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.




Kiixʔin yaxšiƛin – Brushing ceremony

By Wish-key

First off, I would like to, and on behalf of Tayii ƛiišin, thank all who participated in the day at Kiixʔin. This was for certain a Team Huu-ay-aht effort.

The day started out beautifully and nature, it seemed, was on our side for this important ceremonial brushing out at Kiixʔin. The day was clear, the air was crisp, and Team Huuayaht was preparing to start the hike to Kiix?in – our First Village and birth place of the Huu-ay-aht Peoples. Participants included Christine, Stella, Mila, Cory, Steven, John, Ambar, Chelsea, Rowan and myself, Wish-Key.

As we walked out toward the first village, I remained quiet, listening and preparing my spirit for the journey we were about to embark on. I learned plenty from the team as they have a vast amount of experience out in the field. The crew was discussing and identifying Culturally Modified Trees along the muddy hike out to Kiixʔin. The discussions, it seemed, set the tone for all along the way, and especially when discussing the age of some of the CMTs. It was quickly made very clear that we were indeed going to an Ancient Village. That added to the significance of the spiritual work we were about to embark upon.

Kiixʔin yaxšiƛin: We all know that Kiixʔin is our first village and yaxšiƛin means “we brushed.” The ceremony too is a reflection of our Ancient Spirit and in order to allow for transformation and growth. We had to prepare this space spiritually for transformation. This was done by the Brushing ceremony, and the tools we used were an Ancient Spirit Chant, a rattle, a thunder drum, boughs of cedar and, of course, the brushers themselves.

We literally brushed all around each of the eight identified long house dwellings and, in particular, the posts that are remaining. We had two male and two female brushers, to represent the Ancestors or Grandparents and equality amongst genders. They were armed with boughs of cedar, the most sacred of all ever greens and that represents life and the air that we breathe. This ceremony will prepare the space spiritually, and that will allow for transformation to manifest physically. The work that is intended for the site will start off cosmetically first, but it will continue to transform through time in order to live up to its designation of a National Historic Site of Canada.

This was definitely a daunting task, and much bigger than even I had expected. We dealt with this by taking shifts. As we moved from house to house, we passed on and shared our duties. With all of Team Huu-ay-aht taking turns in brushing of spaces, singing Ancient Spirit chants and even doing the drum roll on the thunder drum. Whatever the task we were assigned we also shared. With one exception Naa`siis mis ʔaksup or Stella Peters from the tayii family. She did not give up her boughs. She remained consistent and was a trooper brushing each and every site that needed brushing.

At the end of the ceremony, we reflected on the beach, the importance of Kiixʔin the birth place of the Huu-ay-aht, on the work we done on that day and the work that will happen in the future. That is a key point to why we have our three principles of Huu-ay-aht. They are: ʔiisaak (Respect with caring), Hišuk ma c̕awak (Everything is one and connected) and ʔuʔaałuk (taking care of. They are a reminder to us to think of time in a continuum remember past Huu-ay-aht, present day Huu-ay-aht and future Huu-ay-aht. For, all that we decide for the people of Huu-ay-aht, must be based on the principles and values of our people.

This work was very special as this is not only our First Village, and birthplace of the Huu-ay-aht, it is currently an undeveloped National Historic Site of Canada. One day this place will draw people from all over the world, so that they too can come and see the oldest remains of a long house on Vancouver Island. Team Huu-ay-aht got together and prepared this space spiritually for transformation for the benefit of Huu-ay-aht of all time. Pay attention to Kiixʔin the First Village for it is on a state of growth, and it will transform into the natural wonder that it is.

Have you reported your harvest of wildlife?

Please remember to report your harvest of wildlife on a Maa-nulth Wildlife & Migratory Bird Harvest Reporting Form (below).

Your harvest information will be entered into the Maa-nulth Electronic Reporting Program (MERP). This information assists with wildlife population estimates for our Maa-nulth Wildlife Harvest Area and helps to track what our wildlife needs are as a Nation.

Please send forms to either Government Office or fax to 250 728-1222. If you have any questions, please contact Christine Gruman, Manager of Natural Resources and Trade ( or Stephen Smith, Wildlife and Non-timber Forest Products Coordinator (, both at the Anacla Government Office.

Download the form here: Harvest of wildlife report

Submit your motions for the People’s Assembly 2015!

What would you like to see Huu-ay-aht accomplish within the next four years?

You can answer this question or send your proposals as motions. They can be made on any subject. If you require assistance in the wording of them, the Law Clerk, Kim Chretien, and if necessary legal counsel, is available to help at no cost. If you would like assistance, please contact us as soon as possible and, in any event, by November 2nd to allow us time to draft it before the deadline.

Motions submitted on November 3rd, 2015 will be added to the agenda for the People’s Assembly and included in the public notice. We strongly encourage citizens wishing to bring a motion to do so timely. Motions made after that date can be walked in, but there is no guarantee that they will be considered –the People’s Assembly will need to vote to add them to the agenda. In addition, the Executive Council will prepare and circulate reports on any motions on the agenda as of November 3rd, 2015, allowing you to be informed on the issues they will be asked to consider.

The People’s Assembly is on November 20th, 21st and 22nd this year. You must register by filling the PDF/online form here  or calling 250-723-0100.  Accommodations at the Best Western Barclay and childminding will be supplied for the event.

People’s Assembly updates

Notice of motions

Send your motions here! or call Coraleah Johnson at 250.723.0100, Ext. 224.

Once your details are sent, you will see a similar text displayed:


Update – Burn program will be conducted on our lands!

*Update* The burn program was postponed but will resume October 30th until November 30th , weather permitting.

We will be conducting a burn program to burn slash piles for reforestation and hazard abatement on the N1A, K3N and Treaty Settlement Land tenures (see the map below) when weather conditions permit between September 21 and October 9, 2015.

The main focus areas of the burn program will be:
• Along the Bamfield Mainline at the Spencer Mainline junction
• 2.5 km East of Sarita lake off the Central Mainline
• At 8 km along the Central Mainline
• 2.4 km East of the Bamfield Mainline and Sugsaw Mainline junction
• West of Sugsaw lake
• South of Pachena Lake
• 4.5 km of Pachena Bay off the Klanawa and Somerset Mainlines

Please click on the image to enlarge it!


Weather conditions need to be ideal in order to carry out the burn to ensure that the smoke does not create hardships on any people or wildlife in the vicinity. Optimum burning conditions are also needed to reduce the chance of a fire’s escape. This means that the burn program make take place over multiple days spread throughout the time period stated above.

Burning of piles is an important part of reforestation of Huu Ay Aht Lands as these areas occupy plantable spots that are replanted once burning is completed. The burning treatment is also important in removing potential fire hazards within the tenures. Burning is not done without all risk considered as Resource Managers need to have a sound understanding of fire behavior and its short/long term effects on the environment.

Download the notice here:

Burn plan public notice 2015.pdf

Contact information:
Marina Rayner
Assistant Forester
Meridian Forest Services Ltd
PH: 250-586-0200 ext. 207
FX: 250-586-0201