Huu-ay-aht First Nations Announces Old-Growth Interim Report


(Port Alberni – September 7, 2023) – Huu-ay-aht First Nations announces completion of an Old-Growth Interim Report that outlines the work completed to date on an Indigenous-led integrated stewardship approach to ecosystem health and biodiversity, including old-growth forests. 

In partnership with Huu-ay-aht Forestry Limited Partnership, C̓awak ʔqin Forestry, Mosaic Forest Management, the Old-Growth Interim Report is a step towards finalizing the Hišuk ma c̓awak Integrated Resource Management Plan (HIRMP). The HIRMP integrates a full range of values and stewardship measures across the entire Huu-ay-aht Ḥahuułi (Traditional Territory).

As part of the HIRMP, the partners developed a draft design of the M̓aƛasap (to take a bite out of) Network that integrates old forests, riparian habitat, rare ecosystems, wildlife habitat and features, and cultural and traditional use areas to maintain connectivity across the Ḥahuułi. 

Through the M̓aƛasap Network, 19,819 hectares of old and recruitment forests were identified to align with important values within Huu-ay-aht Ḥahuułi – 13,450 hectares being 250 years or older, and the remaining 6,360 hectares part of a long-term recruitment strategy.

Guided by the best science and data available, and Huu-ay-aht’s values and principles, the interim report identifies over double the amount of old-growth forests and rare ecosystems in the Ḥahuułi than what was established by the Old-Growth Technical Advisory Panel (TAP).

The HIRMP and Old-Growth Interim Report demonstrates the importance and value of taking a collaborative and holistic approach to implementing land and resource management that aligns with Huu-ay-aht values and its three sacred principles: ʔiisaak (Utmost Respect), ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care of), Hišuk ma c̓awak (Everything is One).

The Hišuk ma c̓awak Integrated Resource Management Plan will be complete by March 2024.


“Hišuk ma c̕awak Integrated Resource Management Plan (HIRMP) represents the present and future needs of the ecosystems within the Huu-ay-aht ḥahuułi. Its namesake sacred principle, Hišuk ma c̕awak, acknowledges the many interconnected aspects considered and incorporated into the plan. We continue to ensure we are managing our lands in a sustainable way, so it is there for the next 7 generations.  To do this, we value the partnerships we have that help us manage our lands and waters”.

– Huu-ay-aht Executive Councillor, Brad Johnson (Wiiheyakchikk)

“We are making significant progress together in the development of the Hišuk ma c̕ awak Integrated Resource Management Plan. The work underway considers present and future needs to ensure lasting benefits for generations to come and we look forward to continuing to contribute to the progress made through this innovative planning process led by the Huu-ay-aht First Nations.”

– General Manager, C̓awak ʔqin Forestry, Geoff Payne

“Western is proud to support the development and implementation of the Huu-ay-aht-led Hišuk ma c̕ awak Integrated Resource Management Plan. With each step forward, we are pioneering a collaborative and integrated approach to ecosystem health and biodiversity that draws on local understanding, data, and technology to achieve our collective values.”

– RPF, Chief Forester, Western Forest Products, Stuart Glen

“Our relationship with Huu-ay-aht is built on a strong commitment to collaboration. The HIRMP demonstrates the immense value of partnerships for a coordinated and modernized approach to collaborative land-use planning”.

– Senior Vice President, Corporate Engagement and Chief Development Officer, Domenico Iannidinardo


Old-Growth Interim Report, click here to view.

For official press release, click here to view.


Bamfield Main Road Surfacing Project begins Chip Seal on the Bamfield Main

Bamfield Main Resurfacing Project Header

PORT ALBERNI, B.C. – JULY 21, 2023
Huu-ay-aht First Nations announces that the chip seal coat work on the Bamfield Main will begin on July 22, 2023. The final phase of the Bamfield Main Road Surfacing Project is possible with the continued support and partnership with the Province.

The project started almost three years ago when the two governments partnered to create a safe route along Bamfield Road.

The Provincial Government and Huu-ay-aht collectively identify this project as “The Bamfield Road Reconciliation Project”. These two governments worked together to launch the project with a shared vision of a safer route between Bamfield and Port Alberni. That act of reconciliation is why this project is where it is today.

The project’s final phase will begin mid-July and be completed by the end of early Fall of 2023. Work will begin at kilometre 36 to 76.6, working towards Bamfield. Then, seal coating will begin on kilometres 36 to 0, working towards Port Alberni.

During construction, detours, delays, and alternating single-lane traffic with pilot vehicles will be in place. Please watch for notices regarding detours, delays, and alternating single-lane traffic on the Huu-ay-aht and Western Forest Products web pages.


“We are excited for the final stages of the road improvement to be complete. The road improvements will provide safety for Huu-ay-aht citizens, the Bamfield community, and visitors, and that is one of our main priorities. With the economic benefits this will bring to the region, we look forward to building a sustainable economy for our Nation.”

– Huu-ay-aht Executive Councillor, Wiiheyakchikk, Brad Johnson

“This is a vital roadway on the west coast of Vancouver Island, connecting residents of several coastal communities. I commend Huu-ay-aht First Nations for their steadfast commitment and continued progress on such a large-scale project. This project will ensure Bamfield Main is a safe route for everyone.”

-B.C. Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Murray Rankin

For official release: click here

For inquiries, please contact:
Amanda-Lee Cunningham
Communications Manager | 250-720-7776

Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Province partner to create Oomiiqsu Mother Centre

From left to right: Ed Ross (Tseshaht Council Member), Josie Osborne (Minster of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship and MLA for Mid-Island-Pacific Rim), Edward R. Johnson (Huu-ay-aht Council Member), Brandy Lauder (Hupačasatḥ Chief Councillor), Murray Rankin (Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Attorney General and Minister of Housing), Gord Johns (MP Courtenay—Alberni).

PORT ALBERNI – Huu-ay-aht First Nations and B.C. are celebrating the creation of the Oomiiqsu (Aboriginal Mother Centre), a new housing, support and child care centre that will help Indigenous women and children on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

“Huu-ay-aht has turned over many stones to reach this point of having a mother centre,” said Edward R. Johnson, Huu-ay-aht Councillor. “Through the voices of our citizens in the Social Services Report, it is apparent that Oomiiqsu is going to create a positive impact to Huu-ay-aht families and children in preventing the traumas that many families have had to face. Oomiiqsu is going to be a place to bring children home, where mothers and children will feel safe, healthy and connected, and they will be able to look back and tell many wonderful stories.”

As part of Huu-ay-aht Social Services Project formed in 2017, 30 recommendations were created in the report “Safe, Healthy and Connected: Bringing Huu-ay-aht Children Home.” Oomiiqsu is a response to recommendation 26.

Oomiiqsu, meaning mother, is an Indigenous-led model of care developed by Huu-ay-aht in consultation with its members. The two-storey transition housing, child care and support centre will be managed and operated by the Huu-ay-aht government’s Child and Family Wellness Department. The centre will provide a safe and culturally appropriate home for as many as 48 mothers and children leaving violence or abuse, facing mental-health and addictions challenges, poverty or other trauma.

“This partnership between the Province and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations will make an important difference on the west coast of Vancouver Island, where many communities are remote and provide few options for mothers and their children in need,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Minister Responsible for Housing. “At Oomiiqsu, they will find stability, security and access to support in a way that works specifically for the Nuu-chah-nulth people. I commend the leadership and staff of Huu-ay-aht First Nations for creating this innovative opportunity to work together on these much-needed new transition homes.”

The centre will have private bedrooms and washrooms; shared living, kitchen and dining spaces; and laundry facilities. Residents will have access to on-site child care that will include eight spaces for children as old as three and 16 spaces for children 30 months to school age. The Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ Child and Family Wellness Department will have office space on the first floor of the building.

Huu-ay-aht will operate the building, providing support services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to Indigenous mothers experiencing violence. Wraparound supports provided by the Province will give families the best chance of staying together and will help address systemic factors leading to the disproportionate number of Indigenous children in care.

The project is made possible thanks to a partnership between the Huu-ay-aht and the B.C. Government. The Province is investing as much as $5 million for Huu-ay-aht First Nations to cover initial operating costs for the Oomiiqsu Mother’s Centre. BC Housing is investing approximately $10 million through the Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund and will provide $88,000 in annual operating funding. The Ministry of Education and Child Care is providing nearly $800,000 for child care spaces.

By honouring First Nations culture and focusing on reviving familial, community and cultural connections, this new model of care is an essential part of reconciliation. The centre will open for women and children in summer 2024.


Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim –
“Oomiiqsu is a unique, Indigenous-led approach to family services that will make Huu-ay-aht and other communities along the west coast of Vancouver Island stronger and healthier. The centre is an opportunity to support Huu-ay-aht’s vision to advance child welfare matters and support resilient families and children.”

Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care –
“Oomiiqsu will provide Indigenous-led child care and wraparound supports and services that focus on healing and strengthening families. For many vulnerable families and those dealing with various trauma – notably mothers – being able to access culturally appropriate child care in a safe space is the peace of mind needed to continue on their healing journeys, and Oomiiqsu offers this holistic approach.”

Quick Facts:

• Oomiiqsu is modelled after the Vancouver Aboriginal Mother’s Centre, which was established in 2002 in Vancouver’s east end.
• Huu-ay-aht First Nations is an Indigenous community located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is a part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation, formerly called the Nootka.
• Huu-ay-aht is a party to the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, a modern treaty that grants its five member Nations constitutionally protected self-government, as well as ownership, control and law-making authority over their lands and resources.
• As with all projects for women and children leaving violence, the address of this project has not been disclosed for safety reasons.

Learn More:
Huu-ay-aht First Nations:
Huu-ay-aht Social Services project video:
Huu-ay-aht Social Services project report: content/uploads/2017/08/hfn-social-services-panel-recommendations_final.pdf

Amanda-Lee Cunningham, Communications Manager
Huu-ay-aht First Nations 250-720-7776

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Media Relations 236-478-0966

Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing

Media Relations 236-478-0251

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

View official press release here: Click here