(0) sayayin Texada Nation (sTN) Citizen Portal Overview
Purpose of this website: sTN's purpose, in one sentence, is to support democratic self-governance in our community by providing a safe and informative online portal for citizens of sayayin Texada Nation. Here you will find governance-related news, ideas and analysis, background information, civil discussion and jointly-created proposals that benefit the common good on our island. The site administrator's role is to collect, analyze and share the ongoing flow of Texada-related information coming from our local, provincial and federal governments, to ask pertinent (and impertinent) questions, to post commentary and draft proposals as discussion-starters and to impartially facilitate use of this platform in accordance with the site's minimal but essential Code of Conduct, below.
sTN is organized into topic groups in the threads below. Anyone can read any thread in any group, but to participate in a discussion and help build a proposal you'll need to join sTN using your real name and email address. If you’d like to open a new threaded topic for discussion, please contact sTN Administrator, Tom Read (email: [email protected]).
Names matter: "sayayin" (correctly spelled with a lower-case "s" and pronounced "sah-yeh-yeen") is a phonetic English-language approximation of the Tla' amin name for Texada Island (scroll down to see an explanation from Drew Blaney, Tla' amin Nation's Culture and Heritage Manager). According to the treaty implemented in 2016 between Tla' amin Nation, BC and Canada, Texada Island and its surrounding waters are part of Tla' amin Nation's traditional territory, which is shared with shishalh Nation on the southern half of the island and K'omoks Nation on the west side. The name "sayayin" is presumably thousands of years old, whereas "Texada" dates from the late 1700s, and was intended to flatter an admiral in the Spanish navy. This website chooses to recognize our present community's sharing of Tla' amin Nation's traditional territory by using both names as a small gesture of reconciliation between Indigenous and European cultures.
The sparsely-populated southern half of Texada Island is part of shishalh Nation (formerly Sechelt First Nation) and is known as "spilksen" in their language. This website hereby also recognizes our present community's sharing of these traditional shishalh lands and waters.
Also under the “names matter” heading: why am I using the word “nation” for this website? I chose this word because in a general sense I think it does apply to our defined territory (an island) and we do have a distinct community made up of diverse nationalities. Our island is legally a separate government jurisdiction known as “Area D, qathet Regional District,” so in a sense we have a defined government as well. But I mostly chose the word “nation” because it is aspirational. I’m not a believer in nation-states or their colonial provinces. Politically, I’m a localist, an aspiration which includes reclaiming the word "nation" for human-scale communities.
You also won’t find me referring to myself as a “settler” because I don’t use that term to describe my relationship to this place. Instead I see myself as a “naturalized resident” who belongs here because I feel responsible to care for the land, to walk it with humility, to seek justice and respect for those who came before me -- and I intend to stay for the rest of my life. I envision a naturalized resident community as peacefully and cooperatively sharing this place with Indigenous neighbours.
Naturalized residents are distinct from settlers because we consciously seek to learn what indigeneity in this region might look like for us – and through practice to start thinking of ourselves as “becoming indigenous” (small “i”) to this place. Of course there will be stumbles along the way. It may take generations for naturalized residents to actually become indigenous to this place, which is also why I use the word “nation” as an aspiration.
Code of Conduct for participating in sTN: Participation in sTN must be relevant to this website's purpose. This is not a place for general political discussion. Reminder: sTN's purpose, in one sentence, is to support democratic self-governance in our community (sayayin Texada Island and the qathet region) by providing a safe and informative online portal for citizens of sayayin Texada Nation. Within the above context, discussion on this website is based on mutual respect among all participants. Differences of opinion are welcome. Please bring your questions, concerns, local knowledge, ideas and overall wisdom to the discussion, and let’s remember to be respectful of each other even as we may disagree from time to time. Uncivil behavior, including personal attacks or threats, false claims of being personally attacked or threatened, bigotry, telling someone to "go back where you came from," off-topic or repetitive rants, sales pitches or excessively crude language, will result in cancellation of the offending member's posting privileges by the sTN Administrator.
Feedback and Artwork on sTN: This website is a long-term project and perpetual work-in-progress. Suggestions for improvement are most welcome. The sTN administrator is more of a words person than visual artist (obviously). Thus most of the photos he has posted here are not great and there are many placeholder photos provided by the Loomio platform that need replacing. Free-use or on-loan contributions of Texada-related photos or art would therefore be most welcome. For suggestions or art please email Tom Read, sTN Administrator, at [email protected]
Volunteer Opportunities on sTN: If you would like to volunteer your time to help with this website, please contact Tom Read, S/TN Administrator, at [email protected]. A few sample volunteer opportunities (or suggest something you'd like to do):
Coordinators for topic threads -- The Coordinator's role is to initiate threads on topics to be discussed, invite participants into the conversation, ask questions, moderate the ongoing discussions related to that topic, and assist in proposal development on the topic.
Provide information, comments and open-ended questions in the sayayin Texada News Summaries sub-group.
sTN Admin and Contact information: Tom Read, sTN Administrator Email: [email protected] Phone: 604-483-1471 Postal mail: PO Box 78, Van Anda, BC, Canada V0N 3K0
sayayin Texada Nation groups:
(0) sayayin Texada Nation Citizen Portal Overview, an introduction to sTN, including ground rules for discussion, sTN Feedback and Artwork, and contact information. (All on this page, above). Note: Throughout this website, documents with "TR" in the title indicate embedded questions and comments by Tom Read.
(1) The sayayin Texada Nation Observer, a blog by Tom Read covering topics relevant to this website's purpose.
sayayin Texada News Summaries: Government-related, economic and cultural information items affecting Texada Island, with links or attachments for more detailed information as available.
(2) sTN Economy: This group's purpose is to understand, discuss, propose and advocate for potential improvements to Texada's economy. It's a space to brainstorm and discuss economic development ideas and specific proposals. This space also holds a library containing information on Texada's local economy, including past proposals for mining, energy, aquaculture and other forms of land use development with economic implications.
(3) sTN Emergency: This group’s purpose is to discuss issues affecting Texada’s emergency services. Emergency services within the scope of this group include: Volunteer Fire Departments, First Response, Ambulance, Texada Health Centre, RCMP, Road Rescue, Mine Safety Teams, Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Support Services, Emergency Radio Communications and Texada Community Health (Home Care Nursing and Home Support).
(4) sTN Governance: This group is a space for exploring different options for local democratic self-government on sayayin Texada Island. This includes but is not limited to reviewing options for achieving better services, obtaining more island-friendly land use decisions and stronger advocacy for what Texadans want from other levels of government and big business.
(5) sTN Land Use Planning and Stewardship: This group is intended as a discussion space to create proposals or other community actions for dealing with current land use and stewardship issues affecting sayayin Texada Island. This includes discussion of how to interpret or possibly amend the "Texada Island Official Community Plan," plus review of current and past industrial, commercial and residential development proposals, regulatory proposals, watershed management, conservation and park proposals and subdivision applications.
This group is also the main focus for understanding and discussion of the Tla'amin and shishalh land use plans and their relationship to the Texada Island OCP.
Note: past mining, energy and aquaculture land use proposals are also covered in Group 2, sTN Economy.
(6) sTN Social Well-Being: The phrase “Social Well-Being” takes in a broad range of community services, activities and needs on sayayin Texada Island, including health care, housing, transportation, education, seniors, children and youth, recreation (including trails), heritage, income assistance, climate change and solid waste management. Social justice, including reconciliation with local First Nations, is a key focus for this group as well. This space contains an island-related background information archive and is for discussions, proposals and advocacy regarding any of the above topics. There are currently the following sub-groups:
Sub-group 1: Health care
Sub-group 2: Solid waste management
Sub-group 3: Transportation
Sub-group 4: Reconciliation
(7) sTN Food Security and Sovereignty: This group’s purpose is to understand the existing food system that serves us on sayayin Texada Island. This is also a space to discuss and propose a new or modified food system that would give our community more control over our food supply, with the intention of improving its reliability, quality, quantity and affordability.
(8) sTN Water Services: The scope of this group is to provide a space for discussing problems and opportunities related to our island’s community water systems and individual homestead water systems. Examples: The Gillies Bay Improvement District community water system needs extensive upgrades, and the Gillies Bay Rd/Shelter Point community water systems need to resolve water source and management issues.
(9) sTN Cross-Topic Relationships: Especially in a small community like sayayin Texada Island, “everything is related to everything else.” This space is dedicated to understanding the relationships BETWEEN topics being discussed in the other groups – lest we forget that there may be unforeseen wider impacts caused by proposals that only consider each topic individually.