Tla-o-qui-aht Chief Councillor Elmer Frank meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in August, 2017. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members plan peaceful protest near Tofino

“It’s been building up over the past four or five years.”

A group of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members are planning a peaceful protest on Jan 15.

“The protest is planned to bring light to the lack of transparency and accountability of our Administration and Chief & Council of Tla-o-qui-aht,” reads an announcement distributed by Tla-o-qui-aht member Corinne Ortiz-Castro Thursday evening. “We want a positive solution to correct our Administration and Chief and Council. We are humans too and deserve to be treated fairly, honestly and given fair chance in our home of Tla-o-qui-aht.”

Ortiz-Castro told the Westerly News that members have spoken to Tla-o-qui-aht leadership but feel their concerns are not being addressed.

“It’s just boiled over where we’re not heard at all,” she said. “Nobody’s listening to our concerns whatsoever…A group of members have been upset. It’s been building up over the past four or five years. We’re not getting services, like patient travel, social assistance, housing, just to name a few.”

The protest will be held at two locations on Jan. 15, according to the announcement: the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s Treaty Office in Tofino and the Tiic-Mis-Aq’kin Health Centre in Ty-Histanis. Both events are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m.

“Our ultimate goal is we want to have a positive change,” Ortiz-Castro said.

Tla-o-qui-aht Chief Councillor Elmer Frank told the Westerly News Thursday night that he had heard a possible protest was being planned, but was unclear about what it was about though, he said, he has heard concerns related to patient travel for medical appointments as well as housing issues.

“I’m kind of mindboggled by the protest because we’ve always had an open door policy and no one’s ever been turned away from the Nation,” Frank said. “We don’t have closed-door meetings. Our council meetings are open-door. Our administration has open-door policies.”

He assured he would attend the protest and address any concerns raised.

“People have their freedom of expressing their concerns. I’ve always really felt that I’m a good communicator and our administration is very good at communications. We feel that we’re achieving hearing concerns. Obviously, we’re not going to make everybody happy,” he said. “I’ll definitely be there to hear concerns and try to address them in the best way that I can…I really have the belief that everybody has a freedom of expression and I certainly support their endeavours, provided that there’s going to be a positive result at the end of the day.”

The nearby Ucluelet First Nation held a protest over transparency concerns last year.

Frank met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in August, 2017, and lifted a ban the Nation had placed on the Prime Minister from entering their territory the year prior.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Man extracted from vehicle eight hours after accident near Cameron Lake

People making pit stop at picnic area made crash discovery

Person extracted from vehicle accident in Cameron Lake

A person has been extracted today from a reported vehicle accident in… Continue reading

Learn about Port Alberni’s mayoral candidates with new film series

Alberni Valley filmmaker Dallas Dalziel discusses key issues with candidates

City of Port Alberni issues water quality alert for Kitsuksis Creek area

Kitsuksis Creek residents urged to use alternate drinking water source

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

New silver collector coin features Indigenous dancer

New silver collectors coin captures fast-paced energy of an Indigenous powwow

Willie Mitchell hosts second annual Fish for the Future derby in Tofino

“We’re really excited to get year number two under our belt.”

B.C. woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

Off Nova Scotia, a bid to ‘unravel the mystery’ of great white sharks

The question: Is Nova Scotia the second mating site for Atlantic white sharks, something scientists say could be key to protecting the endangered species.

Man arrested after carjacking, collision, pepper spray attacks in Vancouver

Vancouver police say one man is in custody after a chaotic scene of events in the downtown core

Canadian investigator says World Anti-Doping Agency got a bad deal from Russia

A Canadian lawyer says the World Anti-Doping Agency rushed into accepting a bad deal by reinstating the country’s drug-testing program.

Fashion Fridays: Rock some animal print

Kim XO, lets you in on the latest fall fashion trends on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read