On June 22, 2021, Huu-ay-aht was honoured with a visit from Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief RoseAnne Archibald. Archibald was recently elected to her role as National Chief on July 8, 2021. Archibald hails from the Taykw Tagamou Nation of Ontario and is the first woman National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Also in attendance was Nuu-chah-nulth Vice-President Mariah Charleson of Hesquiaht.
The National Chief arrived during an elder’s community engagement session where she had kind words and gifts for Huu-ay-aht. She presented Tayii ḥaw̓iił ƛiišin and Chief Executive Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. with a gift of medicines from her home including sweet grass, sage, and tobacco. Archibald went on to say she gives medicine because it is about healing.
Huu-ay-aht Executive Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. utilized the visit of the national chief to table important issues facing Huu-ay-aht. Robert spoke passionately about his desire for Huu-ay-aht to gain and utilize its fair share of the fishery economy. He stated that one of his priorities was to get Huu-ay-aht citizens back on the waters and to make fishing a viable industry for Huu-ay-aht citizens. He stressed how the AFN leadership could help advocate federally for Huu-ay-aht on this issue to influence policy to create more opportunities for Huu-ay-aht fishers.
Archibald said that she would support Huu-ay-aht in its goals surrounding fisheries federally. Emphatically she spoke on how she understands what salmon and fishing mean to Huu-ay-aht both economically and culturally. She further stated that she will work hard for Huu-ay-aht’s inherent rights, treaty rights, and constitutional rights.
Executive councillor Edward R. Johnson also took time to speak on the needs of his portfolio of citizenship and citizen development, as well as the health. Johnson presented Archibald with a copy of the Huu-ay-aht Social Services Project: Safe, Healthy and Connected, Bringing Huu-ay-aht Children Home and its subsequent progress report. Edward spoke on how current federal policy is creating barriers for Huu-ay-aht’s social services project. Johnson said “The Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) refuses to take part in reconciliation” by creating these barriers. He asked for Archibald and the AFN’s assistance in breaking down these barriers and gaining a stronger voice in Ottawa with the Ministry of Child and Family Development.
In closing, Huu-ay-aht executive councillors presented Archibald with a gift of a cedar box of canned salmon from St. Jean’s Cannery. Archibald was thankful saying:
“Thank you to everyone, it is my honour to be here as well. I have travelled through many territories, and I want to raise my two hands to your communities and your ancestors acknowledging the spirits the lands and the waters as I travel through this land.”
She went on the mention that she wanted to connect with Huu-ay-aht and other Nuu-chah-nulth nations more in the future.
The Anacla Community Wastewater Treatment System will provide wastewater treatment and disposal for the growing Anacla Community, as well as the Bamfield Marine Science Centre (BMSC). Future phases could allow for expansion to service the Village of Bamfield. Dosing Chamber and Air Valve Installation on Bamfield Road work is going to temporarily close the Bamfield Road. The Contractor will be working along the shoulder of Bamfield Road between South Bamfield Road and Hull Road. Temporary lane closures will be required for the safety of public and work crews. These closures will take place Weekdays and Weekends from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (will vary depending on weather). Every effort will be made to keep local disruptions to a minimum. Construction signs will be posted, and flag persons will be on duty to assist with the traffic flow as required. Please exercise caution, obey all signage placed for your safety, and follow the directions of the flag persons on duty. Construction along Bamfield Road is scheduled to be completed between July 28 – August 30, 2021.
For full details, including a map, please follow this link.
July ̣10, 2021 – Huu-ay-aht Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Derek Peters) was featured on CBC Radio show All Points West discussing Huu-ay-aht treasures. Huu-ay-aht First Nations has recently secured a $35,000 grant from the BC Museums Association, which will assist Huu-ay-aht in identifying cultural artifacts and treasures that are currently held by the Royal B.C Museum.
ƛiišin is quoted as saying, “That it [grant] is allowing us to get back in touch [and] reconnect with the treasures that have been housed in the museum.”
When asked about how Huu-ay-aht is going about identifying treasures within museums and the process for relocating them, ƛiišin stressed the importance of consulting elders and the histories that they provide in addition to professionals.
ƛiišin emphasized how much the repatriation means to Huu-ay-aht. This process has been a long time coming and the highlight of it all is that it is becoming a reality for Huu-ay-aht to see its treasures returned.
The process for identifying and repatriating these treasures is still in its early stages. Ultimately, once the treasures have been identified and are able to be returned, they will be housed in the cultural centre, which is to be constructed in Upper Anacla. In 2016, Huu-ay-aht celebrated the return of some cultural treasures that are currently housed in the Anacla Government offices.
Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis is starting to feel a bit of relief and optimism in the air that has been missing for a year. Numbers are dropping and vaccination rates are climbing. He sees that as a positive sign. We are finally almost out of the woods.
The Province of B.C. announced that, as of July 1, 2021, they would lift the State of Emergency in our province. This ends the longest State of Emergency in British Columbia’s history. This is a great step and shows we are heading in the right direction.
For a complete copy of the Chief Councillor’s letter to citizens, go to this link.
Huu-ay-aht First Nations is disappointed that the Ancient Forest Alliance released a report today calling for the immediate end to all old- growth logging without taking into consideration the constitutional rights and title of First Nations or their social, cultural, and economic needs.