President and Vice-President Message to Nuu-chah-nulth Citizens

Some fun at the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council staff holiday luncheon.

First, we would like to acknowledge the recent losses in many of our communities.  Second, we would like to thank our Nuu-chah-nulth Nations for their support in our recent election; we are honored and will continue to serve our people to the best of our abilities for the remainder of this four-year term.

We would also like to wish a safe and Happy Holidays to all our Nuu-chah-nulth citizens. We have attached a photo from our Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) staff Christmas luncheon last week, wishing you all a Merry Christmas. We would like all Nuu-chah-nulth to be safe over the holidays and drive safely as road conditions can be slippery.

Since our NTC Annual General Meeting we have both been quite busy on the road attending many events. In order to continue a strong working relationship with the BC First Nations Leadership Council and stay on top of BC First Nations political issues we have attended the BC Assembly of First Nations and Union of BC Indian Chiefs meetings.

Deb continues to attend meetings regarding issues with the Provincial and Federal Governments. Both Ken and Deb have been working to meet with both local governments and regional governments in Nuu-chah-nulth territories.

Over the next several months we will continue to connect with MPs and MLAs to strengthen our relationships with elected officials. It is clear that jobs/employment and training is a hot topic of both the Provincial and Federal governments. Both the President and Vice-President will push this hot topic politically to ensure that any initiatives or programs any level of government develops, supports Nuu-chah-nulth citizens.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada continue make changes to policy, reporting requirements and even funding that has negatively affected our citizens, communities and the NTC as an organization. We will continue to lobby, advocate and fight for our Nuu-chah-nulth as we have done in the past as we were one of the most vocal in BC when it came to the Tribal Council funding cuts.

Deb has continued to connect with NTC managers, staff and departments at various meetings and events. Ken will try to work more closely with our Nuu-chah-nulth communities to not only address issues or concerns of communities, but hopefully connect to support in capacity building/development, governance and community empowerment.

Ken will continue to support our five First Nations of the Nuu-chah-nulth Fishing Rights court case, known as T’aaq-wiihak, and has attended previous main table meetings and will attend future meetings to support negotiations and provide political support.

First Nations education is a “hot topic” across Canada with the proposed First Nations Education Act and our NTC Directors will have the opportunity to hear from the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the NTC will go through the proposed legislation providing recommendations. To date, there is not one known First Nation in BC that is in favor of the proposed legislation. However, BC First Nations agree that simply saying “no” is not an option and we must provide a “counter offer”, recommendations or solutions that meet the needs of BC First Nations schools and more importantly the students who attend our First Nations operated schools.

In addition as a hot topic, Deb is lobbying government to expedite getting the desperately needed Enhanced prevention dollars to BC and into our Delegated agency.

Nuu-chah-nulth Nations, the NTC staff and Executive came together to begin discussions and start developing a strategic plan for the organization with a focus on political action and direction from our Nations and work will continue on this document so that it can provide direction for the organization and the President and Vice-President.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Deb Foxcroft, President

Ken Watts, Vice-President