Generations Fund support programs

Port Alberni - 05-08-15 - Huu-ay-aht First Nations Elected Chief Councillor Jeff Cook hands over the key to the new refridgerator truck to Director of Community Services Kathy Waddell. The truck was purchased through the Generations Fund and will be used to distribute fresh food to Huu-ay-aht citizens. [Heather Thomson, Huu-ay-aht First Nations]
Huu-ay-aht First Nations Elected Chief Councillor Jeff Cook is joined by Huu-ay-aht staff and citizens as they celebrate the arrival of the new refrigerator truck on Friday. The truck was purchased through the Generations Fund and will be used to distribute fresh food to Huu-ay-aht citizens. [Heather Thomson, Huu-ay-aht First Nations]
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.

Ḥaw̓iiḥ support
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.”

Call for membership for the LNG Advisory Committee

The LNG Committee is accepting applications for two additional members.  The LNG Committee will meet monthly to review reports, plans and presentations regarding the development of the LNG Project.  The Committee will also provide advice and recommendations to Huu-ay-aht Executive Council, Ha’wiih Council and the People’s Assembly.  Materials being reviewed will include technical and project plans, communication and engagement plans, environmental reports, status updates and options analysis. 

If you are interested in participating on  the LNG Committee, please submit a one-page cover letter outlining why you interested along with your current resume to lawclerk@huuayaht.org by 4 pm on Friday, May 15, 2015.  If you require assistance with the cover letter or resume, please contact Annie Merritt in the Port Alberni Government Office at 250-723-0100

Huu-ay-aht reps head to China

When the China LNG International Summit kicks off this week, Huu-ay-aht First Nations will be represented, along with the Nations partner Steelhead LNG.

Huu-ay-aht Councillor John Jack and Executive Director James Edwards will travel to Beijing to attend the summit. They will be gone from April 20 to 25, and the conference runs from April 22 to 24. It is an opportunity to gain more information about the industry, but also a chance to meet with some of the decision makers within the LNG community.

“It is the first in a series of conferences taking place around the world in the next year,” John Jack explains. “While there, we will attend information sessions, networking events and interface with companies and countries involved at all stages of the value chain of LNG.”

He says it also offers the opportunity to tour an LNG off-take and regasification facility near Beijing.

Steelhead LNG CEO Nigel Kuzemko will be joined at the event with other representatives from Steelhead, and he is one of the speakers on the first day of the conference. Kuzemko will join other industry leaders from around the world to offer a Global LNG Supply Update, called “Which Projects are Destined for Success in the China Market?” on April 22.

Huu-ay-aht representatives have no official role at the conference, but John Jack says they are there to observe, learn and aid Steelhead as it promotes the marketing plan for the proposed LNG Project.

“Huu-ay-aht has expressed a willingness and concerted effort to express our openness to development and trade to the business and wider world,” John Jack says. “This trip will be an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to improving our economic conditions while retaining our distinct identity and honouring the values that make us who we are.”

He adds that this trip will also offer a chance to pursue connections and opportunities for the Port Alberni Trans-shipment Hub, export of forestry and fishery products, investments and tourism exposure. John Jack says, in general, the Nation is seeking a wider array of opportunities for economic development, and attending the conference is a step in that direction.

“We hope to come back with more knowledge and connections, as well as a higher profile locally, regionally, nationally and internationally,” he says.

Engaging the Community

It is time for the next round of Community Engagement Sessions.
The February sessions were successful, with lots of citizens attending and gathering information on the rebranding project and our new logo and tagline, changes in legislation. That part of the presentation was a follow up on what has happened since the People’s Assembly in November, 2014. Steelhead LNG and Huu-ay-aht representatives also offered an update on the proposed LNG project as it moves into the environmental stage.
The April session will include an update on the upcoming elections for Chief and Council in June. With the nomination period fast approaching, it is important for citizens to attend to find out all of the details.
Presenters will also be sharing another update on the proposed LNG project and some of the research that Universities are conducting in partnership with Huu-ay-aht. Finally, we will be touching on some of Huu-ay-aht’s important cultural practices.
If you missed the last community engagement, a few items from the rebranding project are still available, along with other prizes.
Here are the times and locations of the April sessions:
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 – Vancouver session at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 16, 2015 – Port Alberni session at the Hospitality Inn, 4 to 7 p.m.
Friday, April 17, 2015 – The Anacla session will be held at the Anacla Government Office from 3 to 6 p.m.
There will be more informal sessions in Victoria and Nanaimo. The Nanaimo session will take place at Acme Food Co. from 4 to 7 p.m. on April 21. On April 23, it will be held at Comfort Inn in Victoria  from 4 to 7 p.m.
Light snacks and refreshments will be available for all sessions so come join us for food and conversation. Childminding is available in Vancouver, Port Alberni and Anacla.

Economic Development

Cynthia Rayner is the Economic Development Officer for Huu-ay-aht First Nations. This office works closely with the department of infrastructure, the Huu-ay-aht Group of Business, and the Executive Director. As a member of the Economic Development Committee, there is an opportunity to bring fourth citizen ideas for business ventures, government programs, and employment opportunities.

This office is the direct link to citizens to enact lasting change for the Nation.  All ideas are reviewed and evaluated and when practical submitted further along the approval process for implementation. The Economic Development Office is here to generate revenue and capacity for the Nation to assist in the financing of programs, and major projects such as the sub-division, LNG, mineral exploration and land procurement to name a few.

If you have a business idea for yourself or for the government, interested in business mentorship, and business plan writing, this office can assist you directly or refer you to where assistance can be found. This department is here for you.

 

Cynthia Rayner

Economic Development Officer

Cynthia.r@huuayaht.org

Phone: 723.0100 ext. 208