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It is also posited that a rushed application relying on an outdated and incomplete map resulted in this Tlellian dystopia of haves and have-nots.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.

Tlellagraph

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Haida hereditary chief named Liberal Candidate for North Coast Region

Roy Jones Jr. is named Liberal MLA candidate for the North Coast

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read