The territory, or hahoulthee, of the Nuchatlaht Nation is made up of much of the northern part of Nootka Sound and a large part of the rugged and beautiful Nootka Island. With spectacular ancient forests surrounded by rich Pacific coastal waters, this territory was once abundant with wildlife.
But after almost a century of industrial logging, fishing and the forced relocation of Nuchatlaht’s primary village to Vancouver Island by the federal government, the ecological and cultural integrity of Nootka Island is at risk. Corporations such as Western Forest Products and the government of British Columbia have ignored the Nuchatlaht’s wishes and continue mass resource extraction there. So the Nation is in court to get its land back through a title case.
The hearing for the Nuchatlaht title case is set to begin on March 14 and last for several weeks. The next few months are a critical time to support the Nuchatlaht. Together, let's raise the profile of this issue and demand the BC government cease its efforts to block Indigenous land rights!
Despite passing legislation around the rights of Indigenous Peoples and promising to do better, the BC government still continues to throw up obstacles and fight against the Nuchatlaht. Provincial government lawyers are fighting the Nuchatlaht at every turn, outrageously claiming the Nation “abandoned” its territory on Nootka. This is absurd given there are written historical records proving Nuchatlaht never “abandoned” their territory.
TAKE ACTION NOW Raise your voice and demand that the BC government stop saying that the Nuchatlaht “abandoned” their ancient historic territory
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Nuchatlaht has a strong and sustainable vision for their lands and waters. Integral to this is the Nation’s Salmon Parks initiative, which seeks to protect critical valleys and honour the complex but delicate dynamic between the marine and old-growth forest ecosystems.
“The wealth here has always been owned by our people,” explains Nuchatlaht House Speaker Archie Little. “If we cut all the trees, we were poor and if we caught all the fish, we were poor — so we managed our territories and we didn't abandon them."
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READ Check out our publication “No Conservation Without Justice” on Indigenous rights (featuring a piece on Nuchatlaht)
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