Check out this article featuring Malahat member Andre Goldsmith and the Environment team’s stewardship work with the ghost gear program!
This UN Ocean Decade endorsed project is working on mapping and retrieving ghost gear in the Salish Sea, and is currently funded under Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)’s Ghost Gear Fund.
Hello, everyone. In this little article I’ll try to summarize the major progress we’ve made in treaty negotiations recently and emphasize why the future looks so much more promising than it did just a few years ago. I’ve broken it into topics so you can flip through, if you like, to the issues you’re most interested in. Remember, this is just a short summary of only some of the treaty topics. There are many other important ones—e.g. hunting, water, foreshore management, consultation, shared decision-making, etc. I’ll have to leave them for a future article. If you have any question please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to schedule a home visit with you or a meeting at one of the nation’s buildings.
After 28 years it can be hard to believe we’re getting close to the end. But we are. Canada, BC and TTA are all committed to reaching a Negotiators’ Understanding by the end of 2023. That is the point where the Negotiators agree they’ve gone as far as they can and it’s time to take the treaty package to you, the members, to vote on. Each TTA Nation will vote on its own treaty.
There will be many community meetings and we’ll be sharing as much information as we can in the lead-up to the vote. Judging from the timelines in earlier treaties it’s likely we would hold the vote late in 2024 or early 2025. Members 18 or older would vote on both the draft Constitution and the treaty itself.
If you approve the treaty, it would then have to be approved by the provincial legislature and the federal Parliament. There would still be work to do but if all goes smoothly the treaty would probably come into effect in 2027 or 2028.
S. 87 Tax Exemption
In earlier treaties, Nation Citizens with status had to start paying transaction taxes (GST and PST) on their own former reserve lands and on all other reserve lands 8 years after the treaty came into effect. They also had to start paying income tax on income earned on former reserve lands and all other reserve lands 12 years after the treaty came into effect.
Last summer Canada changed its policy on this. So long as the s. 87 tax exemption remains in the Indian Act –and it’s been there for over 150 years so it’s very unlikely to change now – status Citizens of a treaty Nation will be able to continue to enjoy their tax exemptions on their former reserve lands and on the reserve lands of other Nations. The exemptions will no longer be phased out after treaty Effective Date.
If you approve the treaty, the future Malahat treaty land package would contain a total of about 1280 ha:
240 ha of the current reserve
658 ha of current provincial Crown lands
381 ha of the Bamberton lands and Malahat Mountain Village lands that Malahat owns now
Note that Malahat would set and collect any property tax charged on these lands.
If the treaty is not approved by the members, Malahat would still have the current reserve, of course, and the Malahat Mountain Village and Bamberton lands that it currently owns in fee simple. However, it would continue to pay property tax to the Province for the Bamberton and Malahat Mountain Village lands.
Until now, DFO has always insisted that the fisheries rights arrangements be included in the treaty itself. Now, for the first time, DFO is allowing Malahat and the other TTA Nations to negotiate fisheries arrangements in a side agreement. As noted above, this side agreement will not replace or change the Douglas Treaty fishing rights in any way. The two documents will exist side by side.
As part of the agreement DFO will be providing Malahat with annual funding to run a Fisheries Management Office, and one-time funding to purchase licences, vessels or gear (at Malahat’s choice).
Note that the fisheries side agreement is not dependent on the treaty. It can come into effect whether or not the treaty is approved.
Fiscal Funding Arrangements
These are funding agreements treaty Nations enter into with Canada to ensure treaty governments have the necessary funds to take on their new responsibilities under the treaty.
In the past these have been largely based on whatever funding the Nation received from Canada as an Indian Act band. Basically, you got what you’d always gotten with some modest increases in certain areas.
Over the past several years Canada has been meeting with Nations that already have a treaty or self-government agreement to develop a realistic funding model that captures the true costs of running a treaty government, managing its lands and waters, and delivering programs and services to its Citizens.
This group has identified 11 expenditure areas and finalized a funding template for core governance costs, which is arguably one of the most important areas of any government’s expenditures. Canada has shared how this template would work for the TTA Nations and I can confirm that it would provide much, much more generous levels of funding that what you get now for band core governance. As the remaining expenditure areas are negotiated, we expect that they, too, will be substantially more generous and realistic than the funding templates used for the earlier treaties.
If you approve the treaty, the new Malahat treaty government will have far more extensive law-making powers than the current band council has under the Indian Act. They will be able to pass legislation in areas such as lands and resource management, child and family services, child protection, culture and heritage, health services, adoption, and environmental management, to name a few.
All of these law-making powers will apply on treaty lands, of course, but some will apply throughout the traditional territory and a couple will actually be enforceable throughout the province.
Rights Recognition and Douglas Treaty Rights
In earlier treaties Nations had to agree to “cede, release and surrender” all pre-existing Indigenous rights, and these were replaced by whatever rights were set out in the treaty. Later, the language was changed so that pre-existing Indigenous rights were “modified” into treaty rights.
The current treaty language does not affect your pre-existing rights. They will continue to exist alongside the new treaty rights. What this means is that your Douglas Treaty rights will not be changed or replaced in any way by the modern treaty. And we have language to that effect in the treaty itself and in the Fisheries side agreement.
Normally, all reserve lands are converted to treaty settlement lands on treaty Effective Date. That can’t happen in our case because Canada is holding Goldstream on behalf of the four W̱SÁNEĆ Nations, as well as Malahat.
So, for the first time, Canada has agreed to allow a potential treaty Nation (Malahat) to continue to have access and rights on a parcel of reserve land after treaty Effective Date. Malahat members will be able to continue to fish and gather shellfish on the Goldstream Reserve and use it in the same way you do now. W̱SÁNEĆ members will be able to do the same, of course. So, if you approve the treaty no one should notice any changes to Goldstream.
In the past, treaties could be changed but it was a difficult process and there was no obligation on the part of the governments to seriously consider any changes.
We now have periodic renewal language in the draft treaty. This sets out a schedule of dates (for instance, every 10 years) at which time the Parties will review the treaty and consider possible changes arising from new court decisions, changes to government legislation or policy, or developments in other treaties.
The treaty language also obligates each Party to discuss and negotiate “in good faith” any changes proposed by another Party “Good faith” has a defined meaning in the legal system and cannot be lightly disregarded by the governments. What this means is that if Malahat proposes a change to the treaty, the governments have to consider it seriously. They’re not compelled to agree but they also can’t refuse it outright without making an effort to come to some form of agreement with Malahat.
Instead of being frozen in time, treaties will now be living documents that can accommodate changing circumstances and developments.
Previously, Nations in the treaty process had to borrow most of the money they needed for the negotiations and then repay it when the treaty came into effect. In essence, you had to borrow money to negotiate to get your traditional lands back. Canada has now forgiven all treaty loans. Negotiation expenses going forward will all be covered by grants that don’t have to be repaid.
Malahat Nation would like to raise our hands to all of our sponsors from this year’s Golf & Social fundraiser.
It was an incredible event full of positive connections, laughs, art, culture, good food, and a beautiful day of golf. Thanks to your generous support, we were able to raise $270,000 towards initiatives that provide Land Based Healing throughout the Malahat Nation, with a focus on the Nation’s future generations. Including a new playground for the kids, and the planning stages of a new therapeutic recovery community for the nation.
With heartfelt gratitude, we thank you. Congrats to Hazelwood Construction for winning our golf tournament this year! It was a three-way tie at 14 under par but according to pro golf rules, Hazelwood came out on top. Congratulations!
This review was written by Jaylin Paige, one of the summer youth interns from this year. She had worked in our governance department, alongside Nick Hayer. This was one of her main projects throughout the internship as a more creative approach to exercising her knowledge on critical thinking, informational research, and writing skills. Jaylin had taken this opportunity to connect with our communications trainee, Jessica Harry, to learn more about Indigenous Representation in popular culture.
Reservation Dogs is a comedy tv show that focuses on Indigenous People and communities; this representation allows us to connect and relate to the storyline. In the first season, the main characters rely on humor, cultural beliefs, and relationships for guidance through their healing journey. This show is an opportunity to learn more about a different Indigenous tribe while also seeing the similarities and differences between our ways as Salish People compared to a tribe located in the States.
This story follows along with four Indigenous youth coming to terms with the loss of their close friend, Daniel. The group pulls together to fulfill their friend’s dream of escaping the reservation to build a better life in California. To come up with the necessary funds to make this possible, the teens steal a delivery truck of processed food for a sketchy salvage yard owner and while of course, keeping the boxes of spicy chips for themselves. For the duration of their fundraising time, we’re able to view the community closer as the teens interact with the members of their tribe and how they value relationships within their community. This show allows the audience to experience what community means to Indigenous People along with many other values we hold.
One of the most important parts of the show is how well Indigenous humor is captured, that instead of shying away from common stereotypes; they’re utilized in a comical view. We connect with the rez jokes, slang terms, native accents and how well we interact with natives who are somehow always relatives to our families. The humor is brought to life by an all Indigenous creative team on the show, which allows the actors to use perfect native rez accents instead of their white man voices. The writers also poke fun at how Indigenous Peoples are viewed as these cultural historic figures by giving the main character, Bear, a spirit that is meant to guide him with ‘ancestor teachings from the old ways.’ Instead of a great war hero, this spirit refers to himself as, “I’m not one of those awesome guys, I’m more of your unknown warrior” he explains that he died on the journey to a war because his horse tripped and crushed him.
After the passing of their friend, each character experiences a loss of connection with their home territory. As they find their way back to rebuilding that connection, we see each character put their faith in culture and teachings. They focus on building stronger connections with loved ones, participating in ceremonies, and creating new relationships with elders. We also get glimpses of different legends from their tribe, the one that stuck out to us was Tall Man who symbolizes Daniel’s death, as well as, the grief of his family and friends.
The second season is now on Disney+ with a new episode each week! You will be able to connect with at least one character and the others will definitely remind you of someone you know. This show is funny in a way targeted to Indigenous People and we would highly recommend watching this series!
The Government of Canada started the Marine Safety Equipment and Training (MSET) Initiative in October 2020 to respond to concerns of Indigenous communities along the Trans Mountain Expansion Project marine shipping route. The program’s goal is to improve vessel safety and provide marine safety equipment and training to First Nation community members.
Malahat Nation was awarded funding from the Marine Safety Equipment and Training (MSET) Initiative earlier this year. To kick off the program, the Environment Department reached out to community members at the Open House on July 4 to ask members if they were interested in signing up for marine courses.
On August 18, 19 and from August 29-September 1, Malahat Nation partnered with Safer Ocean Systems based in Nanaimo to host the marine courses for Malahat members on reserve. Courses included the Marine Emergency Duties (SDVBS), Marine Radio Operators Course (ROC-M) and the Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP) course.
A total of 18 certificates were obtained by Malahat community members who successfully completed these courses. They learned various skills including chart work, knot tying, using marine navigation buoys, fire safety on vessels and use of marine VHF Radios.
These certificates are required for many careers in First Nations government, whale watching, ferries, Coast Guard, fishing, and other marine industry jobs. Many of them do not expire.
The Environment Department is currently accepting applications and interest from the Malahat community for the next round of courses. Email email@example.com for more info.
Freezer Jam is one of the easiest recipes out there and it’s the perfect time of the year to go out and pick up some fresh summer berries to stock up the freezer with some jam for year-round use! This recipe is easy to make and the perfect learning experience for beginners, it only takes seven steps, requires no cooking and can be made within 30 minutes.
The best thing about freezer jam is that the recipe can be used with any berries, individually or mixed, you are in complete control! You can go on a hunt around the community for blackberry picking, or you can go to the store and pick up some other berries. If you are interested in making jam with fruit (peaches, apples, pears, etc.) please follow a recipe with Certo that requires cooking, there are many recipes on google!
What you’ll need:
4 cups of berries (fresh or frozen)
2 cups of white sugar (granulated)
2 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
1 package of Certo (liquid pectin)
Berries: place 4 cups of berries into a bowl, crush them with a potato masher or fork. If desired, strain the mashed berries through a metal strainer for a seedless jam and remember to make sure it still adds up to 4 cups.
Sugar and Lemon: add in 2 cups of sugar and 2 tbsp of lemon juice to the crushed berries and stir until combined.
Certo: add in one package of certo (liquid pectin) stir thoroughly
Let the batch sit for 10 minutes
Fill the jars: use a ladle to fill jars, leave 1 inch space at the top for room to freeze and put lids on the jars
Store the jam: let the sealed jam sit in room temperature for 24 hours then put jam in the freezer for use up to one year, store in the refrigerator for up to 7-13 days.
Ways to serve jam! The list is endless but my top recommendations are jam on fried bread, waffles, toast, pancakes, or whatever the heart desires.
We would like to thank Linda Martin for sharing her recipe with the community.
In July 2022, the Malahat Environment Department welcomed three summer interns to help study aquatic habitats! Steven Henry, Amanda Harry and Dylan Harry are helping with several projects in the Environment Department. They are learning about the many important species that live in the Salish Sea, restoring sensitive habitats in Malahat marine territory, clam garden restoration, and southern resident killer whales. Steven, Amanda, and Dylan will help to protect valuable resources of the ocean for Malahat Members. See introductions from the new interns below.
Hi, my name is Amanda Harry I am from Malahat Nation. I am 15 years old, and in grade 10. I go to Frances Kelsey secondary school, class of 2025. I’m passionate about canoe pulling, I paddle with Malahat nations canoe club SalmonArrow. This is our second year of SalmonArrow being out on the water in 20+ years. I have just started my internship with Desiree and Tristan at the Environment Department. During this internship I will be learning more about the marine habitats, clam gardens, and killer whales in Malahat. This summer I am very excited to learn about the aquatic habitats such as kelp forests, eelgrass, intertidal eelgrass and different types of mammal species in the Saanich inlet.
Hi, my name is Dylan Justin Harry. I am proud to be a part of Malahat Nation’s Environment Department. I’m a graduate from CVOLC open learning/Frances Kelsey Secondary School of 2022. I’m very happy to be back as an intern in the Environment Department with Desiree and Tristan for the summer, learning more about the marine habitats, clam gardens and killer whales. I am enjoying what we are learning about the Malahat Nation’s beach, how we could take care of eelgrass, and seeing intertidal eelgrass. The Environment Department Internship is very open with nice people to teach us how to get a license to fly the drone and drive a Boat.
Hi, my name is Steven Henry, I’m from Malahat Nation, I’m 17 years old, I graduated from Frances Kelsey in 2022. One of the things I’m passionate about is canoe pulling with SalmonArrow Canoe Club. The second thing I’m passionate about is soccer, I’ve been playing for 15 years. A third thing I like to do is traveling, and I’m planning on getting my heavy machinery operator course with Coast Mountain Resources. I have just started my Internship with Desiree and Tristan at the Environment Department and I’ll be learning marine habitat’s, clam gardens, and killer whales/orcas. I’m excited to learn about different species and kelp forest, Eelgrass/Eelgrass meadow/intertidal eelgrass, mammal species in the Saanich Inlet.
The Lands department would like to share with the me’luxulh / MÁLEXEȽ community some details on the upcoming Historical Archive. This digital archive will allow the community to access information related to Malahat’s history from your own computer.
The structure for the Historical Archive is formatted similar to Wikipedia but with all Malahat related information. There will be two different levels of access to the site, one will be available to the public where non-community members can visit the site to learn more about the Nation. The second level will be password secured and protected and will include information viewable by Malahat community and staff only.
The Historical Archive will include subjects such as:
Language (SENĆOŦEN, hul’qumi’num, samish)
Recordings and documents
Books and reports relating to land and marine knowledge
Information on Malahat history
Understanding there are sacred teachings and protocols to be followed, there are ongoing discussions on what is to be included within this Historical Archive.
As this project progresses there will be more updates in the future, if you have any questions or input please contact Kate Richey in the Lands department at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lands department would like to share with the me’luxulh / MÁLEXEȽ community the ongoing Traditional plant garden project that has been in the works. The goal for this project is to give our community members an opportunity to educate themselves on plants that are in the surrounding area, or were historically in the area.
In the late-fall of 2021 the Malahat Traditional Researchers began interviewing knowledge keepers from me’luxulh / MÁLEXEȽ, quw’utsun and W̱SÁNEĆ. The information being gathered is surrounding the education of harvesting, where to find plants in our territory, and the traditional and medicinal use of these plants. The Teachings being shared will be used to educate our hwulmuhw mustimuhw (First Nation people) and most importantly our youth, to pass this knowledge on to future generations.
Planting season will begin in the spring and moving forward the Lands department will provide updates on the project. The intention come summer and fall is to provide educational sessions and workshops on plant harvesting and medicine making.
If you have any knowledge you would like to share about plants, specific plants you would like to see in the garden, any plants you wish to learn more about, or any general questions or input please contact Kate Richey In the Lands department at email@example.com
The Environment Department has some exciting updates of their work!
The video below explains how the department is using Salish Sea Initiative funding to connect Malahat members to the marine environment, as well as supporting stewardship which helps Malahat protect the environment.
In December, Samantha Daniels and Dwayne Goldsmith finished their first semester at VIU in the Marine Stewardship Program. The Department also welcomed in a new Program Coordinator, Megan Tomlin, who will be helping coordinate some of the environmental programs. The Ghost Gear Program was announced and we now have a remotely operated vehicle (it’s like a robotic unmanned submarine) to look for lost fishing gear and debris.
The Environment Department is now equipped with a “Lifejacket Library” from Transport Canada, we have 19 lifejackets of different sizes that we can lend out to member who need them on the water. There are now three fully trained, on-water oil spill response personnel in their department.
The purpose of a Rental Agreement is to define the rights of the Tenant, and the responsibilities of Malahat Nation to maintain an enjoyable and safe environment. The importance of paying Rent helps ensure that future repairs and maintenance are completed for the upkeep of each Rental Unit, as well as the safety and well being of those living in the Rental Unit.
An in-person meeting will be set before entering a Rental Agreement for the Tenant to ask any questions, and for the Housing Department to explain further details of the Rental Agreement and the Housing Policy. Each Rental Agreement describes the Tenant’s responsibility for Rental payments, regular Rental Unit maintenance, utility payments, and any services provided to the Rental Unit by Malahat Nation, (Ex. Garbage pickup, snow removal.)
Rental Agreements are signed by Chief Administrative Officer, or the Housing Manger if authority is given. All Tenants must sign a Rental Agreement; the Housing Department will keep original Rental Agreements and provide copies to Tenants.
If the Tenant is receiving income/social assistance, the Rental Agreement must be provided copies of the Band Social Development Worker (BSDW) in the Community Programs Department by the Tenant to ensure eligibility for Shelter Allowance payments; If approved by the BSDW, this must be communicated with the Housing Department.
Rental Agreements will be reviewed and renewed each year by April 1st, if a Rental Agreement is not renewed, the Rental Agreement will remain in effect as a month to month tenancy on the same terms; which may be terminated by the Landlord or the Tenant at anytime by providing a 30-day written notice.
Tenants and/or the Housing Department will update Rental Agreements when needed to reflect any policy updates, or changes to the list of occupants, Tenant contact information or Rent rates.