INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 48 - No. 21—November 4, 2021 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776
Beach clean-up eﬀorts underway from Huu-ay-aht container spill oﬀ of Vancouver Island man loses Searchers collect refrigerators, Styrofoam and garbage on beaches near Cape Sco! life in MVA By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Beach clean-up eﬀorts are underway to remove the debris from 109 shipping containers that were knocked oﬀ a cargo ship in rough seas oﬀ the coast of Vancouver Island on Oct. 22. Hazardous chemicals are in at least two of the adrift containers that have not been located. Other contents, including Christmas decorations, sofas, poker boards, metal car parts, clothing, toys, yoga mats, stand-up paddle boards, as well as industrial parts, are starting to wash up on beaches along the northern coast of Vancouver Island. On Oct. 29, four containers and debris were found on a beach at Cape Palmerston. Contractors hired by the owner of MV Zim Kingston began to organize and remove debris from the containers on the beach over the weekend. “By Sunday afternoon, a total of 71 refrigerators, 81 bags of Styrofoam, 19 bags of garbage, and 11 helicopter bags of garbage were ﬂown oﬀ of Cape Palmerston beach and into metal bins in a nearby parking lot,” the coast guard said in a release. All “large” debris is now oﬀ the beach, they added. Volunteers looking to help with beach clean-up eﬀorts have been asked to wait. Karen Wristen, the society’s executive director, said there are many people with little to no experience of the coastal shores oﬀering to go clean up the debris. And without anyone to supervise or organize volunteer eﬀorts, she said it could complicate matters further. Quatsino First Nation was contracted for the work and “has been able to provide adequate human resources to get the job done—at least, the job that’s been identiﬁed to date,” said Wristen. The ship’s owner has stepped into its responsibility to deal with the material that was washed ashore in a manner required by international maritime law, she said. “It remains to be seen whether or not they recognize the vast extent of the debris ﬁeld,” she added. Ashley Tapp is the co-founder of Epic Exeo, a non-proﬁt based out of Port McNeill. She said that their beach clean-up eﬀorts focus on the areas impacted by the cargo spill, on the north coast. “My phone is open, my door is open, my email is open, and I haven’t been contacted by anybody,” she said. Although fridges and other large items
By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter
In late October debris was scattered over a beach near Raft Cove, south of Cape Scott on Vancouver Island’s west coast. have been recovered from Cape Palmerthe proposal to conduct an internationston beach, she said that Styrofoam has ally regulated “Concentrated Inspection broken into little pieces all over the beach Campaign” on cargo stowage and securand is entangled in the seaweed. ing. This would promote maritime safety “It’s horrible,” said Tapp. through the inspection of foreign ships in Living Oceans Society has reports of national ports. debris from the container spill that spans Various First Nations are contributing Vancouver Island’s north coast, from local knowledge by identifying resources Cape Scott to Cape Sutil, and beyond. at risk within the environmental unit of “Government representatives should response, and the Quatsino First Nation is have accurate information about the helping to clean up the shoreline around extent of the area impacted and act to en- the Cape Scott area, the coast guard said. sure that suﬃcient funds are maintained “Indigenous leaders are monitoring their available to clean it all up before winter territories and reporting on any potential storms disperse it even more widely,” debris or containers that come ashore,” said Wristen. “Time is of the essence here the coast guard said. “They are actively – the debris will only become more wide- patrolling beaches and participating in spread the longer it is left on beaches.” coordination calls with the Canadian Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns said Coast Guard to share information in a he’s concerned the federal government coordinated response.” isn’t acting fast enough. Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council PresiZIM Integrated Shipping Services, dent Judith Sayers said she was never which operates MV Zim Kingston, needs contacted about response eﬀorts and that to be held accountable for every containit took several days before NTC’s emerer that went overboard, said Johns. gency coordinator was included in the The contractors hired by the ship owner coast guard’s coordination calls. for cleanup include New Westminster“They shouldn’t be scrambling around based Amix Group and Campbell Rivertrying to ﬁgure out which First Nations based Paciﬁcus Biological Services. to get a hold of,” she said. “We need to “We’ve got governments promoting be included in the decision making that’s more and more shipping, and more and happening with the incident command more traﬃc, but they’re failing to protect team.” the existing coastline from the traﬃc that Satellite imagery, helicopters and ongoexists today,” Johns said. ing overﬂights by Transport Canada’s Transport Canada said “existing interna- National Aerial Surveillance Program tional and national safety regulations are continue to try and identify marine debris being regularly reviewed to address and and containers, the coast guard said. As improve safety measures.” of Nov. 2, only four of the 109 containers As issues with cargo ships emerge, have been found to wash up on the shore. Transport Canada said it’s supporting
Inside this issue... Booster shots coming to remote communities................Page 3 Laying internet cable oﬀ west coast...............................Page 4 Uncovering the truth under residential schools..............Page 6 Wolf ritual artwork coming to clock tower....................Page 9 Hesquiaht club prepares for All-Native tournament.....Page 11
Anacla, BC – A single-vehicle accident has claimed the life a Huu-ay-aht man just one week after physical work on road improvements began. The BC RCMP issued a statement saying that there were four occupants in the single-vehicle accident. “On October 24th, 2021, just before 1:30 a.m., the Port Alberni RCMP were advised of a single-vehicle collision on Central South Main Forest Service Road near Frederick Lake near the Centre Main Connector,” stated the RCMP press release. Another traveler saw the accident, gave assistance and called for emergency services. The RCMP says that it appears that the vehicle left the road to the right, striking a tree. “A male passenger in the vehicle was determined to be deceased at the time emergency services arrived…A female passenger was airlifted to Victoria General Hospital with potentially serious injuries; a child and the driver were transported to hospital to ensure their well-being,” said the RCMP statement. The family of Tim Manson, age 37, of Huu-ay-aht First Nations, have conﬁrmed that he died in the accident. He leaves behind a young son and his wife and parents. The RCMP say the matter is still under investigation and alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the accident. “Road conditions, inclement weather and limited communication at this remote location posed challenges to the response to this collision,” said Sergeant Peter Dionne of the Port Alberni RCMP. There is no cellular service on the 90-kilometre dirt logging road that connects Anacla and Bamﬁeld to Port Alberni. The Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ administration and businesses are closed for the rest of the month as citizens cope with the tragedy. “This is a time to heal together through our culture and beliefs. We will not conduct any business during this time,” read a release issued by the First Nation on Monday, Oct. 25. “As a Nation, we ask that everyone respect our request and give us the time needed to be with our families and practice our culture.”
If undeliverable, please return to: Ha-Shilth-Sa P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2
Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 4, 2021
Photo supplied by Ministry of Transportation
The widening of Highway 4 at Kennedy Hill requires extensive blasting of a mountainside by the lake.
Kennedy Hill Project set for Fall 2022 completion By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Kennedy Lake, BC - The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Safety Improvements project was originally slated for completion in the summer of 2020. That spring, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced that its end date was pushed back to the winter of 2021. Now, it’s expected to be “substantially complete” by September 2022, with ﬁnishing touches continuing into the fall. “A variety of factors including the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for smaller blasts due to the fractured nature of the bedrock, increased environmental protections, and the repairs to Highway 4 resulting from blasting damage at the project site in January 2020 have contributed to a new projected project completion date,” said the ministry. The Kennedy Hill construction includes removing over 150,000 cubic metres of rock along 1.5 kilometres of narrow highway. When a rockfall from a blast compromised the road, a signiﬁcant three-day road closure followed in January 2020. The event left Toﬁno, Ucluelet and the surrounding First Nations communities isolated from the rest of Vancouver Island. After the event, the Toﬁno Long-Beach Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey with their members. The 18 per cent of respondents estimated their collective losses to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, said Toﬁno Long-Beach Chamber of Commerce President Laura McDonald. “Given that this project is dealing with the only route to and from the coast, it has been very challenging for everyone living and travelling here due to regular road closures as well as extended and unforeseen road closures,” said McDonald. “This has impacted businesses and residents in a variety of ways, including
increased travel time, costs and inconvenience.” Because of the increased travel times accessing the coast, goods and services are costing more for everyone living in the impacted coastal communities, she added. The project was put on pause for three months in the Spring of 2020 following “repeated issues with blasting operations,” said the ministry. “The contractor was required to stop work and revisit their blasting plans before continuing to prevent unplanned and extended road closures from occurring,” the ministry said. “Because specialized worker expertise is required on this construction site, regular crews need to travel from other regions on a work shift basis. Local accommodations for the crew took time to organize and revise through the ﬁrst months of [the] pandemic.” The blasting of bluﬀ faces over 50 metres high is the most challenging part of the project, which is scheduled to be complete this winter. Beyond that, the ministry said the rest of the development is more straightforward and that further delays are not anticipated. In May 2021, it was announced that the project budget had increased from $38.1 million to $53.96 million because of COVID-19-related delays and increased environmental protections. The ministry completes between 300 and 400 development projects annually. Since 2017, 1,173 projects totalling over $2.5 billion in transportation improvements have been carried out across the province. Of those, 96 per cent were delivered on time and budget, said the ministry. “The regular closures, while not ideal, are known and hopefully can be planned around,” said McDonald. “Businesses and travellers have adapted to the closure times, but we deﬁnitely look forward to the completion of this project in 2022 on schedule.”
November 4, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
COVID booster shots coming to remote communities Campaign prioritizes First Nations, as ﬁrst two doses show ‘gradual decline in protection’, says Bonnie Henry By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Victoria, BC - Booster shots will soon be coming to remote Nuu-chah-nulth communities, as health authorities prioritize First Nations that got their ﬁrst two vaccinations for COVID-19 early this year. “We will be focusing on communities that have had signiﬁcant outbreaks,” noted Dr. Shannon McDonald, the First Nation Health Authority’s acting chief medical oﬃcer. While speciﬁc locations have not been identiﬁed, the province’s new campaign to make the third shot more available raises the likelihood communities that received their ﬁrst two shots last winter will be among the ﬁrst to be included in the booster campaign. In Nuu-chahnulth territory, Ahousaht, Anacla, Ehatis, Kyuquot, Tsaxana and the Ditidaht First Nation’s village on Nitinaht Lake began receiving community immunization in January. Over the last week of October Nuuchah-nulth Tribal Council Vice-president Mariah Charleson was informed by Island Health that community-wide booster shots can be expected this winter. “They did ensure us that when it comes to our communities it will be done in the same community approach that we have been advocating for from the beginning,” she said. Booster shots are now available across British Columbia for those who are 70 or older, as well as Indigenous people over 12. In January this plan will expand to everyone else willing to roll up their sleeve a third time, according to a provin-
Photo submitted by NTC Nursing Department
A team of nurses from the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council arrive in Ahousaht in January to administer some of the ﬁrst of the province’s community-wide vaccinations against COVID-19. Community-wide booster shots are now expected to help ﬁght the virus’s fourth wave. population. According to data collected cial announcement issued on Wednesday, stated Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s profrom Island Health from January to the Oct. 27. A third shot is already being vincial health oﬃcer, in a press release. end of September this year, there were oﬀered to residents in long-term care and “However, we are starting to see a 1,268 cases of COVID-19 among Abassisted living homes, as well as vulnergradual decline in protection over time.” original people, while 6,466 infections able people living in shelters, according This decline in protection could help aﬀected other residents of Vancouver to the province. to explain COVID-19’s fourth wave, Island. This means that 16 per cent of “Our vaccines are highly eﬀective,” a rising level of infections seen across COVID-19 infections on the island this B.C. since the late summer. The provyear aﬀected Indigenous people - a rate ince reports that fully vaccinated people signiﬁcantly higher than their proportion accounted for 35.3 per cent of infections, of the population, which is approximately while those without any shot made up 58.2 per cent of cases tracked Oct. 20-26. ﬁve per cent. Over the ﬁrst nine months of 2021 there From Oct. 13-26 those not vaccinated were 95 hospitalizations of Indigenous made up 68 per cent of hospitalizations with COVID-19, while the fully vaccinat- people with COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, 86 per cent of which were not fully ed accounted for 26 per cent, according vaccinated. Thirty-two of these cases to the B.C. Ministry of Health. went into intensive care, while 96 per “It’s not just about the vaccine isn’t cent of these patients had not received working, it’s about we need the vaccine to work better to battle the circumstances both doses, and of the 16 COVID-related deaths to Aboriginal people over this many of our communities live in,” period, 88 per cent were not fully vacstressed McDonald. “We also know that cinated, according to Island Health. the playing ﬁeld isn’t level among all the Vaccination rates among B.C. residents citizens in the province. There are people 12 and older have grown to 90 per cent who have chronic disease, who live in with one shot, and 85 per cent with two housing with 10 other people where if one person comes in who’s active in CO- doses. But this is signiﬁcantly lower among Aboriginal people, notes McVID, that chances are that everyone else Donald, as this portion of the province in the household will be exposed.” has vaccination rates of 77.5 per cent Remote Nuu-chah-nulth communities and 66.8 per cent with two and one dose were among the ﬁrst in B.C. to receive respectively. their ﬁrst two shots early this year. At “We still have lots of work to do,” said that time public health guidelines said the ideal interval between doses was 21 to 28 McDonald. She reﬂects that one of the biggest lesdays, but this advice has since changed. sons over the pandemic has been to listen “We now know that a longer interval better to the concerns of individuals, between those two doses actually gave including those who are worried about people an advantage in terms of an imthe negative eﬀects of vaccination. mune response,” said McDonald. “Now “I’ve had a lot of conversations with that we’re starting to see cases in people people who have lots of anxieties and who have been double-vaccinated, when fears about getting the vaccine for lots we looked at those cases, we’ve seen of diﬀerent reasons,” said McDonald. a pattern of people who received those “They’ve had a reaction to a vaccine early doses with short intervals. So the in the past, they don’t trust anything in planning for the booster dose is around terms of an experiment…those are the who got it ﬁrst and who got the shorter kinds of concerns that people have. I interval.” need to acknowledge them and talk about First Nations remain at a higher risk of why they are not true.” contracting COVID-19 than the general
Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 4, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Reporter Denise Titian (Ext. 240) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 email@example.com Reporter Melissa Renwick (416) 436-4277 Fax: (250) 723-0463 firstname.lastname@example.org
Audio / Video Technician Mike Watts (Ext. 238) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 email@example.com Editorial Assistant Holly Stocking (Ext. 302) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is November 12, 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 email@example.com (Windows PC). Submitted pictures must include a brief description of subject(s) and a return address. Pictures with no return address will remain on ﬁle. Allow two - four weeks for return. Photocopied or faxed photographs cannot be accepted.
LETTERS and KLECOS Ha-Shilth-Sa will include letters received from its readers. Letters MUST be signed by the writer and have the writer’s full name, address and phone number on them. Names can be withheld by request. Anonymous submissions will not be accepted. We reserve the right to edit submitted material for clarity, brevity, grammar and good taste. We will deﬁnitely not publish letters dealing with tribal or personal disputes or issues that are critical of Nuu-chah-nulth individuals or groups. All opinions expressed in letters to the editor are purely those of the writer and will not necessarily coincide with the views or policies of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council or its member First Nations. Ha-Shilth-Sa includes paid advertising, but this does not imply Ha-Shilth-Sa or Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council recommends or endorses the content of the ads.
High-speed comes to coastal communities Hundreds of gigabits will stream through subsea ﬁbre optics cable every second By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter A cable-laying ship will soon begin to install high-speed ﬁbre optics infrastructure along B.C.’s coast. Announced in 2018, the $45.4 million Connected Coast project is bringing highspeed internet to around 139 rural and remote coastal communities, including 48 Indigenous communities. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of quality, highspeed internet to learn, do business, stay healthy, access services and keep in touch with loved ones,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services, in a release. “Through Connected Coast, people and businesses in remote and underserved communities along B.C.’s coast can stay connected and participate in economic opportunities - faster.” By providing communities with highspeed internet and cellular connectivity, remote populations will have greater access to online health services, education and remote work opportunities. Subsea ﬁbre optics cable will run along the ocean ﬂoor for more than 3,400 kilometres, from Haida Gwaii to southern Vancouver Island. The project is a partnership between CityWest, the federal government, the province, and the Strathcona Regional District (SRD). “CityWest has and is following all provincial, federal and local government permitting and other requirements related to laying the cable,” the Ministry of Citizens’ Services said. “The cable is laid on, or under, the seabed in an environmentally friendly manner and pulled up onto shore where the service is required.” The ﬁbre consists of glass strands that are roughly the thickness of a strand of human hair, which will be protected by stainless steel rods, said the ministry. “A steel casing provides further protection around the cable at shore landings,” the ministry added. It will be one of the longest coastal subsea networks in the world. Landing sites for the Connected Coast project include, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’, Mowachaht/Muchalaht, Nuchatlaht, Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Huu-ay-aht, Hesquiaht, Toquaht and Uchucklesaht
Photo submitted by Huu-ay-aht First Nation
Huu-ay-aht First Nations Councillor Charlie Clappis expects improved internet will help business development in Bamﬁeld and Anacla. First Nations. Huu-ay-aht First Nation Councillor Charlie Clappis said it’s coming at the right time. The nation currently has many development projects underway which will see the region’s population double over the next couple of years, he said. Currently, Clappis said he can tell when “everyone is surﬁng” the web because there is a lag in the network. “It’s deﬁnitely an exciting upgrade,” he said. “Businesses are really needing the upgrade to keep up with their online booking systems.” Bamﬁeld and Anacla only got cell service hotspots last year, said Clappis. While most people take using a cell phone for granted, Clappis said it has felt “strange” to be able to use his phone in the region that usually required WI-FI calling. “It’s pretty neat to be able to meet these services in preparation for growth,” he said. Once the project is complete, the Ministry of Citizens’ Services said hundreds of gigabits of data will stream through the subsea ﬁbre optics cable every second. “The start of construction is an exciting milestone for the Connected Coast proj-
COVERAGE: Although we would like to be able to cover all stories and events, we will only do so subject to: - Suﬃcient advance notice addressed speciﬁcally to Ha-Shilth-Sa. - Reporter availability at the time of the event. - Editorial space available in the paper. - Editorial deadlines being adhered to by contributors.
ect,” said Brad Unger, SRD board chair, in a release. “Rural and remote coastal communities will soon have the same digital opportunities as urban centres. We are steps closer to beneﬁting from improved connectivity.” Since October 2020, $90 million has been committed to new connectivity projects across the province. It is part of the Connecting British Columbia program’s economic recovery intake. Of the $45.4 million invested in Connected Coast, $12 million is coming from Indigenous Services Canada, $11.4 million will come from the province’s Connecting British Columbia program, and $22 million will be administered from the federal government’s Connect to Innovate program. “Connecting people in rural and remote communities to the services and opportunities that high-speed internet brings, beneﬁts us all,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island, in a release. On Oct. 21, the cable-laying ship, Canpac Valour, arrived in Campbell River where it’s being equipped before beginning to lay cables near Haida Gwaii. The project is anticipated to be complete by March 2023.
Ha-Shilth-Sa belongs to every Nuu-chah-nulth person including those who have passed on, and those who are not yet born. A community newspaper cannot exist without community involvement. If you have any great pictures you’ve taken, stories or poems you’ve written, or artwork you have done, please let us know so we can include it in your newspaper. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. This year is Ha-Shilth-Sa’s 47th year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!
The advertiser agrees that the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising out of errors in advertisements beyond the amount paid for space actually occupied by the portion of the advertisement in which the error is due to the negligence of the servants or otherwise, and there shall be no liability for non-insertion of any advertisement beyond the amount paid for such advertisements
November 4, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
Shipping containers adrift oﬀ Vancouver Island coast Hazardous chemicals are in at least two of the containers; number grows to 109 after the initial estimation of 40 By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Victoria, BC - After 109 shipping containers were knocked oﬀ a cargo ship near Vancouver Island on Friday, Oct. 22, communities on the west coast are left with many unanswered questions. The number of containers has grown from the original estimation of 40. The containers went overboard when the vessel, known as MV Zim Kingston, encountered rough seas. A container ﬁre broke out on the ship the following day while it was anchored near Victoria. Potassium amylxanthate, a hazardous chemical widely used in the mining industry, was stored in two of the containers that caught ﬁre, as well as two of the containers that went overboard. Contents inside the adrift containers include Christmas decorations, sofas, poker boards, metal car parts, clothing, toys, yoga mats, stand-up paddle boards, as well as industrial parts, according to the Canadian Coast Guard. The shipping containers’ movements are being monitored through overﬂights by the United States Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard helicopters, Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program, as well as vessels transiting the area. The US Coast Guard also dropped a beacon (data buoy) to track the movement, according to a spokesperson for the Canadian Coast Guard. Three containers and debris were identiﬁed at Cape Scott by a coast guard helicopter on Wednesday, said Paul Barrett, Canadian Coast Guard Planning Section Chief for Uniﬁed Command Paul Barrett, during a media brieﬁng on Wednesday. It is believed that some of the other containers have already sunk. “They’re out there being battered in heavy seas,” said Mariah McCooey, Canadian Coast Guard deputy federal incident commander. “The watertight integrity is not that great.” None of the containers have been retrieved, but the Canadian Coast Guard said ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, which operates MV Zim Kingston, has contracted U.S.-based Resolve Marine Group for salvage operations, including ﬁre ﬁghting and the recovery of the containers. By law, the polluter is required to complete cleanup activities to the “satisfaction of the Canadian government,” the coast guard said in a release. Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns is calling on the federal government to hold the company accountable to recovery and clean-up eﬀorts. “There’s a lot of anxiety and a lot of concern we’re hearing from coastal people [and] from organizations that
Photo submitted by Surfrider Foundation Canada
A Canadian Coast Guard ship attends to the MV Zim Kingston, which caught on ﬁre on Oct. 22. are involved in cleanups,” said Johns. “They need answers. Coastal people need answers.” Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) President Judith Sayers said that the lack of communication has been the largest concern among the 14 Nuu-chah-nulth nations that live along Vancouver Island’s west coast. “We need better communication [and] emergency response structures so that when we’re aﬀected, we’re immediately informed and involved,” said Sayers. As of Monday, Oct. 25, Sayers said that she nor NTC’s emergency coordinator had been contacted. Although most Nuu-chah-nulth communities have emergency plans, Sayers said that without knowing the shipping containers’ contents, she was unsure if communities were prepared with the proper safety equipment. “How quickly can the coast guard or other HAZMAT type of services get to us?” she questioned. “There’s just that uncertainty.” During a press brieﬁng on Tuesday, Oct. 26 Gillian Oliver, Canadian Coast Guard advanced planning unit leader, said the coast guard is sending regular updates to all the First Nations marine liaison contacts they have established on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The coast guard has also coordinated calls with First Nations communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island, she added.
Pacheedaht First Nation (PFN) Elected Chief Jeﬀ Jones called on the newly appointed Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Joyce Murray, and the Minister of Natural Resources Canada, Jonathan Wilkinson, to commit to accelerating a proposed Marine Safety Centre partnership with the nation on Wednesday. It comes in response to the “potentially devastating container spill.” “The PFN originally agreed to a partnership with the Government of Canada to build a Marine Safety Centre as a part of Canada’s reconciliation initiative with the PFN, but to date the project has been mired in lack of political will to get a real proposal from Canada on the table,” said Jones, in a release. “As part of reconciliation and accommodation, we identiﬁed parcels of land for development that would enable both the Marine Safety Centre and economic diversiﬁcation opportunities for PFN. We have provided detailed proposals and alternatives to the Government of Canada, but unfortunately, we have nothing to show for our years of work except more dangerous cargo spills.” In November 2016, the Korean cargo ship Hanjin Seattle lost 35 containers near the entrance to the Straight of Juan de Fuca. Toﬁno residents and beach cleanup organizations were left to deal with the plastic that washed onto local beaches. “We don’t want to repeat what happened in 2016 where the federal government was pointing ﬁngers at the company and inter departments were pointing ﬁngers at each other,” said Johns. “There was clearly a legislative gap.” Surfrider Foundation Canada President David Boudinot said that because of the “bureaucratic hurdles” to get the containers oﬀ the beach in 2016, the ocean tore them up and distributed Styrofoam all over the shorelines. “The response was slow,” he said. “And that could have been prevented if they were cleaned up quicker.” Boudinot said that unless action is taken “immediately” to remove the adrift shipping containers, a bad disaster could get much worse.
There are concerns about the containers opening and spilling their contents, much like a recent container spill of plastic pelts near Sri Lanka in June, said Boudinot. JJ Brickett, Canadian Coast Guard federal incident commander said that it would be “an eﬀort” to open one of the sea cans. “[There’s] a series of bars, locks and seals that would have to be overcome,” he said. Sensitive ecosystems are at risk should one of the containers open, said Johns. “It can impact sea life in our waters and impact the species that we rely on for our food security, our way of life and our economy,” he said. “There’s a lot of anxiety right now.” According to the Canadian Coast Guard, an environmental unit has been established to respond to the incident. “It is comprised of federal, provincial, municipal and First Nations experts,” the coast guard said in a release. “On a daily basis, our specialists review and advise uniﬁed command on environmental modelling, air quality data, and ecological data. The priority actions for the environmental unit include preventing environmental impacts by identifying sensitive environmental, economic and cultural sites in proximity to the MV Zim Kingston and the lost cargo.” The sea conditions the ship was traveling in “were not unusual circumstances,” said Brickett. As extreme weather events increase due to climate change, much like Sunday’s storm that saw the deepest low-pressure system on record for the Paciﬁc Northwest, Boudinot said this likely won’t be an isolated event. Sayers echoed his sentiment and questioned the safety of cargo ships in ever increasing stormy conditions. “We understand there are no GPS trackers on these containerships,” she said. “We need to be reviewing the safety of them … there are ﬂags that go up when these kinds of things happen.” To report sightings of the shipping containers, the pollution reporting line can be reached at: 808 98852.
Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 4, 2021
Nations progress plans for residential school sites Alberni, Christie and Ahousaht residential schools have become a focus of reconciliatory talks with government By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor The Vatican recently announced that Pope Francis will visit Canada to further “reconciliation with Indigenous peoples”, another indication that the world may be ﬁnally noticing what residential school survivors have known since their childhood. The Catholic Church ran residential schools across Canada for a century, ending in the 1990s. Although the presence of unmarked burials at former residential school sites was highlighted years ago by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it wasn’t until the remains of 215 people were identiﬁed on May 27 by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops that a wave of news headlines and political responses were set oﬀ across Canada. Now a newfound focus is being put on three institutions that operated for generations in Nuu-chah-nulth territory: Christie, Ahousaht and the Alberni Indian Residential Schools. The future of the grounds where these institutions once stood was addressed during the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s Annual General Meeting on Oct. 26, including efforts underway to uncover details on any students buried at the sites. “Our statement is that we’re getting the answers that the survivors and those who didn’t make it home need and deserve,” said Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts during the AGM, which was hosted online via Zoom. The Alberni residential school operated in various forms from 1900-73 on Tseshaht territory. Some buildings still remain, including the former student residence Caldwell Hall and Maht Mahs gym. “It was a school that we never asked for in our territory,” added Watts. “It’s been an open wound in our community that we have to live with.” During the meeting Watts spoke of plans to tear down Caldwell Hall, replacing it with a new facility designed to serve health and wellness needs. After a visit to the site by Canada’s Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller in July, the federal government has committed to help fund the demolition. “Canada has also stepped up to support us in building a new facility,” said Watts. “More on that to come in the near weeks and months ahead.” An outdoor basketball court is also being built on the site. “We’re tying to turn that space into something positive,” said Watts. The Tseshaht elected chief noted that Maht Mahs will remain due to its role in hosting gatherings for the region’s Nuuchah-nulth people. “That’s a former piece of the school, but we’ve reclaimed that as ours,” said Watts. “We’re going to utilize the space to practice our culture and who we are as Tseshaht.” The awareness of buried children under the former residential school site and in the surrounding area has long haunted those who attended the institution. Following the news from Kamloops, Tseshaht Ha’wiih pledged to ﬁnd answers tied to AIRS, a long and diﬃcult process the First Nation plans to undertake through a combination of following stories from survivors and employing modern detection technology. Besides the ground-penetrating radar used in Kamloops, plans entail drones surveying the topography of the area using LiDar. This
Photo by Eric Plummer
Martin Watts speaks to a crowd gathered on the former site of the Alberni Indian Residential School on Orange Shirt Day. light detection and ranging technology uses laser beams to create a three-dimensional representation of the environment were AIRS once stood. “There’s going to be some excavation that’s required,” added Watts. A memorial is also being developed, which will list the names of all students who attended AIRS, including those who never returned home. So far over $37,000 has been set aside for this initiative from local businesses and private doners. Meanwhile Ahousaht has a considerable amount of work ahead, as the First Nation determines the future of the sites where two residential schools once operated in its territory. The former grounds of the Ahousaht Indian Residential School have been cleared, where the First Nation prepares to build a healing centre on the coastal site by Ahousaht’s village of Maaqtusiis on Flores Island. The institution opened in 1895, running in various forms until a ﬁre destroyed the last building in 1940. The Ahousaht Indian Residential School was operated by the Presbyterian Church, then the United Church of Canada after 1925. United Church archives detail that out of a typical student population of 35, an average of one to two children died at the school between 1904 and 1916, including the 1907 death Hereditary Chief Billy Maquinna’s son, Will. On Meares Island Christie Residential School operated for 71 years, until it was relocated to Toﬁno in 1971 where the Tin Wis hotel now stands. Christie was run by the Catholic Church. During the AGM Ahousaht Chief Councillor Greg Louie explained that the First Nation has been in discussions with both the Catholic and the United Church on what to do with the former sites, and that a concise plan will be announced soon. In the meantime, Ahousaht Deputy Chief Councillor Melinda Swan noted that the First Nation is looking to hire a full-time coordinator to manage plans involving the former residential school sites. “We want it to be more direct to a working group,” she said of the process, adding that a special e-mail for residential school correspondence will be set up.
“I’m thankful to Kamloops for bringing this awareness to the world,” said Louie, who attended Christie as a child. “There is a tremendous amount of healing that needs to be done.” Nuchatlaht Councillor Archie Little stressed the need for First Nations to “own the process” of uncovering the truth as to what happened to students who never survived their time at residential school. Little was also a student at Christie. “They had so much hate when they beat us,” he said of the nuns and priests who worked at the school. “They controlled our parents. They put fear into our parents.” As the legacy of the assimilationist insti-
tutions remains in the public spotlight, Swan stressed the need to create a permanent line item in federal and provincial budgets to deal with residential schools. “We know how much resources the federal government has put into these institutions, it’s only fair that the same resources get put into righting all the wrongs that were done,” added NTC Vice-president Mariah Charleson. As those who attended the institutions brace themselves for more discoveries from the residential school sites, the hope remains that the rest of Canada and the world will ﬁnally recognise the truth behind a traumatic past. “We will learn, we will see that somebody will start believing us,” said Little.
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
TSESHAHT MARKET GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC RIM
Hours of operation - 7:00 am - 10:30 pm Phone: 724-3944 E-mail: email@example.com Find us on Facebook
November 4, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
Sayers and Charleson lead NTC for another term Voted in on Oct. 26, the incumbent president and vice-president ran uncontested to serve for another four years By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - Judith Sayers and Mariah Charleson have been re-elected as president and vice-president of the Nuuchah-nulth Tribal Council, after running uncontested for the roles. Both were named to serve for another term of four years on Oct. 26 at the NTC’s Annual General Meeting, which was hosted online via Zoom due to the ongoing risk of gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sayers and Charleson were the only candidates to submit their names for the leading roles in the summer, but a vote from NTC society members was still held in order to follow the tribal council’s existing bylaws. Sayers was ﬁrst elected in September of 2017 after running against the incumbent president Debra Foxcroft. Sayers brought a lifetime of First Nations advocacy into the role, with 18 years of law practice in B.C. and Alberta, as well as 14 years as elected chief of the Hupacasath First Nation. “During the last four years I’ve worked very hard at raising the proﬁle of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and all of the Nuu-chah-nulth people,” she said before being voted in for a second term, noting the countless media interviews she’s done. “I think it’s really important for us to be speaking out and raising our voices with respect to what Nuu-chahnulth need.” Charleson joined Sayers on Feb. 24, 2020, when a byelection determined the vice-president role after the resigna-
Photo by Melody Charlie
Vice-president Mariah Charleson and President Judith Sayers were re-elected to lead the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. tion of Andy Callicum. The Hesquiaht member grew up in Hot Springs Cove, and secured a Bachelor of Arts from Vancouver Island University, where she majored in First Nations studies. She has also worked in various ministries with the provincial government. “I never, throughout my life, pictured myself in a political role,” admitted Charleson during the Oct. 26 AGM, adding that her decision to run came after consulting with elders from her Hesquiaht community. “I really realized that I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”’ Charleson explained that her priorities
in the role have been justice issues, health and emergency management. Health concerns have gained a higher proﬁle during the last year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sayers stressed the need for greater First Nations autonomy, particularly with respect to protecting their communities from infection. “I feel that the B.C. government has been making all the decisions, as well as the First Nations Health Authority,” she said. “We’ve passed motions at each of the provincial organizations to review the health structure, because we really feel that First Nations really aren’t having a
say in our right to our health.” “I take my own personal health seriously,” added Charleson. “I know that as a leader, it’s important because we’ve seen how our people have been negatively impacted through underlying health conditions.” Both leaders also mentioned several fatal confrontations with police that have devastated Nuu-chah-nulth families in recent years. “We need a better relationship with the RCMP, we need to have them to respect our people, and value our people,” said Sayers.
Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 4, 2021
Pacheedaht launches ﬁrst chaputs in 70 years Canoe was part of cultural immersion project conducted with assistance from neighbouring Ditidaht members By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Renfew, BC – It was a proud moment for Pacheedaht members as they witnessed the blessing and launch of the ﬁrst community carved canoe in nearly 70 years, according to PFN elder Bill Jones. He recalled the names of four elders that made the last canoe in the 1950s or 60s. PFN Hereditary Chief Charlie Queesto Jones made another dugout canoe under contract with retired researcher Eugene Arima in the early 1970s, but that one left the community when it was completed. It is on display in a Toﬁno-area museum. Born in 1876, Chief Charlie was nearly 100 years old when that canoe was made. This canoe project brought together two young Pacheedaht men under the mentorship of Makah master carver Micah McCarty to build a canoe from start to ﬁnish in just a few months. The project was made possible through a $200,000 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which also funded other cultural revitalization initiatives for the Pacheedaht First Nation. The project got a start as a vision of PFN “elder-in-training”, as she calls herself, Leona Canute. From there, Roxy Jones, former Pacheedaht Health Director, went to work applying for grants. With funding in place and a partnership with the University of Victoria, PFN was set to build their ﬁrst canoe. The work not only involved making the canoe, but also cultural teachings. With support from their Ditidaht relatives they began weekly cultural classes, learning language, singing and dancing as well as paddle carving, shawl making and more. It was a cultural immersion project that involved the entire community and one that fostered pride in being Pacheedaht, people of the sea foam. Chief Councillor Jeﬀ Jones told the crowd that the old growth red cedar log was harvested from Pacheedaht territory. Through a partnership with Cowichan Community Forest, it was cut and hauled to their village. In June 2021, McCarty and his two Pacheedaht apprentices began hollowing out and shaping the giant log. The blessing ceremony took place Oct. 28, under the cover of a carving shed as a drenching autumn rain pounded down on the roof. The air was ﬁlled with the aroma of fresh-cut cedar as excited community members gathered around the still unpainted chaputs (dugout canoe). People came from neighboring Ditidaht First Nation, as well as Victoria and Port Renfrew residents came to witness the historic occasion. An elder from Quatsino came down from the nearby Fairy Creek encampment to see the canoe and to pray for its safety on the water. Elected chief Jeﬀ Jones introduced Pacheedaht Hereditary Chief Frank Jones, as he welcomed the guests on the chief’s behalf. The power was out in Port Renfrew that day as a fallen tree knocked down power lines in Jordan River. “Some people drove over those power lines to get here to celebrate the creation of this chaputs.” said Jeﬀ Jones, adding that it was an exciting project celebrating unity. Phillip Edgar and other Ditidaht relatives led the cultural business associated with the proper blessing of the new chaputs. That started by oﬀering ta’ilthma (support) to those that recently lost loved
Photos by Sarah Wright Cardinal photo (above), Denise Titian (below)
The traditionally carved canoe is part of a cultural revitalization program, made possible through a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. ones and also to the Tyee Ha’wilth, Frank Jones, who survived a recent car accident. “We do this because we care for these people, we are glad you are still here – we love you,” he told them. PFN Councilor Tracey Charlie told the carving crew that she admired their determination and dedication to a project that saw the rough old growth cedar log transform to a chaputs in just a few short weeks. “I am honored to be part of this project,” said master carver Micah McCarty. He told the crowd that his journey in Pacheedaht was inspired by something he saw on the west coast Highway leading south from Port Renfrew. From there, on a clear day, you can see across Juan de Fuca Strait to Neah Bay, home of the Makah. McCarty said the sunlight shone in a way that it reﬂected oﬀ the lighthouse near his homeland. “It reminded me of the ties we’ve always had, the cultural and family ties,” said McCarty. He told the crowd that his grandmother came from Pacheedaht and married into Makah, making the people of Pacheedaht his cousins. And so, it was important for him to help keep the culture alive by sharing his knowledge and skills with his family. quarantine due to the pandemic before he by conservation oﬃcers. “We’re enshrining something as we Residents worked on beading the featharrived in Port Renfrew to begin working bring her to life,” said McCarty of the ers and they were gifted to people who on the log. chaputs. helped with the chaputs project. He mentored Trystan Dunn-Jones and Many gifts were exchanged ahead of Finally, with heavy rain still pouring Trent Jones, whom he said had an instinct the blessing ceremony. One included the for the work. McCarty said it wasn’t long down, Ditidaht singers drummed while children, who, at times, helped with the Pacheedaht members brushed the chaputs before they ﬁgured some things out on canoe. They were called up to receive with cedar branches, blessing it. The catheir own and sometimes got things done hand-crafted paddle necklaces. noe was trailered down to the river where before he had a chance to go check their “That’s who this (chaputs) is for,” said it was taken on its maiden voyage, ﬁlled work. Jeﬀ Jones. with people of all ages. Sheila Jones completed her ﬁnal Child He spoke of the teachings that came A scheduled totem pole raising was and Youth Care university practicum from the canoe project - and the canoe postponed out of respect for Huu-ay-aht in her home territory over the summer, itself - being a gift from this generation First Nation, who were in mourning and working with youth and coordinating to future generations of Pacheedahts. many of the cultural activities. She assist- not available that day. The totem pole, McCarty spent several months away gifted to Pacheedaht from Huu-ay-aht, ed with the chaputs and youth activities. from his wife and ﬁve children to lead will take place at a later date. Part of that was beadwork done on eagle the project. He had to spend some time in feathers harvested from a carcass donated
November 4, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Photo by Karly Blats
Willard Gallic Jr., Tseshaht First Nation artist, has designed artwork depicting the wolf that will be installed at the top of the aging clock tower at the Harbour Quay as part of the city’s redesign plans
Clock tower gets facelift with wolf ritual artwork Installation of Willard Gallic Jr.’s artwork is planned to begin soon at the 40-year-old Harbour Quay structure By: Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - As part of Port Alberni city council’s commitment to reconciliation and infrastructure renewal, the city has begun the process of repurposing the 40-year-old clock tower at the Harbour Quay. The clock tower will be redesigned to highlight Tseshaht First Nation culture. The two large clocks will be removed at the top of the tower and replaced with two larger pieces of Tseshaht art depicting the wolf. The redevelopment will highlight the narrative of the former site of Tlukwatkwuu7is, the Tseshaht Winter Village, where Tlookwaana (wolf ritual) was held. The city has been working with the
Tseshaht First Nation towards the recognition of this important site for several years. Story boards will also be installed at each of the three platforms of the tower. The city is now referring to the structure as a Story Tower instead of a clock tower. The artwork is being designed by Tseshaht artist Willard Gallic Jr. and manufactured by Electron Metalworks. Gallic Jr. said his designs include a male and female, each wearing a wolf head dress for the top of the tower, and then four other wolf designs that will be installed going up the stairwell on the outside of the tower. “This was a very important site….this is where we did our wolf ceremony,” Gallic Jr. said. “That’s the reason why they wanted a male and female up there with a
wolf head dress because this is where we had our ceremonies at the beginning of wintertime.” The clock tower redesign has been a topic of discussion among Port Alberni city council for many years. The anticipated total cost for the project is around $453,750. The cost increased when the city discovered that the clock tower is covered with lead-based paint that needs to be safely removed. “The issue isn’t so much the paint as it is introducing the dust from the paint into the environment,” said City CAO Tim Pley during a council meeting in October 2020. “If we are going to grind and cut on that structure, we’re told that in order to be within regulation, the entire structure needs to be shrouded and all that dust captured and collected.”
Last year, the city received $76,818 in grant funding for the clock tower project and city council agreed to put an additional $101,932 into the budget from two diﬀerent reserve funds. This is in addition to the $351,818 already set aside for the project in past budgets. All city councillors are in support of the project. “I think it’s going to be a huge asset to the Harbour Quay area, and I think it’s going to be a huge step in reconciliation as well,” said Coun. Deb Haggard. In addition to the artwork, new lighting will be installed on the tower and steel reinforcement to support the new artwork. Construction still hasn’t started, but is said to begin soon. Work is estimated to be complete by April 2022.
Sayers takes Jurors’ Choice from Salt Spring Island By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Hupacasath First Nation artist Klehwetua Rodney Sayers was granted one of three Jurors’ Choice Awards during the Salt Spring National Art Prize’s (SSNAP) ceremony on Oct. 23. The $3,000 prize was selected by Art Gallery of Nova Scotia senior curator David Diviney and recognized Sayers’ piece, “Hot Rod Pink.” As one of Canada’s largest visual arts competitions, SSNAP received over 2,750 submissions from across the country that were narrowed down to 52 ﬁnalists. Sayers was among them for the second time in the four years it’s been running. “It’s always satisfying when a curator reads the work and understands it at a deeper level,” said Sayers. “It’s not just a thing to be looked at. It has a deeper context.” “Hot Rod Pink” is a continuation of Sayers’ investigation into the notion of traditional First Nations art, paired with his fascination with hot rod tradition. The sleek, hot pink paddle is around the twelfth in his ongoing series that intersects Nuu-chah-nulth roots with his Port Alberni upbringing.
SSNAP’s founding director, Ronald T. Crawford, said SSNAP honoured the “creative fortitude of artists across Canada.” “I’m thrilled to see such a diversity of themes, ranging from COVID-19, to reckoning with the past and exploring personal identity both by Indigenous artists and those from immigrant communities,” he said in a release. “It’s wonderful to see the commitment of artists to experiment, to explore, and to share their stories.” Through making art, Sayers said he is contributing to the traditions of history keeping. “I keep working for personal satisfaction and to try to have a deeper understanding of what the ancestors must have been thinking, and the challenges they faced in the art making process,” he said. Sayers said he often reﬂects on his privileges as an artist. He has a studio that is warm, with power. His ancestors worked in adverse conditions outside in the rain. “I don’t take that for granted,” he said. “It is a responsibility and a privilege.” The Salt Spring National Art Prize provides a platform for “like-minded people” to come together, said Sayers. “It’s always important for artists to
Photo by Melissa Renwick
Klehwetua Rodney Sayers’ Hot Rod Pink won an award at the Salt Spring Island National Art Prize’s ﬁnalist exhibition. come together … and talk about their practices, thought processes, and how they see our world evolving,” he said. “I keep going on this endeavour because I
truly believe artists are going to lead us into the future. I really do believe that artists and art is the way to solve the challenges we are facing.”
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 4, 2021
Basketball court being built on residential school site $50,000 facility will be the only NBA-sized court in Port Alberni, with potential for large regional tournaments By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Port Alberni, BC - Bobby Rupert grew up with his grandparents who lived a few houses down from the Tseshaht First Nation’s Maht Mahs Gym in Port Alberni. He remembers being lured in by the sounds of basketballs hitting the ground ﬂoor as a young boy. At the time, Rupert’s grandparents couldn’t aﬀord basketball shoes or a net for him to practice. So, he took matters into his own hands. The self-described “Mr. basketball” created makeshift nets by cutting holes into the bottom of buckets that he nailed to the wall. He’s been hooked ever since. After losing both of his parents to alcoholism, Rupert said basketball helped him with his own sobriety. “It’s my drug of choice,” he said. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s been two years since Rupert has been able to play the game that’s comforted him since he was 10 years old. And like many others, he said his health has paid a price. But that’s about to change. The Tseshaht First Nation are reclaiming part of the land where the Alberni Indian Residential School used to stand by building a new basketball court. Construction of the project began on Oct. 18 and is moving quickly, said Tseshaht First Nation Elected Chief Ken Watts. “It’s creating a new story for an area that has a really dark history,” he said. While it was once a space where horriﬁc traumas were inﬂicted upon children, Watts said, “We’re going to ﬂip that and turn this into a positive place where there are positive experiences for children.” Trinity Williams started playing basketball on the Haahuupayak Elementary School team when she was in Grade 4. The now 16-year-old said she was encouraged to join when a bunch of her friends started playing. “It’s become an outlet for me,” she said. “I can go play basketball and I feel so much better after.” Williams now plays on the senior girls’ team at the Alberni District Secondary School and said she’s “really excited” about the new court that’s being built
Photo by Holly Stocking
A basketball court is being paved before the green Caldwell Hall building, part of the former Alberni residential school. enjoyed our within her community. sports,” he said. During the height of COVID-19, WilThe outdoor liams said it was “stressful” not being facility will be able to play basketball. “I felt really sad not being able to play,” the only NBAsized court in she said. Port Alberni and When all of Tseshaht’s indoor facilities Watts said he closed to implement social distancing dreams it’ll lead measures, Watts said members started to a new outasking council for more outdoor spaces. door tournament “It’s been a really interesting journey or league that getting here,” said Watts. “Health and wellness facilities are a big piece of what extends beyond Tseshaht to the community [members] directed us to do whole Alberni and basketball is a big part of our comValley. munity.” “It creates a The development project will cost over new atmosphere $50,000 and is being supported by the and that’s excitFirst Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership, Cisaa Forestry LLP, ing,” he said. With a space as well as private investors, said Watts. Photo submitted by Bobby Rupert “[Basketball] has been a tradition in our for people to gather again, Bobby Rupert is among the locals excited about the new court. community since I’ve been alive,” said the 38-year-old. “Our community, and Rupert said he hopes to get more of Tselikely, said Williams. Indigenous people in general, are drawn shaht’s youth involved in sport and away “It’s probably going to bring the comto sports … it creates camaraderie and from “sitting in front of the computer or munity together more,” she said. “The teamwork and relationships.” in front of the TV gaming.” community will come together to exerWatts joked that Tseshaht players may The court’s close proximity to comcise and have fun.” not be the tallest, but “we’ve always munity members makes that all the more
Phrase of the week: %ay’iic^h=ša+%a+quu k’wiish=inši+iš %a> +’ac+aaquk Pronounced ‘aah eac sha ałth koo kwis herr chill ish alth lak lag herr sum nee him ta cle hook piipiic cook herr pits kook kiss ta qaak’, it means, autumn is the time leaves all change to diﬀerent colours: Red, orange, brown, green. Supplied by ciisma.
Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
November 4, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Hesquiaht club seeks Top 3 at All Native Tournament Organizers prepare for largest turnout ever, with no limit on b-ball teams for the ﬁrst tournament in two years By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Prince Rupert, BC – Organizers are preparing for what could potentially be the largest All Native Basketball Tournament ever. The event, which features Indigenous intermediate men’s (21 and under), women’s, men’s and masters (35 and over) squads from across British Columbia, was not held this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But oﬃcials of the annual tournament, which is always staged in Prince Rupert, announced earlier in October that they have started to accept registrations for the 2022 event. The tourney has been staged annually since 1960. As of Wednesday, Oct. 27, tournament chair Peter Haugan said 37 clubs had registered to take part in next year’s event, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 13. “It doesn’t surprise me how many we’ve got already,” Haugan said. “Everybody is pretty excited about taking part.” Haugan said even though the pandemic was ongoing, organizers had thought about holding a tournament earlier this
Photo submitted by Mariah Charleson
Mariah Charleson and the Hesquiaht Descendants are preparing for the tourney. year as well. But they had to follow of people for gatherings. health authorities who limited the number “We wanted to have the tournament,”
Haugan said. “But if you can’t have fans, you can’t have a tournament.” As for the 2022 event, one major change is that some squads will no longer have to participate in a November qualifying tournament in order to earn spots into February’s main draw. That switch was made as organizers were unsure what capacity limits, determined by provincial health authorities, would be by next month. Since any club that wishes to participate in February’s tournament will be able to do so, Haugan is anticipating a massive turnout. “We’re looking at it and think it’s going to be bigger than ever,” he said. The current record number of participating clubs is 64, which occurred a dozen years ago when the tourney celebrated its 50th anniversary. The registration deadline for the 2022 tournament is Jan. 13. Haugan added many of the squads that traditionally place among the Top 5 in various categories are not among those who registered early. “Most of them haven’t even signed up yet,” he said. “They never sign up this early.” Haugan said historically many participating squads express their interest around late December. He added there will be no limit on the number of entrants. If need be, organizers would extend the week-long tournament by adding a day or two to the start of the event. The only Nuu-chah-nulth team that has registered thus far is the Hesquiaht Descendants, a women’s squad founded by Mariah Charleson in 2015. The Descendants, who have participated in most of the tournaments since then, registered their best ﬁnish thus far, fourth place, at the ’15 event. Charleson, who continues to play for the squad, thinks they could fare very well at the February tournament. “If everybody trains and if they work hard, then I really believe we have the potential to be in the top three,” she said. A major challenge facing the Descendants is that those who will be named to the squad do not live in the same community, thus limiting team training options. “Ninety per cent of the players live away from home,” Charleson said, adding she herself lives in Nanaimo. “We haven’t even met as a team yet. Players are doing their own training. There is the potential though for some players to get together and train together.” The Hesquiaht team is currently only open to members of the First Nation. Charleson said no oﬃcial tryouts will be held, adding prospective team members are for the most part well acquainted with each other. “We have a massive talent pool to choose from,” she said. “There’s well over 50 women’s players (from Hesquiaht). We all know each other. We all grew up playing together. And we have a solid group of experienced players.” Meanwhile, Ahousaht First Nation traditionally enters squads in the men’s and intermediate men’s categories. Though they had yet to do so, those clubs were expected to register for the 2022 tournament soon. For more information, or for those looking to enter the tournament, contact Haugan at (250) 624-1690 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 4, 2021
Health Corner BC Covid-19 vaccine booster update The province has announced that COVID-19 booster shots will be oﬀered to everyone who wants one, starting with higher risk populations, including Indigenous people. Between now and May of 2022, the booster campaign will cover all B.C. residents aged 12 and over who have received their second dose of vaccine six to eight months ago. Booster doses will initially be oﬀered to the general population age 70 and older, Indigenous people 12 and older, and people with compromised immune systems. Health care workers who had an interval of less than 42 days between doses one and two will also be prioritized. Booster doses are already underway for other priority groups, including residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities and vulnerable people living in shelters. The broader population will be able to get their booster shots between January and May. Timing will depend on the person’s age, risk and the interval from their second shot. “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. What kind of vaccines will be used for a booster dose? Currently, both the mRNA vaccines SpikeVax (Moderna) and Comirnaty (Pﬁzer BioNTech) are the two options for booster doses. The mRNA vaccines work the same way, so if you’ve received the ﬁrst dose of one mRNA vaccine and are oﬀered the other for your second dose, it is safe to receive it and it will oﬀer you the same protection. People who received AstraZeneca as either a ﬁrst or second dose will also be oﬀered an mRNA vaccine for a booster. There are no concerns with safety or eﬀectiveness from mixing these vaccine types. If you live in a First Nations commu-
nity (i.e., on reserve) The First Nations Health Authority will once again work with communities to provide on-reserve booster clinics, beginning with rural and remote communities and those with residents who received their second doses more than six months ago and have the shortest intervals between the ﬁrst and second doses. At-risk communities or those with active outbreaks will also be prioritized. As vaccines for youth 12-17 were not available until May 2021, some youth may not yet require a booster dose. If you live away from home (oﬀreserve) Indigenous people living oﬀ reserve may be immunized in clinics organized by their regional health authority, at participating pharmacies, or possibly in their local First Nations communities. The general public – including Indigenous people who received their ﬁrst two doses through provincial clinics – will be invited to get their booster dose via the provincial online vaccination system. Vaccines for children under 12 Approval from Health Canada for vaccines for children ages 5-11 is expected soon. Registration for this age group is open on B.C.’s online vaccination system. Still need your ﬁrst or second dose? Vaccinations continue to be oﬀered to those who still need their ﬁrst or second dose. As of Oct. 25, nearly 90 per cent of people 12 and older in BC have received their ﬁrst dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 84 per cent have received their second dose. The numbers are much lower for First Nations people, however, at 77.5 per cent and 67 per cent respectively. Most hospitalizations due to COVID-19 (77 per cent) are people who are not fully vaccinated. *To register for a vaccine clinic, visit: gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html or call Island Health at 1833.838.2323 **To inquire when the next vaccine clinic is available in your community call NTC at 250.725.3367 ***For more information about COVID-19 vaccines see: fnha.ca/vaccine. Source: https://www.fnha.ca
Les Sam Construction Residential . Commercial & Architectural Structures Construction Management & Consulting Forming & Framing Ph/Txt: 250.720.7334
Photo by Denise Titian
A patient is treated during a foot clinic at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Oct. 24.
Mobile foot care comes to Nuu-chah-nulth territories By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter West Coast Vancouver Island – Dozens of Nuu-chah-nulth people are receiving preventative foot care services closer to home, thanks to the eﬀorts of NTC Health Promotion Worker Matilda Atleo. With the elevated risk of Type 2 diabetes for Indigenous people in general, specialized foot care is especially important to avoid the risk of amputation and also to help keep people mobile. But there are very few professional pedorthists north of Nanaimo, according to Atleo. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer people are willing to travel away from home for foot care. Atleo has organized mobile foot clinics with Nanaimo-based OceanWalk Pedorthic. Since October 2020, Katia Langton, owner of OceanWalk Pedorthic, has traveled to Port Alberni and other outlying communities to deliver services to people needing foot care. On Oct. 24, Katia and her team arrived at Port Alberni’s Athletic Hall for her ﬁfth foot clinic in that city. “We can go to diﬀerent communities,” said Langton, adding that they just need someone like Matilda Atleo to facilitate the clinics. OceanWalk Pedorthic mobile clinics have traveled to Toﬁno, Ahousaht, and Campbell River since 2020, serving Nuuchah-nulth members in those areas. Langton is a certiﬁed pedorthist in both the US and Canada. She is trained to assess and treat patients with foot problems due to diabetic neuropathy. “I am certiﬁed in lower extremity amputation prevention and comprehensive treatment and management of the neuropathic foot,” she told Ha-Shilth-Sa. “OceanWalk Pedorthic runs these First Nations Mobile Foot Clinics with the goal of keeping First Nations clients active, walking and mobile,” added Langton. Clients are assessed and treated for painful foot conditions on a preventative basis to prevent little problems from becoming big. “A painful foot condition will encourage sedentary behaviour and stop them walking and they will eventually be suscep-
tible to lifestyle related diseases; the largest being diabetes,” Langton said, adding preventative foot clinics will elevate the health of First Nations community members and prevent chronic disease. Diabetic and pre-diabetic patients should have their feet assessed annually to avoid neuropathy. Annual foot care allows the pedorthist to catch ulcers early and treat them to avoid amputations. Besides foot problems associated with Type 2 diabetes, Langton also treats people with painful foot conditions caused by arthritis, bunions, plantar fasciitis, injuries and much more. These conditions are often treated with devices called orthotics that are custom made and worn inside the shoe, or with orthopaedic shoes. While in Port Alberni, Langton was able to ﬁt Ahousaht elder Geraldine Allwork in her new custom-made orthotics and treated members from Huu-ay-aht and Tseshaht for painful foot conditions. “Our goal is to keep people walking,” said Langton. She pointed out that chronic foot pain, left untreated, can go “up the chain” potentially causing knee, hip and back pain. Katia says orthotic devices and shoes are covered by the First Nations Health Authority every two years. “We will access coverage of these devices and make recommendations for all First Nations clients. Additionally, any of the clients also on disability will be covered for orthopaedic footwear annually,” she said. Langton says they are available to run preventative First Nations mobile foot clinics throughout B.C., but they need someone in the community to coordinate – set dates and book patients. “And then we will show up and run the clinic,” she said. According to Langton, a health worker in Kingcome Inlet read about the mobile foot care clinic in a Ha-Shilth-Sa edition from April 2021 and successfully coordinated a clinic there. If any First Nations are interested in having this clinic in their community, they can reach out to Matilda Atleo at the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council at 250724-5757, or they may contact the clinic directly at 250.585.5859.
November 4, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
More job postings at www.hashilthsa.com
Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 4, 2021
Port Alberni approves temporary warming places The Grassroots Homelessness Coalition has received a License to Occupy from the city to provide unsheltered folks with warmth and food By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - The Grassroots Homelessness Coalition (GHC) will once again be providing temporary warming places for Port Alberni’s unsheltered population during the colder months. Port Alberni city council approved a License to Occupy Agreement for the coalition to set up warming places on two city-owned properties from October to April, ﬁlling a gap when other local facilities are either closed or at capacity. The two locations are Tidebrook Park on Gertrude Street and land next to the Port Alberni Friendship Centre on Fourth Avenue. The locations provide warmth from propane ﬁre pits, with hot drinks, food, Naloxone kits and hygiene packages. Last fall and winter, the GHC and the city conducted a pilot project for the pop-up warming places that proved to be a success. “As communities continue to face challenges with providing shelter to vulnerable unsheltered populations and in response to events that transpired throughout the COVID pandemic, and where we continue to ﬁnd ourselves, the Grassroots Homelessness Coalition was formed,” said the City of Port Alberni’s Director of Corporate Services Twyla Slonski. “Members of the coalition have been working with city representatives to identify ways in which the city’s unsheltered population could receive food and shelter when local organizations or facilities are either closed or at capacity and when the weather is unfavorable.” The License to Occupy Agreement states the warming places can be available from 7 p.m. through to the following morning until 8 a.m., with the caveat that the coalition could set up as early as 6 p.m. It is also required that the warming places be monitored and staﬀed at all hours of operation. All tents and equipment must be completely dis-
Photo by Karly Blats
The Grassroots Homelessness Coalition will once again be setting up temporary warming places for unsheltered folks in the Alberni Valley from October to April. mantled and the property returned to its a lack of service,” George said. “That’s so warming places were usually only original state within two hours after the what we’re looking to ﬁll the gaps. There open for a few hours. closure. In addition, any garbage or waste was a big lull over Christmas and New “Midnight is usually our closure bemust be collected and managed during Year’s, there wasn’t a lot out there.” cause most of us have daytime jobs that operating times. George said during last year’s pilot we still have to function at in the mornThe coalition also asked for the agreeproject, the warming places typically saw ing,” George said. ment to include the option of providing around 35 individuals per night. The coalition is looking for more vola lunch service from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 “If you took that comparison to the next unteers to help out, whether it’s serving p.m. on weekends and holidays when night, we’d still have that 35 but not all food, helping set up or take down equipother service providers aren’t available. 35 are repeat, we’d have new faces,” she ment. They are also in need of donations Lisa George from the GHC told city said. “Somebody tells somebody else to purchase two propane ﬁre pits, propane council at a meeting on Oct. 12 that they and it goes forward. I ﬁgure we’d had tanks, folding chairs, paper towels, toilet don’t want to duplicate any services that 100 people on the street that were served. paper, plastic cutlery, masks, gloves and are already in place. We’re missing a bunch of folks and garbage bags. “On weekends and holidays where all we’ve got a lot of new faces out there.” other services are closed, we’re seeing The coalition is entirely volunteer based,
November 4, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
Photo by Melissa Renwick
Haahuupayak elementary school celebrates Grade 7 graduates in 2020. Haahuupayak is one of several on-reserve schools that could be aﬀected by new legislation.
Nations take another step toward education authority Legislation gives the Tseshaht, Ditidaht and Ahousaht First Nations authority over teacher certiﬁcation and regulation By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor As a young student many years ago, Hugh Braker read in a school history text a deeply hurtful reference to Indigenous people in Quebec as “savages.” “I still remember that today,” he said. “It really hurt at the time and it continues to bother me today.” It has also been a long time, decades in fact, since First Nations began negotiations to take back control of their children’s education. Braker is Tseshaht’s negotiator for what is referred to as the “education jurisdiction initiative,” a longtrack process to achieve that goal. “It has been a long time,” he said. “The federal government dropped out of negotiations when Harper was elected. Negotiations essentially came to a standstill.” The initiative was co-developed by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), a body set up in 1992 that acts under the direction of First Nations involved. Another important step came in 2006, when First Nations, federal and provincial representatives signed a suite of jurisdiction agreements and the First Nations Education Authority was established. In 2014, the Nuu-chah-nulth Unity Declaration, signed by all Nuu-chahnulth nations, called for full authority and jurisdiction over the education of their children, one “grounded in our culture
and language, and equitably funded and resourced.” Jurisdiction talks ﬁnally resumed when the Trudeau Liberal government took ofﬁce in 2015. “It aﬀects three tribes, Tseshaht, Ditidaht and Ahousaht,” Braker said. “All are applying for jurisdiction. We’re at diﬀerent places in the negotiations. I would say Tseshaht might be the furthest along.” Last week, the path reached another major milestone. Legislative amendments to the First Nations Education Act, Teachers Act and Criminal Records Review Act will create a new certiﬁcation and regulation process across the province in communities taking part in the education jurisdiction initiative. This means participating First Nations, a core group of 14 spearheading the initiative, will be able to certify and regulate teachers who work in schools under their jurisdiction. Another 100 or so First Nations are waiting to see results before pursuing the same initiative. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside said the changes represent a step forward in the NDP government’s reconciliation commitments, including a commitment to advance educational outcomes for Indigenous students. “Education can and must play a key role in reconciliation and in creating a future of equity and justice for all,” she said. The legislation will also change composition of the British Columbia Teach-
ers’ Council, the provincial body whose responsibilities include establishing certiﬁcation, conduct and competence standards for provincial teaching certiﬁcate holders. The changes ensure representation on the council by the First Nations Education Authority, which is comprised of representatives appointed by participating nations. “The B.C. First Nations education jurisdiction initiative, including our ability to certify and regulate teachers who we know are the right ﬁt for our schools and students, is a true reﬂection of First Nations control of First Nations education, which we have been advancing for decades,” Braker said. Behind the initiative stands a ﬁrm belief that greater authority over teacher certiﬁcation and regulation, although they constitute only one step in the process, will lead to improved educational outcomes for First Nations students. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Province of British Columbia on this ground-breaking initiative,” said Tyrone McNeil, president of the FNESC. “Supporting First Nations in certifying and regulating teachers in their own schools is fundamental to their exercise of jurisdiction.” Talks continue as the initiative makes progress toward full educational autonomy across the board in First Nations education. Negotiations are complex, especially when it comes to working out
who pays for the education of students who may come from a variety of Indigenous backgrounds and communities, Braker noted. “Jurisdiction, we think, is going to help us. We’re hoping we’re going to get exactly what we’re looking for. Federal and provincial governments had their chance. They blew it,” he said, describing the federal attempt a “horror show” rather than a school system. He characterized the public-school system as “extremely Euro-centric,” his school-age experience illustrating the point. The ultimate goal in his community is to provide a Tseshaht-centred education across a full range of subjects. “My point is that the province had its chance,” he added, referring to educational track record down through the years of Indigenous students enrolled in public school education. While those closely measured educational outcomes have shown substantial improvement in recent years, they still trail those of nonIndigenous students. On the other hand, Haahuupayak elementary school has grown so popular that it is ﬁlled to capacity, supplemented by a couple of portables to meet high demand. Seventeen students had to be turned away this year. That popularity reﬂects the degree of conﬁdence that First Nation families, not only in the immediate community but in surrounding communities, have in the school, Braker said.
Tla-o-qui-aht transport building from Tin Wis resort By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Toﬁno, BC – On Monday, Oct. 25 the Nickel Bros moved a building from the Best Western Plus Tin Wis Resort to the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s main administration oﬃce, which sits oﬀ the Paciﬁc Rim Highway in Toﬁno. The relocation makes way for a new outdoor swimming pool the nation is building for the resort and its new development project, the Tsawaak RV Resort and Campground. It will also provide additional oﬃce space for the nation’s economic development corporation. “We’ve sort of operated oﬀ the side of everybody’s desk for the last decade without any real place to be,” said Jamie
Basset, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation economic development oﬃcer. The building, which used to serve as staﬀ accommodation for the Best Western Plus Tin Wis Resort, will be operational in three or four weeks, said Jim Chisholm, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation tribal administrator. While only a temporary solution, Basset said the building has the potential to be repurposed again in the future. The expansion of the nation’s economic development corporation speaks to the growth of opportunities, said Basset. “It gives the development corporation a chance to have a presence,” he said. “It creates a place for people to meet, a place for people to be and it [provides] a place for people who work in the development corporation to hang their hat.”
Photo by Melissa Renwick
The Nickel Bros move a house from the Tla-o-qui-aht-owned Best Western Plus Tin Wis Resort in Toﬁno to a location beside the Tla-o-qui-aht tribal admin building, on October 25, 2021.
Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa— November 4, 2021
Did you know? How we eat makes a big difference to how we feel! How we eat and what we eat is important in our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.
Do you.... Have questions about food and your health? Wonder, “what do dietitians do?”
The short answer...
Hello! From the dietitian team: Jen and Rachel. • • •
Anything to do with food! A dietitian works with you to discover how food can work for you, (and the community) to feel good.
A dietitian can be a guide to answers to your food questions for your health Support you in making changes you want to make to eat better Find creative ways with you to solve your food challenges
Some questions that people often ask are: • • • • • •
My babies are picky eaters…how can I get them to eat vegetables? I have diabetes. How can I eat to manage my sugars? I have an aging relative. How can I encourage them to eat more? I have tummy problems, are there foods I can eat that won’t upset my tummy? I see that I need to feed my family healthy foods, but I don’t cook…..is help there for me? What are foods I can buy that are healthy on a small budget?
Nuu-chah-nulth Food Resources for You! 1. On Facebook: • Nuuchahnulth Community Wellness Facebook page. Nuuchahnulth Community Wellness page has many great healthy eating videos, resources and posts! Dietitians meet with people one to one and in groups! • We cook together and have fun • We grow food together • We share resources and ideas to have healthy foods on a budget
Dietitians work in the community! To increase food and resources in the community, so everyone can have good food. Good food includes supporting access to traditional foods and food skills, and so much more.
CONTACT US: Rachel and Jen are both happy to talk to or meet community members about food and their health. Jen Cody, Registered Dietician:
phone 250-724-5757 email email@example.com
Rachel Dickens, Registered Dietician: photo 250-725-3367 email Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org
2. On the Web: • Nuu-chah-nulth Nutrition Resources. http://nada.ca/?page_id=3518. Nuuchah-nulth Nutrition Resources page has many recipes and articles about healthy eating and diabetes….. AND the link to Nuu-chah-nulth Healthy Eating on a Budget Cookbook for Diabetes and Diabetes Prevention • The Food is Medicine Cooking Show The Cooking Show demos online…..great recipes and good company! 39 minutes each. https://www.youtube.com/playlist ?list=PLI3c6v0mHMfdC8t6NEaM_qpc6oYVusImz • Nuu-chah-nulth Traditional Foods Guide: Nuu-chah-nulth Traditional Foods Reference Guide on lulu.com 3. By Phone: • There are other dietitians you can talk to……. Call 811 and ask to talk to a dietitian.