Peter is holding a seal

VICCIFN Expresses Disappointment at the Closure of National Contaminants Program

In late May, the Department of Fisheries made the decision to close their national contaminants program. Staff of this program, most notably Dr. Peter Ross, have been instrumental to the forming of the Vancouver Island & Coastal Communities Indigenous Foods Network. Dr. Ross has worked to study and inform Canadian governments, communities, and area First Nations of the levels of contamination of local are seafood and the intake safety of consuming these foods.   His research has also focused on the disastrous impact of contaminants on marine environments.

More specifically, Dr. Ross has provided a breadth of knowledge and understanding to VICCIFN and area First Nations on identifying traditional foods that are safe to eat, and has encouraged their benefits over western foods. In the past, Dr. Ross has played a large role in the formation of VICCIFN’s annual Traditional Foods Conference. He has shared his experiences and knowledge, supporting the cross section of traditional knowledge and scientific understanding of what ocean-based foods are safe to eat, and on the impact of the western lifestyle on traditional food systems.

Dr. Peter S. Ross was laid off from his job as a Research Scientist (Marine mammal toxicologist) with the Institute of Ocean Sciences (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) in Sidney, British Columbia, Canada. He had a research program on (1) the effects of persistent environmental contaminants on the health of marine mammals and (2) the sources, movement and fate of persistent environmental contaminants in marine food chains. He conducted his research in collaboration with colleagues at universities and government laboratories in Canada and internationally. Dr. Ross is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, B.C., and supervises graduate students at SFU, the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. Dr. Ross obtained his PhD from the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences (Utrecht University, the Netherlands), MSc from Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia), and BSc (Honours) from Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario).

Peter Ross will be presenting at the 5th Annual Indigenous Foods Conference on Protecting Traditional Foods From Pollution; What Can We Do?. The Conference will be held on September 28th and 29th in Port Alberni, BC with support from Tseshaht First Nation, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, Vancouver Island Health Authority, and VanCity.

For more information please contact

Nitanis Desjarlais

5th Annual Traditional Foods Conference Coordinator Posting

Below is our recent Call for Proposals for a Conference Coordinator for the upcoming Traditional Foods Conference. You can forward any inquiries or proposals to Victoria Watts (info below).

 Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council


Request for Proposals

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in partnership with Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Indigenous Foods Network (VICCIFN) is seeking proposals from interested individuals, to provide coordination services for Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council hosting the 5th Annual Traditional Foods Conference. The gathering incorporates four parts of Traditional Foods: Health/Nutrition, Safety, Healing, Community, and integrates Indigenous science/knowledge together with “western science”.

Terms and Conditions for Proposal Development

The Contractor will have considerable knowledge of the Nuu-chah-nulth and Vancouver Island communities and culture.

The Contractor will have their own vehicle and be willing and able to travel to remote communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island and other locations as required.

The Contractor will sign an Oath of Confidentiality in relation to the information to which he/she will have knowledge and access.

The Contractor will be accountable to, and report to the NTC Manager of Health Promotion and Social Development Program, Victoria Watts. The Contractor will provide services as outlined below:

  • Work in collaboration with VICCIFN Conference Planning Members and NTC, and other partners providing coordination and support.
  • Assist in coordinating arrangements for the 5th Annual Traditional Foods Conference such as venues, catering, advertising, agendas, materials for gathering, and publication materials for conference follow up and final report.
  • Identify and record VICCIFN Conference Planning Members decisions and action items; report on the status of decisions and action items to the NTC Health Promotion and Social Development Manager.
  • Create and maintain all aspects of file maintenance in both print and digital copies related to the 5th Annual Traditional Foods gathering related correspondence, minutes, decisions, action items, legal documents, reports, presentations, and other information and media.
  • Serve as a point of contact for the NTC, Nuu-chah-nulth Nations and VICCIFN and follow-up with inquiries or requests as necessary; coordinate information as requested by the Nations.

At this time it is estimated that the Conference coordination services will require 25 days. Interested individuals should respond to the contact person below by 4:30 PM June 22, 2012 with a minimum of the following information:

  • Cover letter indicating skills, knowledge, equipment and ability to meet the conditions specific to the coordination services being requested.
  • Contact information.
  • Provide three references.
  • Fee for service.

Deadline for Proposals: 4:30 pm, June 22, 2012

Submit Proposals to: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council

Department: Health Promotion and Social Development

Attention: Victoria Watts

Address: P.O. Box 1383

Port Alberni, B. C. V9Y 7M2

Traditional Foods Logo

Save the Date 5th Annual Traditional Foods Conference

Traditional Foods Logo
I would like to share the Save the Date Invitation to the 5th Annual Traditional Foods Conference hosted in partnership by the Tseshaht First Nation, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, the Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Indigenous Foods Network and VIHA Aboriginal Health.

The conference will be in Port Alberni on September 28th and 29th.

More info to follow in the coming weeks.  Come back to our site for more details.