Tag Archives: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

The Story Behind ‘Keepers of the Land’

The audio version of this story begins with a solitary male voice raised in a seemingly ageless First Nations chant. Then Doug Neasloss, elected chief counselor of the Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nation, states, “We’ve always had the responsibility to steward, that’s what we are doing.” 

The clip was taken from Deirdre Leowinata and Tavish Campbell’s documentary ‘Keepers of the Land.’ They spent two years working with the Kitasoo Xai’ Xais in Klemtu, more than 350 miles north of Cortes and Quadra Islands.

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Cutting corners on healthy foods: How do Tofino’s lower wage workers get by with rising living costs?

Editor’s note: We need a study like this on lower wage earners living on Cortes and Quadra Islands, as well as Campbell River.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Tofino, BC – With tourism’s major contribution to Tofino’s economy, the industry itself is “less likely” to offer the region’s living wage, according to a recent report. 

While the costs of food, shelter, and transportation increase, tight food budgets are likely as locals cut corners to shoulder expenses. 

In early November, Clayoquot Biosphere Trust published their biannual Vital Signs report revealing the regions living wage of $26.51 per hour is almost 10 dollars over the province’s minimum wage of $16.75.

Continue reading Cutting corners on healthy foods: How do Tofino’s lower wage workers get by with rising living costs?

Nuu-chah-nulth youth restore clam gardens for future generations

Editor’s not: Another example of First Nations youth embracing and learning from their traditional wisdom.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

In late Spring, $80,000 was allocated to the Nuu-chah-nulth Youth Warrior Family Society with Ka:’yu:’k’t’h/Che:k’tles7et’h to support food security and the development of clam gardens throughout Nuu-chah-nulth territory. Since then, youth from across Nuu-chah-nulth have restored two clam gardens located in Tla-o-qui-aht and Huu-ay-aht territory with plans for more to come.

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Reclaiming surfing as a traditional native women’s sport

Editor’s note: highlighting the First Nations origins of a popular sport.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Tofino, BC – As the sun beamed onto Esowista beach, youth of the MułaaRising Tide Surf team gathered around Lacy Kaheaku, a native to Hawaiʻi, to learn how to carve traditional wooden surfboards and the Indigenous roots of the sport.

“Women did a lot of the surfing in native Hawaiian culture,” said Kaheaku, adding that royalty, alongside warriors, would also surf. “But majority of the leisurely surfing was done by women.”

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First Nations youth make their mark by cultivating ancient food systems in their territories

An inspiring trend to watch:

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Two dozen young men spilled out of their tents just after dawn, pulled on gumboots and work gloves, and lugging shovels and buckets, trudged down a logging road to a remote bay on Vancouver Island’s wild West Coast. 

There was a moment of calm punctuated by the breaths of two killer whales breaking the surface of the bay while they waited for the tide to drop so they could begin work. 

The moment the waters retreated, the group of First Nations youth, their adult mentors and knowledge holders, squelched onto the tidal flat in unison to haul rocks, debris and shift shellfish as quickly as possible before the ocean waters flooded back in. 

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