This summer, Friends of Clayoquot Sound were part of a fun environmental stewardship collaboration with Surfrider Pacific Rim and Redd Fish Restoration at different locations within Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks. We engaged over 150 participants to be passionate about protecting, conserving, and preserving our beautiful planet and eager to make a positive impact. We kicked off with an outdoor screening of “Rematriation” at the Tofino Night Market, following the Gust of Wind performances and had a presentation from the talented filmmakers themselves.
We screened the new documentary film, “Rematriation”, at the Trees and Seas Festival as well as the Clayoquot Salmon Festival. The film follows concerned residents of BC as they take a stand to protect the last giant trees from being cut down. Along the way, “Rematriation” delves into the layers of complexity surrounding old growth forest protection, as the filmmakers Alexi Liotti and Colm Keating provide lessons that reach far beyond the forests, permeating the very social fabric of Canadian identity.
The Fairy Creek Blockades at Ada’itsx became publicly renowned in 2021 as an Indigenous led movement to prevent the cutting of this last old growth watershed. These ancient rainforests have been industrially undisturbed since the last ice age. The blockade actions to protect the forest that lasted for months and in the process became Canada’s largest act of civil disobedience, surpassing a record that the Clayoquot Blockades held until then.
Old growth forests, like Ada’itsx, represent one of the last lines of defence against climate change, while containing scientific properties we barely understand. Yet mismanagement and greed have left less than 2.6% of them standing. Considering all the political campaign promises to protect old growth, the BC government’s response was initially hypocritical. Despite numerous recent political conservation commitments to protecting at risk old growth forests in BC, the government encouraged the publicly funded Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to disband the blockades which led to hundreds of peaceful protesters being aggressively arrested. Over 2 years later, and many of those arrested are still making their way through the colonial courts.
For the following day of the Trees and Seas Festival, we met at Wickanninish Community School and Jadyn Patton from Redd Fish Restoration guided the group in removing invasive species from the area. And on the final day, Marlayna Demco from Surfrider Pacific Rim led a beach clean at Cox Bay where we collected litter and marine debris to help care for the coastline. A big thanks to everyone who came out to give back, and to our generous community sponsors Long Beach Lodge Resort and Pacific Sands Beach Resort.