Indigenous Perspectives on Territory

Linda Lucas

Recently I attended a “Hesquiaht Land Use Vision Workshop” held in Victoria BC on March 6, 2018.  A committee comprised of Hesquiaht community members and Hawiih (hereditary chief)  have been working diligently over the past few years to plan and consider how to use our Hahoulthee (traditional territory) for future generations. I found the meeting very enlightening, and was surprised and shocked by the maps they presented which provided an overview of:

  • Current land use designations
  • Proposed land use designations
  • Lakes and streams
  • Forest condition

In part, my shock was about how small the “Indian Reserve” of the Hesquiaht First Nations is it considering only 1.1% of the Hahoulthee. Even more concerning is that funding for this project was denied by all the Canadian funding sources, and the Hesquiaht Nation acquired funding from the Nature Conservancy in the United States!  It was also very concerning to see such a high percentage of the Hahoulthee has Tree Farm Licenses and Tree Licenses as part of the plan, and I can only assume that clear cut logging is the method of logging. It is also very concerning to me that there are only 2 streams left that have not been impacted by logging practices.

Hesquiat aerial map