Tayler Adams uncoils a fiber-optic cable along Tow Hill Road on Jan. 14, 2016. Crews started laying the buried the cable from Masset to Tow Hill on Jan. 11, the first stretch of a $10 million GwaiiTel-led project to install a fibre-optic internet ‘backbone’ for internet users. (Haida Gwaii Observer/File photo)

Tlellagraph: Community organizing, Tlell-style

By Janet Rigg

Get ready folks, this is going to be newsy. There’s actually a lot going on in Tlell that requires community support and involvement, so I hope each and every one of my fellow Tlellians is reading this (unless they already saw the news on Facebook). For those voyeurs not of Tlell, I give you a fascinating glimpse into the complexities of wanting to be a well organized, secure, and serviced Wild West.

Gwaii Trust has bestowed upon us the very important lesson that, without community organization, it will not rain money. And so a small group of local citizens has begun to investigate the process by which one can form a community association or commission. We are grateful to learn that Tow Hill was given the same painful lesson, and has already worked towards a solution. We will take this lesson and turn it into an opportunity to connect with our northern neighbours in a show of beautiful inter-community support.

Once such an association is formed, we can use more of the Gwaii Trust Vibrant community funds. In the meantime, we are moving forward with plans to expand the fire hall to create a bigger community space, as community support has already been shown for that project. Other projects can use an eventual Tlell Community Association to get hassle-free access to these funds. Look for notices in the coming months.

I’m told we can’t call it the Republic of Tlell, however, even though we already have the T-shirts.

Now I must tell you about the fibre-optic developments for our rural community. Services, especially internet, are not generally a feature of Tlell. We have hydro, sure, and phone, but the world, generally, did not see internet as such a necessity. Until now. GwaiiTel has secured a huge grant to bring the fibre cable to many doorsteps in Tlell. Many. But not all.

The problem may be that while rural, those not qualifying are perhaps too rural, as there is a population-density threshold for this project.

It is also posited that a rushed application relying on an outdated and incomplete map resulted in this Tlellian dystopia of haves and have-nots. Whether or not that it is true, I feel that all Tlellians want to see everyone connected and, hopefully, this is an issue that some sort of community commission could address — or at least put it on GwaiiTel to figure it out. Our regional district director and MLA have both been notified of the crisis, so our lack of community organization is not preventing us from putting a bit of pressure on GwaiiTel.

In other news, Mike’s Marina opened up at the beginning of the month to much fanfare, and a new, attractive sign. However, there seem to be less and less boats “moored” there. I guess the moorage isn’t so attractive during a strong southeaster.

We also approved glamping, apparently. I can’t help but giggle, having recently binge-watched my PVR’d episodes of HBO’s Camping. The “camping” that provides the backdrop for that hilarious show is a glamping resort. I have no doubt that the Tlell version will be just as entertaining.

Last, and most certainly most important, I give you the dates for the Tlell Christmas Party: Dec. 16, at the Fall Fairgrounds. More details will follow, but there will be a very fun decorating party some time before the dinner. All are invited to help, or simply attend. Hams, turkeys, and potatoes are provided, so we ask that you bring a side dish or dessert to share. This is a great Tlellian tradition, allowing us all to come together whether you like community organization or not, qualify or don’t, hate or love music festivals, and prefer ham over turkey or the other way around.

Feel free to email me at sewnart@haidagwaii.net about any of the above, because I know a little bit about it all, and will be happy to let you know who knows more.

Just Posted

Mold shuts down construction at QC supportive housing project

Construction of the new 19-unit modular housing complex in Queen Charlotte has… Continue reading

Conservation office launches new gaurdian role for Haida Gwaii

Possition developed in part to improve partnerships with Haida Nation

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

All Native Basketball Tournament: Intermediate Finals

All Native Basketball Tournament: Intermediate Finals

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Most Read