A long-awaited walking trail along the Bamfield main road is now in the works, thanks to funding through the multi-year Generations Fund signed with Steelhead LNG and Huu-ay-aht First Nations.
Through community consultation, Huu-ay-aht citizens and area residents identified concerns regarding the safety of people walking between Anacla and Bamfield. In response to this concern, the Huu-ay-aht government is leading the development and construction of a safe pathway. At this time, work on the path is focused on determining the best route between the two communities and securing the rights of way required, which currently pass through numerous properties including some held by unidentified landowners.
Safety on the road between Anacla and Bamfield has always been a big concern to residents and a top priority to Huu-ay-aht First Nations. With an increase in traffic along the road, the Nation has made a commitment to citizens to create a walking trail along the route that will help people stay safe in their travels.
Huu-ay-aht Elected Chief Councillor Jeff Cook says it’s an important and excellent project as it is a piece of road that has many blind spots posing potential threat to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
“I’ve walked the road before and it feels dangerous,” he says. “There have been some accidents or near misses, and an effort needs to be made to keep citizens safe along that route.”
Cook says a lot of people use the route for hiking, biking, jogging and walking daily, and it is important to ensure their safety.
The Nation, through the funding from Steelhead LNG, has begun the process of constructing a 4.5 kilometre pedestrian path. The proposed route will follow along the Bamfield main road from Lower Anacla to The Market on Frigate Street in Bamfield.
This historic event has been in the works for many years, and due to the generosity of our partners, Steelhead LNG, Huu-ay-aht is able to make this dream a reality. The funding is part of a multi-year Generations Fund that will provide immediate funds for community health and wellness programs and long-term support for Huu-ay-aht culture, environment, capacity building, training and education, and economic development. Through projects such as these, Steelhead LNG is committed to supporting the Nation in improving the lives of Huu-ay-aht citizens wherever possible.
The safety of both communities is paramount, and this project will provide a safe and secure means for people to transit between the West Coast Trail, Lower Anacla and Bamfield. It is the commitment of the Huu-ay-aht government that this project will help to once again unite the citizens of Bamfield and Anacla, thus fostering lasting relationships between Huu-ay-aht First Nations and surrounding communities.
In 20 years, our children will grow up safe, healthy, connected to the community and exemplify Huu-ay-aht values. Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants to take the fate of the next generation into its own hands.
The Nation is working on a Child and Family Services program that will eventually lead to a “made-by-Huu-ay-aht” system to support its children. The goal is to offer a full range of services to families in order to provide support, education and services for raising healthy children. This will be a preventative model that will have the goal on ensuring children and families do not become involved with the child protection system.
“We know the foster system is broken,” explains Kathy Waddell, Director of Community Services. “This is an opportunity to do something about it and have a lasting effect on our children.”
She explains that by creating a foster care system of its own, Huu-ay-aht can help families and improve their lives, especially the ones at risk of entering the system.
“We can offer families the support they need early on so that their children don’t end up in care,” she says. “Instead of putting out fires, we will be putting in preventative measures like education and support services building resiliency and skills in families. The Huu-ay-aht system will also ensure that the children who do need to be in care will not fall through the cracks.”
The program is being funded in part by a multi-year Generations Fund that was made possible by an initial unconditional contribution from Steelhead LNG. This funding will support the early stages of development for the program.
Through community consultation, led by the Huu-ay-aht government, citizens have identified that the health and wellness of Huu-ay-aht children, and providing them with safe, nurturing environments in which they will thrive is of utmost importance.
In 2014, the Nation hired a Children and Family Services Coordinator to help offer more in-person support to families. The coordinator will continue to work in this way through the expanded program, with the goal of promoting the health of the Huu-ay-aht community and assisting in the implementation its own foster care system.
“We want to work hard with families to get children back into their own parents’ care or make sure if they go into provincial care they remain connected to Huu-ay-aht First Nations and have all they need,” Waddell says. “We want to make sure they grow up having a connection to their families, culture, and community. They will grow up knowing Huu-ay-aht values and expectations.”
The program is still in the preliminary phase, but it is a top priority for the Nation this year. Much of the work will begin in the next couple of months. The first phase will involve a lot of planning, and then a social worker and legal team will be hired. Once some of the logistics of the program are in place, the community services team will start spreading the word and offering more details on what is involved and required to make the program a success.
If you are a family or parent in need of support or struggling in any way, call the Community Services Department at 778-421-1022 and talk with the Child and Family Services Coordinator.
Eating well and staying active are keys to healthier living, and Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants to help citizens reach this important goal.
The Nations’ citizens in Anacla, Port Alberni and Vancouver can now register to receive free monthly deliveries of nutritious food through the new Fresh Food Box Program, which is being funded by an unconditional contribution from Steelhead LNG to the Generations Fund. The program is available to all citizens, but first priority will be to support families with children under 18, elders and persons on Social Assistance or something similar. The Fresh Food Box Program will work to help make eating right easier and more affordable.
The Fresh Food Box is a non-profit alternative fresh food distribution system that is paid for in part through the Generations Fund. The initial unconditional contribution to the Fund, provided by Steelhead LNG over the course of the Feasibility phase of the proposed Project, will pay for the first stages of the program, including the purchase of a refrigerator truck.
“The refrigerator truck will help us ensure that we have health and safety in transporting the food from community to community as top priority,” explains Kathy Waddell, Director of Community Services for Huu-ay-aht First Nations.
Many communities offer a similar food box, but they come at a cost of between $20 and $30. Huu-ay-aht is committed to offering this healthy option at no cost to the people it serves. The Nation will purchase quality produce and ensure variety, freshness, sustainability and affordability. They will prioritize locally grown produce, with a particular focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. The boxes will also include some basics, such as flour, oatmeal and pasta. The boxes will likely contain approximately $35 worth of food, which will be delivered monthly to Anacla, Port Alberni and Vancouver.
The goal is to supply 120 Huu-ay-aht families with fresh food, in addition to helping with the distribution of food fish to citizens. As the program grows, there is potential to include other seasonal foods, such as shellfish, wild game, berries, fruits and veggies. By doing this, the program will support the Nation’s Traditional Foods Program.
“One of the areas the Community Services Department will be working on this year is gaining a better understanding about traditional foods and medicines. We want to know where to get them, how to prepare them and what makes them healthy for us,” Waddell says. “We have a wealth of knowledge out there, and we need to gather it up and make it accessible to citizens.”
The program is available to all citizens but first priority will be given to supporting families with children under 18, elders and persons on Social Assistance or something similar.
In addition to providing healthy food, the program will also share knowledge. This could include information about the food, ways to process, cook and preserve it. It can also give participants nutritional guidelines for different age groups and offer details on other support programs that are available.
Citizens may fill out the request form for the program and drop it off at PAGO, Community Services, or AGO: Attention to Community Services. They can also fax them to 778-421-1024 or email them to Kathy Waddell, Director of Community Services, (firstname.lastname@example.org). The forms are available at http://huuayaht.org/2015/05/26/online-fresh-food-box-form/ , and there are printed copies available as well. If you would like more information on the program, call 778-421-1022.
Huu-ay-aht citizens will have more access to employment, skills training and community services following the creation of a multi-year Generations Fund that will provide immediate funding for community health and wellness programs and long-term support for Huu-ay-aht culture, environment, capacity building and economic development.
The initial unconditional contribution to the Fund, provided by Steelhead LNG over the course of the Feasibility phase of the proposed Project includes immediate funding for a community food truck program, a walking trail between Anacla and Bamfield, and the initial stages of development of a new program for Huu-ay-aht Children in Care. As the proposed Project progresses, the Fund will grow to provide resources for additional Huu-ay-aht programs and initiatives.
“We’re pleased to have secured this important funding for our people through our participation in the proposed LNG Project,” said Jeff Cook, Elected Chief Councillor, Huu-ay-aht First Nations. “Through significant community consultation, Huu-ay-aht citizens have identified issues and initiatives that are important to our people. Through this funding, we can have a real and immediate positive impact on the lives of our children and families, and can free up much-needed resources to better support our Ḥaw̓iiḥ (Hereditary Chiefs).”
Huu-ay-aht child protective services program
Through community consultation, led by the Huu-ay-aht government, citizens have identified that the health and wellness of Huu-ay-aht children, and providing them with safe, nurturing environments in which they will thrive is of utmost importance. The
Huu-ay-aht government has identified this as one of its highest priorities. As a result, it will use resources provided by the Generations Fund to develop its own agency and programs to assume responsibility for the foster care and welfare of Huu-ay-aht children from the Province of British Columbia.
“Nothing is more important than the health and welfare of our children,” said Cook. “There are many historical and ongoing issues that affect our ability to provide the best for our children, and there is no easy or quick fix. The most important fact, however, is that these are our children, and the best way to ensure they have the brightest and healthiest future possible, is to provide a Huu-ay-aht approach to their care, with input from our Ḥaw̓iiḥ, our elders and our people.”
Huu-ay-aht Fresh Food Program
One of the first community initiatives to be unveiled will be a fresh food distribution system called the Huu-ay-aht Fresh Food Program. The program will support
Huu-ay-aht families and improve the health of citizens through the delivery of nourishing food and practical food information. Each month, the program will deliver one free box of fresh fruits and vegetables and basic staples to approximately 120 Huu-ay-aht families in Anacla, Vancouver and Port Alberni, with a focus on families with children under 18, elders, and people on Social Assistance. The deliveries will be made in a new refrigeration truck that was purchased for the program this week. The truck will also be used to deliver traditional foods and food fish to Huu-ay-aht citizens.
Anacla-Bamfield walking trail
Through community consultation, Huu-ay-aht citizens and area residents have identified concerns regarding the safety of people walking between Anacla and Bamfield. In response to this concern, the Huu-ay-aht government is leading the development and construction of a safe pathway, allocating portions of the Generations Fund for the project. At this time, work on the path is focused on determining the best route between the two communities and securing the rights of way required, which currently pass through numerous properties including some held by unidentified landowners.
Employment for Huu-ay-aht citizens
To help ensure that employment opportunities within the Huu-ay-aht government and with Nation-owned enterprises are filled by Huu-ay-aht citizens, funding from the Generations Fund has been set aside to support citizens to transition into such jobs. Where Huu-ay-aht citizens have interest in current and new positions, the funding will be used to support job shadowing and internships so citizens can learn more about the position and whether or not it’s the right one for them. If it is, funding could then be used to provide the education and training required to fill that position.
Trades training for Huu-ay-aht citizens
To maximize potential employment opportunities at the proposed LNG Project for
Huu-ay-aht citizens, the Generations Fund will provide funding for 12 red seal trades training seats to Huu-ay-aht citizens.
By providing funding for a wide range of Huu-ay-aht government initiatives, the Generations Fund is freeing up much-needed resources that will be re-allocated to support the Nation’s Ḥaw̓iiḥ.
“For thousands of years, our Ḥaw̓iiḥ have guided our Nation and borne the tremendous responsibility of protecting our land and our people, and ensuring that our history, culture, traditions and values continue to thrive,” said Cook. “Thanks to this new funding, we can now provide an additional funding to ensure our Ḥaw̓iiḥ have the resources they need to carry out the important role they play in our Nation’s affairs.
“Through Treaty, we now have the freedom as a Nation to decide how best to manage our lands and derive economic benefits from them,” added Cook. “At this critical time, it is important for us to provide the training, education and funding our citizens need so they can develop their own individual capacity, pursue the careers they want, and support themselves and their families wherever they choose to live. The Generations Fund is an important part of that process.”
Together, Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG are exploring developing an LNG Project with a land‐based natural gas liquefaction facility at Sarita Bay, 75 kms southwest of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. At the Huu-ay-aht First Nations People’s Assembly in November 2014, Huu-ay-aht citizens voted in favour of continuing to explore the proposed Project, which is now undergoing feasibility studies.
“Over the past few months, the Huu-ay-aht government and Huu-ay-aht citizens clearly identified the conditions that must guide the proposed Project for it to proceed,” said Nigel Kuzemko, CEO Steelhead LNG. “The Generations Fund will help us address many of those conditions together and will help provide the Huu-ay-aht with the funding and internal resources they need to carry out their Nation’s strategic plan.
“In addition, as our relationship has developed, Huu-ay-aht citizens continue to honour us by inviting us into their homes and community events and sharing their traditions and culture with us. The Generations Fund will help support the development of community infrastructure and programs to ensure Huu-ay-aht cultural practices and events are recognized, respected and encouraged.”
Students of Bamfield Community School gathered in Sarita to plant the 40-millionth seedling for Island Timberlands, on April 10.
The students were joined by representatives from Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Island Timberlands and a number of tree planters and other forest professionals.
The event was organized by Island Timberlands. It took place on a cut block approximately 57 kilometres from Port Alberni that is surrounded by Huu-ay-aht Treaty Settlement Land.
Elected Chief Councillor Jeff Cook took part in the official tree planting, along with Island Timberlands Chief Forester Bill Waugh and Island Timberlands President Darshan Sihota. The students were there to witness the planting of the 40-millionth seedling, a cedar tree, and they also had an opportunity to plant a number of seedlings on the cut block.
“I hope these youth will be able to remember where they were today, so they can come out here and recognize where they planted trees,” Chief Cook says. “They will then know that they made a difference today by planting these cedars.”
According to Sihota, Island Timberlands replants many more trees than it harvests. Island Timberlands stated it is their goal to reforest each area within one year of it being harvested. The 40 million trees were all planted within the past 10 years on sites owned and harvested by Island Timberlands. The cut block in Sarita will be reforested with mainly cedar seedlings, but some Douglas fir will also be planted closer to the road. Hemlock is also native to the area, but it will return on its own as it is a prolific seed producer. The plot was originally cut approximately 65 years ago.