We are Huu-ay-aht, and we are Modern Treaty. Most importantly, we are in a place of redefining ourselves as People. I think that our present day motto of Ancient Spirit, Modern Mind couldn’t be more accurate to where we are as Peoples. In our Nations business moving forward, I believe it would be to our benefit to reflect upon both our Ancient Spirit and our Modern Mind, as well. Some modern history was made on the weekend of November the 20th to the 22nd, 2015 at our Annual People̓s Assembly.
Three Principles: In Huu-ay-aht we have an oath of citizenship included within that, are the three principle values of the Huu-ay-aht. Those principles are as follows: ʔiisaak (Respect with caring); Hišuk ma čawaak (Everything is one and connected) and ʔuʔaałuk (Taking care of). They have guided our people since Yakʷiimit (the beginning of time), they will continue to be our guide as we move forward even in the modern day. For these principles were designed for the Huu-ay-aht of all time – a reminder that decisions we make are inclusive of our ancient teachings and with the future generations of Huu-ay-aht in mind.
Witwaak: Our braves that secured the People’s Assembly, customarily designated for our potlatches or sacred ceremonies. Tayii ƛiišin Derek Peters suggested in a meeting that it is a possible to have our Ancient Spirit present during the People’s Assembly, to back up and support our Speaker of the House šišiišwalap Angela Wesley to help maintain order during the Assembly.
Yaałuu?a Jeff Cook was assigned with the task of recruitment of Huu-ay-aht braves to serve as our Witwaak, and what a fine job he did. The entire weekend Edward Johnson Jr., Jack Cook, Charlie Clappis, Harry Brossault, Terry Nookemis and Doug Johnson secured the building and maintained order in the Assembly.
Talking Stick: A tool of our ancient spirit, take note that one always uses the Talking Stick in the receptive hand or the left hand. That reminds the speaker to speak from a place based out of both the ancestral teachings and of the heart as well. ƛiišin had his talking stick present for the entire People’s Assembly. When things are said while holding on to the Talking Stick, it represents that the words are coming directly from the Tayii House. In essence Making of new Traditional law, and, most particularly, when proclaiming change within. This was done during the People’s Assembly November 22, 2015.
Proclamation: On the before-mentioned date, Tayii ƛiišin proclaimed that when we conduct the business of Huu-ay-aht, we do so as a team. We are Team Huu-ay-aht that includes Huu-ay-aht’s Citizens, Employees, Contractors and Committee representatives, all who are involved in the business of Huu-ay-aht. We are Team Huu-ay-aht. Our job is to remember Hišuk ma čawaak – we too are one and connected. So, if you are on Team Huu-ay-aht and in our business, we include the customs of our Ancient Spirit – our Songs, our dances, our language, and you have a desire to participate please, by all means do so. We are in a place of redefining the Huu-ay-aht, and we each have our own role in that definition.
Redefining Huu-ay-aht: As stated in the opening we are Huu-ay-aht, and we are Modern Treaty. We are redefining who we are as People. The clock has been reset, so to speak, and this time like no other will be looked upon as a new beginning for our People. How do we wish for that to look? I, for one, do not want to forget my Ancient Spirit. I don’t want to disregard my Modern Mind. I want to reflect upon them both to the best of my ability. Now, I wish to remember the words of Tayii ƛiišin who said of our ƛiiƛiiḥa Huu-ay-aht Song, a song, I might add, that belongs to us all, “Our canoe, and Our People best move in Unity!”