Ha Shilth Sa Newspaper October 20, 2022

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Salmon die-offs a possibility if drought persists

The warm and dry conditions have affected streams this fall, delaying migration and salmon spawning in areas

With little to no rainfall occurring over the past five weeks, the west coast of Vancouver Island has now reached Drought Level 4, putting salmon at risk of decay.

According to the Province of B.C., at Drought Level 4 conditions are extremely dry and adverse effects to socio-economic or ecosystem values are likely.

Areas under Drought Level 4 include the Fort Nelson basin, the Sunshine Coast basin, Lower Mainland basin and the east and west Vancouver Island.

The province’s extremely dry and hot conditions are causing negative impacts for some wildlife. Tens of thousands of salmon recently turned up dead at the bottom of a dry creek in Bella Bella.

“I’m not aware of similar mass dieoffs on Vancouver Island, though it is certainly a possibility if dry conditions persist,” said Katrina Connors, director of the Salmon Watersheds Program, Pacific Salmon Foundation. “Many smaller salmon-bearing streams on Vancouver Island are experiencing low water conditions as a result of the prolonged dry conditions.”

Connors said persistent dry conditions have resulted in a complete lack of summer rainfall recharge that is needed to

keep smaller streams flowing. She said low water levels mean warmer streams with less oxygen, which can be deadly for cold water fish like salmon.

“Drought conditions not only affect the salmon that are already in these streams preparing to spawn, but can also prevent salmon from even reaching their spawning areas,” Connors said. “Salmon wait in estuaries and lakes for environmental ‘cues’to enter their spawning areas - cues like increasing flows and cool water. But that’s not happening this year, and in some places salmon are holding waiting to finish their freshwater migration.”

Connors said some examples of where this can be seen this year is in theAdams River, where last week salmon were holding in Shuswap Lake waiting for river temperatures to decrease.

“Water temperatures have been around 18 C, which is above optimal spawning conditions for salmon,” Connors said.

“Salmon only have so much energy reserved and they can’t wait around indefinitely to access their spawning habitats. If they wait too long, they might perish before spawning, which would have multi-generational consequences for salmon populations.”

According to Connors, many smaller salmon-bearing streams on Vancouver Island are experiencing low water

conditions as a result of the prolonged dry conditions. For example, the Quinsam River near Campbell River and the Ucona River near the town of Gold River are experiencing very low water levels.

“In Union Bay near the Comox Valley, a PSF staff member has recently discovered 30-50 juvenile salmon trapped in a couple of small pools that have discon-

nected from a stream that has completely run dry,” Connors said. “With no rain in the long-term forecast and the full moon now past, which would bring in the high tides that would connect these pools to the estuary, these salmon risk dying.”

Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Vol. 49 - No. 20—October 20, 2022 haas^i>sa Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40047776 INTERESTING NEWS If undeliverable, please return to: Ha-Shilth-Sa P.O. Box 1383, PortAlberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2Inside this issue... US fires affect Vancouver Island air quality...................Page 2 Float plane crash caused by boat wake...........................Page 3 Supportive housing funding cut......................................Page 7 Ucluelet Secondary exhibits residntial school poems...Page 11 Calls for Charles to revoke Doctrine of Discovery.......Page 15
Continued on page 3. Photo by Karly Blats Awarm autumn has affected salmon migration on Vancouver Island, causing the fish to pool in some areas, waiting for waters to cool. Pictured is the Somass River at Paper Mill Dam Park. Sockeye salmon (below) fight to swim upstream.Although the sockeye migration has passed, the drought is affecting chum and coho salmon. Photo by Melissa Renwick

Wildfires affect air quality, impact Vancouver Island

Smoke fills skies from fires burning south of the border and throughout B.C., Gold River schools take measures

As the heat of the summer extends into October there has been a prolonged forest fire season.As of Oct. 18, the province has 201 active fires with six having started in the previous two days.

Though two of the four fires in the Port Alberni area are no longer burning, four in Strathcona, and four between Gold River and Zeballos remain.

TarekAyache, air quality meteorologist with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said smoke across Vancouver Island is largely due to forest fires burning south of the border.

“This year is really unusual. We’ve had this prolonged dry weather that has prolonged the wildfire season as well,” saidAyache. “There’s still fires that are intensely burning, mainly south of the border, but also in the province.”

BC Wildfire Services tweeted on Oct. 17, “Smoke from 26 active fires in the Fraser Zone, combined with smoke from Washington State, has negatively impacted air quality and visibility throughout most of the Coastal Fire Centre, particularly in the Fraser Valley.”

“So at this point [afternoon of Oct.17], the smoke is starting to clear.And we expect the gradual clearing today and into tomorrow. But maybe expect a few lingering impacts at the southern tip of the island well into the middle of the week,” saidAyache.

ASmokey Skies Bulletin writes that people with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections, older adults, pregnant women, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to be impacted by the smoke.

Afire along Herber River, close to Gold River, started on Sept. 6 and was caused by lightning. In the four days leading up

to Oct. 18 the fire grew from 352 hectares to 358 hectares and continues to remain in the status of ‘out of control’. The Coastal Fire Centre said there is a crew of 10 on the fire for the next five to six days. They will then reassess the situation.

Another fire, at Oktwanch River, ignited on Sept. 1 and remained at 41 hectares in the last 4 days.

Sharon Parsey, administrative assistant at Gold River Secondary, says that the school is managing the smoke by closing doors, windows, and intake vents so that it doesn’t enter the building.

“It comes and goes. Some days are fine. Other days are quite smoky,” said Parsey. “We just have to make sure that things are closed up or otherwise the school does fill up with the smell of smoke.”

Marsha Maquinna, Nuu-chah-nulth education worker at Ray Watkins Elementary School in Gold River, said that the current situation has been quite a concern, and they’ve been reassuring students that they are safe.

Students with asthma have been impacted by the smoke. Maquinna said depending on how severe their asthma is, some

students have remained at home in their effort to stay indoors to avoid the smoke. The school had to cancel their Terry Fox run numerous times because of the smoke, but were able to complete the event on a day in mid-October when the smoke lifted.

“We’re hoping for rain soon,” said Maquinna. “It looks like it’s gonna be coming on Friday.”

Ayache said that by the end of the week it is expected that there will be a major change in the weather bringing rain and wind, which will help to clear the smoke.

Hot October temperatures brings multiple wildfires

Vancouver Island, BC -As the heat of the summer extends into October there has been a prolonged forest fire season. As of Oct. 18, the province has 201 active fires with six having started in the previous two days.

Though two of the four fires in the Port Alberni area are no longer burning, four in Strathcona, and four between Gold River and Zeballos remain.

TarekAyache, air quality meteorologist with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said that the smoke across Vancouver Island is largely due to the forest fires burning south of the border.

“This year is really unusual. We’ve had this prolonged dry weather that has prolonged the wildfire season as well,” saidAyache. “There’s still fires that are intensely burning, mainly south of the border, but also in the province.”

BC Wildfire Services tweeted on Oct. 17, “Smoke from 26 active fires in the Fraser Zone, combined with smoke from Washington State, has negatively impacted air quality and visibility throughout most of the Coastal Fire Centre, particularly in the Fraser Valley.”

“So at this point [afternoon of Oct.17], the smoke is starting to clear.And we expect the gradual clearing today and into

tomorrow. But maybe expect a few lingering impacts at the southern tip of the island well into the middle of the week,” saidAyache.

ASmokey Skies Bulletin writes that people with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections, older adults, pregnant women, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to be impacted by the smoke.

Afire along Herber River, close to Gold River, started on Sept. 6 and was caused by lightning. In the four days leading up to Oct. 18 the fire grew from 352 hectares to 358 hectares and continues to remain in the status of ‘out of control’. The Coastal Fire Centre said there is a crew of 10 on the fire for the next five to six days. They will then reassess the situation.

Another fire, at Oktwanch River, ignited on Sept. 1 and remained at 41 hectares in the last 4 days.

Sharon Parsey, administrative assistant at Gold River Secondary, says that the school is managing the smoke by closing doors, windows, and intake vents so that it doesn’t enter the building.

“It comes and goes. Some days are fine. Other days are quite smoky,” said Parsey.

“We just have to make sure that things are closed up or otherwise the school does fill up with the smell of smoke.”

Marsha Maquinna, Nuu-chah-nulth education worker at Ray Watkins Elementary School in Gold River, said that the cur-

Four fires burn near PortAlberni, four in Strathcona Park, and four between Gold River and Zeballos in Nuu-chah-nulth territory.

rent situation has been quite a concern, and they’ve been reassuring students that they are safe.

Students with asthma have been impacted by the smoke. Maquinna said depending on how severe their asthma is, some students have remained at home in their effort to stay indoors to avoid the smoke.

The school had to cancel their Terry Fox run numerous times because of the smoke, but were able to complete the

event on a day in mid-October when the smoke lifted.

“We’re hoping for rain soon,” said Maquinna. “It looks like it’s gonna be coming on Friday.”

Ayache said that by the end of the week it is expected that there will be a major change in the weather bringing rain and wind, which will help to clear the smoke.

Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa—October 20, 2022
Photo from B.C. Wildfire Service At over 10 hectares, the Heather Lake blaze in E.C. Manning Park is one of B.C.’s largest active wildfires, contributing to compromised air quality in other parts of the province.

Float plane crash caused by boat wake, says TSB

Traffic in a busy Tofino harbour had a role in the accident, determines investigators over a year after the crash

Tofino, BC –Aroutine trip from Tofino to Hot Springs Cove aboard a float plane turned terrifying after the aircraft faltered on take-off, cartwheeled, and settled on the ocean upside down. NTC President Judith Sayers was aboard that flight and was rescued from drowning by her son, who was also aboard.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has determined that two factors played a role in the accident: the wake from passing boats and possible errors in weight and balance calculations.

The incident occurred shortly after takeoff from Tofino Harbour on the morning of July 26, 2021.At the time, people speculated that the float plane had hit the sandbar on take-off, but the TSB has determined that the plane lost control as it became airborne after hitting the wake of passing boats, sending it into a cartwheel.

“The aircraft rate of acceleration was slowed by a boat wake during the takeoff run, and the pilot attempted to gain additional distance with a right turn on the water’s surface,” said the TSB. “The aircraft then lifted off of the water at a low airspeed as a result of either a second boat wake or a control input.”

Sayers said she was strapped in her seat and hanging upside down as the plane filled with water.

“Remembering that moment when I knew I had no breath left and thinking my life was over… still brings tears to my eyes that my son saved me,” she shared.

According to the TSB report released on Oct. 6, the accident involved a Cessna A185F seaplane operated byAtleo River Air Service Ltd., in Tofino.

“On 26 July 2021, anAtleo RiverAir Service Ltd. CessnaA185F seaplane was conducting a flight from Tofino Harbour WaterAerodrome, BC, to the Hesquiaht First Nation community in Hot Springs Cove, BC, with one pilot and four passengers on board,” says the TSB summary. “During takeoff, the aircraft momentarily became airborne, then lost control and cartwheeled, before coming to rest

inverted in shallow water. One passenger received serious injuries, the remainder received minor injuries, and the aircraft was substantially damaged.”

The float plane came to rest, upside down at the sandbar near Deadman’s Island, in shallow water. This fact likely saved the life of Sayers, who, with assistance from the others, was successfully released from her seat and was treated for minor injuries.

The TSB found that the location of the accident likely contributed to the survival of the occupants, “by reducing the risk of drowning and providing time for the occupants to egress the aircraft,” reads the TSB report.

The investigation also determined that passenger weights may have been underestimated, which could have affected the aircraft’s ability to fly safely.

Following the occurrence,Atleo River Air Service Ltd. increased the time between flights by an additional 15 minutes to provide pilots with more time to complete their pre-flight duties.

“Understanding what happened in the accident is important to my healing emotionally, but trying to ensure these kinds of accidents don’t happen again is even more important,” said Sayers.

She noted that coastal communities rely on float planes to get in and out.

“The fact thatAtleoAir put more time in between flights helps what?” she asked. “The issues relating to the updates on the wings are more important to look at and ensuring the float planes are safe.”

Three months after the accident, a plane from TofinoAir was involved in a collision with a boat.

On Oct. 18, 2021 a TofinoAir float plane collided with Rocky Pass, a water taxi operated by Chris Frank ofAhousaht, witnessed by several people on the docks of Tofino Harbour. In that accident, the float plane had already landed before the collision. Its pontoon was damaged, causing it to fill with water, eventually sinking the plane. Boaters in the area were able to rescue all occupants of the plane with no serious injuries reported.

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council issued a statement following the second accident, calling for action to prevent further tragedies.

“We want to ensure no more of our people, or anyone else, is harmed by preventable accidents that have the potential to be absolutely disastrous. These two incidents are cause for great concern and we know that more can be done to

prevent these incidents from happening again and we demand changes to laws, regulation and policies be made to ensure greater safety in the harbour,” Sayers wrote in the NTC statement, dated Oct. 21, 2021.

She is concerned about the growing number of users in the busy Tofino Harbour, especially with two float plane accidents in the same area just three months apart.

“We call on Transport Canada as a priority, to review the laws, regulation and policies that regulate Tofino Harbour and make changes to ensure a safer harbour,” Sayers demanded in the NTC statement.

More than a year after her harrowing experience, Sayers says the shock has lessened but it is still something that stays with her.

“Reading the press release and report, it brings back a lot of memories of that day, the shock, the pain, the joy of all of us being alive,” said Sayers.

She knows that float planes are safe, “but it is the thought of it happening again that gives me pause to get back on them. I will do it, just at the right time for me.”

Roger, Dry Creek ‘bone dry’, as salmon wait for rain

Connors added that Chinook salmon on the east coast of Vancouver Island have already been identified as a conservation concern by DFO and by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. These additional stresses can make their situation worse.

In theAlberni Valley, Dave Rolston, Tseshaht First Nation’s fisheries manger, says McCoy Lake watershed has seen the most severe impact from the drought.

“With respect to drought, with respect to water flow, the McCoy Lake watershed doesn’t have the buffer that some of the other places have with respect to aquifers,” Rolston said. “All the [creeks] that feed into the lake, most of them are dry.

Heath creek’s not too bad, it’s still got a little bit of flow, but everything else is pretty much completely dry.”

Rolston said he estimates that half of the juvenile salmon that were in the McCoy Lake watershed a couple months ago

have now been lost. He said since the drought, no adult coho are getting to the McCoy Lake watershed to spawn, and he believes they will be the most impacted species of salmon this year.

“We’re seeing impacts I would say mostly in the coho. Chum are starting to come in now, there’s a little bit of chum but they typically start to spawn near the mouth of the Somass, so hopefully they’re not going to be impacted,” Rolston said. “The chinook…a good chunk of them got up the Stamp before this happened and then they seemed to be able to make it up the Stamp still.”

Rolston said it’s still to be determined if the sockeye will be affected by the drought, but if forecasted rain comes this weekend they should be okay.

“It’s time for them to spawn, so hopefully we will get some rain and that will solve itself,” Rolston said. “I’m hearing from other regions that this is the most severe drought we’ve had in 100 years. I tend to believe it.”

Rolston added that Roger Creek and

Dry Creek are also “bone dry” which has caused fish to die in those areas as well.

Mike McDermid, director of Seafood and Fisheries for Ocean Wise, said the prolonged drought has definitely had an impact on salmon returning now.

“(Stream) Temperatures of 17-18 degrees C begin to stress the fish increasing pre-spawning mortality, and at 20 degrees become lethal,” McDermid said. “Low water levels can leave critical spawning beds dry and create in-river barriers to salmon migration leading to die offs like we saw in the Neekas in Bella Bella.”

McDermid said salmon are fairly good at holding in deeper waters of lakes or at the mouths of rivers for the right conditions before continuing their migration to the spawning beds, however that ability can be limited and large aggregations of fish can cause stress, leading to higher mortality.

“We are certainly seeing this on Vancouver Island,” McDermid said. “Salmon are currently holding inAlberni Inlet because of the low water levels and the City of

Nanaimo had to release water from two reservoirs into the streams to support the returning salmon.”

Salmon, McDermid said, are intrinsically linked to a healthy coastal ecosystem both on land and in the water. They are predators of small fishes and planktonic organisms and are a key food source for many larger fish and mammals, like the threatened resident killer whales.

“What cannot be understated is that they are intrinsically linked to people as well. Coastal peoples have relied on the returning salmon for thousands of years and this could have devastating impacts on those communities that live upriver and rely on the salmon returning today,” McDermid said. “We are likely to feel the effects of climate change more and more and events like this are more likely to occur, so we need to take this into consideration in our management decisions to ensure the future health of our coastal ecosystems.”

October 20, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
Submitted photo An upturned float plane rests on a sandbar near Tofino Harbour, after cartwheeling following takeoff.ATransportation Safety Board report has determined that a boat wake in the busy harbour was a factor in the accident. Continued from page

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October 28, 2022

After that date, material submitted and judged appropriate cannot be guaranteed placement but, if material is still relevant, will be included in the following issue.

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Economic centre aims to empower Nations

B.C. Assembly of First Nations starts initiative with six staff to assist communities

Vancouver, BC - The B.C.Assembly of First Nations is building an economic development centre, with the aim of providing Indigenous communities with much-needed expertise to pursue ventures towards prosperity.

The announcement of the BCAFN’s Centre of Excellence in First Nations Economic Development was made on Oct. 11, with a $1.2 million commitment from the provincial government to help get the initiative started. The centre’s location and date of opening is yet to be determined, but BCAFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee said the development will make “educated, well-versed assistance” available to First Nations with six dedicated staff.

“Far too often what I’ve heard from many chiefs across British Columbia is we don’t have capacity, we don’t have enough resources,” said Teegee during a press conference. “They don’t have someone who is directly committed to economic development, nor do they have somebody that looks after their title and rights.”

Ajoint announcement from the province and the BCAFN stated that the six staff members will be employed by the economic development centre this year, with plans to grow in the future.

The hope is for the centre to better empower First Nations to participate in the province’s economy, thereby improving the living standards of Indigenous peoples in B.C. This year the First Nations Leadership Council cited an “intergenerational cycle of poverty” that many Indigenous communities face, according to its report Income Supports and Indigenous Peoples in B.C.

During the Oct. 11 announcement Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, identified barriers to First Nations fully participating in the economy.

“We heard that these barriers include discrimination and systemic racism, the need for more services and infrastructure in remote communities, regulatory burdens, and limited access to capital,” said the minister. “It became clear that in

order to build an economy that includes everyone, we need to remove these barriers.”

Part of the challenge has to do with location, observed Teegee.

“Approximately 15-20 per cent of our First Nations are within urban centres, so their economic development is far different than rural First Nations,” he said.

Yet opportunity exists in natural resources, industries that too many Indigenous communities have not participated in, said Teegee.

“Forestry, mining, natural gas, all these resources that we export, First Nations are not part of the equation,” he stressed. “Certainly, we’re seeing more discussions with industry and government, but clearly not enough.”

The investment aligns with the province’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People’sAct. This legislation stresses the importance of a First Nation determining its own future, but the establishment of a centralized economic support location proved to be more viable for the province than dispersing funds to B.C.’s 204 individual First Nations.

“I feel this will fill a big gap of support services, expertise and technical support,” said Daylu Dena Council Deputy Chief Harlan Schilling, who is also on the B.C.Assembly of First Nations’board of directors. “This provides a hub for small First Nations, like my First Nation here in Lower Post, an opportunity to work with other economic development leaders in our province.”

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Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa—October 20, 2022
note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is
Photo submitted by B.C. Assembly of First Nations On Oct. 11 the B.C.Assembly of First Nations announced the establishment of the Centre of Excellence in First Nations Economic Development, with a $1.2 million injection from the province. Pictured is BCAFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Zim Kingston response was ‘deficient’, says commiÅee

House of Commons commi ee gives 29 recommendations, after coastal communities were left out of response

Ottawa, ON - Nearly a year after the Zim Kingston lost over 100 shipping containers at sea west of Vancouver Island, a House of Commons committee has concluded that Canada is ill-prepared to deal with marine cargo accidents.

“[C]oastal communities are bearing the brunt of cleanup efforts,” stated the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans in a report released this month. Based on an analysis of the Zim Kingston incident - including hearing from 21 witnesses in government agencies, coastal response organizations and First Nations - the committee’s report lists 29 recommendations, stressing what’s needed to overcome shortcomings that led to 105 containers being lost in the Pacific.

On Oct. 21, 2021 the Zim Kingston reported losing 40-foot shipping containers in stormy weather before the vessel entered the Juan de Fuca Strait, 38 nautical miles south of Ucluelet. Owned by the Danaos Shipping Company from Greece, the Zim Kingston originally reported missing 40 containers, but this tally ended up being 109. The ship continued eastward, and a fire emerged when the vessel was south of Victoria.

The Canadian Coast Guard responded, but the government agency’s effectiveness led the parliamentary committee to determine that Canada has “deficient” resources in marine firefighting and the towing of vessels. The fire was first reported at 12:45 p.m. on Oct. 21, but the Coast Guard wasn’t on the scene until 5:30 to 6 p.m. that afternoon, states the committee’s report. The Coast Guard’s emergency towing boat arrived on the scene at 6:30 the following morning, nearly 18 hours after the fire was first reported.

“[T]he situation was saved by the fortuitous presence of two offshore supply vessels with firefighting capability in the vicinity,” stated the report.

Canadian Coast Guard Deputy Commissioner Chris Henderson told the committee that the federal agency “was well-positioned to respond quickly and effectively to this incident.” But further correspondence from the Coast Guard revealed that the initial model of where the containers were believed to be drifting came from the US Coast Guard, which informed early decisions on how to respond to the offshore incident.

In light of these findings, the standing committee recommends that DFO consult with the Coast Guard on how to improve

its marine firefighting capabilities, as well as look into standards that would require tracking devices in shipping containers. This would be part of a “marine debris monitoring and management plan” that the DFO is tasked to implement, addressing all forms of synthetic material that ends up in the ocean, with research to better understand the impacts of polystyrene on marine environments. The committee also recommends a push to ban polystyrene in international marine transport.

Just four of the 109 containers that went missing were recovered, leaving those who live on the west coast of Vancouver Island to suspect that the unusual matter washing up on their shores in late 2021 came from the Zim Kingston. Esowista resident Nicole Gervais found unusual debris like grey rubber mats and toys on the beach, while Ray Williams of Yuquot encountered unusually large chunks of Styrofoam on the Nootka Island shore in December.

“It’s unusual to see that kind of stuff come ashore,” said Williams in a past interview with Ha-Shilth-Sa. “I have a strong suspicion.”

The presence of such matter far north of the Zim Kingston accident is cause for concern, according to Stafford Reid, an environmental emergency planner and analyst who provided input to the stand-

ing committee. He stated that polystyrene foam and small plastic pieces of marine debris are “much more insidious and have much more long-term impact than even oil.”

First Nations are ‘best positioned’to respond

Under Canadian law, a shipping company is required to take care of cleaning up debris after a marine accident. Danaos hired the Resolve Marine Group, a US-based company with an international reputation. But this was not necessarily the best contractor to lead the recovery effort, said Karen Wristen, executive director of the Living Oceans Society, in her statement for the committee.

“In that void, the ship’s owner retained an agent with no shoreline salvage experience, no knowledge of the local terrain, infrastructure or response assets, and gave him command of the entire operation,” she said. “That agent decided to prioritize the removal of goods that were still contained in a beached container over the goods that were strewn all over the beach. That choice is largely responsible for the fact that debris is now strewn on every beach from Haida Gwaii to Tofino, at the very least.”

Although the committee determined that the Coast Guard and the province kept coastal communities well informed of how the effort was progressing, communication among those who responded to the lost containers was poorly coordinated, leaving coastal residents to shoulder more than their fair share of cleanup. The committee addressed this issue by recommending the formation of a spill-response task force composed of government agencies, First Nations and non-government organizations.

Terry Dorward, project coordinator of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s Tribal Parks, stressed that more resources for the First Nation would have improved how the offshore incident was handled.

“We require direct funding to build response capacity for coastal First Nations, and to provide emergency training and response materials to First Nation communities who are best positioned to be the first responders in the event of a spill,” Dorward told the parliamentary commit-

tee. “We know we can safely and effectively mobilize to reduce response times and mitigate the challenges of bringing in distant federal response agencies like Transport Canada, the Coast Guard and external contractors.”

Container contents remain a mystery Two of the lost containers contained hazardous materials: 23,800 kilograms of potassium amylxanthate, a yellow powder used in mining to separate ores, and 18,00 kilograms of thiourea dioxide, a white bleaching compound used in the clothing industry to remove colour from natural fibres. In an update provided in March the Coast Guard reported that, based on consultations with Environment Canada, these chemicals should not have long-term impacts on the marine environment.

But where these two containers are remains a mystery, and the exact contents of the other missing sea cans will continue to leave those who closely watch the shorelines to wonder if they haven’t seen the last of debris from the Zim Kingston. The ship’s cargo manifest was not publicly shared after the accident, as privacy laws limited this information to those who shipped and ordered the goods.

“When we can’t accurately track where these containers are and we don’t know where the load of chemicals will eventually spill, it’s almost impossible for us to engage in any long-term monitoring and to fully understand, from a scientific perspective, what the ramifications of that chemical being in the aquatic environment will be,” saidAlys Hoyland, a youth coordinator for Surfrider Foundation Canada, to the standing committee.

“We really have no idea what to expect from the missing sunken containers. Two of them are known to contain a chemical that is acutely toxic to aquatic organisms, and we have no idea where they are or what condition the cargo is in, and 102 of the containers are simply mysteries,” stated Wristen. “How, then, are we to begin to hold the polluter to account for the risk or to plan and pay for a response when those sunken containers break up and release their content?”

October 20, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
Submitted photo On Oct. 21, 2021, 109 shipping containers fell from the Zim Kingston into the Pacific Ocean west of Vancouver Island. Only four of the missing sea cans have been found

DFO minister visits fish farms, sticks to transition plan

Group of First Nations advocating to keep salmon farming braces to exercise their rights if DFO pushes onward

As uncertainty hangs over aquaculture on the B.C. coast, Canada’s fisheries minster visited Vancouver Island fish farms last week, armed with a mandate to transition open net pens out of the ocean by 2025.

But a coalition of First Nations advocating to keep salmon farms in their territories informed Joyce Murray, the visiting minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, that they will continue to operate according to theirAboriginal rights, regardless of what the government decides.

Moving net pens out of the Pacific was part of the election platform that enabled Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to retain a minority government in last year’s federal election. Since then, MP Joyce Murray was appointed minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Coast Guard, with direction to make “a responsible plan to transition from open net-pen salmon farming in coastal British Columbia by 2025,” according to the mandate letter delivered by the Prime Minister.

In taking the role Murray has stepped into one of the most contentious issues facing coastal communities, as the future of aquaculture hangs between the industry’s economic benefits and concerns over pathogens from farmed fish spreading to threatened wild stocks.

As a councillor with the Kitasoo/ Xai’xais Nation, Isaiah Robinson is part of the Coalition of First Nations for Finfish Stewardship, which also includes the Ahousaht, Tlowitsis and Wei Wai Kum First Nations. The coalition emerged this year, advocating for the economic benefits of aquaculture to coastal com-

munities that can offer few job prospects.

The group pledges to closely watch fish farms in its territories “to ensure that those operations are done responsibly and transparently with minimal risk to the wild salmon we rely on as coastal peoples,” according to a press release issued before Murray’s visit.

After the minister’s visit to his territory, Robinson said it appears her mind is set on following the government’s pledge to get open net pens out of the ocean.

“She very much acknowledged all of our statements but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to go any different than the way it is now,” he said. “They’re still sticking with the same timeline, and she didn’t budge with that expectation.”

It remains to be seen what the transition plan from open net pens will look like, as this ocean-based practice has long been a standard for the industry. On June 30 nearly all of the 109 salmon farms on the B.C. coast were due to expire, but a week before this deadline Murray granted two-year licence extensions to allow for further consultations with First Nations and operators.

An exception to this is the Discovery Islands, territories of the Laich-kwil-tach and Klahoose First Nations northeast of Vancouver Island.After years of opposition, in 2020 former fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan cancelled the 19 licences in this region – an announcement that was overturned inApril 2022 by the Federal Court, which determined the cancellation wasn’t procedurally fair and lacked justification. Now the Discovery Islands farms can breed fish until January, at which time a final decision is expected from the current fisheries minister.

The future of the Discovery Islands’ sites was addressed during Murray’s visit, according to the Coalition of First Nations for Finfish Stewardship.

“This transition engagement process between DFO, the Province of B.C. and our Nations has a short timeline that we consider inadequate,” stated the coalition. Due a lack of professional expertise and funds, it’s a challenge for many of the coastal First Nations to assemble a transition plan in time for what DFO requires, stressed Robinson.

“Each nation is trying to formulate what that transition will be, and the government’s got to pull it back and formulate something from that,” he said, noting that the nations might not necessarily follow what the government requires. “If she makes her decision, and it doesn’t fall in line with what we’re doing – we don’t want to do it, but we’ll just have to use our self-inherent right. That’s something that the nations reiterated.”

The DFO has pointed to the need to prevent contact between migrating wild stocks and farmed salmon. Many fear that farmed fish bred in close proximitywhich in most cases areAtlantic salmon - can spread sea lice and other pathogens to their wild counterparts as schools pass net pens.

For years the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs has pushed for the removal of net pens in favour of land-based facilities. In June the UBCIC passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on new licences in the Discovery Islands, fulfilling the DFO’s phase-out commitments.

“The vast majority of First Nations in B.C. oppose open net pen fish farming due to the detrimental effects it has on

wild salmon,” said UBCIC President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip in a past statement, citing the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River. “Water is contaminated, poisoning salmon, shellfish, and other marine life. The immediate dangers include disease and pathogens which Justice Cohen spoke of as a potentially irreversible impact to B.C. Wild Salmon.”

Robinson said that the coalition does not agree with this, citing decades of research into that the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation has drawn from that show no direct correlation between the location of farm sites and declining wild stocks.

“We don’t see it as a significant risk,” he said of salmon farming. “We hope that [Murray] understood that no matter what she’s going to decide, we’re going to be sticking by our rights and title. We expect the government to do the same thing.”

As three quarters of salmon harvested in British Columbia come from fish farms, advocates for the industry hope that the DFO minister will respect their interests.

“We hope this visit will encourage Minister Murray to listen to our Nations’distinct and sovereign voices and understand the importance of finfish aquaculture to our coastal and often remote communities,” stated the coalition. “By working together, we can build on the foundation of an innovative and robust aquaculture industry already operating in our waters and encourage coastal First Nations to help lead Canada’s Blue Economy here on the West Coast.”

Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa—October 20, 2022
Photo from Coalition of First Nations for Finfish Stewardship Leaders from the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nations, including Hereditary Chief Paddy Walkus, speak to Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray on a Mowi Canada West salmon farm in their traditional waters on Friday, Oct. 14.

People displaced after supportive housing funding cut

Island Health is working to find an ‘improved’ service after funding cut to substance addiction recovery house

PortAlberni, BC -Asupportive housing facility in PortAlberni for individuals experiencing substance use issues has had to close its doors after Island Health chose not to renew a contract with the service provider.

The New Leaf opened 12 recovery beds in the community in 2015 for people working towards recovery from substance use. Island Health funded six of those beds until they recently chose not to renew the contract with New Leaf owner Lisa George.

George said five people were displaced following the facility’s closure and seven staff members were let go.

“Losing six (supportive beds) in the community is a huge loss, let alone everything that we did trying to fill gaps and a continuum. The five people that were there, every one of them transitioned to somewhere outside of this community…because there was no where here in town for them to go,” George said. “So not only was it disruptive for my one [client] to come fromAhousaht to PortAlberni, but he had to transition out of PortAlberni again when this service closed down.”

George said the New Leaf ran a 90-day recovery program and were still getting referrals for clients up until they closed on Sept. 30.

“[Island Health] only gave me 60 days notice so some of our folks couldn’t even complete their 90 days,” George said. “We’re almost further behind than two or three years ago when we started

combating the homeless crisis, the opioid epidemic and the pandemic, so now we have all three of these things against us.”

George said she would understand if Island Health had plans for funding another service provider in the community, and therefore couldn’t renew the contract for the New Leaf, but she said a facility should have been opened when her’s closed for people needing recovery services.

“I don’t care if they want to do some-

thing bigger or better…that’s fine, but you need timing and planning. You don’t close one door without opening another,” George said. “We’re now down all these beds, where are the people going? What service do we have for these folks now?”

Island Health said they are committed to replacing the recovery beds lost at the New Leaf and will potentially expand capacity with a broader range of services.

“The funding allocated for these beds has not been lost or re-allocated to another community or service area,” said Island Health. “We are making every effort and working closely with local partners to develop an improved service model for the region.”

Island Health said as part of a planned transition away from the New Leaf, a plan was put in place to ensure that those requiring services will be offered appropriate help in a location “that is acceptable to them.”

“It is not anticipated that the closure will result in a break in access to services or a delay in services for those who require them,” Island Health said. “No existing clients were impacted by the transition.

New referrals continue to be accepted, assessed to determine suitability and best fit, and people continue to be offered appropriate services in a number of alternative sites.”

When asked why they chose to not renew their contract with the New Leaf, Island Health said they review arrangements with contracted service providers on an ongoing basis and that in some situations, “opportunities are identified to change the way services are funded and delivered, to expand the benefit of the services and improve access and efficiency.”

Last year, the PortAlberni Shelter Society (PASS) received $1 million in funding from the provincial government for six long-term recovery beds for women.

The six beds in PortAlberni will be located at the PortAlberni Shelter Society’s new Therapeutic Recovery Community located at the Shelter Farm, about 10 minutes from PortAlberni at 725 Franklin River Road.

The six recovery beds will be part of a three-year program.

Looking for......

Usma Nuu-chah-nulth Family and Child Services are looking for individual/s or families who are interested in caregiving for teens with high-risk behaviors.

The Caregiver(s) would provide 24-hour care in a culturally safe and suppor ve environment, responding effec vely to challenging behaviours.

Compensa on would be built around the specific needs of the youth and the Caregiver, and could include both direct services and financial support to allow Caregivers to meet the needs of the youth.

For more informa on, please call Joni or Julia at 250-724-3232.

October 20, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
Photo by Karly Blats New Leaf Supportive Housing owner Lisa George had to close the 12-bed recovery program on Redford Street after Island Health chose not to renew their contract with the service provider.

‘A lot of our people don’t know who to call’: Doctor shortage

Those without a family physician are forced into a desperate search for help through a hotline, online services, walk-in health clinics

Vancouver Island, BC – British Columbians who have a family doctor can count themselves fortunate, as about 20 per cent of the population - or one in five peoplehave no regular family physician to go to, according to the BCFamilyDocs website.

The shortage of family physicians is nation-wide problem and is being felt more acutely over the past two years during the pandemic, when COVID-19 cases added pressure to the health care system

But there are other reasons for the doctor shortage, including the fact that there are fewer medical school graduates.

“Fewer medical school graduates are choosing the specialty of family medicine after witnessing the rising expectations placed on family practices without appropriate resources and the resulting physician burnout,” said the College of Family Physicians Canada in a May 2022 statement.

The CFPC has called on the federal government to direct a portion of the announced $3.2 billion investment in recruitment and retention of new health care providers to lighten the administrative load faced by current practitioners.

The provincial government has said that the family physician shortage has been a problem for years and previous governments have made efforts to address it. The current NDP government has committed more than $1 billion to support the sagging health care system. Part of that support is the addition of several hundred new healthcare seats in post-secondary institutions.

No one to turn to

How is the doctor shortage affecting Nuuchah-nulth people living in urban centres?

Ahousaht elder Wally Samuel lives in PortAlberni and requires regular visits to a doctor to stay on top of his health care needs. He was concerned when his family physician announced his retirement. In Port Alberni some family doctors have waiting lists, taking on new patients when they can.

“My doctor had a replacement, which is great,” said Samuel.

He recalled that the replacement doctor spent two weeks in orientation with the senior family doctor, getting to know the patients and their needs.

“Throughout our adulthood we always had access to family doctors,” said Samuel. And doctors that retired always had a replacement.

Samuel is concerned for the people who don’t have family doctors.

“Alot of our people don’t know who to call or where to go,” he noted.

All that is available for those people are walk-in clinics and the emergency department at the hospital. Both places are usually overflowing with patients.

Another related health care issue Samuel pointed out is the difficulty in getting Indian status cards, required for First Nations health coverage.

“There are some kids not yet registered and they have a hard time getting medical,” said Samuel. “I keep telling the politicians that we need better service.”

The situation is different for another Nuuchah-nulth elder who wishes to remain anonymous. We will call him Elder Two.

Elder Two lives in Nanaimo and is a retired senior citizen. He, his wife and other family members were under the care of a family physician for more than a decade.

Elder Two is being treated for diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, colon cancer and the aftereffects of a mild stroke. He

requires daily prescription medication.

Sadly, their doctor died in July 2022 and the family hasn’t been able to find another family physician.

“He was a good doctor – not being able to find another doctor is very frustrating,” said Elder Two.

He said he’s been getting his required prescriptions by calling online doctor services, but you don’t get the same doctor each time you call. The elder’s damaged blood vessel from his stroke is inoperable and must be treated with medication. But without a family physician, it can be difficult to keep prescriptions up to date.

At one time Elder Two was seen by the physician contracted by the Nanoose First Nation at their Sna-Naw-As Health Care Centre. He was able to get a three-month renewal for his prescriptions. It was good, but it was the only time he would be able to use the service.

“The health care director told me their health care services are only available to their members,” said Elder Two.

ANuu-chah-nulth woman living in Duncan with her partner has been without a family doctor for three years. We will call herAJ.

Living with a spouse and raising a grand-

child,AJ lives on social assistance. She suffers from a medical condition that would qualify her for disability support, but the Ministry of Health requires that the forms be filled out by a family physician.

“The ministry is getting on me, calling me every three months to check and see if I am still on the waiting list,” saidAJ.

The small family is living in an RV. When she has a medical emergency,AJ goes to the Cowichan District Hospital’s emergency department, but says she must wait until it gets “super bad”.AJ went to emergency several times for unexplained abdominal pain and was finally given expensive diagnostic examinations.

“They told me that if I had a family doctor to see, this could have been diagnosed and treated with medication,” she shared. The expensive emergency diagnostic tests could have been avoided.

Arevolving door of doctors

Having to be seen in emergency means being treated by a revolving door of doctors. This is true for the phone-in doctor service. While the service is needed and valuable, it doesn’t allow for one single physician to get to know someone’s medical history and offer up suitable treatment plans.

Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—October 20, 2022
Aprotest was held before the B.C. legislature in May, expressing the struggles of many British Columbians who don’t have regular access to a doctor. Photo by Eric Plummer Ahousaht elder Wally Samuel is fortunate to have a family doctor, but knows of many other Nuu-chah-nulth-aht who do not have regular access.
“I keep telling the politicians that we need better service.”
~Wally Samuel, Ahousaht Elder

Doctor shortage leaves many elders with no one to rely on services, walk-in health clinics and hospital emergency departments

Photos from BC Health Care Matters don’t have regular access to a doctor.Another protest is planned on Oct. 22. from the phone-in doctor service are being questioned.

ANuu-chah-nulth woman living in Port Alberni has relied on the phone-in doctor services for years. We will call herAdult Two.

WhenAdult Two’s doctor retired, the family did not like the treatment received by the replacement physician.Adult Two says, while the doctor hasn’t said anything overtly discriminatory, he “definitely treats us differently,” she shared.

Adult Two said a family member went into the office seeking information about terminating a pregnancy.

“He gave misinformation about abortion options – told her she had to go to Vancouver for that, but it was too late anyway, then he said he doesn’t kill babies, he brings them into the world,”Adult Two shared.

Adult Two said her relative was left feeling like she had no options at less than five weeks gestation.Adult Two was able to put the relative in contact with suitable health care professionals down island.

When her family needs to see a doctor, they contend with long waits at the hospital emergency department. When her sister’s toddler was sick with a fever,Adult Two offered to drive them to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s emergency department, in an effort to avoid long wait times at the West Coast General in PortAlberni.

Adult Two also relies on phone-in doctor services for her own medical needs.

“It’s fantastic, a faster service, but you never get to see the same doctor twice,” she noted.

She appreciates that the phone-in doctors have treated her well and in a professional manner. But when it comes to needing time off work for medical reasons, the doctor’s notes she presents to her employers

“My employer noticed doctors notes come from different doctors,” saidAdult Two.

That’s a problem because it gives the appearance of ‘doctor shopping’. Doctor shopping is a term referring to people that visit many healthcare professionals in an effort to procure multiple prescriptions for medication.

Adult Two says that because of that, she has trouble getting time off work.

“I feel like I’m being discriminated against,” she said.

‘Nobody is taking new patients’

Elder Two said they’ve tried everything possible to get a new doctor, “but nobody, nobody is taking new patients…we have to rely on calling doctor online.”

While he has no regular doctor to check and treat most of his ailments, Elder Two says he regularly sees the doctor that treated his colon cancer.

“I’ve had colon cancer for a long time. I see that doctor every three months to get bloodwork done,” said Elder Two. Not having a family physician causes Elder Two stress, anxiety and frustration.

“He told me I’m okay and I’m glad he’s still around and keeps me coming to see him,” said Elder Two.

An added concern for Elder Two is his medical records.

“They (former doctor’s office) keep calling me, asking where to send my medical records, but there’s no place to send them. I don’t know what’s going to happen to my records,” he stated.

AJ says she phoned every doctor’s of-

fice in Duncan, and nobody is taking new patients, but she managed to get on the waiting list of one.

“I was told people can be on the waiting list for as long as five years before they get picked,” she shared.

The province announced recently that it has invested $118 million in stabilization funding for family doctors. It is working with Doctors of BC on a new physician master agreement and a new compensation model for family physicians.

The funding will also support keeping walk-in clinics open. The province announced that 54 new doctors signed contracts on Oct. 1 to provide full-service primary care in B.C.

In the meantime, elders wait.

“It’s just a matter of plugging away, keep hoping,” said Elder Two.

According to HealthLinkBC, British Columbians may access virtual physicians by calling the 811 Nurses Helpline. From there they will be assessed by a registered nurse and referred to a virtual physician.

In the event of an emergency, such as chest pain, excessive bleeding, difficulty breathing, call 911.

October 20, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Photo submitted by Island Health Staff look over designs for renovations to the West Coast General Hospital’s emergency department, which sees over 25,000 patients a year, many of whom don’t have access to a general practitioner. Approximately one fifth of B.C. residents don’t have a family doctor, a shortcoming in the public health system that has created what many see as a widespread crisis.

Project explores buoyancy and First Nations lessons

From volume calculations to requesting permission to land, a school curriculum takes lessons onto the water

PortAlberni, BC - When entering another nation’s territory by canoe, it was critical to ask permission to land before coming to shore.

This is part of the explanation given by Tseshaht member Robert Watts to a large group of high school students, who came to the water for the final section of a multi-disciplinary learning unit on the science of buoyancy, teamwork and cultural identity.

On Oct. 6 the day began with a group paddling from PortAlberni’s Harbour Quay in a traditional canoe recently acquired by Usma Nuu-chah-nulth Family and Child Services. Under a rising autumn sun the chaputs travelled down the Alberni Inlet, propelled by paddlers from the EightAvenue Learning Centre, with others from Usma and theAlberni Drug andAlcohol Prevention Service helping in the brief journey.

Dozens of other high school students from the learning awaited the vessel’s arrival at Canal Beach, where Tseshaht members demonstrated how a canoe’s approach to a First Nation’s shore was dictated by protocol, which included the role of the beachkeeper greeting the visitors.

“There were many, many different occasions when canoes would travel to each and every community,” explained Tseshaht member Martin Watts, as the canoe awaited permission to come to shore. “Alot of times it would also be for hunting, so they would always ask permission from the Ha’wiih of that nation to participate in hunting or fishing in that territory.”

According to custom, the Tseshaht group sang a paddle song, followed by a prayer to recognise the safe journey and a welcome song for the paddlers.

This was the end of a four-day process for the school, a learning unit that began in the classroom exploring the dynamics of floating.

“The students started off by learning about surface tension, buoyancy and a variety of other topics by exploring what tin foil does floating marbles,” said David Maher, principal of the EighthAvenue

Learning Centre, noting that communication and teamwork became critical as the students constructed boats out of cardboard and duct tape. “After tin foil we went to cardboard and explored a variety of scientific and mathematical principals. The circle of the entire unit was pointed towards communication, collaboration, positive cultural identity, positive individual identity.”

Employing principles of engineering with volume displacement calculations, the groups made cardboard boats, which

were brought to Canal Beach for races with a student paddling in each one after the traditional chaputs left to return to its departure location. Most of these cardboard boats didn’t get very far, but one made by Grade 12 students Malcolm August andAiden Cayer floated about 50

feet along the beach shore.

“I designed the front like a triangle so it could cut through the water,” said Cayer. “I built it how I thought it would work.”

“I got stuck a couple of times, but it was fun,” saidAugust, who paddled in the cardboard vessel.

Pronounced ‘Too hook

bad!’Supplied by ciisma.


Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—October 20, 2022
Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
Tuuḥuqʔałquu čims quuʔus ƛułʔiš Wikʔaƛquu tuuʔuk wikʔiš ƛuł
alt coo jim’s nina cluth ish ! Wick alt coo too hook wick ish cluth!’, it means, ‘When the bears are scared of us that’s Good!
they are not it’s
Photos by Eric Plummer Atraditional Nuu-chah-nulth canoe (above) approaches Canal Beach on Oct. 6. Tseshaht member Robert Watts (below left) explains to high school students the protocol of coming to shore. The students made cardboad boats as part of the project.

Trauma and hope: Ucluelet Secondary exhibits poems

Based on stories from residential schools, the project encompasses 150 students, with plans to publish a book

Ucluelet, BC - Ucluelet Secondary School (USS) began preparing for the Legacy of Hope Exhibit within days of welcoming their students back from summer vacation, ahead of the deadline for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th.

Jason Sam, program coordinator for the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, had been organizing for six months prior to the event. On the second day of school Sam and USS teachers began working together, introducing the project to students at the end of the first week.

Sam organized for students and residential school survivors to meet at Tin Wis, the former location of Christie Residential School, for stories from the institution to be shared with students.

Students then took to the classroom, and worked on projects that would be displayed in the exhibit.

Sam said the exhibit was broken down into three themes: truth, honor, and reconciliation. History 12, BC First Peoples 12, and Social Studies 9 worked on truth, Art 9 and English 10 worked on honor, while Literary Studies 11, Nuu-chahnulth 8 and 10 worked on reconciliation.

There were 150 students involved in the project.

In partnership, Ucluelet Secondary School and Clayoquot Biosphere Trust organized the Legacy of Hope Exhibit along with a multi-disciplinary display created by students. Funded by the Heritage Project and Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, the exhibit was created as a learning opportunity for the students and community members.

The Legacy of Hope Exhibit, representing the 2008 Canadian government apology, was in the very center of the room. In this interactive piece of the exhibit folks were invited to leave a message to survivors or the people of Canada.

Nancy Woods, Grade 10 English teacher at USS, said that students were learning about didactic poems, which are pieces that explore truth, morals, and principle their messages.

Students worked in teams to create paired poems. One poem exploring the heavy emotions and experiences of the survivors, the other exploring its healing counterpart.

“What better way to explain the moral

injustices, and then the strength of the survivors than this juxtaposition,” said Woods.

Grade 10 English students, the authors of the poems, spoke with Ha-Shilth-Sa about their experience working on them.

Yemaya Windle, student and author of the poem Healing, said it was an eye-opening experience listening to the survivors tell their stories.

“We wrote how painful that was that they couldn’t be around their family where they felt most safe,” Windle said.

“I wrote how, how when they finally got home, how it was a slow healing process for everything that they’ve been through.”

“It was really hard to write because, obviously, I wasn’t in their shoes… I’m

never going to exactly know how they felt,” she added.

Jacob Offerein wanted to capture the experience of the survivors as best he could. Offerein and his partner wrote the poems titled Isolation and Community

“We wanted people to see the importance of family and…being social with other people,” said Offerein. “And we really wanted to do what happens if you’re all by yourself - stripped of your identity… we really wanted to emphasize the culture and the people.”

“I think they find the value in it when you’re bringing in people who actually can share their stories about going to residential schools, it kind of puts this serious veil on it, and the kids have been great,” said Sam. “It’s such a hard thing

to do once you start school. We’re jumping straight into residential schools just to try to meet that deadline of September 30.”

Rhys Cannon, a Grade 10 English student and author of the poem Fear, said that he had been learning about Canada’s residential schools for a few years, but didn’t know the extent of what the survivors experienced.

“I’ve heard stories [before], but I never heard it from the actual survivors,” said Cannon.

“[Truth and reconciliation is] really important because this stuff needs to be addressed,” continued Cannon. “All the calls to actions need to be dealt with. So I think it’s really good that it’s going on.”


October 20, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Photo by Alexandra Mehl Ucluelet Secondary School’s Grade 10 English class, who contributed to the poetry collection, circulate the exhibit viewing student projects in the multi-disciplinary display.

President’s message to Nuu-chah-nulth-aht

Hello Nuu-chah-nulth-aht. Hoping you are having a good fall - though it does seem like summer with these hot, recordbreaking temperatures at least here in PortAlberni.

I would like to extend my deepest heartfelt condolences to those families and communities that have lost their members recently. We have had some significant losses and I know they have all left a big void and has touched many of our lives. This past month has been busy with many different kinds of meetings and advocacy efforts for various subjects.

BCAFN and the UBCIC had their annual general meetings and covered many topics from the Doctrine of Discovery, health, support for prioritizing water revenue sharing frameworks between First Nations and B.C. for an update to safe drinking water legislation, the fish farm transition plan, recommendations for modernized migratory bird regulations, support for the FNLC Public Safety Protocol with the RCMP, carbon tax modification to deter expansion of oil and gas, First Nations Early Learning and Child Care Renewal of Service LevelAgreement (SLA), calling a provincial inquiry into the theft of funds from Indigenous youth in foster care by the fraudulent former child protection worker Robert Riley Saunders, as well as advocating for inclusive and distinctions-based engagement with First Nations in B.C. for an approach to recognition and implementation of the inherent rights of First Nations peoples and governments.

These forums bring in ministers to discuss their ongoing efforts in implementing UNDRIP, and to talk about what they are doing with First Nations. The deputy commissioner for the RCMP was present and gave his views on reconciliation. I questioned him on the work we are trying to do with Nuu-chah-nulth and finding justice for our people who have been shot and killed by police. What changes are actually being made?

I also spoke to around 100 RCMP command officers about reconciliation. I told them not to use the dictionary to find out what reconciliation is but to ask the First Nations what they think it is. I told them the word we used in our reconciliation project was cha-chim-siin-up, that is making things right. That we have to talk about the legacy of the RCMP in taking away our children to residential schools and enforcing the potlatch ban. That there are many issues to talk about and each First Nation will have their own list of things they want made right.

I also attended a one-day session on climate strategy and action plan that was put together by BCAFN in talking to communities to support First Nations in their territories. The top two urgent calls to action are: strengthen provincial and federal climate measures to meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendations to limit human-caused global warming to 1.5oC. and support First Nations to prepare for current and future climate impacts.Also, to review and reform all provincial and federal climate-related legislation, regulations, policies, programs, and engagement frameworks to address limitations on the assertion of First Nations’rights. This involves the recognition and use of First Nations laws and legal processes and their ability to uphold their responsibilities to the land, waters, and environment. Now is the time for action in our lives

and communities. We mustAct Now in order to ensure a future for our children and grandchildren.

We had our yearly NTCAGM in September. We carried out the usual business of audits, minutes and appointing the auditor. We had a presentation about the COVID 19 study that is being undertaken by our health department.

We are encouraging everyone to share your COVID experiences with the people conducting the study for NTC. We need to learn from this experience and so we can do better next time. We also need to know what sorts of things we can change in the way of service delivery, education, and vaccines. How did COVID affect your life?

We had a presentation from Dr. Cindy Blackstock who spoke about the final agreement negotiations regarding longterm strategy for children and families.

Also, compensation for Jordan’s Principle and for children who did not receive services ($20 billion). This agreement is supposed to be finalized by the end of 2022 but Cindy feels there needs to be more input by people before then and assurances that all will get the compensation they deserve.

I have been letting you know about the negotiations the Nuu-chah-nulth, Haida, Quatsino and Pacheedaht have been having with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans regarding the establishment of a Marine ProtectedArea off the west coast of the island and the coast of B.C. The parties have now agreed on the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding and each party will be going back to their leadership body for final approval. Once that is done, then the next steps will be taken to establish the Marine ProtectedArea. The Council of Ha’wiih will be considering this agreement at their meetings at the end of October.

I spoke at International Gathering of Salmon Peoples in Musqueam. The gathering brought together Indigenous representatives from around the Northern Hemisphere to celebrate their connection with salmon and share perspectives around Indigenous engagement in salmon management systems. This Indigenousled gathering centered on ceremony, culture, governance, and academic discussion around Indigenous experiences in salmon management at national and international levels. It was a fascinating gathering of different Indigenous peoples, their values and culture. Collaborating is important in the work all of us are doing in protecting and managing our sea resources.

Take care everyone.

Respectfully, Cloy-e-iis


Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—October 20, 2022

Employment and Training

Port Alberni Friendship Centre Volunteers Needed

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

October 20, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
More job postings at www.hashilthsa.com

Black bears prevalent amid warm autumn

Ahousaht residents take ma ers into their own hands, after pets and a resident are chased in the community

Vancouver Island, BC –Alate start to summer and an unusually warm autumn seems to be bringing out more black bears than usual, seeking food sources for insatiable appetites as instinct drives them to prepare for winter.

In PortAlberni it is not uncommon to see black bears roaming the streets, knocking over trash and compost bins late at night.All city-provided compost bins in the small city have brass clips that help keep bears out, but not all trash bins have them.

Conservation Officer Dan Eichstadter says it is illegal to put unsecured trash out on the street prior to the morning of pick-up.

“Unsecured garbage is the No. 1 bear attractant,” Eichstadter told Ha-Shilth-Sa. He advises to keep bins locked up in a garage or outbuilding until collection day.

“Every year we get reports of bears accessing trash cans – we can’t control the behavior of wildlife, so it’s up to people to manage their behavior,” he added.

Bears will hibernate, or sleep through the winter, in cold climates. To prepare for hibernation they go through hyperphagia beginning in the summer. This means that they are genetically predisposed to increased appetites in the months before winter to build up fat stores.

But Vancouver Island has mild winters, so bears do not hibernate all through the season.According to Eichstadter, they may sleep for a week or so, wake up, get a drink and roam around before going back for another week of sleep.

“They still go through hyperphagia –they need to do this in order to survive hibernation,” he added.

The unusual summer weather may have an affect on what black bears are eating. During the early summer, there was a lot of rain and cooler-than-average temperatures. By July, the weather heated up and there was very little rain. Berries require lots of water, so there were fewer berries than normal in late summer. Eichstadter

noted that the salmon runs arrived later than usual and this could have an effect on bears.

InAhousaht there were four bears spotted in the village in the past three months.

According to residents, some of the bears exhibited aggressive behavior, chasing family pets, vehicles and, on one case, a man was chased in broad daylight by a bear.

One man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said conservation officers were called and so were the RCMP.

“We tried calling conservation officer, they did not want to come all the way over here,” he told Ha-Shilth-Sa. “We tried the RCMP and they told us to put them down ourselves.”

According to the resident, they tried to scare the bears away with noise-making explosives called bear bangers and also by firing shotguns. But the bears were fearless, so they killed three of them.

“It would have been nice if we could trap and relocate them,” he added.

Eichstadter confirmed that the Conservation Office received a report of a man being chased by a bear inAhousaht and no contact was made.

“Ahousaht Council has a designated Ahousaht resident to be their wildlife protection officer. This is not in consultation with the Conservation Services,” said Eichstadter.

“We do want to go toAhousaht and we would readily go,” said Eichstadter, adding conservation officers will be reaching out toAhousaht leadership to offer assistance.

“Wildlife interactions happen everywhere, Indigenous communities or not,” said Eichstadter. “If we can get there early enough in the bear behavior, we may be able to make it where the bear can continue to live and co-exist.”

If there is significant risk to human safety, conservation officers will work to trap the animal and relocate it.

“Calling the RAPP line does not mean we will show up and kill the animal,” he stated.

Early intervention is important to saving the lives of wildlife, whether it be bears,

cougars or wolves.

“We need to coexist with wildlife in our communities,” added Eichstadter.

People can help by reducing attractants around homes, such as taking bird feeders in at night, cleaning barbeques, harvesting fruit trees, as well as securing outdoor pet food and trash.

The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change offers this advice for smokehouse owners. Ensure that the smoker site is as clean as possible. Fish entrails and by-products should be cleaned up and removed immediately. Fish processing sites should be located away from the smoker to reduce the intensity of attractants.

Smokehouses can be protected and secured by the installation of electric fencing. Heavy bush surrounding smoker sites should be removed, according to the


In PortAlberni, homeowners can contact city hall to request bear clips for trash bins that don’t have them. Eichstadter suggested residents of communities that don’t have bear-resistant trash bins lobby their leadership to get them.

He noted that Tofino, Ucluelet and Toquaht share a Wildsafe community coordinator.

“This person works on prevention that works on improvements to avoid conflicts between humans and wildlife,” he shared.

Eichstadter suggests visiting the WildSafeBC website for safety tips: https:// wildsafebc.com/species/black-bear/ He encourages British Columbians to call the RAPP line to report problem wildlife in urban areas. The number is 1-877-952-7277

Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa—October 20, 2022
Submitted photo AnAhousaht resident said they tried to scare the bears away with bear bangers and also by firing shotguns. But the bears were fearless, so they were put down. Photo from Wildsafe BC Awarmer fall has brought frequent encounters with black bears on western Vancouver Island, leading the Conservation Officer Service to use residents to keep attractants secured.

Centuries later, Doctrine of Discovery takes spotlight

First Nation leaders request King Charles III to renounce the call for conquest, sparking talk about Terra Nullius

Christopher Columbus, John Cabbot, and Jacques Cartier are just some of the names known for landing on North American soil as early explorers. Many of these explorers are known for their great discoveries. However, it is widely known that before European explorers, First Nations lived on the lands.

The complex legal history of Canada’s origins, and the Indigenous-Crown relationship, began with a series of Papal Bulls from the Pope of the Catholic Church. Presently, the weight that the Doctrine of Discovery has in Canada’s systems is being argued.

On September 9th the First Nation Leadership Council (FNLC) published a statement saying they believe renunciation of the Doctrine of Discovery should be King Charles III’s first official act.

Declaring the right to conquest

The Doctrine of Discovery, originating in the mid 15th century, was proclaimed by the Pope of the Catholic Church declaring the right to colonial conquest of lands as a principle of international law. The Doctrine is often associated with Terra Nullius, which means that lands were deemed uninhabited.

“This entire continent has been colonized,” said Mariah Charleson, vicepresident of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, “And for people to somehow feel okay about it is to say that, ‘Oh, these lands were empty’.”

Two months prior to the signing of the Oregon Treaty agreement in 1846, which separated Canada and the United States, the Niles National Register printed a

cal advocacy organization.

“Policies related to truth and reconciliation really have to be driven by the democratically elected representatives of the people,” said Hallsor. “The Crown can have an important symbolic role on their behalf that shouldn’t be at the forefront.”

In May of 2022, the previously titled Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall visited Canada for Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee Celebration. Their threeday tour ended in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, where the then Prince Charles acknowledged the residential school system.

“All leaders have shared with me the importance of advancing reconciliation in Canada. We must listen to the truth of the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples, and we should work to understand better their pain and suffering,” Charles spoke to the crowd. “We all have a responsibility to listen, understand, and act in ways that foster relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.”

Although it could be a respectful gesture to Canada’s Indigenous peoples, Hallsor doesn’t expect that the First Nation’s Leadership Council’s call for King Charles to renounce the Doctrine would lead to any practical changes.

“If he decided to renounce it as a small gesture, I guess, he may choose to do that. But I don’t think it would have any practical effect,” said Hallsor. “I think the proper legal position is that it never applied in Canada at all, and certainly hasn’t applied since 1763.”

Hallsor said that the Doctrine of Discov-

story called, “Speech of Mr. McDuffie of S. C. In SenateApril 4”. The piece documents anAmerican senator from the time questioning the principles of the Doctrine of Discovery, at a time when the US and Britain were negotiating the border.

“What I assert, and that which Great Britain has always maintained, is, that mere discovery conveys no title, unless accompanied or followed within a reasonable time by settlement,” reads the paper, recounting the words of US Senator McDuffie. “And I appeal to my friends on this side of the chamber, one and all, as a duty they owe to truth, to state, if they can, a single accredited writer on international law who lays down the doctrine that discovery, without settlement or possession, gives any title at all.”

Mr. McDuffie refers to the settlement disputes in the Northwest Coast among Britain and Spanish explorers, particularly citing disagreements between Spain and Great Britain that led to the Nootka Sound Convention in the late 1700s.

‘Disadvantage’in proving title

“In the colonial world, if you came to a land, and it was inhabited, it would become yours,” said Judith Sayers, president of Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.

Sayers added that the lasting impact of the Doctrine of Discovery is the continuation of colonization.

“[The Doctrine of Discovery] continues to put us at a great disadvantage [in proving]Aboriginal title, for us to be sitting at the negotiating table, and trying to get our lands back,” she said. “Government is very slow to change. They don’t want to give up our lands, they don’t want to give up our resources. They want it for themselves, and to give us as little as possible.”

In 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledgedAboriginal title in the Tsilhqot’in v. British Columbia case by recognising 1,900 square kilometers of claim land. The court also acknowledged Terra Nullius and stated that it does not apply in Canada due to the Royal Proclamation 1763, a document pronounced by King George III which recognized Indigenous peoples, their rights, and their rights to land.

Tsilhqot’in v. British Columbia began in 1989, after the province of B.C. issued a

commercial logging license in the First Nation’s territory. During the proceedings evidence was required demonstrating that Tsilhqot’in had historically and regularly used the land within the claim area.

“We have to prove our right to a title, but all they have to do is prove assertion of their title,” said Sayers. “The Doctrine of Discovery is on the side of the government, [and] it makes it more difficult for us to find the justice that we need.”

Sayers said that she hopes that by renouncing the Doctrine of Discovery there would be a new ball game for Indigenous peoples.

“There’d be a rejection of the Canadian legal system, government policies, and reconciliation.All that stuff would be thrown out the window.And we could begin at square one,” said Sayers.

Legally ‘it never applied in Canada’ Bruce Hallsor is a spokesperson for the Monarchist League of Canada, an apoliti-

ery was not pronounced by a British king or queen, however the Royal Proclamation, which declaresAboriginal rights, was pronounced by the monarchy.

In 2021 the Government of Canada passed Bill C-15, which directly addresses the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius, stating it is “racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable, and socially unjust.”

“[Renouncing the Doctrine of Discovery] on a big stage, the way I see it, is it’s opening - it’s giving life to the truth,” said Charleson.

“Crown land is a figment of your imagination, particularly here in B.C., where a huge majority of First Nations are, [and] remain to be unceded,” she continued. “We, as First Nations peoples, have survived off these lands, waters, and resources for thousands and thousands of years, and we have always occupied these territories.”

October 20, 2022—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
Photo from Wikimedia Commons King Charles III is due to be crowned May, 6, 2023. The First Nations Leadership Council states that his first official order of business should be to revoke the Doctrine of Discovery.
“And for people to somehow feel okay about it is to say that, ‘Oh, these lands were empty’.”
~ Mariah Charleson, NTC Vice President
Mariah Charleson Gilder Lehrman Collection photo Starting in the mid-15th century, the Doctrine of Discovery was given in a series of papal bulls. Pictured is PopeAlexander VI’s Demarcation Bull, dated May 4, 1493.
Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa—October 20, 2022
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