Tsulquate Land Use Study (1984)

In the 1980s Dara Culhane was hired to do a demographic study of the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations. Below is the introduction of the report that she prepared:

Introduction – Section I

What follows in this report is a summation of demographic data (records of births, deaths and migrations) pertaining to the Tsulquate Indian Band, located on Northern Vancouver Island near the town of Port Hardy. Data has been gathered from a wide range of sources, the detailes of which are presented in a "NOTE ON THE DATA” in Appendix A. It is a Demographic Profile which means that it is, essentially, a statistical skeleton. In order to make the vast array of numbers a little more meaningful, I have tried, very briefly and generally, to place the figures regarding past events within a historical context and recent, present and future data within a comparative context. However, I must stress that the primary objective of this research project has been to locate, record and compile facts and figures regarding demographic trends in order to provide the Tsulquate Band Council and band staff with a solid data base in order to facilitate their planning in a wide range of areas. To add flesh to this skeleton in any reliable or thorough way would be far beyond the scope of this project.

Much of the data presented here is taken from documents classified as confidential (See Appendix B, "BANDS’ RIGHTS TO INFORMATION”) and I have tried to protect the privacy of individuals in the way I have presented the data. The final decision, however, as to the dissemination of this data, rests with the Tsulquate Band Council.
The report is divided into two sections. Section I – Tsulquate: The Demographic Story, sets out in detail, on a decade-by-decade basis, the information contained in the various records I consulted. Section II – A Demographic Profile of the Tsulquate Indian Band, summarizes the data presented in Section I and compares it to similar data on the British Columbia Registered Indian Population (B.C.R.I.)  and the British Columbia Non-Indian population (B.C.N.I.). Since the nature of the data and the degree of detail in the two sections are quite different, I have designed the report so that each section may be used independently of the other or in combination, depending on the use to which the band wishes to put the report.

Finally, as everyone knows, peoples’ lives cannot be reduced to numbers on tables and dots on graphs. Demographic data, perhaps because it records events which are often very tragic and very personal, sometimes appears offensively inhuman and cold, not to mention prying. In a report such as this one, whose primary purpose is, as stated above, to present data, it is hard to avoid this feeling while reading. To put the contents of this report into perspective, I offer the following quotation from the demographer, S.F. Hartley:

"Human life is precious. Each birth introduces some unknown potential, not only for the development of that single human being but also for some contribution to the social group into which the child is born and possibly for the betterment of the human species as a whole. Similarly, each death reduces the potential richness of life for us all.” (Harlety, S.F., 1982)

 

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