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On the Street: Tsawout Nation starts seaweed farm; awards for Island foresters

Tsawout Nation starts seaweed farm

The Tsawout First Nation on the Saanich Peninsula has issued a licence to Cascadia Seaweed for seeding and harvesting the greens in the nation’s territorial waters off James Island.

In a statement, the elected leadership of the Tsawout First Nation said they had exercised their right to self-government and enacted a Marine Use Law. As defined and clarified under the Douglas Treaty, the Constitution, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tsawout say they have jurisdiction over Tsawout lands, waters, resources and interests through unextinguished Aboriginal title.

In October, under provisions of the new law, Tsawout issued a licence to Cascadia Seaweed to engage in commercial seaweed farming activities on Tsawout’s behalf. In November, Cascadia Seaweed installed and seeded one of its largest farms to date with 20 kilometres of production line in the water.

Victoria-based Cascadia Seaweed was chosen because it offered the “greenest of the green projects,” said Chrissy Chen, fisheries manager for Tsawout.

“We are Indigenous people. We are here to conserve and protect the environment while we produce food and create opportunity for our people. Cascadia Seaweed is supporting all of these objectives.”

Island foresters win awards

Two Campbell River women have earned awards for innovation from the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals.

Maria Le Boeuf is the 2021 Forest Technologist of the Year, while Cynthia Lu won of the Forest Innovation Award.

Le Boeuf, a senior forester with Strategic Natural Resource Consultants, has more than 17 years experience in coastal forestry.

Lu is a recognized change-maker in B.C.’s coastal forest sector. One of her recent accomplishments was the development of an online learning module to give forest professionals critical skills and tools in conflict management.

Coalition welcomes new executive director

Sylvia Ceacero is new executive director of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.

Ceacero brings more than 20 years diverse experience to her new role — from leading one of the largest cemeteries in Canada to being CEO of community services agencies in Greater Vancouver.

“I’m so pleased to join a community of collaborative, dedicated changemakers,” she said.

“I can’t wait to learn from this sector and apply my passion for systems change and social impact to such a vital cause.”

The coalition is a partnership of local service providers, non-profit organizations, all levels of government and the business, post-secondary and faith communities.