I am sending you all a message of joy and love as we look to finishing an amazing year of success in 2015 and on to a promising future in 2016. I am very happy and proud to be your Haygus (Chief) for the last 5 years working with an amazing staff whose main focus is the integrity of the Nation.
Today I reflect on the success we have to date but I wanted to focus on recognizing the reason for our success. The important task which I need to do is to acknowledge the folks who made it happen, the Klahoose people. It is the will of the people which guides me every day. I am moved by the membership to strive to be the best I can to see our beautiful Nation of Klahoose grow, heal and be leaders of our community. Hold your head high my Klahoose people, your dedication to our cause is what makes us whole. Without your support and voice your leaders have no direction. You bring us direction and we respond.
Throughout the year Klahoose people faced challenges, breakdowns and difficult times. The leaders of Klahoose faced these challenges equally with you. Today I wish to recognize our current Council for their dedication to staying the course to sacrifice time and energy. Kathy Francis, Kevin Peacey and Bill Barnes have been great leaders and I wish to thank you. Another leader who is makes our jobs easier is Marion Mckellar our Nations Administrator. Many of you know her affectionately as Kerry. She is an integral part of our band making sure we are all on track including Council.
Last but not least I wish to thank the supporting staff in our offices both in our home community at T’oq (Squirrel Cove) as well as Yekwamen (Toba Inlet) and various areas in other territories. We have over 100 workers with 75% of these workers who are Klahoose or are family members who are Klahoose. These staffers work in various capacity with forestry, camp services, aquaculture, graphic design, communications, administration, financial management, social development, housing, T’oq Woodworks, maintenance, comprehensive community planning, health, education, eco-tourism, fisheries, language, elders and youth.
Looking to the New Year we have some exciting events to take on and I’m looking for our members to get involved. We are launching the second phase of our Comprehensive Community Planning sessions with a kick off dinner at T’oq (Squirrel Cove) January 5th, 2016. This starts a tour of various community visits leading into the spring looking for input into a community plan. We are also getting a Treaty Working Group of Klahoose members who will be working with Council on education and awareness in regards to the treaty process and Klahoose. We are planning a community meeting in February / March to highlight our audit and conduct an Annual General Meeting to discuss Klahoose and Qathen Xwegus Management Corporation details. We wish to also talk about our next run-of-river hydro project, our resort development plans, as well as discussions about building the first longhouse in our territory since the days of Yekwamen summer grounds.
Finally, I want to express to you all my deepest respect as you share the holiday season together. I am grateful for the gifts we have today and the friends and family who unite our hearts. On behalf of the Klahoose Council I wish you good will and prosperity as we look to a bright and healthy future.
čɛʔatᶿəm kʷʊnome (I will see you later).
James Delorme Chief Councillor Klahoose First Nation