The Hupacasath have, since time immemorial, managed their lands and resources sustainably. If they had not there would not have been as many fish and wildlife and as much forest and other resources at contact as there had been 8,000 years previously.
The concept of sustainable resource management is based on the following basic principles:
Families and community come first. Healthy people means a growing population of well educated individuals who have successful jobs and raise healthy families, no different from other Canadians. This means Hupacasath people now and in the future who will have access to:
Hupacasath speak a dialect of the Wakashan language, which they share with other Nuu-chah-nulth people. Their traditions are based strongly on the land of their ancestors and their governance system is based on the oral history passed down from preceding generations. While jobs and an economy are important, sustaining the distinct lifestyle of the Hupacasath is also vitally important.
This will involve:
This means that there must be healthy populations of all the animals, birds, fish, plants and the eco-systems that these species depend on for their survival and health including:
The Hupacasath people need jobs and economic development opportunities to support themselves, their families and community as documented in the Hupacasath Economic Development Strategy. While the Hupacasath are willing to share the wealth within their territory they will be involved and gain a fair share of the resources and revenues that come from their land and resources.
A strong governance system is one that, through community input and concisely written policy, creates an environment in which consistent and high quality decisions are made. Internally, a strong governance system creates trust between the leadership and community, prevents and resolves conflict, increases community participation, and ensures accountability. Strong governance and the pursuit of economic and social development go hand in hand. Therefore, externally, the strength of a governance system will determine the pace and success of management and development endeavors pursued by the First Nation. Hupacasath have committed to the development of a strong governance system and are actively working on a new policy governance manual.