ʔiisaaksinḥi hitaaqƛ̓as. Respecting the Forest.
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We, the undersigned Tla-o-qui-aht people request your support in protecting the ancient forests of our traditional territory.
Our culture and language, and the identity of Tla-o-qui-aht, are rooted in these forests. They are sacred spiritual places vital to present and future generations of all life forms. Since time immemorial the forests have been, and continue to be, home to our people and all the plants and animals that depend upon them for life.
Our traditional teachings of ʔiisaak - to be aware, appreciate, and act accordingly with respect; obligate us to ensure the abundance and health of the forests, and all of our territory.
Logging of ancient forests is and has been occurring in several places within Tla-o-qui-aht territory and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks, including in the Kennedy flats (Ken 400 block), and Tofino Creek area. The logging of the ancient forests within Tla-o-qui-aht territory violates the traditional and natural laws of our people and the land. This logging has been occurring without the informed consent or support of the general population of the Tla-o-qui-aht people.
It is our resolve that the logging of the ancient forests within Tla-o-qui-aht territory must be not be allowed to continue. We call upon leaders of our Nation to take immediate and decisive action to prevent further destruction of the forests, and protect the legacy of our ancestral heritage. Revoke the licenses that are enabling the logging companies to continue their operations in Tla-o-qui-aht Territory. Stand with us in the defense of our rainforest homeland, a recognized national treasure to our people and the entire world.
We urge you, our elected leadership to pursue a culturally informed conservation planning process for our forests that is both inclusive and transparent, and that provides a balanced approach to cultural values, the protection of the forest ecosystem and the economic needs of our Nation. As leaders responsible for the wellbeing of our people and homelands, we ask you to take measures that will ensure the protection of Tla-o-qui-aht ancient forests and the long term interests of our Nation.
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