Tsawout First Nation invites community to join September 2 paddle for ȽEL¸TOS and the Salish Sea

Poster for LEL,TOS Paddle

July 11, 2018

Tsawout Chief and Council invite all relations in WSÁNEĆ and neighbouring communities to participate in the PADDLE FOR ȽEL¸TOS and the Salish Sea, in support of Tsawout’s claim to the island, also known as James Island.

The event is taking place on Sunday, September 2, 2018, beginning at 9:00 am at ȾIX̱EṈ (Cordova Spit) with a community breakfast, followed by a paddle around ȽEL¸TOS (James Island) and then a feast in the Tsawout Gymnasium.

The history of use and occupation is significant combined with significant archaeological history. The island was part of the homelands and provided a rich, productive way of life as it was well supplied with plantlife and surrounded by a rich variety of saltwater food supply (fish/shellfish). When it was taken over as part the war efforts it was still occupied and people felt that the island would be fully returned once it was no longer required. However the history shows that the Tsawout/WSÁNEĆ People were forced off the island and it then became privatized and was eventually sold.

In the past Tsawout has made overtures to have the island rightfully returned and it is hoped that this time justice will prevail and the island will be restored as part of the homelands.

The Paddle for ȽEL¸TOS will be hosted by Tsawout, facilitated by a number of neighbours/supporters/advocates on September 2. The event will kick off with a light 9:00 am breakfast on September 2. It is estimated that the paddle depending on currents/traffic should take about three hours. There may be some information booths on the beach but there will also be a Vendors Market at Tsawout Gymnasium with an Indigenous Tea Room in the Multipurpose Room opening at 10:00 am. At 2:00 pm there will also be a Celebratory Meal with invited speakers to speak on the significance of the island to Tsawout.

People are invited to participate in canoes, kayaks and other human-powered water craft. Space for youth, elders and others is available in support vessels and large canoes. People are also invited to join the events on shore.

“We invite all relations to join us in advancing our Treaty rights to ȽEL¸TOS,” says Chief Harvey Underwood. “We welcome community members and allies in WSÁNEĆ territory and neighbouring communities to join us for the paddle and events on shore.” Tsawout has asserted ownership of ȽEL¸TOS, which despite never being surrendered fell into private hands contrary to the Treaty and Crown policy.

Tsawout would like the Paddle event to be a fundraiser to assist with the research and legal work required for the claim and will be accepting donations prior to the event and at the event made out to TSAWOUT FIRST NATION with notation for “ȽEL¸TOS”.

To join the Paddle for ȽEL¸TOS and the Salish Sea, sign up today at: http://www.TurningtheTide.ca/leltos.

Chief Harvey Underwood

Release of Turning the Tide music video

Congratulations to Luke Wallace and our inter-islands community on the release of “Turning the Tide,” recorded live on Salt Spring on Turning the Tide 2017!

From Luke Wallace:

Recording Turning the Tide on Salt Spring island was a truly memorable night. The turnout was amazing and the energy in our wide circle reflected the shared love that we all have for the Salish Sea. This recording was in celebration of an initiative, also called Turning the Tide, where folks use human powered vessels to travel the Salish Sea, share rich ecological experiences and gain some inspiration to take with them. The people involved in this paddle-focused trip continue to show a deep commitment to the protection of people, communities and the ocean both during TTT and throughout the rest of their lives. For many, this is a chance to reconnect with the planet they are fighting so hard to protect and to remind themselves of the interconnectedness of all life.

One of the important issues that the folks from Turning the Tide seek to address is the ongoing threat of an oil spill in the Salish Sea. The Kinder Morgan pipeline, terminal and associated tanker transport pose a massive and unacceptable risk to all the people and species that rely daily upon a healthy ocean for their survival. Moreover, the federal government of Canada has approved a massive expansion of the pipeline which will result in a 7-fold increase in tankers carrying tar-sands oil/bitumen through the Salish Sea.

The response by the public has been nothing short of inspiring. First Nations all over ‘BC’ are rising up, asserting their rights and demanding that the expansion not only be canceled but that all oil transport be ban in the Salish Sea. The City of Vancouver and Burnaby have come out in full opposition to the expansion and the new provincial government has also taken steps to block the pipeline.


Islanders to celebrate the Salish Sea with paddle

Turning the Tide organizers Sasha Kvakic and Emily Rogers prepare for the annual Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea. Photo Credit: Victoria News

By Lauren Boothby, VICTORIA NEWS

After five days paddling the Salish Sea and breathing the ocean air, Emily Rogers is resolved to fight for what she loves.

In the early morning of Wednesday, Aug. 9, more than 80 people young and old will depart from Dolphin Dock in Swartz Bay on a five-day paddle across the Salish Sea in protest of increased tanker traffic, advocating for greater environmental protection of the waters and the wildlife it sustains.

Rogers is one of the event coordinators for the event called Turning the Tide now in its fourth year. She says paddling the ocean built a bond stronger than any connection she’s experienced in her life.

She hopes the experience of being on the water inspires other participants to advocate for protecting the ocean as well.

“When you’re sitting in the middle of our ocean, it’s impossible to not be awestruck by the beauty and the fragility of our amazing coast,” she said. “It feels very humbling. When you look around and you see the diversity of species that rely upon this body of water, the importance of protecting this place is magnified.”

The journey takes paddlers in their kayaks and canoes from Swartz Bay to Portland Island, Salt Spring Island, North Pender Island, Prevost Island and Moresby Island, for about 29 nautical miles (54 kilometres) in total. Participants stop at each to rest and participate in workshops such as ocean navigation and reading tides.

Jeremy Loveday, a Victoria city councillor and event organizer, sees the event as a way to connect with the community.

“The theme this year is building solidarity across the Salish Sea, so it’s to bring people together, to get that experience of being on the water, to break bread, make those connections and to leave with a stronger network of solidarity across the islands of people who are willing to stand up and fight to protect our coastline,” he said.

Loveday says the trip has been one of the most memorable experiences of his past three summers.

“The highlight for me is getting out on the water and, when you’re travelling in the kayak or a canoe, you’re right down at water level and experiencing it an a very intimate way. There’s no distractions its just you and like-minded people you’re travelling with.”

For more information, visit turningthetide.ca.

Luke Wallace Live Recording & Performance on Salt Spring

Join Luke Wallace and the Turning the Tide community for this live recording and musical performance at Ruckle Park on Salt Spring Island on August 9, 2017

Luke Wallace Live Recording and Performance on Salt Spring
Thursday August 10 @ 7:00 pm
Ruckle Park Group Campsite, Salt Spring Island

Join & Share the Event on Facebook

Come out and sing with Luke Wallace and the folks of Turning the Tide 2017! Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea.

We are going to record a song which will be apart of Luke Wallace’s next record. His next record will be a collection of songs recorded live in series of frontline communities featuring voices of those who are fighting to protect their homes.

Find out more about the record by watching this video: https://www.facebook.com/lukewallacemusic/videos/1534992389857159/

Picnic Dinner & Discussion with Adam Olsen on Salt Spring Island

Join Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, and the Turning the Tide community for this picnic dinner and discussion on Salt Spring Island on August 10, 2017

Picnic Dinner & Discussion with Adam Olsen on Salt Spring Island
Thursday August 10 @ 5:30 pm
Ruckle Park Group Campsite, Salt Spring Island

Join & Share the Event on Facebook

Bring a picnic meal and join this discussion with Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, taking place as part of the annual Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea. Adam will share his ideas and vision for the Salish Sea bioregion and Saanich North & the Islands, drawing from his role as an elected official and his background as a member of the WSANEC Nation.

Sponsored by Turning the Tide

Registration update for Turning the Tide 2017

Due to popular demand, Turning the Tide 2017 is now at capacity and registration is closed. For those who have signed up and completed registration, we look forward to seeing you on the water and islands in August. For others, we look forward to paddling with you in 2018! A waitlist is being maintained in case of last-minute cancellations. If you would like to be added to this list, please email us at turningthetide.ca@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for actions and events over the next year as we build on-the-water and inter-islands solidarity for the Salish Sea!


Register for Turning the Tide 2017!


Join Turning the Tide 2017!

This year’s 4th Annual Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea promises to be another exciting and meaningful family-friendly journey, uniting people from across the Salish Sea in community and solidarity for people and the planet.

The Paddle will take place over five days and four nights, from August 9-13, 2017, beginning at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island and proceeding to Salt Spring and Pender Islands. Camping and dinners have been arranged for paddlers on all islands, and are included in the participant fee of $95 per person over 15 years (subsidies available, please contact us, and consider donating an extra $20 with your fee to help fund a fellow paddler).

This year’s theme is “Solidarity Across the Salish Sea.” With the federal government’s recent approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project, and the election of one of the most regressive presidents in American history, our movements need to strengthen and grow. Now more than ever, we need to stand up and build a culture of resistance on both sides of the border.

You can learn more by reading the Turning the Tide 2017 Participant Package and then complete the Registration Form here.

Paddlers are responsible for arranging their own boats. If you have additional capacity in boats or would like to request a spot in a boat, please let us know and we will endeavour to help match you up. Discounted canoe and kayak rentals from several agencies are also available.

We look forward to paddling with you this summer as we demonstrate our love for the Salish Sea — and build our on-the-water and inter-islands community of solidarity for people and the planet!

Open the registration form in a separate webpage