Dave Dennis, Public Works manager, has been employed by Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation for four years. His responsibilities include supervision of the maintenance crew, housing construction, infrastructure, waste, water and renovations of homes.
Since 2009, 80 homes have been built, including an elders’ unit, and about 350 people now live in Ty Histanis. The elders really appreciate their new homes and especially like living so close to the community garden.
The houses are built to withstand the weather conditions of the West Coast. Each house is connected to the geothermal system, which cuts down on electrical costs. Three-foot overhangs are built at the entrance to prevent rot. Heated floors and double-paned windows are installed.
On any given day, the community of Ty Histanis is busy with heavy machinery cutting down trees, digging up the earth and removing stumps. Electricians, plumbers, roofers and painters work on new units, with vehicles coming and going to deliver goods and to remove debris. Construction of a new clinic is underway and expected to be completed in January 2017.
Negotiations for another 44 units will be underway soon.
Plans are in place for an electrician and plumbers course in September, and if you are interested and would like to register, contact Dave at 250-725-3350.
Identifying funding opportunities is underway to seek funds to build a gymnasium, ball field and an additional playground.
At Ty Histanis there is a maintenance yard that is fully fenced, with security cameras in place to prevent theft and vandalism. Some members are using the site as a boat storage area as well.
There is also a cemetery at the new subdivision, which is much easier to access and maintain.
Throughout the community there are speed bumps and roundabouts put in place for the safety of the children and members.
During the spring, summer and fall there are always children out playing at the park, and riding their bikes on the pathways. People work in their gardens, members smoke fish and families enjoying summer barbeques in their back yards. Children and adults can be seen swimming, surfing and paddle boarding on nice sunny days in the ocean.
Rosalee Brown moved from Vancouver a year ago, and is very happy to be home. She said she loves living at Ty Histanis. She and her husband Michael have built a small vegetable garden and beach comb at Long Beach collecting poles to build a smoke house. Rosalee is slowly learning about her family lineage and looks forward to meeting her relatives.
Joe David has started up a transportation business and drives people to Tofino or Ucluelet for work, doctor appointments, banking, shopping and attending activities or driving students to school.
The Tofino Bus Company offered free shuttle services as a pilot project for Esowista and Ty Histanis to see if there is a need for this service.
Some members do utilize the Tofino Taxi and Bus Service to get to town.
District 70 school buses come into Ty Histanis and nearby Esowista to pick up children who attend Wickaninish school in Tofino or the Ucluelet High School.
A community celebration is being planned for a later date, a time to come together and acknowledge the hard work of chief and council who negotiated and were successful in obtaining the approval to build the new subdivision of Ty Histanis.