to withdraw,” explained Christie from 1968-72. Teechuktl Manager Judith Minorgan. “For the physical and sexual abuse I ex- “When you’re talking about abuse of perienced, I have taken a few counselling children, there is a lot of shame that’s sessions throughout my life,” said Jack, associated to that because children don’t who reflects that Christie has contributed always understand that it’s not their fault, to struggles with substance abuse and because developmentally they’re not

there.” “That shame is really, really deep, and I know for myself that’s why I kept it quiet for so long,” said Louie of his time in Christie. “There’s going to be more wounds that are going to be opened and we have to be gentle with our people.” Disconnection was an ongoing theme for Jack after he finished his time at Christie. He returned to his parents in 1972 after they had relocated to the Mowachaht/Muchalaht’s reserve south of Gold River, but the boy and his siblings were exposed to alcoholism and violence there, said Jack. Both of his parents died in 1973, leading Jack to be sent to uncles and aunts in Kyuquot the following year, before he moved to Campbell River in 1978 to attend high school. “I have no culture, no knowledge of my people,” he admitted, reflecting on the loneliness caused by displacement from his family and tribe. “There’s nobody in front of me, nobody beside me, nobody behind me.” Now sober for the last two and a half years, Jack currently lives in a group home in Calgary, where he has resided since late March, 2020. These days he often thinks of the graves he saw outside of Christie school, a sight the older children urged him to not stare at or mention for fear of punishment. He wants Canada to hear his story and the stories of other survivors, as the country grapples to reconcile with a troubling element of its history. “The Christie school unmarked graves still haunt me. I remember quite a few unmarked graves,” said Jack. “It’s all catching up to me. I thought it was behind me, but since I have a chance, while I’m alive, I want to put it on the table while it’s there fresh on the TV. A lot of my people don’t want to address it.” Teechuktl staff are encouraging residential school survivors to share their stories, as more stories are emerging of children disappearing at the institutions. Ambrose is seeing the need for people to acknowledge their emotions as the distant past re-emerges, something the department is encouraging through healing circles they are bringing to communities across Vancouver Island. “Even if it’s one person, that one person is going to have an effect on their whole family,” said Ambrose of participation in the sessions. “That’s when the healing starts, is when the awareness is there.”


Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 18, 2021

First Nations react to old-growth forest deferrals Huu-ay-aht will ‘take time to do it right’, after province announces 2.6 million hectares of temporary protection By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor First Nations say they were not adequately consulted before the B.C. government laid its old-growth strategy on the table with major implications for forests in their territories. Premier John Horgan announced Tuesday harvest deferrals within 2.6 million hectares of B.C. forest land represent a fundamental shift in how forests are managed in the province. “Following the recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review, we are taking steps to fundamentally transform the way we manage our old-growth forests, lands and resources,” Horgan said. Logging deferrals are a temporary measure to prevent irreversible biodiversity loss while “First Nations, the province and other partners develop a new approach to sustainable forest management that prioritizes ecosystem health and community prosperity,” the government said in a news release. But the First Nations Forestry Council, a body that advocates for First Nations, said the government ignored repeated calls for proper consultation. “The nations are frustrated,” said Charlene Higgins, executive director. Some nations have the resources to meet the government’s 30-day timeline for deciding whether they support the deferrals, but most do not, she said. Forests, on the other hand, matter to all First Nations and the implications of the deferrals are “huge.” A resource management plan takes two to five years to complete and may cost between $3 million and $5 million, she estimated. There was no response to a letter the FNFC released last summer, endorsed by 20 chiefs, calling for more consultation, Higgins said. Many First Nations were under evacuation orders due to wildfire when the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations held only three days of consultation in August, she added. “They’re ignoring input and recommendations from First Nations,” Higgins said. “They should be working in collaboration and co-operating with us.” Hereditary Huu-ay-aht Chief ƛiišin, Derek Peters, and Chief Counsellor Robert Dennis Sr. issued a joint statement, saying they will “take the time we need to get it right” while expecting to reach a decision whether to defer old-growth logging by January 2022. They were briefed by the province prior to Tuesday’s announcement. “We were advised that the B.C. government will not implement any further deferrals within our ḥahuułi without our prior agreement arrived at through government-to-government engagement,” the two wrote. An integrated resource plan by Huu-ayaht First Nations is already underway that will help inform their decision. Meanwhile, Dennis and Peters will host the Anacla Old Growth Summit on Nov. 23 to hear from forestry professionals more about what they feel is a gap in scientific data on old growth and to discuss the Huu-ay-aht approach to old-growth management. The province’s announcement drew stern criticism from one group representing those who work in the forest sector. B.C. Forestry Alliance forecast widespread closures for contracting businesses and mills with additional impacts on

Submitted photo

The provincial government is currently reassessing B.C.’s approach to harvesting and managing forests. Pictured is forestry work near Kyuquot.

“We acknowledge changes are necessary in old growth forest management,” ~ Carl Sweet, B.C. Forestry Alliance services in surrounding communities. “We acknowledge changes are necessary in old growth forest management,” said Carl Sweet of the B.C. Forestry Alliance. “But we question who is driving this process, especially when it is certain that peoples’ and communities’ livelihoods will end should all these deferrals come to reality.” Forests Minister Katrine Conroy said the province will develop supports to help forest workers and communities, including First Nations, to offset job and economic impacts. “We are committed to working in partnership with First Nations to make sure we get this right and to supporting workers and communities as we develop a sustainable approach to managing B.C.’s old-growth forests,” Conroy said. When the two-year deferral period ends, the newly identified at-risk forests will either be added to B.C.’s 3.5 million hectares of old-growth forests already off-limits to harvesting or included in the new forest management plans. “It means Indigenous peoples are full partners [in] sustainable forest management,” Conroy stressed. Garry Merkel, a Tahltan professional forester who helped author the oldgrowth strategic review, put it succinctly: Forests in B.C. are logged using the wrong paradigm — according to the wrong underlying assumptions — to ensure survival of old-growth forests. “Right now, we’re in an all-or-nothing paradigm,” Merkel said, referring to impacts from clear-cut logging. “This is saying, ‘Take it, but take it gently’.” Deferral is the first step in a process that

requires systemic change, one that will protect whole ecosystems, he explained. “Without the underlying ecosystems, you can’t sustain old-growth forests,” Merkel said. “These are not renewable. In periods of climate change, they will never come back.” Potential for protecting old-growth forests lies with Bill 23 in the form of changes to the province’s Forest and Range Practices Act. These will address shortcomings in the existing legislation, Merkel said. “One of the more significant changes is the addition of forest landscape plans into the planning framework,” he explained. “These plans provide a practical way to ensure that landscape level objectives such as managing biodiversity and other important values are addressed in a coordinated way, while ensuring that local concerns are accommodated through direct involvement in the planning process,” Merkel said. Forest landscape plans developed in collaboration with First Nations replace the current practice of forest stewardship plans, which allowed little room for Indigenous input. Forest landscape planning is already in practice by Esdi-

lagh First Nation in the Quesnel area with the goal of providing better protection for biodiversity. Yet the changes proposed in Bill 23 have had zero input from First Nations, Higgins said. “Consultation is not being done in a meaningful way and it’s disrespectful,” she said. The ministry stated in a technical brief that details of forest stands mapped and designed by a panel of experts have been shared with First Nations so they can advise how to proceed on deferrals within their territories. “The province is requesting that First Nations indicate within the next 30 days whether or not they support the deferrals, require further engagement to incorporate local and Indigenous knowledge, or would prefer to discuss deferrals through existing treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.” To support the deferrals, the government will immediately cease advertising and selling B.C. Timber Sales in affected areas, Conroy said. Funding of up to $12.7 million over three years is available to support the process.


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November 18, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7

Most of the containers have sunk, says coast guard Only four of 109 adrift shipping containers are recovered, as shoreline clean-up efforts rely on volunteers By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Vancouver Island, BC - When 109 shipping containers were knocked from a cargo ship traveling through rough seas off the coast of Vancouver Island on Oct. 22, coastal communities and Indigenous leaders were largely left in the dark. Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) President Judith Sayers raised concerns over the lack of communication with the 14 Nuu-chah-nulth nations along the coast who may be impacted by the spill for years to come. She said she was never contacted about response efforts and that it took several days before NTC’s emergency coordinator was included in coordination calls. “The ongoing incident involving the container ship Zim Kingston has brought to light numerous shortcomings in the overall marine emergency response capacity for the west coast of Vancouver Island,” Sayers wrote in a letter addressed to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. Meanwhile, Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns said the newly appointed Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Joyce Murray, was “missing in action”, not responding to his attempts to help. Sayers has requested to meet with Alghabra to learn what steps will be taken to ensure the Ministry of Transportation works with NTC better in the future. The NTC president called on improved communications and information sharing from the Ministry of Transportation “prior to and during an incident.” Only four of the shipping containers have been located. The Canadian Coast

Photo by Epic Exeo

A shipping container from Zim Kingston is pictured on Cape Palmerston Beach. meaning that if there was human contact, Guard said that “many, if not all, of the the chemicals do not accumulate in the missing containers have sunk.” body faster than they are excreted and The ship’s owner is working with the there is a very low risk of poisoning or Unified Command, which is comprised toxicity,” the coast guard said. of representatives from the coast guard, As a result, there has not been a need to the B.C. Ministry of Environment and close fisheries, the coast guard added. Climate Change Strategy, Beecher Bay Storm force winds and weather have imFirst Nation, the W̱ SÁNEĆ Leadership pacted clean-up efforts along the northern Council and representatives of the ship’s coast of Vancouver Island. As of Nov. 5, owner, to investigate next steps and asthe coast guard said recovered containsess the feasibility of trying to locate the ers in Shuttleworth Bight and Sea Otter 105 missing containers. Cove were ruptured from the “significant “If a container does surface, it will be weather front” causing debris from the removed from the marine environment,” containers to wash onto the beaches. the coast guard said. Johns said Styrofoam now litters the Two of the adrift containers contain tideline along the entire northwest stretch potassium amyl xanthate and thiourea of Vancouver Island. dioxide, hazardous chemicals widely “There’s long strips of packing straps used in the mining industry. Based on information provided to the Unified Com- tangled up with kelp and trapped under logs,” he said. “King tides are dragging mand, the coast guard said the chemicals out most of the items that [had] initially are “soluble in water, biodegradable, and been deposited. These items are washwould hydrolyze in water.” ing back in over wider areas, and they’re “They are not bioaccumulating agents,

incrementally getting spread [out] more and more with each high tide.” Before long, Johns said the debris from the shipping containers is going to become indistinguishable from the marine debris that already lines the coast. According to the coast guard, the vessel owner is working with the Incident Command Post to create a plan that will address “ongoing monitoring, reporting and clean-up efforts of future debris that could wash ashore.” The ship’s owner has hired additional contractors to assist with clean-up efforts, including Amix, Pacificus Biological Services, Epic Exeo, Global Diving and Salvage and Canpac Marine Services. Epic Exeo Co-Founder Ashley Tapp said she was contracted to coordinate beach clean-ups south of Palmerston Beach and Raft Cove. While accommodation, food and fuel are being covered, she said wages are not and that the work is being done on a volunteer basis. Shipping container debris is stuck under logs and the “Styrofoam is already broken into little one-inch cubes,” said Tapp. Bubble wrap, take-out containers, baby oil, hairspray, cologne, car mats, and Muck boots are some of the other items Tapp said clean-up crews are finding. “The weather and the timeline are just destroying everything on these beaches, and it’s making it really hard for us to get,” she said. Quatsino, Ehattesaht, Kwakiutl and Tlatasikwala First Nations have also been brought on by the ship’s owner to assist with beach clean-up efforts and to identify resources at risk in the impacted areas, the coast guard said.

Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 18, 2021

First Nations veterans recognized Nov. 8 At least 20 Nuu-chah-nulth fought in the world wars, plus many who served elsewhere By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor On Nov. 11 Canada paused to recognize those who sacrificed their lives during past conflicts, but before Remembrance Day the week began with another national day of acknowledgement. Each year Nov. 8 marks Indigenous Veterans Day, when Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit are held up for their service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Indigenous participation in the military pre-dates Canada itself, as First Nations and Métis fought alongside the British to ward off American invasion into what is now known as Ontario and Quebec. Since then, Veterans Affairs Canada estimates that over 12,000 Aboriginal people have served in the Canadian Armed Forces, including over 4,000 who fought in the First World War and another 3,000 First Nations members who served in uniform during the Second World War, plus an unknown number of Métis and Inuit who fought in the international conflict. There are at least 20 Nuu-chah-nulth-aht who fought in the world wars, plus many who served in the Canadian army, navy and air force since. For George Clutesi, the navy presented a rare opportunity when he joined at the age of 24. “I’m a residential school survivor and we didn’t learn anything,” he recalled. “My first public school was the Gill School, and I’d ask the teacher what he meant by this or that, and he didn’t say nothing. He said,

‘Just follow along’. I didn’t pass anything but they put me in Grade 6.” Clutesi quit school in Grade 9 to put his efforts into fishing. But with little formal education, options became limited. He enrolled in 1962, and remained in the navy for 30 years. “I did great in the navy,” reflected the Tseshaht member. “They weren’t strict about education.” Clutesi travelled all over the Pacific Ocean, but was stationed for most of his career in Victoria. “I was looking after a missile launcher and a variable-depth sonar, which are both run by electronics, so I had quite a bit of hydraulic training,” he said. “They didn’t even care that I quit school in Grade 9.” He also taught in the Navy, including a three-year stint at a boot camp in Halifax. The opportunity allowed him buy a house in Victoria, where he and his wife had three children. Clutesi believes that the navy can still bring valuable experience for young people. “It could be good for a young kid for at least five years,” he said. “You’d learn that nothing is going to come for free, and you have to listen to people.” As Nov. 11 approached the Ha-Shilth-Sa compiled the following list of veterans: M. Amos, Hesquiaht Angus Campbell, Ahouaht Frank Charlie Tla-o-qui-aht Edward John Clutesi, Tseshaht Jerid Clutesi, Tseshaht

George F. Clutesi, Tseshaht Ben David, Tla-o-qui-aht Bruce Barry George, Ahousaht Max George, Ahousaht Allen Lloyd George, Ahousaht Earl Maquinna George, Ahousaht J. George, Hesquiaht Teddy George, Ahousaht Luke George, Tseshaht Oscar E. Gray, Pacheedaht Joe Gray-Thorne, Ditidaht/Cowichan Ramona Gus, Tseshaht Tom Gus, Tseshaht Fred Gus, Tseshaht Daniel Gus, Tseshaht George Hamilton, Hupacasath John Jacobson, Ahousaht Sam Johnson, Mowachaht/Muchalaht Thomas Jones, Nuu-chah-nulth Philip Louie, Ahousaht Victoria Nancy Mack, Toquaht Luke Charles Mahone, Ditidaht Lorraine Mundy, Yucluthaht Timothy Adolph Paul Sr , Hesquiaht James Rush, Tseshaht Norman Rush, Tseshaht James Francis Swan Jr, Ahousaht Neil Thomas, Tseshaht Henry Vincent Thomas, Tseshaht/Makah John Henry (Jack) Watts, Tseshaht Andrew William Webster Sr,Ahousaht Frank Davis Williams Sr, Ahousaht


Enduring ‘war’ during his childhood at By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Port Alberni, BC - Benedict David has always felt an affinity towards the ocean. Born in a “little hole in the wall” cabin on Nootka Island, the surrounding Pacific waters were like his playground. He spent his childhood on Meares Island, off the coast of Vancouver Island, living in the remote Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation village of Opitsaht. David has vivid memories of trailing behind his mother through the forest to pick blackberries. “We were free,” he said. All of that changed when an Indian agent came to take David away in 1949. While trapped at Christie Residential School on Meares Island for seven years, the views of the ocean became David’s only reprieve. He was merely eight years old when the sexual abuse, beatings, and starvation began, and likens the experience to a war. “I went through hell in school,” he said. “You never ever forget what happened to

If you know of a Nuu-chah-nulth veteran who is not included in this list, or who you would like recognized as part of Indigenous Veterans Day or Remembrance Day, please contact Ha-Shilth-Sa at 250-724-5757.

Jack (John) Watts - Tseshaht

Edward Clutesi - Hupacasath

Frank Williams - Ahousaht

John Jacobson - Ahousaht Victoria Nancy Mack - Toquaht

Sam Johnson - Mowachaht

Henry Vincent Thomas - Tseshaht/Makah

Tim Paul Sr. - Hesquiaht

November 18, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9

chah-nulth elder recounts life ba•ling in war

’ during his childhood at residential school enabled Benedict David to ‘tolerate’ what he saw while serving two tours in Vietnam

- Toquaht

you in school.” After “serving” time at residential school, David’s family relocated to the United States, where he completed high school. He was just getting settled into his new life in Yuma, Arizona, before the Vietnam War knocked on his door. He had two choices – to either enlist or risk being drafted. If drafted, David said he could be placed in the Air Force or the Army, but if he enlisted, he could return to the ocean by joining the Navy. “It felt good to be near the water again,” he said. Having already endured a “war” at residential school through “brutal” beatings and torture, David said he was able to “tolerate” what he saw while serving two tours during the Vietnam War. In some ways, he said, residential school prepared him for it. “Vietnam is not a good experience for anybody,” he said. And yet, that period of his life hangs like a badge of honour inside his home at the Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) assisted

living facility in Port Alberni. The 79-year-old’s collection of veteran hats are lined on his kitchen table. Above them, his United States Navy honourable discharge certificate is centred on the wall. It’s a period of his life not many people know of, he said. In part, because he finds it difficult to speak about. “It was pretty heavy stuff,” he said. After the Navy, David went on to work as an executive chef for 30 years in Seattle before returning to his homelands with his wife, Grace. When Remembrance Day rolls around every year, he finds it hard to put his emotions into words. Serving in the war “was just a part of my life,” he simply said. “I’m proud of the fact that I was in the armed forces and I served my country,” he said. “That’s not something everybody can say they did.” His sacrifice meant something. “We were fighting for a cause,” he said. “For our young people that weren’t yet born – so they would be born into a free country.”

Neil Thomas - Tseshaht

Angus Campbell Sr. - Ahousaht

Photo supplied by Ben David

Benedict David stands on a USS Enterprise United States Navy aircraft carrier during his first tour in Vietnam.

James Swan - Ahousaht

Jerid Clutesi - Tseshaht

Philip Louie - Ahousaht

Tom Gus, Fred Gus, Danny Gus - Tseshaht

James Rush - Tseshaht George Clutesi Jr - Tseshaht

Allen George, Bruce George, Max George Ahousaht

Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 18, 2021

Canadian flags fly full-mast after Remembrance Day Flags raised the evening before, lowered for Indigenous Veterans Day, then raised again to be lowered halfway By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter In the lead up to Indigenous Veterans Day and Remembrance Day, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) executive committee released a statement on how they think Canada should proceed in raising the Canadian flags on federal buildings. After the remains of 215 people were found buried in unmarked graves at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in May, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau ordered that Canadian flags on federal buildings be flown at half-mast. It has been the longest period of time in Canada’s history that the national flag has remained lowered in this manner. The AFN proposed a “solution” to continuing to recognize the deaths of Indigenous children at the assimilationist institutions, while honouring all veterans. The assembly called on the federal government to raise the Canadian flag and to attach an “Every Child Matters” orange flag to all federal buildings, beginning Nov. 7. In honour of Indigenous Veterans Day on Nov. 8, they called for the flags to be lowered to half-mast. “Furthermore, the ‘Every Child Matters’ orange flag will continue to fly until all of our children are recovered, named, and symbolically or physically returned to their homelands with proper ceremony,” the AFN said. Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) Vice-President Mariah Charleson said that she thinks it’s too early for the flags to be raised at all. “There is still the unearthing of truth happening as we speak,” she said. “People are grieving all across the country of Canada.” Charleson added that the “Every Child Matters” orange flags should continue to fly well after all the children who never returned home are recovered and memorialized. It should stay flying for as long as Canada continues to stand as a reminder of the “deeply ingrained, explicit and overt racism that has happened in this country,” she said. In their statement, the AFN said the government “can” take concrete action on

Photo by Ken Banks/Wikimedia Commons

The Canadian flag flies over the Peacekeeping Memorial in Ottawa. Flags at federal buildings have now been fully raised, after being at half-mast since late May. truth and reconciliation. “We need to see stronger language than they ‘can’,” said Charleson, who suggested they “demand the government to immediately act.” Ultimately, the flags on federal buildings were hoisted at sunset on Sunday, Nov. 7 so they could be lowered at sunrise on Monday for Indigenous Veterans Day. They were then raised again at sunrise on Nov. 9, and lowered on Nov. 11 for Remembrance day. “Raising the flag at this time will allow us to honour and remember important moments in Canada’s history,” said Canadian Heritage, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada in a joint statement. “Many discussions were held between Indigenous partners and the Government of Canada to seek guidance on how best to honour the victims of residential schools and ensure they are never forgotten in the future.”

More than 4,000 Indigenous peoples served in uniform during the First World War and more than 3,000 First Nations members, as well as an unconfirmed number of Métis and Inuit, served during the Second World War. In a release, Veterans Affairs Canada said First Nations, Inuit and Métis members took on important roles and made many significant contributions to Canada’s military. “One notable example of this was working as ‘code talkers’,” said Veteran Affairs Canada. “First Nations radio operators communicated sensitive radio messages in their own languages so they could not be understood if intercepted by the enemy.” After Remembrance Day, the Canadian flag was raised to full-mast and will be lowered every Sept. 30 to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. “The government will also fly the

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s Survivors Flag in a suitable location in the parliamentary precinct, with the centre’s permission,” said Canadian Heritage, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. “In addition, work will continue in partnership with survivors, families and representative organizations to seek appropriate protocols to recognize future findings at former residential schools and to ensure their legacy remains at the forefront of Canadians’ minds.” Canadian Heritage, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada acknowledged that their joint statement comes at a difficult time and “may serve as an unwelcome reminder to those who have suffered.” For Charleson, the sentiment rang true. “Personally, I think it’s too early [to raise the flags],” she said. “I think that it is far too early.”

Phrase of the week: Witum witnsš niš wikwinc^u> huu yiiq%a^ wa>ši> Pronounced ‘Week tomb wit tosh nish wikwin chill ooh ya key alth tlah chil niwa’, it means we will always remember those who left us. Supplied by ciisma.

Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin

November 18, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11

The first elementary student vaccinated in Neah Bay After dealing with several COVID-19 outbreaks, the coastal Makah community remains closed to non-residents By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Neah Bay, Wash. – He hasn’t been inside a classroom since March 2020, but that is about to change since eight-year-old Cole Gonzales received his COVID-19 vaccination on Nov. 8, making him the first child under 12 in Neah Bay to receive the shot. Ellen Gonzales, Cole’s mother, comes from the Robinson family of Uchucklesaht and has another home in Kildonan. But she hasn’t been to her Canadian home in more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Ellen and her husband Bruce Gonzales have made their home in Neah Bay, Washington, where Bruce is a Makah tribal member. The couple has two sons – Cole and Ethan, age 14.

“People think it (COVID-19) will just disappear but it’s not going to stop until we make it stop.” ~ Bruce Gonzales The couple has taken extra precautions for their younger son, Cole, who has asthma, fearing what the COVID-19 virus could do to him. They have kept him out of school even though the other children in Neah Bay returned to classes in May 2021, according to the Gonzales’. The couple’s older son Ethan was vaccinated but they kept him home from school to avoid having him bring the virus to his unprotected little brother. “People stop sanitizing and visitors come in from other towns where rules are different – they may not have to wear masks where they came from,” said

Photo by Ellen Gonzales

Cole Gonzales, age 8, is the Uchucklesaht and Makah son of Ellen and Bruce Gonzales. Cole is the first person aged 5-11 to get Pfizer vaccine in Neah Bay Washington. Bruce Gonzales. He said there have been several outbreaks of COVID in the community since the pandemic began. The couple say they will leave the community to do their shopping but abide by

strict rules. “We go to the stores and when we come home, we wash our hands, shower, wash our clothes then sanitize the car,” said Bruce. Bruce believes that some people have become complacent about masks and sanitizing since a majority of the adult population has been vaccinated. “You can still be a carrier of the virus if you’re vaccinated and you can bring that home to others,” he added. “People think it (COVID-19) will just disappear but it’s not going to stop until we make it stop.” The Gonzales’ say that there are COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Neah Bay every Monday morning. The Makah Tribal Government announced that they will continue to protect their people by maintaining the closure of the Makah reservation to non-residents. The closure has been in place since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. They will reevaluate the closure in January 2022.

The State of Washington is providing incentives to get people vaccinated against COVID-19 in an effort to increase rates in the state. The Shot of a Lifetime lottery awarded vaccinated Washington residents four chances to win $250,000 in the month of June along with a $1,000,000 prize in July. In addition, there are 30 prizes of one year’s tuition to state public colleges for those vaccinated in the 12–17-year-old age groups. The Gonzales said that Neah Bay residents receive $1,000 after they’ve been vaccinated. According to the State of Washington website, 64 per cent of the adult population have been fully vaccinated as of Nov. 9, with 70 per cent having received at least one dose. In the province of British Columbia, 91 per cent of the adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine while 87 per cent are fully vaccinated. The provincial government is now administering booster shots to the most vulnerable British Columbians and is planning to begin offering a third shot to people ages 12 to 17 starting January 2022. According to the Ministry of Health, Indigenous peoples over the age of 12 will be invited to book their booster. “Our vaccines are highly effective. However, we are starting to see a gradual decline in protection over time. As a result, we are taking the proactive step of expanding boosters to everyone in our province,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. While Health Canada has yet to approve vaccine for children ages five to 11, the province is inviting parents to register their children online or by phone on the Get Vaccinated system. The B.C. Ministry of Health says the vaccines for younger children will draw on a separate supply designed for youngsters, which is expected to be available very soon. To register your child for vaccination visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register#youth Cole was the first Makah elementary school boy vaccinated in the village on Nov. 8. “History in the making,” said Ellen Gonzales, who has now given her young son the green light to go back to school. Cole has been doing remote learning since the start of the pandemic. “He’s excited about going back to school,” said Ellen, saying it’s better than being stuck at home. Now that the entire Gonzales family has been vaccinated, they plan to come to Port Alberni during the holiday season to spend some time with family.

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Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 18, 2021

President’s message to Challenges, opportunities of starting your business Nuu-chah-nulth-aht Sending condolences to all the families and communities that have lost loved ones in the past month. My heart is with you through these difficult times. I am very honoured and pleased to serve another term as president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and be able to use my skills and expertise and connections to pursue the rights and title of Nuu-chah-nulth. There is much work to do and I dedicate myself to continue working hard for all of you. Excited to meet the challenges ahead. It has been a very busy month. We had the NTC AGM and the theme was Finding Strength in Asserting Our Rights. Doing the usual business of AGMs, we were honoured to have the National Chief RoseAnne Archibald to make opening remarks. We also discussed fisheries and had a panel of our communities and how they are asserting their rights to the fishery. A motion was passed to pursue advocating and asserting our rights. We all discussed the current situation of the Alberni residential school and had Tseshaht report to us on everything they are doing. Also Ahousaht presented on the Christie residential school and everything they are doing there. Both are looking to do ground penetrating radar and to look for our missing children. It was a tough discussion but it was good to see how this is a priority for these two nations. We also had NTC staff report out on all the resources available to our people who need help in dealing with residential schools. We unfortunately had technical difficulties and were not able to live stream the AGM and we do apologize to those who were wanting to listen in to the proceedings. There was a container ship that caught on fire at the south end of the island and 109 containers fell into the ocean. Two of these had hazardous materials. They floated into Nuu-chah-nulth territories. We do not know how many containers sunk in Nuu-chah-nulth waters and neither does the owner of the ship, or the coast guard, know where these containers are. Some made it to the north end of the island and ended up on beaches up there. Clean up crews picked up what they could off the beaches. It took the Nuu-chah-nulth a few days to get into the communication loop as the Coast Guard did not alert us in any way. We need a better communication protocol with the Coast Guard so they know what is Nuuchah-nulth territorial waters and who to contact. Our amazing staff has been on daily briefings and finding out what is happening. We need to enter into protocols with Coast Guard and the minister of Transportation so that we are part of planning and decisions when anything will affect our fisheries and sea resources, their habitat and the oceans. We are working to accomplish this. As you know, there was a second accident in Tofino Harbour involving Tofino Air and an Ahousaht Water taxi. The taxi had the one Ahousaht member and two of our nurses. A very unfortunate incident but thankfully there were no serious injuries. I am working to try and find ways to make the Tofino harbour safer for water vessels and float planes as so many of our people are out on these waters travelling to their communities or providing services to these communities. This too will take a lot of work to resolve but I am committed to making changes needed. I was briefed by the B.C. government on their proposed work with First Nations

By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor

on deferral of old growth. They give 30 days to First Nations to work with them to defer any areas they want with old growth. They had a technical advisory panel who looked at all old growth in B.C. and recommended areas. The position of the Nuu-chah-nulth nations is always to manage their own forests and they would determine how they would manage old growth, what to retain, what to take for cultural purposes and economic purposes. Huu-ay-aht will be hosting an old growth Summit on the 23rd of November to reiterate their positions on old growth as well as to talk about the standards they are working on for their forests. We do know the technical advisory panel did not talk to First Nations on what areas they recommended. They didn’t ask what areas of cultural/spiritual use were important to First Nations, or inquired about their economic pursuits, and to do this right the advisory panel should have. They said they wanted to set aside areas to bring back to old growth but I told them I didn’t think second growth forests had the quality of wood, or could reproduce their ecosystem and biodiversity old growth had. This is in the hands of the First Nations and what they do with their territories and is an important issue for them to pursue. I had a call with the BC Investment Corporation who has been given $500 million for economic development in the province. They wanted to know how to work with First Nations in B.C. to provide needed benefits to them. This corporation is really in the development stages on how to use that money. It is not a large sum of money for the whole province, but hopefully money can be used by First Nations to pursue their economic development. I also attended the BC First Nations Gaming Partnership AGM to find out how the partnership is doing and they elected board of directors for the upcoming term. I attended a two-day Council of Ha’wiih meeting where the most important topics of fish were discussed. Topics included area-based aquaculture management, clam licenses, west coast of Vancouver Island chinook and much more. The new Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray is from B.C. and we are hoping she will be more responsive and understanding of our issues. She did do a flyover of the container ship and the beaches where the container debris ended up. The nations in the north also debuted their short Salmon Parks documentary and it has been well received. -Cloy-e-iis Judith Sayers

Port Alberni, BC - Denise Martineau believes an ever-changing world has proven to be extremely beneficial for Indigenous business owners. Martineau, a business development officer with the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation, was among the panelists this past week at an online event titled Investing In Indigenous Economies. The event, held on Nov. 9, was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which began on Nov. 8 and continued until Nov. 14. The weeklong celebration is the world’s largest honouring of innovators and job creators who launch businesses. About 40,000 events were expected to be staged globally, in a total of 180 countries. “On a lot of reserves the number one employer tends to be the band,” Martineau said. “Unless you can get a job with the band you pretty much have to go elsewhere. And if you’re living in a remote community, going elsewhere for work often means moving elsewhere for work.” Martineau, however, believes a growing trend has changed this thinking. “Entrepreneurship can change that,” she said. “Some people can start quite young, just by being creative to make money.” For those who are not interested in moving away from home in order to launch a business, Martineau said a simple way to start a company is making homemade meals and selling those in the community. Martineau added thanks to the Internet, many Indigenous people can work from their home communities and reach customers in other locations. “Here on Vancouver Island there’s a lot of small remote communities scattered throughout the island and so people are being very creative in how they can offer things,” she said. “So, building home offices (or) conference rooms within their community and then offering services from there. It’s really nice to see.” Martineau, who has 35 years of experience in the finance industry, also said she has noticed another popular Indigenous business practice popping up. “I’ve certainly seen a growing trend around lots of cultural businesses,” she said. “There’s a real restoration of culture happening. So, people are learning from their elders and learning how to make traditional items where they’re finding ways of getting people in their communities involved in doing that and showcasing art through clothing and jewelry. There’s a lot of passion behind those things now too.” Martineau believes Indigenous businesses in general are being bolstered now because of youth empowerment, which wasn’t always the case in recent years. “While there is a growing number of mentors in the communities, not everybody has access to those mentors,” she said. “It makes a huge difference having access to people with that knowledge, especially for those that don’t have it within their family or close community. To be able to access that kind of connection is really important, whether it’s through training or learning experiences.” Martineau said she also finds that she is dealing with more informed individuals now when it comes to those seeking advice on businesses.

Denise Martineau “I find that we’re in an information age where people have a computer in their pocket and they can look up absolutely everything,” she said. “And I do find that younger people tend to look things up a lot more, but since it’s the quality of the information that they find, that is not always accurate. “Being able to reach out to someone knowledgeable about credit, knowledgeable about financing, being able to reach out to somebody is a very good thing, because in the information age not all information is accurate.” Earlier on in her career, Martineau dealt with many individuals who were not up to date on various business practices. “I do find most youth tend to research so they rarely come in totally green,” she said. “They’ve usually done some research before they ever come in.” The other panelists for the Investing In Indigenous Economies event were Magnolia Perron and Brandi Woodhouse. Perron is the Indigenous women and youth program officer for the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association. And Woodhouse is the owner and founder of RezGal Lashes Inc., a company she founded in August of 2020 that has enjoyed tremendous success and is growing internationally. The panel was moderated by Joanne Norris, the director of Indigenous and northern communities for Futurpreneur, a non-profit organization which provides financing, mentoring and support tools for prospective business owners aged 18-39. Perron mentioned the significance of having Indigenous role models for those considering starting up their own company. “Indigenous youth need to see themselves represented in business, in entrepreneurship in order to build that confidence that says ‘Hey, if they can do it, I can do it too,’” Perron said. “Having role models and even mentors that can kind of support youth who want to start a business, is really, really important.” Woodhouse believes she is proof individuals can start up their own business with a simple idea. She launched a business selling Indigenous-themed eye lashes. “It’s starting to pick up in my generation,” she said, adding while she was growing up few Indigenous people were starting their own business. “My business just came naturally. It wasn’t something I was looking for or planning. It just came on its own.”

November 18, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13

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Tseshaht member honoured for professional pursuits Eunice Joe pursues opportunity with Island Health, working to address racism in the public health care system By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – Eunice Joe is accustomed to helping serve others. But it was Joe, who is serving her third term as a Tseshaht First Nation councillor, who was in the spotlight recently. An event in Joe’s honour was co-hosted in late October by the Tseshaht First Nation and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), in part to recognize her educational pursuits as well as her current employment. Joe’s post-secondary career included earning her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in First Nations studies. She graduated in 2003 from Malaspina College, which was renamed Vancouver Island University five years later. More than a decade after securing her first post-secondary degree, Joe, a single parent with three daughters, opted to continue her education. She went on to obtain a Master of Arts Leadership degree, with a health specialization, from Royal Roads University in 2019. Besides serving as a Tseshaht First Nation councillor since 2012, for the past dozen years Joe also held various positions with the FNHA. This past spring, however, she was approached with the opportunity to become one of Island Health’s executive directors. Joe then accepted a secondment in September with Island Health, temporarily moving her to another position. She is currently filling the role of acting vice-president of Indigenous health and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Photo by Tseshaht First Nation

Eunice Joe has served as a councillor with the Tseshaht First Nation since 2012. Her responsibilities include prioritizing couple of family challenges to deal with work to respond to issues of racism in as well. Both her mother and eldest sister the health care system. Her duties also died while she was working towards her include creating a coalition of action degree. among Island Health portfolios, as well Though she is a single parent, Joe added as Indigenous communities and partners. her daughters, who still live with her, are Joe said her councillor position with grown up now. They are aged 18, 21 and the First Nation is not a full-time job, 26. enabling her to seek other employment And it’s not just family members who opportunities and also further her educahave been encouraging and supportive in tion. her activities. Her juggling act to do so has undoubt“I’ve had the full support of my comedly been challenging. munity through my educational journey,” “I would say I’ve had a tremendous she said. amount of family support,” Joe said. Joe said her school commitments did While pursuing her Masters, Joe had a force her to miss the odd council meet-

ing. And some other times she would be unable to attend an in-person meeting and would be accommodated by joining remotely. Joe was first elected as a Tseshaht First Nation councillor in 2012. She won a second term in 2016. And she was re-elected once again for a third term in 2020. In the future the day could conceivably come when she is referred to as Dr. Eunice Joe. That’s because she has thought about earning a doctorate degree. “I have not closed the door to that idea yet,” she said. “If the right program comes back along, I’ll look at it.” And what would such a program look like? “It would be a program that is aligned with my cultural values that would support First Nations communities’ health and wellness,” she said. Joe’s cultural values were certainly on display during the years she worked at the FNHA. While there she supported all 50 First Nations on Vancouver Island as well as many of the others throughout British Columbia. Her FNHA work included providing expertise and leadership to regions, supporting planning, communications, relationships, policy development and management. She also supported community engagement and development initiatives to further First Nation participation in health governance and the transformation of the health care system. Joe added if she were to pursue a doctorate degree, she would in all likelihood be looking to complete courses online. She has checked into programs from Canada and other countries.

E.J. Dunn celebrates opening of new childcare spaces By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Ten new childcare spaces have been created at a daycare centre located at EJ Dunn Elementary School, doubling their capacity from 10 spaces to 20. At a grand opening on Oct. 26 Early Learning Principal Stacey Manson said the new spaces, which includes the development of an outdoor playground, were possible through a $50,000 grant from the B.C. Ministry of Child and Family Development’s Childcare Rapid Renewal Fund. The new spaces will add to services provided by the Family Hub, a centre located behind the preschool at EJ Dunn Elementary School. According to the Pacific Rim Children and Families website, the Family Hub is a one-stop shop for supports and services for families. Offering a wide variety of supports for both children and parents, the Family Hub exists thanks to the support of both community partners and families. “This is a welcoming second home for families to connect with each other and to community supports,” says the Pacific Rim Children and Families website. In addition to the construction of the preschool outdoor play space, an intermediate play space was also constructed with funds raised by the school. The rustic outdoor play space feature tires, small rock-climbing walls and other fitness and play equipment designed to allow children to explore and learn, rather

Photo by Denise Titian

A grand opening on Oct. 26 celebrated 10 new spaces, plus the development of an outdoor playground at the school. than be told how to play with the equipment. In addition to the playground equipment, which is enclosed by a chain link fence, there will be garden boxes. Some are already planted with native plants like blueberries thanks to a partnership with Colyn’s Nursery. Next Spring, more garden boxes will be added. Students, under the guidance of Nuu-chah-nulth Education Worker Deborah Potter, will plant more native food plants along the fence line. SD70 Trustee Pam Craig said the vision

is to have plants climbing the fence, “to make it like a magical little playground.” Carrie Nahorney is the manager for the Early Years program. “This family hub is part of the school, but it is also part of the district,” she said. More than 20 local partners have contributed to the success of the program. Nahorney submitted the application for the provincial grant with a vision of an outdoor recreation area that will encourage children to be outside, learning as they play. The space, she said, is important for good mental health. It allows

children to re-engage with the environment and the play equipment encourages them to use their imaginations. As she spoke during the grand opening, a half dozen pre-schoolers, bundled up in brightly colored raingear, excitedly ran from piece-to-piece, stomping in puddles along the way and rejoicing in the heavy rain and strong bursts of wind. Students from the school sang a song gifted to them from Tseshaht composer Aaron Watts. They sang the song in celebration of the new play spaces.

November 18, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15

Photos submitted by Royal BC Museum

The First Peoples Gallery (above) and a replica of the HMS Discovery (below) in the Becoming BC gallery are part of the museum’s third-floor closure in the new year, allowing the RBCM to continue with the “decolonization” of its displays.

Turning the provincial museum ‘inside out’ The Royal B.C. Museum’s decolonization approach is applauded, but raises some concern about erasing history By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Victoria, B.C. - Exhibits are coming down and artifacts placed in storage as the provincial museum in Victoria prepares to “decolonize” its three core galleries, a move drawing applause and criticism. Visitors have until Dec. 31 to see the First People’s and Becoming B.C. galleries along with Our Living Languages: First Peoples Voices in BC at Royal B.C. Museum (RBCM). “Decolonization of the museum’s galleries is important and long overdue,” Daniel Muzyka, the museum’s acting CEO, announced Nov. 3. “As part of our work to implement modernized museum practices, in particular our efforts around decolonization, we will be closing the third floor so we can decant our galleries.” Minor closures begin this month, leading to full closure of the third floor in the new year. The rest of the museum — which drew 860,000 visitors in 2018/2019 — remains open at a reduced admission rate. “Our government’s commitment to truth and reconciliation demands that we diversify and decolonize the way we share the history of B.C.,” said Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, Hon. Melanie Mark. “For too long, museums have been colonial institutions that exclude others from telling their own stories. We have an opportunity to turn the museum inside out, and it starts here, now, on the museum’s third floor.” The announcement follows revelations of discrimination and racism toward Indigenous staff members at the museum. In 2020, Lucy Bell resigned from her position as first head of the museum’s Indigenous Collections and Repatriations Department. Bell complained of continuous acts of racism and discrimination at all levels. Troy Sebastian, curator of the Indigenous collection, also left. A Public Service Agency investigation and staff survey concluded RBCM was culturally unsafe for Indigenous people. Last winter, the gallery’s CEO stepped down and three board members resigned. “We realize that we need to take a hard look at the past and present before we can be a truly inclusive place,” the museum

stated in a follow-up report after publicly apologizing in June. “This means acknowledging the history of the museum (and museum practices) as much as the history of the peoples of this province.” As the PSA report outlined, problems relate to the institution itself as an instrument of colonialism: “For many Indigenous people, the organization is much more than just emotionally triggering, it represents the continued suffering and dismantling of their cultures, communities and families.” Modernization of the museum started in 2019 before staff concerns became public. Tseshaht carver Joshua Watts served as Nuu-chah-nulth representative, one of more than 30 Indigenous participants involved in community engagement. He calls the third-floor remake “a good start.” “The museum, as it stands right now, carries a bias where the information is shared from the perspective of colonial history,” Watts noted, responding by email. “Therefore, it’s a completely colonized lens of this land.” Decolonization is a process of dismantling colonial ideologies, embedded

notions of European superiority and privilege. Removing “Old Town,” a lifesized representation of a settler village in Becoming B.C., is among core changes even though it is one of the most popular attractions. Watts said it stands to reason Old Town is popular since it reflects museum priorities and settler histories taught in schools. He looks ahead to a time when names of traditional Indigenous territories are more familiar than those of municipalities and Indigenous cultural history is taught to all, not only to Indigenous children. “When our languages are being spoken on our territory, and these major museums focus on the true history of the territory told by our own people and not just the previous 150 years, then we’ll have the start of a museum I can be proud of as a Nuu-chah-nulth person,” Watts wrote. Geoff Russ, a Haida journalist, knows the museum well having visited there since age 4. He returned in his UVIC student days, a self-described “history nut.” “I do really love the Royal B.C. Museum,” he said. “People feel there needs to be change and I’m completely on board with that.”

At the same time — as he explained in an opinion piece published in Victoria Times-Colonist — Russ does not see a need to tear down Old Town or other representations of colonialism, such as the replica stern of HMS Discovery, George Vancouver’s ship. History can’t be erased by tearing down statues and exhibits, he said, adding that the museum needs to be more fun and engaging. “It would be part of this strange new idea in Canada that physical objects representing anything or anyone before 1980 are literally harmful to Indigenous people,” he wrote. “‘Harm’ is the latest word to be abused beyond repair these days.” Decolonization is a vague term with a range of interpretation ranging from illegally destroying statues to changing education to more accurately reflect B.C. history, Russ contends. The museum should take inspiration from the latter. He suggests revamping the First Peoples Gallery and adding non-white voices to Becoming B.C. Muzyka said it is not necessarily exhibits and artifacts but the manner in which they are presented that must change. Becoming B.C. reflects a Euro-centred view, omits other settler groups and offers little Indigenous knowledge. “That whole exhibition is 50 years old and times have changed,” Muzyka said. “We have to get the voices and the stories of the people of B.C. in there.” First Peoples Gallery clearly needs updating: “It doesn’t present First Nations as living cultures so much as anthropological displays,” Muzyka said. Our Living Languages is more current and deals with contextual social issues such as residential schools, he added. Consultations begin this winter with lots of opportunity for public participation in a process that could take years, he said. Watts sees the changes as part of a larger shift with more opportunities for reconciliation. “From my perspective, when we can have structures of this calibre and scale on our own territory, when these cultural objects — which were obtained under questionable circumstances — are returned to their rightful home, then we’d have something that transcends the concept of the modern-day museum,” he said.

Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 18, 2021

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