In a Special People’s Assembly on April 10, 2021, Huu-ay-aht First Nations citizens showed overwhelming support for a proposal that will enable Huumiis Ventures LP (wholly owned by Huu-ay-aht First Nations) to purchase an additional 28% interest in TFL 44 LP.
“When we signed the Maa-nulth Treaty it gave our citizens a constitutional right to play an active role in the future of their Nation,” explained Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. following the vote. “Today citizens practiced that right and show their support for this deal.”
Citizens were presented with a motion asking for support of a second investment of 28% in TFL 44 LP, bringing the total investment to 35% interest. The vote showed 82% of citizens voted in support of moving forward with the transaction, while 12% voted against. Citizens also voted on three other supporting motions that would move the investment forward with similar results.
“Throughout this process, we were led by our sacred principles of ʔiisaak (Utmost Respect), ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care of), and Hišuk ma c̕awak (Everything is One),” said Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Head Hereditary Chief Derek Peters). “We followed the guidance of our citizens and Ḥaw̓iiḥ Council, and we brought an opportunity to our citizens that we believe will honour our ḥahuułi and ensure it will support many generations to come. We look forward to carrying out the task of working with citizens, leadership, and partners.”
Huumiis currently owns 7% of TFL 44 LP, with Western Forest Products Inc. owning the other 93%. This step will increase that ownership to 35%, giving Huu-ay-aht much more say in what happens on their Traditional Territory. It also paves the way for the second stage of the transaction, acquisition of a further 16% interest in TFL 44 LP, to be considered in the first quarter of 2023. This stage would also be subject to a further vote of citizen at a People’s Assembly.
“Today, we moved forward with our Modern Mind, while honouring our Ancient Spirit, and we showed how resilient we are as a Nation,” Chief Dennis said. “This deal gives us more influence in what happens on our ḥahuułi and create opportunities for our citizens and our Nation, while focusing on being economically viable and environmentally sustainable.”