Category Archives: Indigenous Nations

‘It was created for settlers by settlers’

Editor’s note: Indigenous students are not the only ones who do not feel they fit into the normal educational system, but there are high school and post-secondary alternatives. The Cortes Island Academy offers a high school accredited program based on experimental, project-based education. (Both ‘Indigenous’ and ‘settler’ kids are welcome.) Some Indigenous schools offer land based learning. I suspect that the ‘normal’ school experience can vary a great deal as well. The Cortes and Quadra Island elementary schools appear to have highly innovative programs. It is also interesting to read about the Vancouver Island University’s attempts to become more culturally sensitive and the Kwak’wala language revitalization at UBC.

By Roisin Cullen, Pique Magazine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A young person’s first week in university should be an exciting and equally nerve-wracking time, but for 22-year-old Aiyana Kalani of the Lil’wat Nation, it was an eye-opening experience.

Kalani went to Vancouver Island University (VIU) in 2021 to major in digital marketing and minor in journalism, but found the experience incredibly isolating. She has since returned home and does not plan on continuing her studies.

Continue reading ‘It was created for settlers by settlers’

Frustrated with government, Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs wavering on support for B.C. pipeline

Editor’s note: The Wet’suwet’en Nation is about 300 miles due north of Campbell. While there is no statistical data to show how widespread this sentiment is, a number of local residents have expressed sympathy for their struggle against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline. Max Thaysen, the current Alternate Director for Cortes Island, was a legal observer when the RCMP ‘invaded’ Wet’suwet’en Territory on February 7, 2020. There were protests in support of the Wet’suwet’sen on Cortes Island and in Campbell River. Many Quadra Island residents participated in the latter. When former MLA Claire Travena held a BC Ferries meeting on February 28th, 2020, she was forced to devote the first 20 minutes to a discussion of the Wet’suweten crisis.

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

On a bitterly cold morning in early March, Gitxsan Simgiigyat (Hereditary Chiefs) stood outside the provincial  Supreme Court building in Smithers, B.C., their regalia fending off the  icy air.

“Our way of life has been subverted by the  Canadian government,” Simogyat (Chief) Molaxan Norman Moore told a  gathering of supporters and observers, his voice reverberating off the  drab concrete building.

Inside, proceedings continued for a Hereditary Chief of the neighbouring Wet’suwet’en Nation, who was found guilty of criminal contempt  in February. The Simgiigyat organized the demonstration to show their  support for Dinï ze’ (Hereditary Chief) Dsta’hyl, who was arrested in  October 2021 after decommissioning Coastal GasLink machinery at pipeline construction sites on his Likhts’amisyu Clan territory. 

Continue reading Frustrated with government, Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs wavering on support for B.C. pipeline

‘It’s all Haida land’: Nation’s title to be officially recognized over the entirety of Haida Gwaii

By Julie Chadwick, IndigiNews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.

In a decision that has been more than 50 years in the making, “B.C.” has announced the completion of a draft agreement that formally recognizes the Haida Nation’s Aboriginal title throughout its entire territory of Haida Gwaii. 

Continue reading ‘It’s all Haida land’: Nation’s title to be officially recognized over the entirety of Haida Gwaii

Homalco expand lands in Campbell River through purchase from Mosaic

Gleaned from various sites on the web

The Homalco First Nation recently expanded its Campbell River holdings by the purchase of 390 acres from Mosaic Forestry Management. Chief Darren Blaney and Rob Gough, CEO of Mosaic, signed the deal in a ceremony at Homalco Hall. 

“We are celebrating more than the acquisition of land for the Homalco people. The land deal has been decades in the making, and it lays the foundation for a future filled with promise and prosperity,” said Homalco Chief Darren Blaney in a press release. “Our community is strengthened by our connection to lands and resources, and our relationship with community. I want to thank Mosaic Forest Management for supporting this vision and making the sale a reality.” 

Continue reading Homalco expand lands in Campbell River through purchase from Mosaic

Indigenous food gathering nourishes culture and climate resiliency

Editor’s Note: Some First Nations members from within our listening area may have been among the hundreds of participants, ‘from both coasts and the length of the island,’ who took part in the Island Indigenous Food Gathering. The Homalco, Klahoose, K’omoks and Tla’amin are all Northern Coast Salish Nations. The We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum are Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations.

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

First Nations from across Vancouver Island celebrated and strengthened traditional food sovereignty in a bid to deepen Indigenous communities’ response to climate change and other emergencies.

The recent Island Indigenous Food Gathering near Port Alberni, B.C. , involved hundreds of members from the Nuu-chah-nulth, Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations from both coasts and the length of the island, said organizer Nitanis Desjarlais.

Continue reading Indigenous food gathering nourishes culture and climate resiliency