INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 45 - No. 12—September 13, 2018 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776
Photo by Eric Plummer
During renovations to the Canadian Coast Guard lighthouse at Yuquot the remains of two people were discovered in 2017 and this summer, one dating back at least 1,000 years according to an archaeological assessment.
Ancestral remains uncovered in lightstation upgrade By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-S Contributor Yuquot, BC - Elders, cultural observers and archeologists gathered this summer on remote San Rafael Island at Yuquot after ancestral remains were discovered at Nootka Lightstation. Remains of a woman, radiocarbon dated to approximately 1,000 years ago, were found in 2017 through an archeological assessment required before major upgrading could be undertaken at the light station. Since then, additional remains believed to be those of an adolescent have also been recovered. Yuquot or Friendly Cove, the centre of the Nuu-chah-nulth world and the location of first contact, was once a summer home to the Mowachaht/Muchalaht people going back at least 4,000 years. The village once stood about 200 metres from where remains were found. “To the Mowachaht/Muchalaht people, it is very important to have our cultural monitors on site when there is a disturbance to the ground,” explained Anthony Dick, MMFN elder. “This site means a lot to our people; we had mortuary displays here to commemorate our lost loved ones.” Originally constructed in 1911, the light station serves as a beacon for mariners and as a seasonal inshore rescue boat station. Two lighthouse keepers reside
there year-round. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard (DFO/CCG) are completing construction and repair work to the station, working in partnership with MMFN. The ancestral remains were found in a garden near the lighthouse. They are believed to be those of a female aged 35-44. As a result of the find last summer, construction was put on hold to further assess the area and more soil screening was done this August. Ray Williams and his wife Terry are among the few remaining MMFN members residing at Yuquot. Even with their extensive knowledge of the area, they weren’t expecting remains to be found on the island. Grave sites would be inconsistent with Nuu-chah-nulth customs at the time. “In those days, there was no such thing as burying people underground,” Williams said. “That came after the church arrived. People were buried high up on a rock, high in a tree. Elders were buried underneath a canoe and children in a blanket in a shallow grave.” This led Williams to offer his own theory about how the remains were deposited. “I’m suspecting that they were picked up and dropped there by the tsunami that came 300 or 400 years ago, but that’s just a real guessing game,” he said. Supporting this possibility, the location of the remains was about the same height as
Inside this issue... Trans Mountain halted................................................Page 2 Residential school national holiday............................Page 5 Fisheries news......................................................Page 9-14 New coast guard station............................................Page 14 Nanoose Bay youth gathering................................. Page 19
his house, roughly 20 metres above sea level. Another puzzling discovery at the site — blue Russian trade beads — is also inconsistent with traditional practices, Williams observed. Such beads were foreign to Nuu-chah-nulth culture before trading with Europeans began about 300 years ago. Williams pointed out that a previous scientific survey on the impact of the 1700 tsunami found minerals from the sea deposited on a nearby lake bottom, confirming the local impact of giant waves. The evidence corroborates Nuu-chah-nulth oral history, which recalls a catastrophic loss of life among west coast villages from that disaster 318 years ago. DFO/CCG hired Aquilla Archeology, a Nanaimo-based consultancy with an extensive track record of working at remote marine sites in partnership with First Nations along the southern B.C. coast. Aquilla has ensured all remains were recovered with a view to ensuring a proper burial could be performed. Over the past month, they uncovered more remains of the first individual as well as those of a second person, now identified as an adolescent. MMFN cultural observers and elders have been crucial to ensuring proper respect to the land, DFO/CCG noted. “It is important that we be respectful to our ancestors,” Anthony Dick said. “Our
rich cultural beliefs are still practiced today. The coast guard understands our concerns and have helped us to carry out our duties as cultural monitors.” This marks a profound shift since the light station was first built. The deal struck at that time gave the Canadian government permission to construct a lighthouse on San Rafael Island in exchange for a bull and two cows. That structure was replaced in 1958 with a new lighthouse and an array of other buildings have been added since then, exceeding terms of the original agreement. “All this time it’s been under our noses,” Ray said, adding that the MMFN Chiefs Council is working on the matter. Pacific Industrial Marine (PIM) is the general contractor completing the work, and over the next few months, construction crews and heavy equipment will be working at the site. Work at the site includes repairs to a derrick landing, replacement of the rescue boat float, repair of a tramway and addition of an access stairway. PIM will also be repairing an old breakwater to better protect Friendly Cove. There will also be a third-party environmental monitor on site throughout construction. If all goes as planned, the upgrades will be completed this fall with the Inshore Rescue Boat Service scheduled to return to Nootka Lightstation next summer.
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Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 13, 2018
Trans Mountain ruling says feds aren’t listening
Risk to southern Nuu-chah-nulth waters is ‘minor’ and ‘negligible,’ reported Canada’s National Energy Board By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor The need for building “nation-to-nation” relationships with First Nations has become popular terminology in Ottawa, but the current plight of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion shows the Liberals might have a great deal more to learn about dealing with Canada’s Indigenous communities. With crews at work on the early construction stages of project, on Thursday, Aug. 27 the Federal Court of Appeal delivered a staggering blow to the 1,150-kilometre pipeline twinning. In her ruling Justice Eleanor Dawson found that the National Energy Board’s assessment of the project was flawed in not adequately assessing how increased tanker traffic will affect the West Coast. The national regulator also failed to properly consult with communities that would be directly affected by the pipeline expansion, including the cities of Burnaby, Vancouver and numerous First Nations. Dawson determined that the federal government had an obligation to be more responsive when issues were raised about the National Energy Board’s approval of the pipeline expansion. “Canada displayed a closed-mindedness when concerns were expressed about the board’s report and was reluctant to depart from the findings and recommendations of the Board,” she wrote in her ruling. “With rare exceptions Canada did not dialogue meaningfully with the Indigenous applicants about their concerns about the board’s review. Instead, Canada’s representatives were focused on transmitting concerns of the Indigenous applicants to the decision-makers, and nothing more.” This ruling halts the pipeline expansion until the project can demonstrate a more thorough assessment of its risks. If it ever does get approved by the federal court, the $7.4 billion pipeline expansion would nearly triple Trans Mountain’s existing capacity to 890,000 barrels a day. Stretching from central Alberta to Burnaby, this increased flow of petroleum would increase oil tankers from the Westridge Marine Terminal from five to 34 a month headed across the Pacific Ocean. Facing opposition from Indigenous groups, environmentalists, municipalities and even the NDP-led Province of British Columbia, Ottawa announced that it would be buying the project from Kinder Morgan in May. The Trudeau government has contended that Trans Mountain is in the best interest of the country as a whole, citing the need to diversify
Kinder Morgan photo
The effects of a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic from Burnaby was not properly considered by the National Energy Board in assessing an expansion to the Trans Mountain pipeline, ruled Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal in late August. Canada’s export of petroleum away from its reliance on the American Midwest. Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council President Judith Sayers believes the federal government displayed a single-mindedness in its efforts to push Trans Mountain through. “Even apart from reconciliation, just the legal duty to consult was not carried out,” she said. “The federal government has opened this door today that we’re going to do nation-to-nation agreements. If the government is going to look seriously at nation-to-nation, they need to understand that they have to work with First Nations, they have to learn from First Nations and do their duty to consult.” The recent court ruling highlighted the lack of consideration to how the increased tanker traffic would affect First Nations’ fisheries and the endangered population of southern resident Killer whales on B.C.’s coast. Although the Union of BC Indian Chiefs has campaigned against the project for years, 43 Aboriginal groups have signed agreements in support of Trans Mountain, including 33 in British Columbia. These 43 mutual benefit agreements total $400 million in shared revenue with the Aboriginal groups, according to Kinder Morgan. Two Nuu-chah-nulth nations have
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sent letters of support to the project: the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations. But although the Ditidaht agreed to a mutual benefit agreement with Trans Mountain 2014, correspondence over the following years indicates that the First Nation’s concerns were not entirely addressed. A document from B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office notes that the Ditidaht indicated that increased pollution and tanker traffic through its traditional territory could affect fish stocks and “potentially compromise Ditidaht’s ability to hunt and fish in its traditional territory.” “Ditidaht also identified concerns over the adequacy of spill response mechanisms, given the region’s inclement weather, marine environment characteristics (e.g. strong tidal currents), and the remoteness of the Ditidaht community,” reads the document. “While Ditidaht expressed that they do not object to the project, they identified the disproportionate amount of risk that they believe their community will assume in the event of an accident or spill, if the project is approved.” Despite these concerns, an NEB report determined that the expansion project’s impact on Ditidaht fishing would be “minor,” while the tankers effect on nations in the Maa-nulth treaty is “negligible.”
The Trans Mountain pipeline has been in operation since 1956 “without a single spill from tanker operations,” stated Kinder Morgan. But despite the Trudeau government’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, Sayers isn’t convinced that any guarantees can be made to protect southern Nuu-chah-nulth territory. “He sunk all that money into the Oceans Protection Plan, millions of dollars trying to say that there would be a world-class recovery system - but you can’t control the ocean,” she said. “When there’s huge storms out there, nothing can go in to stop the spread of that oil anywhere.” With a federal election just over a year away, pressure is mounting on the Trudeau government to recover the Trans Mountain expansion project. This means Nuu-chah-nulth-aht need to ensure Ottawa hears First Nations’ concerns from the West Coast, said Sayers. “As Nuu-chah-nulth, we have to put their feet to the fire, we have to make sure that the federal government is sitting with us,” she said. “As First Nation people, we look at things more holistically, but the government doesn’t. The government sees a project, they want to make jobs and revenue, how do we do that? And then they try and push it through. It just doesn’t work.”
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NTC seeks intervenor status in upcoming appeal BC Court of Appeal re-wrote the definition of the Aboriginal right to fish with its decision in April, says Sayers By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter
through laws and policies,” said NTC President Judith Sayers. “Courts have typically determined the right in one case and justification and infringement in another.” Sayers added that the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council cannot allow this to happen as it will open the door to other justices revisiting and reinterpreting rights
West Coast Vancouver Island – The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council has announced that it will seek BC Court of Appeal consent to intervene in the T’aaqwiihak Fisheries court case, which is currently seeking a ruling on the government’s past and ongoing infringement of five Nuu-chah-nulth nations’ commercial fishing rights. This is the latest in a string of court battles between the five Nuu-chah-nulth nations (Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/Chinekintaht, Hesquiaht, Tla-o-qui-aht and Mowachaht/ Muchalaht) and Canada. It all started in 2001 at the Nuu-chahnulth treaty table when the negotiating
“Justice Humphries rewrote the definition of the right in a trial that was about the justification of DFO management through laws and policies,” ~ Judith Sayers, NTC President parties came to an impasse on fisheries issues. Several Nuu-chah-nulth Nations decided to pursue legal action to prove in front of a judge what their Aboriginal fishing rights are. The five nations took Canada to court to prove once and for all their right to fish, both for food and for making
“Courts have previously stated that Aboriginal Rights should be interpreted ‘liberally and generously” Photo by Eric Plummer
NTC President Judith Sayers and Vice-President Andy Callicum address a crowd outside the BC Supreme Court in Vancouver in April after the Justification Trial ruling for the Ahousaht et al. case was released. a living. In 2009 the nations won their case after the BC Supreme Court ruled that T’aaqwiihak fishers have an Aboriginal right to catch and sell all species of fish traditionally harvested in their territories. Over the following years the nations met regularly with federal government fisheries staff to implement the 2009 ruling but the two-year deadline, imposed by the judge, had passed and very little, if any, progress had been made in getting T’aakwiihak fishermen out on the water. By 2016, the rights of T’aaq-wiihak fishers had still not been implemented. The nations took the case back to court to determine Canada’s past and ongoing infringement of their rights. Known as
Photo by Carla Moss
A totem pole was erected in Tofino on Sept. 7 during the community’s Carving on The Edge festival. Carved by Joe David, the piece represents the Tla-o-qui-aht’s heritage and future. The totem pole is located on Third Street, across from the RCMP building that is currently under construction.
the Justification Trial, the case was heard in 2016 with the decision, by another judge, handed down in April of this year. In that decision the court applied parameters that limit T’aaq-wiihak’s rights with respect to their commercial fishery. Justice Humphries, for the first time, characterized the Nuu-chah-nulth right to a commercial fishery as a “small-scale, artisanal, local, multi-species fishery, to be conducted in a nine-(nautical) mile strip from shore, using small, lowcost boats with limited technology and restricted catching power and aimed at wide community participation.” “Justice Humphries rewrote the definition of the right in a trial that was about the justification of DFO management
~ Andy Callicum NTC Vice President that are already proven in court. By intervening in the case the NTC nations intend to provide their views on the court’s new interpretation of the T’aaqwiihak right to a commercial fishery, “Such a re-characterization of the right from the original decision is unacceptable, and is in fact, a ‘frozen rights’ argument that has been rejected at the Supreme Court of Canada,” said NTC Vice-President Andy Callicum. “Courts have previously stated that Aboriginal rights should be interpreted ‘liberally and generously,’ and this decision marks a very different approach,” he added. The appeal is scheduled to be heard February 11-15, 2019 at the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver.
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Risk of falling debris continues after fire in Zeballos More land burned in B.C. in 2018 than any year on record, including a flurry of forest fires on Vancouver Island By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Although September rain and cooler temperatures have lowered Vancouver Island’s fire danger rating to “very low,” the effects of British Columbia’s most severe forest fire season on record continue to be felt in the Village of Zeballos. Citing “immediate danger to life safety due to potential debris falls or slides,” on Sept. 8 the small northwestern Vancouver Island municipality expanded an earlier evacuation order issued last month. That Aug. 18. directive required occupants of six properties to leave as the Gold Valley Main fire burned on the mountainside above the village; now several more homes have been ordered to evacuate due the slope’s resulting instability one month after the fire was ignited by lightning. Due to the steepness of the terrain, it took days for the BC Wildfire Service to find a way to fight the fire on the ground. Ernest Smith watched the fire grow from his home, expressing concerns that many in Zeballos shared in a video he posted online showing the billowing smoke. “The fire has spread and we’re really worried,” said Smith in the social media post. “Why are the firefighters not here, and why are the helicopters not here? We’re really worried about our property and our homes.” Suppression was limited to helicopter drops in the days after an Aug. 11 lightning storm ignited forest fires across the north island - before ground crews from multiple agencies, including the Zeballos Volunteer Fire Department, were able to access the slope and battle the blaze. A water bomber from the province was also able to make some drops in the containment effort. But like other communities affected by forest fires in Nuuchah-nulth territory and throughout B.C., provincial resources were stretched thin as smoke from wildfires several thousand hectares in size cast a deep orange hue to the skies over other regions. At the height of the fire season in midAugust, B.C. Wildfire Information Officer Ryan Turcotte addressed the response issue. “It has been at times a challenge to get to all the fires at once,” he said during a media conference call. “We are prioritizing and making sure that we’re responding to areas that are at most direct threat to people and property.” With 566 wildfires burning, the province declared a state of emergency on Aug. 15, a directive that gives government agencies like the RCMP and Emergency Management BC “the authority to take every action necessary to fight the wildfires and protect people and communities,” according to a press release. This marks the second consecutive year in over decade that forest fires prompted a state of emergency in B.C., after the government directive was in place for 10 weeks over the summer of 2017. Last year’s fire season saw 1.2 million hectares of forest burned, costing $568 million in suppression costs across B.C. This toll far exceeded any year to date until 2018, which has been witness to 1.35 million hectares of burned forest from 2,061 fires. The extent of the province-wide burning has led local fire departments to take their trucks and personnel into the surrounding bush. In the Alberni Valley the Cherry Creek Fire Department joined provincial personnel to help control a blaze in the Beaufort Mountain range that broke out on Aug. 7, then three days later other crews were needed on the other side of
Photo by Eric Plummer
A water bomber drop fire retardant on the Arbutus Summit blaze that burned over the Alberni Inlet in mid-August. the valley when the Arbutus Summit lit up over the Alberni Inlet shortly after midnight. Members of the Port Alberni Fire Department joined a crew from the BC Wildfire Service in suppression efforts. In an address to city council in August, Port Alberni’s Acting Fire Chief Wes Patterson explained this his crew took to the growing Arbutus Summit blaze after they were logistically unable to respond to an earlier request from the wildfire service for help on the Beaufort range. “On the Beaufort fire, they had asked for a water tender and a crew of 10 men,” he said. “We don’t have a water tender as the Port Alberni Fire Department, and I certainly could not put 10 men on a wildfire outside the city limits, so were not able to assist at that point in time.” City councillor Jack McLeman supported using the municipal resources for a blaze well outside of city limits. “I’m not too worried if our fancy fire trucks get a scratch on them, I think it’s more important that the town and the valley gets protected,” he said. The firefighters’ efforts led the Tseshaht First Nation to present a print to the Port
Alberni Fire Department in September as a token of appreciation, as well as offer a thank you to other local fire departments that took part in suppression efforts with the BC Wildfire Service. With most of Vancouver Island under an “extreme” fire danger rating, the Arbutus summit blaze was the third incident in the Alberni Valley within one week. Due to the lack of lightning in the area, all of these fires are believed to be human caused, according to the BC Wildfire Service. As the emergency operations director for the Tsesaht First Nation, Hugh Braker issued a notice for members to look out for signs of someone starting fires in the territory. “We had a big worry about the possibility of a fire bug,” he said. On the morning of the outbreak of the Arbutus Summit wildfire, the Tseshaht First Nation activated its Emergency Operations Centre, a measure that brings close monitoring of how the situation is developing. As the Tseshaht reserve is five kilometres as the bird flies from the wildfire, designated staff determined if an evacuation alert was necessary through
A mountainside wildfire sparked by lighting on Aug. 11 near Zeballos.
regular contact with provincial agencies. “We monitor and we constantly evaluate the potential need for evacuation,” said Braker, noting that elders and those on the reserve without vehicles are considered. “Tseshaht is on the west side of the Somass River, and there’s only a twolane bridge that connects the west side of the river to the east side. In a significant emergency, you could count on hundreds of people wanting to get across that bridge at the same time.” An evacuation alert was not called, but the mid-August fires filled the Alberni Valley with smoke. Like many parts of Vancouver Island, the region’s air was rated 10+, bringing a “very high health risk” for those engaged in outdoor activity, according the BC Air Quality Index. Part of the reason for concern is that smoky air inhibits the lungs’ ability to get oxygen into the blood, said Dr. Bonny Henry, a provincial health officer. By mid-August she noticed far more visits to emergency departments due to breathing and cardiovascular issues. “Normally healthy active people can have symptoms during wildfire smoke exposure which many of us have experienced: runny nose, eye irritation, sore throat, cough,” Henry said. “We also notice with the air, when it’s been around for a while, can bring risk of some infections, particularly pneumonia in older people and ear infections in children.” Despite the smoky haze that has become a regular occurrence in British Columbia each summer, Henry said that temporary exposure to wildfire smoke does not bring the same long-term health risks as prolonged exposure to other air pollutants, such as vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions. “Despite that it’s been going on for several weeks, we really do see this as a short-term exposure,” she said. “For the vast majority of people, when the sky is clear, the symptoms of irritation and shortness of breath are going to go away and most of us will be absolutely fine.” It might be easier to breathe during this rainy September than last month, but the prolonged risk of falling debris in Zeballos will serve as a reminder to other communities how a randomly ignited wildfire can bring hazards long after the smoke clears.
September 13, 2018—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5
Residential school survivors speak out about holiday Amid plans for a national statutory holiday, former residential students say Canadians should know the truth By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter The Canadian government announced its intention to declare a statutory holiday that would serve to commemorate the legacy of Indian residential schools and their lingering effects on the generations of First Nations people that followed. The proposed holiday is one of the TRC’s (Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s) 94 recommendations designed to promote healing among survivors and their families and to help with reconciliation between First Nations and the rest of Canada. TRC recommendation number 80 calls upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish as a statutory holiday a national day for truth and reconciliation to honour survivors, their families, and communities. The holiday would ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process. Thanks to the efforts of residential school survivors and the work of the TRC, it is becoming common knowledge that Canada’s Indian residential school system had severe impacts on the students that went there, on the families they were removed from and on following generations. Canadians are learning the sordid history of the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their homes so that they could be placed in residential schools as a means to assimilate them into mainstream society. The work was done by missionaries, Indian agents and the police under the authority of the Canadian government. But the system failed both for the First Nations families and for government. It is now common knowledge that the children, separated from siblings and left without protection, were sexually abused, beaten, exploited and sometimes murdered. Ditidaht elder Charlie Thompson was at Alberni Indian Residential School for a decade, during the 1950s and ‘60s. He says he is in favor of the holiday but he
“If the process was fair they would have had to give up those records” ~ Charlie Thompson, Ditidaht elder
United Church of Canada archives photos
Students pose before the Alberni Residential School in the 1960’s. thinks, of the 94 TRC recommendations, the holiday is one of the least important ones. “I feel they should deal with the most difficult ones to the least…the holiday being least important,” said Thompson. While he couldn’t decide which recommendation was the most important he stated that many of the recommendations should be dealt with “in a way that makes us feel relevant,” he added. Thompson takes issue with the fact that not all residential school survivors have been fully compensated and some have been denied settlements through the adjudication process. “I know there are survivors not being believed by the adjudicators in telling their stories and being denied compensation and them not being able to have another chance to go up in front of another adjudicator – I think that’s unfair,” Thompson told Ha-Shilth-Sa. Thompson concedes that there may be some survivors that have lied or embellished their stories of abuse, but the vast majority, he says, are telling the truth. In many cases, he said, important records being held by the government and churches that are not being released to survivors to support their cases.
“If the process was fair they would have had to give up those records,” said Thompson. He went on to say that he believes it is hypocritical of Prime Minister Trudeau to attempt to shine a positive light on their efforts to reconcile with Canada’s First Nations people through the proclamation of a new statutory holiday when his government is having an ongoing legal battle with residential school survivors across the country. It is an historical fact that Canada forced Indigenous children into these institutions, separating parents from children. “It was not right to take children away and put them in institutions where the sole purpose was to assimilate and change Indian children into somewhat like white people – just for that one fact survivors should have been compensated for having gone through that,” said Thompson. As for what the holiday could look like, Thompson said he would like for it to be an opportunity to hear the truth about what Canada did to Indigenous people. “I can’t imagine what the first families…what those parents went through when they came to take the children away, forcibly; by church people, Indian
Agents and by the police,” said Thompson. He also talked about the inhumane treatment of the children in residential schools. Thompson said some of the children were experimented on like human Guinea pigs, with medication, dental procedures and even starvation. He said nothing has been done about it and the people that endured it are quite elderly now. “We need to fight for justice,” he said. Wally and Donna Samuel also attended Alberni Indian Residential School. Both believe the statutory holiday is a step in the right direction. “I think it’s a good idea,” said Donna. She noted that we have Remembrance Day for those who served our country and those who lost their lives. “We not only lost lives, we lost our culture, language, identity, family, childhood, innocence, spirit, soul; we are survivors and have been working hard on what was taken from us,” she said. Donna also recalled the food experiments conducted on the children while she was there, where food was withheld. She mentioned the legacy of dysfunction that followed survivors home. “We have hurt those closest to us with our parenting skills and there’s no way to turn back time and change it,” she said. The Samuels believe that a good time for the holiday would be later in June, when the children are finished the school year. That time of year was the happiest for those in residential schools.
Ahousaht continues searching for missing man By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter
Clayoquot Sound, BC – Hope remains alive in the search for a missing 40-yearold Ahousaht man, Travis Thomas, as community members make daily trips to nearby Bartlett Island to sit with family or to assist in the search of the small, rugged island. It was in early August when Thomas, a father of four, arrived at the island, about a 20-minute boat ride from Ahousaht. He had been camping alone when he was reported missing Aug. 9. The last confirmed contact with Thomas was on Aug. 7, on Bartlett Island. The R.C.M.P., Tofino Search and Rescue, the Ahousaht Emergency Response Team and the Canadian Coast Guard were all involved in the initial search. The island was searched thoroughly by ground, air and water, with no success. The R.C.M.P. has been to the island with the RCMP Police Dog Service. On Aug. 30 the R.C.M.P. dog team returned to the island to search the beaches, with negative results. “We are very concerned about the safety
of Travis Thomas and are doing everything we can to locate him,” said Sgt. Todd Pebernat, Ahousaht RCMP. “Our search is unfortunately very difficult given the island’s extremely dense forest and brush area. It has made it difficult for ground searchers to probe thoroughly into these regions of the island”. More than a month has passed since Thomas was reported missing, but the community has not given up hope. Daily searches have resulted in some volunteers reporting sightings of Thomas at various locations around the perimeter of the island. But the island is steep and rocky in places, covered in dense forest and underbrush and riddled with rock crevices and caves. Thomas’ parents and elderly grandfather are at the island as much as they can be, searching by boat or on foot. Volunteers join them, bushwhacking through the dense forest or combing the beaches. Volunteers in the community cook meals made from donated food while others take part in prayer vigils. With school back in session, high school students have been given permission of parents and teachers to assist with the
Photo by Keith Atleo
Members from the Ahousaht community converge on Bartlett Island for one of the daily searches for Travis Thomas on Sept 11. search. As temperatures are dropping, the family is anxious to locate Thomas as soon as possible. They are exhausted but grateful for the help they are receiving. Travis Damon Thomas is described as a 40-year-old Aboriginal male, 180 centimetres (5 feet, 11 inches), 79 kilograms (175 pounds), with black hair and brown
eyes. He has several tattoos on his chest and arm. Reported sightings are being followed up on. Anyone who has any information about Travis Thomas’ whereabouts is asked to contact the Ahousaht RCMP Detachment at 250-670-9612 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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Clock tower to honour village at Wolf Ritual Beach The City of Port Alberni partners with the Tseshaht in the spirit of reconciliation in the First Nation’s territory By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - While accounts differ on the nature of the confrontation over what would eventually become Port Alberni, the outcome was brutally clear for the Tseshaht: Not just intrusion but outright displacement and dispossession. By the summer of 1860, English merchant and ship’s master Edward Stamp laid claim to 2,000 acres at the head of Alberni Inlet while the Tseshaht were dispossessed of Tlukwatquwis, a prominent winter village of spiritual, ceremonial and economic importance. Muskets and blankets were their only compensation. The wolf ritual or Tlookwaana — principal ceremony of the Island’s west coast peoples — disappeared from the beach that was named for it. The shoreline itself disappeared from view, covered over by the dock of Alberni Mills, B.C.’s first sawmill. Harbour Quay occupies the same location today. Now, after an absence of more than 150 years, the Tseshaht will be returning to Wolf Ritual Beach. As a gesture of reconciliation, the City of Port Alberni has invited Tseshaht First Nation (TFN) to contribute artwork and interpretive displays, part of a refurbishment of Harbour Quay’s 35-year-old clock tower. “With this project, the Tseshaht First Nation and the city of Port Alberni will continue to move forward together in the spirit of reconciliation, building a partnership that fosters true collaboration,” said Cynthia Dick, Tseshaht chief councillor, in an August news release announcing the joint effort. Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan described the project as “groundbreaking.” “It is the first such partnership between the city and Tseshaht First Nation and is a reflection of recent reconciliation efforts and residents’ desires to create an inclusive community that celebrates diversity and local history,” Ruttan said. Refurbishing the landmark involves a combination of structural engineering work, repair or replacement of the clock
Photo by Mike Youds
The Harbour Quay clock tower will undergo refurbishment next year, incorporating Tseshaht artwork and interpretive displays. and the addition of Indigenous influence in artistic form. The idea is to represent the historic winter village with sculpted
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images mounted and possibly illuminated on the clock face. These won’t be any ordinary depictions
but rather a representation of the wolf, holder of the Tseshaht Law of Harmony. A Tseshaht artist is working on the project. “It’s going to be the transformation of man and woman becoming a wolf, the bigger the better, 15-foot metal-cut Tseshaht art,” said Darrell Ross Sr., TFN research and planning associate. “We want it to be visible coming down Argyle but also from Tyee Landing and from the ocean … If it all works out, it’s going to be a very positive cultural addition.” Ross stressed the geographical and historical significance of the location, explaining that Tlukwatquwis was once part of a string of Tseshaht villages extending along the head of the inlet from Kitsuksis Creek south to Polly’s Point. The location took advantage of readily available food sources, a harvest that enabled the Tseshaht to enjoy a relative degree of wealth, Ross said. Stamp was able to purchase the land in Victoria before travelling to Alberni Inlet, yet the sale by Vancouver Island’s colonial government violated existing law. “Before they settled, one of the early laws of colonization was that they couldn’t develop on a village site,” Ross said. “So, what did they do? They developed on a village site and kicked us off.” Stamp’s mill would operate for only a few years. The Tseshaht returned for a while and were forcibly removed a second time. Surrounding lands eventually became Lot 1 of colonial settlement in the Alberni Valley, marking the original city boundary. “It’s a very strong Tseshaht history in connection to those areas,” a claim hopefully to be resolved within the specific claims process, Ross added. Port Alberni city council earmarked $100,000 in its 2017 financial plan for the clock tower project. The city aims to have the project completed in May 2019. That’s when the first cruise ship to visit in six years, one of several scheduled to arrive next summer, docks in Port Alberni.
September 13, 2018—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7
Upgrades to west coast hospital services underway
Helipad for Tofino General Hospital and Wi-Fi for West Coast General in Port Alberni are set to benefit patients By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Vancouver Island, BC – Island Health is pleased to announce some upgrades in services and infrastructure at hospitals that serve Nuu-chah-nulth communities. It has been nearly seven years since Tofino General Hospital was forced by Transport Canada to close its helipad until upgrades were made. With no resources to make the necessary upgrades, patients requiring urgent care at other hospitals were transported more than 18 kilometers from Tofino General to the Tofino Airport, where they would be flown to larger hospitals. “Since the helipad was taken out of service, patient transfers that require transport by air have taken place at the Tofino Airport. Ground transportation of other patients not requiring air transport continues by road,” said Cheryl Bloxham, Island Health Communications. On Aug. 13, Island Health announced that a new helipad will be built at TGH, allowing helicopter access to resume in 2019. The new helipad will be built on Tofino General Hospital Foundation lands located adjacent to the hospital close to the existing helipad. A request for proposals for construction will be issued in the coming days and work will begin once the tender is awarded. Funding for the new helipad comes from a partnership between Island Health, the Tofino General Hospital Foundation and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District. Project costs will be shared, 60 percent
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The Tofino General Hospital’s helipad was taken out of service seven years ago, but a new landing pad is coming in 2019. by Island Health and 40 percent by the ACRD. “The helipad will help to ensure residents and visitors to Tofino have access to critical emergency care if they need it,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid-Island Pacific Rim. “I know that the hospital staff, emergency personnel, physicians and community members alike share a sense of relief and gratitude that the helipad is returning to the hospital,” said Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne. “It’s a critical piece of infrastructure that has been challenging to live without and we welcome its return.” Over in Port Alberni at the West Coast General Hospital, patients and visitors will now have free access to the internet on their devices. Island Health announced Sept. 6 that patients and visitors at West
Coast General Hospital will now have access to free Wi-Fi services thanks to support from the West Coast General Hospital Foundation. Health Minister Adrien Dix thanked Cowichan Lake resident Sarah Gibson for starting a petition to ask for free public Wi-Fi for patients at hospitals. Gibson lives with Cystic Fibrosis and was forced to use her data plan during hospital stays, causing a financial burden. “Her efforts led us to develop a creative solution to provide free Wi-Fi at West Coast General Hospital,” said Dix in a press release. He acknowledged the auxiliaries and foundations that helped to deliver the services, saying it will allow patients to stay more connected. Patients and visitors can access the service by searching for and connecting
to the wireless network “IslandHealthGuest” on their devices. The free public Wi-Fi will support basic internet browsing but not the large bandwidths associated with high-definition video streaming. The annual cost for the services is estimated to be up to $2,000 annually. The WCGH Foundation has committed to pay the operating cost. The WCGH is one of five Island Health hospitals to introduce public Wi-Fi in September 2018. The other four hospitals offering the new service are Victoria General Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Cowichan District Hospital, and Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island. Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and both north island hospitals in Comox and Campbell River have had free public WiFi service since 2017.
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Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 13, 2018 Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper is published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for distribution to the members of the NTC-member First Nations, as well as other interested groups and individuals. Information and original work contained in this newspaper is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission from: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2. Telephone: (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 Web page: www.hashilthsa.com facebook: Hashilthsa Ntc
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$35.00 per year in Canada and $40 per year in the U.S.A. and $45 per year in foreign countries. Payable to the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. Manager/Editor/Reporter Eric Plummer (Ext. 243) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 firstname.lastname@example.org Reporter Denise Titian (Ext. 240) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 email@example.com Audio / Video Technician Mike Watts (Ext. 238) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 firstname.lastname@example.org Client Services Representative Holly Stocking (Ext. 302) (250) 724-5757 - Fax:(250) 723-0463 email@example.com
DEADLINE: Please note that the deadline for submissions for our next issue is September 21, 2018 After that date, material submitted and judged appropriate cannot be guaranteed placement but, if material is still relevant, will be included in the following issue. In an ideal world, submissions would be typed rather than hand-written. Articles can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (Windows PC). Submitted pictures must include a brief description of subject(s) and a return address. Pictures with no return address will remain on file. Allow two - four weeks for return. Photocopied or faxed photographs cannot be accepted.
LETTERS and KLECOS Ha-Shilth-Sa will include letters received from its readers. Letters MUST be signed by the writer and have the writer’s full name, address and phone number on them. Names can be withheld by request. Anonymous submissions will not be accepted. We reserve the right to edit submitted material for clarity, brevity, grammar and good taste. We will definitely not publish letters dealing with tribal or personal disputes or issues that are critical of Nuu-chah-nulth individuals or groups. All opinions expressed in letters to the editor are purely those of the writer and will not necessarily coincide with the views or policies of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council or its member First Nations. Ha-Shilth-Sa includes paid advertising, but this does not imply Ha-Shilth-Sa or Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council recommends or endorses the content of the ads.
Kuu-us Crisis Line walks for hope
Alberni residents mark National Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10 at Bob Dailey By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – Kuu-us Crisis Line Society staff invited to public to join them in a walk around the track at Bob Daley Stadium in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, which is observed on Sept. 10 every year. The theme for 2018 World Suicide Prevention Day is, Working Together to Prevent Suicide. Organized by Ashley Amos, the walk saw local politicians, social services providers, community members and high school student stand together to face the issue of suicide in the community. Amos has been deeply affected by suicide with the loss of two very close people just a few years apart. She urged people to reach out for help for themselves or for their loved ones in times of need. “Make sure everyone doesn’t feel alone; it’s important to feel supported,” she said. Hugh Braker welcomed the small crowd to his home territory on behalf of Tseshaht nation. He noted that all communities have been touched by suicide. He said it is important to take measures to stop this thing from happening again. NTC Vice President Andy Callicum shared a very personal story of his experience with suicide in his own family. A traumatic incident happened while he was still a child and he wasn’t able to reach out for help for himself until eighteen years had passed. “If you have been affected by suicide or a traumatic event, reach out for help,” he advised. “It will make you a stronger person.” As the speakers told their stories people in the audience sobbed. For some, the walk had profound meaning. World Suicide Prevention Day is billed as an opportunity for everyone in the community to join together to promote understanding about suicide and highlight effective prevention activities. According to WSPD literature, it is estimated that each day in Canada, 10 people end their life and 200 make a suicide attempt. Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social, and ethnic bound-
Photo by Denise Titian
Elia Nicholson-Nave addresses the crowd during the suicide awaremess walk. aries. The pain that leads individuals to take their lives is unimaginable, and their deaths leave countless family and friends bereaved and their communities impacted. Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan reiterated the message that people should always reach out for help – for themselves or for others. “We never want to be in a position where we say to ourselves, ‘if only I had said something’,” he said. He reminded people that the Kuuus Crisis Line Society is an excellent resource where there is always someone to help. “Share it, talk about it; it could save a life,” said Ruttan. Kuu-us Crisis Line Society Executive Director Elia Nicholson-Nave encouraged the walkers to remember individuals or to reflect on their own needs. Each walker was given a yellow ribbon, representative of suicide prevention and awareness. Kuu-us Crisis Line Society provides a 24 hour Crisis Line service for adults, elders and youth. They provide may other
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.
services including support for survivors of suicide. The goal of World Suicide Prevention Day is to shine a light on this important issue, sending a message to those who are in despair, those who are grieving, and those who are supporting someone who is struggling. WSPD is an opportunity to spread the message that help, hope, and healing are possible. Working together, we can prevent suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the Kuu-us Crisis Line Society to speak to a trained volunteer or to be referred to an appropriate resource. Available 24 hours a day, the Kuu-us Crisis Line has dedicated lines in Port Alberni for adults/elders at 250-723-4050 or child/youth at 250-723-2040. There is a toll free line that can be called from anywhere in the province of British Columbia at 1-800-588-8717. Kuu-us Crisis Line Society provides resources and materials to help spread the word about suicide prevention, life promotion, and the potential for hope and healing.
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 email@example.com. This year is Ha-Shilth-Sa’s 44th 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 13, 2018—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9
Tahsis favoured over Yuquot for new rescue station
Canadian Coast Guard encourages Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation members to fill positions at the outpost By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Tahsis, BC - Concern over increased marine and tourism traffic at Yuquot factored into the Canadian Coast Guard’s decision to locate a new rescue station at Tahsis rather than on the Island’s outer coast. Scheduled to open in early 2020, the station will be equipped with a 14.7-metre lifeboat and staffed by half a dozen personnel ready to respond to marine emergencies around the clock. Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation (MMFN) worked in close partnership with the Canadian government in selecting the Tahsis location. Chief Mike Maquinna said the facility will provide additional safety and support, not only for MMFN members, but all those who share the marine resources of the area. “The Mowachaht-Muchalaht are a people with a culture engrained in the sea and its resources and hope the presence of this station will aid in the stewardship of our sea and resources,” Maquinna said. Along with two other new rescue stations to be added in Port Renfrew and at Hartley Bay on the mainland, the Tahsis facility is part of the first phase of the Liberal government’s $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan. A new station opened in Victoria in July as well. “It’s a pretty large expansion,” said Randy Taylor, acting mayor of the Village of Tahsis. “It’s something the coast needs. We were under-protected, so it’s real good news.” Also known as Friendly Cove, Yuquot was initially the location eyed for a new lifeboat station on Vancouver Island’s northwest coast, said Kevin Kowalchuk, MMFN administrator. The Coast Guard has a long-established presence at Friendly Cove, 37 km south
The Canadian Coast guard vessel Cape Ann sails the Pacific. The federal agency will soon be operating out of Tahsis. of Tahsis at the entrance to Tahsis Inlet. For more than a century, Nootka Light has guided mariners from its perch there on San Rafael Island. After considering the possibility, MMFN’s Council of Chiefs concluded that adding a marine rescue station would bring additional activity. As the centre of the Nuu-chahnulth world, Yuquot is a cultural heritage and historical site of utmost importance. “It’s been a home for Nuu-chah-nulth people for 4,000 years, but the ambience is always there and there are people who still live there,” Kowalchuk explained. “We already have a lot of tourists who go out there. Tourists come from all over the world and there’s lots of traffic in Friendly Cove.” The choice of Tahsis was confirmed Aug. 24 by Jonathan Wilkinson, the B.C. MP recently appointed Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast
Salmon Identification Tips
Guard. “The new Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue station in Tahsis improves our ability to respond to marine emergencies and incidents of all kinds in the waters of Nootka Sound and the entire area of the northwest coast of Vancouver Island,” the minister said. The coast guard relies on the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, a network of 4,000 volunteers, to assist with maritime search and rescue response. A First Nations-led Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary is being formed in B.C. to further support Indigenous participation in marine rescue and patrol activities. In the case of the Tahsis station, the Coast Guard has issued notice that it would like to see positions filled by MMFN members, Kowalkchuk said. The job requires training but several members already have search and rescue back-
grounds. Taylor said the announcement is welcome news for residents of Tahsis, which has grown to rely on tourism and recreational fishing since closure of its mill in 2001. The two-storey station may be situated on property currently owned by the village, a former seaplane base, though that specific site hasn’t been confirmed. Construction will involve extending the existing wharf and installing a concrete float. “It’s all good,” Taylor said. “It’s permanent infrastructure, something coming rather than leaving. People are really excited about it.” He credited MMFN for the government’s decision. “They’re the ones who pushed the coast guard in our direction.”
Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 13, 2018
Fishery News T’aaq-wiihak fishery buoyed by cut of Fraser sockeye Additional allocations and gear flexibility still sought to restore the fleet viability for Nuu-chah-nulth fishers Bu MikeYouds Ha-shilth-Sa Contributor Tofino, BC - A limited T’aaq-wiihak commercial allocation for Fraser-bound salmon was a welcome addition to the west coast season, but small compensation for lean years that drove a younger generation from the fishery. Held in July and August, the Mi%aat (sockeye) fishery involved vessels from five Nuu-chah-nulth nations, taking advantage of a peak in the four-year cycle of the Fraser River stock. “T’aaq-wiihak commercial fisheries have been pretty minimal since the court case in 2009. They haven’t lived up to expectations,” said Eric Angel, fisheries manager with Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “This was a big fishery because there were about 30,000 pieces in the [allocation], worth about $1 million to the local economy.” Healthy numbers of returning sockeye — forecast to be 14 million this year — combined with the migratory path the salmon took this year, prompted the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to allocate close to one per cent to T’aaqwiihak boats. These boats hailed from the communities of Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/ Chinekintaht, Hesquiaht, Tla-o-qui-aht and Mowachaht/Muchalaht. Historically, sockeye migrated down the west and east coasts of the Island en route to the Fraser River. In recent years, though, most have gone through Johnstone Strait rather than down the west coast. “What we’ve learned is that they haven’t shown up on this side in 20 years,” said Candace Picco, T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries biologist. Partly due to this, people have fallen out of the fishery. Downsizing of the fleet has been devastating for First Nations communities that once depended on fishing for income and sustenance. It has also led to a generational rift. “Young men and women aren’t going out fishing with their dads,” Angel said.
“What we’ve learned is that they haven’t shown up on this side in 20 years.” ~ Candace Picco, T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries biologist “This was a very positive fishery from that perspective. The other part is that there hasn’t been a significant fishery on this side for a long time.” “This was the first time we’ve had a kick at the can in a lot of years,” said Andy Webster, an Ahousaht troller who took advantage of the sockeye openings. “People are under the assumption that we’re getting lots of money but, in reality, we’re just playing catch-up for all the lean years we’ve had.” He sees plenty of room for improvement. “They will get through the learning curve. They closed us prematurely and at the end of the day were only giving out small chunks of quota.”
Photos by Irine Polyzogopoulos
Fraser sockeye salmon are offloaded into the bin at Lions Gate Fisheries Ltd. in Tofino. Lions Gate was purchasing the sockeye on Aug. 8.
“T’aaq-wiihak commercial fisheries have been pretty minimal since the court case in 2009. They haven’t lived up to expectations,” ~ Eric Angel, NTC Fisheries Manager Jared Dick, Uu-a-thluk Central Region biologist, acted as a T’aaq-wiihak monitor during the Lions Gate purchase.
September 13, 2018—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11
Paul Sam of Ahousaht speaks to a Lions Gate salmon buyer in Tofino while aboard the Maria Christina I, a T’aaq-wiihak troller, in August.
“If they honour the court ruling, it certainly would be viable.” ~ Andy Webster, Ahousaht troller One estimate suggested there were thousands of additional fish left in the water that could have been harvested, he said. “We had a four-day window and only three or four boats got allocation because they were getting cautious about hitting the number, but I think generally everybody has done quite well,” said Webster. Picco noted that DFO miscalculated the T’aaq-wiihak quota by a few thousand at the beginning of the sockeye season. Following more test fishing this estimate was later revised. In the end T’aaq-wiihak fishers caught approximately 900 fewer sockeye that the total allowable catch allocated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, explained Picco. Webster said the limited allocations of salmon, herring, halibut and crab as well as gear restrictions — along with the high costs of fuel and vessel maintenance — mean that it’s still difficult to eke out a living from west coast commercial fishing despite having T’aaq-wiihak rights upheld by the courts. The court ruling recognized the rights of the five nations to catch and sell all species traditionally caught in their territories. A B.C. Supreme Court judge reaffirmed those rights in April. Then, in late June and after steady negotiations, DFO agreed to lift a vessel restriction
that limited fishing to smaller “mosquito” boats. There are 65 mosquito vessels and 36 trollers registered in the T’aaq-wiihak fishery. “If they honour the court ruling, it certainly would be viable,” Webster said. “At some point we’re going to have to be able to string some long line gear to help sustain the salmon fishery.” He would also like to see a more formal approach to training young fishers in their school years. Picco said there was an expectation that allocations would increase significantly after the decisive court victory in 2009, but that didn’t happen. “Opportunities were confined to small allocations of chinook, gooseneck barnacles and eventually low daily limits of groundfish were allowed,” she said. “This summer’s sockeye allocation reflected a combination of a significant proportion of Fraser sockeye migrating past the west coast of Vancouver Island for the first time during a T’aaq-wiihak fishery, and a willingness on the part of DFO to acknowledge the court decision in their management decisions” The nations involved would still like to see more of a multi-gear approach, meaning troll boats as well as mosquito boats, Picco added. “It’s a holistic approach to fishing, which is more environmentally sustainable as well,” she said. Despite the shortcomings of this first Mi%aat fishery in many years, she feels the overall First Nations commercial fishery is making progress. “Each year we’re making gains. Nobody would say we’re where we want to be yet,” she said, adding that they see room for additional groundfish openings.
Maria Christina I, a T’aaq-wiihak troller boat, sails the waters off of Tofino.
Paul Sam unloads his catch of Sockeye from the Fraser River that migrated northwest to Nuu-chah-nulth territory.
Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 13, 2018
Biologists use different methods to count fish Stream walking, snorkeling, sonar, and tagging are some of the different approaches used to track stock returns By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – One aspect of Jim Lane’s job is often misunderstood. “When you tell people you count fish they say ‘That must be easy,’” said Lane, who has worked as a biologist with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s fisheries department, called Uu-a-thluk, since 1995. “And actually it’s not easy.” Uu-a-thluk’s office is located in Port Alberni, where Lane works out of. But the department also has regional offices in Tofino and Gold River. Uu-a-thluk’s staff use various methods to count salmon, such as stream walking and snorkling, fish fences, sonar and tagging programs. Lane noted that the first thing needed is to determine which fish counting method best matches the management objective. “Even if you have a ton of money to work with, you still have to figure out the best method to count fish,” Lane said. If the information is required to manage a fishery, timely accurate counts are required. If the goal is to monitor trends of returning salmon to a stream, you do not need to know the exact number, so less expensive methods can be used to achieve the management objective. Any method utilized, however, is not guaranteed to give an exact amount of fish. They all provide estimates, some methods are more precise than others. Whenever numbers are compiled by Uua-thluk staff, that information gets passed along to federal officials, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “That gets fed into their stock assessment database,” Lane said. One of the simplest ways to count salmon is by walking, or snorkeling, a stream. Carrying a pencil and waterproof paper, the counters simply record every fish they see. This information becomes valuable when related to the number of fish that actually return to spawn. The stream is walked or swam with a snorkel several times within the period salmon
Photo by Jime Lane
A fish fence, like the one in the Henderson River, is one of the methods members of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s fisheries department utilize to count fish. are returning to spawn. Dick said of his interest in fisheries. ers the width of the stream channel. If a Dick said there is an obvious need to salmon swims through the beam, its imSince graduating from the University of Victoria in April 2017, Jared Dick has count fish. age is recorded. Recorded imagery is then undertaken this method as a biologist “As with any natural resource, you have examined to count the number of fish. to have a good idea of what your populaBut due to obstacles in the water a sonar with Ua-a-thluk. “There’s a lot of debates currently gotions are,” he said. isn’t always a reliable means for useful Employing a tagging program to the numbers, cautioned Dick. ing on about this,” he said of the fish counting technique, adding that it’s not area being counted is another method to And yet another approach to counting uncommon to have four to six surveys of assess the number of salmon returning to fish is using fish fences. As they pass a stream. Roger Dunlop, who has worked through a fence fish are enumerated by the same stream over the course of a few weeks. for Nuu-chah-nulth’s fisheries since 1993 automatic counters. Fences being used Dick, a member of the Hupacasath First out of their Gold River office, has used annually to count fish include those on Nation, had also worked as an intern this method. Over the years Dunlop has the Hobiton and Henderson rivers. for Uu-a-thluk for four summers while authored a number of papers on how to Regardless of the method employed, fish he was a university student. He graduapply tags to returning fish to get accurate counting is never a simple process for ated from university with a Bachelor of and precise estimates of abundance. biologists. Science, with a major in biology and a A method utilized in recent years to “In the end there’s a lot of work to be concentration in marine biology. count fish involves sonar technology. done,” said Dunlop. “It’s something that is so close to me A sonar camera, provided by federal and something our people are close to,” officials, is set up so the sonar beam cov-
Phrase of the month - Sac`upum> Pronunced sa-tsup-umthl, Sac`upum> means spring salmon moon. The large spring salmon runs are happening during this time of the year in September. Source: Ian Caplette.
Illistration by Ivy Cargill-Martin
September 13, 2018—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13
NCN company to be honored with business award
Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood recognized by the BC Indigenous Business Awards as Business Partnership of the Year By Sam Laskaris Ha-shilth-Sa Contibutor Port Alberni, BC – An Indigenous company based in Port Alberni has received some province-wide recognition. It was officially announced on Wednesday that the Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership will be the recipient of one of this year’s BC Indigenous Business Awards. The seafood enterprise, owned by six Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, is being honoured via the Business Partnership of the Year category. This marks the 10th year of the awards, presented by the BC Achievement Foundation. All of the 2018 recipients will be presented with their awards during a ceremony that will be held at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on Oct. 15. Larry Johnson, who has served as the president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood company for the past 10 years, is thrilled the business is being honoured with a provincial award.
“They’re the ones that deserve credit,” Johnson said of the half dozen First Nations that are shareholders. ~ Larry Johnson, President of Nuu-chahnulth Seafood Limited Partnership
“We’re very proud,” he said. “It’s been a lot of hard work over the past decade to get to this point. We’ve been incrementally moving forward.” Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood started off in 2003 as a shellfish development corporation. The six Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations that own the business are Ditidaht First Nation, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations, Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government and the Uchucklesaht Tribe. “They’re the ones that deserve credit,” Johnson said of the half dozen First Nations that are shareholders. These days Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood offers planning and management support to those First Nations that own the company as well as their community members in numerous aspects of fisheries and aquaculture. Johnson said the company was not an overnight success. Plenty of hard work and time was required to get Nuu-chahnulth Seafood to its current stature. “There’s been a lot of planning and taking incremental steps,” he said. “And we’ve not really been tooting our own horn.” Working well with others has also proven to be a valuable commodity. That’s certainly reflected in the fact Nuuchah-nulth Seafood is being recognized provincially for the way it deals with others. “It really shows the importance of partnerships and the shared vision of partnerships,” Johnson said. Though there have been a number of other accomplishments along the way, a significant moment in Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood’s history occurred in November of 2015. That’s when five of the First Nations that own the company –
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“It really shows the importance of partnerships and the shared vision of partnerships” ~ Larry Johnson, President of Nuu-chahnulth Seafood Limited Partnership Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation did not participate – purchased the majority shares of the St. Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse in Nanaimo. “That’s pretty special to us,” Johnson said of the deal which saw Nuu-chahnulth Seafood take control of the St. Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse. A century ago dozen of canneries existed throughout British Columbia. But St. Jean’s is the only salmon processing cannery remaining in the whole province. Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood continues to seek processing and industry partnerships as well as other seafood sales, aquaculture projects and vessel purchases. It also assists the First Nations that own the business find funding to create business plans and undertake feasibility studies. A total of 16 Indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses, community-owned enterprises and partnership entities will be honoured at next month’s awards ceremony. Scott McIntyre, the chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, said all are deserving recipients. “The 2018 cohort of awardees lead the way as examples of entrepreneurship,
Larry Johnson commitment and extraordinary vision, all of which play a key role in the strength of our provincial economy,” he said. More than 600 people are expected to converge for next month’s award ceremony in Vancouver to celebrate Indigenous business excellence in the province. The Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood company is the lone Nuu-chah-nulth winner for these awards this year. More than 170 winners have been announced in the awards’ 10-year history. The province of British Columbia established and endowed the BC Achievement Foundation in 2003. It currently honours and celebrates not only Indigenous enterprise but also community service, arts and humanities. The foundation operates its BC Indigenous Business Awards in partnership with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
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Fun Fish Trivia Quiz Questions 1. Do reptiles, fish, or mammals have the most teeth?
8. What kind of animal is called a razorshell?
2. What kind of animal can be a minke, grey, or bowhead?
9. Coral and algae have what kind of relationship?
3. What type of fish are members of the class Asteroidea?
10. What kind of creature sleeps with one eye open?
4. A lumpsucker is what type of creature?
11. A sea horse is what kind of creature?
5. Dolphins travel in family groups called what?
12. Which fish family is the pilchard a member?
6. How many tentacles does an octopus have?
13. An abalone is what kind of animal?
7. What animal was the largest to ever live on the planet earth?
14. A squid has how many arms?
Answers: 1. Mammal 2. Whale 3. Starfish 4. Fish 5. Pods 6. Eight 7. Blue Whale 8. Mollusk 9. Symbiotic 10. Dolphin 11. Fish 12. Herring 13. Marine Snail 14. Ten
Cut and color
September 13, 2018—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15
NTC Nursing Department welcomes Lorraine Harry By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council is pleased to announce that Lorraine Harry, RN, BSN, MSN, has been hired as Home Care Nurse Clinical Leader in the Nursing Department. Harry, a member of Homalco First Nation, will be taking over for Jeannette Tremblay, who recently announced her retirement. “My ancestral name is Sosapina. I am married, and I am the mother of four adult children and two wonderful granddaughters,” said Harry. Harry brings to the NTC a wealth of education and experience. “I have served as a nurse for 27 years; as a Community Health Nurse, Home Care Nurse, and Nurse Manager,” said Harry. She said she strives to apply nursing service and nursing leadership by engaging in respectful relationships with clients, families, nursing colleagues, and health team players through a culturally safe, relational and holistic manner. “I am committed to lifelong learning and strive to influence and promote
Hank Gus/Facebook video image
A wolf swims in the waters of the Broken Group Islands on Sept. 7.
Lorraine Harry optimal health of individuals, she said, adding that she is excited about working with the NTC nursing team and looks forward to meeting community members in the days to come. Harry will provide support to all the Home Care Nurses throughout all NTC nations.
Nineteen-year-old Shelby Huebner grew up in Ahousaht and Tofino.
Shelby Huebner, T’aaqwiihak fisheries monitor By Irine Polyzogopoulos Uu-athluk Communications Coordinator Shelby Huebner’s been taking part in fishing-related activities for many years, despite being only 19 years old. A part-time monitor for the T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries, Huebner remembers going fishing on her grandfather’s troller every year on Christmas day while growing up. A member of Ahousaht First Nation, Huebner grew up between Ahousaht and Tofino, and continues to spend time in both communities to this day. Huebner’s role as a T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries Monitor is to create a detailed record of the fisheries’ activity for T’aaqwiihak and DFO fisheries management purposes. As a requirement of the job, Huebner took the Ecotrust fisheries monitor training course, and this has allowed her to quickly and competently identify
the various species of fish caught, including all salmon and numerous groundfish species. She also documents data such as the number of pieces of each species caught, the weights and pieces of groundfish caught and coded wire tag sampling results. Huebner records fishing area and fishing trip dates, and information about landing sites, buyers and individual fishers. “It’s neat to see both sides of it – to see what happens on the other side,” said Huebner, when explaining how being a monitor has complemented her time spent as a fisher. When she is not working, Huebner likes to spend time with family and friends, especially in the great outdoors. Although she has a busy schedule stemming from having three part-time jobs, she is looking forward to the time she has booked off to go hunting this fall.
Rare sighting of wolf swimming recorded in Broken Group Islands By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Broken Group, BC - At the end of a four-day shift, Tseshaht beachkeepers Hank Gus and Aaron Watts were on their way home from the Broken Group Islands on the morning of Friday, Sept. 7, when they saw something they’ve never encountered over their time in the Barkley Sound sites. “I was just looking out for any logs that might be in the way,” said Gus. “There was something in the water: it wasn’t a log, it was a wolf.” The pair took a cell phone video of the wolf from their boat, occasionally shouting “Q#ayaac`iiq! Q#ayaac`iiq!” in encouragement, which means wolf in Nuu-chahnulth. The footage posted online shows the animal quickly paddling across the open water, appearing to be travelling from an island in the area to Dempster Island. Once on Dempster’s rocky shore, the wolf quickly shook off the remnants of the ocean to disappear in the bush. After being absent since the 1960s, in the 1990s wolves began to recolonize the west coast of Vancouver Island, according to Parks Canada. This was the first wolf Gus had seen in the Broken Group in a few years, and the first time he witnessed one swimming across the ocean water. The last reported sighting in the area came from a visitor to the Broken
Group in September 2017, said the Tseshaht beachkeeper. “We made a report to the wildlife officer in Parks Canada,” said Gus of the recent sighting. “We don’t have that many wolf encounters in the Broken Group, but we do tell people there is a small population out there. It’s rare to see them.” Two pairs of Tseshaht beachkeepers oversee the Broken Group over the summer, alternating stays in a cabin on Keith Island each three or four days. The Islands are within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and through a partnership with Parks Canada, the beachkeepers check for camping permits, lead visitors through safety orientations as well as providing wildlife and weather updates for the tourist destination. “We’re used to seeing over 100 people out there each week,” said Gus. “Now it’s starting to slow down, this week we’ve only seen about 35-40 people.” As the popular attraction is part of the Tseshaht’s ancestral territory, the beachkeepers also ensure the sacred sites are protected. “We look after all the old village sites, because we want to protect them still,” said Gus. “We just make sure people don’t go where they’re not supposed to, and then we also interpret local history with our guests out there. We share a little bit of Tseshaht with them.”
Fighting to protect our fish
1-844-620-9924 Gord.Johns@parl.gc.ca NDP MP for Courtenay-Alberni www.gordjohns.ca
Les Sam Construction Residential . Commercial & Architectural Structures Construction Management & Consulting Forming & Framing Ph/Txt: 250.720.7334 les firstname.lastname@example.org
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The president’s message to Nuu-chah-nulth-aht September brings the annual NTC AGM. This year it will be on Sept. 19-20 in Anacla. The directors have been talking in the past year about how we can bring Nuu-chah-nulth members back to the meetings. Years ago, members would pack the old Athletic Hall or Maht Mahs, First Nations would cook various meals and in the evenings there would be drumming and singing. It was a good gathering of our people. We want to bring that back again. There will be an open floor in the afternoon of both days for any Nuu-chah-nulth who want to speak. Our host nation, Huu-ay-aht, will be singing and dancing on the first night. We will also be recognizing the achievements of our members on that night after dinner. We look forward to celebrating with you. If you have ideas for NTC and our AGMs please let me know, always interested in including new ideas and new things in our meetings. What would bring you back to NTC AGM’s? In late August there was a major court decision from the BC Court of Appeal. The court cancelled the permit that allows the construction of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. This pipeline would come from northern Alberta and through B.C. It would come to a facility in Burnaby, and be put on tankers and brought across the seas to the Orient. Tseil-Waututh, Squamish and other First Nations have been opposed to this project since it started. The government consulted with First Nations and decided to proceed with the Trans Mountain pipeline over the protests of First Nations, saying it was in the national Interest. First Nations brought this to court and lost at the first court. The second court said that First Nations were not consulted properly. They also said that the National Energy Board and the Cabinet (Prime Minister and his Ministers) could not have made a decision in the national interest because they did not look at environmental effects, which include the tankers in the project description. There were no studies or information of the effects of tankers on the environment and in particular the killer whales of which there are only 76 left. This was a critical decision because it pointed out the great flaws the federal government makes in consulting with First Nations. They just don’t like to listen to First Nations. You would think after all the years of consulting with First Nations they would know how to do it properly. This was a big blow to the federal government and Alberta as they wanted this project so much. This is an important decision for Nuuchah-nulth. Our sea resources, such as Chinook, come down from Alaska, down the coast and along the west coast of the island and up into our territories. If there were a crude oil spill, it would affect the sea resources as there would be destruction of habitat. Nuu-chah-nulth should be demanding of the federal government that they need to consult with us as to the effects of tankers on our fisheries. The Jack, Jack and John case (triple J case) said consultation has to occur anywhere along the migratory paths of fish. We must protect our fisheries from these kinds of developments. August was a busy month with the Tlu-piich Games and the youth conference in Nanoose. Both events drew a lot of our members to take part in these good events. It was great to see so many out and running in various races, and playing
Community&Beyond Orange Shirt Day
Port Alberni 10:00am - 4:00pm at the “Strength from Within” Commemoration by the Tseshaht Longhouse. Please call me at 250-7243939 or email me if you have any questions.
DA C Health Ability Fair
Oct. 3 - 4 Port Alberni
More information to come at a later date
Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock
Suicide Peer Support Group
basketball despite the high temperatures. The youth conference was well attended and the various activities kept everyone busy. I was privileged to welcome them to the conference on the first day and share a few words. There was so much good energy in the room and you could tell they were happy to be there. Thanks to all the NTC staff who organized the games and the youth conference and made them a success. The NTC directors met with Minister Jane Philpot at the end of the month. She was beginning consultation on what First Nations want in a National Child and Family Act. She would like to get a law drafted by the end of this year and get it tabled in Parliament. They would like to finish putting in place a law by the end of June next year. The next federal election is in October so if the federal Liberal government does not get this through by the end of next year there won’t be an Act. It is rushing the process and the directors need to decide if we want to work with the minister to help draft a Child and Family Act. Would Nuu-chahnulth nations draft their own law? Put their own processes in place so we aren’t using courts? There are many issues to look into. There are many things to celebrate. Huu-ay-aht worked out an agreement with Indigenous Services Canada (formerly INAC) to be provided with funding for five years to support the 30 recommendations from their report that will prevent children from being apprehended and taken from the community, their culture and language. Minister Philpot publicly announced the funding with the Huu-ay-aht. Nuu-chah-nulth Seafoods won the BC Achievement Foundation Indigenous Business Award for Partnership of the year. They will be honoured on Oct. 15 in Vancouver. NCN Seafoods includes Ucluth, Huu-ay-aht, Uchucklesaht, Kyuquot and Didaht. They partner with St. Jeans Cannery. Congratulations to them!! Carol Ann Hilton will be receiving a prestigious honour at the end of the month. Carol Ann is being recognized for excellence in Aboriginal relations by the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business. Previous winners of this award include Senator Murray Sinclair, former National Chief Phil Fontaine, and Paul Martin. You make us proud Carol Ann. Congratulations to Dawn Smith who is now Dr. Dawn Smith. I was honoured to witness her defend her dissertation and see her committee declare she passed and was now a doctor. So many of our members and communities are achieving and making NCN a stronger nation and I am proud to be Nuu-chah-nulth.
ten Young, 250-728-3414 kristen.y@ huuayaht.org or Matilda Atleo, 250-7206141, email@example.com.
Dinner hosted by the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. Activities include live entertainment, 50/50 draw, live/silent auction. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner served at 6. For more information, contact Kris-
First Thursday, Monthly 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.
September 13, 2018—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 17
---------- EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ----------
More job postings can be viewed at hashilthsa.com. Updated daily.
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---------- EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ----------
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation also has the following position open: Headstart Outreach Coordinator - Opitsaht Child Care Centre, Permanent Full Time Position Home & Community Care Worker - On Call Labourer, Field Monitors, Cultural Surveyors - On Call, Ongoing Posting Submit your resume to: PO Box 18 Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 250.725.3352 Or drop at the office in a sealed envelope at #1119 Pacific Rim Highway Tofino Or view the full job postings at hashilthsa.com
September 13, 2018—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 19
Positive messages shared at annual Youth Gathering Don’t be afraid to be a leader, stay positive and find the good in bad situations were among the event’s lessons By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Nanoose Bay, BC - Nearly 150 youth from eleven Nuu-chah-nulth nations arrived at Nanoose Bay Pentecostal Camp on Aug. 28 for three days of socializing, learning and fun. Organized by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s Teechuktl (Mental Health) Program, the NTC Youth Gathering is part of a larger program that delivers healing gatherings to men, women and youth in an effort to address the multi-generation impacts of the legacy of Indian residential school impacts. The program uses traditional cultural and spiritual practices to support and promote mental and emotional healing for former Residential school survivors and their families. The young people, aged 13 to 18, were invited to take part in presentations or do crafts in another building. There was an outdoor basketball court and some playground equipment that they played on. Meals and snacks were catered and served in a main meeting area. The young people and their chaperones stayed in beach cabins located on site. Besides presentations with positive messages, the youth took part in Nuu-chahnulth culture in the form of singing and learning from Nuu-chah-nulth elders like Geraldine Edgar, Julia Lucas and Benson Nookemis. Guest speakers included Gordon Dick, Tseshaht, of the Ahtsik Native Art
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you always get” ~ Paul Sawan, Hip hop artist Gallery. There was a suicide prevention discussion led by Stan Matthew of the Teechuktl program, Rebecca Atleo, Ahousaht, Geraldine Edgar, Ditidaht, and Margaret Bird. Special guests included Ivy Richardson, who is an athlete and amateur boxer, hip hop artist Paul Sewan, also known as K.A.S.P. (Keeping Alive Stories for the People) and hypnotist Troy Mitchell. Each guest delivered presentations that included motivational messages.
Photos by Denise Titian
Hip hop artist Paul Sawan, aka K.A.S.P., performs for youth at the Nanoose Bay Pentecostal Camp in late August. Richardson spoke of the importance of self-care, staying positive and spirituality. She encouraged youth to broaden their horizons and work towards their dreams. She told the crowd that when she neared the end of her work at university her coach casually asked her what her plans were for her Master’s degree. Stumped by the question, she said she never thought about it until the coach mentioned it. But it became her next goal. She urged the youth to figure out what their passions are and work for it. And when you achieve that, “you will never work,” she promised. Before leaving she invited the youth to connect with her if they are interested in boxing. Paul Sawan, or K.A.S.P., delivered a fun, motivational presentation filled with games, dance and rhymes. The hip hop artist talked about his rough beginnings in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, filled with sexual abuse, addictions and the legacy of residential school. He proudly told the youth that he is now nine years sober, a father and has a song in the Top 40 Indigenous Countdown that is at number 11 and still rising in the charts. He warned the youth about getting stuck
Three days of fun activities at the Nuu-chah-nulth youth gathering included a photo booth, basketball and growth exercises. in bad habits. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you always get,” he told them. Sawan also advised them to stay positive, no matter the situation: “…good
or bad, find the value in it; ask yourself, ‘what did I learn?’.” Following dinner on Aug. 29 the youth were treated to a hypnotist show by Troy Mitchell.
Around the nism’a
Photo by Marni Robinson
A cougar takes down a deer, near Springfield Road and Evergreen Park in Port Alberni on Sept 11.
Photo by Carol Frank
Travellers were greeted with waterfalls pouring down bare rock faces and a deep pond of water on Highway 4 at the Kennedy Lake construction zone on Sept 9.
If you would like your interesting photos to be included in the section please send them with caption to email@example.com
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