INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Vol. 46 - No. 18—September 26, 2019
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Horgan aims to upgrade logging road to Bamfield Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor
Chief Councillor Greg Louie and Julia Atleo, Ahousaht’s health services manager, hold a design for the community’s future wellness centre, which is scheduled to be completed by spring 2020.
Ahousaht building wellness centre Anonymous group donates $2 million for beach front facility with a healing focus By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ahousaht, BC – A beautiful new Wellness Center is about to be built above one of Ahousaht’s stunning beach fronts, thanks to a generous contribution from an anonymous donor. Ahousaht elder David Frank Sr. made it home to Ahousaht during the AGM to help with the ceremonial blessing of the land where construction will soon begin. Frank, on the mend from a debilitating stroke, was wheeled out to the rugged property which will be tucked in the forest behind Lot 363, Ahousaht’s newer subdivision. According to Julia Atleo, Ahousaht’s health services manager, it is hoped that once built, people from all over will come to find sobriety and wellbeing. The blessing ceremony took place on Sept. 10 with Ahousaht leaders and contractors looking on. An anonymous organization has donated $2 million to be used for the residential Community Wellness Centre, according to Atleo. An official with the anonymous organization told Ha-Shilth-Sa that they truly believe there is a need for a wellness centre in Ahousaht and it is something that they want to support with a gift
of $2 million. Armed with conceptual drawings, Atleo presented images of a building that resembles a traditional longhouse, built in three conjoined segments. There is a main building that will house a meeting area and kitchen flanked on each side by dorm-like sleeping quarters. Staff offices will be located in a separate building nearby. They anticipate about 12 employees will be hired to run the facility, which will require administration staff, counsellors, cooks and cleaners. Once built, Atleo envisions a place where the Ahousaht Community Services team can host things like retreats and workshops. “People have to do some prep work if they want to go to a treatment centre,” Atleo explained. They are required to have several weeks of sobriety along with a set number of consecutive meetings with counselors. Atleo believes that Ahousaht will fill this gap with the services offered at their wellness centre. Another gap in the local health care system is detox facilities. Atleo says this facility, with the assistance of a physician, could potentially take in clients in on an emergency basis such as in the case of detox.
Inside this issue... Federal election polls..................................................Page 3 Sport fishing boat seized by RCMP............................Page 4 Ahousaht AGM....................................................Pages 8-10 West coast living wage falls below $20................... Page 11 Carving through a funding shortfall.........................Page 15
Atleo says a local physician is willing to work with the staff to help them with detox work. Atleo and her team are working with the First Nations Health Authority on the project. “We are happy to say that our work will focus heavily on the cultural component,” she told Ha-Shilth-Sa. Elected Chief Greg Louie said the new facility will be used to better the future of Ahousaht’s youth through addictions counselling, workshops and healing services which will all be based in cultural wellness teachings. “I am excited, happy that this is happening,” said Louie. The work being done at the new wellness center is similar to that of Ahousaht’s holistic center called ChaChum-Hi-Yup Tiichmis, and the two centres will share staff. “The focus will be on addictions; there will be retreats with a cultural focus,” Louie said. The contractors hired to build the facility will soon hold a job fair to fill positions they have in trades and labourers. Elected Councillor Crystal Sam said the contractor has promised to hire two Ahousaht members for every worker he brings in. Continues on page 2.
Victoria, BC – Although Premier John Horgan is not taking immediate action to upgrade the rugged passage where two University of Victoria Students died in a bus crash Sept. 13, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations are optimistic improvements will come. The B.C. premier said an engineering report had already begun before the tragedy, as part of work Horgan was undertaking with Claire Trevena, minister of Transportation and infrastructure, to improve the 85-kilometre road from Port Alberni to Bamfield. “We’re going to be working, Claire and I, and the appropriate forest companies and the Indigenous community, to try and find a way to improve that road,” said Horgan on Thursday, Sept. 19. Horgan met with Huu-ay-aht leaders on Sept. 24 at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Vancouver, part of decades of advocating for an upgrade from communities that relay on the road. “We are saddened that it took a tragedy to highlight the need to chipseal the road,” said Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr., who happened to come across the bus crash shortly after the vehicle left the road on the evening of Sept. 13. “We want the premier to understand that we are not going to rest until our vital link is safe for all who travel the road.” UVic biology students Emma Machado and John Geerdes, both 18, were pronounced dead at the scene after the bus fell down an embankment. Others were airlifted to hospital in Victoria. The group was on a two-day trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, an excursion held for the last 18 years. The university plans to hold another trip in late October, but this is contingent on the review of an RCMP investigation currently underway. Since the road opened in the 1970s, the Huu-ay-aht have lost eight members to tragedy on the route. “Our lives were forever changed when our Tayii Ḥaw̓ił Art Peters, my grandfather, was killed on that road,” says Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin Derek Peters. See ‘Immediate’ on page 5.
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Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 26, 2019
Kennedy Hill safety improvements on schedule Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure pleased with contractor’s progress on Highway 4 near west coast By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-SA Contributor Kennedy Lake, BC - Despite multiple unplanned closures of Highway 4 near Kennedy Lake this summer, construction is still on-schedule and expected to be complete for summer 2020, according to the B.C. Ministry of transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI). The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill safety improvement project, taking place 14 kilometres northeast of the Tofino-Ucluelet Junction, includes improvements to the road, such as widening the highway to accommodate two 3.6-metre lanes, 1.5-metre paved shoulders and a concrete roadside barrier between the lake and the highway. In addition, the road will be straightened from its curvilinear alignment and overhanging rock will be eliminated through extensive blasting and excavation. It was from the rock blasting that two unexpected road closures occurred in July. Blasting caused rock debris to block the highway, 14 kilometres east of the southern boundary to the Pacific Rim National park, on July 9 and 31. Janelle Staite, regional deputy director with MoTI, said the unplanned road closures have not delayed progress. “Going into this project we certainly anticipated that blasting and the movement of all of that rock would be the trickiest part of it, so that piece has certainly periodically impacted the actual opening time of the road and created some inconvenience for drivers,” Staite said. “In terms of the overall completion schedule it hasn’t negatively affected that.” The ongoing highway work is part of a $38.1 million project funded by the province and federal governments to make the road safer. “I think the contractor (Emil Anderson Construction Ltd. of Kelowna) is making great progress out there,” Staite said. “As of today they’ve actually moved over 80,000 square metres of rock that’s been blasted so that’s over 60 per cent of the blast.”
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo
The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill safety improvement project, taking place 14 kilometres northeast of the Tofino-Ucluelet Junction, includes improvements to the road, such as widening the highway to accommodate two 3.6-metre lanes, 1.5-metre paved shoulders and a concrete roadside barrier between the lake and the highway. Staite added that blasting is going to continue through the fall and winter and now that the busy summer months have ended, daytime closures have begun again between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the 1.6-kilometre Kennedy Hill zone. Additional road closures remain between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. (except Tuesdays) and 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. (except on Fridays). Drivers can expect up to 30-minute delays during all other times.
Emergency shelter also being built for $180K Continued from page 1. Legacy Tourism Group has been contacted to build the centre, scheduled for completion in spring 2020. In addition to the Wellness Centre, construction is underway on a $180,000 emergency shelter in Ahousaht. According to Louie, the house, which is now in lock-up stage, will be used for those in need of emergency accommodations, such as persons escaping family violence.
The house, located at Lot 363 at the south end of Ahousaht, will be managed under the umbrella of Community Health Services, led by Julia Atleo. Chief Louie said the house is intended to help children first, so that they can stay in the community in an emergency situation. It will also be available to both men and women escaping violence. The focus, he said, is family safety.
September 26, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3
Voters assess course for next term after lofty promises Polls show Conservatives gaining ground on Vancouver Island after NDP domination in 2015 federal election By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Vancouver Island, BC – Although the NDP dominated Vancouver Island in 2015 – including winning by large margins in Nuu-chah-nulth communities – a tight race with the Conservatives is unfolding with less than a month left in the federal election campaign. Four years ago the Conservative Party of Canada lost all of its seats on Vancouver Island, as the NDP took six while Green Party Leader Elizabeth May retained her longstanding hold on the Saanich-Gulf Islands constituency. Since then the Greens took another seat in May when Paul Manly won a byelection in Nanaimo. NDP support was particularly strong in communities with high concentrations of Nuu-chah-nulth people. Results from the 2015 election show 87 per cent support for NDP Candidate Gord Johns on Flores Island, which includes the community of Ahousaht. Kyuquot saw 77 per cent of its voters support NDP candidate Rachel Blaney - a 78-per-cent voter turnout – while 98.4 per cent of the Mowachaht/ Muchalaht reserve of Tsaxana voted for Blaney. In Ditidaht territory, 71 per cent of voters around the Nitinaht Lake supported Alistair MacGregor as their NDP candidate. But the Conservatives could gain ground on Oct. 21, according to regional polls based on a statistical model of election projections. 338 Canada weighs opinion polls, the electoral history of Canadian provinces and demographic data. As of Sept. 22, the model illustrates the Conservatives slightly ahead of the NDP in North Island-Powell River at 29.6 to 26.8 per cent, with the Greens at 23.6 per cent and the Liberals earning 16.9 per cent of votes in the riding. The model estimates an even closer race in Cowichan-Malaht-Lanford, with
Heather Thomson photo
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a meeting with Nuu-chah-nulth leaders in Tofino in August 2017, including former NTC president Debra Foxcroft and the previous Tla-o-qui-aht chief councillor Elmer Frank. the Conservatives at 27.1 per cent to the NDP’s 26.4, while the Green’s have 24.3 and the Liberal’s have 19.4 per cent cent of the vote. Courtenay-Alberni, the third riding that covers Nuu-chah-nulth territory on the west coast of Vancouver Island, has the Conservatives at 31.5 per cent, while the incumbent NDP has 26.7, to the Green’s 22 per cent and the Liberal’s 16.7 per cent of the vote. The 338 Canada model has not been tested before in a federal election, but its creator, P.J. Fournier, cites accurate predictions for most ridings in provincial elections last year. Meanwhile, a national Nanos poll of 1,200 Canadians released Sept. 23 shows the Conservatives with a slight lead on Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, with 34 to 33 per cent of the vote. The NDP have 13 per cent, while the Green Party holds 11, according to the Nanos poll, with the
Bloc Quebecois at 6 per cent and the new People’s Party of Canada predicted to earn 3 per cent of Canadians’ support on Oct. 21. Possibly more than any other prime minster, over the last term Trudeau raised expectations for the federal government’s dealings with First Nations. “No relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous Peoples,” said Trudeau in his National Aboriginal Day statement on June 21, 2017. “Our government is working together with Indigenous Peoples to build a nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, government-to-government relationship – one based on respect, partnership, and recognition of rights.” But in 2019, the federal government’s recognition of Nuu-chah-nulth rights remains unresolved, says Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal
Council. This is illustrated by an ongoing court battle with Ottawa over the scope that five nations can harvest and sell fish from their territories, she said. “Nuu-chah-nulth have a lot of knowledge to work with fisheries, to help resolve some of these issues, and we’ve never ever had that kind of cooperation from DFO,” said Sayers. “They barely consult with us properly.” Following a Fisheries and Oceans Canada report this summer that highlights the effects of global warming on wild salmon, Sayers stressed the need for Canada to better protect the ocean resources Nuu-chah-nulth people rely upon. “The oceans are warming quickly, especially from the north of Vancouver Island all the way down, which is all Nuu-chah-nulth territory,” she said. “We need to have the government not approving projects that create more greenhouse gases and warm the waters. We need to have actions taken to mitigate those warming waters.” “Growing economy and jobs is important, but not at the risk of the environment, especially now when we’re at such critical junctures in the heating up of the earth and our waters,” stressed Sayers. “We need to take a different look at how we can make money.” On the day before the NTC’s annual general meeting in Victoria, a forum was scheduled on Sept. 24 to collect input from Nuu-chah-nulth-aht for a mandate to start negotiations with the next government in Ottawa following the Oct. 21 vote. “A lot of people feel like we’re not Canadians, we’re not part of the government and we’re not going to vote,” said Sayers. “Other people feel like they do really need to vote. But I think they need to look at the candidate of their choice and decide who is it that you believe in – that’s going to work for you, that’s going to do things for you.”
Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 26, 2019
Exceeding limits could be costly for these anglers Recreational catch, gear and boat seized by DFO and RCMP as visitors from outside of B.C. leave Gold River By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Gold River, BC - A group of recreational anglers was headed east on Hwy. 28 on Sept. 11 with a boatload of chinook when their summer fishing expedition on the Island’s west coast took an abrupt turn. The three, described only as non-B.C. residents, are scheduled to appear in court in Gold River on Nov. 22 after their boat, trailer, catch and gear were seized by Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO as they headed out of town. Acting on a tip and in co-ordination with DFO conservation and protection officers, police seized 26 chinook salmon, 24 kilograms of salmon roe, 18 rock fish filets and eight ling cod filets, evidence suggesting a callous disregard for catch restrictions. The recreational limit for chinook in the sound is two fish per day or one fish outside of the sound. Considered exceptional for the size of the seizure, the case drew widespread media attention after RCMP issued a news release last week. “These types of blatant violations and disrespect for conservation efforts affect all persons around Nootka Sound and Vancouver Island,” said RCMP Sgt. Josh Wiese, Nootka Sound detachment commander. “We want to send a strong message that these behaviours get recognized and actions have consequences.” In addition to losing their catch, the fishermen — if convicted — stand to lose their 30-foot Cutwater powerboat, worth in the range of $150,000 to $250,000. The courts have a wide latitude of penalties they can assign for contravention of B.C. sport fishing regulations, including $1,000 for each offence, confiscation of gear and vessel, fishing prohibitions or penalties as high as $100,000 for a first offence. Wiese said the case has been handed over to DFO due to its complexity. “This was a very, very blatant case,” he noted. “Whether it’s common or not, I don’t know. While Wiese has seen nothing else like it, he’s only worked on the coast for a year. DFO and RCMP have been doing a lot more patrols in Nootka Sound, though police are not focused on fisheries enforcement. “Our main objective is safer boating,” Wiese said. While engaged, they ask people to pull their lines and show what they’ve got in their holds. The Fisheries Act is broad enough to allow ample powers of inspection, Wiese noted. They also patrol for criminal activity, specifically smuggling, while fisheries enforcement is secondary. “It’s a very porous coast … we have a lot of eyes on the water but not enough to watch the whole coast,” he said. RCMP have been also focused on preventing conflicts on the water after tensions arose in August 2018 between T’aaq-wiihak fishers and recreational boaters. Those conflicts were attributed to frustration over poor catches last summer. This summer, fishing on the sound has been outstanding by some accounts. Together with heightened restrictions on chinook elsewhere along the coast, that has attracted more visitors. Chinook salmon populations along the south coast are in a critical state of decline, which led DFO to impose severe catch restrictions this season. First Nations and recreational fishing opened on the west coast in mid-July while the
This 30-foot Cutwater cruiser and trailer were also seized. If convicted, violators may lose their boat and gear in addition to facing substantial fines. commercial season remained closed until August. The severity of new conservation measures has been hard on people who rely on the fishery for food and income. Kadin Snook, the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation’s fisheries co-ordinator, said he noticed the seized vessel on the water since July and suspects the catch represents only the tip of the iceberg in term of overall activity. He’s also seen an increased enforcement presence on the water. “It’s quite positive that DFO responded to the formal complaint and I think it’s great,” he said. There will be a follow-up meeting with RCMP on the matter, he added. He was surprised that the seizure included 10 bags of salmon roe. He would also like to know if it’s possible to determine the origins of the seized fish. “The heads were removed, unfortunately.” In recent years, the same boat has been returning each summer to Yuquot RCMP photo (Friendly Cove), said Ray Williams, who Catch seized in Gold River on Sept. 11 included 26 chinook. The recreational resides there with his family, the only limit is one or two per day per angler. residents. He knows the three men, all American, by their first names. “In Mowachaht territory,” Williams mused. “I wonder what he was thinking?” Wiese said the anglers charged were described as non-B.C. residents to indicate they are not from the local area. He would not comment on why their place of origin was withheld. The RCMP officer wasn’t surprised the matter has drawn interest in Nuu-chahnulth communities. “It’s of interest to NTC,” said Wiese, who alerted MMFN when the seizure took place. “This is their resource and we have an obligation to help protect and manage it.” Anyone with information on this or any other illegal fishing activity can contact DFO’s Observe Record Report line at 1-800-465-4336 or Nootka Sound RCMP at 250-283-2227. As of this summer, the public can also use a new email address that goes straight to fishery officers: DFO. ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
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Ahousaht salmon sold to struggling Tsilhqot’in Big Bar landslide chokes upper Fraser River, preventing local First Nations access to their subsistence salmon By Denise Titian Ha-shilth-Sa Reporter Lillooet, BC – A near tragedy for those that rely on salmon migrating up the Fraser River is turning around after a massive landslide occurred in a canyon north of Lillooet in late June. The Big Bar slide was first reported to DFO June 23, raising concerns that migrating salmon would not be able to get past the five-metre waterfall created by the slide. Chief Jimmy Lulua of Xeni Gwet’in said his nation has been receiving letters from DFO for the past two or three years stating that the Xeni Gwet’in people may have to cut down on their fishing due to declining stocks. “I feel like this (declining salmon stocks) is DFO mismanagement,” said Chief Lulua. He went on to say that half of all Fraser River stock comes from his territory. “This is their nursery – they come here, the salmon are born here, are nursed and then they go back down,” he said, adding that his people have taken care of the precious resource for centuries, and this is the first time that his people have ever had to buy salmon from another First Nation. Besides affecting this year’s access to an important food source for the Tsilhqot’in people, the rock slide could have a devastating impact on future Fraser River salmon stocks. If this year’s run of Fraser River salmon can’t get up river to the spawning grounds there will be little to no new salmon returning to sea. “The last thing we should have to worry about is fish,” said Chief Lulua.
A helicopter transports salmon from a rockslide on the Fraser River that blocked migration this summer. A salmon shortage forced the Tsilhqot’in to buy salmon from Ahousaht. He likened fisheries mismanagement to that of a retail store. “If you mismanage your stock then you have no inventory and if you have no inventory, you have no store,” he said. His people, he said, want to go back to the old ways of stewardship in their territory. As of June 6, 2014, the Tsilhqot’in Nation has court-proven title to their territory. As title holder, the Tsilhqot’in Nation is able to determine use of and control access to the declared title lands. According to Chief Lulua, they don’t agree with having someone else managing their resource. “We want to do the work ourselves the
old way; we want a seat at the international table,” he said. In an effort to meet the immediate need for salmon, Tsilhqot’in Nation turned to their negotiator, Ahousaht Ha’wilth Shawn Atleo, who reached out to his fellow Ha’wiih in Ahousaht for help. Ahousaht Fisheries employee Larry Swan said he was delivering food fish to Ahousaht members living on the mainland in late August when he ran into Atleo at the ferry terminal. “He told me about the big rock in the river,” said Swan, adding that he heard that the Tsilhqot’in people could not get fish from their river this year, as they had
in the past. According to Swan, Tsilhqot’in chiefs negotiated a deal with Ahousaht Ha’wiih for 1,800 pieces of salmon in exchange for cash. Two Ahousaht fishermen went out fishing and delivered their catch in Port Alberni, where they were met by a Tsilhqot’in flat deck truck. The fish were then transported back to Tsilhqot’in territory for distribution. “There’s definitely a difference,” said Chief Lulua of the ocean-caught salmon. By the time the salmon have gone back up the Fraser River to the spawning grounds they have lost most of their fat. “These salmon were rich, more oily than we are used to, so drying them was a little different,” he added. Salmon is not only a vital and healthy food source for the people, but also an important part of keeping the tradition of smoking and drying fish alive. “Being able to have and eat fresh fish is part of our identity,” he said. Chief Lulua said the salmon they received from Ahousaht means a lot to his people. “It keeps the connection – to back in the day when we traded with other peoples,” he said, adding that the Tsilhqot’in people would travel over the coastal mountain range in the winter to trade with coastal nations, returning home in the spring. According to Swan, funds received from the Tsilhqot’in chiefs were paid directly to the fishermen whom, he said, were grateful because T’aaq-wiihak fishing was not good in 2019. “This shows that we can work together – no protocol, no government involvement,” said Swan.
‘Immediate’ attention needed for road: Huu-ay-aht By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-sa Editor Bamfield, BC - For decades relying on a hazardous road has been a part of life for those living in Bamfield, Anacla and on Nitinaht Lake. But now the dangers of the route are in the national spotlight after two recent deaths of University of Victoria students. On the night of Friday, Sept. 13 a bus crash claimed the lives of Emma Machado and John Geerdes, two 18-year-old UVic biology students. Carry 48 people, the bus lost control on the logging road to Bamfield, approximately 40 kilometres south of Port Alberni near the Carmanah Main Junction. On a weekend field trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, the bus was transporting 45 University of Victoria students, two teaching assistants and the driver. The overturned vehicle slid down an embankment, killing two students at the scene. The Port Alberni Fire Department received a call at 9:45 p.m., said Deputy Fire Chief Wes Patterson, and arrived on the scene after approximately an hour of travelling down the dirt and gravel road. “It was approximately 20 feet down an embankment on its side and resting up against some trees,” he said. Firefighters worked with other emergency personnel at the scene to help victims out of the bus using a rope. Three helicopters were deployed from the Canadian Forces Base in Comox, which transported three seriously injured people to hospital in Victoria. The bus was operated by Wilson’s Group, which stated that the vehicle “was
recently inspected and passed all regulatory requirements and was equipped with seat restraints.” “The driver is an experienced driver, with driver training certification. He sustained non-life-threatening injuries and has been released from hospital,” said the bus charter company. “Wilson’s has been transporting people safely throughout Vancouver Island for over 40 years and this is the first incident of this magnitude that we have ever experienced. We are all shocked by this.” According to reports from the scene, the accident was first discovered by a passerby, who had to drive further to call 911. Most of the 85-kilometre logging road does not have cellular service. “Our radio system doesn’t allow us to cover the whole Bamfield stretch with radio communication,” said Patterson, whose department is dispatched to accidents on the road several times a year. “Thankfully RCMP do have a more robust radio system and they were able to relay information back and forth between the detachment.” For years those who live in communities at the southern edge of Barkley Sound have lobbied the provincial government to improve the winding road that serves as the only land route to the communities of Bamfield and Anacla, which have respective populations of approximately 200 and 120. The Ditidaht First Nation also has a community of under 200 residents by Nitinaht Lake, which relies on half of Bamfield Main before the turn off at the Carmanah Junction. Last year local representatives met with Mid-Island-Pacific Rim MLA Scott
Robert Dennis Sr. Fraser and Claire Trevena, minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, to discuss chip sealing the road, which entails applying a combination of asphalt and a fine aggregate of gravel and sand. This carries an estimated cost of $50-75 million, and no improvement have been announced. Robert Dennis Sr., who is chief councillor of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, lives in Anacla and regularly relies on the road to Port Alberni and other urban centres. He assisted on Sept. 13 when he encountered the accident, and offered condolences to those involved on behalf of the First Nation. “I believe this incident highlights the need for an immediate meeting with the province to discuss what can be done to ensure there is a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni,” said Dennis. “Safety on this road is one of our primary concerns as a nation. Too many lives have already been lost.” Back in 2008 a report from Roger Harris, B.C.’s forest safety ombudsman, is-
sued a warning about the public regularly using a road that was initially intended for industrial use. “As with many communities’ relationships with their logging roads, the Bamfield logging road is far more important, valuable and useful now to that community than when it was first constructed,” wrote Harris. The ombudsman recommended a new public highway designation for resource roads like Bamfield Main. The road is currently owned by forestry companies, which has made it more complicated to upgrade, according to the Ministry of Transportation. Currently the province spends at least $400,000 annually to maintain the road through a memorandum of understanding with the industrial owners of the route, including Western Forest Products. “I have heard concerns from MLA Fraser and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations about the road,” said Minister Trevena. “Ministry officials have been looking into the issue to determine if safety improvements could be made. The situation is complex as this is a private, industrial road, operated and maintained by private companies for active forestry operations.” Fraser, who also serves as B.C.’s minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, noted that he was “shocked and saddened” by the tragedy. “As a father, I can only imagine the pain that John Geerdes’ and Emma Machado’s families must be going through,” he said. “I know that they and many others will want answers, and to know that steps are being taken to ensure that something like this never happens again.”
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Ministry pledges to end ‘birth alerts’ Longstanding practice warned of newborn in danger without the parent’s consent By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Victoria, BC - Expecting parents will no longer be kept in the dark as alerts are issued to child welfare authorities, according to a recent statement from the provincial minister. B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development announced on Sept. 16 that the issuing of “birth alerts” will cease, which is notifying childcare authorities of parental neglect or safety hazards before an infant is born. Done without the consent of expectant parents, this practice often leads to the ministry seizure of newborn in hospital. “Used in hospitals for decades in B.C. and in other provinces and territories, these alerts are issued, without the consent of the expectant parents, where there is a potential safety risk to infants at birth,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of Children and Family Development, in a press release. “Health care providers and social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent from those parents and will stop the practice of birth alerts.” In her statement Conroy noted that Indigenous families have been disproportionally affected by the practice, a trend that follows the overrepresentation of First Nations children in the foster system. Despite comprising less than 10 per cent of B.C.’s population, 63 per cent of the province’s children in foster care are from Indigenous backgrounds. This phenomenon worsens east in the prairies: 70 per cent of Alberta’s children in care are Aboriginal, as are 80 per cent of the foster kids in Saskatchewan and 90 per cent of Manitoba’s children in care. On Vancouver Island, the Huu-ay-aht declared a public health emergency in March 2018, when 21 per cent of the First Nation’s children were in foster care. In a highly-publicized case, the birth alert practice was used in January 2018 on a 20-year-old Huu-ay-aht mother, who had her baby removed in the hospital three days after birth. The newborn was placed in the foster care of the paternal grandmother in Courtenay, with
Katrine Conroy, minister of Children and Family Development the mother permitted two hours of daily access, excluding weekends. The removal was challenged and in March 2018 Provincial Court ruled that the mother should get full access at her home in Port Alberni, on the condition that the infant and mother receive ongoing support from family and their First Nation. A report from the Ministry of Children submitted to court noted “significant concerns for [the mother’s] ability to provide a safe and stable environment for a newborn child.” But according the Judge Barbara Flewelling’s ruling, the mother was not informed beforehand that the removal would take place nor given an adequate reason for the ministry’s disruptive action, which is a requirement under the Child, Family and Community Service Act. “While in hospital [the mother] did not receive a personal visit from a MCFD social worker until Jan. 16,” stated Flewelling. “During this visit, the social worker handed [the mother] a telephone. It was [another ministry social worker] on the phone, who then told [the mother], over the phone, that MCFD was removing the baby. [The mother’s] evidence is that she was told the reason was because of her own mother’s history with MCFD.
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.
[The mother] was shocked and extremely distressed.” “We asked over and over again what are the reasons for removal, and couldn’t get any answers,” said Maegen Giltrow of Ratcliff and Company, who represented the mother in court. According to Conroy, the ministry will be changing the way it works with cases where a safety risk exists. “Moving to a voluntary approach of providing early supports and preventative services to expectant parents will help them plan and safely care for their babies,” she said. “This change to practice allows for a more trusting, collaborative relationship with service providers right from the beginning, while empowering women, their families and their communities to work together to care for their children.” This will cost more money that Giltrow has not seen committed by the provincial government. “The will is there but the funding, for a long, long time, is insufficient,” she said. “These are caseloads that are too big to allow the social workers to provide supportive services - so they get on reactive, precautionary, defensive measures - which is a birth alert.” Giltrow has seen the direct effects of such scrutiny from the child care ministry. “It certainly removes the decision making from the parent. It’s just so traumatizing,” she said. “Every action that she takes is measured against whether she’s demonstrating appropriate maternal behaviour. The rest of us don’t get measured that way when we have our children and are lying there recovering. It puts such a punitive lens on everything that happens for that mom.” The extent that the birth alert practice can change will also be guided by B.C.’s Child, Family and Community Services Act, which stipulates the duty of anyone to report the observed need for child protection – even if this information “is confidential and its disclosure is prohibited under another act.” A person who contravenes this duty is committing an offence, according to the legislation.
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 45th year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!
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September 26, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
PAFC names board spots Youth board position still available at friendship centre By Deborah Potter Ha-Shilth-Sa Staff Port Alberni, BC – Accompanied with a roast dinner, the Port Alberni Friendship Center hosted their annual general meeting for the public on Sept. 24. From ages varying from youth to the elders, the PAFC gymnasium was packed full this year in attendance of the meeting. Executive Director Cyndi Stevens had a lot of good news to share. Her staff has almost doubled in size since the previous year, and their team has taken on many new tasks, projects, and activities for their clients, including developing a new daycare and introducing their new steps to success program. And yet, funding, grants, and new partners have always been a continuous struggle to come across for the local centre. Their fiscal year audit had come out spotless, their appointed auditor R. Anderson and Associates reported to find no issues. There were four board of director seats available, each seat serving 2-year terms. Nine people were nominated, and voting was open for members of the PAFC. Membership costs are only $2, and they were accepting new members as they would walk in to the AGM. Elected to the board of directors were Ben David and Agnes Keitlah, and returning board members include Hinatinyis Coté, as well as Kelly Sport, who was unable to make the meeting. “I have served four years, and I would happily serve another 40,” said Hinat-
inyis. The remaining members on the board include Richard Samuel, John Barney, Sharean Van Volsen, Charlotte Wishart, and Ahmber Barbosa. Ben David has been involved in friendship centres since the first Vancouver centre opened in 1952. He enjoyed it as a place to learn and celebrate the culture. “Do you have two days?” Ben David laughed, when asked what the Friendship Centre means to him. As an elder, he focuses on encouraging youth to be more active in culture and language. “Young people are very important to me,” David says to Ha-Shilth-Sa, “they are our legacy.” This is Hinatinyis Coté’s third term as a board member, and she describes the Friendship Centre as her second home. Coté had spent 10 years living urban in Victoria before she came back to the valley, wanting to reconnect with her culture. Friendship centres were a big part of her childhood, so reconnecting with her local centre years later was a rewarding experience. She finds she is always inspired by all the new projects and activities they have planned year round. “It is such a vital part of our community,” Coté says, “It feels like home…it contributes so much.” The board of directors are still looking for a youth representative, as well as other youth interested in a youth council. Anyone between the ages of 14-24 that are interested must phone the PAFC.
Photo by Darrell Williams
Yuquot residents found what appears to be a decomposing humpback whale on Nootka Island’s southern shore in mid September.
Whale carcass washes up on Yuquot shore Yuquot, BC - Darrell Williams, one of the half dozen residents of Yuquot, spotted the remains of whale that washed ashore on the long, exposed beach facing west at Yuquot. The whale is in an advanced state of decomposition and is missing its head, fins and outer skin. It appears to be white, waxy blob. Williams shared his photos, taken the morning of Sept. 16, 2019. He told Ha-Shilth-Sa that Cindy Johnson, another Mowachaht/Muchalaht member, spotted it just offshore in the swells over the weekend. “I went to see where it ended up this morning; it is now below our welcome figure by the church,” said Williams. He went on to say that he suspects it is the remains of a young humpback whale that has been dead for a long time. Williams said that if the carcass stays
“I went to see where it ended up this morning; it is now below our welcome figure by the church.” - Darrell Williams, Yuquot resident
where it is, they may harvest the bones after it fully decomposes. Staff at the NTC fisheries department could not confirm that it is a humpback whale, based on the photographs.
Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 26, 2019
Ahousaht’s 2019 AGM focuses on inclusion Cellular service, road paving, drunk driving and emergency services were among the most discussed topics By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ahousaht, BC – The 2019 Ahousaht AGM, held Sept. 10 – 12 in the village, had a relatively small turn-out ranging between 60 and 100 people in a community with about 1,000 residents. Ahousaht leadership introduced new methods of engaging the people in order to draw opinions from a larger segment of the community. This included the use of break-out groups to brainstorm ideas and solutions and reaching out the local schools to get opinions from the children. Elected Chief Greg Louie told the people that voices are important, so this year Ahousaht’s AGM will feature new ways to conduct the meeting allowing citizens to be heard. The smaller discussion groups, he said, would allow people less inclined to speak in a large, public forum a more comfortable setting to share their ideas. In addition, council engaged with both the elementary and high schools, asking the students to share their visions of what they wish for in their community. The three-day event started with a chant from Ha’wilth Hanuquii, Nathan Charlie. The people were asked to observe a moment of silence for members lost in the past few days, including an elder who lived in Port Alberni and a family that lost a baby through pregnancy complications. In his opening comments Chief Louie outlined some of the progress that his council has made over the past few months. Last November, he said, Ahousaht council met with Premier John Horgan to press for cell phone service in the community. At present, there is no appreciable cellular service in Ahousaht. The premier responded that he would see what he could do, Louie said. Louie was pleased to announce that construction on a new Telus cell tower will begin in October near the Ahousaht Fire Hall. Cell service for the village should be up and running by end of year. Construction crews have started building Ahousaht’s new $21-million wastewater treatment plant on the north edge of the village at the former sawmill site. Construction on new housing, a family safe house, and a wellness centre are underway or about to begin. In addition, Chief Louie announced that contractors will arrive in Ahousaht in October to begin paving roads which will cost $1.5 million. Chief Louie announced that the province has come to an agreement regarding
Photos by Denise Titian
Despite a recent stroke, David Frank attended the annual general meeting, held Sept. 10-12 in the local Thunderbird Hall. He is pictured with his sister, Vera Little. gaming revenue sharing and Ahousaht will receive a share after necessary legal paperwork is done. Louie said that this will be extra revenue for the community and that his council would do some strategic planning for how to best use these dollars. Ahousaht will receive funding from this source for the next 25 years. According to Louie, the annual amount will fluctuate. Band business got underway as the crowd was divided into four groups. Each group spent time discussing emergency services, fisheries, family care, or vehicles and road safety. After about 40 minutes each group was rotated to the next topic while someone made notes of all suggestions, which were posted on the walls at the end of the exercise. Some issues came up repeatedly in group discussions. With Ahousaht’s roads soon to be paved, residents shared many concerns. One was derelict vehicles. Residents must bring vehicles in by barge but when they break down for the final time, they are usually abandoned. It was pointed out that during a major community clean-up in 2018, 130 dead vehicles were removed from Ahousaht. While there was funding in place at the time, there is nothing to deal with the ongoing and costly issue. Another concern at the top of the list was drunk drivers. In general, people said that the local RCMP is not responding in a timely manner to reports of drunk drivers. Councillor Sabrina Campbell noted that council receives complaints about drinking drivers but needs more
information to file a complaint with the RCMP. “We need a vehicle description,” she said, along with the name of the driver and where they were driving, in order to properly follow up with the RCMP. The members also want bylaws created to set age limits and licensing for drivers in Ahousaht. They raised concerns about pedestrian safety. Chief Louie said the new paved roads will be too narrow to allow for sidewalks. Members called for new signage to set speed zones, no parking zones and more. People asked about road maintenance; would the roads be sanded in the winter? Will the roadsides be cleared of brush? Curtis Dick led the discussion on Ahousaht’s emergency services. He said Ahousaht spent more than 15,000 man hours responding to eight search and rescue cases in Ahousaht last year. His department is documenting all resources that go into searches. Dick is taking applications for volunteers to fill positions both in the Ahousaht volunteer fire department and search and rescue teams. He and Ahousaht council are lobbying political officials for emergency services resources. James Rogers from CARE Network joined Deputy Chief Councillor Melinda Swan in a presentation about a proposed Animal Control and Care bylaw. The 12page document was written by Ahousaht people in consultation with the CARE Network. The CARE Network is a non-profit organization based in Tofino that runs
with the assistance of volunteers. They have heard about Ahousaht community concerns regarding abandoned animals, dog bites, dogs jumping up on people, overpopulation, dog fights and infectious illness. In addition, Ahousaht has seen a parvo virus outbreak that killed several puppies in the village. Vaccination is the only way to prevent the spread of the disease. Parvo can be spread to the wolf population, Rogers warned. Most of the village dogs roam freely and many have been hit by vehicles. With no veterinary services in the village, the animals can suffer for extended periods of time if they aren’t killed by the impact. Ahousaht plans to introduce a licensing program that charges pet owners annual fees for their pets. The fee schedule has incentives built in to encourage pet owners to build enclosures and to have their pets sprayed or neutered. People who have their animals sterilized and keep a fenced yard or enclosure will pay substantially less for licensing fees than others. Ahousaht council is asking people to review the draft bylaw and send their input to council or post on the open Facebook page for Ahousaht pets that will be created. Chief Louie said that all member input collected at the AGM will be put to good use. Ahousaht council will host a strategic planning session Oct. 24 where they will sort through the information and prioritize community requests. The next Ahousaht Annual General Meeting will be in September 2020.
September 26, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Maaqtusiis School kids share dreams for their home Less drug and alcohol abuse, better dog control and more recreational opportunities were expressed by youth By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ahousaht, BC – In a push to be more inclusive at their AGM, Ahousaht’s chief and council gave the children an opportunity to say what they want to see in their village. Prior to the AGM the kids were asked by their teachers to share their ideas. Each class from Kindergarten up to the high school grades presented their ideas at the Ahousaht Annual General Meeting on Sept. 11. “We invited you here so that you could share information with us,” said Ahousaht Councillor Melinda Swan. With teachers guiding the presentations, the children took turns showing their artwork and talking about the things they want to see in Ahousaht, as well as things they would rather not have around. From the younger grades all the way up the kids talked about wanting more recreational activities and equipment. Ahousaht is accessible only by boat or float plane, so it is difficult for families to get to cities where they can access recreational facilities. The kids dreamed of having more playground equipment, basketball courts, an indoor trampoline facility, a swimming pool and even a roller coaster or amusement park. Some wished for a school bus now that Ahousaht has grown so much. Some talked about wanting a safer community, free of alcohol, drugs and fighting. They suggested there be a volunteer citizen patrol to keep their community safe and clean. One wished there was more police. They said they don’t want to see vandalism, litter, alcohol, marijuana, smashed glass and sharp objects around the school. Some said they wanted to see fences to keep the dogs in. Others asked for new roads, restaurants, food banks, community gardens, better Wi-Fi, a health spa, and places to shop. Many of the children want to see community activities like running groups, a female warriors program to complement the male Warriors Program. They talked about video game clubs, dance competitions, and Ahousaht fair or festival. The Maaqtusiis High School students conducted a survey among the students about what they envision for their community. They presented the results from 60 respondents. The youth want to feel more connected to the elders, to hear the stories, to support them and be connected to the old ways, they said. They went to say that they want to see
Photos by Denise Titian
Ahousaht’s elementary school gave presentations to members at the First Nation’s annual general meeting on Sept. 11. more youth activities, like sports, arts & crafts – things they can do together. They would like to be more involved in conferences and retreats. They want a clean community and would like to see more clean-up days. They asked for support for people dealing with alcohol and drug issues and they want to see better care taken of the dogs. Chief Louie said he heard almost every group say they need a new school, new gym. He was pleased to announce that they have completed a feasibility study for a new school. Maaqtusiis Elementary School is at least 33 years old, he said, adding that the average lifespan for a school is 40 years. “We have a dream for a new elementary school and we are moving on that, but it will take some time,” he told the students. He vowed to listen to what was said, adding that he’d like to make all their dreams come true. “Our children are telling us what they want and don’t want in their community and we need to listen to them,” Louie said. The information will be reviewed at an upcoming Ahousaht Strategic Planning meeting.
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 26, 2019
Family turns to cultural solutions for social media Public apology issued during Ahousaht’s annual general meeting in September after a harmful Facebook rant By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ahousaht, BC – Social media, it is a form of electronic communication that allows people worldwide to interact, share photos, videos, thoughts and ideas. Facebook is a social media application has been around since Februrary 2004 and has blossomed into a multimedia communications application with more than 2 billion users. It is good for communicating with friends and family and also for reaching out to the masses if that is your wish. But the very thing that makes it so attractive, the instant nature of sending messages and posts, can also cause pain and embarrassment when used in anger. This is what happened in Ahousaht when a young person took to the keyboard, reportedly making a hurtful post in the heat of rage. The post involved other youths from the community and resulted in pain and embarrassment for some family members. Rather than hope that things would just settle with time, the family of the young person that made the post took a proactive approach. They called together aunts and uncles and sat with the young person to get to the bottom of the issue and come up with a solution. The result was a public apology that was done in front of an audience at Ahousaht’s Annual General Meeting. In a cultural correction of the social media incident, the family stood together with the young person and called upon the people that were named in the post. The ones that were present stood across the floor with their families, facing the other family. The young person was given a microphone and a tearful and heartfelt apology, stating what was done came from anger. “I know it was wrong and I deeply regret it,” said the person. An aunt of the young person took the microphone next and addressed the families that were affected. “We had a family meeting about this and I talked about how lateral violence is so deadly for our people,” she said. Other members of the family pointed out that many of the young people
Photo by Denise Titian
A public apology was recently made in front of an audience at Ahousaht’s Annual General Meeting after a young person took to the keyboard, reportedly making a hurtful post in the heat of rage.
“This was a good example of families mutually agreeing to reconcile on their own, in our Ahousaht way” ~ Greg Louie, Ahousaht Chief involved are related and they don’t want animosity in the family. The apology was accepted as the young person gave blankets and shook hands
with those that were affected by the post – and peace was restored. The aunt urged people to find someone to speak with rather than talking behind backs and resorting to lateral violence. “We have teachings; we are family let’s keep those ties and lift each other up rather than cut each other down,” she urged. Greg Louie, Ahousaht’s elected chief, praised the families for addressing the issue. He said with all the talk of reconciliation it is good to see it in action at home. “This was a good example of families mutually agreeing to reconcile on their own, in our Ahousaht way,” he said.
Craig Blewett, an expert on education and technology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa offers this advice for social media users: If you are at all concerned that your post could get you in trouble, wait before you post – overnight if you can. Ask a trusted person for their opinion. Blewett advises people to use the THINK principle before posting: T – is it True? H – is it Hurtful? I – is it Illegal? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?
Phrase of the week - hii naa nu>
Pronounced ‘hee-naa-nulth’, this means ‘fish are already going up’. Supplied by c^iisma
Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
September 26, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Housing and transportation continue to be the highest living costs for those living in the Tla-o-qui-aht community of Opitsaht, located a short boat ride across the water from Tofino.
West coast living wage falls below $20 an hour By Kelda Blackstone Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Tofino, BC – The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) has released the 2019 Living Wage report for the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region. The report, encompassing Hesquiaht First Nation, Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, Tofino, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation, Ucluelet, and Toquaht Nation, has significance for Nuu-chah-nulth people living in the region.
Wednesday Thursday October
The Living Wage is the hourly wage required by one of two working adults in a family of four to meet basic expenses. It has decreased by 48 cents since the last calculation in 2017, falling from $20.11 in 2017 to $19.84 today. All of the living wages decreased across the province, due to British Columbia’s introduction of childcare initiatives, offsetting the cost of living. “We’re calling it a win for families with children,” stated CBT Program Coordinator Faye Missar, in a phone interview.
Save The Date The NTC Annual DAC Ability Fair At the Alberni Athletic Hall, 3727 Roger Street Port Alberni, British Columbia
The theme chosen by the committee is “Nah-shuk-sulk” it was explained by an Elder on the committee that it is important for us to address the whole person – mind, body and spirit. We will be working with Teechuktl to organize a health fair that will provide both information and support, to promote education and wellness, and be sure to have some fun while we are at it! *** Any donations of fish or seafood for the evening dinner will be appreciated. For more information please contact the NTC office at 250-724-5757
“It speaks to the power of healthy public policy.” Other family types on the west coast, however, such as single people, elderly people, and those without children, explained Missar, did not see a decrease in their cost of living. Although the provincial childcare initiatives have decreased expenses for families with children, the cost of living itself is still increasing province-wide. In 2019, the cost of housing in the Clayoquot region has increased by $674 per month, food costs have increased by $42 per month, and monthly transportation costs have increased by $57. More needs to be done to ease the strain of rising expenses for these family types as well. The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust calculates the region’s Living Wage in order to encourage local businesses and the provincial and federal governments to consider current costs of living, explained Missar. The Living Wage can draw attention to different factors that affect the cost of living, and highlight areas where family living costs can be reduced at government levels. Grandma Marg’s Clubhouse, a childcare facility in Tofino, is one such attempt at reducing family expenses. The facility is one of 50 prototypes participating in a province-wide pilot project, and offers daycare services at the rate of $10 per child per day. Expansion of sites offering these rates could improve and bring down the Living Wage in the future. People living in communities such as Opitsaht and Hot Springs Cove must travel by boat to access amenities and services available only in the larger
“There’s not much to choose from out here. It’s seasonal; we face a lot of challenges.” - Iris Frank, education manager for the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation centres of Tofino and Ucluelet. Transportation on land is an ongoing issue as well. These costs are not captured in the Living Wage calculations. The Alberni Clayoquot Health Network is currently engaged in a feasibility study with BC Transit, targeting transportation barriers in the region. A west coast public transit system could reduce community members’ travel costs, increasing access to employment, education, and other essential needs such as groceries and health care. Iris Frank, education manager at Tlao-qui-aht First Nations, has lived in the region for the past 16 years. Housing and transportation are the two highest costs for people in her community, she said in a phone interview, and job availability is an issue as well. “Many people will work in minimum wage jobs, in the tourism industry,” stated Frank. “There’s not much to choose from out here. It’s seasonal; we face a lot of high-cost challenges. There’s times when families have to choose – food for my kids, or pay rent.”
Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 26, 2019
NTC Annual General Meeting
Sept. 25 - 26 Victoria
Our theme for this year is on the subject of homelessness, as we have many NCN members who are homeless in several urban areas, including Victoria. Our Quu’asa team will be gathering items to help individuals who are in need, and delivering these items to Our Place Society while they are attending the AGM. NTC’s DAC Fair Imagination FX owner Nene Kraneveldt and Tsimka Martin, co-owner of T’ashii Paddle School, will receive BC Indigenous Business Awards this fall.
Two women recognized for business success By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor
Vancouver, BC – A pair of Nuu-chahnulth women are among those selected to receive a BC Indigenous Business Award this year. Nene Kraneveldt, a member of the Hupacasath First Nation who owns Port Alberni-based Imagination FX, is the winner of the Business of the Year award in the one or two-person category. And Tsimka Martin, who is from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, is a co-owner of the T’ashii Paddle School. The business, which operates out of the Tla-oqui-aht Tribal Parks near Tofino, took top honours in the Business of the Year category for those that have 3-10 people in their enterprise. This marks the 11th year for the awards, organized by the BC Achievement Foundation. A total of 15 winners were selected this year in various categories. All award recipients will be honored at a ceremony which will be held Oct. 17 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. More than 600 people are expected to attend the ceremony. Since the inception of the awards about 200 Indigenous businesses have been recognized for their efforts. Kraneveldt, who been operating Imagination FX since 1999, said this is the first time her business, whose services include providing various photography and videography assistance, has been singled out for an accolade. “I’ve never been nominated or pursued anything like this before,” she said. Kraneveldt was nominated for her award by the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation. But since she prefers working in the background for others, Kraneveldt was hesitant whether to fill out the necessary paperwork required from BC Achievement Foundation officials to make her nomination complete. Kraneveldt decided to move her nomination process forward after talking to her mother Sharon Van Volsen. “I still listen to my mom sometimes,” she joked. “She’s a huge influence for me.” Van Volsen urged her daughter to fill out forms needed to finish off her nomination. “She reminded me of all the good things I’ve done and said I deserve this,” Kraneveldt said of her mother. Though she has owned Imagination FX for the 20 years now, Kraneveldt said it has been in the past decade that she focused full-time on this business. She brought in her husband Jim a year ago to
help her with the business. He’s the company’s multimedia/safety specialist. Kraneveldt said Imagination FX is rather successful even though she’s done little to promote it. Nevertheless, she manages to garner numerous clients across the country. “We have had so much business without advertising,” she said, adding it wasn’t until 2016 that she first purchased some business cards. “We haven’t spent a lot on marketing.” As for Martin, she’s been the co-owner of the T’ashii Paddle School since 2013. The business provides various canoe tours and standup paddle board lessons and tours. “It’s certainly an honour to be getting this award,” said Martin, who is 35. “It’s recognizing that we have created a pretty interesting service that is required.” Martin is also rather proud of the fact her business is able to utilize two canoes that her father Joe carved. To help handle the demand on the number of canoe tours, the business added a fiberglass canoe last year. Martin is rather pleased with one aspect of the T’ashii Paddle School. “What we pride ourselves on is the fact we are not using fossil fuels,” she said. “They do use some getting here because some (customers) come from a long way away. But once they’re here, we put them in a canoe and they use human power.” Martin is currently one of four canoe tour guides with the business. “I found it really holistic,” she said, adding the position of being a tour guide not only provides a tremendous amount of physical activity, but it also develops leadership skills. Martin is also proud of the fact she’s been able to offer employment to other young Nuu-chah-nulth members. Her company has had nine Nuu-chah-nulthaht work as tour guides in the past few years. The T’ashii Paddle School had been nominated for its award by Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne. Osborne praised Martin and her fellow co-owner Emre Bosut after it was announced the company had been chosen for a BC Indigenous Business Award. “(They) have put so much passion and dedication in creating a business that employs and mentors youth, minimizes its impact on the natural environment, honours the teachers and mentors who helped them, opens the eyes of visitors from all corners of the world to the treasures of the Tla-o-qui-aht territory, and pursues excellence in everything they do,” Osborne said.
Oct. 2 - 3 Port Alberni
Held at the Alberni Athletic Hall. More details to come. Homalco’s 4th Gratitude Day
smudging,cedar brushing, dance. *This event is open to everyone!* Location: Homalco Hall, 1218 Bute Cres. Contact: Glen 250-923-3976 or 250-204-0492 or Marilyn 250-923-3976 or 250-203-3406 Memorial Potlach
May 16 2020 Lake Cowichan
We the Livingstone family are now planning a Memorial Potlach for our Father and Hereditary Chief Sha e’ Lum, Cyril Edward Livingstone. Bring your drums and regalia. All family and friends are invited. Location: Lake Cowichan Arena, 311 S Shore Rd, Lake Cowichan, Contact Lake Cowichan First Nation at (250) 749-3301 for information. Suicide Peer Support Group
First Thursday, Monthly
Campbell River Theme: Journey to a new freedom Guest Speaker: James H. Admission by donation, please call to pre-register, registration 9 a.m. Meetings all day, starting 10 a.m., lunch and dinner provided. Culture & entertainment:
Port Alberni The KUU-US Crisis Line Society hold a Suicide Peer Support Group Meeting on the first Thursday of each month at the KUU-US Office location. 4589 Adelaide st Port Alberni.
Hupiimin Wiikšaḥiiy’ap ‘helping us to be well ̓ NTC Nurses want you to know:
HIV Treatment is Prevention
25% of people who are HIV positive are unaware Testing means HIV drug treatment can start sooner and support is available sooner
Treatment brings down the amount of virus in the body
Treatment has changed. It can be as little as one pill per day A person with HIV/AIDS can live a long and healthy life
It is possible to make the next generation HIV/ AIDS free Testing is free for anyone. We are strictly CONFIDENTIAL.
Call 250-724-5757 to speak to a Community Health Nurse.
Les Sam Construction Residential . Commercial & Architectural Structures Construction Management & Consulting Forming & Framing Ph/Txt: 250.720.7334 les email@example.com
September 26, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
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View more job postings at: hashilthsa. com Updated daily!
Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 26, 2019
Cannabis could lead to other ventures for Tseshaht Competition tightens as the province opens a store in Port Alberni on the same day as Orange Bridge Cannabis By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - The unveiling of Orange Bridge Cannabis on Sept. 11 marks the first business opened by the Tseshaht on the busy High 4 in a generation – an addition some hope will lead to future development on the corridor. “This is the first time we’ve opened a business along this highway in over 30 years,” said Councillor Ken Watts at the store’s Tseshaht Market location. “That’s something that all of Tseshaht can be proud of.” Orange Bridge Cannabis is also British Columbia’s first legal marijuana shop to be opened by a First Nation. The first government-approved marijuana store on a First Nation reserve opened June 21, but The Kure Cannabis is owned by a sole proprietor, not the local Skwah First Nation. Orange Bridge Cannabis currently offers a selection of marijuana buds, capsules, CBD-THC oil and oral spray, but plans to expand to edible products after federal laws are passed in October. Manager Ron Kyle expects to sell edibles in the new year. “I think edibles are going to be the No. 1 seller,” he said. “A lot of people are looking for that, simply because a lot of people cannot smoke it into their lungs.” The shop is following strict provincial regulations on an industry that has just become legal. Currently just two of the six staff can actually work the cash register as the other employees await the completion of extensive background checks that the Liquor and Cannabis Control Branch required for certification. “There’s two that can legally sell right now, the rest of us can still be in the store and work with clients,” said Kyle. Five of the staff are members of the First Nation, and Les Sam managed the building’s renovation, while fellow Tseshaht member Willard “Rocky” Gallic Jr. designed the store’s logo. Named after the connection over the Somass River that generations remember for its formerly orange colour, Gallic incorporated two fish into his design to represent the “life of the river”. “This eagle on top represents a dear friend of mine that I lost many, many years ago,” explained Gallic to a crowd during the store’s formal opening. “He used to run along the railing…he used to run along and do a jackknife down there,
This is the first time we’ve opened a business on this highway in over 30 years.” - Tseshaht Councillor Ken Watts and he flew like an eagle off that bridge.” Tseshaht members voted in favour of proceeding with the cannabis store during a community meeting in late 2018, but some remain cautious about promoting a product that carries warnings from health authorities. Health Canada states that marijuana can be addictive, and impairs one’s ability to concentrate and react quickly. “Stay away from the steering wheel,” warns the First Nations Health Authority. “Cannabis can impair your motor coordination, judgment and other skills needed to drive safely. It’s safest to wait six to eight hours after using cannabis before driving or operating machinery.” Long before recreational marijuana became legal in October 2018, doctors were permitted to subscribe cannabis for pain management. Interest in the health benefits of the drug continue to grow, and Naomi Nicholson, who runs Secluded Wellness and Chims Guesthouse near the Tseshaht Market, hopes to tap into this trend. She now offers lessons in making cannabis products, with massage to mitigate pain and discomfort. “One of the things that legalisation brought on is that it stops that barrier from people having to go find a doctor, get a prescription, so now they can come here,” she said. “But part of the problem is that people don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t understand edible safety, they don’t understand flower safety, they don’t understand how to store it. Basically, what I get is, ‘I tried it and it made me paranoid,’ or ‘I tried it and it made me want to go to sleep’.” Since recreational cannabis use became legal nearly a year ago, retail applications have flooded the provincial regulating body. A big player in the business is destined to be the Liquor and Cannabis
The B.C. Liquor and Cannabis Control Branch also opened its store in Port Alberni on Sept. 11, at the other end of the Alberni Valley.
Photo by Eric Plummer
Willard “Rocky” Gallic Jr. speaks about his design for the Orange Bridge Cannabis logo during the store’s grand opening Sept. 11. Tseshaht Councillor Ken Watts holds up the design. Regulation Branch itself, which introduced its newest store on Sept. 11 at the Pacific Rim Shopping Centre - the same day the Tseshaht opened their shop at the other end of the Alberni Valley. The Port Alberni outlet follows the province’s showroom-style model introduced in other communities, with multiple signs and video displays educating customers on cannabis use and different strands. Tables in the new store even feature different buds in containers that customers can smell. But some believe that placing these stores on the market – from the same regulatory body enforcing the rules - allows the province to have an unfair advantage over local businesses. The Cowichan Tribes have waited nine months for red tape to clear and allow them to open a cannabis shop in Duncan, but a provincial store is set to open in the same shopping mall. The nearly 4,800-member First Nation has requested that the province not open in this location, a concern echoed by the Tseshaht with the opening of another B.C. branch in Port Alberni. Watts said that a letter was sent to Scott Fraser, minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Minster of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “No response, I think it’s pretty frustrating,” said Watts. “I honestly think they shouldn’t have opened any provincial stores. In my opinion, I think they should be supporting local businesses first. It should never have been a part of policy
“Stay away from the steering wheel.” - Warning from the First Nations Health Authority on cannabis use
or legislation.” “The money that they invest in the store, why don’t they take that money and invest in licencing, so that they can get more turnover, get more licences out the door and more people certified?” he asked. The next business venture for the Tseshaht could lie at the long-abandoned Sproat Elementary School, which closed in 2003. The First Nation is interested in developing the property, which it owns, although the site lies off of the Tseshaht reserve and would require rezoning approval from the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District. “The current plans are for a mixed residential and commercial development,” said Watts. “People are tired of seeing the condemned school there, but we want to do things right and engage citizens properly.”
September 26, 2019—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
Despite funding challenges, totem carving progresses
The pole’s completion is expected in October, but engineering work is still required at its destination in Victoria By Kelda Blackstone Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – Eleven Relatives of the natural world are emerging from an 800 year-old cedar tree, as head carver Tim Paul and his team of carvers and supporters work on the Indigenous Language Revitalization pole. Despite funding challenges, the project, led by Paul, is making significant progress; the pole’s completion is on track for mid to late October. “The whole purpose of this pole is to say what we have left in the way of history and language,” said Paul in an interview at the carving site. “People should see that much more than anything else, this is who we are and what we need to save.” “That’s what our people need to know,” he continued. “It’s a very good project, it’s a very good feeling.” The pole encompasses all of nature, and in doing so portrays a Nuu-chah-nulth worldview. “From the Sky, Earth, the Moon and the Sun,” said Paul, describing the pole, “Come down to the Mountaintops, the Mountain Chief, the Lakes and the Rivers, the two Dwarfs of the Earthquake, right in the middle there...Those guys are there to remind us that in the whole of the universe, you and I are the very smallest...We’re like little pets, little birds, to what people refer to as Mother Nature.” “This is a symbol of language revitalization in this country and around the world,” emphasized First Nations Education Foundation (FNEF) Executive Director Scott Jeary, in a phone interview. “It celebrates the wonderful work that is ongoing...The residential schools’ sole purpose was to strip the language and culture from [First Nations peoples]. It’s just so powerful, the strength and resilience that’s being demonstrated there.” The pole sends a message from our past to our future, explained carver Cecil Dawson, in an interview on site. The same message that was discouraged in the residential schools is now being celebrated here. Volunteers Nigel Atkin and Scott Valentine are passionate about the importance of the project. “We’re so disconnected in so many
Kelda Blackstone photos
Head carver Tim Paul at work on the pole. Volunteers rigged tarps around him during rainfall on Sunday, Sept. 22. ways, socially, culturally, from the enof Indigenous people since the beginning. vironment,” reflected Valentine, on site. Same as Tim, sharing his knowledge, “All those things are out of balance. But allowing us to ask questions, as he’s pullwhen I come here, and Cecil says ‘Yeah ing these stories out of this beautiful old come in, grab a brush, paint’—that’s cedar. These languages are so important, indicative of the welcoming, the hospital- and these stories are what we need if we ity, the generosity, that has been the story hope to survive.” “I’m learning so much,” agreed Atkin. “I’m enjoying the opportunity of being with a master carver, and Cecil Dawson as an artist. It’s a great gift in my life to have access. To have an opportunity to Indigenous Languages,” stated Jeary, use the knives, and use my own tools on “Which is really important to us and to this. It doesn’t get better, for me. I’m very everybody. We’re working awfully hard lucky to have this opportunity.” on it, but there are dollars that need to be Tim Paul was quick to highlight the spent on the structural engineering work, contributions of others not present during and the location where it’s going to go. It the interview. hasn’t been done, and it’s expensive.” “Cecil Dawson, Harry Lucas, Rennie With just over three months left in 2019, Dickinson, Stan Lucas, Jeff Cook, Gerald fundraising efforts continue. Robinson are real go-getters in mak“We’re pushing like crazy to figure out ing sure we steamroll ahead,” he stated. some way or another that we can get that “Those are the individuals that I would money organized,” said Jeary. like to make mention of, that are doing Anyone wishing to contribute to the the real work.” Language Revitalization Pole project can He also mentioned contributions by do so through the donation link on the Leroy Littlebear and his wife Rose; Dale FNEF website at https://fnef.ca/donate/. Devost; and Scott Jeary. FNEF is a registered non-profit with Jeary spoke to the financial challenges CRA Charitable Status and can issue the project continues to face. The pole’s tax receipts for those who would like to completion is certain, but raising the receive one. funds to finish the engineering work “We’re gonna get it done,” stated needed to raise and place it at the end of Dawson. “Where’s it gonna go we don’t November is a difficult target. 2019 is know. It’s out of our hands. We’re gonna the United Nations Year of Indigenous finish it. We’re planting our flag in our Languages. Volunteers Scott Valentine and Nigel Atkin at the end of a day of work on the own land and saying we’re still here. “[It needs] to be within the Year of totem pole. We’ve got our values. We’re not gone.”
“We’re gonna finsh it. We’re planting our flag in our own land and saying we’re still here.” - Artist Cecil Dawson
Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 26, 2019