His-Shuk-Nish-Tsa-Waak (We Are All One)
Ira Sutherland’s MSc research involved examining the forest of a part of British Columbia within the model of ecosystem services.
Some of Ira’s fieldwork was within Tla-o-qui-aht traditional territory. Joseph, one of the field technicians, is from a family whose traditions began in the forest. His father was a Hunter and Trapper and Joseph himself began as a Canoe builder. Much of the work he does now, he says, reminds him of his father.
He understands the importance of the Cedar trees that traditionally sustained the First Nations. The Cedar is recognised as being an essential cultural resource, as is the Forest itself which supports numerous other Eco-systems.
There is an old Tla-o-qui-aht saying “Everything is one. Everything is connected”.
The Ecosystem Services main role is to document, quantify and understand the values provided by nature that sustain society. In particular, they are looking for indicators of the different aspects that the benefits of the Forest provides.