Invitation to parents, grandparents, foster parents and Caregivers

Panel seeks citizen input for Huu-ay-aht solution.

Huu-ay-aht wishes to develop “Made-in-Huu-ay-aht” solutions that will help keep our children safe, happy, healthy, and connected to their Huu-ay-aht families and culture. An independent, four-member panel has been appointed to explore and recommend changes and improvements to child and family services for Huu-ay-aht families.

The panel has respectfully requested that Huu-ay-aht citizens meet with them to share stories and experiences. The panel needs to hear and learn from our people and from all caregivers for our children to understand what is working and what is not working for Huu-ay-aht children and families.

The Panel wishes to hear from us about:

  • You or your families experiences with child and family services,
  • Stories you have been told that guide or anchor a Huu-ay-aht way of caring for children and families,
  • Your thoughts and ideas about how to bring our children home and keep them safe, happy, healthy, and connected to our Huu-ay-aht culture.

The panel is open to meeting in whatever way people feel safe and comfortable to discuss these important issues, for example, with individuals privately and confidentially, with family groups, and in community gatherings.

The panel will also be available to meet in a variety of locations (e.g. Anacla, Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Vancouver). For those who prefer to provide input to the panel in writing please send your written comments to the panel at the email address below.

The first community gathering with the panel will be:  

Sunday             and             Monday
January 15                          January 16
12 to 5 p.m.                         9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At the Cedar Wood Lodge, 5895 River Road, Port Alberni, B.C.

Meeting Materials 


Community Services section of the Strategic Plan

Everyone who has information to share is encouraged to come. Please contact the panel at

NTC Health-Ability Fair 2015 offers you a healing experience

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s Disability Access Committee is hosting the 16th annual Health Ability Fair on Oct. 7 and 8 at Alberni Athletic Hall.

The theme of this year’s event is “Wik-ay-its-tsa-wa-chink ­– You are not alone,” and over two days, features an amazing range of presentations to improve the physical, emotional, spiritual and cultural well-being of Nuu-chah-nulth people and communities.

“This year’s agenda looks exciting,” said NTC President Deb Foxcroft. “We’re incorporating our traditional wisdom, knowledge and teaching into healing and supports.”


DAC Poster

Foxcroft said this year’s fair puts a special focus on trauma and the effects it has on people with disabilities. That includes recent and “historical” trauma, she added. Researchers are now coming to a greater understanding of the long-term disabling effects of historical and generational trauma, and for the need to deal with the source of the distress in order to prevent disease.

And, as has become a Health-Ability Fair tradition, there are also opportunities to pamper yourself. On both days, guests can sign up for massage, reflexology, acupuncture, haircuts or even a mini-manicure. For many, it can provide a much needed boost to their self-esteem, DAC Chair Helen Dick said.

“I found out right in the beginning when we started offering haircuts and manicures … that is such an uplifting thing. It improved their self-esteem; they looked good, they felt good; they felt proud and went away feeling happy and good about themselves for the rest of the day, the rest of the week. It was a little piece of medicine that they needed at that moment.”

“We have a lot of people who ask, ‘When is the Health-Ability Fair this year? I need a haircut,’” NTC Executive Director Florence Wylie said.

There are also crafts and information/resource tables on hand both days. This year, due to popular demand, there are two cedar weaving tables.

Opening ceremonies and introductions begin at 8:30 a.m. on Day One. Then, at 9:30 a.m., the Qu’aasa Cultural Team, Dave Frank and Joe Tom, leap right into the main theme with “Wik-ay-its-tsa-wa-chink ­– You are not alone.”

Dick said a lot of disabled Nuu-cha-nulth members feel alone when they do not have access to services.

“They fight through red tape, and then wind up right back where they started. And that’s why they feel alone,” she said. “This is why we felt it was important to let those individuals and all Nuu-chah-nulth know that they are not alone.”

Dick said sometimes people have been turned down so many times, for so many reasons, that they become afraid to ask for help. One purpose of the fair is to help people make connections with other members of the community who are dealing with similar issues and have found the right solutions.

The Qu’aasa Cultural Team is followed immediately at 11 a.m. by Clinical Counsellor Margaret Bird with a presentation on trauma. What is trauma? How can it affect us? What happens if we don’t deal with it? The emphasis is on the difficulties trauma can inflict on persons living with a disability.

The afternoon features a Health Panel discussion at 1 p.m., with Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist Bijan Mahmoudi speaking on the safe use of prescription medications, as well as potential interactions between prescribed medications, street drugs and/or alcohol. The NTC’s Non-Insured Health Benefits Coordinator Robert Cluett will give an overview on available programs and benefits, and more importantly, how to access them.

At 2 p.m., Fire Services Officer Curtis Dick will speak on how to keep your home safe. Safety becomes even more critical and problematic in the event of disability caused by illness or injury, according to Wylie.

“There are problems of accessibility. A lot of people have had to leave their communities because now they cannot even access their homes,” Wylie said. Families can become burdened with travel expenses, accommodation, medical devices and services.

At 3 p.m., Autism Client Support expert Kevin Dhillon makes a presentation on new software he has developed for autistic children and adults.

It isn’t all serious. Following a feast at 5 p.m., the Ojibwe Elvis, Gerry Elvis Barrett, takes to the stage for a stirring mix of music and stand-up comedy.

To start off Day 2, Kim Rai, acting manager of the Teechuktl Mental Health Program, will give an overview of services available through Teechuktl and Qu’aasa.

“We have a lot of residential school survivors who are living with disabilities and who have experienced trauma, and we feel it is important for him to explain to the participants where they are at as far as providing specific supports to clients,” Wylie said.

At 10 a.m., Jess McConnell, senior manager of First Nations Health Authority for Island Health, will outline the services and supports available through his agency. At 10:30 a.m., clinical counsellor Donna Brown will focus on caregivers, and the very present risk of burnout and depression.

Wylie said Brown’s message is that caregivers must create their own self-care plan or risk becoming consumed with the needs of their family member.

“We want them to know it’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to ask for respite,” she said.

At 1 p.m., Community and Health Services Training Coordinator Michael McCarthy will speak on Empowering Conversations.

Then at 2:45, it’s time for an Open Dialogue, where participants can ask questions, share their experiences and provide feedback and suggestions to DAC and to NTC. Then it’s a wrap, with Dave Frank and Joe Tom on hand to provide a send-off.

Dick said the whole event serves as a healing experience for people living with disabilities – even the most ordinary parts.

“When they come for lunch, or they come for dinner, they have that time with their families and with their friends, being comfortable and (being) who they are. It’s a time when they feel important and that they are accepted for who they are.”

“They are accepted unconditionally, and they feel safe there. And they know it,” Wylie said.

Alberni Athletic Hall is located at 3727 Roger St.

Health and Social Services Coordinator will be on holidays

Kristen Young, Health and Social Services Coordinator, is going to be off on holidays from August 21st to the 28th. All patient travels requests can still be made but will not be processed until August 31st. Should there be an emergency, please contact the Director of Community Services, Kathy Waddell (, phone:  250-723-0100.

Professional values

Our civil servants are committed to:

• Ethics – be prepared, on time and ready to work
• Ethics – be responsible for the success of your work and others
• Lead by example
• Respect – for confidentiality, yourself and co-workers
• Work / Life Balance
• Work Smarter – Share your expertise and your successes
• Take pride in your work

• Golden Rule – Treat others how you want to be treated
• Listen actively and attentively to what people are saying and clarify
• Accept people for who they are and don’t judge
• Basic Etiquette – remember the common courtesies; kindness & compassion
• Iisaak
• Observe protocol and ceremony

• A healthy body, mind and soul through proper diet, sleep and exercise
• Avoid burning out with a proper work / life balance
• Be positive – always remember to smile and laugh
• Care about each other, ask questions and follow up
• Be appreciative of one another and the work we do

Effective communication
• Think twice, speak once
• Make sure your body language is sending the correct message
• Provide responses in a timely manner; acknowledge request and provide timeline
• Listen attentively and clarify

• Walk the talk – be honest, no gossiping
• Believe the good in everyone not the bad
• Voice your concerns, don’t harbor them – clear the air
• Spend more time focusing on what you are supposed to be doing, and less time on what others are or aren’t doing
• Be happy and enjoy your work life

• Be available to help and ask for help when needed
• Advocate and help one another
• Provide constructive criticism, not just criticism
• Don’t gossip; stop gossip when it occurs
• Clarify and seek feedback from each other