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Č̓iin̓uł (Pole-unveiling) Celebration POSTPONED

Due to structural challenges in the installation process, Huu-ayaht First Nations has decided to postpone the č̓iin̓uł (pole-unveiling) celebration

The 7,000-pound totem pole raising, scheduled for Friday, August 17 at The Motel in Bamfield, will be rescheduled for a later date, which is still to be determined. Huu-ay-aht wants to be sure that thorough engineering and proper procedure is followed before raising Master Carver George Nookemus’ latest work.

The cement has been poured and the engineering process has begun, however, this is a very large and heavy totem pole, and Huu-ay-aht First Nation does not want to leave any pieces to chance. Those involved in the raising of the pole have advised the Nation that an additional two to three weeks would allow enough time for the cement to set and for the engineers to ensure that once the pole is up it will remain standing for many years to come.

The free community event and unveiling of the totem pole will include a cultural celebration with speeches by Huu-ay-aht First Nations Hereditary and Elected Chiefs, recognition of the master carver’s work, cultural dance, and a beach barbecue. The Nation is currently waiting for confirmation from those involved in the structural aspects of the totem pole and will release a new date once it has been set.

Nation swears in Tribunal’s Vice Chair, Brent Mullin

On Wednesday, July 4, Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Derek Peters) swore in a new member of Huu-ay-aht’s tribunal. Lawyer Brent Mullin took the oath and will begin his duties as the vice chair of the Tribunal immediately.

Mullin has 35 years’ experience as a lawyer and adjudicator with the province of British Columbia. Most recently, he served for 16 years as the chair of the Labour Relations Board of B.C., the province’s leading administrative tribunal. Prior to that, he served as vice chair on the board for six years.

He also brings to his position on the tribunal an extensive career in labour relations, where he focused on ensuring the timely and pragmatic resolution to disputes under the Labour Relations Code. He also uses this knowledge in his practice of law.

Mullin did his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Victoria and completed his Masters of Arts at Queen’s University. He then returned to B.C to complete his Bachelor of Laws at the University of British Columbia.

Mullen had a tour of Huu-ay-aht’s traditional territory with his son Zack on Wednesday, prior to taking the oath. After he took the oath he expressed his appreciation to the Nation and said he was looking forward to working with Huu-ay-aht on the Tribunal.

Huu-ay-aht citizen Marjorie White received Order of Canada

Huu-ay-aht elder Marjorie White is one of 105 appointees to the Order of Canada this year.

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, today announced the new appointments to the Order of Canada. The new member list includes 3 Companions (C.C.), 20 Officers (O.C.) and 82 Members (C.M.). Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”). Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

Marjorie White has also been recognized by the Province, receiving the Order of British Columbia in 2016 (pictured here).

Congratulations to Marjorie!

Follow the link to see the complete list: http://www.vancourier.com/news/seven-vancouverites-named-to-the-order-of-canada-1.23353871

Huu-ay-aht gains ground on commitment to working with both levels of government

More than three months ago Huu-ay-aht First Nations declared the treatment of Huu-ay-aht children by the Province of British Columbia a public health emergency.

Since that time, Huu-ay-aht Executive Council and staff have been working diligently to gain support from both the provincial and federal governments.

Earlier this spring, a delegation from Huu-ay-aht travelled to Victoria and Ottawa sharing Huu-ay-aht’s story and the extensive work that has been put into developing the Social Services Program. To date, Huu-ay-aht has funded the project on its own, paying more than $600,000 of the $1.8 million per year required to implement the 30 recommendations from the Social Services Report. The hope moving forward is to receive both financial and practical support from all levels of government.

“A number of years have passed since we received a public apology from Canada, but that was just words,” explained Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. “So far no resources have been put forward to help us deal with the issues that came out of residential schools. I think this is long overdue.”

On Wednesday, June 13, Huu-ay-aht made great progress on this goal when they hosted senior members of Indigenous Services Canada in the territory.

Child and Family Services Director General Margaret Buist attended on behalf of Indigenous Service Canada. She brought with her Joseph Damaso, B.C. Region Program Advisor for CFS Engagement and Reform as well as Jean MacDonald, B.C. Region Program Officer for CFS. Both MacDonald and Damaso sit at the Tripartite Table with Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Canada, and B.C.

“I was struck by how much work has already been done by your Nation, and so I wanted to see it first hand by visiting your territory,” Buist said of Huu-ay-aht’s Social Service Project. “We’ll get in your canoe and paddle with you for the children and families who need our help.”

Although all three guests were familiar with the project and how far Huu-ay-aht has come in implementing the 30 recommendations, Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Derek Peters), Councillor Sheila Charles, and the Chief Councillor all shared their personal reasons for pushing so hard on this project.

Councillor Charles explained the idea for this came out of years of witnessing the suffering and feeling helpless to do anything.

“It made me see a need in the community for something better,” she said. “What we were doing was just a band-aide solution if we didn’t talk about the personal stories of intergenerational trauma and what we can do to address them.”

Chief Councillor Dennis said the Nation is committed to carrying out the recommendations of the panel with or without help.

“We’re going to resource this,” he said. “I’d rather do it with B.C. and Canada at the table.”

ƛiišin said they must make healthy decisions for the community, and “by doing that we will achieve our goal to bring our children home.”

The week prior, the Social Service Project team met with three representatives from the B.C. Representative for Children and Youth. The Representative for Children and Youth has supported the province’s young people and their families in dealing with the provincial child and youth welfare system. It also provides oversight to this system and makes recommendations to improve it. It is a non-partisan, independent officer of the Legislature, reporting directly to the Legislative Assembly and not a government ministry. The guests included B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth Bernard Richard, as well as the organization’s Executive Director for Indigenous Strategies and Partnerships Haddock and its Chief Investigator Carly Hyman.

Chief Councillor Dennis explained to his guests that he sees parallels between the struggles Huu-ay-aht youth face today and the period when residential school were in place.

“We here today have an opportunity to reverse this,” he said. “We are determined to do what it takes to get our children back. We are going to push as hard as we can, and we want to partner with the province.”

Richard agreed it is an important subject and expressed his appreciation for the work that has been done by the Nation to date.

“We strongly agree with the principles you mentioned, and we are hearing the same desire for this kind of work from the Province,” he said. “If you are serious about bringing about change, you need the resources, and we will do what we can to help.”

Huu-ay-aht has requested $839,800 from the federal government, with a portion of this amount being funded through Jordan’s Principle. We are asking B.C. to match this contribution.





Wear purple to draw awareness to elder abuse

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is marked each year on June 15. This year help Huu-ay-aht mark this important day by wearing a purple shirt or ribbon.

“Like all issues, the first step to begin to put a stop to it is to acknowledge and talk about it,” explains Huu-ay-aht Councillor Sheila Charles. “Elders abuse is becoming a bigger problem and is something that is rarely spoke of. By bringing awareness to this I hope elders are valued, respected, and live free from abuse.”

This is an official United Nations International Day acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.
Since 2006, communities throughout the country and around the world have honoured this day to raise the visibility of elder abuse by organizing events to share information and promote resources and services that can help increase seniors’ safety and well-being. Elder Abuse networks and organizations are planning multiple activities across the country to mobilize community action and engage people in discussions on how to promote dignity and respect of older adults.

Let’s honour this landmark and continue raising public awareness of elder abuse with events across the country! Share your events with us via the form below so we can add them to our list and event map. For more information go to: https://cnpea.ca/en/what-is-elder-abuse/world-elder-abuse-awareness-day