Spring 2013 People’s Assembly

Saturday June 22nd we held Spring People’s Assembly 2013 at Echo Centre in Port Alberni.  We were unable to conduct business because we did not achieve quorum. As per the Government Act Section 77 (c) at least 20% of voting citizens must be present to hold a People’s Assembly. 97 citizens is the current requirement to reach quorum and 55 is the number of members who were present for all or part of the meeting. With only 33 citizens present at the scheduled start time Acting Speaker Johnson Ginger cancelled the meeting due to lack of quorum and we held an informal meeting of the membership and Executive Council.

Executive Assistant Deborah Smith coordinated with Rock, Paper, Scissors and the Echo Centre Pool to provide craft activities and swimming for the children of Huu-ay-aht citizens attending the meeting. Many happy children were smiling, painting and drawing in the next room while we conducted our business well into the afternoon.

Prior to People’s Assembly we put out a call for citizens to share with us their stories of success.  We called up our people to be recognized:

Coral Johnson completed her Human Service Worker Diploma at North Island College this year while working full time as HFN’s Health Manager.

 Anne Robinson also completed her HSW Diploma as well as a 2 month practicum with HFN while helping to deliver our Community Questionnaire.
Dion Joe completed his Construction Labourer Certificate at North island College.

Cassandra Williams completed her Health Care Aid Course.

Stephanie Clappis completed level 1 of her Power Sports + Marine Technician course.

George Johnson received an Apprenticeship and workplace Math 10 award at Alberni District Secondary School.

Alyssa Johnson made the Honour Roll every term at ADSS.

Karen Williams chose sobriety 2 years ago. She is planning a new marriage and working on her educational goals.

The people were introduced to the new Executive Director for HFN, James Edwards. James worked for as a Program Director for the Department of National Defence before deciding to come home to Vancouver Island. August 20th, 2012 he joined us as Director of Finance. James is an Edwards from Nanoose (Snaw’Naw’As). After the Executive Director position was posted six candidates including two Huu-ay-aht citizens were interviewed. We welcome James as our new Executive Director and thank Connie Waddell for her 19 years of service.

Cliff Atleo had come to join us as an observer. Cliff is a representative for Vancouver Island on the First Nations Health Council. He shared with us the success of First Nations in BC taking control of Health Services from Health Canada. David Atleo and many BC Chiefs advocated and negotiated many years for First Nations to have more control over how our health care dollars are administrated. He highlighted the Health Council’s website: http://www.FNHC.ca and asked us to watch for more news from Gathering Wisdom VI this fall.

Citizens spoke to voice their concerns about how specific issues had been managed since treaty implementation. It might interest citizens to know that Executive Council sees this as a serious issue to overcome and have chosen to have a team building workshop for all staff and government to begin the process of creating a better system for the Huu-ay-aht First Nations.

Afterwards we did a draw for gift baskets for those present and another draw for all citizens who had filled out the Citizen Questionnaire we began distributing on May 20th.

The winners of the draw were:

Grand Prize – 4th Generation 16GB iPod Touch: Carla Williams

Cedar Headband: Crystal Clappis

10 $25 Grocery Gift Cards:

Bruce Nookemus

Arlene Nookemus

Holly Johnson

Kimberley MacDonald

Janine Thompson

Daniel Cook

Mercedes Williams

Clara Clappis

Doug Johnson

Maxine Nookemus


Thank you to all who attended. We welcome your ideas on how to bring more citizens together for our next People’s Assembly this winter.