Greetings Klahoose people.
Summer is all but gone and as we look towards the fall getting ready for the winter. Over the years in my cultural teachings I have learned this is an important time for everyone. It is important because each year the salmon are all running back to the rivers and the temperature in the air is slowly dropping. This all leads to the smoking of fish and gathering of materials to prepare for the winter months. Klahoose have been doing this every season for generations and will continue to live in this traditional way. It is who we are and what we are made of.
Looking back on the summer months I remember the good times we had at Camp Au’puk’wum. This year’s camp was a short one (only 4 days) but it was a fun filled event loaded with sunshine and cultural teachings. Over the years the camp has been successfully running with help from community members as far back as the 1970’s and the tradition continues today. On behalf of Klahoose Council I want to express to the membership how important these events are to our community the teachings for the next generation. Language immersion, cooking, fishing and learning to live remotely as a family unit are all the great attributes for a great community and the camp demonstrates this every year.
The Jimmie Creek Run-of-River Hydro project seems to be a going concern for our members. Here is an update for the membership:
The project has been progressing well over the course of the summer and we are pleased to announce that the first portion of penstock has been installed and the remaining will continue. This marks a major milestone for the project and we are extremely proud of all of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.
Road construction is complete and further construction on the power house and other objectives are underway.
Camp construction is also nearing completion and we expect to have everything fully operational. A new larger kitchen was added along with more room wings during July and August.
The long, hot, dry summer and “extreme” fire ratings for many days dominated fire safety concerns in the Toba Valley. A fire safety specialist was brought in to assess the risks and provide guidance on fire preparedness and procedures. As a result, a dedicated Fire Warden was hired to ensure appropriate fire prevention measures were in place and followed. Proper firefighting equipment was strategically placed around the site and monitoring of the site and work activities is ongoing. As a further precaution on “extreme” fire rating days, crew hours are adjusted to avoid work being undertaken during the hottest periods of the day.
Many Klahoose members are now on site working in different areas of the project. We hope that as new phases of the project progress there will be further First Nation employment opportunities.
If you are a Klahoose member and are looking for an opportunity for employment contact Employment Coordinator: Patricia McDougal firstname.lastname@example.org 250.830.7254
Our T’oq Woodworks Sawmill has been busy with filling orders of lumber for our members and the local areas on Cortes Island. Included on the sales was a large order for a new dock in the Yekwamen (Toba, IR#1) for the Jimmy Creek project. Klahoose Councillor Kevin Peacey has been diligent taking care of the building and running the mill.
Four new houses were completed and are currently being occupied with Klahoose members who are buying to own. The new homes are a showcase on Klahoose determination to provide quality housing options to our members. We are always hoping our members choose to come home and we like seeing the new faces in the community. The housing department are working hard on updating housing policies and getting Klahoose out of an outstanding debt of rental arears. Coordinator Helen Hanson has been doing an outstanding job for us.
Audit and Economic Development
Klahoose survived another yearly audit and Council wants to share our results with the membership. Over the months ahead we plan on having our yearly audit meeting but this time we are encouraging our members to visit home at T’oq (Squirrel Cove). You will see some news about incentives to travel and a welcome home to our members in celebrating our communities’ successes and needs. All of our members near or far are family and we want to have you share with us. Periodically you will small engagements with community members in urban settings as well, to take time to hear your concerns. This has been ongoing since I became the leader but I wanted to remind you all communication is key to our success. Qathen Xwegus Management Corporation, our economic development department wants to share its audit with you as well. We want to help our membership understand what goals and visions we are bringing to our community and how it supports everyone in the Nation. As stakeholders you are what drives us to work so very hard and we want to share this knowledge with you.
News and Communications
We now have a team for graphic web design and communications. This month we plan to unveil a new website which is easier to access information which will include an online e-newsblast every month on community news and information. Klahoose member, Robert Mearns has been a great asset in these efforts. Another Klahoose member, Johnny Hanuse will be working on writing and editing for our postings on our web site including assisting Klahoose Youth Worker Jacqueline Mathieu with the local paper newsletter. This team will provide an avenue for information to be shared with the greater Klahoose membership. Look for a new design and professional newsletter coming your way.
Long House and Pole Construction
This summer after recommendations by concerned community members Klahoose Council agreed to sign a letter of intent to do research on what it would take to build a traditional long house in the Klahoose territory. Many folks realize some cultural connections have been broken over the years since European contact but we have been given some offers from other neighboring Nations to regenerate the long house practices. Many community leaders are very supportive of building a long house so Council are looking into the details for what it takes to revive this cultural tradition. We have learned we can find alternate funding to make this a reality. Cultural leader and big house dancer, Randy Louie is dedicating his knowledge to these efforts. We raise our hands with respect to you Randy. Klahoose Council has also budgeted for three Poles to be constructed in three areas of our territory. Plans are under way to develop these for spring 2015.
Klahoose is rapidly changing and improvements are consistently taking place. We need to have your current phone number and address to get a hold of you when any major announcement takes place which would greatly affect our members. This includes efforts in food fish, community events and distribution. If you move or change numbers get a hold of our Administrator Marion Mckellar email@example.com or our finance department, Tracy Girling firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Community Events
Once again Klahoose will be hosting a super Family Halloween gathering at T’oq (Squirrel Cove, IR#7) October 31st, 2014. As previous years it will be highlighting food games and fireworks show. Best prizes for costumes will also be awarded.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without our Holiday dinner parties. As in the past we will have three locations which will be available to our members, Powell River Tuesday December 2nd , Campbell River Saturday December 6th and T’oq (Squirrel Cove) Tuesday December 16th. Santa will be there and so will I and members of Council.
Ongoing work with Tla’Amin, Homalko and Comox nations towards developing an all-encompassing dictionary is well under way. Klahoose Language authority and teacher, Jessie Louie is helping with other Klahoose members in this development. Tla’amin Language specialist Betty Wilson has been instrumental in bring this to the forefront of importance for all the Nations. Klahoose will be signing a memorandum of understanding September 30th, 2014.
A big part of our success at Klahoose comes from the hard working staff both at Squirrel Cove, Toba Inlet and Powell River. Our team is always working to do the best we can for you the membership and at this time I want to recognize my Council, Kathy Francis, Mavis Kok and Kevin Peacey. Also Marion Mckellar has been a stellar performer and we value the hard work she does for the entire membership. All of our administration staff have been outstanding mentors and I thank every one of you for your dedication to our people. Without you all I am nothing and you always stand next to me with every decision I make.
I hope to have a monthly blog up and running on our site. A weekly (if not daily) account of my whereabouts and efforts to improve for our Klahoose people. My first installment will be about how the Tsilhqot’in decision affects us in a positive way and our ongoing fight with Department of Fisheries and Oceans in regards to our fishing rights. Also some updates on our marine development and other exciting news. Stay tuned as more details to unfold.
Take care and let’s keep in touch.
Klahoose First Nation