Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for our people by creating a healthy and self-sufficient community through:
- Being fiscally responsible and increasing our own source revenue
- Building community capacity
- Building on existing partnerships and exploring new partnerships with local governments and businesses
- Developing business opportunities that are built on traditional knowledge, community strengths and are based on the realities of the market
Sustainable Resource Management
The Hupačasath have, since time immemorial, managed their lands and resources sustainability. If they had not there would not have been as many fish and wildlife and as much forest and other resources at contact as there had been 8,000 years previously.
The concept of sustainable resource management is based on the following basic principles:
Families and community come first. Healthy people means a growing population of well educated individuals who have successful jobs and raise healthy families, no different from other Canadians. This means Hupačasath people now and in the future who will have access to:
- Adequate health care
- High levels of education and training
- Access to housing for the people in the community but also so people can move back to Port Alberni
- Community services including information, communications, hydro, roads, etc
- Lands sufficient for residential, commercial, recreation, industrial and most importantly for continuing the Hupačasath way of life in using the lands and resources
Hupačasath speak a dialect of the Wakashan language, which they share with other Nuu-chah-nulth people. Their traditions are based strongly on the land of their ancestors and their governance system is based on the oral history passed down from preceding generations. While jobs and an economy are important, sustaining the distinct lifestyle of the Hupačasath is also vitally important. This will involve:
- Hupačasath exerting governance over their entire traditional territory and the values that are important for their way of life. This governance will include a management system which is holistic in its approach and not just area by area thereby ensuring all Hupačasath values and resources are protected in a sustainable manner.
- Ensure that the Hupačasath have access to the fish, animals, birds and plants for food, medicines and other cultural uses from throughout their traditional territory
- Protection of spiritual areas where the Hupačasath can practice and pass on their culture to the next generation
- Protection of trails, cabins and other areas that are still used and are links to traditional practices
- Repatriation of areas for trapping and angling which are part of the traditional way of life
- Protection of fish, wildlife and their habitat as well as forests that are central to Hupačasath culture as well a healthy environment
This means that there must be healthy populations of all the animals, birds, fish, plants and the eco-systems that these species depend on for their survival and health including:
- Protecting water and riparian zones that are important for fish and wildlife
- Protecting areas identified by the Hupačasath as “Protected Areas”
- Ensuring all fish and wildlife and their habitat are protected from industrial development and urban growth
- Enhancing and reclaiming forests, lakes, rivers and creeks that have been damaged by development and reclaiming fish and wildlife habitat
The Hupačasath people need jobs and economic development opportunities to support themselves, their families and community as documented in the Hupačasath Economic Development Strategy. While the Hupačasath are willing to share the wealth within their territory they will be involved and gain a fair share of the resources and revenues that come from their land and resources.
- Be fully employed with jobs paying at least to the average within the Port Alberni area
- Have access to resource tenures and economic development opportunities to build an economic base within the community
- Share in the revenues from the wealth of resources within the traditional territory
Strong Governance System
A strong governance system is one that, through community input and concisely written policy, creates an environment in which consistent and high quality decisions are made. Internally, a strong governance system creates trust between the leadership and community, prevents and resolves conflict, increases community participation, and ensures accountability. Strong governance and the pursuit of economic and social development go hand in hand. Therefore, externally, the strength of a governance system will determine the pace and success of management and development endeavours pursued by the First Nation. Hupačasath have committed to the development of a strong governance system and are actively working on a new policy governance manual.