Attend the B.C. Young Aboriginal Fishers Conference!

The Native Fishing Association (NFA) is pleased to invite you to attend the first annual BC Young Aboriginal Fishers to be held on January 26-28, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel, in Richmond, BC.

This conference is for active fishermen under 40/45 years old that are trying to build fishing careers and/or fishers that have experience on a vessel and are looking at becoming more involved in the industry. So, share this with your family and friends.

Conference Focus

The conference will bring together fishermen from around the province with the goal of creating a space to network with peers and share information about ways to build successful and diversified fishing operations to navigate today’s changing industry. The NFA would also like to receive input and guidance from you on how government programs are working and where we, as a community-based organization, can best put our resources to support you.


The Agenda is being developed based on feedback that the Native Fishing Association (NFA) received from interviews with some young fishermen. The conference will focus on the opinions and ideas of early-career fishermen like yourself through panel and peer group discussions. The participants will:

  • Meet and discuss with fellow peers ways in which to diversify fishing skills and experiences
  • Discuss interests, reflections, and/or concerns regarding the industry.
  • Work together to build partnerships and/or economies of scale.

Registration and travel reimbursement 

Please contact the NFA if you are interested in attending at 604-913-2997 or

They invite you to consider first any agencies that might be able to support your travel costs for this professional development opportunity. Huu-ay-aht has some funding available through the Education department. If there are none, the Native Fishing Association have travel reimbursement applications available now. Please feel free to contact Natasha at 604-913-2997 or for more information.

Head Office: Suite 110-100 Park Royal South, West Vancouver, BC V7T 1A2
Tel: 604-913-2997 Fax: 604-913-2995

Prince Rupert Branch: Tel: 250-624-3888 Fax: 1-888-652-5077

Huu-ay-aht First Nations efforts
Larry Johnson, President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Development Corporation (NSDC),  and  Annie Merritt, our Employment and Training Policy Analyst, are working with a group of other local organizations to develop and promote an Aboriginal Apprenticeship in Commercial Fishing program this year. There will be a full article on the upcoming program in our next issue of Uyaqḥmis.




Watch the video “Renewing Our Historical Greatness For Our Children”

Ha-kuum Irene Hominiki Peters has shared with the Nation the video “Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Renewing Our Historical Greatness For Our Children”, produced by Brenco Media Inc.  in 2007,  as a way of reflecting upon the challenges that 2016 will bring.

Angela Wesley, member of the Operating Board of Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses, circulated it among the members of the Executive Council and stated “Our vision has remained strong and consistent through the generations and it’s a thrill to see our Huu-ay-aht presence and economy in our territories coming to life.  As we’ve been saying, it’s going to take hard work and togetherness to make this happen as it won’t happen overnight.  We are on solid ground though and Team Huu-ay-aht is well equipped to make this happen … great days ahead in 2016.”

Watch more videos here!

Ancient Spirit Modern Mind: Team Huu-ay-aht!

By Wish-Key

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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!”

One week for the People’s Assembly 2015

Did you know that last year’s event broke the previous turnout record? In 2013, approximately 138 eligible voters attended the event in two locations. Charlie Clappis, General Manager for Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses, had initially predicted 170 eligible voters for 2014. In the end, more than 300 citizens of all ages participated in the two-day gathering.

On Saturday morning, November 21, you are invited to have breakfast and, as the Nations’ ancestors used to teach, also internalize the messages offered by a keynote speaker (TBD).

Read more about the event here.

Participate in the Huu-ay-aht Tsunami Debris Cleanup!

Tsunami debris is a danger to wildlife. As it was originally submerged in the marine environment (e.g. docks and  ships), it can contain coastal aquatic invasive species. There is also terrestrial origin debris such as electrical goods, clothes and door frames. None of us would like to be exposed to these! Give us a hand, then!

Amelia Vos, Environmental Technician, is happy to announce that Huu-ay-aht will be participating in the Tsunami Debris Cleanup Event of  Edward King and Diana Island. Staff, Anacla residents and Huu-ay-aht citizens are invited to volunteer with the Marine Station students. This is an excellent time to showcase the values of our Nation by working together to keep our coastal ecosystems clean and healthy.

Join us on November 12th and 13th, from 10 am to 2 pm, on the islands mentioned above, which are part of Huu-ay-aht’s Traditional Territory. Every participant will get a complimentary t-shirt, lunch and beverages. Contact Amelia now via email ( or call her at 1-888-644-4555 or 250-728-3414 to register.

Click on the image to download some historical facts on tsunamis in this country:


Source: Catalyst for Science

James Spencer, Registered Professional Biologist who currently manages JAS Projects as an Environmental and Economic Development Consultant, and Amelia received a contract through the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) to coordinate tsunami debris cleanups in all the 14 Nuu-chah-nulth Nations. So far,  they have organized two successful cleanups with Toquaht and Uchucklesaht First Nations (UFN).  They will continue to coordinate with Tseshaht, UFN, Hesquiat, Ahousaht, and Ditidaht.  To guarantee the continuity of this project, local First Nations must support the initiative.

One of the main objectives is to raise awareness on how to respond to marine and tsunami debris in and on coastal territory.  Huu-ay-aht First Nations looks forward to working with its neighbours to get stronger and more in touch with nature as our ancestors taught us.

Did you know?

Enjoy this virtual exhibit about The Great Tsunami of 1964! Click on the image to see the gallery and read the stories:


Tsunami Smart: Get the 101

Other resources

Emergency Info BC

Remembering the 1964 Port Alberni tsunami

This Week in History: Huge earthquake set off a tsunami that devastated Port Alberni

Natural Disasters CBC Digital archives