Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper September 9, 2021

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INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 48 - No. 17—September 9, 2021 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776

Photo by Eric Plummer

Hesquiaht carver Tim Paul works on The Language Revitalization Pole, or n̓aasn̓aasʔaqsa, at Port Alberni’s waterfront in June. The totem pole is now complete.

Totem pole finds home at Port Alberni’s Victoria Quay n̓ aasn̓ aasʔaqsa set to be raised on Sept. 18 after its multi-year carving in honour of language revitalization By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Port Alberni, BC - From lying on the forest floor of Huu-ay-aht territory to standing 37 feet overlooking Port Alberni’s Victoria Quay, the multi-year journey of a totem pole realised by a Hesquiaht master carver is set to be complete with an unveiling on Sept. 18. Plans have the totem pole being transported from its Harbour Quay carving location to a site near the Victoria Quay inside the entrance to the San Group property along the Somass River. The Tseshaht First Nation has extended an open invitation for the public to witness the unveiling of the pole in its territory on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. Named n̓aasn̓aasʔaqsa, the pole was crafted to promote the advancement of Indigenous languages, but also dedicated to honouring women, according to its carver Tim Paul. The piece encompasses the 11 relatives of nature. “What it addresses is the mountains and

the Thunderbird, the skies, the rivers and the lakes. The clearcutting, the mining, the ocean, it just takes on everything and looks at the extraction of resources,” described the master carver as he worked on the project in June. “Nature is here and gives us everything we want.” The project began when an 800-year-old cedar was transported to Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay in March 2019. Commissioned by the First Nations Education Foundation, the windfallen log was put under the care of Paul, who was tasked to carve a piece marking 2019 as the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages. Plans initially had the pole completed by the end of that year, when it would be raised at the University of Victoria. But by the summer of 2019 funds had dried up, leaving carvers to continue working on a volunteer basis. Then in the fall Paul had to step away from the project after the passing of his long-time wife Monica, which was followed by the death of his mother three weeks later.

Inside this issue... Requirements for COVID immunization...................Page 3 Schools return to in-person learning...........................Page 5 Election candidates answer questions..................Pages 7-12 Kyuquot finds solar solutions...................................Page 15 Shore clean up gathers ocean debris..................Pages 18-19

Other carvers continued working on the project, and by the end of the year most of the pole was painted, when the decision was made to keep the piece in Port Alberni. Paul returned to the project in 2020, and with a team of Nuu-chah-nulth carvers decided to remove paint from the 11 relatives, which were re-formed to ensure proper alignment and avoid cracks in the log. Then in the summer of 2021 the project received a $75,000 injection from the Canada Council for the Arts. “All of that goes directly to the carvers,” said Scott Jeary, executive director of the First Nations Education Foundation. The San Group, a West Coast-based forestry company with mills in Port Alberni, stepped in to provide a permanent location. The company plans to transport the pole on Sept. 16 with the help of a crane from Canadian Maritime Engineering. Mike Ruttan of San’s media relations said the company is currently building a foundation for the totem pole, which will

be lit at night. Its installation is planned for Sept. 17, the day before the unveiling. “At about 6:45 in the morning, when the sun first comes over the mountains, it will placed on the foundation and set up, but covered with a shroud, because the ideal day is actually Saturday the 18th, and it has to do with where we are in the moon cycle,” explained Ruttan. “The whole process has been done in consultation between the master carvers and the Tseshaht.” “It has to be placed in the right location, in the right way so that one of its eyes can see east, can see the rising sun in the morning,” added Ruttan. Paul has received permission from Tseshaht hereditary chiefs for the pole’s installation by the Somass River, said the First Nation’s elected chief Ken Watts. The piece will stand on the former site of Noopsikupis, a historic Tseshaht village where people once lived by the river.

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Communities await effects of prescribed alternatives An elevated overdose tally continues during the COVID-19 pandemic, with First Nations at five times the risk By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor As the death toll from B.C.’s overdose crisis continues, those who work closely with First Nations are urging people to look beyond the disturbing numbers and into the complexities of treating drug addiction. On Aug. 31 the B.C. Coroners Service reported 1,011 deaths due to illicit drug use over the first six months of the year, making overdose the leading cause of death for adults under 40, with eighty per cent of these fatalities affecting males. Fentanyl was detected in 85 per cent of the cases, with cocaine methamphetamine and etizolam present in a significant number of deaths. First Nations people have been affected by the crisis on a scale several times that of the general population. For last year, the First Nations Health Authority reported a fatality rate 5.3 times greater than others in B.C., a 119 per cent increase in overdose deaths over 2019, pointing to the hazards of the COVID-19 pandemic on those who use illicit drugs. “Poisoned drugs are circulating,” warned Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “More people are dying from inhaling illicit drugs than injecting, so please be careful.” When the numbers were announced for the fist half of 2021, Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe stressed the need for a “wide scale response.” “This includes removing barriers to safe supply, ensuring timely access to evidence-based affordable treatment and providing those experiencing problematic substance use with compassionate and viable options to reduce risks and save lives.” The recognition of substance use as a disorder requiring treatment rather than criminal activity in need of enforcement has guided a shift in government policy. B.C. is working on decriminalizing possession of illicit drugs with an applica-

Province of B.C. video still

On Aug. 31 Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe announced that 1,011 people died from illicit drug use over the first six months of 2021. tion to Ottawa for an exemption from Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Meanwhile the Solicitor General sent a letter to police chiefs asking authorities to “focus on more serious crimes and align with more harm reduction principles,” according to the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. A new emphasis has also been placed on prescribing less harmful alternatives to replace street drugs, something that registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses can now offer with the appropriate training. By June the number of doctors in B.C. who offer opioid agonist treatment increased to 1,671, with a 475 per cent increase in hydromorphone prescriptions over a year. But this is not necessarily reaching those who need the help most, cautions Mariah Charleson, vice-president of the Nuuchah-nulth Tribal Council. “We know it’s very difficult for margin-

alized people to even have a physician, to even see a physician,” she commented. “There’s one individual in Port Alberni, they’re banned from drug dealers. So they give their money to other people to go get the drugs and it leads to all sorts of things.” “For people who use substances, accessing opioid agonist therapy, or prescribed opioid alternatives (“safer supply”) – this is particularly a challenge in rural/remote/ isolated communities where getting to a prescriber and then being able to access prescriptions in a timely, regular manner can be challenging,” noted Dr. Nel Wieman, the FNHA’s senior medical officer, in an email to Ha-Shilth-Sa. While the First Nations Health Authority is working to get more nurses trained to prescribe safer opioid alternatives, a historic distrust of the health care system among many Aboriginal people remains a concern. In November the long-standing

affects of negative experiences in hospitals and with doctors was highlighted by In Plain Sight, a report from an independent investigation commissioned by the Ministry of Health. “We can’t ignore the role that racism and a lack of cultural safety in health/ medical services plays,” said Wieman. “[T]here is also significant stigma in play for people who use substances – so all of these create an unsafe, unwelcoming environment that people are reluctant to access in the first place out of fear for how they will be treated.” As B.C.’s health authorities grapple with a rate of five overdose fatalities a day, Wieman stressed that the affects of trauma on First Nations people cannot be understated. Causes range from residential schools and the Sixties Scoop to evacuations due to wildfires and intimate partner violence. “When people are living with trauma/ intergenerational trauma, they are distressed – and sometimes people make choices to reduce that distress that involve using substances – substances change how we feel,” explained Wieman. “Unfortunately, with the increased toxicity of the illicit/ ‘street’ drug supply, the contamination of the current drug supply makes it increasingly lethal.” The province has reported that measures imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted the normal pathways of illicit drugs, causing dealers to increase the toxicity of what can be bought on the street. This dynamic has brought fatalities to communities across the province, despite their remoteness. Charleson spoke of two overdose deaths in Hot Springs Cove over the pandemic. “Hot Springs Cove is a community of less than 60 people,” she said. “Everybody knows each other, everybody plays an integral role in that community.” “We’ve lost people who aren’t homeless, who aren’t visually addicts, who are simply members of the community,” added Charleson.

Multi-year project retains its UNESCO connection Continued from page 1. “Our chiefs, our council and our community agree: it was carved here, and it should stay here,” said Watts. “For the valley here, this isn’t just about raising a First Nations piece of art; it actually tells a story. Like many other poles, it has a name and it has a life of its own.” Modern technology is also playing a role in telling the story of n̓aasn̓aasʔaqsa. QR codes, which open up information on smartphones and tablets, will be in place on plaques by the pole for people to learn about the project’s development and importance, explained Jeary. “They’ll get all that information from the pole laying in the forest to its final resting place there,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to show our culture at a high traffic area,” added Watts. “Tourists and others will be able to visit and read - not just about languages - but about women and other things that Tim wants to honour on the pole.” Although it’s being raised two years after it was originally planned, Jeary stressed that the project has retained a vital connection to the United Nations. “That’s where it all started, we wanted

to get patronage from [Canadian Commission for] UNESCO,” he said, noting the importance of the project to First Nation’s culture and language revitalization. “We’ll continue to use that vehicle to promote globally.” Nuu-chah-nulth songs have been composed to mark the pole’s raising on Sept. 18, a date when Watts expects that many in attendance will think of Willard Gallic, a fluent Tseshaht speaker who recently passed. “I think for Tseshaht Willard Gallic is going to be on our minds for a long time,” said Watts. “He was one of our last remaining speakers. This is really, from our perspective, connected to what Photo by Eric Plummer Tim originally started out n̓aasn̓aasʔaqsa was carved with a combination of hand tools and motorized equipment. this project as.”

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Requirements clarified for COVID-19 immunization Stats show most of infected are unvaccinated, but cases of Delta variant are still found in those with both doses By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC – With the fourth wave of COVID-19 sweeping across the continents, new provincial health orders are now in effect and new ones will be in place by mid-September. Beginning Sept. 13, B.C.’s provincial health officer has ordered that people 12 and over attending certain social and recreational settings will need to show proof of at least partial vaccination for COVID-19. This means that people will need to carry their paper vaccination cards that were issued when they received vaccine with them to enter certain spaces. By Oct. 24, people will have to show proof that they are fully vaccinated (at least seven days after receiving the second dose) to enter certain public spaces. In addition, mask requirements for public spaces were reinstated Aug. 24 in an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19. According to the PHO, people will need to show proof of vaccination at shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants, bars, taxis, public transportation, swimming pools, weddings, conferences, sports events, fitness centers, public services buildings and schools, for example. “The province is making these changes to its pandemic plans as the fourth wave of COVID-19 moves throughout the province, mainly infecting unvaccinated people,” stated the Provincial Health Office. Dr. Nel Wieman, acting deputy chief medical officer at FNHA, urges people to get vaccinated, continue to wear masks, frequently and thoroughly wash their hands and leave six feet of space between people outside of your household. “The COVID-19 virus has proven itself to be stealthy and it is still spreading,” Wieman wrote in a public statement, acknowledging concern and disappointment that the virus is still circulating. “However we may feel, we know that if we want the pandemic to end, we will have to set aside our disappointment, square on our shoulders, and continue working together against it.” To make things easier, the province has created a digital vaccination card that people may present using their mobile devices. The BC Health Gateway provides users a digital immunization card that can be shown at public events. You may get your BC Vaccine Card online at gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard. Once verified, a person will be able to save a digital copy to their mobile device or print a hard copy to present along with their government-issued photo identification when entering designated businesses and events. People without access to a computer and printer can get their card by calling 1-833-838-2323 at the Get Vaccinated call centre and for a printed copy to be mailed to them. They can have a trusted friend, family member or support person print their card for them. Or they can visit a Service BC Centre to get one. Once downloaded, the app will prompt you to scan or enter codes from your BC Services Card, entering your birthdate and an email address. Once your email address is validated you will be prompted to make a video to confirm your identity. Alternatively, you can bring your identification and health apps to a designated location to activate your digital immunization card in person if that is your preference.

Photo by Don Craig/Province of B.C. photo

With Premier John Horgan standing by, Dr. Bonny Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, gives information on the requirements for proof of COVID-19 vaccination on Sept. 7. Once all information is entered online, it can take from a few hours to two business days to verify your information and get your digital card activated. The BC Vaccine Card will include a secure, individualized QR code and image showing either “vaccinated” or “partially vaccinated.” Businesses can either scan the QR code using a reader like a smartphone or visually verify the person’s proof of vaccination. A mobile QR code reader app will be released in app stores closer to Sept. 13 for businesses that choose to scan the QR code. “Getting vaccinated is the proven choice to protect ourselves and the people around us. The requirement for proof of vaccine will make our communities safer and ensure that events and gatherings are safer for all of us,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “I encourage everyone to get their BC Vaccine Card to protect their community, support their local businesses and each other.” The PHO recommends everyone over the age of 12 be vaccinated against COVID-19, because statistics show that it is the unvaccinated who are most commonly getting sick. From Aug. 20-26, the unvaccinated accounted for 72 per cent of infections, while those with both doses comprised 18 per cent of cases, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Those without any shots made up 81 per cent of hospitalizations, while the fully vaccinated accounted for 11 per cent. According to FNHA, Delta is the main COVID-19 variant circulating and it is moving more easily through the population than the original virus. “(It can make) unvaccinated people even more sick than the original virus. People who have had only one shot are also getting sick more often than they did with previous variant,” states FNHA. They went on to say that there are some “breakthrough” cases in fully vaccinated people. “A breakthrough infection is an infection that happens after your body has had a chance to develop full protection from the COVID-19 vaccine, in other words, more than two weeks after the second dose,” states FNHA. So, even if you are fully vaccinated, there is a small chance you may still get COVID-19. The good news is that the vaccine still offers protection, in that the

illness will be less severe and provides excellent protection against hospitalization and death. Drop-in vaccination clinics are available in communities throughout the province and appointments are not required. But if clinic hours don’t work for you, you may schedule a vaccination appointment by visiting https://www.getvaccinated.gov. bc.ca/s/ or call 1-833-838-2323. Is your child feeling ill? People showing symptoms of illness are advised to stay home from school or work. In general, if you have fever, are coughing, have shortness of breath, you should stay home. When in doubt, check the province’s symptom checker guidelines at https://www.k12dailycheck.gov.bc.ca/ healthcheck?execution=e2s1 There, you will find a checklist of symptoms for different age groups to watch for. “Getting vaccinated means, we can

bring people back together and do more, safely, and with confidence that we’re not putting those who aren’t fully vaccinated at risk,” said Premier John Horgan. “We have made the BC Vaccine Card easy for people to get, and easy for businesses to check at a glance.” By getting vaccinated prior to Sept. 13, British Columbians can continue to access the events and settings that will be outlined in the PHO orders. To learn more about the vaccine card and how to access yours, visit: gov.bc.ca/ vaccinecard Information for businesses, including step-by-step instructions can be found at gov.bc.ca/ (http://www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard-businesses)vaccinecard The proof of vaccination provincial health order will remain in place until Jan. 21, 2022 and is subject to extension.

September 9, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5

B.C.’s schools return to in-person classroom learning Masks create communication problems in schools, say principals, while remote learning has isolated students By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter As the new school year approached, B.C.’s Ministry of Education said that students could look forward to the return of full-time in-person learning. While mask requirements and other health and safety measures will remain in place, sports, music, and other extracurricular activities may resume. “We know how excited students and families are about being back in school with extracurricular and sports programs and how important it is for children to be connected to their teachers and friends on a full-time basis,” said Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside, in a release. “We also know we can do this safely, even as the pandemic continues to present challenges.” Following a provincial health order, staff and students in Grade 4 and up are required to wear a mask in indoor spaces. Younger students will be “strongly encouraged” to wear masks, according to the ministry. Nancy Logan, principal of Haahuupayak Elementary School in Port Alberni, said many of the school’s safety protocols will carry over from last year, including the mandated daily health checks. Although Logan said that students at Haahuupayak got used to wearing masks, it remained a challenge. The masks make it more difficult for children to express themselves and to understand others, she said. To acknowledge these concerns, Logan said teachers will have open dialogue

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Lunch breaks at Ucluelet Secondary School will continue to be scheduled before noon to minimize students’ contact with the community. It’s a shift carried over from last year to protect students who access food from local restaurants and grocery stores, said Principal Carol Sedgwick. with students at the beginning of the Secondary School (USS), echoed Locontinue to be scheduled before noon to school year so they don’t feel alone in gan and said, “it’s disappointing we’re minimize students’ contact with the comtheir struggle. back in a place where we’re all wearing munity. It’s a shift carried over from last “We really have to have patience and masks.” year to protect students who access food kindness with each other,” she said. Despite that, she said she remains optifrom local restaurants and grocery stores, “When children are speaking, we need to mistic because “we’ve done this before” said Sedgwick. show respect and do our best to hear and and for some, masks bring comfort. After Haahuupayak transitioned to a listen.” In September 2020, the BC Centre four-day school week last year to help Carol Sedgwick, principal of Ucluelet for Disease Control (BCCDC) released students and staff manage pandemic a study called the Impact of School stress, Logan said the school will be Closures on Learning, Child and Famreturning to five days this September. ily Well-Being During the COVID-19 While it was “great” to have a three-day Pandemic. weekend to reboot, the additional half The report expressed concern that the hour at the end of each day was too burpandemic may be disproportionately densome on students and staff, she said. impacting Indigenous peoples due to the Children will no longer be segregated “effect of ongoing racism, social excluinto cohorts this year, as this isn’t recomsion, and structural violence on the health mended by public health as a COVID-19 and well-being of Indigenous children, mitigation measure. families and communities.” This change will allow teachers to It’s a sentiment reflected by Logan, extend their support to all students, rather who said that layers of intergenerational than being limited to one or two classes, trauma from colonization and residential said Logan. schools compounded the stress inflicted All mechanical heating, ventilation and by the pandemic. air conditioning systems in schools will While Logan said she supports each continue to be regularly inspected. family’s decision about sending their According to the ministry, provincial children back to school, she hopes to refunding will be made available to update assure parents about the safety and health or replace these systems through routine precautions in place at Haahuupayak capital programs. A total of $87.5 million through one-on-one meetings. has already been used to improve ventilaThe BCCDC study found that students tion in schools across the province. were significantly impacted by remote Logan said that funding through the education through uneven learning oppor- First Nations Education Steering Comtunities, increased stress and decreased mittee and the First Nations Schools connection. Association enabled Haahuupayak to hire “As children and youth are isolated a full-time intervention teacher to address from peers, teachers, extended families the learning loss due to the pandemic. and community networks, mental health By helping students with some of the conditions may increase,” read the study. basic skills, numeracy, and literacy, “it “School closures and physical distanccan really help them feel confident to ing may result in increased loneliness in rejoin their groups,” she said. children and youth during the COVID-19 While the pandemic continues to alter pandemic, correlated with mental health the ways schools operate, Sedgwick said effects including anxiety and depression.” that like any other year, she looks forSince schools reopened in September ward to welcoming students back. 2020, Vancouver Coastal Health said it For educators, students and parents, the has not recorded a significant increase school year marks the beginning of a new in COVID-19 cases among school-aged year, she said. children relative to other groups. “It’s very celebratory,” said Sedgwick. Continuing from last year, USS will run “We all look forward to seeing the stufour semesters. Sedgwick said the shift dents that we haven’t seen all summer from two semesters was made to lighten and look forward to meeting the new students’ course loads and to minimize ones coming in. [I’m] very optimistic.” movement between classes in the school. Similarly, lunch breaks at USS will

Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 9, 2021 Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper is published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for distribution to the members of the NTC-member First Nations, as well as other interested groups and individuals. Information and original work contained in this newspaper is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission from: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2. Telephone: (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 Web page: www.hashilthsa.com facebook: Hashilthsa Ntc

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

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Photo by Melissa Renwick

Job postings are hung on a community bulletin board in Tofino, on September 2, showing a hiring bonus for dishwashers.

Tofino businesses struggle to stay open Loss of international workers and an accommodation crisis leads to lost business By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Tofino, BC - On a community bulletin board outside of the Tofino Co-op Food Store, Shed restaurant advertised a $500 signing bonus for line-cooks and dishwashers. Live to Surf, TOFINO Kombucha and Wolf in the Fog also had job postings on display. Meanwhile, the Dockside Smoked Fish Store has closed for two days a week. “Staffing is the main issue,” said owner and Ahousaht Tyee Ha’wilth Maquinna Lewis George. “It’s super busy. We shouldn’t be closed, but we’re having to close.” Without enough staff to keep the business running full-time, George said the decision was made for him. It’s a problem nearly every business in Tofino has been grappling with this summer, said Tofino Long Beach Chamber of Commerce President Laura McDonald. “Businesses are being impacted by labour shortages to a significant extent,” she said. “Many can’t be open at full capacity during the busy season, when they rely on making enough to carry them through the rest of the year.” Tofino’s transient population and the town’s housing crisis are contributing

factors that have carried over from previous years, said Tourism Tofino Chair Samantha Hackett. COVID-19 compounded those issues by presenting new layers of challenges. When businesses were forced to close in March 2020 to combat the virus, many people who relied on tourism to support their families had to look for opportunities outside the sector, said Hackett. “The whole industry, not just in Tofino, has seen that shift of losing some of those long-term workers,” she said. George said a recent hire quit because she couldn’t handle the workload. Another resigned because she didn’t feel comfortable engaging with so many tourists daily after being exposed to COVID-19. “It’s been really, really hard,” he said. Due to travel restrictions, the town has also seen a loss of its international workforce. “[Tofino is] in a remote location and we absolutely rely on working holiday visa type employees,” said Hackett. “Obviously, that’s pretty much non-existent at this point. It’s going to take some time. We have to rebuild our workforce over these next few years.” Partnering with colleges and universities is one of the ways the town plans to do that, said Hackett. According to preliminary data from

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STR, Tofino’s hotel occupancy in July was 92.6 per cent, as compared to 75 per cent in 2020 and 94.5 per cent in 2019. “We’ve seen very, very busy years before,” said George. “Tofino has always been busy.” Yet, the combination of high occupancy rates and staffing shortages have made it difficult for businesses to meet tourism demands, said McDonald. To address the issue of staffing shortages, the chamber said it’s working with other resort jurisdictions and the BC Chamber of Commerce. “The aim is to come up with some short and long-term solutions from a provincial and federal perspective,” McDonald said. “The impact of this issue is being felt everywhere right now. It is not a problem that is unique to the west coast, unfortunately.” As the summer season wraps up, McDonald said the chamber will begin to have conversations with businesses to identify short-term solutions that can be implemented locally. While George continues to cope with a staffing shortage and operational changes resulting from COVID-19, he is trying to stay positive. “I’ve always been told that if you see a negative, try to turn into a positive,” he said. “That’s the way I want to live.”

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 holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org. This year is Ha-Shilth-Sa’s 47th year of serving the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. We look forward to your continued input and support. Kleco! Kleco!

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September 9, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7

Meet your federal election candidates Courtenay – Alberni Mary Lee, Conservative

Susan Farlinger, Liberal

Mary grew up in a military family with strong ethics in serving one’s country and protecting the rights of its citizens. Following in her father’s footsteps, Mary enrolled in the Royal Military College of Canada, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business in 1991. Mary’s military career began at 19 Wing Comox. Retiring in 2007 at the rank of major, Mary created a small business marketing and consulting firm serving clients in a variety of industries including the non-profit sector, government, health care, and education. Mary holds a master’s degree in Public Relations. She and husband, Gavin, and their daughter, Gillian, reside in the Comox Valley.

Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper was unable to reach this candidate for comment.

Susanne Lawson, Green

Gord Johns, NDP

I have lived in NuuChahNulth territory for over 50 years here on the coast. My children were born here (one was born on the beach below the tideline) and they have First Nation status. Most were given traditional names by Elders of the local First Nations communities. We have close relations with First Nations People here and my grandaughter is a member of the Tlaoquiaht First Nation. My late partner, Steve Lawson, was the National Coordinator of the First Nations Environmental Network across Canada for many years and we traveled together to many communities and learned a great deal from them all.

I am Gord Johns and I am asking for your vote in this federal election. I have lived in Nuu-chah-nulth territories for my entire adult life, raised my children here and formed lifelong friendships here. I have done my best to bring your voices to Ottawa, to raise your concerns, your vision and to convey the wisdom of your Elders in the Parliament of Canada. I am determined to continue this work for another term of office if I am privileged to receive your continued trust and support. Best wishes to all. Klecko Klecko

North Island – Powell River Shelley Downey, Conservative

Jennifer Grenz, Liberal

I am a long-time resident of Port McNeill. My background is in accounting and for a variety of sectors. My husband and I have owned, operated, and built businesses together. I know the responsibilities and trials that small business owners face. I have seen and felt the effects of poor policy decisions in our resource based economy. As a four-term councillor for the Town of Port McNeill and a past School Board Trustee, I believe in the importance and necessity of good policy, good governance and accountability. This is something that has been sorely lacking by our current Liberal government which has been propped up by the NDP. We can and must do better.

Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper was unable to reach this candidate for comment.

Jessica Wegg, Green

Rachel Blaney, NDP

Hi! I’m Jessica Wegg – I live in Comox with my husband and our two young kids (4 and 8). I am a human rights lawyer and have dedicated the last decade to cases involving prisoners’ rights, police brutality, and institutional sexual abuse. Since moving to Comox, I have expanded my practice to Indigenous legal issues, particularly related to the treaty preparation process. I decided to run for Parliament because it was something I knew I could do, and I had to do something. I will not sit by while this beautiful planet burns and chokes before our children grow old.

I grew up near Terrace and was adopted by my father into the Stellat’en First Nation. I moved to Vancouver Island to study at VIU over 20 years ago and raised my two sons here. I also have a step-daughter and four grandchildren. My husband Darren is Chief of the Homalco First Nation. Prior to being elected as MP in 2015 I worked as Executive Director for the Immigrant Welcome Centre, a non-profit providing services to newcomers to Canada in the northern half of Vancouver Island.

Page 8— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 9, 2021

Cowichan – Malahat - Langford Alana Delonge, Conservative

Blair Herbert, Liberal

Alana DeLong is the Conservative candidate for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford Born in Nelson, and raised in the Okanagan and Victoria, served for fourteen years of government-facilitated economic growth and stability. A graduate of UBC honors mathematics, Alana was strong voice in the legislature known for her hard work on behalf of her constituents. “I believe that financial responsibility in government benefits all citizens. There is no such thing as government money. It is all dollars hard-earned by the taxpayer, and once wasted, takes years to replace,” she said. Alana and her husband live on Thetis Island with their 2 dogs.

Blair was born into a military family. They moved often and he learned early the value of finding common ground and building relationships, qualities he embraces to this day. Over his career, Blair served as an RCMP Officer, Investigator for the Ombudsman and Immigration Officer. Today, Blair is a local businessperson and farmer in the Cowichan Valley. The environment and economy are Blair’s priorities. “For 17 years, this Riding has elected an NDP MP that has never served in the government. It’s time to have a seat in government and voice at the table; I ask for your vote.”

Lia Versaevel, Green

Alister MacGregor, NDP

I am a settler on these lands. I was born in Calgary to immigrant parents. I acknowledge that for millennia, people have thrived here, caring for this place. I came to the Tsartlip region in 1971, Brentwood Bay. I completed a BA at UVIC, and then a Diploma in public sector management. I worked for 27 years for the Attorney General. I have three adult children. I visited many countries, and worked in Family Courts in Australia and Nevada before coming home to Qwut’sun Territories. I was a teacher at Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre and now work as a poverty law advocate.

I’ve served as the Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford for the last six years. I have made my home in the Cowichan Valley for over 30 years and have worked hard as MP to bring local concerns to Ottawa. I’ve been a strong advocate for agriculture, and I have actively engaged constituents on issues such as climate change, housing, pensions, salmon habitat, and the clean energy economy of the future. I’ve introduced legislation to protect implement a national soil strategy and have worked with First Nations to protect our coasts from large freighter anchorages.

Housing: Houses on reserves continue to be cramped in many cases, while in cities and towns people struggle to find an affordable place to rent or buy. Why do communities continue to face housing shortages, and what is needed to make homes more accessible for people? Conservative combined answer: Mary Lee, Courtney - Alberni Shelley Downey, North Island - Powell River Alana Delonge, Cowichan - Malahat-Langford We are not building enough homes to meet the population growth and under the Liberals, the problem has only gotten worse. Our country needs a robust housing plan that gets homes built. Canada’s Conservatives will tackle the nation-wide housing affordability crisis by removing barriers at the municipal and provincial level that are preventing new supply from coming onto the market. We will ban foreign investors from buying homes if there is no intent to live in Canada. The Conservatives will also enact a For Indigenous, By Indigenous strategy – long called for by Indigenous housing advocates - that involves empowering Indigenous communities with the autonomy to meet their own housing needs.

North Island – Powell River Rachel Blaney, NDP All of our communities are facing a housing crisis, and while I commend the BC government for their efforts to address it, they have not had a willing federal partner. It’s time to end the housing crisis for good, with safe and affordable housing in every Indigenous community, on and off reserve. New Democrats would put an end to chronic overcrowding and long-wait lists by working with Indigenous communities to implement an Indigenous National Housing Strategy within our first 100 days in office. We would also immediately step up to tackle the mold crisis affecting tens of thousands of homes, and provide support for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to ensure that their homes are safe, healthy and energy efficient.

Jessica Wegg, Green In this electoral district, a huge cause has been the mass exodus of people leaving cities to work remotely from here. We start by legislating housing as a legally protected fundamental human right and go from there: • Appoint a Minister of Housing and create a housing strategy • Achieve housing for all through market regulation and public investment in housing • Tax non-occupied unites • Offer tax incentives for landlords to offer reasonable rent • Curtail hedge fund and investor ownership of homes • Provide financing to non-profit housing organizations and co-ops to build green homes for seniors, people with special needs, and low-income families

Photo by Denise Titian

Like many reserve communties, housing is in short supply in Ahousaht.

Courtenay – Alberni Gord Johns, NDP I believe everyone should be able to find a safe and affordable place to call home, on or off-reserve. No one should be forced to live in housing that makes them sick. New Democrats will address the Indigenous housing crisis and end chronic overcrowding and long wait-lists by co-developing a fully funded Indigenous National Housing Strategy with First Nations within our first 100 days in office. Tackling the mold crisis has to be a priority and communities must have the resources to make homes greener and more efficient while keeping good jobs, training and investment close to home.

Read Cowichan – Malahat - Langford candidate answers on page 9 ------->

Susanne Lawson, Green Housing is on everyone’s minds and is becoming a burden on our youth and elderly trying to find a home as well as others. We need to encourage tiny houses complete for individuals and seniors, built locally and placed in areas set aside for this. We need to get people together to help build homes, especially for young families and seniors housing. We need to eliminate empty houses and rebuild, tear down and construct simple housing with local teams of people for materials and doing construction. Funding for local housing initiatives is needed. Foreign or outside ownership must be reduced and local people have first right of refusal for access to places available. Limited pricing and realtor integrity is needed to stop speculation and bidding wars.

September 9, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9 Housing: Houses on reserves continue to be cramped in many cases, while in cities and towns people struggle to find an affordable place to rent or buy. Why do communities continue to face housing shortages, and what is needed to make homes more accessible for people?

Cowichan – Malahat - Langford Lia Versaevel, Green There is an imbalance in wealth and resources that results in inadequate housing. Shelter has become a source of revenue and investment instead of a home. On reserve housing was not created to cultural standards. Housing that was meant for southern suburban lifestyles was imposed without consultation, and has resulted in more loss of culture and community, more fires, breakdown of septic and electrical systems, never adequately insulated to deal with temperature extremes. Intergenerational housing which accommodates people of all abilities and ages is more sustainable, but rarely built. The devastating legacies of residential schools translates into isolation and dissolution of family ties. We must ensure a Universal Basic Income as well as vacancy controls so that people are not left homeless or cramped in spaces that are too small with nowhere to grow food. As housing is built or replaced, traditional features of design and architecture must be incorporated. We must work with all levels of government to ensure that bylaws accommodate these designs for community.

Blair Herbert, Liberal Firstly, what we are experiencing here is a shortage of supply up against increased demand. COVID caused us to reflect on how/where we live, with many making a change to live here. Secondly, housing is a provincial/local government responsibility, and some local governments have restricted expansion of housing supply. Local governments need to plan for future demand and develop policies allowing for expansion. All along, the Liberals have supported Canadians in home ownership through their National Housing Strategy and First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. Reelected Liberals will build on those successes through their three-part “A Home for Everyone” plan. Alistair MacGregor, NDP Canada is facing a housing crisis because successive Liberal and Conservative federal governments have failed to address the situation in a meaningful way. New Democrats will address the Indigenous housing crisis and put an end to chronic overcrowding and long-wait lists by working with Indigenous communities to implement co-developed, fully funded Indigenous National Housing Strategy. A New Democrat government will create at least 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing in the next ten years. We also believe that $5,000 in annual rent subsidies should be made available to low-income renters who are struggling with their housing costs.

Photo submitted by Uchucklesaht Tride

After every house in the village of Ethlateese was deemed unliveable, a government program helped to build eight homes in 2020.

Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 9, 2021 Climate: This summer British Columbia residents experienced the direct effects of global warming, with record breaking temperatures and nearly 1 million hectares of forest burned from wildfires. Why have past efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions failed, and what does Canada need to do to be•er mitigate the factors that contribute to our warming planet?

Courtenay – Alberni Gord Johns, NDP Past efforts have failed because successive Conservative and Liberal governments have subsidized the oil and gas industry instead of creating sustainable jobs through renewable energy. The 17 billion dollars expended on a pipeline would have been better spent on green infrastructure and putting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—which is now law because of the work of New Democrats in Parliament--into real action in our fight against the climate crisis. Indigenous people must be full parterns in addressing the disproportionate impacts of pollution and loss of biodiversity in their communities.

Susanne Lawson, Green Government must do everything possible to reduce oil and gas emissions and to ensure CO2 absorbtion. This can be accomplished through.. .1....ending logging of old growth forests, these are our blueprint for the future and buffer against drought, etc. 2. End thinning of forested areas and clear cutting which creates dry, fire prone areas.. 3. Adapt and encourage alternative energy sources such as solar, etc in homes, business, transit and transportation 4. End oil, gas and coal subsidies and promote local off grid energy supply 5. Protect forests, oceans and wetlands to ensure greenhouse gas absorbtion and for oxygen production

North Island – Powell River Photo by Eric Plummerr

B.C.’s Forest fires have become a growing concern in recent years. Pictured is the Arbutus Ridge fire in 2018 that hit Tseshaht territory. Conservative combined answer: Mary Lee, Courtney - Alberni Shelley Downey, North Island - Powell River Alana Delonge, Cowichan - Malahat Rebuilding Canada’s economic and environmental health is the cornerstone of the Conservatives approach to combat climate change addressed in Canada’s Recovery Plan. The most efficient way is by reducing emissions and through carbon sequestration. Canadians play a role in the solution and will be supported in making greener lifestyle choices through a low carbon savings account. Conservatives also recognize the natural landscape is effective in removing carbon emissions. Working with the province and the agriculture and forestry sectors, we will identify science-based strategies and support these industries to enhance carbon sequestration while remaining viable to our economy.

Rachel Blaney, NDP We have yet to have a federal government who takes climate change seriously. An NDP government would do that. We would commit to science-based emissions targets that will limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and create a Climate Accountability Office for independent oversight on our progress. We would end fossil fuel subsidies and invest instead in building the infrastructure we need to meet those targets, creating good jobs in the process. And we would make access to clean water, land and air a guaranteed right for all Canadians.

Jessica Wegg, Green They have failed because they haven’t been brave enough – they haven’t been bold enough. We cannot pander to Alberta’s oil and gas corporations, whose sole concern is maximum profit, and expect to have any real results on tackling climate change. We have to leave it in the ground, move on, move forward – and we need to do this together. Cancel TMX. Ban fracking. Harness the power of the wind, the sun, our tides – all of the answers are already here. We just need to be brave enough to step out of the past, and we can save our future.

Standing with Indigenous Peoples

GORD JOHNS for Courtney - Alberni REMEMBER TO VOTE ON ONE OF THE FOLLOWING DAYS Advance Vote September 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th Election Day September 20th Courtenay 250-871-8116 Port Alberni 778-421-1125

www. reelectgord.ca/ Paid for and authorized by the official agent of the candidate - cope: 225 rd

September 9, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11

Climate: This summer British Columbia residents experienced the direct effects of global warming, with record breaking temperatures and nearly 1 million hectares of forest burned from wildfires. Why have past efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions failed, and what does Canada need to do to be#er mitigate the factors that contribute to our warming planet?

Cowichan – Malahat Langford Blair Herbert, Liberal To be clear, efforts to curb emissions have worked. In 2020, Liberals invested in retooling steel plants, reducing emissions equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road by 2028. In 2015, emissions were on target to increase by 15%; Liberals reversed that trend. We also reduced emissions per capita by approximately 15%. Moving forward, Canadians must consider the environment in every action, from buying a coffee to a car. Canada is among world leaders in plans to reduce emissions. Liberals will continue to lead with their comprehensive 64-point climate plan; please read it (contact me for a copy, voteblair2021@ gmail.com).

Alistair MacGregor, NDP Our changing climate promises to bring more extensive heat waves, more drought, and more extreme weather events in the future. Left unchecked, these will have very real and extensive ecological, societal, and economic costs for our communities. Past efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions have failed because of a lack of political will from successive federal Conservative and Liberal governments. Real change will be needed through strong and decisive leadership from the federal government. This means an end to oil and gas subsidies and the implementation of policies actively promoting energy efficiency, clean technologies, and renewable energy use across Canada.

Lia Versaevel, Green Past efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions have failed because we continue as a country to prioritize profits and the economy over the natural world. We do not live in harmony with nature, as we must, to respect our fragile planet. We rape and pillage and extract from the Earth as though its capacity were infinite. As the country most affected by climate change so far, we need to step up and take a more aggressive role. We cannot continue unbridled consumerism without factoring in the whole lifecycle of a product. We must stop subsidizing fossil fuel extraction and fracking. We must stop using pesticides that destroy the earth. We must protect all of our water, from the clouds above the mountains through the whole cycle. We are in an urgent situation = Code Red! We must have the Courage to Care for one another and for the Earth, not just in talk, but through decisive action!

Fisheries: After stalled negotiations with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in August hereditary chiefs of five Nuu-chah-nulth nations authorized their people to harvest according to their First Nations’ own respective fishing plans, thereby disregarding allocations that were set by DFO. Do you support this? Who has the final authority over ocean resources off Vancouver Island’s west coast? Conservative combined answer: Mary Lee, Courtney - Alberni Shelley Downey, North Island - Powell River Alana Delonge, Cowichan - Malahat The relationship between DFO, First Nations and stakeholders needs to be built on trust and based on science. Our Conservative government will work with stakeholders, First Nations, and regional jurisdictions to implement ecosystem-based fisheries management, including control of abundant predator populations which impact commercial and SARA-listed species.

Courtenay – Alberni Gord Johns, NDP The Constitution of Canada recognizes the right of Indigenous fishers to catch and sell fish within their territories. The courts have repeatedly re-affirmed this and directed the federal government to allow these nations to exercise these rights through a fair negotiation of their share of the fishery. Instead, successive Conservative and Liberal governments have fought First Nations in court and declined to negotiate in good faith, leading to this decision by the Ha’wiih, which I believe is a reasonable and just approach in the absence of Canada’s willingness to negotiate the shared management of ocean resources on the west coast. Susanne Lawson, Green Due to Aboriginal Title being upheld in the Supreme Court of Canada, jurisdiction to lands and waters is at a checkmate here where many First Nations have not signed treaties and deals with the Canadian government. It would be good if Governments of both nations sit together and determine what is best for present and future generations of both humans and marine life. The old teachings handed down are guides to going into the future. The wild salmon, cod, shellfish and our oceans have given us so much, we must protect them, enhance them and care for them as they have cared for us through generations. What we do to one, we do to ourselves. Everything is connected. I do support self reliance and conservation through the hereditary teachings.

Cowichan – Malahat Langford Blair Herbert, Liberal As readers know, the DFO has responsibility for safeguarding our waters and managing Canada’s fisheries and oceans. This role is critical to ensure health and sustainable aquatic ecosystems through habitat protection, based on sound science. Part of the DFO’s responsibility is to consult First Nations, stakeholders and Canadians on matters of interest and concern. Consulting is important to good governance, sound policy development and decision-making. While disappointed negotiations stalled, I believe the DFO’s overarching responsibility is necessary to bring interested parties, and competing interests, into a single path forward to protect this important natural resource for generations to come. Lia Versaevel, Green Yes, I support this decision. The DFO needs an overhaul, and to work in cooperation and consultation with nations, not imposing ivory tower colonial modelling on lived-life experiences. Green Party values include Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Participatory Democracy and Sustainability. Who knows best how local things work? Local hereditary chiefs!!! The DFO and various other agencies are not independent authorities, but highly pressured bureaucrats in alliances with industries with a profit margin in mind. There is more to sustainability than Gross Domestic Product. (We think of GDP as Gross Depletion of the Planet) The DFO has supported open net fish farms for decades, when indigenous knowledge supported by scientific evidence has proven how deleterious these licenses were.

North Island – Powell River Rachel Blaney, NDP Yes. If our west coast fisheries are managed correctly we can all continue to benefit from them for generations to come, but it has to be done together, with Aboriginal Rights and Title as a starting point for negotiations. The federal government continues to spend too much time and money fighting First Nations in court, and losing as they did this past spring. I know our fisheries critic and my neighbour MP Gord Johns raised this numerous times in the House and in committee. Jessica Wegg, Green Yes, I do support this. Over and over again, Canada has failed its First Nations, and I am no stranger to delay tactics and excuses by governments who do not want to do what is right because it’s inconvenient, too hard, or too expensive. These five Nuu-chahnulth nations tried to do it the way they were “supposed to,” won, and still got nowhere. Right is right. Rights are rights. Let’s act like it. Common sense, mutual respect, cooperation, and true stewardship over ocean resources – for the good of the ecosystem and people, not profit or private interest – must prevail.

Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 9, 2021 Justice: Over the last year multiple Nuu-chah-nuth people have been shot during confrontations with the police – in some cases fatally. What systemic changes are needed to decrease the number of First Nations people who come into conflict with the justice system? Conservative Combined Answer Mary Lee, Courtney - Alberni Shelley Downey, North Island - Powell River Alana Delonge, Cowichan - Malahat We champion working together to foster a more supportive justice system. We will work to reduce the number of Indigenous people caught in the criminal justice system and to examine how to improve the representation of Indigenous people working in the system. Canada is making strides toward overcoming two challenges, overrepresentation and discrimination but there is much more work to be done. We must keep these efforts moving forward working collaboratively if we are to achieve the shared goal of securing a healthier more equitable future for all.

Courtenay – Alberni

Photo by Melissa Renwick

RCMP members kneel with an elder during a 2020 protest in Ucluelet after the shooting death of Chantel Moore.

North Island – Powell River Rachel Blaney, NDP New Democrats believe government must work to end systemic discrimination against Indigenous peoples in the justice system. I’ve had hard conversation with police in our communities about what systemic racism means, and how we need to work to eliminate it. This is part of the hard work of reconciliation. The NDP would work with Indigenous communities to enhance community safety and develop a First Nations justice and policing strategy and implement the TRC recommendations relating to the justice system.

Jessica Wegg, Green First, I am truly sorry for your loss and pain. I have filed excessive force and wrongful death lawsuits against police officers and departments, and each one is uniquely tragic. To tackle the problem, we need: • more accurate data – from ticket/arrest to sentencing, how do BIPOC numbers compare with non-BIPOC numbers? • to review current policies – are we sending armed police to situations involving mental health or substance use, where an ambulance or crisis intervention specialist would be better? • to better support First Nations from the get-go – clean water, safe housing, education, job opportunities, healthcare, and respect for traditional values.

Lia Versaevel, Green The system is fatally flawed. Police and Judges are not trained in mental health or trauma-informed practice. This must change immediately. Calling the police to conduct wellness checks is not the best course of action. This is not what they are trained to do, yet they must protect themselves and follow orders. Entering a scenario where a person is agitated and elevated requires a calm, self-centred, non-confrontational approach. Family and neighbors are better first responders when properly trained. Members of indigenous communities must be trained in policing and localized care for those who are in need of mental, social, and spiritual supports. I have worked in this system for over 40 years, and know first-hand that the existing protocols result in death and more trauma for people. Circle (Restorative) Justice must become the norm, the first choice, throughout the country. (see https://blogs.ubc.ca/ mrpletsch/2018/09/11/touching-spirit-bear-circle-justice)

Gord Johns, NDP Reforms of the justice system are required to end the epidemic of violence against Indigenous people. Systemic racism must be addressed within all jurisdictions through Indigenous participation in recruitment, appointments and training at all levels. Zero-tolerance of racist views and behaviours must be enforced. Independent, transparent investigations of aggression against Indigenous people must include Indigenous participation. Racial profiling must stop. Indigenous people must be safe from institutional harassment or aggression whether when making a bank deposit or calling for mental health support. I have spoken on this issue multiple times in Parliament and will not give up the fight.

Susanne Lawson, Green My grandaughters cousin was shot and killed in front of his parents in the community of Opitsaht and the niece of a good friend was shot seven times and had her leg broken by a policeman called for a wellness check. A friends son died in the local jail after being left there on a drunk charge. In many cases, investigations never get public or are dropped. All this and more is heartbreaking to me and this violence must end. The trauma being caused by brutal police violence is harming so many people and it is becoming entrenched in communities. This needs attention and deep healing and government must put this as a priority, learning from the people and changing attitudes and approaches.

Cowichan – Malahat - Langford Alistair MacGregor, NDP Police accountability is an important way to make our communities safer. It’s past time to put in place robust and independent civilian oversight of the RCMP. We’ll launch a review of the RCMP’s budget and the RCMP Act in order to ensure accountability to the public. We are committed to putting an end to police violence, and we will implement a federal use-of-force standard. We will overhaul federal police training to ensure that every officer receives robust and ongoing de-escalation, implicit-bias and crosscultural training throughout their career. New Democrats will also increase investments in non-police interventions, such as mental health and addiction supports.

Blair Herbert, Liberal What needs to happen is all Canadians must stand up for who we are as Canadians, and for the inclusive country we want. The Liberals are leading the charge. Progress includes developing Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy for 20192022, creating an anti-racism secretariat and appointing the first-ever Minister focused on diversity and inclusion. The Throne Speech described further commitments, building upon our successes: • Introducing legislation and making investments that take action to address the systemic inequities in all phases of the criminal justice system; • Enhancing civilian oversight for our law enforcement agencies; • Modernizing training for police and law enforcement.

Phrase of the week: h=iqwa>%a+iš wiqkitši> +uupiic^h= +awiic^i+ %ayiic^h= Pronounced ‘Hee qualth alt ish we kit silth clue pitch tla wee clit ahh we each’, it means ‘Summer is almost over now, and here comes our autumn.’ Supplied by ciisma.

Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin

September 9, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13

Leaders support Canadian flags staying at half-mast Measure put in place at federal buildings in late May when remains were discovered at Kamloops school site By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter After the remains of 215 children were found buried in unmarked graves at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in May, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau ordered that Canadian flags on federal buildings be flown at half-mast. Now, it’s time for them to be raised, said Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole. “I do think we should be proud to put our flag back up,” he said while speaking to reporters in Ottawa on August 26. “It’s not a time to tear down Canada – it’s a time to recommit to build it to be the country we know it can be.” While O’Toole said Indigenous reconciliation is important and that Canadians owe it to “First Nations to provide a path to healing,” his remarks sparked controversy among west coast leaders who say that raising the flags while people are still grieving would be a sign of disrespect. “I think it would be extremely disrespectful for Canada to raise their flags at full-mast during a time of uncovering such traumatic truths,” said Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council Vice-President Mariah Charleson. “We can’t belittle the Indian residential school [system]. We have to acknowledge this truth and the findings of this truth.” Since the discovery in Kamloops, the Lower Kootenay Band announced that a search revealed another 182 unmarked graves at the site of the former St. Eugene’s Mission Residential School, near Cranbrook. The Cowessess First Nation said it found 751 unmarked graves near the former Marieval Indian Residential School, in Saskatchewan, and the Penelakut Tribe reported finding more than 160 unmarked graves at the site of the Kuper Island Indian Residential School off Vancouver Island. “We’re still in a grieving period,” said Charleson. “We’re still looking for an-

swers. And our families and communities still wait for that important work to be done.” The Canadian flags in front of Tofino’s municipal office and fire hall have remained at half-mast since Trudeau’s order. Tofino’s Acting Mayor Britt Chalmers said that due to Tofino’s proximity and close relationships with Nuu-chah-nulth nations, the municipality doesn’t feel ready to raise their flags. “We’ll be looking to local First Nations leadership for guidance on when it would be appropriate [to raise the flags],” she said. In Ucluelet, the Canadian flag in front of the Pacific Rim Visitor Centre, the District of Ucluelet office and the fire hall were lowered for 215 hours following Trudeau’s order. While they have since been raised to full-mast, after consultation with the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government, Ucluelet Mayor Mayco Noel said he supports keeping the flags at half-mast on federal buildings. “They represent that there’s still a lot of work to do,” he said. On June 19, three days before National Indigenous Peoples Day, Ucluelet First Nation’s flag was raised at the visitor centre and now flies next to the flag of British Columbia and Canada. Noel said it’s “right where it belongs” and plans to invite other Nuu-chah-nulth nations to raise their flags alongside Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ’s. It signals to visitors that the gateway to the west coast is through Nuu-chah-nulth territory, he said. Courtenay-Alberni NDP candidate Gord Johns said that lowering the flags at halfmast is a small but important symbol that shows “we’re not looking away.” “Some Canadians need to get rid of that ‘get over it’ attitude,” he said. “Canada needs to show a signal to the world that we’re in mourning over children that

Photo by Eric Plummer

The Hupacasath First Nation flag flies at half mast at Port Alberni’s Victoria Quay. never made it home.” ritories. By keeping the flags lowered, Johns said “We cannot move forward unless we it ensures conversations around truth and know the truth,” she said. “I’m hoping reconciliation don’t just “slip away.” that the conversation continues – that Although consensus about when to our educators and people at all levels of raise the National Flag of Canada varies, society continue to look at this as an opCharleson said that Indigenous leaders portunity to learn the true history of this should have a say on whether flags are country that we call ‘Canada.’” flown at half-mast in their traditional ter-

New Ditidaht playground appeals to kids of all ages By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Nitinaht Lake, BC – Both children and adults are enjoying a new playground which has opened at the Ditidaht Community School. “It’s something the students have wanted for a long time,” said Emily MacLennan, the principal of the school located on Nitinaht Lake. “For years I’ve been trying to get funding for this project.” Students started fundraising for a new playground a half dozen years ago, when MacLennan arrived at the school to serve as a teacher for those in Kindergarten through Grade 2. Fundraising efforts included various bottle drives and also selling coffee at the school to various community members. The amount the students raised over the years, however, would only be a small percentage of what was actually required to construct a new playground. Hopes that the playground would one day become reality were boosted once MacLennan, who is now in her third year as the principal at the Ditidaht school, managed to get the approval of Ditidaht’s chief and council to provide enough funding from the First Nation to cover about half of the costs. Then, last fall, MacLellan wrote to an

organization, which prefers to remain anonymous, asking whether it would provide the remainder of the funds to construct the playground. “I didn’t expect to hear back,” said MacLellan, who did not want to disclose the cost of the new playground. She added she received confirmation this past January that sufficient funding had been secured to proceed with the playground. Habitat Systems Inc., which supplies playground equipment throughout western Canada and has an office in Victoria, was then hired as the designer. But MacLellan said it was students from her school that had quite a bit of say in what the playground looked like. “Every student had the opportunity to contribute to the planning process,” she said. “The majority of them did.” MacLellan said students were asked what structures they wanted to see in the playground and many drew pictures of what they wanted those to look like. Students also chose the colours – teal, blue and green – of the various structures. “Most of the students wanted to see some swings and slides,” MacLellan said. “And multiple students requested a zipline.” Though it’s believed very few school playgrounds actually have a zipline, Ma-

cLennan did not dismiss that idea. “I thought anything is possible,” she said. The school did have an old playground which had been built in 2004. “It was outdated,” MacLellan said, explaining why a new one was needed. As it turns out, it’s not just students who have been taking turns on various features of the playground, which had an opening ceremony on Aug. 30. Besides the zipline, which is about 50 metres long, the playground includes various climbing structures, swings and a unique contraption called a Crab Trap, which features ropes and netting that individuals can climb on and crawl through. “Apparently there is only a handful of them in the country,” MacLellan said of the feature. Ditidaht Community School currently has 55 students, from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Though the academic year was scheduled to begin on Sept. 7, MacLellan said the school had become a popular spot in the community since the playground’s opening. The new playground was built over five weeks throughout July and August. “It’s nice to see students together playing outside,” MacLellan said. “It’s nice to

have something in the community where kids can have somewhere to play and hang out and socialize.” Sarah Tom, whose son Brayden is a Grade 5 student at the school, is one of the adults who has been enjoying various playground features herself. Tom was one of the many parents from the community who attended various informational sessions on the playground. “It’s huge and it’s awesome,” Tom said of the playground. “It’s a huge wow factor in my eyes.” Tom is glad to see the new playground has become a popular spot in the community. “Normally we would only see about two to five kids in the playground,” she said, adding most times of the day there are now considerably more taking advantage of the new structures. Tom added she’s become a huge fan of the zipline. “I had children laughing at me,” Tom said of when she first tried the zipline. “But I’ve seen a handful of other adults on there as well. You’ve got to take turns with the kids.” Tom is also rather fond of the Crab Trap. “It’s really unique,” she said. “And it’s pretty sweet.”

Page 14— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 9, 2021

City discusses waterfront development with Tseshaht First Nation hopes to be more than stakeholders in the transformation of Port Alberni’s Somass Sawmill site By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC - The City of Port Alberni has recently purchased five parcels of land from Western Forest Products, including the Somass Sawmill lands, and they plan to continue consultation with local First Nations on redevelopment plans going forward. The city purchased the five parcels for $5.3 million, which include the property on which Somass Division Sawmill is situated. The properties are currently used as a parking lot for Somass Division Sawmill, with two lots that include Harbour Road and the rail right of way, extending from Argyle Street to the northern gate of Alberni Pacific Division Sawmill and a linear portion of land to be subdivided from a larger parcel on which HemVal Kilns is situated. The portion of land will extend from Dunbar Street and include the bed and upland on both banks of Dry Creek. The city intends to pay for the properties using funds from the city’s reserves, including the Community Forest Dividend Reserve. “Acquiring the Somass Lands and adjacent parking lot has been a primary focus of city council since shortly after being elected in 2018,” said Mayor Sharie Minions in a press release. “Remediating and repurposing these lands in a way that recognizes the shifting nature of our vibrant community represents a fundamental shift for the City of Port Alberni. City council is thrilled to be moving forward on the purchase of these properties which is key in actioning the city’s Corproate Strategic Plan.” The city’s early redevelopment plans for the Somass Sawmill lands include a mix of residential, commercial and light industrial use, along with the proposed Quay to Quay Pathway. City of Port Alberni CAO Tim Pley said from the time that the city began

Photo by Karly Blats

The City of Port Alberni has purchased five parcels of land including the Somass Sawmill lands, which is adjacent to the former Tseshaht Tlukwatkuis Village site. engaging with the former property owner to purchase the Somass mill site, city council was mindful that the land was immediately adjacent to the former Tseshaht Tlukwatkuis village site. “From the beginning it has been city council’s intention to be respectful of Tseshaht in the redevelopment of the property,” Pley said. “This is in alignment with the Clock Tower project in the same general area in which the city’s refurbishing project will include installation of Tseshaht art and story boards.” Pley said the city conducts land sales out of the public eye, and on this purchase the city also had obligations to the other party to not divulge information about the negotiation. Pley added that as soon as the city was able, Hupacasath and Tseshaht were made aware of the pending transfer of ownership, and Hupacasath was made aware that because of the proximity to Tlukwatkuis, the city would explore the potential for Tseshaht to be involved in redevelopment of the land.

“The city endeavours to equally respect the rights and title claims of Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations while seeking to partner with each of those nations where it is mutually beneficial to do so,” Pley said. “The city makes every effort to avoid taking actions that might affect the rights and title claim of either nation. The city will continue to discuss with Tseshaht First Nation redevelopment of the Somass lands. The nature of those discussions is confidential.” Pley added that as for recognizing Indigenous heritage during redevelopment of the lands, it has not been determined yet. “It seems reasonable to look at another current city project as an example of Indigenous engagement,” Pley said. “Planning for the Connect the Quays project includes a Planning Working Group with two representatives from each of Hupacasath, Tseshaht and the city. The Planning Working Group will provide input on pathway design, Indigenous place names and former use, and cultural

significance.” Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts said it’s important for the First Nation to be involved in any development around the Harbour Quay because of the historic village site, Tlukwatkuis. “We’ve been pretty vocal in the past saying that’s an important village site for Tseshaht where we practiced the wolf ritual or really sacred ceremonies,” Watts said. “When [the city] sent their notice of expropriation we sent them a direct letter saying nothing about this area should be done without us.” Watts said before the city made the purchase announcement they shared some of their visions for the area with Tseshaht that he believes align with the First Nation’s values and their vision for the area. “I think from what I’ve heard from our citizens and others, what [the city] proposed seems good. It’s a mix of commercial, residential and some light industrial, I think that seems fitting,” Watts said. “The waterfront access I know is really important to a lot of our members… there’s a shortage of docking and wharf space here in the valley so we’re hoping that proceeds, and there’s obviously the creek there that’s really important as well.” Watts said he’s told the city that he doesn’t just want Tseshaht to be a stakeholder in the project, but to actually be financial contributors. “We’ll continue to try and do as much as we can with the city, they obviously have their own consultation process with residents and all of that so it’s kind of like a multi-prong approach. They’ll have their conversations and we’ll have ours, but ultimately we’ll have to come together and really figure something out together,” Watts said. “I’m pretty hopeful, I think there’s a lot of benefits to us being a part of a project, it’s not just a recognition of our title or rights, there’s funding opportunities that if we are a part of it the city will be able to tap into as well.”

2,000 home subdivision proposed for Port Alberni By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Port Alberni, BC – The San Group, a Canadian-based forest products company, and Pacific Mayfair Estates jointly announced that they are planning to develop a 73-acre property near the east end of Burde Street that would, if approved, create more than 2000 energy efficient housing units. San Group owner Kamal Sanghara pointed out that there is a shortage of affordable homes in Port Alberni. “People are leaving the community – we’re trying to bring families back,” he said. The Burde Street property encompasses a pair of beaver ponds, which will be preserved and protected with a buffer area. The property runs north, neighboring the West Coast General Hospital. The San Group has been investing in Port Alberni for a few years, buying mills, expanding operations, and creating jobs. “San Group is here to stay,” said Sanghara adding that they envision building a city within a city with the new development. Sanghara said the new development would be a green one with a price tag approaching $1.1 billion over five to eight years.

It would be a space supporting multiple generations, accommodating families and seniors’ facilities. Plans feature at least five hi-rise apartment buildings up to ten stories tall, town houses and single-family homes. It will feature green spaces, gardens and walking trails. Sanghara said the new development could expand Port Alberni’s housing inventory by 25 per cent. The proponents are seeking support for the project from local, provincial and federal governments. A rezoning application has been submitted to the city. Mike Ruttan, San Group director of Media Relations, said that the proposed development would run five to eight years and would create thousands of jobs in construction, trades and other areas. In addition, the wood supply for construction would come from local mills, creating more jobs there. Tseshaht Chief Councillor Ken Watts is optimistic. “I know the San Group will make sure that the waterways and territories are looked after because it’s sacred to our people, but more importantly from an economic standpoint we’re hoping that Tseshaht can be a part of this somehow.” Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions said this could be an exciting new investment in Port Alberni and she thanked San Group for continued investments they

Photo by Denise Titian

A development by Burde Street would expand the city’s inventory by 25 per cent with a combination of high-rise apartment complexes and single-family homes. 2016 census, make in the city. “It is good for our community – Every“I’m excited to see the vision that recognizes community values,” she said, notone’s talking about Port Alberni and that has a lot to do with what San Group is ing that existing trails will be preserved and expanded. doing here,” said McRae. If approved, construction could begin in Former Port Alberni mayor Ken McRae recalled the city’s heyday when the for2022. “It’s good for our new generations – the estry and fishing industries were boomkids coming up, it will give them a reason ing and more than 20,000 people lived to stay in Port Alberni,” added McRae. in the city. Port Alberni’s population was 17,678 when it was last counted in the

September 9, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15

Kyuquot finds solar solutions for aging infrastructure New community centre planned for construction in 2022 will have a roof covered in power-generating panels By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Houpsitas, BC – With a growing community relying on aging infrastructure, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ leaders are forced to look for alternate power sources to serve residents. Kyuquot’s electricity comes from a privately-owned company that purchases power from the BC Hydro grid and resells it to Kyuquot. There is a single cable feeding the electricity to the village and it is at capacity. “The old line is maxed out. It is a singlephase line and we need a three-phase line,” said Cynthia Blackstone, KCFN chief administrative officer. Residents of Kyuquot don’t get BC Hydro bills like most people in the province. Instead, the entire village of about 200 people is a single BC Hydro customer. KCFN charges each home a flat monthly rate that may be reduced if the homeowner has power-saving features like a woodstove. “The people pay $60 to $100 per month for electricity,” said Blackstone, while the nation pays $300,000 per year for electricity. The flat monthly rates do not cover the First Nation’s entire electricity bill. But even if they did, the current infrastructure does not support the electricity demand. Because upgrades to the current power supply won’t be happening anytime soon, Blackstone says her administration must look at alternatives. Presently, the community school is outfitted with solar panels. The panels collect energy from the sun and converts it to electricity. “On good days almost all of the electricity for the school comes from solar power,” said Blackstone. She noted that the panels generate power even on cloudy days or on a bright, full moon. The school building is owned by the school district, who covered the cost of solar panels at the school. KCFN is planning for more solar panels on their public buildings, starting with a new community centre they plan to build. Blackstone told Ha-Shilth-Sa that the existing community centre, located near the shoreline, is now being used as a food storage facility since the pandemic began. Built in the 1980s, the center started out as a workshop but wound up becoming the community hall. According to Blackstone, the old facility, which holds an estimated 60 to 70 people, will soon be demolished. In its

Photo by Eric Marks

The Kyuquot community school is outfitted with solar panels. The panels collect energy from the sun and converts it to electricity. place will be a small gymnasium that will also serve as a community centre. And the entire roof will be fitted with solar panels. “We’re pretty excited about that,” said Blackstone. She anticipates that when the centre is built, its solar panel system will create surplus energy that will be redistributed throughout the community, saving KCFN electricity costs. They are hoping to have more solar panels installed on the clinic and KCFN administration buildings to further ease the burden on the old power line. The cost of the new centre is being covered by a private donor to the tune of $3 million. The funds were initially donated through a foundation to be used for Kyuquot’s planned big house. RecPhoto by Eric Plummer ognizing the community’s need for a By mid August the dry Somass River could almost be walked across at low tide. gathering place, they agreed to have the funds redirected to the community center, according to Blackstone. While Blackstone doesn’t yet know what the electricity cost savings will be, she is certain that after the return on investment, there will be substantial savshorter days, we’re having average to By Eric Plummer ings. low temperatures and we’re having better Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor “The cost of electricity here is high,” recoveries overnight as well.” she said. The Coastal Fire Centre also expects Vancouver Island, BC - Wildfire condiConstruction on the new centre is extions are improving, leading the province to see changes to the Vancouver Island pected to start in 2022. portion of the fire danger rating map next to lift its campfire ban for the north half “We’re excited to get a new community week. This would entail less combustible of Vancouver Island on Friday. centre, bigger than what we have,” said fuel in the island’s forests. This notice came from the province’s Blackstone. “Definitely conditions are starting to Coastal Fire Centre today, despite the


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Drought remains, but fire ban lifted in north island

fact that all of Vancouver Island remains under Level 5 drought conditions, the most severe rating issued by B.C.’s Water Management Branch. Currently most of Vancouver Island also remains under the “extreme” fire danger rating. But these conditions are expected to soon change, which is why the campfire prohibition will be lifted at noon on Sept. 3. The bottom half of Vancouver Island will remain under a campfire ban, extending south of Nootka Sound, Strathcona Provincial Park and the Comox Valley. After months of very little rain and temperatures that reached 40 C on some days, cooler and drier conditions are coming, said Julia Caranci, a fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre. “We are expecting a significant amount of rain this weekend, starting on Saturday,” she said. “We are now in a fall-like weather pattern where we’re having

change,” said Caranci. “The weather is not going to go back to that heat dome, the hot and dry temperatures that we were seeing up until a few weeks ago.” While campfires will remain prohibited in the southern half of Vancouver Island, a ban is also still in place for Category 2 and 3 fires. These pertain to fireworks and burn piles larger than half a metre and two metres high, respectively. This order is set to remain in place until Oct. 15. This year’s fire season has proven to be more severe than most. Nearly 900,000 hectares burned across B.C., more than double the average area over the last decade. The Coastal Fire Centre, which includes Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and central coast, saw over 7,000 hectares burned since the spring, more than last year and 2019. All evacuation orders and alerts have since been removed for the Coast Fire Centre.

Page 16— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 9, 2021 Non-Insured Health Benefits - NIHB Coverage – Travelling Out Side Of Country

Health Corner Shingles and the Shingrix Vaccine Shingles is a painful blistering rash caused by a re-ac•va•on of the varicellazoster virus (the same virus that causes chicken pox). The pain of shingles can persist a•er the rash has healed – for weeks, months or even longer. Shingles can occur in anyone who has had chicken pox, however it is more common – and more likely to cause complica•ons and long-term effects – in older people. What are the symptoms?

Shingles symptoms happen in stages. At first you may have a headache or be sensi•ve to light. You may also feel like you have the flu. Later, you may feel itching, •ngling, or pain in a certain area. That’s where a band, strip, or small area of rash may occur a few days later. The rash turns into clusters of blisters. The blisters fill with fluid and then crust over. It takes two to four weeks for the blisters to heal, and they may leave scars. Some people only get a mild rash. And some do not get a rash at all. It’s possible that you could also feel dizzy or weak. Or you could have pain or a rash on your face, changes in your vision, changes in how well you can think, or a rash that spreads. A rash or blisters on your face, especially near an eye or on the tip of your nose, can be a warning of eye problems.

Shingrix Vaccine Coverage · · · ·

Coverage is for eligible Health Benefits clients who are 65 years old and older The 65-year-old and above age group was selected for the benefit coverage because the vaccine has a high impact on these seniors People in this age group are more likely to get shingles and have a higher rate of hospitalization from it. The vaccine may be administered by a pharmacist, Community Health Nurse (CHN) or physician. It requires two doses to be fully effective. Source: https://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-Health Benefits-Shingles-Fact-Sheet.pdf https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics

Shingrix Vaccine Access

General Principles 1.

Prior approval is required.

2. The client must: a. Be eligible for the NIHB Program; and b. Be currently enrolled or eligible to be enrolled in a provincial or territorial health insurance plan and continue to meet residency requirements for provincial/territorial health coverage. 3. For Transportation to Medical Services: For transportation to medical services outside of the country the client must be referred for provincially/territorially insured medical services by a provincial or territorial health care plan for treatment Shaganappi Plaza: wage change for Building Maintenance and Superintendent Windspeaker.com http://www.windspeaker.com/news/sweetgrass-news/building-maintenanceand-superintendent/ ammsa.com http://www.ammsa.com/content/careers/shaganappi-plaza-ltd-calgary outside of Canada. 4. For Supplemental Health Insurance Premiums: Full-time students enrolled in a post-secondary institution to study outside of Canada must provide a letter of confirmation that tuition, which is not an eligible benefit under the NIHB Program, has been paid. What is covered? For Supplemental Health Insurance Premiums: The cost of privately acquired health insurance premiums for approved students or migrant workers and their legal dependents will be reimbursed. For Transportation to Medical Services: Transportation benefits when eligible clients are medically referred and approved for treatment outside of Canada by a provincial or territorial health care plan. For further information on coverage outside of Country you are encouraged to call First Nations & Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), Vancouver BC toll free @ 1-800-317-7878

At this •me a doctor’s prescrip•on is required to access the Shingrix vaccine through your pharmacist.

What You Should Know- “Before” Leaving British Columbia

If you would like the vaccine administered by an NTC nurse, you will need to bring a cooler (like a lunch bag for instance) with an ice pack to the pharmacy in order to:

If you are leaving the province, you should be aware that your coverage may not pay all health care costs.

#1 Transport your vaccine to the NTC Community Health Nurse if you have booked a clinic visit the same day you pick-up your vaccine. OR #2 Transport the vaccine to your home and store it in your fridge un•l the day of your clinic visit. Be aware that if you do not bring a cooler, the pharmacist is unlikely to give you the vaccine. To book a clinic visit with one of our NTC Community Health Nurses please call our main office at 250.724.5757 and ask to speak with Marion or Victoria.

Kleko kleko I’d like to say Tlay coe to the Ahousaht fishermen for getting the fish for our Ahousaht people. Thank you Nate Charlie, for delivering the fish. We’re going to be busy all day today canning and freezing the fish. -From Corby George and Lorraine Williams.

2021 Port Alberni Friendship Center Annual General Meeting

September 28 2021 at 5pm The Port Alberni Friendship Center invites existing members to our Annual General Meeting to be held in our gym at 3555 4th Avenue at 5pm on September 28. This is a limited seat event for existing members and registration will be required to attend. To register to attend the in person event, please contact Roxy at 250-723-8281 on or before September 15, 2021. COVID protocols will be in place and wearing masks and proof of 1st vaccination will be required. More information to be provided upon Registration.

Health services provided outside Canada often cost more than the amount paid by the Ministry of Health Services. Sometimes the difference is substantial; for example, the amount we pay for emergency inpatient hospital care will not exceed $75 (Canadian) a day for United States of exceeds $1,000 (US) per day and can be as high as $10,000 a day for intensive care. In addition, some items/services that may be a benefit in BC are not covered outside the province; for example, prescription drugs and optometric services. Further, the Ministry does not subsidize fees charged for ambulance service obtained outside BC. We advise you to buy additional health insurance to supplement your basic coverage before you leave the province, regardless of whether you’ll be in another part of Canada or outside the country – even if your company or travel agency can advise you about extra coverage to pay for any difference in fees and to provide benefits not covered by the Ministry. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you must mention this when purchasing additional insurance as most policies will not cover treatment of that condition outside the province. In some cases you may purchase an insurance policy where the insurance company has a signed agreement with the Ministry. This permits the company to pay physician and hospital claims and receive reimbursement on your behalf thus eliminating the need for you to handle your own claims. NOTE: Ambulance – If you require ambulance service while in another province or outside Canada, you will need to obtain service from an ambulance company in that jurisdiction and will be charged the fee established by the-out-of-province service provider. Fees range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. When purchasing additional out-of-province health insurance you are advised to obtain insurance that will cover emergency transportation while you are away and, if necessary the cost of transportation back to BC. MSP Contact @ 1-250-386-7171 or fax 1-250-952-3427 – In case the number s have changed the web site is: www.healthservices.gov.bc.ca/msp

September 9, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 17

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Page 18— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 9, 2021

Tseshaht protect Broken Group with debris clean-up Styrofoam tops the list of problematic materials found to contaminate ocean’s environments, finds collectors By Melissa Renwick Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Broken Group Islands, BC - For five days, Rachelle Packwood removed mounds of Styrofoam, rope and tires that had collected along the remote shorelines of the Broken Group Islands in Barkley Sound. It was the first beach clean-up Packwood had participated in and she hasn’t stopped talking about it since. “I feel really good about what we did,” she said. “Knowing how many tons of debris we took off that Broken Group is astounding. I have a sense of pride.” The initiative was part of the West Coast Vancouver Island Coastal Improvement Project, which supports large-scale marine clean-ups and derelict vessel removals along British Columbia’s coastline. Supported by the provincial government through the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative Fund, the $2.5 million project is managed by the Coastal Restoration Society (CRS), in partnership with Surfrider Foundation Pacific Rim, Rugged Coast, Ocean Legacy, and the T’Sou-ke Nation. Ten First Nations, including Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, Tseshaht, and Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k:tles7et’h’, are also participating in the project. “These projects will remove tonnes of debris, create new jobs and provide much-needed support to local governments, Indigenous communities and other groups to address marine pollution,” stated George Heyman, minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Alys Hoyland is the Surfrider Pacific Rim youth coordinator and said that the nations’ involvement was “absolutely crucial to do this work well.” The nations bring knowledge of the historical and the cultural sensitivities of each site, she said. “It’s such an honour and privilege to learn from the beach keepers that we

Photo submitted by Rachel Packwood

Over five days in late August and September, a team scoured shorelines in the Broken Group Islands. removed from the coast between the were working with from Tseshaht,” said Brooks Peninsula and the Broken Group Hoyland. “And to use that knowledge to Islands this summer – and the project do the work in the right way.” Four other Tseshaht members participat- isn’t over yet, said Hoyland. “It’s the biggest clean-up that we’ve ed in the clean up, including Packwood’s ever seen on this coast,” she said. “Getson, Jayden. ting the plastic out of water and off the The 23-year-old said he hadn’t visited beaches gives immediate and short-term his traditional homelands since he was relief to those ecosystems. But mostly, eight years old and that it felt “amazing” it’s important for data collection. We need to finally return. to know what’s polluting our beaches so “I realized how beautiful it was and it made me want to go back again,” he said. that we’re able to do a better job of preventing that pollution in the first place.” By the end of the five days, Jayden said The data is used to influence policy and he was “exhausted,” but “fulfilled.” create better regulation over the use of Hannah Gentes is the CRS Indigenous initiatives coordinator and said it’s impor- certain materials in marine environments, such as Styrofoam, said Hoyland. tant for the nations to have sovereignty Styrofoam is a highly toxic substance over the work that’s being done in their widely used in the marine aquaculture traditional territories. “It’s really powerful to have the descen- industry. It breaks down into tiny pieces that are almost impossible to remove dants of the original stewards of these from the environment, described Hoylands come out and do some modern land. modes of stewardship,” she said. “It’s a A 2020 report from the province titled really beautiful opportunity for community members to get together and be on the land together.” Over 90 tonnes of debris have been

What We Heard on Marine Debris in B.C said many participants suggested Styrofoam makes up a “large proportion of marine debris.” “Industry is moving towards alternatives to unprotected polystyrene docks; however, legacy issues of exposed StyrofoamTM remain even as new ones are being installed,” read the report. “The aquaculture industry alone has over 400 floats made from exposed StyrofoamTM that would need to be replaced and recycled in the coming years.” Currently, the project is in the debris processing phase where various types of material are prepared for recycling and data collection, said Hoyland. Surfrider Pacific Rim has been doing remote beach clean-ups on the west coast of Vancouver Island for the past five years, said Hoyland. “The sad thing about beach cleaning is that it just treats the symptoms, it doesn’t stop the pollution,” she said. “Every year we go back, and every year there’s more stuff.” Packwood shared a similar sentiment and said, “it can’t just be a one-time thing.” “It has to be ongoing,” she said. “Once the north winds come through, it pushes all of the debris into the backside of the islands.” Freezers, fridges, and legacy debris from the Japanese tsunami were some of the items Packwood said she found during her time on the islands. “It was super eye opening,” she said. “It’s really affecting our ocean and all of its inhabitants.” As Packwood reflected on her time on the Broken Group Islands, she described it as “emotional.” “I’m super passionate about my own territorial lands,” she said.

September 9, 2021—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 19

Six-day shore cleanup completed on Eha•esaht waters Effort near Zeballos part of a 280-kilometre debris collection initiative for the west coast of Vancouver Island By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Ehatis, BC – The shoreline of a Nuuchah-nulth First Nation is considerably cleaner these days. That’s because a massive six-day debris cleanup was held on the shores of the Ehattesaht First Nation recently. The garbage-collecting venture was part of a larger Clean Coast Clean Waters Initiative fund made possible through the B.C. government. The entire project spanned about 280 kilometres of mostly remote coastline and is believed to be the province’s largest marine debris cleanup ever. A total of $2.5 million was pledged to the program. Funding was administered through The Coastal Restoration Society and the program was dubbed the West Coast Vancouver Island Coastal Improvement Project. This specific program is also part of a larger one in which the provincial government released $9.5 million in funding in 2021 to go towards shoreline debris cleanup and derelict vessel removal. The cleanup on the shores of Ehattesaht First Nation began on Aug. 31 and continued until Sept. 5. Shorebird Expeditions, a company based in Tahsis, was hired to lead the cleanup effort utilizing its 22-foot customized aluminum landing craft. Besides shoreline cleanup efforts, Shorebird Expeditions is also a boat charter service catering to hiking and kayaking in the Nootka Sound area. Sarah Steinbach (Killins), the owner of Shorebird Expeditions, said her company had been hired back in June to do a shore cleanup on Nuchatlaht Tribe territory. The Ehattesaht cleanup was the second of two phases for Steinbach’s company. “It’s an amazing amount of garbage we’re finding on the beaches,” Steinbach said of the Ehattesaht efforts.

Photo by Sarah Steinbach

A six-day shoreline cleanup was recently held on Ehattesaht territory. The First Nation’s members were among those hired to clean up their shoreline waters. thing,” he said. “But the small beaches The most surprising find? Steinbach said she believes the Styrohad quite a bit. The current goes into the “We found a tin boat that was complete- foam had been in the water for extended smaller beaches.” ly mangled,” Steinbach said, adding she periods as weather and time had torn it As for his most surprising find, Harry believed the boat would have originally apart into small pieces. said he discovered a liquor bottle, almost been around 14 feet long. “It was in two “The crew does all the work by hand,” a quarter full still, that contained 8 per pieces. And it looked like somebody took Steinbach said. “And you have these cent alcohol. The only English word on it and scrunched it into a ball.” massive Styrofoam logs in pieces. Quite Besides fishing equipment, aquaculoften the crew is on their hands and knees the bottle was Japan. All other wording was in Japanese. ture barrels and plenty of plastic bottles, filling up burlap sacks with it.” “I think it probably did float in from the cleanup crew also found substantial Steinbach added cleaners would fill Japan,” Harry said. amounts of Styrofoam, that had presumthe boat two to three times per day with Steinbach deemed the Ehattesaht ably been dislodged from docks. debris. “You don’t really see it from the beach,” cleanup a success. “It definitely is something that brings she said. “It is unbelievable how much the community together,” she said. debris there is.” Steinbach was also pleased to see some Steinbach said she believes some previous shore cleanups have been done in the youth from the First Nation were among those who were hired to take part in the area thanks to various volunteers. cleanup. “I don’t think it’s been done on this “One of the most important things is scale before,” she said. “A lot of this stuff getting kids involved,” she said. “This has been here for a while.” is a great opportunity for them. They’re Besides the fact the shorelines are cleaner now, there’s also another positive. going to be the stewards of this land. The majority of the debris will not end up They need to learn how important it is to recycle.” in a landfill. Steinbach said it will be transported via representatives from the Rugged Coast Research Society, a partner in the cleanup work, to Gold River. “Over a dozen people will be sorting it out,” she said. “And over 80 per cent of this debris will be recycled.” A total of 14 organizations and First Nations are taking part in the entire project. The goal was to create more than 300 job opportunities. A total of eight individuals helped out with the Ehattesaht cleanup. Six members from the First Nation were among those hired to help out. If you should be getting a Kyle Harry, an Ehattesaht member who copy of the Ha-Shilth-Sa is hired to do odd jobs for his First Nation, worked as part of the cleanup crew paper delivered to your for four days. home and you are not, “It’s a good thing to get out there and please contact clean (the shoreline),” he said. “That’s our front lawn.” Holly Stocking at Like Steinbach, Harry was surprised to see just how much debris was on the 250-724-5757 or shoreline. holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org “The bigger beaches had barely any-

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Page 20— Ha-Shilth-Sa—September 9, 2021

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