Mamalilikulla, Tlowitsis, Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala, Wei Wai Kum, and K’ómoks are the member First Nations of the Nanwakolas Council. These First Nations each hold responsibility for the stewardship of Aweenak’ola, which means “the lands we are on,” within their traditional areas on North Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of what is now British Columbia, Canada.
The name Nanwakolas, which means “a place we go to find agreement,” honours traditional ways of making decisions collaboratively that will benefit all the member First Nations. Through the Nanwakolas Council, they come together to make decisions on matters in which they share common interests. They unite to uphold their Aboriginal rights and title, using the powerful collective voice of the Nanwakolas Council. The Nanwakolas Council engages with governments, industry, and partners of the member First Nations to protect the rights of the First Nations, and to ensure they are honoured and respected.
The Nanwakolas Council provides the member First Nations with information services, technical support, coordination and advice, to assist them in their decision-making and work. That work includes reviewing applications for provincial tenures and permits referred to the member First Nations for their decision and watching over Aweenak’ola through the Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network.
Stewardship of Aweenak’ola requires careful planning: always thinking ahead to what needs to be done to keep Aweenak’ola healthy, how to take care of the natural environment and the creatures within it, how to carefully cultivate food sources and harvest them respectfully, and honouring age-old practices and traditions that have always kept Aweenak’ola productive and vibrant.
Planning requires information: research and observation of the seasonal cycles, what is changing, and why those changes might be happening. Monitoring these changes requires having knowledgeable, skilled Guardians out on the land and waters, gathering information, and ensuring the careful and proper stewardship of Aweenak’ola.
The Nanwakolas Council delivers the following four program areas to the member First Nations incorporating those activities. These program areas are all connected to each other, and support the Aboriginal rights and title of the Nanwakolas member First Nations.
Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network
The Nanwakolas Council is comprised of five member First Nations whose traditional territories are located in the Northern Vancouver Island and adjacent South Central Coast areas of British Columbia.