Friday, May 2, 2014

May 2, 2014



It is with shock and sadness that we receive word that A-in-chut, National Chief Shawn Atleo, has resigned from his position with the Assembly of First Nations. We at the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council are very proud of A-in-chut. He carries himself with dignity and honor. He is a hero in our Nuu-chah-nulth communities who remains humble, living his life by two important principles, iisaak (Respect, with caring) and hishuk ish tsawalk (Everything is one.)

“Shawn has always made young people a priority in his work,” said NTC Vice President Ken Watts, “and has provided youth with hope by empowering them with the knowledge that anything is possible.”

He has worked hard over many years in a difficult environment, in challenging economic times, and with a divided First Nations leadership across the country.

“The announcement was a surprise today,” said NTC President Debra Foxcroft. “We acknowledge A-in-chut for all his work.‎ He is a role model, not only in Nuu-chah-nulth territories, but for many people across Canada, and indeed around the world. He was and will remain a mentor to many.”

“On behalf of Ahousaht I am very saddened to hear the news,” said Ahousaht Chief Councillor Curtis Dick. “It comes as a shock to our community and leadership. I give thanks for his service, sacrifice and commitment, for the years of dedication to our people across Canada and for his leadership, determination and passion for our rights and title issues.”

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council would like to thank A-in-chut for his many years of service, and wish him well as he moves forward. Kleco, Kleco.


Friday, May 2, 2014

May 2, 2014


(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo made the below statement in Ottawa, ON today.

“I have stated clear priority on the recognition of Treaty, of Indigenous rights and title, on the safety and security of our most vulnerable, and I have also made my priority on education for our kids plainly clear.

I have said it is OUR TIME as Indigenous peoples, that we must smash the status quo and that my job is as an advocate to open doors for First Nations to drive change.

It is on this basis that we have worked very hard to achieve a new conversation between Canada and First Nations - a conversation grounded in recognition, respect and ultimately reconciliation, and to reach a realization that stronger First Nations are vital for a stronger Canada.

I have had the great honour and privilege to visit over one hundred First Nation schools in every region.  It is the time spent with kids, their dedicated teachers – the parents and the grandparents that has both inspired me and created a steely resolve and determination.  I think of the late Shannen Koostachin, young boys and girls in remote northern communities like young Jayden – you’ve heard me reference so many times before. It is the spark in their eyes and the knowledge that as leaders – as the adults – we must get this right – right now.

The work before us is absolutely challenging – if it were easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Today’s conversation began over 40 years ago with the remarkable leadership of the late George Manuel and many others.  Indian control of Indian education in 1972 - a policy statement crafted by our own educators including Verna Kirkness remains a powerful affirmation of our resilience and our determination to achieve change and justice for our children through education.

Smashing the status quo means ending the glacial pace of change for our people and providing full support for growth and success.  Smashing the status quo means new approaches grounded in recognition and in reconciliation.

The current discussion and diverse views remind us within the Assembly of First Nations that we too have much work ahead.  The inspiration behind the creation of the Assembly of First Nations was to serve as an advocacy body – bringing together the Nations and supporting one another.  I have encouraged reflection on our processes and approach within the Assembly to reflect a sense of re-building our Nations.

Smashing the status quo means that everyone has a role to play. The status quo should NOT be acceptable to any political party – the NDP, the Liberals or the Conservatives.  This status quo should also never be acceptable to our Chiefs and leaders.

This work is a challenge for all Parliamentarians and it is a challenge for our Nations. Everyone knows the recent history here – of an open letter and of a clear resolution and five conditions.

Throughout and, with that mandate of Chiefs, I and many others with me have done everything possible to achieve this change.  

I am very proud of the work accomplished – very proud of our collective efforts to overcome the status quo on this issue and others.

We’ve been through important and sincere efforts before – in constitutional negotiation, a Royal Commission, and other more recent important efforts such as Kelowna taken forward by former Prime Minister Paul Martin.  The current proposal on education is the latest attempt and a sincere, constructive effort on the part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take a step forward.

This work must be understood in that context – as a challenge, not for me, or any one individual – but a challenge and a call to action for the entire country. 

I have fought for this work and to achieve this mandate.  This work is too important and I am not prepared to be an obstacle to it or a lightening rod distracting from the kids and their potential.   I am therefore, today resigning as National Chief.

I have carried out my actions based on principle and integrity.  Personally, I believe this work must happen.   It can and should happen in parallel to other efforts addressing fundamental questions of ‘how’ we do this work.  Now the work started so many years ago must continue.  It must continue in every community and it must continue within Parliament.  I challenge every party and every First Nation to carry forward this work.  Failure is simply not an option.  Fighting for the status quo is simply not acceptable. 

Today I express my deepest gratitude for the support, the generosity and the respect afforded to me by First Nations and increasing multitudes of Canadians across this country.  I have been deeply honoured to serve.

I will, as I have all of my life, continue this struggle in other ways. I want to thank all of those who have quietly worked for education and for our kids.  While people do not hear or see them today – YOU will emerge as the heroes of this work in the future.”

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Conservation Officer Service is requesting the public's assistance in their investigation into illegal hunting of Roosevelt elk in the Cowichan Valley. 

Throughout February and March, seven elk were found dead in various areas of the valley. The elk were found on private land, mostly in areas where hunting is not permitted due to public safety concerns.

The elk were from different herds, and all were female. Given the time of year, some of the elk could have been carrying calves. The carcasses had most of the edible portions of meat removed.

The rash of elk killings is of concern to conservation officers who consider these acts a public-safety issue, and a risk to the long-term health of the elk population.   

If the public has any information about these or any other poaching incidents, they are asked to call the Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1 877-952-7277 or online at:


The BC Wildlife Federation pays rewards up to $5,000 for information leading to the conviction of persons who have violated laws related to the protection of fish, wildlife or the environment.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

At a Special Board Meeting on March 25, 2014, School District 70 trustees voted unanimously to rescind the March 11, 2014 decision that would have seen the closure of both Gill Elementary and Eighth Avenue Elementary schools. Trustees further decided that there would be no school closures for the 2014/15 school year, retaining the current schools and grade configuration for at least one more year.

“Following the March 11th meeting the Board received considerable feedback from parents and community members citing legal and procedural concerns about the decision to close Gill and Eighth Avenue schools”, said Board Chair Larry Ransom. “In response to these concerns, the Board sought legal advice about its school closure process and, ultimately, decided to rescind the March 11th decision.”

The Board also acknowledged that its policy on school closure was not in compliance with Ministerial Order 194 – School Opening and Closure and would be revised prior to the start of any subsequent school closure process.

Chair Ransom further clarified that the ongoing financial pressures facing the school district will be addressed through the upcoming budgeting process and that a new school closure and/or reconfiguration process would commence in the fall of 2014.

For more information on this issue please contact:

Larry Ransom, Board Chair

Cam Pinkerton, Superintendent

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Short delays on Highway 4 in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between Green Point Campground and Combers Beach

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

·     Drivers should expect short delays while travelling on Highway 4 between Green Point Campground and Combers Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm while construction work is underway.

·     Construction crews are currently installing a new water main in the park reserve. This stage of the project will likely be completed by March 17th.

Parks Canada appreciates your patience as we continue to complete this important infrastructure work that, in the long term, will provide a new, safer, lower risk sewer and water distribution system in the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

To stay updated on infrastructure work in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, follow us on Twitter at @PacificRimNPR or call 250-726-3500.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On behalf of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council we would like to congratulate all of our Nuu-chah-nulth players and teams who participated in the 2014 All-Native Basketball Tournament in Prince Rupert from Sunday February 9thto Saturday February 15th, 2014.

In particular, big congratulations to:

· Maaqtusiis Suns for placing 2ndin the Senior Men’s Division,

· West Coast Spirit for placing 2ndin the Women’s Division,

· Hesquiaht Bulls for placing 3rdin the Intermediate Division,

· And congratulations to the Ahousaht Joye and Tofino Wild Women for your participation in the Women’s Division.

As Nuu-chah-nulth citizens and athletes you have been role-models for the youth in your communities over the last week and we hope you all had a safe journey home.

Good luck in 2015!


Deb Foxcroft


Ken Watts


Friday, February 14, 2014

Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper, and by extension the Ha-Shilth-Sa website, is a forum for the respectful exchange of information, news and communications to the Nuu-chah-nulth people. Ha-Shilth-Sa, by the design of the leadership who created it, was never intended to be a forum for debate of, or interference in, the sensitive issues between Nuu-chah-nulth Nations, including disagreements regarding shared territories.

On Friday, Feb. 7, an Open Letter from the Tseshaht First Nation was published in the Announcements section of the Ha-Shilth-Sa website. By publishing that letter, Ha-Shilth-Sa unintentionally inflamed a disagreement on shared territories and has offended other Nuu-chah-nulth Nations. For this we are truly sorry.

Upon receiving a complaint about the Tseshaht letter it was removed from the website. Ha-Shilth-Sa notified the executive of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council about our lapse of judgment and to help repair any hurt feelings we may have caused.

I personally apologize to the nations that were offended by our publishing of the letter. It was in no way my intention to exacerbate the issues between the nations about shared territories. Please be assured we have taken steps to have submissions of this type reviewed by the executive team in the future.

Yours truly,

Debora Steel

Ha-Shilth-Sa Manager

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, representing 14 First Nations along the West Coast of Vancouver Island, is encouraged by the steps taken by the Government of Canada to address First Nations’ concerns surrounding the proposed First Nations Education Act. The dialogue between the Federal Government and the Assembly of First Nations seems to have resulted in some positive movement. Our communities will be eager to review the components of today’s announcement, especially in consideration of the Nuu-chah-nulth Unity Declaration on Education, signed by Nuu-chah-nulth leadership Sept. 24, 2013.

In that Declaration, the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations outline a vision for the education of our children that is rooted in a sacred trust from the Creator. Our children are sacred to the Nuu-chah-nulth. They have a human right to education, protected under Section 35 of Canada’s Constitution, in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Nuu-chah-nulth Unity Declaration on Education calls for our full authority and jurisdiction over our children’s education and schools, for an education that is grounded in our culture and language, and equitably funded and resourced. Our goal is a First Nation Education System that meets or exceeds the public school system in the province.

Our chiefs have a lot of work ahead of them at home in consideration of these complex issues, and from today’s announcement there remains a lot unknown. However, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council is cautiously optimistic that the first steps have been taken toward the realization of a better future for our people.

“We would like to thank our National Chief A-in-chut and the AFN for the work they have done as directed by Resolution from the 2013 Special Chiefs Assembly in December (http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/sca-resolutions-2013.pdf‎) and for their contribution to the betterment of our children's lives and education,” said Ken Watts, Vice President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “Some major steps have been taken in terms of advancing education for our children. We, as Nuu-chah-nulth, will review the information as a collective and develop a response in unity.”

For more information, please call Ken Watts, Vice President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, at 250-731-7218.

Related: http://www.hashilthsa.com/news/2013-09-25/nuu-chah-nulth-nations-stand-together-face-education-legislation




Friday, February 7, 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced an historic agreement between the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations to reform the First Nations K-12 education system through the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act. The legislation will be tabled in Parliament in the coming months.

At its core the legislation will provide First Nation students on-reserve across Canada with the education standards, supports, and opportunities that most Canadians take for granted. Acknowledging that First Nations are best placed to control First Nations education, the legislation will recognize the responsibility and accountability of First Nations to administer their education system on-reserve under the Act. At the same time, the legislation will establish a stable and predictable statutory funding regime that accounts for language and culture programming.

This agreement has been reached following an extensive and unprecedented consultation and discussion period with First Nation leaders, parents, educators and others. Canada will continue to work with First Nations to finalize the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act in line with today’s announcement, and develop the Act’s regulations in conjunction with First Nations.  

This announcement marks an historic milestone for First Nations and all Canadians. Our Government looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with First Nations to implement the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act so that First Nation children across Canada have access to a quality education and can participate fully in Canada’s prosperous future.

Quick Facts

  • Currently, there are no minimum legislated education standards that apply to on-reserve students, including the requirement that teachers are provincially certified, that parents and schools ensure minimum attendance requirements for students, and that education programs offer recognizable certificates or diplomas.
  • The Act will recognize First Nations control of First Nations education and establish much needed minimum standards in a way that aligns and supports First Nations approaches to education.
  • The Government of Canada will provide funding for transition, implementation and school infrastructure, and will ensure that funding is subject to a reasonable rate of annual growth.
  • Aboriginal peoples are the fastest growing demographic group in Canada.  Their full participation in Canada’s economy is critical to the future prosperity of the country.


“Our Government firmly believes that First Nation students across Canada deserve access to a school system with the structures and supports that are available to non-First Nation students across Canada. This bill is good for First Nations, it is good for Canadians, and it is good for our country’s future.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“This bill represents the appropriate, necessary and positive change that First Nations education requires. It will build a stronger system and help to ensure that First Nations youth can become full participants in Canada’s prosperous future.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

In accordance with the By-Laws of the Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society (MHSS), an Advisory Committee will be established  for the purpose of providing guidance to the Board of Directors for setting priorities and preparing strategic plans.

The Advisory Committee will include appointees from each of the Houses comprising the Ahousaht Nation, and representatives from Council, and the Health and Education programs.

Additionally, there will be two (2) seats available to members at large, and one (1) seat available for a youth representative (age 16 to 25). These seats will be selected from expression of interest submissions from Ahousaht members.

The Advisory Committee will meet twice annually with the Board of Directors and will be presented with annual plans and financial reports.

Advisory Committee meetings will be held in Ahousaht unless otherwise determined by the MHSS Board of Directors.

Advisory Committee members will be given an honourarium for attending the two annual meetings only, and travel expenses.

If you are interested in participating on the MHSS Advisory Committee as a member at large, or as a youth representative, please complete the attached Expression of Interest form and submit to Cindy Stern, General Manager, MHSS at cindystern@telus.netor by fax to 250-752-1202 or by mail to 5091 Tsuma-as Dr, Port Alberni BC V9Y 8X9. You can also view this notice and the form at www.mhssahousaht.ca.

All submissions must be sent by February 21, 2014.

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