Ucluelet First Nation president Chuck McCarthy and Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noël came together to raise the Ucluelet First Nation Government flag in council chambers on Oct. 13.
Mayor Noël said the gesture was long overdue.
“For a lot of people that may not know, traditionally for years, our water and sewer are connected, and it’s been my initiative to ensure that there is more to connecting our communities than sewer and water. More recently, I think that staff to staff connections that go behind the scenes that we are privy of is what really makes the two communities push forward,” said mayor Noël.
In Feb. 2019, the District of Ucluelet entered a fire protection services agreement with Ucluelet First Nation. The agreement states that the Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade will provide structural fire support to the First Nations community of Hitacu, located across the harbour from Ucluelet.
“We were fortunate to get a [UFN flag]. We are very pleased to be able to have it in our council chambers and I look forward to future partnerships,” Noël went on to say.
UFN president McCarthy presented the flag to mayor and council.
“I think we share a lot more than just sewer and water,” he said with a laugh.
“Moving forward in a positive manner and having our flag represent our [Ucluelet First Nations] government, this is our flag of who we are, we went through the treaty process and moved to self-governing nation now,” said McCarthy.
Ucluelet First Nation, a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC), entered into the negotiation process with the BC Treaty Commission in 1994. On April 1, 2011, after nearly two decades of negotiation, UFN became one of five NTC nations to sign the ‘Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement’, a treaty acknowledging their independence as a self-governing Nations, free to govern the activities of a Nation under their own Constitution.
“I know we’ve gone through these difficult times with COVID, and moving forward to the winter, who knows what’s ahead? But, given that, on behalf of our government, we are pleased to place our flag with the other flags that are here,” he said, adding that he is looking towards moving the peninsula forward collectively.