Newsletter | June Edition | 2021


Table of contents:

Administration Update

Fuel Price Update Emergency Operations Centre Update Capital Program Update

Wuikinuxv Bear Research Project Press Release

Oowekyala Language Project Progress Update

Learn the Language

Percy Walkus Hatchery Update

Upcoming In-Person Doctor Days

Further Reading [Vancouver Coastal Health]

Job Postings

Click Below for a Printable Copy of the Newsletter

WKO Newsletter June 2021 Edition - Printable
Download PDF • 1.79MB


- Paul Willie, "Tribal Manager"


Keeping the Community safe and functional due to the Covid-19 pandemic

This update establishes guidelines and procedures for the Restart/Reopening plan for Wuikinuxv Administration. This requires changes to work environment, roles, and responsibilities in assuring that the community remains safe in the face of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

1. This Restart/reopening is in compliance with the Provincial Health Guidelines and Protocols. We are in Step 2 of the BC plan and anticipate to move into Step 3 come July 1 2021

[BC Opening Plan]

a. Latest and adjusted BC Health guidelines policies and protocols can be found on the BC Government Websites [BCCDC Covid-19 Info] [BC Covid-19 Restrictions]

b. Since the Covid-19 Health Protocols are legislated, they become part of the BC Employment Act and become part of the criteria for employment with Wuikinuxv Nation. So non-compliance by personnel will be subject to disciplinary procedures to the full extent of the law

c. The community of Wuikinuxv has received 2 doses of vaccines. The level of vaccination is one of the indicators for moving through the reopening plan for the province

2. Workplace and office spaces Covid-19 Safety plan still in effect

a. Plexiglass partitions have been installed at 2 reception areas

i. Administration bottom floor reception area

ii. Treaty office reception area

iii. Still to be installed-Administration top floor reception area

b. Employees required to do daily self-assessment for Covid-19 symptoms

c. Use of Administration Boardroom for Community Meetings

i. Will be limited to 10 people practicing Social Distancing and wearing masks in public

d. Use of Treaty Office Boardroom for Community Meetings

i. Will be limited to 10 people practicing Social Distancing and wearing mask in public

e. For community meetings for 10 or more people, the Administration and Treaty Board rooms can be linked via Internet

3. Virtual Meetings via Google/Zoom

a. To facilitate further safety precautions, all community meetings will continue to have a Virtual linkage

b. For Community meetings for 20 plus, additional attendees can be hooked in by virtual meeting setup, i.e. Zoom

4. Facility Access

a. Administration Office

i. Administration Office doors will generally be locked

ii. Community members needing to access services outside of administration will arrange such visits via phone or VHF

iii. Staff members will either have their own keys or be let in by receptionist

iv. Mail

1. Mail-out: same as ii above

2. Mail-in: Once sorted, will be placed in separate envelop and announced over VHF when they are ready to be picked up

v. Doctor Day

1. Appointments to see the doctor will be booked in advance and a scheduled time to go for the appointment will be given to the patient

b. Treaty Office

i. Treaty Office doors will generally be locked

ii. Community members needing to access services out of Treaty Office will arrange such visits via phone or VHF

iii. Staff members will either have their own keys or be let in by receptionist

c. Techno-Lodge

i. Techno-lodge will generally be open only to staff working there and guests staying there

ii. Guests prior to arriving must have a covid-19 safety plan that is reviewed and approved by the EOC, prior to coming into the community

5. Community visitors whether they are; Service Providers, Workers, Contractors, Wuikinuxv Ancestry, etc, must follow the community entry Covid-19 safety plan requirements

6. Techno-Lodge Occupant Guidelines

a. The Techno-lodge is open to full occupancy, as long as all occupants and staff follow these guidelines

b. Priority for accommodations at the techno-lodge is given to staff (those who normally live off site) who need to come into the community to do a portion of their work

c. Second priority is given to contracted personnel, those who come into the community to provide necessary service to the Wuikinuxv Nation

d. Given that occupants may come into the community on a continual cycle, the Techno-lodge is deemed to be an enhanced social distancing environment

i. Enhanced social distancing requires occupants to wear masks and keep a minimum of 6 ft apart

ii. Staff working at the Techno-Lodge are also required to practice enhanced social distancing & wearing masks

iii. Meals will be provided with staggered timing and using enhanced social distancing

iv. Occupants will practice enhanced social distancing when interacting with community members in their work setting

v. Occupants are encouraged to refrain from visiting community members in their homes and to minimize encounters with other occupants

Moving into Step 3 (anticipated July 1, 2021) will have minimal changes to this reopening plan

Moving into Step 4 (anticipated Sept 7, 2021) will see complete reopening of administration

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All fuel prices have been increased.

  • Gas - $1.85/Litre

  • Diesel - $1.85/Litre

  • Propane - $125.00/Tank

Fuel Prices:

  • 25 Litres @ $1.85/Litre = $46.25

  • 50 Litres @ $1.85/Litre = $92.50

  • 100 Litres @ $1.85/Litre = $185.00

  • 200 Litres @ $1.85/Litre = $370.00

  • 500 Litres @ $1.85/Litre = $925.00

Administration is not responsible for lost or stolen fuel cards.

All purchases must be between the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday - Friday

  • There's a $50 fee payable to Administration for any purchases required outside of the regular Administration hours.

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- Pamela Johnson, "EoC Director"

Prepared by Gayle L. Carriere PN RN BSc. Nursing for Wuikinuxv EOC

What is herd immunity?

Herd immunity (or community immunity) occurs when a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease (either through vaccination and/or prior illness), making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community.

When a high percentage of the population is vaccinated, it is difficult for infectious diseases to spread, because there are not many people who can be infected and it dies out.

How does herd immunity work?

Herd immunity only works if most people in the population are vaccinated. For example, measles is thought to be the world’s most contagious disease; it can linger in the air for hours or drift through vents to infect people in other rooms. In some studies of outbreaks in crowded military barracks and student dormitories, it has kept transmitting until more than 95 percent of all people were infected. 19 out of every 20 people need to be vaccinated against measles to protect people who are not vaccinated. In other words, if someone with measles is surrounded by people who are vaccinated against measles, the disease cannot easily be passed on to anyone, and it will quickly disappear.

Unlike vaccination, herd immunity does not give a high level of individual protection, and so it is not a good alternative to getting vaccinated.

When does herd immunity not work?

Herd immunity does not protect against all vaccine-preventable diseases. The best example of this is tetanus, which is caught from bacteria in the environment (dirt), not from other people who have the disease. No matter how many people around you are vaccinated against tetanus, it will not protect you from tetanus.

Who depends solely on herd immunity?

Some people in the community rely entirely herd immunity to protect them. These people are particularly vulnerable to disease, but often cannot safely receive vaccines:

  • People without a competent immune system, including those without a working spleen

  • People on chemotherapy treatment whose immune system is weakened

  • People with HIV

  • People taking certain medications that decrease the effectiveness of a vaccine

  • Newborn babies who are too young to be vaccinated

  • Elderly people

  • Many of those who are seriously ill in hospital.

Why is herd immunity important?

Herd immunity only occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune.

Often, a percentage of the population must be capable of getting a disease in order for it to spread. This is called a threshold proportion. If the proportion of the population that is immune to the disease is greater than this threshold, the spread of the disease will decline. This is known as the herd immunity threshold.

How is herd immunity achieved?

There are two main paths to herd immunity for COVID-19 — natural infection and vaccines.

Natural infection

Herd immunity can be reached when enough people in the population have recovered from a disease and have developed protective antibodies against future infection.

However, there are some major problems with relying on community infection to create herd immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Reinfection: It’s not clear how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have antibodies, it’s possible that you could get COVID-19 again.

  • Health impact: Experts estimate that in the U.S., 70% of the population — more than 200 million people — would have to recover from COVID-19 to halt the pandemic. This number of infections could lead to serious complications and millions of deaths, especially among older people and those who have existing health conditions. The health care system could quickly become overwhelmed.


Herd immunity also can be reached when enough people have been vaccinated against a disease and have developed protective antibodies against future infection. Unlike the natural infection method, vaccines create immunity without causing illness or resulting complications. Using the concept of herd immunity, vaccines have successfully controlled contagious diseases such as smallpox, polio, diphtheria, rubella and many others.

What percentage of a community needs to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity?

The percentage needed to achieve herd immunity varies from disease to disease. The more contagious a disease is, the greater the proportion of the population that needs to be immune to the disease to stop its spread. With measles it's estimated that 94% of the population must be immune to interrupt the chain of transmission. For polio, the threshold is approximately 80 percent. It is estimated that Covid-19 needs 85-90 percent of the population to be immune.

Links to More Information on Herd Immunity

1. The power of herd immunity; a TED talk by Romina Libster

2. Herd Immunity Monthly Alerts

- Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology

3. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Herd immunity, lockdowns and COVID-19

- World Health Organization

4. Herd immunity and COVID-19 (coronavirus): What you need to know

- Mayo Clinic

Vaccinated Against COVID-19? Here's What Happens Next


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- Clifford W. Hanuse, Capital Manager


1. YOUTH CENTRE: The decision on Youth Centre is now subject to a review of recommended projects to Canada and once this process is completed the final decision will be made in August 2021.

2. COVID19 SELF-ISOLATION BUILDING: an addendum to the existing contribution agreement (signature page attached) for $16,402.00 which covers the additional costs for materials, professional fees, travel and accommodation. The construction part is 97% complete and the use of the building will take place no later than July 6, 2021 -- today the gas fitter will be in to inspect and commission the propane system as per insurance requirements.

3. SOLID WASTE TRANSFER STATION: Some preparatory work for the upcoming July 15, 2021 engagement with the Regional District of Mount Waddington will take place soon involving Jennifer Walkus, Emily Chu (ISC), Jeremy Scott, Paul Willie, Patrick Donaghy (RDMW) and myself -- review of draft Memorandum and upcoming RDMW session. Have started the process of purchasing bins, trucks and planning for the fence/wall around the Solid Waste Transfer Station. Still finalizing the Final design and will do preparatory work for the Construction Implementation Plan. Emily Chu has suggested the Wuikinuxv Nation arrange for a gift to present to the RDMW as other First Nations have done during their initial Memorandum discussions.

4. WATER SYSTEM/WASTEWATER SYSTEM: The engineer team have done the required assessments as per the scope of work for these two projects and follow up sessions have happened with Indigenous Services Canada. Currently, the engineers are preparing the final plans for each respective project initiative and there will be an arranged community consultation session to review these plans prior to recommending a review/approval from the Wuikinuxv Nation Council.

5. WHARF ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW: The target date for the DFO/FLNRORD environmental review will be done by mid-July 2021. The Treaty team is continuing to help speed up the environmental review process -- instead of taking a year it has been done much quicker. It appears that Option 1 with the debris barrier steel piling sheet wall is not an obstacle -- it is more the review process timeline. In discussions with the engineers it is deemed that a good proactive measure may be a letter of appreciation from the Wuikinuxv Nation Council for the fast work of the DFO/FLNRORD environmental review team is much appreciated. Once this review process is done we will do the design work which should not take very long to do.

6. NICKNAQUEET HYDRO OPERATIONAL BUDGET: A final operational budget is in place and efforts will be made to review it with ISC. The Wuikinuxv Nation team will include Jennifer Walkus, Paul Willie, Jim Bowie, Clifford W Hanuse and Dan Valliquette.

7. ELECTRIC METERING PROJECT: A PowerPoint Presentation is now being developed for the Wuikinuxv Nation Council concerning the overview of this new capital project. A project coordinator will be advertised soon.

8. EMERGENCY O&M FUNDING: Approximately $55,000. will be secured with ISC for the costs associated with the emergency power-line work, new bucket truck and fuel handling and safety training efforts.

9. RECYCLING: Level 1 Basics of Transfer Station/Eco-depot Operations will occur July 13-14, 2021 at Nanaimo. Currently, there is only one Maintenance Worker; when the second Maintenance Worker is hired fairly soon (after an open competition) the two workers are expected to attend this important recycling training session. The signs for recycling billboards are almost ready. Also the laminated household recycling and composting guides are ready for distribution. The Maintenance Worker is doing his best with the recycling work.

10. DAYCARE CONSTRUCTION PROJECT: The final inspection of the Daycare project will happen tomorrow or sometime next week. Concrete work is being done on the parameter sidewalks which may be subject to the extreme heat.

There are other active projects, i.e. Physical Development Plan, etc. that I will leave until the next Key Capital Projects Update.

Thank you for your continued support in the capital projects. Much appreciated.

as of June 4, 2021

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Wuikinuxv Bear Research Press Release

- Megan Adams, "Lead Study Author"


Looking Ahead for Each Other - new study shows how the Wuikinuxv Nation shares sockeye with neighbouring grizzly bears

- Katit (Wuikinuxv village, Rivers Inlet), Wuikinuxv Nation Territory, British Columbia, Canada

As salmon populations decline and images of skinny grizzly bears surface in coastal British Columbia, new research shows how the Wuikinuxv Nation is sharing sockeye with their grizzly bear neighbours. Guided by the Wuikinuxv principle of n̓àn̓akila (to keep an eye on something or someone; a protector or guardian), the study is a rare example of how fisheries managers can allocate salmon for wildlife, while balancing the cost to communities.

Fisheries managers face the challenge of balancing commercial interests, local livelihoods, and the needs of salmon-dependent wildlife. Sockeye salmon are a vital fish for the Wuikinuxv Nation and their territory’s ecosystems. The sockeye provide critical food for bears prior to winter sleep. When the bears have enough to eat, local people and bears can continue to coexist peacefully, as they have for millennia. Finding such balance can be difficult, given drastic declines in local salmon populations.

New research has found that people and bears can share salmon without harming each other’s interests. By setting sockeye harvest limits at ~10% less than those expected to maximize harvest for people they expect to reduce bear densities by a similarly modest 10%, a trade-off that is not only operable but honours the Wuikinuxv spirit of n̓àn̓akila. The team of researchers and managers from the Wuikinuxv Nation, the University of Victoria, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Raincoast Conservation reported their findings in the peer-reviewed and open-access journal Marine and Coastal Fisheries.

The research team analysed salmon and bear dietary data, knowing that the amount of salmon in bear diet influenced the density of bears. Data from Rivers Inlet sockeye ranged as far back as 1948, and grizzly bear diet data came from community-led research between 2013-2019. Finding that a culturally- and ecologically-appropriate trade-off between salmon harvest and bear densities is possible was a pleasant surprise against a back-drop of general decline in sockeye abundance in the region.

Elected Wuikinuxv Chief Councilor and former Stewardship Director Danielle Shaw reflects on her Nation’s approach to ecosystem-based management.

“Every season, we are seeing less salmon than the year before and every season, we immediately think of how other wildlife will be impacted by lower salmon populations; especially how our local bear populations will fare. Our Coastal Nations take an integrated approach to stewardship which has allowed us to consider both marine and terrestrial environments simultaneously. If we’re able to mitigate human impacts in a way which gives ecosystems the time and space to adapt to environmental pressures, such as climate change, that same ecosystem will be healthy and abundant enough to support sustainable human use. Instead of managing resources with human use as a focus, we need to steward with the ecosystem as the main priority.”

This work is among the first of its kind and reflects a shifting paradigm where Indigenous rights, knowledge, and cultural values provide a foundation to western fisheries science to identify sustainable harvest strategies for people and wildlife alike. In Wuikinuxv territory, Stewardship staff have access to data about fish and the local wildlife that depend on the shared resource, in addition to an understanding of what their community needs to harvest. This knowledge supports the Wuikinuxv Nation’s decisions about how to fish their sockeye while leaving enough for bears. Such an allocation to wildlife is something that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has committed to under its 2010 Wild Salmon Policy, but has been challenged to implement due to lack of data in the majority salmon fisheries across British Columbia.

“Our Nation has seen the benefits of Indigenous knowledge and western science working together,”

- explains study author, former Fisheries Manager, and Wuikinuxv Nation Elected Councillor Jennifer Walkus.

“Wuikinuxv’s holistic views help form research questions that tie previously unrelated science or management policies together. When the Nation drives the research through an integrated lens, it allows scientists to escape the silos they often find themselves in. We can learn more from each other when we work together.”

In this case, Nation-driven salmon and bear research is providing the data necessary to implement a culturally-directed and values-led fisheries management policy.

“Our work is a rare example of ecosystem-based fisheries management made possible - where stewardship values, political will, and local data can come together to balance the needs of people and wildlife in an interconnected bear-salmon-human system”

- reflects lead author Dr. Megan Adams.

“Not only was this work exciting for me because I could integrate data on salmon abundance and local grizzly bear diet, but also conduct an analysis guided directly by Wuikinuxv values and management priorities. The Nation’s vision for an integrated, ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management is world-class.

This work was made possible with support from the Wuikinuxv Nation, Coastal First Nations and Coastal Guardian Watchmen programs, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Hakai Institute, Wilburforce Foundation, University of Victoria, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Grizzly Bear Foundation.


Manuscript proofs and professional images with permissions are available.


Study author: Danielle Shaw, Elected Chief Councilor, Wuikinuxv Nation; former Stewardship Department Director:, 250-230-2504

Study author: Jennifer Walkus, Elected Councillor, Wuikinuxv Nation; former Stewardship Department Director:

Lead study author: Dr. Megan Adams, Biologist, Raincoast Conservation Foundation; Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia., 250-902-2776 (Katit landline) or 250-208-7804 (cell)

Please email us to arrange an interview.

Citation: Adams, M., Connors, B., Levi, T., Shaw, D., Walkus, J., Rogers, S., and Darimont, C. 2021. Local values and data empower culturally-guided ecosystem-based fisheries management of the Wuikinuxv bear-salmon-human system. Marine and Coastal Fisheries.


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- David Stevenson, Project Manager