Ditidaht First Nation launches village clean-up

Malachan, BC

Ditidaht First Nation has started a community clean-up that will bring together DFN staff, volunteers and school children.

DFN Administrator Eva Wilson told Ha-Shilth-Sa that the project began Mar. 1, 2021 with DFN departments contributing resources for the clean-up.

Elected Chief Brian Tate said his nation, in 2019, adopted a First Nations Land Management Code. The code allows DFN to exercise powers over their land governance without interference from the Government of Canada. DFN holds and manages revenue from its lands instead of ISC. Canada continues to hold title to reserve land.

Tate says that this means that Ditidaht is no longer constrained by ISC (Indigenous Services Canada) policies when it comes to land management. Funding for the clean-up comes in part from DFN Lands dept in order to offer short-term employment, build work skills and bring volunteers together.

Derelict boats and vehicles have already been removed.

Tate noted that there is a ‘big’ need for a community clean-up. With its remote location, the Malachan residents have limited options when it comes to disposing of large items like derelict vehicles. There are also overgrown bushes encroaching on public spaces and in people’s yards.

Tate says the school and daycare each contributed two trash bins for the clean-up. Children from the school will spend two hours each day picking up garbage around the village. Wilson said besides collecting garbage, sprawling bushes will be cut down around houses, roadways and common areas.

DFN Public Works and Housing will also assist in the clean-up, picking up larger items placed on the roadside by residents.

The work is expected to take a few weeks.

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