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Salish Sea Sentinel | April 20, 2024

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Recognizing Klahoose boat captain Hardy Francis

Recognizing Klahoose boat captain Hardy Francis

By Edith Moore, NmTC communications liaison

As part of my work as Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council’s communications liaison, I often travel to our member communities to meet with leadership.

In early July, I was making a trip to Klahoose First Nation to meet with their chief and council along with Gary Reith, NmTC’s Chief Administrative Officer. Klahoose is located on remote Cortes Island, so it is a more challenging place to visit. We were pleased that the administration sent their band-owned boat to Campbell River to pick us up in order to make the trip easier.   

As we waited at the dock, boat captain Hardy Francis (a.k.a. “Hout” as he is called by is family) pulled up in a 27-foot aluminum boat. It immediately became clear that Hardy was very reliable, skilled and kind. He drove us to Klahoose and back safely, and even though it was a little rough out, Hardy kept a smile on his face and navigated the conditions with ease.  

Hardy has been operating the boat for Klahoose for 38 years. On a normal day, he works as a fishing guide, charters goods back and forth from his nation and generally helps people to get around. During the summer months, and when the water is significantly calmer, Hardy may see more people taking part in fishing trips on an inflatable fishing pontoon to help them to navigate the area and to catch as many fish as possible. On rare occasions, he helps people to get back to Vancouver Island during emergencies – once, he shared, his niece went into labour, and he drove her to Campbell River during heavy December wind and rain so she could deliver the healthy baby.  

I want to recognize Hardy because he inspired me. He has followed his passion and is contributing to his community, making a living at doing what he loves. Klahoose is blessed to have you!