Tanya Henck: Cortes Island Women’s Centre

Tanya Henck: Cortes Island Women’s Centre

This radio broadcast was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. The Covid-19 lockdown has sparked an upsurge in domestic violence both in Canada and worldwide, as well as making it harder for support services to offer counseling and shelter for victims. On April 15, 2020, I interviewed Tanya Henck, founding member of the first Cortes Island Women’s Centre which opened in January 2019. A combination of diligent sanitization and long microphone cables, plus a newly constructed and never-inhabited space, enabled us to set up for Covid-19-safe recording.  (The room was so bare that you may hear a certain amount of natural reverb in the podcast.) Tanya has lived on Cortes Island for 14 years, and has long been aware of the persistent and under-addressed problem of domestic violence.  Every community whether rural or urban has to deal with this issue, she says, and Cortes is no exception.  Yet Cortes, she feels, has been for years “behind the times” in coming to grips with this problem. Photo credit: “Domestic Violence Hurts” by ghetto_guera29 via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License) Cortes Currents: De Clarke interviews Tanya Henck from the Cortes Island Women’s Centre History of the Women’s Centre project Tanya’s desire to support women in crisis led her into contact with what was then Campbell River Transition Society, a charitable organization offering crisis counselling, shelter, and other resources to women and children at risk from domestic violence.  When she first set up a table at Friday Market with Transition Society literature, it was new information for islanders.  Most people on Cortes, she recalls,...
Touch The Earth

Touch The Earth

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.  A local youth attended an IndigenEYEZ training series: the goals are 5 fold: to strengthen the way that we walk in the world through the five modules – connecting to myself, to others, to community, to our cultural strengths, and to the land. I work for IndigenEYEZ, and attended Touch The Earth facilitator training… excitingly, my daughter Sofia was invited by the director as a youth trainee.  We travelled to the Okanagan, this session of the training was held at Headwaters Lake Camp. When I arrived at the camp, I visited with director Kelly Terbasket- in a cozy cabin on Headwaters Lake.  Cortes Currents: Odette describes an IndigenEYEZ training series: Touch the Earth Wáy [hello]  Kelly Terbasket. HI everyone, I’m Kelly Terbasket. I’m the director of IndigenEYEZ, I’m one of the co-founders, and I’m also one of the lead facilitators. IndigenEYEZ is about renewing relationships. Renewing our relationships with each other, and with the land. Snqsilxw means ‘sharing one skin’. We share a membrane with each other, including all our relations. And our mission is to strengthen those- our connection and our relationships. With the land, with the water, in order to become stronger stewards of the land. And remember our responsibilities to the whole. IndigenEYEZ is medicine for relationships. And that includes our relationship with the land, and with our water. That we remember, and revitalize our traditional teachings and values and principals… that remind us that we do ‘share one skin’ with all our relations. Snqsilxw means we...
Limits To Growth

Limits To Growth

This year has seen a couple of fairly major shocks to the global industrial economic system that so many of us rely upon. One could say that we had a near-collapse experience. I thought it might be wise to take a moment, step back, and have a look at the bigger picture. To see where western civilization is at, what’s driving us and what kinds of a future we might want to plan for. How does the pandemic fit with other threats to stability. To help me with this, I sought out the ideas of a Cortes Island thinker and researcher who deals with a lot of the shit on this island that most people would rather flush away without looking at – he’s a plumber, but so much more. Chris Walker Cortes Currents: Max Thaysen interviews Cortes Island’s plummer/philosopher: Chris Walker Who Is Chris Walker? Chris Walker was a builder in Ontario when he became enamoured with solar electricity. He became an installer of solar systems, hoping that they would replace the more destructive forms of energy production. When he found that they were ‘in addition to’ and not ‘instead of’ fossil fuels, he decided to try social change through democracy – he ran for the Green Party provincially and federally in several elections. When he found that people didn’t want to vote for people representing policies that acknowledged limits to growth and pushed for conservation of resources and nature, he went off to Sweden and did a masters in Sustainable Business Design. His thesis was on sustainable power generation. He then taught at a college in Ontario for a year before moving to BC in...
Bear Reality

Bear Reality

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.  What we can learn about coexisting with bears on Cortes Island an interview with Sabina Mense Leader.  Bear Sightings Are On The Rise Cortes Currents: Manda Aufochs Gillespie interviews Sabina Leader Mense about Bear Reality Bear sighting have been on the rise in BC over the last couple of years, more than doubling in many communities.  BC is bear country. And Cortes is no exception.  Bears have regularly swam over to feed on the fruits of abandoned orchards and spend some time on the island. This year, however, a young black bear over wintered.  Why are we seeing so many bears all of the sudden?  Many conservation and wildlife experts theorize that the drier weather is bringing many predators, including bears, to areas where there is more food, water, and where it’s easier to smell out food sources. Others say it is just a continuation of the ongoing process of humans encroaching into bear habitat.  Things are changing though and climate change is behind at least some of these incidents says a story in the New York Times which suggests that bears in the Western US are hibernating less because of climate change.  A 2017 study finds that for every 1°C that minimum winter temperatures rise, bears hibernate six days fewer. In short, though, there are a lot of reasons and no specific answers as to why there are so many more bear sightings these last couple of years throughout BC.  Bear Attacks Are Rare Though the bear sightings are...
Signs of Spring On Cortes Island

Signs of Spring On Cortes Island

The following program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. This story is about small acts of community building for kids on Cortes Island. Signs of Spring was a community art project- in which children’s artwork were displayed in their driveways during the Corona Virus Outbreak of 2020. Cortes Currents: Odette Auger talks about Signs of Spring The hope was that the kids taking part could see that they are all part of a bigger picture and that they are experiencing the situation together.  For 17 years, I’ve been working with island children in a range of settings…in all my work, art making has brought the group together.  When COVID19 hit, my kids were also impacted in different ways- a university student couldn’t return to her kitchen job at Hollyhock, a grade 9 had been recognized with an Indigenous student award, and the very day of the award ceremony, all school district activities were cancelled.  She returned to public school to finish her last year of Cortes schooling with friends in class- not now… and a 7 year old sorely missed his friends and classroom.  I read about WindowsUK project and knew we could do this on Cortes, tweaked a little for our rural island reality.  When times are hard, it could go many ways… but I’m a hopeful type by nature, and I was dearly missing my young friends in the schoolyard at lunch time, and at afterschool programming… so I felt the need for Community-building spirit to blaze stronger than ever right now. That’s why I applied for a neighbourhood grant...
Homelessness In Our Area

Homelessness In Our Area

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.  Summer is here, and with it  an increase in the number of homeless people in our communities. According to Sue Moen, the Salvation Army’s representative in the Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness, this problem goes back about forty years - to when the federal government stopped subsidizing affordable housing. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, many Canadians have come to the realization that issues like this are community problems and we all need to seek solutions. In this morning’s interview, we talk about homelessness in our area. Cortes Currents: Sue Moen, from the Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness, talks about homelessness in our area. BC Housing’s Definition of Homelessness “Homeless, according to the definition used by BC Housing, includes people who are precariously housed, or couch surfing, or aren’t paying rent directly to a landlord. They may be sharing a room, but their name isn’t on the rental agreement. They don’t know if they’ll have housing for the next thirty days … Also, there are a lot of people who are living in vehicles, RVs, and some even in campsites,” said Moen. “If they are off the beaten track and do not connect with services, they sometimes do even consider themselves homeless.”   Describe A Typical Homeless Person “Describe a typical homeless person?” I asked.  “There isn’t typical. People become homeless for every reason that there is a person experiencing homelessness. It could be fleeing violence, family break-down, fire, flood or an expected...