Fish-WIKS Research Group Visits Tla-o-qui-aht

As a national project focussing on four distinct locations in Canada, the Fish-WIKS project group plans to conduct group sessions and visits in all four locations.  In late August 2013, the group travelled to Tofino, British Columbia, located centrally in the BC project site, Tla-o-qui-aht.  The Fish-WIKS group has grown during its first year to now include four Community Liaison Coordinators, one Post Doctoral Fellow and four PhD students.  The Tofino gathering advanced overall project planning including research activities, knowledge mobilization and community support.


BC PhD Student Begins Work with Community

On April 17, 2013, Saul Milne, PhD student at University of Victoria and recipient of a Fish-WIKS study grant, met with Fish-WIKS Community Liaison Coordinator Terry Dorward, Tla-o-qui-aht Education Coordinator Tammy Dorward, and Dr. Grant Murray at the first team meeting for the British Columbia Fish-WIKS group.

Tla-o-qui-aht provided cultural/linguistic research materials and outlined how they currently structure their fisheries governance. Saul was introduced to current members of Tla-o-qui-aht’s administration, elected Chief and Council and a member of their ha-wiith (chiefly or wealthy one in terms of material and spiritual sense) (Atleo, 2011, p. x).

The team discussed the objectives of the Fish-WIKS project and began to identify potential areas of application with Tla-o-qui-aht Ha-hoolth-ee (land and its resources owned by a chief) (Atleo, 2011, p. x). The group identified several areas for development including key community research participants, Nuu-Chah-Nulth academics and other communities that could be collaborators in the research project. Next steps for Saul’s Phd studies were also outlined.


Winning logo from BC by Percy Benson

As part of the community engagement strategy for the Project, a logo contest was initiated in each of the four regions.  The project logo will be based on a circular medicine wheel with each of the four partner regions being represented in one quarter of the logo.  The winning entry from Tla-o-qui-aht by Percy Benson is shown here.  Percy Benson III, is Gitksen from Gitwangak, BC.  He graduated from Hazelton High School.

This logo is the four Crests of Gitksen/Thimshian on the West Coast, the fireweed is a sub crest of the Killer Whale or Blackfish.