Land Claims Action on the Territory of the Tsawout First Nation
We have sent a settlement agreement to the Minister of Indian Affairs about the 10 acres that was cut-off of the Goldstream Reserve in 1962. He has committed the Crown to returning the 10 acres to the Saanich People. This will return the size of the Goldstream Reserve to 24 Acres, it’s original size.
Pender Island Claim
This Claim involves the old Village site, where Poets Cove Resort now sits. Our lawyer says this claim looks good in favour of Tsawout. This Claim is now filed.
Our next claim to be filed is the Cordova Spit Cut-off (the point), which was denied by Specific Claims previously. We will re-file this under the new Specific Claims Tribunal.
The third Specific claim we are initiating work on is the James Island Claim. Hopefully this will be ready to be filed in 2012.
Remains of Our Ancestors Being Held by Institutions
We are working with the Burke Museum at the Western Washington University, Tseycum First Nation and Poets Cove Resort to have remains returned to Pender Island, which were taken from there in the 1940’s. I have sent a DRAFT budget to Poets Cove Resort requesting that they cover the costs of the reburial of these remains. They have agreed to cover most of the costs, with our Lands Office covering the rest. The Burke Museum will deliver the remains for the reburial on June 9th. We will be going out to Pender on that day, leaving on the 8:30 am ferry. A ceremony and blessing and reburial will be lead by our people, after which a lunch will be provided by Poets Cove Resort.
I am working with GMG for the funding requirements of having the 150 sets of remains returned to us that were removed from Pender Canal. These are being held by Simon Fraser University.
Tsawout Book Project
The Phase II book will begin in the fall. Gwen, Belinda, Brenda Guiled and I, along with contributing Elders will be the working group.
Retention of the SENĆOŦEN Language and W̱SÁNEĆ Culture
I sincerely hope that in the upcoming years, Language and Culture which is critical to our identity as Tsawout people, will become a priority of our Leadership, Elders, youth and community members. Every one of us needs our culture at some point in our life, but we need to start practicing it and using it to lead our young people. We must dedicate more toward our real culture, we are not white people, nor are we Cree or Prairie people. We must look to our true Tsawout Elders for leadership whenever it has to do with language and culture. I have to thank Popeye for speaking SENĆOŦEN to me when he sees me, even if I don’t understand most of it. It is his way of keeping the language alive. More of us need to do this. I have to thank Earl Sr. and Ray for opening my eyes to these which are vital to our people and need to be our main priority in order to retain who we are, W̱SÁNEĆ people in Tsawout.