Nuchatlaht Tribe Newsletters
Bringing our members community news
Bringing our members community news
P.O Box 40
612 Keno Crescent
Zeballos B.C Canada
Hours of Operation:
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Monday to Friday
The Nuchatlaht Title Claim – What's it about?
By Jack Woodward, QC
On January 20 this year, the Nuchatlaht First Nation filed a lawsuit asking the BC Supreme Court to declare that the Nuchatlaht have Aboriginal title to their traditional territories on part of Nootka Island and surrounding areas. The lawsuit also asks the Court to declare that current government-approved logging activities in the claim area infringe Nuchatlaht’s title, and to grant an injunction to stop the logging.
What is Aboriginal title? It is a legal recognition that the Nuchatlaht have occupied their traditional territories since before Canada became a nation, and that Nuchatlaht owns the lands and resources and can decide how to use them. In the 2014 Tsilhqot’in case, the Supreme Court of Canada described Aboriginal title in this way:
"Aboriginal title confers ownership rights… including: the right to decide how the land will be used; the right of enjoyment and occupancy of the land; the right to possess the land; the right to the economic benefits of the land; and the right to pro-actively use and manage the land."
In practical terms, if the Nuchatlaht are successful in establishing title, the government would be expected to seek Nuchatlaht’s consent before making decisions that might negatively affect their title lands (such as logging approvals). It would also confirm that Nuchatlaht, not the government, owns the resources on those lands and has the right to benefit from them.
Currently, the BC government is permitting Western Forest Products to go into Nuchatlaht’s traditional territories and cut down and remove trees. Not only is this damaging the land and removing its wealth in order to enrich an outside corporation, there is also evidence that a large number of culturally modified trees are being cut down, destroying irreplaceable archaeological evidence of Nuchatlaht’s cultural history.
If the Nuchatlaht prove title to these lands, they could insist that any logging activities take place in locations and on terms that are acceptable to them. They could even take over logging operations themselves, or prohibit further logging. It’s your decision – that is the point of Aboriginal title, and that is what this lawsuit is about. You, not the government, get to decide what happens with your lands.
I am honoured to represent the Nuchatlaht people in this important lawsuit. I will give you updates as we move through the process.
Staff Appreciation Day at Nuchatlitz
By Mason Ducharme
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, the Nuchatlaht Tribe staff went on Nuchatlaht’s Sportfishing Charter boat to tour Nuchatlaht ha-ha-hoolthee (traditional territory), and visit Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’ in honor of staff appreciation day.
Nuchatlaht Tribe’s Tyee Ha’wilth (Head Chief) Walter Michael and Band Manager Mason Ducharme, agreed that there should be a day to show appreciation for Nuchatlaht Tribe’s staff continued hard work in serving the Nuchatlaht membership. Nuchatlaht Tribe’s staff does the work they do because they care about their members, however, often, they encounter upset members which can be quite draining and demotivating. Therefore, it was decided that an appreciation day would occur to lift the staff and acknowledge all of the hard work that they do for the members.
Staff appreciation day was a success. On this day, we saw 20+ eagles, 5 humpback whales, 20+ seals, and 10+ sea otters. It was also Mason Ducharme’s (band manager) and Bailee's (community liaison) first time in Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’. The boat ride explored the Nuchatlalht ha-ha-hoolthee boundary lines at Rugged Point and the Waterfall. It was everyone’s first time at the waterfall. For lunch time, everyone went to Nuchatlitz and had a wiener roast -- this was Bailee’s first time at Nuchatlitz.
I would like to thank our members for allowing us to take one day off from the office to show our appreciation for our staff for their continued hard work. It is my hope that the staff are feeling appreciated and recuperated to continue servicing our members.
Family Gathering in Oclucje
On Friday 7th,
Two vehicles traveled from Penticton with Vera Michael, Emory Sr, Kevin, & baby Jakobe in one vehicle, and Emory Jr, his wife, Jennifer, plus 3 of their children; Evelyn, Angel, and Matson.
The next day Vera and her family went over to Walter Michael's (Tyee Ha'wilth) place for brunch. Lots of precious memories were shared as Walter pulled out lots of photo albums to reminisce the past. After brunch, the birthday boy, Emory Jr, Jennifer and their family went fishing with Curtis Michael, Helena Michael, Jord Michael, and Stan Harry on Felix & Rose-Ann Michael's boat. After fishing they traveled to Nuchatlitz. Vera had stayed on the boat as she said "I would not have got back on the boat".
Once they returned back to Oclucje they gathered at the Nuchatlaht Tribe community building with apporoximatly 80 other relatives-- from all over the Nuu-chah-nulth territory-- to share a dinner provided by the community, the volunteers and Vera's family. This blessed event spent with various families was also to celebrate Emory Jr's birthday. He is now 39 years old.