Community Profile: W̱SÁNEĆ's John Etzel Jr. and his parents on competitive lacrosse, rapping for hope, and excelling in spite of discrimination. John Etzel Jr. is one of the many talented W̱SÁNEĆ youth excelling in their athletic endeavors, both locally and across Canada. Since he started playing competitive lacrosse at 12 years old, his career trajectory has been nothing short of incredible. In just a few short years, John has developed a reputation for being “a speedy transition and face-off specialist and perennial All-Star” that is expected to “continue to blow by the competition.” John earned his reputation for [...]
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So far Laurel Anne Stark has created 25 blog entries.
The WLC stands with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, calls on Feds, Province to uphold UNDRIP, come to a peaceful resolution.Laurel Anne Stark2020-02-26T18:35:13+00:00
The WLC stands with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, calls on Feds, Province to uphold UNDRIP, come to a peaceful resolution. February 18th, 2020 - The WLC--representing the Tsartlip, Tsawout and Tseycum First Nations--sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan urging them to make good on their commitments to reconciliation and UNDRIP. As the land defenders and their allies grow in fierce opposition to the $6 billion dollar, 670-kilometer fracked gas pipeline through Wet’suwet’en jurisdiction, the WLC calls for a peaceful resolution to an increasingly volatile situation. The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council (WLC) stands with [...]
Community Profile: Tsawout’s YELḰÁTŦE (Rob Clifford), Ph.D. Law Student YELḰÁTŦE* (Rob Clifford) wasn’t really sure about his life path at first. He was late to sign up for classes at University and ended up taking Anthropology. Somewhat to his surprise, he performed really well. When a professor at the University of Victoria suggested he major in Anthropology, he did. While attending UVic to complete his undergrad, it became clear: Clifford’s interests lay in law, specifically Indigenous Law, known to the W̱SÁNEĆ as Natural Law. Clifford then went on to obtain both of his law degrees—his Juris Doctor (J.D.) [...]
WLC Requests Commercial Herring Fishery Moratorium and Calls Government to Task for Failing to Uphold Douglas Treaty Rights Recently, DFO admitted that herring populations in the Salish Sea declined by 60% between 2016 and 2020. The loss of herring poses serious threats to the survival of Indigenous people and the entire marine food chain. The sharp decline in herring populations is unsurprising to the WLC. While DFO claims that recent herring population numbers are some of the highest they have been since 1951—when DFO began collecting data—oral history and the archaeological record tell a different story: Herring populations [...]
“Kid From the Rez places 6th in the World”: The Incredible Story of the Geronimo Canoe Club The Geronimo Canoe Club is an amazing story of local athletic achievement, against incredible odds. Over the last 40 years, the club’s mostly Tsartlip members have been racing and competing internationally in outrigger canoe races, despite not owning an actual outrigger canoe until last year. Instead, they would practice in dugout cedar war canoes and borrow boats for race days. The current team is small but mighty. The five members, George Horne, ṮḴOLEĆTEN (Joe Seward), Len Morris, Gus Morris, and Jasper Morris [...]
The WLC reaches agreement to review Wastewater Treatment Project, enhance W̱SÁNEĆ sovereignty in the region, and renew W̱SÁNEĆ’s relationship with the CRD. On December 5, 2019, the WLC and CRD signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing the parties to discuss the construction and operation of the CRD’s Wastewater Treatment Project within W̱SÁNEĆ territory. The Wastewater Treatment Plant Project is a $775 million project being undertaken by the Capital Regional District to enhance wastewater treatment in the region. The project includes the following: A Wastewater Treatment Facility at McLoughlin Point to treat the wastewater and remove the residual solids, A [...]
South Island First Nations from Nanaimo to Saanich come together to sign a historic Accord. On November 27th, 2019, after over a year of negotiations, talks and culturally appropriate ceremonies, the IEȽȻIȽTEL or Nuts’a maat kws ‘i’ shul’ hwilasmut tu Skwul ‘i’ kwthe’ Accord was signed. The Accord unites the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council (representing the Tsartlip First Nation, Tsawout First Nation, and Tseycum First Nation), the member bands of the Historic Cowichan Nation (Cowichan Tribes, Stz’uminus First Nation, Lyackson First Nation, Halalt First Nation, and Penelakut Tribe), and Malahat First Nation, Snuneymuxw First Nation, and Pauquachin First Nation. The [...]
The WLC environmental committee rolls out four projects to restore and reclaim native plants within the territory.Laurel Anne Stark2019-11-30T06:48:38+00:00
The WLC environmental committee rolls out four projects to restore and reclaim native plants within the territory. Native plants in the W̱SÁNEĆ territory have been subject to disregard, mismanagement and neglect since colonization. The environmental committee, a newly formed and still growing dedicated body, has been appointed by the WLC to reassert Douglas Treaty rights in order to repair this legacy of ecological damage. Comprised of appointed members from three of the W̱SÁNEĆ villages, each committee member brings wisdom of the W̱SÁNEĆ natural laws and plant life to the initiative. The environmental committee will help to execute one the WLC’s [...]
The WLC is proud to have secured funding under the Nation Rebuilding Program, with the aim to unite the W̱SÁNEĆ people once again. Since the onset of colonialism, the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation has been actively divided: first by the creation of reserves and the promotion of agriculture; next by the imposition of the border between the US and Canada; and finally by the dispossession of W̱SÁNEĆ territory and the criminalization of W̱SÁNEĆ harvesting methods*. This division of the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation has caused severe fracturing of families, identities, and the W̱SÁNEĆ relationship to the land and water. W̱SÁNEĆ ancestors and elders have [...]
The WLC is committed to serving the best interests of each member of the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation. The WLC is pleased to provide a number of exciting and culturally appropriate opportunities for community members to be involved. The WLC has had a productive initial year, rolling out a number of projects and initiatives under the umbrella of the broader mandate. As the organization grows and matures, the WLC is continually seeking and acting on feedback to better serve the broader community in achieving our mandate. As such, we’ve dramatically streamlined our Get Involved process. You spoke. We listened. Once of [...]