Samantha Touchie stands beside a Parks Canada exhibit dedicated to her late grandmother

Pacific Rim National Park honours Barbara Touchie

She had eight daughters, seven sons, 76 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

NORA O’MALLEY

nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

 

On Sept. 24, in front of a standing-room only audience at Kwisitis Visitor Centre, Parks Canada unveiled a new name for its theatre.

The new name, is the late Barbara Touchie’s Nuu-chah-nulth name, pronounced  Sitch – KHOO – ootl, in recognition of her contributions to the Park and the West Coast. The name means “a dorsal fin coming around a point of land.”

Born on June 20, 1931, Ms. Touchie was a life-long resident on the West Coast.

Her father was from the Toquaht Nation and her mother was from the Ucluelet First Nation.

She made the Ucluelet First Nation territory her home following her marriage to Samuel Touchie.

Her family of eight daughters and seven sons quickly grew and includes 76 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Touchie was an instrumental member of the Nuu-chah-nulth Working Group, which provided traditional knowledge and culture guidance during the revitalization of the Kwisitis Visitor.

“She spent the last 18-years of her life as an educator, teaching the Nuu-chah-nulth language and demonstrating the importance of preserving language,” said Parks Canada representative Helen Davies.

“From her collaboration in writing curriculum for the language courses to her contribute to a website dedicated to Canadian Indigenous languages to her last project of transcribing the Declaration of Interdependence into the Nuu-chah-nulth language, Barbara proved how generous she could be with her time, her knowledge of Nuu-chah-nulth language and her culture…I’m certain she will forever be remembered fondly at Ucluelet Elementary School where I understand she conducted language classes and she will be missed dearly by Ucluelet and Toquaht members as well as the citizens of the town of Ucluelet.”

One of Ms. Touchie’s family members, Bob Mundy, thanked the crowd for being there to support his mother-in-law.

“She helped me a lot, especially in language. I would try to say something to her that I thought I knew, and it wasn’t received with a hard slap on the hand it was a gentle ‘no you’re wrong’,” said Mundy.

“I just want to say thank to all of you for coming, for being here with us, supporting our family. We appreciate that you’re here to support this event. It’s a wonderful thing to see,” he said.

Ucluelet Elementary School principal Jennifer Adamson said Ms. Touchie was the driving force in creating the momentum to bring Nuu-chah-nulth to the entire Ucluelet community.

“Because of her passion and dedication, her legacy lives every day in the school as all our children are now sharing her teachings and have a desire to learn the language. She recognized the urgency of the need to do it now and do it openly that included all the community,” said Adamson.

In addition to naming the theatre after Barbara Touchie, Parks Canada created an Nuu-chah-nulth language learning box, which anyone can access at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre.

 

 

Just Posted

Tofino’s Clayoquot Oyster Festival scaled back for 2017

Organizers optimistic about years to come

Pacific Rim Whale Festival in dire need of volunteers around Tofino and Ucluelet

Society’s treasurer Marilyn McEwen fears 2018 could be event’s final year.

Ambassadors educate travellers in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Team tackled off-leash dogs, left-out attractants and shoreline safety.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read