Table of contents:
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE UPDATE
- Pamela Johnson, EoC Director
Friendly Reminders and Tips:
The Wuikinuxv Nation 14-Day Isolation period is extremely important in keeping our community safe. Especially with increasing numbers of cases and risk of Covid-19 variants.
Here are some important tips to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and it's variants in our community:
People who are vaccinated ARE NOT exempt from isolation requirements, as we have yet to achieve community immunity
You and anyone in your household are required to ISOLATE and closely monitor for symptoms of Covid-19 for 14 days upon entry into Katit (Wuikinuxv Village)
DO NOT have visitors at your home and do not visit others in their homes while in isolation
DO NOT visit public buildings like the Band Office, stores, or schools. This also means going to get freight from the boats and planes. If you have supplies arrive, please opt for the band van or arrange for someone who is not in isolation to pick up your freight until your isolation period of 14 days is complete
Walks, drives, and boat rides are allowed but do not interact with anyone outside of your household and wear a mask when other people are nearby.
Please continue to always wear a mask/face covering when in contact with people outside of your household and keep 6ft apart
Thank you all for your support and tremendous efforts in preventing Covid-19 and it's variants from entering our community. Please continue to be diligent and take proactive measures to ensure all of your safety.
- Stronger province-wide restrictions -
The PHO (Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry) has strengthened province-wide restrictions. These restrictions came into effect March 29 at 11:59 pm and last to May 25 at midnight. They include:
The variance allowing indoor religious gatherings and worship services between March 28 and May 13 is suspended
In addition to the orders, the PHO strongly recommends:
Working from home whenever possible, unless it is essential to be in the workplace
Keeping your child home from school if they feel sick or have any sign of illness
- Masks in schools -
At their work stations (desks)
On school buses
Within and outside learning groups
- Indoor gatherings -
No indoor social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or, if you live alone, your core bubble. For example:
Do not invite friends or extended family inside your residence or vacation accommodation
Do not host a party or event inside your house
- Outdoor gatherings -
Up to 10 people can gather outdoors. For example:
Up to 10 people can gather at a park, beach, or in the backyard of a residence
Do not gather with several groups of new people. Stick to the same people. Continue to use COVID-19 layers of protection and maintain physical distancing. Patios and outdoor areas at restaurants, pubs and bars are not included as places to gather with 10 people at one table.
Under the EPA, an order restricting non-essential travel between certain regions of the province is in place until May 25 at midnight. This includes travel for:
Vacations, weekend getaways and tourism activities
Visiting family or friends for social reasons
- Travel regions -
The order combines B.C.'s five health authorities into three regions of the province. Travel into and out of the regions for non-essential reasons is not allowed and is now prohibited by law. The regions are:
Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health)
Northern/Interior (Northern Health and Interior Health, including Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and Hope)
Residents from the Hope area can travel to Chilliwack for essential goods and supplies
Residents from the Bella Coola Valley and Central Coast area can travel to Port Hardy for essential goods and supplies
Vancouver Island (Vancouver Island Health)
- Enforcement -
The goal of the order is education and reminding people about travel restrictions.
Police will not be engaging in random checks. Periodic road checks may be set up at key travel corridors during times associated with leisure travel to remind travelers of the order.
People from outside the province who are traveling to B.C. for non-essential reasons can be subject to the same enforcement measures.
- Reasons for essential travel -
Essential travel between regions is allowed. Essential reasons include:
Returning to your principal residence, moving or helping someone move
Work, both paid and unpaid (volunteer)
Commercial transportation of goods
Getting health care or social services or helping someone get those services
Court appearance, complying with a court order or parole check-in
Exercising parental responsibilities
Child care services
Attending classes at a post-secondary institution or school
Responding to a critical incident, like search and rescue operations
Providing care to a person because of a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or a physical, cognitive or mental impairment
Visiting a resident (as an essential visitor) at long-term care or assisted living facility
Attending a funeral
Traveling under a PHO variance. For example, BCHL
Do not go on long trips within your region. Now is not the time for overnight vacations away from your community. Stay close to home. Visit your local beach, hiking trail or park.
- Additional measures -
Additional measures are in place to support the restriction on non-essential travel, including:
Increased signage on highways and at border crossings reminding travellers of current restrictions
Hotels and resorts eliminating or cancelling bookings from out-of-area guests
Wuikinuxv Nation current Travel Ban in effect
- Travel Restrictions -
Travel bans for all non-members. Essential workers will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
- Travel bans regulations -
Be a registered Wuikinuxv member
Have not travelled outside of Canada in the past month.
Show no symptoms of illness. Including but not limited to:
Shortness of breath
Agree to self isolate for a minimum of 14 days
Be able to provide in writing confirmation that you have secured a place to stay for the duration of your time in the community and throughout a potential quarantine. A minimum of 2 weeks worth.
Be able to bring sufficient resources (food, medication, household supplies etc.) to support yourself during your time in the community and throughout a potential quarantine. At least two weeks worth. o Have agreement from the household you will be staying at that should you begin to show symptoms of COVID – 19 they will also quarantine themselves from other community members.
Have a history of compliance with past COVID - 19 measures.
We will be working with local transport companies to ensure compliance with these measures prior to booking any travel into the community.
Please continue to wash your hands, practice social distancing, as these practices will have the most significant effect on keeping our community safe in this time.
HEAD START UPDATE
- Hope Johnson, "Champion Mom"
- Logo Contest winner -
We would like to thank everyone who entered the contest and to our 4 amazing judges ( 1 from each family pole ) for making the logo contest a great success! The winners have been contacted about their prize winnings. We will also work on getting the logo redrawn digitally to get a high quality render.
- Easter -
We had a fun and socially distanced Easter Egg hunt for the kids this year on Saturday April 3rd. There was 100% mask participation, and 100% fun! Can't wait for next year!
- ’Wùik̓ala Book - The ’Wùik̓ala first words book for infants and toddlers is taking a little longer than expected. For now it's still a work in progress. Thank you for your patience!
- Family Survey -
There is also a short 2 minute survey available on the website for the families on and off reserve to give input towards the Head Start program and what they would like to see going forward.
OOWEKYALA LANGUAGE PROJECT UPDATE
- David Stevenson, "Project Manager for the Oowekyala Language Project"
The current Oowekyala Language Project started in 2018 with funding from the First Person’s Cultural Council. Terry Reid began work to digitize the previously produced language learning materials. He is able to do so because he is a fluent speaker and he is able to read and write in Oowekyala (’Wùik̓ala). George Johnson was hired to record words and phrases in ’Wùik̓ala. He is also working on adding words from the dictionary, a Short Classified Word list, that was created by the linguist John Rath, back in 1984 to our First Voices web page. All of these words were reviewed by myself, Hilda Smith, Evelyn Windsor, Norman Johnson, and Roy Hanuse and transcribed into ’Wùik̓ala back in the 80s. Each of these words needs to be digitized and recorded and edited and posted to the ’Wùik̓ala web page.
In addition, we have hired Alec Willie, to provided technical computer support and manage the web page and Stephanie Henry to draw illustrations for the Simon Walkus stories that we are working on. Terry has been working on adding the stories told by Simon Walkus that were transcribed and published back in 1982 by John Rath and Evelyn Windsor Walkus. There are currently 2 stories available on the web page to the membership with another 3 stories being worked on. There are other stories and songs recorded that will be added to the ’Wùik̓ala web page. We will continue to archive, transcribe and present as much ’Wùik̓ala words, phrases, songs and stories as possible.
Our attempts to start an in-person Language Club were delayed by the COVID restrictions. After a delay, we were able to start a weekly online language lesson. It has 5 regular students. We hope other people will be interested in joining the lessons. The original plan was to include only elders to enable them to retrieve the ’Wùik̓ala that they heard as children but lost at residential school. However, we also opened it up to anyone interested, so we have 2 novice speakers as well. All of the elders participating are remunerated by an honorarium. Terry organizes the lessons, I review them for accuracy, and George pronounces them for clarity. If you are interested in joining our language learning club, please contact Terry.
The best way to start learning ’Wùik̓ala is to go to the First Voices web portal where you will find our ’Wùik̓ala web page. Click on the link “Learn Our Language” and then choose the "Alphabet" link to hear the alphabet spoken by Hilda Smith. If you listen to the audio files you will become familiar with how to read and write and pronounce Wùik̓ala. I hope more people will take an interest learning ’Wùik̓ala. Let me know if you have any questions.
PERCY WALKUS HATCHERY UPDATE
- Heather Hewitt, "Hatchery Manager"
Over the course of the month 108,590 Kilbella and Chuckwalla fry are now marked and in the sea pens. Thank you to the Guardian Watchmen for the help with transporting them.
The marking crew from Bella Coola will be returning to the hatchery on May 1st to fin-clip and tag 100,000 Wanukv Chinook. After marking is completed, 240,000 Wanukv Chinook will be placed in the sea pens to grow to an average weight of 5 grams before release.
A further 60,000 Wanukv fry will remain at the hatchery to be released directly into the Wanukv River when they have reached 5 grams in weight.
- Jonathan Nolan, Communication Specialist
- Website -
Earlier in the month the website and emails went down for an extended period. Unfortunately some of the Email settings had failed to carry over when I switched to the new website. However, together with Ray the I.T. Admin, we were able to get it working again and I'm happy to say things have been running smooth since.
My focus this month outside of that issue has been two things. The first being the mobile website layout. Currently when you access wuikinuxv.net by mobile device (phone, tablet, etc.) you load the Desktop website. While this version works just as well on mobile, you end up having to navigate it a little more awkward due to the sizing. To help make the mobile experience smoother I have been working on a mobile-specific layout now that the main site is up and running.
My second focus was on user permissions. These do various things, but a good example of what they can do is the "Employee Resource" page. As of now, only users whom are both signed up to the website, and marked as an "employee" have permission to view those resources. Another example is on various peoples names on the website (if they've chosen to make their profile public) you may see a "badge" that shows off things like their job title. This is to make employee's more easily identifiable than regular community members.
Some features of the website include:
Account Sign-Up to make a User Profile
Users who sign up can comment on News posts
Write or Comment on Forum posts
Access the Members page, this page shows other users on the website where you can follow each other and keep in touch
Access your personal user profile where you can upload a profile picture, cover picture, write about yourself, and keep track of your posts
Access other users profiles (this is an opt-in feature, profiles are private by default)
Forums for people to communicate on
Making posts, sharing images/videos, commenting on posts
Frequent updated news, which will be shared on official Wuikinuxv social media channels as well
Resources for both community members and employees
The website will continue to change and grow with time. If you have any feedback or feature suggestions please let me know!
- Newsletters -
Every month will have a Newsletter posted on the last business day that encompasses the important events for that month.
What's your preferred communication method?
CAPITAL PROGRAM, FISCAL YEAR 2020-2021 UPDATE
- Clifford W. Hanuse, Capital Manager
ACRS REPORTING SYSTEM: Due to the COVID-19 crisis the proposed plans to update all capital and housing program reports to Indigenous Services Canada has been delayed. At some point there will be an assessment of all the existing assets of the Wuikinuxv Nation complete with recommendations on improvements to make throughout the upcoming fiscal years. Recently, there have been discussions with the engineers who did the last Asset Condition Report System report to make steps to develop the Operation & Maintenance plan for the daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and annual work plans for the Maintenance Workers.
AIRSTRIP IMPROVEMENT PROJECT: have used the $50,000 provided by WEDCO (Wuikinuxv Economic Development Corporation) and completed the immediate airstrip improvements. The trees on all sides of the airstrip runway have been cleared and the runway graded (with the existing gravel onsite). The airlines have expressed the need for more gravel to be placed on the runway. For now this project is completed. The Wuikinuxv Nation is now charging a fee for the usage of the airstrip.
AIRSTRIP DEVELOPMENT: have worked with engineers to prepare a feasibility study for an airstrip expansion plan of which there were two options: first, a new gravel airstrip at a cost of $2.8 million, or; second, a new paved airstrip at a cost of $3.9 million. As one provincial fund required the Wuikinuxv Nation to contribute a portion of the overall costs it has been discovered that there is a need to identify our own sources of revenues as part of any airstrip development funding application. So it is back to the drawing board with ongoing discussions with the Federal and Provincial Governments for further development on funding application proposals to do the design and construction of an expanded airstrip.
BC FIRST NATION HOUSING AND INFRASTRUCTURE COUNCIL: have been involved in a province wide consultation process that is developing the plans and program development work for the BCFNHIC to take over the management and administration of housing and infrastructure programs from the Federal Government. The BCFNHIC had an introductory meeting with the Wuikinuxv Nation Council and have indicated they are almost ready to complete the current phase of their work.
BIOMASS ENERGY HEATING FEASIBILITY STUDY: Secured $57,800 to do a feasibility study on biomass energy for the Band buildings using logs in the Wuikinuxv Lake, possibly from log salvage areas within the territory and any other source of fibre that can feed a furnace system. The residential homes will be the longer-term goal if the community building system are proven to be feasible. The overall goal is to find ways to cut down the draw on the Nicknaqueet hydro to allow for the future expansion of the community. There will be a community job created for the duration of this feasibility study. This project is now underway.
COVID19 SELF-ISOLATION UNIT BUILDING: worked with the Wuikinuxv First Nation Health Authority COVID-19 Response Committee to construct a $357,852.00 modular building with 3 separate studio units (with bed, television, bathroom, kitchen, etc.) involving truck freight/barging from Calgary to Wuikinuxv, furnishing of the 3 units and now the construction of front/back porches, building roof and skirting. These 3 studio units are for any community members who require to self-isolate due to COVID-19. After the COVID-19 crisis is over these units will be available for the Health department incoming professional staff.
DAYCARE CONSTRUCTION: This $789,150 project initiative is over 90% complete. Wuikinuxv Nation had to come up with at least $164,150 of its own money over and above the First Nation Health Authority contribution of $625,000, of which caused a minor delay.
ELECTRICAL METERING PROPOSAL: Secured $226,000 from the Province of BC to install residential electrical meters and develop a business plan for new electrical system management to operate the hydro system. Like the Biomass Energy Heating Feasibility Study project there will be a community job shared with this project initiative. There will be consultation sessions with the community as well as the Wuikinuxv Nation Council. This project is now underway.
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM UPGRADE: Secured $227,000 to remove and replace PCB contaminated transformers and upgrade the electrical wiring system to allow 3 phase electricity. This Emergency O&M Project is now completed.
EMERGENCY SHELTER REPAIRS ASSESSMENT: through the Emergency Management BC committee process it is agreed that there will be an assessment of the repairs to the Emergency Shelter facility near the water reservoir. It is anticipated that funding for any repaired or replaced Emergency Shelter facility will be through private foundations.
NICKNAQUEET HYDRO FINAL WRAP UP AND WATER LICENCE: have been working with Indigenous Services Canada on the final wrap up procedures to transition to the new electrical system funding for future fiscal years. Wuikinuxv Nation is now ready to have discussions with Indigenous Services Canada on the final operating budget. Also, Wuikinuxv Nation has obtained a water licence for the hydro system.
LOWER BRIDGE CONDITION ASSESSMENT: worked with the Emergency Operations Committee members and engineers on the development of a funding proposal to Indigenous Services Canada for the replacement of the existing lower bridge in the Wuikinuxv Village. The engineers recently finished an onsite assessment of the bridge and will be making their replacement recommendations. Will continue to work with the Provincial Emergency Management Committee on this project initiative.
OIL SPILL/REMEDIATION PLAN: in an advisory capacity worked with the Emergency Operations Committee on the oil spill at RIC. Managed the O&M Program staff contribution towards the oil spill clean up in cooperation with the Stewardship Program Manager/Lead Oil Spill. Also reviewed plans for the remediation plan development work.
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN: will be completing a Physical Development Plan for Wuikinuxv Nation and contribute information that will help the community develop plans for future operations and maintenance infrastructure and capital projects. Hopefully, the plans will help the needs post Treaty as the long-term vision is to have a community of over 1,000 people.
RAPID HOUSING INITIATIVE APPLICATION: acted as an advisor to the development work for the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) Rapid Housing Initiative funding application for affordable housing. This project involved a request for 15 modular housing units in anticipation that 10 would be approved. The CMHC did not approve the request nor did they reject it as they have placed it on hold for the possibility of new program funds during May 2021. Worked with the Housing Committee on the development work and the Wuikinuxv Nation Council on support for this project initiative. There are 15 lots already serviced in the community ready for these housing units.
SEWAGE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE AND CLEAN UP: Secured $155,000 to do an overhaul of the sewage system and completely clean the sewage system of old sewage as well as the individual septic tanks in the Village. This Emergency O&M Project is now completed.
WUIKINUXV EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS SIRENS PROJECT: Secured $144,000 for the installation of an emergency mass notification system which is an early warning siren system to enable the community to prepare for and respond to emergencies such as tsunamis or floods. Two sirens have been purchased and installed: the larger siren at the eastern end of the Village, and; the other near the transmission line on the logging road towards RIC. Much appreciation goes to the Wuikinuxv Volunteer Fire Department for their support and assistance with this project. This project is 90% completed.
SOLID WASTE DESIGN PROJECT: Secured $195,687 to conduct a feasibility study on solid waste and complete the design of a solid waste management centre. Through a community survey the site for a Solid Waste Transfer Station is on the western part of Katit IR#1 (by the logging road at the bridge towards RIC). This transfer station will have 7 large construction size garbage bins which will be barged out to Port Hardy monthly. Started the negotiation process with the Regional District of Mount Waddington to use the garbage dump site in Port Hardy. The design is ninety-five percent 95% complete.
SOLID WASTE TRANSFER STATION PROJECT: Secured $1.5 million to construct a Solid Waste Transfer Station which will happen in late spring or during the summer months. Currently examining ways to work with the WEDCO Midawis company for the construction work. Midawis Maintenance Services is a limited Partnership that was set up in 2007 when WEDCO purchased the machinery and facilities owned by Translake Services. It was established to manage all the logging equipment that was purchased from Translake Services and provide labour contract services.
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE: as much as possible actively participate in the Stewardship Committee meetings.
WASTEWATER FEASIBILITY STUDY: a team of engineers have recently visited Katit IR#1 to conduct site assessments for the wastewater feasibility study of which every effort will be made to encourage the project engineers to recommend a new sewage treatment plant as part of the overall upgrades. This feasibility project cost is $172,058 and may be more due to a change in the scope of work negotiated with the Indigenous Services Canada before the recent April 2021 engineer site assessment work.
WATER SYSTEM UPGRADE DESIGN PROJECT: a team of engineers have recently visited Katit IR#1 to conduct site assessments for the water system design project leading to the project engineers drafting the final designs. This project cost $446,935 which will lead to a funding application to Indigenous Services Canada to do $1.6 million+ in water system upgrades next fiscal year.
WUIKINUXV WHARF AND FLOAT: During November 2020 there was a community consultation process on the design of the wharf reconstruction project and details were provided on the Wuikinuxv Connections Group on Facebook. An updated funding application seeking $2.1 million for the wharf reconstruction project has been reviewed by Indigenous Services Canada of which the Emergency Management Program has given approval for contributing towards the project. It is expected that the Community Infrastructure Program of Indigenous Services Canada will approve their portion of the capital project costs. At the moment the engineers are working on the environmental review process with both the Federal and Provincial Government with the support and assistance of the Wuikinuxv Treaty Process team. It is hoped that the environmental review process will be completed soon so that the final design and construction plans can be done soon enough to meet the window of opportunity for placing the piling wall during January-February 2022. Every effort will be made to have the wharf reconstruction work completed before December 2021.
SECURITY FOR VILLAGE FLOATS AT RIC: have arranged for security improvements for the Village floats at RIC. The floats are anchored now and should be able to withstand the summer Westerly winds. The floats are ready to be returned to the Village wharf when ready. This project is completed.
WUIKINUXV YOUTH CENTRE: During October 2020 helped prepare a $2 million funding application to the Province of BC to build the Youth Centre. If approved the Province will fund $1.5 million and the Wuikinuxv Nation has committed $500,000 to the project. The funding decision by the Province is expected to happen during the summer months. For the design of the building the feasibility study will continue to look at three Options:
Option #1 - original design stick-built construction;
Option #2 - modified design metal building construction, and;
Option #3 - modified design post and beam construction. There will be continued community consultation sessions through the Youth Centre Committee to finalize the design and the development of an Implementation Plan to recommend to the Wuikinuxv Nation Council. Currently, all activity is on hold until there is the funding application decision.
- Lisa Kurytnik, Mental Health Councillor
- Anxiety management strategies -
There are a range of strategies you can try to manage your anxiety. What works is different for everyone, and it can take time to find the strategies that work best for you. But remember, if your anxiety is proving difficult to manage seek support from a professional.
10 strategies to try
Slow breathing. When you’re anxious, your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Try deliberately slowing down your breathing. Count to three as you breathe in slowly – then count to three as you breathe out slowly.
Progressive muscle relaxation. Find a quiet location. Close your eyes and slowly tense and then relax each of your muscle groups from your toes to your head. Hold the tension for three seconds and then release quickly. This can help reduce the feelings of muscle tension that often comes with anxiety.
Stay in the present moment. Anxiety can make your thoughts live in a terrible future that hasn’t happened yet. Try to bring yourself back to where you are. Practicing meditation can help.
Healthy lifestyle. Keeping active, eating well, going out into nature, spending time with family and friends, reducing stress and doing the activities you enjoy are all effective in reducing anxiety and improving your well-being.
Take small acts of bravery. Avoiding what makes you anxious provides some relief in the short term, but can make you more anxious in the long term. Try approaching something that makes you anxious – even in a small way. The way through anxiety is by learning that what you fear isn’t likely to happen – and if it does, you’ll be able to cope with it.
Challenge your self-talk. How you think affects how you feel. Anxiety can make you overestimate the danger in a situation and underestimate your ability to handle it. Try to think of different interpretations to a situation that’s making you anxious, rather than jumping to the worst-case scenario. Look at the facts for and against your thought being true.
Plan worry time. It’s hard to stop worrying entirely so set aside some time to indulge your worries. Even 10 minutes each evening to write them down or go over them in your head can help stop your worries from taking over at other times.
Get to know your anxiety. Keep a diary of when it’s at it’s best – and worst. Find the patterns and plan your week – or day – to proactively manage your anxiety.
Learn from others. Talking with others who also experience anxiety – or are going through something similar – can help you feel less alone. Visit our Online Forums to connect with others.
Be kind to yourself. Remember that you are not your anxiety. You are not weak. You are not inferior. You have a mental health condition. It’s called anxiety.
- Canada Revenue Agency Webinar -
Canada Revenue Agency is pleased to host the following live webinars in May & June:
Indigenous Peoples Benefits and Credits Presentation on May 27, 2021 and June 22, 2021 from 1:30 – 3:00pm PST
Don’t miss out on the benefits and credits to which you may be entitled. Some of the benefits and credits to which you may be eligible for are the Canada child benefit, Disability tax credit, Child disability benefit, Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax Credit, and the Canada Workers Benefit. If you do your taxes after the filing deadline, your payments could be delayed. During the webinar we will be able to answer your questions live.
You can register for any of the above webinars by going to the below link and clicking on the link associated with the date of your choice: