Tseshaht Chief Councillor Cynthia Dick was appointed to the Port Alberni Port Authority Board of Directors on Oct. 24. (Denise Titian photo)
Two years into her term as Elected Chief of Tseshaht First Nation, Cynthia Dick was thrilled to announce that the provincial government has appointed her as their representative to the Port Alberni Port Authority Board of Directors.
The three-year term will allow her to join Huu-ay-aht’s Jeff Cook as Nuu-chah-nulth voices for the decision-making body that oversees marine infrastructure and environmental protection of Port Alberni’s waterfront.
The Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) Board of Directors consists of seven members. Direct appointments are made by the federal, provincial and municipal governments. The remaining four appointments are made by B.C.’s minister of transport.
The board is responsible for the management of the activities of PAPA, including maintaining a high level of safety and environmental protection; and managing the marine infrastructure and services in a commercial manner.
Dick thanked Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser.
“He has been in our corner every step of the way to achieve First Nations representation on the PAPA Board of Directors,” wrote Dick in a social media post.
“I’m very excited; we are at a most opportune time in history with the federal government wanting to build relationships with us, and this is a step in that direction,” said Dick.
Chief Dick told Ha-Shilth-Sa that her elected council had made it a priority to lobby the governments for First Nations representation on the board.
“We worked with other First Nations and with MP Gord Johns and MLA Scott Fraser,” said Dick.
Noting that the federal government has a duty to consult First Nations on industrial activities in their territories, Dick said this appointment is one step closer to having Tseshaht First Nation’s interests in the harbour protected and to allow the nation to be more involved in the decision-making processes in their traditional territory.
The PAPA Board of Directors governs the Port Authority, which in turn operates Clutesi Haven Marina, China Creek Marina, Harbour Quay and Fishermen’s Harbour. The PAPA also leases lands from the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to operate a 250-site campground at China Creek Marina.
PAPA is responsible for both the day-to-day operations of the harbour, and the long term development and improvement of the waterfront facilities, including recreational marinas and secondary industries to the extent that these activities are specified in the Port Alberni Port Authority Letters Patent. There are three deep-sea berths with a storage assembly area of seventeen acres. The terminal has historically handled lumber, pulp, newsprint, plywood and logs.
Chief Dick’s appointment to PAPA Board of Directors began Oct. 24.