TRIBAL PARK ALLIES
Ocean Outfitters is located and operates in the traditional territory of Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht First Nations. It is important to consider ‘why’ we acknowledge traditional territory. It’s certainly not a box to tick before a presentation. It’s at the very least to acknowledge that there are people with relationships and responsibilities to this land that have existed since time immemorial and remembering this helps to illuminate how settler presence and settler society have impacted those connections.
Ocean Outfitters is not expert on being an Indigenous ally. We are however, aspiring to be Allies. It is a journey. We are committed to learning, committed to meaningful consultation, to building respectful relationships, and to obtaining free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with new economic development projects. We aim to build genuine, meaningful connections, and to actively engage in decolonizing processes through, ‘giving back’ initiatives, investing in TPAC, and our desire to actively support social justice. Our organization does not simply profess, but we actively practice our values.
We recognize that since 1491, between Indigenous and non-indigenous communities, there has been 500+ years history of betrayal and broken trust. Allyship is a continuous process and a pathway towards rectiﬁcation of inequitable colonial systems, and the reconciliation of historical and contemporary wrongdoings.
Ocean Outfitters recognizes the inherent and constitutional right of the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht people to manage and monitor their haḥuułi. First Nations in Canada have the right to self-government within their traditional territories as affirmed in Section 35 of the 1982 Constitution Act. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to which Canada is party, reaffirms this right and furthermore acknowledges the fundamentally important role Indigenous peoples play in environmental stewardship and protection.
We share the same commitment to seek ways to deepen our relationship. We share a common vision for socially, economically, and ecologically just communities.
While Ocean Outfitters may not agree with all the land management decisions of Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht First Nations, (specifically, open net pen aquaculture and the logging of old growth), we agree with their right to make those decisions, and we will continuously strive to achieve our shared visions for a sustainable Clayoquot Sound.
The Tribal Parks mandate is to enable ƛaɁuukwiath citizens to revitalize traditional customs and livelihoods, and participate equitably in the local economy while strengthening their capacity as stewards to the land.