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The MaMook Coulson joint venture in TFL 54 continues to evolve and change as we move forward. The market downturn places additional pressure on harvesting operations and the economic viability of logging.
After working all of last summer to get our TFL 54 logging program laid out and approved by the Forest Service, we became aware that some of this work may be caught up in a bigger initiative. In November, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, working with the provincial and federal governments, made extremely rapid progress toward signing a final treaty and signed an Interim Treaty Agreement as a step to quickly moving forward. Premier Campbell and the Tla-o-qui-aht Chiefs signed this agreement on Nov. 13, 2008.
This is a good move and we wish the Tla-o-qui-aht First nation well in their quest for a modern day treaty agreement and the benefits that may flow from that agreement.
The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is one of our joint venture partners in MaMook Coulson. Their traditional homeland is in the Kennedy River Valley, Kennedy Lake, Tofino Inlet, Tranquil Inlet, Meares Island and the Tofino Peninsula and Long Beach. Nearly 1000 people are part of the Tla-o-qui-aht community with about one third of this number living on the Reserve communities of Opitsaht (Meares Island) and Esowista (Long Beach). Tla-o-qui-aht has many economic development initiatives in place including the successful long running and ownership of the Tin Wis resort hotel in Tofino.
Tla-o-qui-aht derives the name from “aht” meaning people and “Tla-o-qui” which means a place in Clayoquot Sound known as Clayoqua. Generally then, the Tla-o-qui-aht name means “people of Clayoquot”. As with many West Coast First nations, the Tla-o-qui-aht are a confederation of several groups of families, each headed by a hereditary chief and all have lived in these areas for many generations.
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is governed by an elected Chief and Council. Francis Frank is currently Chief Councilor. The hereditary Chiefs (Ha’wiih) remain an important part of governance and decision making in particular related to land and resource matters. The Tla-o-qui-aht community recently lost a significant leader when hereditary Chief Howard Tom “ Hawith Naak-qua” passed away in early January.
Coulson Forest Products works hard to co-operate with our joint venture partners and support them in their goals to move forward with economic development including treaty and self governance while at the same time delivering on the needs of Coulson Forest Products.