Alexandra Mehl

‘Indigenous practice is prevention’ when caring for youth in foster care

It was scary for Victoria Oscar and her brother to leave their family home in Kyuquot Sound and enter the foster care system.

From age two to 16 Oscar and her brother were in and out of foster care, living in Campbell River, Zeballos, Alert Bay and Kyuquot, among other places. When they entered the foster care system, they arrived with only what they could carry, said Oscar.

Over the course of a year when Oscar was a teenager, they were waiting for “approval” to live with her grandfather, though soon after they were in his care, he passed away.

Homeless allege harassment, while Victoria’s bylaw ensures the ‘safe passage of people’

In the wake of an unsuccessful legal challenge against the City of Victoria’s bylaw department – a case that a tribunal called “extraordinary” for municipal enforcement - members of the city’s unhoused community hosted a rally on March 10 to share the challenges they face.

Niki Ottosen is founder of the Backpack Project in Victoria, an organization that provides supplies like tents, sleeping bags, clothing, and food to Victoria’s homeless. 

The telling of a coastal family’s story through masks, song, and dance

Timothy Masso and Hjalmer Wenstob have spent over a decade working together and collaborating on traditional masks, dances, and songs. In the recent years their collaborations have been used to share Tla-o-qui-aht culture with others. At Naaʔuu the two brothers shared their First Nation’s history, and their family connections.

During the first four evenings of Naaʔuu Wenstob is host; for the remaining evenings fellow Tla-o-qui-aht member Terry Dorward of the Seitcher family will stand before the audience.

Naaʔuu, come together and feast, celebrates Tla-o-qui-aht culture with their own narrative 

Among round tables, in a traditionally inspired longhouse, Naaʔuu invites community members to gather and celebrate Tla-o-qui-aht culture for an evening. 

On March 16 the evening began with Hjalmer Wenstob, co-host and artistic director for Naaʔuu, along with singers welcoming guests with a paddle song. Soon after, the room filled with sounds of laughter and conversation as plates were brimming with salmon, mussels, and bannock, an abundance of coastal cuisine made by Heartwood Kitchen.

In her Nuu-chah-nulth language, eight year old invites NTC executive to cultural sharing event

In a building that was formerly part of the Alberni Indian Residential School, a place where speaking Nuu-chah-nulth was banned among the children who had attended, eight-year-old Jesse Maquinna spoke in the ancestral language to traditionally invite the NTC executive to a cultural sharing event.

Nuu-chah-nulth Education Worker Marsha Maquinna and her daughter, Jesse, traveled from Gold River to present a cultural invitation to the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s executive director, president and vice-president on March 13.

This was Jesse’s second traditional invitation.

Northern Native Broadcasting launches new First Nation radio station, CJNY 106.3 FM in Vancouver

CJNY 106.3 FM hit play on Friday March 3 when it launched at Hoobiyee Ts’aamiks Vancouver with a ceremony. Serving Coast Salish and First Nations in B.C., the Vancouver classic rock will feature Indigenous artists, and plans to host several cultural shows. 

To kick off the programming, The Good Medicine Show, hosted by Ashley Pimlott, launched on March 6. With half an hour aimed at health and wellness, this show airs every Monday at 6 p.m. and is rebroadcast on Sundays at 4 p.m.

Nuu-chah-nulth continue to be ‘100 per cent affected’ by MMIWG, says family support worker

Since 1992, women have been gathering on Valentines Day in the Downtown Eastside for the women’s memorial walk in honor and remembrance of the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse peoples (MMIWG2S+).

According to the Native Women’s Association of Canada, British Columbia holds the highest number of MMIWG2S+ cases. Of the 582 missing or murdered cases that the NWAC gathered, 160 were in British Columbia, making up 27 per cent of the organization’s database as of 2010.

On International Women’s Day, Maamiqsu are guiding the path to the revival of sacred ways

For Marjorie White of Huu-ay-aht, she was given her traditional name, Nanaahimyis, at a potlatch she hosted for her family in 2010. This Tseshaht name had been passed down in her family maternally for generations and given to the eldest daughter.

At the 2010 potlatch, White’s brother said that it was time for her to take the traditional name, Nanaahimyis, that had belonged to her great-grandmother of Tseshaht.

“To carry that name is an honor and I carry it with pride,” said White. “I carry it with dignity because of where it comes from.”

Virtual reality videos share Indigenous conservation efforts in Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht territory

Two new videos that harness virtual reality technology are aiming to change how people see land conservation by telling stories from Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht territory.

Nature United, a conservation organization affiliated with the international Nature Conservancy, produced the videos, which provide an immersive virtual reality experience in Clayoquot Sound.

Hunters fear legislation will threaten traditional practices

Bill C-21, gun control legislation that is currently being considered in Ottawa, was intended to address firearm violence and strengthen laws by controlling handguns and assault rifles. In late November, the Liberal party proposed amendments to the bill that would impact hunters with its broader scope of banning rifles.

At the beginning of February, the amendment that would include some long guns and rifles used for hunting had been withdrawn, though it has been speculated that is only temporary.

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