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Meares 35

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With this campaign, we will take a significant communal step to rebuild the ancient Tla-o-qui-aht Village of Opitsaht, located on Meares Island in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia. Our GoFundMe campaign goal is to raise $350,000 toward the $35 Million needed to rebuild Opitsaht, which was once one of America’s most prosperous communities north of Mexico City. The village once housed over 200 monumental longhouses, sheltered by the ancient cedar rainforest that surrounded it. The main house, belonging to Chief Wickaninnish, was large enough to house 1000 people. The trees on Meares Island in and around Opitsaht still stand today thanks to the vision, resilience, and communal efforts of Tla-o-qui-aht and their allies who came together 35 years ago, in 1984, to protect the island from attempts to clear cut its forests.

Due to bombings by the Americans from 1792 to 1811 that burned the village of Opitsaht to the ground and the more recent damages caused by the Indian Act system of ‘Indian reservations’ and residential schools, Opitsaht is not what it used to be. However, on this 35 year anniversary of the Declaration of the Meares Island Tribal Park, we plan to change that. Working with partners and supporters like you, Opitsaht will be restored to its physical glory with renewable energy as its fuel and programs in place to support the community to heal from the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental traumas that have impacted Indigenous Peoples across Canada.

This campaign is about celebrating the community spirit of collaboration that saved Clayoquot Sound, Meares Island, and the ancient forest 35 years ago. It is also about sending a message of hope out to the world that it is possible to do the right thing. When Indigenous and non-Indigenous people come together on shared values, social justice, environmental stewardship and true economic well being, anything is possible. In addition to rebuilding the village of Opitsaht, we are going to work with other Indigenous Nations and Canadians across the country to roll out a Clayoquot Sound-style development model where we have a balance of ecosystem, economic, community, and human health and well-being.

We have professional engineers, architects, planners, grant writers, all coming together for this effort to rebuild Opitsaht. The $350,000 raised through this GoFundMe campaign will be used to catalyze a massive fundraising movement including the transportation of a Women’s Honour Canoe to key locations for ceremony and public events, gatherings and tours of Meares Island, the development of curriculum for schools across canada to research the million species facing extinction according to the latest UN report, and other initiatives we are organizing to build momentum and reach our ultimate goal.

Thank you for your support! We're grateful for all donations, big and small.


  • Valentina Rounce
    • $20 
    • 5 yrs

Fundraising team: IISAAK OLAM Foundation (4)

Eli Enns
Brentwood Bay, BC
Andrew Paul
Team member
Eli Enns
Team member
Monica Shore
Team member

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