Purchase of properties by Huu-ay-aht is first step to revitalization of Bamfield Inlet

Huu-ay-aht First Nations is pleased to announce the purchase of a number of properties in Bamfield Inlet. The deal involves 11 parcels, and it represents a significant investment in the community.

Purchasing these properties shows the Nation’s commitment to restoring its presence in the village that borders its Traditional Territory, located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Elected Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. indicated that since entering into the Maa-nulth Treaty, Huu-ay-aht has maintained an interest in Bamfield Inlet due to its cultural and economic values.

Tayii Ḥaw̓ił Derek Peters said, as head chief, he is proud that his Nation could make such a large investment.

“By purchasing these properties, it will give my tribe more opportunity to play an economic role in the region,” he said. “Outside of our current forestry operations, it’s a good step into tourism.”

The properties were bought as a package and include residential lots, businesses, land with cultural significance and land with future development potential. They are: Rance Island, a 6.8 acre parcel on the east side of the Bamfield Inlet; three acres on Binnacle Road; The Bay House on Seaboard Road, 6.11 acres along the Bamfield Inlet; 5.85 acres on Pachena Road; 5.36 acres on Grappler Road; 1.04 acres on Frigate Road; the Kingfisher Lodge and Marina on Bamfield Road; the Bamfield Airport, a 40-acre parcel on Binnacle Road; 0.275 acres on Seaboard Road; and Ostrom’s Marine on Seaboard Road, a 1.72-acre property.

Huu-ay-aht has been investigating the opportunity the properties offer the Nation and the community of Bamfield since the spring of 2015. Chief Dennis said the work that the previous government put into this acquisition is greatly appreciated, and he is proud to see it receive support from citizens at their People’s Assembly.

By closing this deal, Huu-ay-aht has made a commitment to their neighbours in Bamfield to continue to build a strong relationship between the small First Nation and the community members.

“We have many citizens who remember growing up in what is now Bamfield Inlet,” Peters explained. “So to gain some of it back is a step in the right direction.”

Over the years, Bamfield residents have watched as businesses closed and the properties that once housed them fell into varying levels of disrepair. By purchasing these properties, Huu-ay-aht First Nations hopes to breathe new life into the area and create a bright future for its citizens and residents of Bamfield. The Nation sees this as a potential springboard for revitalization of these historic properties and the economy in the area.

“This is an integral piece to developing a strong Huu-ay-aht economy on our Traditional Territory,” explained Huu-ay-aht Councillor Trevor Cootes. “The Bamfield Property acquisition will be a cornerstone to the Nations’ Economic Plan, which will guide us into the future.”

Moving forward, the Nation will be working with the community to establish a plan for the future. Huu-ay-aht’s elected chief indicated they will be hosting meetings to keep citizens and residents informed.

“We want to build on the relationship we have with Bamfield residents,” Dennis said. “We will hold meetings with Bamfield residents and Huu-ay-aht citizens to inform them of the acquisition and our future plans.”

Huu-ay-aht takes possession of the properties immediately. The first step will be establishing each properties potential and what role it will play in the future of the Nation. The Huu-ay-aht Development Corporation will play a key role in this process through the Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses. CEO for HDC is optimistic that this purchase will open doors and create opportunities for the Nation and its neighbours.

The day-to-day operation of the businesses will fall under the responsibility of the Huu-ay-aht Development Corporation.

CEO Gary Wilson said their main focus will be ensuring there is a smooth transition, while adding Huu-ay-aht’s signature to current businesses.

“We are looking forward to getting ready for the upcoming tourist season,” he said. “This will mean jobs and opportunities for Huu-ay-aht. We will focus on training and capacity building to enable us to participate in tourism and hospitality industry in the region.”

He said Huu-ay-aht’s investment will offer benefit for the whole region and will offer the Nation an opportunity to share its culture.

“We look forward to working with the Bamfield to revitalize the economy,” Wilson concluded.

bamfield properties final

Only 10 days to the People’s Assembly 2015

This is the best time of the year for the Huu-ay-aht as family and friends get ready to keep the Nation moving forward. Let’s share our culture, give input to the Four-Year Action Plan and be active in the economic development of the community.

Remember that the People’s Assembly starts on Friday, November 20th, at 1:00 p.m. (Barclay Hotel, Port Alberni).

Weekend Program – Day #1 – Friday, November 20, 2015
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Open House; This is an informal open house where citizens can discuss their concerns or ideas with government leaders, committee representatives and staff in advance of the formal proceedings on Saturday and Sunday. You will be able to visit committee booths and hear what is happening. Sign-in registration will be at that time.

Find the agenda and all the updates here:

The People’s Assembly 2015

Get your People’s Assembly registration form in now!

We are listening! So, this year the People’s Assembly will offer three days to socialize, celebrate and move the Nation forward. If you have any questions about the registration process, please contact Coraleah Johnson (250.723.0100, Ext. 224, Coraleah.j@huuayaht.org).

When? Friday, November 20 to Sunday, November 22

Where? Barclay Hotel, Port Alberni

Deadline to register: Friday, October 30th, 2015

How to register? There are four options:

a) Contact Phyllis Williams (Anacla Government Office, phone: 1.888.644.4555 / 250.728.3414) or Helen Robertson (Port Alberni Government Service, phone: 250.723.0100) who can help you fill out the form.

b) Download this PDF version and follow the instructions within.

People’s Assembly Registration Form

Adobe If you do not have Adobe Reader installed, please click here

c) Drop by and get a printed copy at any of our offices.

d) Complete the electronic version here! Once the form is submitted, you will get the following confirmation message and a copy of the info entered:


Citizen Motions matter at People’s Assembly

On Sunday, citizen motions will be brought forward at the People’s Assembly. These motions matter, and they must have a quorum in order to be addressed.

In 2013, citizen motions suggested the People’s Assembly should be two back-to-back days, rather than one. This year that is what Executive Council approved, and the two-day Assembly is almost here.

In 2013, citizens suggested travel and hotel accommodations should be covered for people travelling to the People’s Assembly in Port Alberni. This year Executive Council has arranged for bus tickets, ferry cards and gas cards to be given to citizens, and they booked hotel rooms for anyone who requested them.

In 2013, citizens asked that the satellite meetings in the Lower Mainland be eliminated, and this year the Assembly will take place in one location.

In 2013, citizens asked that Executive Council budget for costs to repair the floor of the House of Huu-ay-aht. After consulting with an engineer, council has decided to replace the current floor with a spring-wood floor, and a Request for Tender is being processed.

In 2013, citizens asked for a school bus for Anacla that meets all safety standards that could transport students to the Bamfield Community School. Last week, a shiny new 22-passenger school bus was delivered to Anacla to bus students safely to school.

In 2013, a recommendation was made to make language study of Huu-ay-aht’s traditional language available to all citizens through classes held in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver. The Nation has been supporting several speakers to continue their training in Aboriginal Language Revitalization through VIU and attend the NIC Gathering in Penticton. The Nananiiqsu Society held a fundraiser and sent 11 elders to the event. Staff has also been working with Nellie Dennis and Clifford Nookemus to learn the language basics. Executive Council will be working to create signs in the traditional language. The goal is to create more opportunities for people to use the Huu-ay-aht language in everyday situations.

Although three citizens motions were received too late to make it into the agenda, they will be brought to the People’s Assembly for consideration on November 30.

One citizen’s motion did make it in time to get into the People’s Assembly agenda for November 30.

Maria Newfield proposed that since so many Huu-ay-aht First Nations students under the age of 18 attend school in Port Alberni, while their families live in the Anacla area, with no support that the subject be addressed. At this year’s People’s Assembly it is recommended to the Executive Council that a process be developed for determining how to better support Huu-ay-aht students who travel to Port Alberni for school, including determining how to provide students with appropriate accommodations and support while in Port Alberni and transportation back to their homes on weekends. And also to provide interim support to the Huu-ay-aht students and their families currently commuting from the Anacla area to Port Alberni for school.

For a list of all motions that will be addressed at the People’s Assembly, go to the Huu-ay-aht website People’s Assembly section at http://huuayaht.org/?page_id=4353.

Understanding the LNG motion for the People’s Assembly

So what is the LNG Motion at the People’s Assembly all about?

At the People’s Assembly, Huu-ay-aht citizens will be asked if they support leasing the Sarita land to Steelhead LNG for no more than 35 years for the proposed Project.

Purpose of the Vote:
• To decide whether Huu-ay-aht citizens are in favour of learning more about the proposed Project, by conducting environmental, traditional use and technical studies, over the months and years to come.

• To vote on whether the lands, which will become Treaty Settlement Lands (TSL), should be leased to the Project in order to conduct these studies and possibly construct and operate the LNG facility.

For more information and help in understanding the motion, check out the Understanding the LNG Motion at our People’s Assembly brochure.