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

Kuu-us Crisis Line Society kicks off 21st annual Festival of Trees

26 Port Alberni businesses will decorate trees on Dec. 9 for festival

Sproat Lake residents call for more control over growth

Residents ask Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to crack down on bylaws

Port Alberni’s John Jack joins First Nations LNG Alliance

Jack represents Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ Kwispaa LNG project

Property assessments to rise again on Vancouver Island

Some areas could see their assessments spike as much as 20 per cent

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read