October 7th, 2015
RE: Hupačasath Traditional Territory
Hupačasath Council received information that the neighboring community of Tseshaht has recently expanded its claim territory to include all Hupacasath Core territory and non-overlap territory. Tseshaht, increased their traditional territory boundaries on their website www.tseshaht.com (see photo 1 attached) and have submitted this adjustment to their claim with varying levels of government. We have confirmed this and as a result Hupačasath Council took immediate legal steps to ensure Hupačasath rights, title and territorial boundaries are respected and enforced through all levels of Government.
We want to express that this conversation is likely best kept to adults. Our Youth Workers have expressed concern about our youth having conversations that they shouldn’t. For example, the conflicts on who were here first, territory boundaries, and a general negative view towards others shouldn’t be discussion topics for our young ones. We don’t want our children to carry around this kind of negative energy while playing in youth activities or at school. We hope that all youth are taught how closely we are tied through family relations and to remain respectful as we would hope all youth would conduct themselves.
Now that Tseshaht has drawn a new territory boundary, the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations (MAR) confirmed they will consider this assertion to the area Tseshaht have outlined despite the non-overlap areas that are solely known as Hupačasath Territories. This means Government may consult with Tseshaht on areas they have added on this map. MAR informed us that Tseshaht has little evidence to base their claim but still must make some effort to consult. Each consultation will be based on the level of evidence known for the area of claim. Hupačasath legal agreements, already in place, require no further consultation with other governments in our non-overlap territories and under those agreements we will continue to conduct activities without consultation.
We’ve attached previous maps of Tseshaht Territories that they have submitted as part of their Forest & Range Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreement in 2011(FCRSA) and the Forest Tenure Opportunity Agreement in 2013 (see photo 2 attached) to demonstrate how their claim has expanded.
We recognize we have challenges, but through our strong ties with our neighbors we will continue to make every effort to work towards mutually respectful, beneficial agreements for both communities whenever possible. Our efforts will ensure Hupačasath continues to safeguard our rights and title throughout our entire claimed territory.
Hupačasath First Nation Council