Aerial view of Clayoquot Sound's islands, ocean and mountains in the background

Kyler Vos

About Tofino ʔiisaak Pledge

The ʔiisaak pledge introduces four Tla-o-qui-aht teachings and laws that have helped protect and shape this beautiful place and its people over many generations.

This content was written in collaboration with Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks.

ƛaʔuukʷiʔatḥ/Tla-o-qui-aht Nation has hosted visitors over thousands of years. ƛayaaḥuɁał, meaning “welcome/glad to see you” in the Tla-o-qui-aht language is accompanied by an understanding that those who are welcomed practice ʔiisaak (to observe, appreciate and act accordingly / to practice respect) to show respect for Indigenous ways of being while travelling within the Haḥuułi of the ƛaɁuukwiatḥ ḥaw̓iiḥ.

Like the guests in your own home, there are protocols for being a guest in Indigenous territories. As a visitor of Tofino in the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks, you are asked to take the ʔiisaak Pledge and put it into practice for the duration of your stay so that the ecosystem can be maintained for future generations to enjoy.  

Top of a totem pole against the blue sky

ʔiisaaksinḥiʔin

(ii-saak-sin-hi-in)

Let us be respectful of Natural Law. Let us observe, appreciate and act accordingly.

Some how-to’s:

- Notice the ways that your presence has an impact on this place, and find ways to make those impacts positive.

- Protect biodiversity by respecting the boundaries and privacy of animals by keeping a safe distance and not leaving personal belongings or food unattended.

- Take good care of yourself and others by staying prepared for changing conditions and unexpected emergencies. 

- Respect flora and fauna who share a right to coexist, and help advocate for their protection.

Totem pole set amongst the background of a river and a forested mountainside

Taaquuqḥłiʔin

(Taa-quuqh-thli-in) 

Let us speak truthfully and act honourably. Let us learn the history of this place and its People, correcting colonial narratives like the myth that this is a wilderness. 

Some how-to’s:

- Acknowledge Indigenous rights and title throughout the territory and conduct yourself as a guest.

- Take the opportunity to learn the realities of colonization that occurred here and listen and learn with sensitivity to the subject.

- Support Indigenous language revitalization efforts. Learn and use Tla-o-qui-aht place names.

- Practice communication that helps educate others. Report these concerns (such as illegal dumping, fires, harassment or poaching of wildlife) to Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks.

Totem pole close up with a resort in the background

Łaayaksiinḥiʔin

(Thlaa-yak-siin-hi-in) 

Let us be generous and helpful: there is no end to the work of building community. 

Some how-to’s: 

- Contribute your time and effort by participating in a beach cleanup or other restoration event.

- Help protect vital habitats by removing invasive species.

- Support the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks Allies program with your purchases.

- Contribute to the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks ecosystem services fee to help support the ongoing long-term protection of this place.
 

Two totem poles side-by-side along the multi-use pathway

Qʷaasiinḥapin

(kwa-siin-hap-in) 

Let us leave healthy habitats undisturbed, keeping them as they are for future generations. 

Some how-to’s:

- Leave places cleaner than you found them: dispose of garbage and ensure fires are put out properly.

- Refrain from disturbing, destroying or removing Indigenous plants - especially during bird nesting season. 

- Watch your step and leave small animals, shells, stones, minerals and cultural belongings in place.

- Walk, ride, drive, park and camp only where permitted, respecting that not all areas and events are open to visitors.

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